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Title: The Mania of the Nations on the Planet Mars and its Terrific Consequences

Author: James Howard Calisch

Release date: January 27, 2018 [eBook #56445]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by MFR, David E. Brown, and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
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Mania of the Nations
on the Planet Mars
and its Terrific Consequences

A Combination of Fun and Wisdom

Published in the Year 55 E.D. on Mars
(1915 A.D. on Earth)

Copyright, 1915

[Pg 3]


MANY millions of centuries ago, when the celestial globe on which we live and struggle started to emerge from the hot-air habit and commenced to cool down and come to its senses, a huge mass of syrup-like material sagged down toward the lower end of the cooling ball and, upon further cooling, formed a high promontory at what we to-day call the South Pole. As a consequence we now find there a plateau of an elevation far exceeding in height the highest mountains found elsewhere on our venerable globe.

You may imagine if you can how cold it must be there. The North Pole is supposed to be cool enough for anybody who hates to go to sleep in an overheated bedroom; but it has been shown to be a depression in the earth’s crust filled with ice, and it[Pg 4] therefore does not mount far above sea level, while the South Pole, aside from lacking the sun’s comforting perpendicular rays, reaches besides so high up in the atmospheric layers as to preclude all possibility of the prevalence of hot birds. Cold bottles are about the only means of enjoyment which the tourists, thirsting for amusement, find there at their disposal.

Professor FANSEE of the Dreemo University was a courageous man. He may have been afflicted with a creepy feeling in the still, mysterious shadows of the night; he may have had a constant fear of spooks and all sorts of ferocious beasts; he may have stood in perpetual awe of his innocent-looking wife; but it must be said to his everlasting glory that he was not at all afraid of the cold. It is being whispered that after many years of married life his affectionate spouse had at last succeeded in more or less accustoming him to frigidity.

Professor FANSEE, moreover, was an expert in astronomy, chemistry and electricity. With a smile of derision he had watched for years the futile efforts on the part of certain scientists to communicate with the planet Mars. Long ago an idea had ripened in his fertile brain that he knew would ultimately lead to the desired end. The highest plateau on earth having been shown to be located at the South Pole,[Pg 5] he decided to direct his Zee-rays from this cool and calm promontory. For this purpose he caused an enormous hollow globe to be built of non-conducting material, so arranged that the inner chambers would retain an upright position while the ball would be merrily rolling along. By means of powerful storage batteries within this potent structure the apparatus was made self-propelling. With this rolling vehicle at his beck and call, he needed no ships to cross the Antarctic ocean, no derricks to hoist his globular observatory to the highest peak; and without notifying the press, unostentatiously as befits a serious-minded scientist, he arrived one fine morning at the highest point of that celestial conveyance which we call the earth.

From this elevation he industriously worked his ingenious device. For six months he shot his Zee-rays day and night at the unsuspecting Martians. For six months his endeavors seemed utterly fruitless. Then, of a sudden, in the middle of the night, a faint wail was heard in the Professor’s receiving apparatus; a manifestation of the first indication that his brain-child had actually come into healthful being. For two weeks, at intervals of twenty minutes, Professor FANSEE cautiously manipulated his quivering wires. Then, at last, to his unbounded joy and satisfaction, the first communication from[Pg 6] Mars became intelligible. From that moment on, it took but a few days to come to an understanding with the mystic inhabitants of our misty neighbor; and an interesting narrative was thus obtained of conditions prevailing on the presumably canal-infested planet.

Professor FANSEE unfortunately breathed his last before returning to his native land. But I had had the honor of acting as his assistant and confidant. And although to my keen disappointment the globe in which we traveled was wrecked on the rocks while making a landing on the shores of New Zealand, I had the good fortune of safely swimming ashore and of saving the papers containing the interesting revelations. So, with due credit to Professor FANSEE, and with fond recollections of his erudite personality, I believe myself justified in revealing the Martian episode to my terrestrial fellowmen.

The marked similarity with events on our own celestial empire may strike my readers as a singular coincidence. But according to prehistoric astrologers, all events are controlled by the position of the stars. And, if they do control the course of events on our earth, it seems but natural that they should similarly affect some of the other members of our solar system.

[Pg 7]First of all, as Professor FANSEE had always been profoundly interested in questions of religion, and as his first inquiries consequently dealt with this highly important subject, it should be stated that for eighteen centuries and a half the ruling religion on the planet Mars had been the religion of NAZARRO. Nazarro was a God who, according to the Martians, materialized in human form on the planet Mars. This God preached a gospel of peace, of the curbing of passions, and of equal division of wealth. So the Roamani and the Heebrons, among whom he dwelt, sought to punish His revolutionary agitations by hanging Him on the gallows. Thus the sign of the gallows became a sign of sanctity revered by NAZARRO’S followers, and the emblem of a new faith. The members of the religious sect so created and which for fifteen centuries continued to grow in power were known as the Nazarranos.

About the end of the fifteenth century E.N. (the Era of NAZARRO) the trend of civilization commenced to take a somewhat different direction. If the Nazarranos had limited themselves to spreading the precepts of NAZARRO unchanged, our Martian informer thought, all of the inhabitants of Mars would unswervingly have recognized their excellence. But only a few among the Martians were[Pg 8] mentally as lofty as had been the Great Nazarrano Teacher. Consequently, when the Nazarranos organized a Nazarrano corporation under the personal direction of certain lower and higher functionaries, these functionaries, supposedly for the honor of NAZARRO, often resorted to methods of which NAZARRO Himself would never have approved. The unavoidable result was that certain Martians seriously began to doubt the superiority of the whole Nazarrano faith.

Meanwhile, from remote antiquity down to this interesting era, the minds of the Martians had gradually developed to ever greater efficiency; and it so happened that at this time they commenced to investigate the phenomena of Nature far more systematically than they had ever done before. In connection with the Nazarrano faith a mystic story had been preached of the creation of the Universe, gathered from the Heebron manuscripts, and which made the Martians believe that Mars was a flat slice of land floating on water, around which the remainder of the Universe majestically rotated. So when a Martian by the name of GALELIAH discovered that Mars was a globe, and that Mars rotated round the Sun, and not the Sun around Mars, the Nazarrano corporation officials strenuously objected, for they saw in his suggestion the first signs of disbelief.[Pg 9] Notwithstanding the opposition of the Nazarrano officials, various sciences began to develop in other directions, until the Nazarranos were forced, little by little, to change their views of creation. In every instance the Nazarrano dignitaries registered their objections in vain with greater or lesser vehemence. At last, in the year 1859 E.N., a new prophet arose, bearing the euphonic name of DARVINO. In the country of the Frank-Aulians, otherwise known as the Fringe, a book had previously been published by LAMARCKEESO, suggesting that the development of the Universe was due to a process of evolution; and the intrepid DARVINO rigged a ship to search for proofs, and published these proofs convincingly in the said memorable year 1859 E.N.

From that time on, a new faith began to conquer the minds of the Martians. To a numerous group of scientists the year 1861 E.N. became the year 1 E.D. (Era of DARVINO). A new religious sect came into being known as the Darvinianos. And although a large majority of the Nazarranos continued to profess their older faith, their views of the Universe as well as their conceptions of proper living were, nevertheless, ever more definitely influenced by the Darviniano conclusions.

Now the belief in personal Gods, of which the Nazarrano faith had been the latest outgrowth, had[Pg 10] prevailed on the planet Mars for innumerable centuries. The Martian idea of morality had for an almost unlimited era been taught to the young in so close a connection with the faith in personal and semi-human Deities, that it seemed to the Martians that this faith was the rock on which moral conduct was necessarily to be founded. The faith in personally supervising Divinities had penetrated the customs and moral conceptions not only of the Nazarranos, but well nigh of all the Martian nations and religious sects. It had grown to be to all appearances inseparable from the Martians’ way of giving vent to their emotional longings and inclinations. On the other hand, the Darviniano conclusions contained nothing of an emotional nature. They sprang from the intellect, and appealed to the intellect only.

As the year 1859 E.N. on Mars corresponds exactly with the year 1859 A.D. on earth, it may readily be seen that at the time of Professor FANSEE’S intercourse with our neighboring planet, the Darviniano faith had prevailed only for a little over half a century. Of course, new faiths, new religions, new philosophies, cannot ripen to completeness in so short a lapse of time. Hence, in order to satisfy their emotional longings and moral desires, the Martians continued to resort to the Nazarrano manuscripts,[Pg 11] adopting meanwhile the intellectual views of the Darvinianos, and trying as best they could to harmonize the two systems of thought. But try as they might, they were ever and again confronted by disturbing contradictions. This inevitably gave rise to an unsettled emotional condition, which our Martian informer indeed seemed deeply to deplore, but which—in his clearly expressed opinion—would beyond doubt make way for a renewed era of moral stability and mental ease, so soon as the Darviniano faith had been made more nearly complete—and hence more satisfactory—by an infusion of the emotional element.

Having in this way concisely explained the religious situation on the whirling Canal-globe, our informant, who evidently was an erudite philosopher delegated for this purpose, suddenly changed the subject in order that he might acquaint us with the principal international political events that had occurred on Mars during the Nazarrano era.

To our astonishment we received the unmistakable impression that the social conditions on the earthlike planet are as yet extremely primitive. It seems that, in ancient times, those groups of Martians who inhabited territories surrounded by mountains and forests or bordered by oceans and rivers, were forced to consider these natural boundaries as[Pg 12] insurmountable barriers, and that these barriers made their communication with other groups of Martians almost impossible. Each of these groups was thus for many long centuries constrained to lead an isolated existence. The tribes that occupied one valley never came in contact with the inhabitants of other valleys. One group of Martians would dwell at one side of some large forest; on the other side some other group would be struggling along; but the two groups never met to interchange their views or to learn in what way the other had increased the comforts of life. Naturally, therefore, each group developed a language and crude civilization of its own, and the result was the division of the inhabitants of Mars into separate nations, each with its own peculiar customs and ideals.

As science advanced, the communication between these isolated nations was ever more facilitated, and their mutual relations became ever more intimate. At the time at which Professor FANSEE received his remarkable message, perfect intercommunication had been established by means of railroads, steamship lines, telegraphs and telephones. The Martians had even commenced to travel through the air from one country to another. In this manner all the nations were enabled to benefit by the scientific progress made by any one of them.

[Pg 13]Now if each nation had been sufficient unto itself, if each country had from its own resources provided all the ingredients it needed under its more progressive form of civilization, it might to an extent have been sensible for the various groups of Martians to say to one another: “We are mighty glad to come in contact with you, and we are deeply interested in your customs and ideals, which seem at first sight so very much at variance with our own, and which are nevertheless at bottom so very similar to ours; but as we do not see the slightest benefit in changing the conditions that be, we prefer not to destroy our national individuality. For our national pride has grown to be a sacred idol among us, with which no higher ideals of a more expanded brotherhood should be permitted to interfere.” But our Martian informer stated that in actuality none of the Martian nations really is sufficient unto itself. With the broadened requirements of life which inevitably followed in the wake of scientific development and mental expansion, it was found that each nation produces articles of some special type, of which all the other nations are keenly and continually in need. The soil of one country is rich in certain products not found in other countries, even though these other countries require them as well. In fact, it was soon disclosed that all civilized nations are utterly dependent[Pg 14] upon each other, both mentally and physically.

Under these circumstances, the unprejudiced observer would naturally expect the nations to form some sort of an alliance or federation for mutual protection, and with a view to a sensible combination of interests. Yet so short-sighted have been the evidently narrow-minded Martians until now, that they have utterly failed to take any such step. Nay, instead of cooperating with each other, the nations actually antagonize one another with blind stupidity. Small-minded jealousies and hatreds, expressing themselves especially in a peculiar international science which the Martians call dip-low-macy, keep the nations aloof from one another, and make sworn hereditary enemies of nations that should entertain naught but friendly and cooperative relations. Even those nations which have acquired the same faith, the same hopes, the same aspirations, continue to lead their isolated national existence, carefully nursing their mutual petty hatreds and malice against other nationalities. Inasmuch as pretty nearly all the Martian nations seem to be afflicted with this malicious nationality-mania, the planet Mars, as seen from the earth, inevitably makes the impression of one vast lunatic asylum, nationality-mania being the dreadful malady from which the Mars-bound[Pg 15] patients are unfortunately suffering. Their minds seem to be as much in a whirl as is the rolling planet which they inhabit.

This most unfortunate mental disease even disrupts and destroys the much vaunted bonds of a common religious faith.

On the planet Mars, aside from the Nazarranos, another religious sect flourishes, founded by a prophet whose name, as far as we could decipher, was MOE HAMID. This MOE HAMID strictly prohibited the use of the mussel as an article of nourishment. And by the law of contradiction or by the irony of fate, the sect has ever since been known as the Musselmen. Now these Musselmen, although dispersed among different nationalities, have really formed a sort of brotherhood founded on their faith. Whenever a holy war is declared in earnest, all Musselmen stand together. That the members of this sect should refer to the Nazarrano-Darvinianos as dogs, may be deplorably one-sided, but can readily be understood. At any rate the Musselmen are known to stick together. Among the Darvinized Nazarranos, however, cooperative brotherhood is totally lacking. One of the Nazarrano-Darviniano nations looks upon another such nation as a contemptible pack of dogs; one nation considers the other to be an aggregate of low barbarians; and[Pg 16] every single nation among them envies all the others any political power or industrial prosperity which by long-continued effort they may have attained.

Even though both NAZARRO and DARVINO were fervent advocates of peace and tolerance, the nations which are supposed to follow these two Masters direct their best intelligence and scientific accomplishments toward the invention of infernal devices with which to maim and destroy one another. Every new discovery made by scientific searchers is at once seized upon for the purpose of making these engines of torture ever more deadly, ever more maliciously destructive. As he deciphered these words one dreary night, Professor FANSEE whispered to me in confidence that he had absolutely lost his belief in the actual existence of Hell; but that this revelation was making him reconsider his non-belief. And, he added, if there is such a place, I am fully convinced that, then, I have beyond doubt located it on the planet Mars. Think of this insensate chaos of low emotions, of this ceaseless courting of suffering, death and devastation among nations which should have formed a solid bond of friendship and mutual respect, and which, had they done so, might all have peaceably enjoyed all the wealth of the Universe. And when you behold their primitive lack of all kindly feeling, reflect that these nationality-maniacs[Pg 17] are so utterly deluded as to bluntly call themselves Nazarranos and to pray to the God of NAZARRO for success in their wantonly destructive pursuits!

Stirred to the depth by this display of unutterable stupidity or seemingly hopeless irrationality, we anxiously waited for further details. Little by little, we subsequently succeeded in deciphering them. It seems that among the antagonistic Nazarrano-Darviniano nations there were two to whom our Martian informer referred with particular emphasis.

One of these, inhabiting a country called Two-Tonia, seems to be known to the Martians as the TWO-TONS. Upon inquiry it was found that on Mars the names by which the nations are known are in some instances derived from their mental characteristics. The Two-Tons have the reputation of being mentally heavy. Each Two-Ton is supposed to carry two tons of brain matter; and in many individual cases this weight unfortunately becomes so oppressive as to make them apparently incapable of acquiring or developing the amiable and pliable mental graces that adorn the minds of a few other nationalities.

The Two-Tons excel many other nations in depth and scientific thoroughness. They have increased[Pg 18] their depth by digging very deep into any subject to which they devote their attention. That in their arguments in connection with the Darviniano philosophy, aside from empirical pursuits, they are apt to dig in the wrong direction, our Martian informer promised to demonstrate. Digging as deep as they do, one may easily understand, if they really start digging in the wrong direction, how very far from their philosophic object they are likely to wind up in the end.

Among those nationalities whose national pride stands in the way of an appreciation of the merits of other nations, the Two-Tons must be counted foremost. To them all other Nazarrano-Darviniano nations seem utterly worthless and absurdly inferior. For this reason they prefer occasional association or alliance with the Musselmen, although they are supposed to be praying to the Nazarrano God, placing meanwhile their faith in the Darviniano philosophy. Their contempt for other Nazarrano nations knows no limit. They consider themselves the creators and guardians of a special form of civilization, endlessly superior to the degree of mental growth reached in other countries. However absurd and conceited this may seem, it must at the same time be acknowledged that the brain-weight of the Two-Tons has led to some remarkably[Pg 19] constructive results. In the short lapse of time of forty years, making use of the material gathered in earlier periods, they have succeeded in erecting a palatial edifice of science and industry far exceeding in excellence and unity of construction the many isolated buildings erected for the same purpose in the course of a few centuries in other countries. How great and rich this nation could therefore have grown, had they quietly fostered in their own hearts their elation at their wonderful progress, and had they not permitted contradictory delusions to mar the solidity of their accomplishments!

It should be mentioned that among the products which this nation was preparing with scientific care was a dangerous explosive that was placed upon the national market under the name of Militarism. Every able-bodied male citizen was compelled to devote a certain number of years to the manufacture of this highly explosive product. As a consequence there was such a superabundance of the stuff in their country, that they decided to store barrels upon barrels of it in the basement of their wonderfully constructed edifice. Moreover, they placed a fuse in every room and hall of the well-constructed building, so that they might be in a position to blow the whole structure up at a moment’s notice, apparently just for spite, in case of a quarrel with some[Pg 20] other nation. Great engines were constructed of precious metal from which this explosive was to hurl huge balls, scientific stinkpots and other malicious missiles into the ranks of the contemplated enemy. And as these engines were wont to cough up their deadly projectiles with an earsplitting noise, the factory where the engines were produced was facetiously referred to as the CROUP-factory. The time indeed came when an explosion did occur, of which the terrific results are as yet incapable of compilation.

Another product of a very different kind, manufactured by the Two-Tons, was mentioned by our Martian informer, the real character of which Professor FANSEE had some difficulty in deciphering. At first the Professor translated its name as Koaltar, but as the word was repeated, it proved to be some sort of national talisman to which they give the name of Kooltoor. The real meaning of this word is still wrapped in mystery. It would seem, however, that just as our word Culture refers to the mental development of the individual, so is the word Kooltoor used to denote the mental and physical development of the Two-Ton nation as a whole. I expect that Two-Tonia will be mentioned later in Professor FANSEE’S manuscript in connection with further international Martian events.

[Pg 21]The other nation most frequently mentioned by our unseen communicant on Mars seems to be known on that planet by the name of ANGLERS-AXSONS, and was at other times referred to under the name of BRITS. There is no doubt but that the two names refer to the same nation, for in one instance the word Axsons was left out, and our kind Martian spoke distinctly of the Anglers or Brits. They dwell apparently on a group of islands called Anglia or Brittia. It further seems that one of these islands is specifically known as the Ire-island, because the ire of its inhabitants is so very easily aroused. According to a legend, the nation of the Brits was founded by a fisherman who drove the snakes off the islands for the permanent protection of the angleworms. This fisherman having been a prehistoric patriarch, whose name has failed to come down the sky-reaching slope of the centuries, the nation is simply known as the Anglers. The ocean has been the field of their conquests and the means toward their development, which took about three centuries, so that their national efforts commenced some two centuries and a half before the Two-Tons started theirs.

They are so wholeheartedly devoted to fishing, it is said that during all this stretch of time they continually have had their baited hooks ready to[Pg 22] grab and appropriate anything to be found in, on or near the ocean. They have not been unsuccessful in their fishing enterprise. Sometimes they catch fish. At other times they catch islands, coaling stations, countries occupied by so-called inferior tribes, a canal here and there built by the laborious efforts of other nations; in fact they have gathered all sorts of oceanic treasures whenever the other nations failed to see them first. The surname Ax-sons is probably derived from the fact that but a few hundred years ago they were mere Skandalnavying savages whose only weapon of offense and defense was the battle-ax.

As to the name Brits, by which they seem in fact to be most commonly known, it must be confessed that Professor FANSEE had never succeeded in discovering its intrinsic meaning. When I returned to civilization, however, I decided to investigate; and by carefully scanning all the dictionaries contained in all the famous libraries of the Fidji Islands, I discovered that the word Brit applies to a young herring, once thought to be a distinct species. I furthermore found that this word denotes the food of the whalebone whales, consisting of small crustaceans, pteropods (whatever that is), and other minute surface swimming animals whose mammas have cursed them with fancy names. It is possible[Pg 23] that the Brits made at one time the fishing of brit their national industry, and that they thus became known by the name of the fish they sold, dished up, and in other ways used for their own sel-fish purposes. On the other hand it is equally plausible that the name refers to their propensity of grabbing little islands and coaling stations from the ocean, just small enough to escape the attention of others and to pass through the elastic dip-low-matic rake, yet in the aggregate of sufficient bulk considerably to increase their national weight and importance.

Speaking of dip-low-macy, the Brits are great adepts at this low-dipping effort. It should be known that in this peculiar Martian pursuit the facial muscles are not permitted to betray the schemes that are hatching in the brain. You think and mean one thing, you say and appear to mean something else. The heavy bulk of brain that burdens the Two-Tons prevents these scientific people from dissimulating their mental activity. They are forced by nature to be blunt and candid, except when they have caused some calamity and foxily try to throw the blame on somebody else, as curiously may be shown by subsequent events. But the brains of the Brits are not quite so heavy. By means of rowing, swimming, football, polo, golf, tennis, cricket and other strenuous outdoor sports,[Pg 24] they have acquired perfect control over their muscles. Especially is this ability apparent in their clever manipulation of the muscles of the face.

At frequent occasions the Brits have covered their angling activities with a veneer of apparently noble purposes, so beautifully polished you could almost use the veneer as a curved looking-glass. For instance, when they were spreading their own nationality all over the hilly surface of good old Mars, their facial expression was extremely innocent and noble while pretending merely to be spreading the Nazarrano faith. While they did do their share toward Nazarrizing the globe on which they live, they did not, in accordance with the Nazarrano precepts, look for their reward in heaven, but they sold their virtues for cash and took their reward by force of arms and dip-low-macy right on Mars itself. Their plan was very simple. They would send a missionary to spread the faith; subsequently they would send him plenty of assistants. Then they would start trading, always looking out—as tradesmen should—for their own interests. This inevitably led to disagreement with the natives. And as the engines of destruction used by the unobtrusive natives had not reached as high a phase of physical civilization as had those of the Brits, all the latter had to do at this phase of the game was to send[Pg 25] some of their own little destruction-machines to the nation involved, and, after a little fighting, to make the territory their own. They would then start to colonize to clinch the one-sided deal.

To the development of science and industry they also have contributed a very important share. But as they believed in Culture and failed to develop that national unity brought about by the Two-Ton Kooltoor, their scientific and industrial buildings have never as yet been combined into one great edifice, such as so skilfully erected in Two-Tonia. It is possible that the greater development of animal spirits among the Brits versus the greater mental momentum of the Two-Tons had something to do with this difference in type of growth. It is possible that it was simply due to the fact that the minds of the great Brit thinkers and scientists had developed in one direction, while those among the Two-Tons had developed in a very different direction. Yet there can be but little doubt but that one of the most important causes of this divergency is to be found in the circumstance that the Two-Tons started to build their unified nation at a time when the sciences had reached a high state of advancement, and after a new philosophic sect had arisen among the Two-Tons, who were popularly known as the Social-Mists, and who laid particular stress on the[Pg 26] advantages of cooperation; while, on the contrary, the foundation of the Brit institutions had been laid during a period, when the development of modern science had not given even its first signs of life.

In regard to the science of dip-low-macy, previously referred to, it may here be stated that this facial endeavor is by no means limited to the Brits alone. It seems that this quasi-scientific deception is practised with similar skill by other Martian nations. And even allowing for the deplorable fact that most of these nations are suffering from a pitiable mental malady, it still is astounding to the terrestrial onlooker that this ability to manipulate the facial muscles is among the Martians regarded as a highly meritorious attainment. Many dignitaries of the Nazarrano corporation occupy high places of honor on the strength of it. Nay, among most of the Martian nations even the making and the interpretation of the country’s laws is almost exclusively entrusted to those who excel in this deceitful pursuit. For the attainment to high political office it seems to be an absolutely essential accomplishment. Our Martian informer expressed the fervent belief that, were it not for this irrational and habitual deception, much of the petty malice between nation and nation could have been avoided or allayed.

[Pg 27]We have heretofore found occasion to mention that the national activity of the Brits covered a period of some three hundred years, while that of the Two-Tons was limited to a span of forty years. This apparent difference in national duration is due to the fact that for many years up to the year 11 E.D. (1871 E.N.) the Two-Tons had been divided into a number of small principalities, each leading a semi-national existence of its own. In the year mentioned, after a destruction-chief by the name of MOULD-KEY had conquered the Frank-Aulians popularly known as the Fringe, a Two-Ton leader called BEES’MARK, because he left the mark of a very busy bee upon Two-Tonia, united the principalities into one great Two-Ton empire. Two chiefs reigned for a short time over the new-born nation, and then were succeeded by another ruler, a man of strenuous activity, bearing the high-sounding name of WILMOSTASH. This man seems to have had a prominent influence on the Two-Tonian growth; and the Two-Tons are convinced that their natural development is in essence due to the tireless efforts of this ruler, whose facial adornments indeed reach up toward the distant heavens.

The industrial preparations among the Two-Ton principalities previous to their federation, were now by the Two-Tons regarded as of but little consequence.[Pg 28] Especially the younger generations saw naught but the growth of the united nation since the year 11 E.D. (1871 E.N.). And when they realized that they occupied an industrial position on the planet Mars at least as important as that of any other nation, they were impressed with the idea that in three, four decades they had accomplished what had taken other nations three, four centuries to reach. This impression could not but vastly increase their national pride, so that the nationality-mania, so common among the deluded Martians, was in Two-Tonia brought to an acute phase, overshadowing in depth and seriousness the similar mental malady prevalent among other nations.

As a consequence, as they gradually attained their important industrial position, they aspired at a political position of similar importance. But being—as a consequence of their brain-weight—less nimble and more blunt than many of the other races, they frequently assumed in the counsel of nations a high-toned attitude which the others looked upon as arrogant, and by force of which they frequently attempted to dictate the final decisions on international problems.

Had the nations not been deluded by their antagonistic and ever suspicious nationality-mania, they would have reasoned with the Two-Tons, they[Pg 29] would have endeavored better to understand their ideals and their motives, and they might have learned much from them, just as the Two-Tons themselves in earlier years had learned a great deal from the others. But as a consequence of the deplorable Martian delusion, this attitude on the part of the Two-Tons had the effect of emphasizing all the more the malice that one nation bore another, and even resulted in a combination of the ill-will of various otherwise mutually unfriendly nations, in aggregate directed against the Two-Tons. As the neighboring nations watched with anxiety the profuse production of the militaristic explosive in the Two-Tonian empire, and as they scented an imminent danger of an explosion, they—by means of combinations and alliances—commenced to take measures to protect themselves against the Two-Tonian aggression which, they thought, was bound sooner or later to change from a merely mental attitude into a series of acts of physical violence. Among the nations so combined, special mention should be made of the FRANK-AULIANS or FRINGE, who, besides watching with suspicion the growing militaristic activity of their neighbor, were moreover animated by their desire to obtain redress for the damage done them in 1871 E.N., when they lost the territories of All-Sass and Low-Rain to the Two-Tons. Indeed, though this desire—at first vehemently proclaimed—had[Pg 30] largely diminished in fervor as time wore on, still it was one of the undercurrents conscientiously to be taken into account in the judgment one might attempt to pass upon later developments. In the anti-Two-Tonian protective combinations, the Fringe no doubt figured prominently.

It is characteristic of the primitive condition of Martian civilization that a nation’s political influence is determined, not by the wisdom it displays in international counsel, but by the size of the territory it controls, and partly, therefore, by the extent of its colonies. Now, during three long centuries various nations had explored the oceans and snapped up all the territories fit for colonization; and owing to the successful angling of the Brits, many of these colonies had in the end fallen into their hands. Next in colonial possessions came the Fringe, and another nation known as the Whole-landers also controlled considerable outlying territory. But as all these nations had been engaged in this accumulation-process for so long a span of time, the Two-Tons, when they commenced to search for similar far-off fields of expansion, found but little left over. And not being as perfect in dip-low-matic attainments as other nations, the Two-Tons, as other nations had feared all along, came to the conclusion that the only way in which they[Pg 31] could attain to the same type of political influence, was by force of arms, in other words, by a free and very inconsiderate use of their national explosive on other nations’ territories. I am here tempted to call attention to the marked influence which political conditions exert over the mental activity of a nation’s philosophic authors.

This temptation is so great that I shall overcome my reluctance, and reveal what our Martian communicant secretly confided to Professor FANSEE one memorable night, when both were looking for relaxation from the strain of their protracted labor. On this indeed very rare occasion our Martian philosopher confided to Professor FANSEE some of his own personal earlier experiences. From these it appeared that the Martian—I picture him in my imagination as a tall, lean man with a long white beard—had originally been a fervent follower of the faith of NAZARRO, and that afterwards he had been converted to Darvinianoism. And so profoundly had the Darviniano conclusions obtained a hold on his mentality, that he finally refused to look upon the Heebron and Nazarrano manuscripts as in any way authoritative in regard to what did and what did not constitute morality. With my deeper understanding of Nature, he then had said to himself, let me go back to her, and Nature herself shall teach[Pg 32] me the laws of proper conduct. But when he had commenced conscientiously to observe the methods of Nature with this purpose in view, he soon discovered that the conduct of Nature as a whole greatly differs from the conduct deemed just and proper by the Martians. He found that Nature may at any time produce an upheaval of the soil, by which libraries, printing-presses, art museums, temples, churches, factories, institutes of industry and learning, would in a few hours be wantonly destroyed, without the slightest discrimination between the criminal and the virtuous, between things evil and things beneficial to the Martians. In this then, he mused, we cannot follow Nature.

Then, seeking for better guidance, he had bethought himself of the law of the survival of the fittest. This law, he reflected, we may be able consciously to apply to our conduct. But how? It is evident that this law refers essentially to physical impediments and obstructions, to physical conditions only. An icy blast may sweep the top of a high hill and wipe out the tribe that inhabits it, and those living in the valley may survive. Yet, had those in the valley been at the pinnacle, they would have perished, and had those at the pinnacle lived in the valley, they would in turn have survived. And if one were to ask what would have happened[Pg 33] had the blast struck both tribes at the same time, we answer, those physically the fittest would have survived, absolutely independent of their virtues or vices or of the degree of their intelligence.

Has intelligence then been of no consequence whatever in the activity of this law? Does not the fact that an intelligent race has survived races of animals physically far more ferocious furnish proof positive of the influence of intelligence on the operation of the great law? No, had the Martian concluded, it furnishes no such proof whatever. An intelligent race has survived, not in consequence of the physical law of survival, but in opposition to it. It survived because it devised means of protection wherewith to oppose the indiscriminating physical forces by which survival had theretofore been determined. And when one compares the individual members of that intelligent race with one another, one soon discovers that those of superior intelligence are often physically far more frail than are the dull-minded specimens, and hence frequently far less fit to withstand the onslaught of antagonistic physical forces.

Do we seek to apply this much quoted law of survival to morality, we find to our dismay that not infrequently the unscrupulous thief and deceiver and the blunt bully grow and prosper, while the[Pg 34] honest and virtuous thinker, less tricky or less self-assertive, is the unfortunate and suffering underdog. Of course, if this law of survival were indeed to be applied to our international views, we could only praise and admire those who have acquired power: we certainly would have no good cause to hate them.

We shall soon discover that the Martian spoke in detail on this subject to Professor FANSEE, because it had an important bearing upon the further political events on Mars. And it may therefore be proper for me, also to quote to what conclusion the Martian philosopher came at the end of his revelations.

Would anyone think, he exclaimed, of trying to advocate the law of gravitation as a guide to proper conduct? No one would, because it would be utterly absurd. For no Martian can add one iota to its power or take away one iota from its everlasting activity by conscious effort. We can add to or subtract from it no more than we could add to or subtract from the material of which our Universe is composed. And just as little good or bad as our conscious scheming can do to the law of gravitation, just as little can it aid or hamper the law of the survival of the fittest, except in so far as we may be able to protect ourselves against its indiscriminate[Pg 35] lack of consideration. That law has ruled long before there was any self-consciousness, long before there was intelligence in the living entities, long before one group of specimens of a deluded species envied another group its industrial or political importance. If life were to be ruled by this law, it would be absurd to devise remedies against epidemics. In that case, we should allow the disease to ravage the nation all it wants to. Nature would thus render the Martians a special favor by destroying those unfit to survive that particular disease. And after epidemic Number One had passed, we might allow some new epidemic to destroy all the survivors, even though among those killed by the first disease there might have been many who could successfully have survived epidemic Number Two, had they only still been alive to face it.

The absurdity of the proposition of being guided by this automatic law had, therefore, become plainly apparent to our Martian philosopher. And then it was, he told Professor FANSEE, that he began to realize the truth of what had been said by others, that the moral precepts contained in the Heebron and Nazarrano manuscripts had sprung from the verdicts of human reason, after many centuries of experience and observation of social requirements; and that they had become obnoxious to certain Darvinianos,[Pg 36] not because they were in themselves wrong or misleading, but because they had until now always been imparted as if inseparably founded on a devoted faith in personal semi-human Deities. Separate them from that ancient faith, and they are strong enough in themselves to remain standing, fastened deep into the rock of human experience, as efficient guide-posts on the road that leads through the labyrinth of life. As experience erected them, experience may perhaps later still further improve them. Not your experience alone, or my experience alone, but the experience of all the Martians combined, scientifically founded on the decrees of further advanced logic.

After this relaxation by way of a heart-to-heart confession, our noble Martian returned to his narrative of the struggling nations, and here he showed at once in what way his confession was connected with his interesting little chapter of political history.

The Two-Ton philosophers, he said, like himself profoundly impressed with the Darviniano faith, had commenced to look to the laws of Nature for moral guidance. And having started to dig in this direction, the momentum of their brain-weight prevented them from changing their course. Thus it came about that NEETCH-UR, a philosopher of note in Two-Tonia, utterly cast aside all Nazarrano precepts.[Pg 37] Why cure, protect or aid the weak? Let the strong survive as Nature naturally would let them. Will they be less intelligent? Blame Nature. Will they be less considerate of their brothers’ well-being? It’s the fault of Nature who then apparently wanted it that way. What NEETCH-UR taught, therefore, was the moral excellence of physical and mental power, inconsiderately overriding all those whose powers are less mighty, even if this “moral” attitude should lead the Martians to a condition of total im-morality.

Neetch-ur was an oratorical author productive of high-sounding maxims, who never endeavored to test their efficiency by the road of logic. Though his ideals were evidently floating in the wrong direction, he nevertheless had some of the marks of the genius. Nationality was to him a minor consideration. He addressed his advocacy of the rule of the powerful to all the inhabitants of Mars, and if a Brit or a Skandalnavying were more powerful than a Two-Ton, he would have witnessed with satisfaction the Two-Ton’s overthrow by the Brit or the sturdy Skandalnavying.

To the Two-Tons, influenced as they were by the Martian nationality-mania, this view of life was a bit too broad. The correctness of the nature-view was not questioned. Especially not since one of[Pg 38] their most renowned empirical scientists, known as Professor HECKLER, had boldly toddled from his empirical laboratory into the field of philosophy, and had strenuously emphasized the nature-view, with utter neglect of the emotional side of the Martian character. But though the nature-view was held to be perfectly in order, NEETCH-UR’S international broadness did not coincide with the Two-Tonian national mental tendencies. No wonder, therefore, that another author soon arose, named TRITE-SHKUR, who adopted NEETCH-UR’S views, but applied them exclusively to the glory of the Two-Tons. If any one nation was to survive by its power to conquer, that one nation must be the nation of the Two-Tonians. The Brits with their propensity toward territorial expansion had ruled the misty planet long enough. We, the Two-Tons, have a greater quantity of explosives than have the Brits. Our Kooltoor is far greater than their culture. The God of NAZARRO, no matter what precepts NAZARRO himself may have proclaimed, will take joy in seeing us conquer. We must go for the Brits, use our explosives indiscriminately, and thus capture all the territory we can, in order to force the law of survival to make its decision in our favor.

And when his writings were followed by another book compiled by an explosive-manufacturer[Pg 39] suitably named BURN-ARDOR, and which described in detail the method to be followed in the contemplated struggle, the minds of the Two-Tons were fully made up concerning the futility of Nazarrano kindness, and the superiority of nature-morality. Indeed, when the struggle came, even the Two-Ton division of the Social-Mist sect, advocates of international cooperation and peace, compounders of a cure for the dreadful nationality-mania, prophets of good-will to all nations, but among whom the nature-view nevertheless largely prevailed, suddenly lost their idealistic enthusiasm, and joined the ranks of the nationality-maniacs, in order to make use of the explosives under the command of the destruction-chiefs. Had these Social-Mists suddenly gone mad? Why no, not suddenly. They simply felt their intimate relationship to one of the Martian nations; and these nations had been mad for centuries, and had not yet been brought back to sanity; that’s all.

True, in other countries the Darviniano philosophy had led to conclusions of a different type. In Brittia a contemporary of DARVINO, answering to the name of SPENSAIRO, had elaborately traced the development of Martian social conditions from time immemorial to date. And he showed that as the nations had advanced in civilization, their pursuits[Pg 40] and mental attitude had grown more and more peaceable. He concluded that the martial spirit of destruction is a spirit of barbaric savagery. Hence, cooperation among the various nations for the good of all was the ideal toward which his conclusions pointed. It is curious that this advocate of peace arose in a country that had arrived at a position of foremost political importance, so that by this nation no struggle for predominance with other nations was in the least desired. It is just as curious that in Two-Tonia, which was actually engaged in a mental struggle for supremacy, the rising philosophers were advocates of the sanctity of power and the primordial struggle for survival.

Indeed, the militaristic BURN-ARDOR previously referred to, sarcastically pointed to this influence of political conditions upon a nation’s philosophic views. He expressed the opinion that these philosophers purposely proclaimed their conclusions for the benefit of their own country. Our Martian informer, however, thought that it was simply one of the subconscious elements that unwittingly influence the thoughts of a nation and of its authors. As BURN-ARDOR saw in this wholly unavoidable result the effect of nefarious deep-low-matic selfishness, he even declared that, as between nation and nation, neither virtue, nor honor, nor fairness was ever taken[Pg 41] in consideration. Yet, if it is bad for the members of a family to treat one another without fair-minded loyalty, if it is morally despicable for any family to treat the neighboring families dishonorably and with malice or hidden unfair purposes, it is just as contemptible for that larger aggregate of Martians, called a nation, to treat any other nation unfairly or unscrupulously. BURN-ARDOR probably gave his impression of things as he thought they were, and not as he thought they ought to be.

When the TWO-TONIAN SUPREMACY WAR had at last become a dreadful physical fact, a number of nations were involved in the titanic struggle. Considering the jealousy with which the Brits had long guarded their predominance, and the Two-Ton aspiration to supplant them, one might have expected the Two-Tons to seek some deep-low-matic excuse for engaging the Brits in a gigantic wrestling match. And had they done so, the Martian world would probably have looked on, impartial, and satisfied to see the best man win. But the struggle was brought about in a very different manner.

One nation, in reality the only one with whom the Two-Tons entertained intimate relations, was the group of Martians usually referred to as the Ostrich-ans or AUSTRICH-ANS. They were so named, not[Pg 42] because the ostrich makes their country its habitat, for this bird never had any such intention; not because they were wont, like the ostrich, to hide their heads in the sand under the impression that they are thus protected from an approaching enemy, for when they are compelled to hide, they are wise enough not to hide their heads alone and leave the rest of their frail bodies exposed: the name Austrich-ans was given them because, like this famous bird, they were known for a voracious and very varied appetite. They were in the habit of nibbling, whenever they had a chance, at the neighboring territories known as the Bally-Khan States. They had even at one time dipped their steel forks into the plate of the EAT-ALL-IANS, a nation whose territory also borders theirs. Nay, so typically were they renowned for their everlasting appetite, that one prominent part of their country actually bears the official name HUNG’RY! As the Two-Tons are reputed to serve five meals a day, and as the Austrich-ans moreover speak the same language as the Two-Tons, the friendship between these two nations was ideal, and even caused them to dream of a delicious Pan-Two-Tonianism.

The nearest neighbors of these Austrich-ans were a much smaller tribe which subsequently was referred to as the SERVERS, because they served the[Pg 43] Two-Tons apparently as a welcome excuse to start the struggle. The Austrich-ans had no end of trouble with the Servers. The nationality-mania between them had indeed developed to a state of very dangerous acuteness. At last, in the country of the Servers, a crime was committed of which an Austrich-an official was the victim. Now in the Darvinized Nazarrano countries all crimes were dealt with by law-courts instituted for this very purpose. And in case a foreigner was the victim, the courts were wont to act with redoubled vigor; and the country where the deed had been done would moreover make amends to the country of which the victim had been a citizen, amends which were made in various forms. Law-courts, in fact, are one of the first marks of civilization on Mars. But the Austrich-ans were not satisfied to treat this particular case in the ordinary legal way. They sent the Servers a message demanding such amends as no nation had ever demanded of any other. Their message of indignation was couched in terms, and contained stipulations, to which no self-respecting nation, not even the smallest, could in the eyes of the rest of the Martian world honorably have submitted.

Now the Servers were one of a group of small nations, heretofore referred to as the Bally-Khan[Pg 44] States, and they had a powerful friend and protector in the politically far more important nation of the RUSH-NOTS. The Rush-Nots were named for the slowness of their national progress. For many centuries there had been among the Nazarrano nations a pronounced prejudice against the Heebrons, notwithstanding the fact that NAZARRO Himself had been a Heebron and had followed the Heebron faith. Heebrons were unscrupulously persecuted, robbed, tortured, murdered, their possessions frequently confiscated, and they were permitted to dwell only in special sections set aside for them. These criminal proceedings had long ago been abolished in all the other Nazarrano countries, but the Rush-Nots continued to indulge in these sordid amusements of the long-forgotten past. In all other Nazarrano countries, moreover, the power of the ruler had been limited by giving his subjects a share in determining the laws that govern them. Among the Rush-Nots the ruler still had absolute power over his subjects as the rulers in other countries had had in the long-forgotten past. So you can easily understand that in matters of progress and social improvement they rushed not. Nevertheless, by means of bloodshed, the Rush-Nots had acquired a goodly proportion of the crust of Mars. So the Rush-Nots, being friends of the Bally-Khan nations to which group the Servers belonged, parleyed with the Austrich-ans and[Pg 45] told them to treat the Servers more politely, and threatened that otherwise they would be compelled to direct their engines of destruction very impolitely against the Austrich-ans.

We have stated before that Brittia was desirous of permanent peace. So, indeed, were the Rush-Nots, because they, too, had obtained more than their due proportion of Martian territory. So, too, were the previously mentioned Frank-Aulians or Fringe, who in fact had entered into an intimate bond of friendship with the Rush-Nots. The Brits therefore, to all appearances, did their best by means of dip-low-macy to avoid the threatening war. But the Austrich-ans hurriedly commenced to make war preparations; and when the Rush-Nots saw this, they followed suit.

Whether or not the Austrich-ans had acted all this time with the secret approval of the great WILMOSTASH, or the Two-Ton explosive-manufacturers, may forever be a question fit for debate. Yet so much is certain that, at this momentous stage of the international quarrel, WILMOSTASH peremptorily told the Rush-Nots to turn their destructive apparatus back from the Austrich-an borders, so that Austricha might do to the Servers whatever served the Austrich-an-Two-Tonian interests best. The Rush-Nots told the mighty WILMOSTASH[Pg 46] to go to Halifax, a sort of meeting-place where it is always hot to suffocation.

Did the Two-Tons thereupon at once attack the Rush-Nots? No, they Did-not. Aware that the Fringe were an important factor in various anti-Two-Tonian protective alliances, they anticipated that the Fringe would beyond question actively side with the Rush-Nots. As a consequence, you might have expected the Two-Tons to start a vigorous campaign against the Rush-Nots, meanwhile heavily guarding their borders against invasion by the Fringe. And in case the Fringe would subsequently have grown too gay, the Two-Tons might then justly have handled them in accordance with the rules dominating such international pastimes. As their quarrel was with the Rush-Nots, this of course would to all appearances have been the logical plan to follow. Yet, even this plainly outlined course the Two-Tons Did-not take. Under the impression that the Rush-Not armies are heavy and slow, and that the Fringe are light and quick as lightning; convinced moreover that their chances of victory lay in offensive action, and that a defensive attitude might imperil their cause, the Two-Tons decided, before assailing the Rush-Nots, first to attack the Fringe.

In explanation of the odd-sounding name of[Pg 47] the latter nation, let me state that the Frank-Aulians or Fringe are named for the frankness with which they own and exhibit their vices as well as their virtues. Aulians is sometimes spelled Owlians and evidently refers to the fact that many of their great men are known to have been night-owls. The shorter name Fringe is applied to them on account of their artistic inclinations. Although they have contributed a goodly share to Martian science, philosophy and the industries, their most pronounced characteristic is that they are so eminently fond of profuse decoration. They decorate their homes, their theatres, their churches, and their minds. Thus they have decorated the Nazarrano-Darviniano form of civilization with a harmoniously colored fringe of politeness, a bit fuzzy, quite a bit inclined toward dip-low-matic deceit, but, all in all, rather artistic.

When the Two-Tons had decided to attack the Fringe, did they cross that part of their border that leads directly into the Fringe territory? No, they Did-not. By George, king of the Brits, I am almost inclined hereafter to call the Two-Tons the Did-Nots! Instead of this, they decided to run their destructive engines across two small and perfectly nootril countries, one known as Luxury-burgh, and the other inhabited by a valiant little nation whose[Pg 48] name is fast going down in Martian history as the BELL-GIANTS. Their country contains all sorts of beautiful old buildings and churches renowned all over Mars for their marvelous bells and chimes; and small as be their number, they are, nevertheless, known as the Giants, because in case of need they are willing to undertake gigantic tasks, from which many another small nation would shrink in fear. Accordingly, the Bell-Giants obstructed the passage of the Two-Tons, and undertook a struggle in which they were bound to be defeated.

And here comes a typical instance of Brit deep-low-macy. Because the maniacal envy of nation toward nation had become unbearable even to the deluded Martians, the nations had signed certain agreements for the protection of what was called the buffer-countries, territories whose neutrality was to be respected in case the bigger nations would ever go to war. The Two-Tons had signed this agreement, and so had the Brits. Now after the Brits had endeavored to prevent the war, they published the letters and telegrams which they had exchanged for that purpose with the various foreign dip-low-mats. From this correspondence it appears that the Two-Tons had made an inquiry to find out whether the Brits would look on unmoved or whether they would take a hand in the upheaval,[Pg 49] in case the Two-Tons were to start the international cataclasm. In reply, the Brits carefully controlled their muscles and said, they were not at all certain what they would do. May-be they were at first indeed undecided. But then one of the Brit dip-low-mats asked one of the medal-bearing chesty Two-Tons whether Two-Tonia would agree not to annex any part of the Fringe territory. The Two-Ton replied that Two-Tonia would positively refrain from any such glaring violation of the Nazarrano precepts. Whereupon the Brit, who in the meantime had telegraphed to his government, returned to the weighty Two-Ton to ask whether his promise also held good for the Fringe colonies. The Two-Ton smilingly remarked that even NAZARRO Himself could not expect the virtue of the Two-Tons to carry them so far as to stoop to so absurd a self-abnegation. And as the Brits were not anxious to have a colonial competitor with habits so deep-digging as those of the Two-Tons, the Brits undoubtedly made up their minds then and there not to look on unmoved. So when the Two-Tons started to cross the territory of the Bell-Giants and forced them to a hopeless self-defense, the Brits rose in ire and made a noisy hallabaloo about the violation of the neutrality treaty, and used this as an excuse to join the opponents of the Two-Tons. Thus once again, they hid their selfishness behind a[Pg 50] rather transparent veneer of noble indignation and ideals.

And now the war is on, and an insensate pandemonium reigns in the countries which we once looked upon as civilized. An amount of energy is being wasted that, if properly applied, could have led to the realization of many a wonderful social ideal, many a hope long cherished by humanity in vain. An amount of wealth is being squandered on destruction which, applied in conjunction with this vast amount of energy, could have built castles of education beyond our present dreams, institutes of mind-broadening influence upon all the suffering human race. An amount of blood and life is being sacrificed, compared to which the human sacrifices to the gods of yore dwindle into utter insignificance. And all this for the vain-glory that some one nation might harvest, by wantonly destroying the pride of existence, the happiness, the strength, the life-blood of another. What the outcome of this blind folly will be, no one, alas, as yet can tell.

Here came once more a pause of silence, and the Martian philosopher thereupon entrusted to Professor FANSEE some further personal confidences. The country I live in, he said, was discovered by an enterprising traveler for whom many statues have been erected and who is therefore popularly referred[Pg 51] to as COLUMN-BUST. When he discovered our country he exclaimed “Eureka!” which means in one of the dead Martian languages: I have found it. As a result of this exclamation, my country was called AM-EUREKA. I may say with pride, and with a humane lack of prejudice entirely uninfluenced by the usual nationality-mania, that my country is one of the few on Mars in which petty jealousy and malice against other nations is totally unknown. Although the Nazarrano and Darviniano faiths form a mechanical mixture among us just as among other civilized nations, yet the Heebron and Nazarrano precepts are beyond all else dear to us; not so much for their supposedly divine origin, but far more so for their humane and beneficent character. We are not double-faced, either nationally or internationally. In the conduct of business as well as in our international relations we are broadminded. When we say we are in favor of permanent peace, we mean what we say, without hiding any selfish motives. When we say we are, if need be, ready to fight for a noble cause, there is nothing in our minds except this noble cause, and we have no by-thoughts to hide.

Now I was born on that hemisphere on which the struggle is now going on, and to which we in Am-Eureka, owing to our strictly neutral principles,[Pg 52] nowadays refer as YOUR-ROPE. Am-Eureka became my country by adoption; and in Your-Rope I had frequented artistic circles from which I imbibed exceedingly lofty ideals, such as Art for Art’s sake, Science for the sake of Science, the preference of other aims to money-hunting, and so on. And not finding similar ideals catered to in my adopted country, I personally had always considered the inhabitants of Your-Rope as on a plane of civilization far higher than that reached in Am-Eureka.

The drama at present being played in that hemisphere of so-called high ideals has absolutely changed this point of view. The simple precepts of NAZARRO and of the earlier Heebron teachers are the best that the Martians can desire for their guidance. The brotherhood of nations and the peaceable attitude of man toward man no matter on what part of Mars he happens to have been born, is an ideal at least as inspiring as Art for Art’s sake. The high flying and loudly proclaimed ideals of Your-Rope are not the ideals of humanity at large. They are fitted for but a small class of men who by these ideals are inspired toward producing things of wonderful beauty, highly idealistic, but utterly superfluous to human comfort and welfare. The peace-ideal of the Am-Eurekans, unobtrusive, subconsciously active in their heart and every-day[Pg 53] actions, not claiming a sky-reaching mental superiority, is not only fit for all Martians, young and old, high and low, able and unable, hence also for those engaged in the production of useful things needed in every-day life, but it is moreover an ideal which would benefit all civilized countries and aid the further development of science, industry, and mental as well as physical civilization.

Here the Martian philosopher seemed to have been interrupted. A few minutes elapsed before the Zee-rays continued to do their interesting work. My assistant remarks, he subsequently said, that Am-Eureka itself but recently might have gone to war with a neighboring country called MAKE-SICK-O, and that the Am-Eurekans actually sent a fleet to WE’RE-ON-A-CRUISE. And indeed, such things may sometimes be necessary. But our behavior in We’re-on-a-Cruise is typical of the difference between Am-Eurekan and Your-Ropean warfare. When we Am-Eurekans entered We’re-on-a-Cruise, there were snipers there who shot at us from windows and housetops. One must expect these things on a campaign of invasion. The private citizens naturally are your enemies as much as are the uniformed soldiers. So, what did we do? We shot back at them whenever it was unavoidable. Whenever possible, we arrested them. We further saw to it that all citizens surrendered[Pg 54] all weapons in their possession. This work done, we started to improve the sanitary conditions of the town. We made the town more comfortable to live in than it had ever been under Make-sickan rule. On the other hand, it is said of the Two-Tons that they conquered among others a town called Low-Vein situated in the territory of the Bell-Giants. Quite naturally they found snipers there. Did they meet the situation as humanely as we had done? No, they Did-not. So passionately enraged were they, on the contrary, at this inevitable discovery, that they burned, shelled, and destroyed the larger part of the town and its inhabitants; and a town this in which the very buildings were treasures of mediaeval art. After this, further sanitary improvements were almost wholly superfluous.

No, even though circumstances may have compelled us to send that fleet, even though similar circumstances may again compel us to similar acts, and even though we may thus find ourselves some day engaged in bloody war with some other nation, in our minds and in our breasts we bear no malice toward either the Make-sickans or any other nation on all our vast planet. We might fight, but the fight having been fought, we would gladly shake hands, and feel sincerely sorry that we had been drawn into a nasty quarrel. And this, without dip-low-macy,[Pg 55] without manipulation of the facial muscles, wholeheartedly, as befits a good sport.

Separated as we are, by an expansive ocean, from the main seat of nationality-mania, we look on unprejudiced, pitying deeply the Martians who are forced to suffer by its fearful consequences, and doing what we can to stay at least the starvation that might follow in the struggle’s dreadful wake.

Nor do we take sides in this horrible calamity. Why call one madman a fool and jolly the other madman by telling him that he is right? We, on this side of the rocking pond, do not care a rap whether the Brits, the Two-Tons, or any other nation attains to world-supremacy, provided that, this supremacy reached, they shall not assume an overbearing attitude or dictate to us how we are to conduct our business. We Am-Eurekans do not aspire at supremacy. Our institutions are founded on equality; and, indeed, equality and supremacy cannot easily be made to harmonize. All we aspire to attain is what a clean-minded and healthful development of our resources and intelligence may bring us in the natural course of events. All we advise other nations is to be wise enough not maliciously to interfere with this development.

Did the Two-Tons believe the Brits were maliciously[Pg 56] interfering with their natural growth? Then they should have gone straight for the Brits, without starting a campaign against the Fringe or the Rush-Nots, and without a destructive passage through a small country that never had been accused of malicious interference. Were the Brits under the impression that their natural development was maliciously interfered with by the Two-Tons? Then they should have settled their quarrel openly and directly with the Two-Tons, without waiting deep-low-matically for a “noble” excuse that they all along expected to be furnished them. We Am-Eurekans believe in a fair fight when a fight cannot be avoided; stripped and without gloves if need be; but no hitting below the belt.

When the war broke out, we in Am-Eureka noticed that the actual hostilities had been started by the Two-Tons. We noticed that, instead of limiting their activities to assailing the nation they were about to attack, they forced their way through other countries, one of these being the land of the Bell-Giants, against the Bell-Giants’ clearly expressed desire to the contrary. The Bell-Giants were defending naught but their right to keep aloof from the mad struggle; and when, owing to the narrow limits of their territory and resources, they were defeated, their fields devastated and their towns destroyed,[Pg 57] we naturally sympathized with the Bell-Giants in their pitiable plight. There are Two-Tons who migrated to my adopted country but who are still in close sympathy with the Two-Tonian nationality-mania, and who saw in this attitude on our part the evidence of ill-will against Two-Tonia. Yet before these grim events no sign of any such ill-will or hatred had ever been detected. Nor will it be possible to detect any after the struggle for supremacy shall have come to an end. We in Am-Eureka love justice, and justice necessarily involves a deep-seated consideration for the rights of others, and a systematic avoidance of any passionate violence, especially of violence in the wrong direction. But the Two-Tons may be at ease. Our sympathies are not with the backward Rush-Nots or with the deep-low-matic Brits, either. Were they to indulge in unjust acts, we would detest these acts as definitely in them as in any other Martians. Only, while we may disapprove of an act of injustice in any nation, that does not mean that we bear malice toward the nation as such, nor that we fail to appreciate whatever virtue or wisdom that nation may possess.

After thus having described the attitude of his own country, the Martian philosopher declared that this was in reality not the main purpose of his reflections. What he wished to emphasize was, he[Pg 58] said, that the whole deplorable conflict could have been avoided if only the Martian nations had taken measures to cure, at least in part, the nationality-mania that at any time is likely blindly to arouse their destructive passions. To you, he said, at the distance at which you see our planet, all of our globe must make the impression of an insane asylum, where nationality-mania and nationalized megalomania are the two mental aberrations most prominently prevalent. But in reality, he assured us, these people are not insane. They are simply deluded, carried away by a wrong and intensely harmful conception of honor and of Martian greatness.

My most intense hope is, continued the Martian philosopher, that by proper mental training we may be enabled to re-direct their quasi-noble impulses into better and more constructive channels. As I contemplate the struggling armies, I see their banners raised high above the surging regiments. But I see the national colors dimmed with powder-smoke and the dust of the battle, so that now the banners look all alike to me; and over the smutty surface of every one of them, I see the word FOLLY glaring in the vivid red of warm young blood. How much better will it be to see in the near future the same banners, the national marks of distinction dimmed by factory smoke and the dust of the quarries,[Pg 59] and to see written on all of them in letters of gold: FOR THE FEDERATION AND WELL-BEING OF HUMANITY; PEACE AND GOOD-WILL TO ALL MEN OF ALL NATIONS.

At this moment Professor FANSEE bethought himself of a question that he had all along intended to put to the Martian philosopher, but that had so far been crowded out by the Martian’s interesting narrative. “For what purpose,” he finally asked, “did you Martians construct those straight-lined canals that cross your planet?” Came from the Martian the counter-question: “What canals?” “Well,” replied Professor FANSEE, somewhat taken aback, “we on earth notice straight lines across your globe every spring, and we reached the conclusion that they are canals used to guide the water when it rushes down from the thawing ice-fields at the poles.” “Ah,” said the Martian, “this is extremely interesting. Straight lines you say? Let me think a moment. Oh, yes, they are....”

Here a strange thing occurred. We heard a few clicks of a nature to suggest that the apparatus had suddenly gone out of order. The Professor looked over some of the details of the machinery, but found nothing wrong. Then, of a sudden, the Martian communications were resumed. With a[Pg 60] speed as if our distant philosopher had suddenly turned into a maniac, his message was now rushing in.

One of the nations involved in this miserable cataclasm, known as the Chopper-Knees, it said, has at the last moment invented an engine of destruction excelling all others in deadliness. It consists of an enormous thin metal globe, to which a device is attached that causes it to fly up in the air to a considerable height. The device is timed; so that, when it has reached a certain height and has drifted in a certain direction, it suddenly comes to a standstill, and by its own dead weight falls with increasing speed toward the soil. The horror of it is that upon reaching the surface it explodes, and spreads a thick cloud of smoke, of such a nature that by powerful electrical action it gathers unto itself various materials from the atmosphere and from the soil, with the result that the cloud, instead of diminishing, grows ever thicker and vaster. The cloud kills all life it comes in contact with, and it is feared that it may encircle the whole planet. It is guaranteed to kill every forest and every animal that lives in the forest, to kill every living creature in the water whose surface it touches. It is guaranteed to kill every flower, every grassblade, every thistle; to kill the ass who is eating the thistle as a much desired delicacy, as well as the flies that pester his bushy[Pg 61] hide; and as a minor effect, it will also kill the followers of NAZARRO who, according to the legend, once rode through the streets of Jairoosolom on his patient back. As I have erected my apparatus on the highest promontory of the planet Mars, just as you probably have done at your end, I shall be the last to be attacked by the deadly fumes. Already do I see the cloud fill the valley below me. I see it rising, rising!...

And then, as if in the despair of his agony he were addressing a world already laid waste, and a race already wiped out, a few additional sentences reached us from the depth of space: Abandon your petty jealousies, your tricky international schemes and your malice. Form a friendly federation by which everyone of you will benefit. Establish international courts of justice and of honor. Do away with your national armies and navies, and use their remnants as international guardians of the peace. Give up your futile efforts to be guided by blind Nature in the treatment of your fellowmen. Morality, whether considered from an international or a national point of view, is a set of rules of wholesome living, founded on the requirements of an ever further developing social organization. It does not refer merely to a respectable limitation of sex-life. It embraces good-will, loyalty, justice, fairness, the[Pg 62] absence of all underhand thoughts and methods, and the total lack of malicious intent. Many of these laws have been lucidly compiled in the Nazarrano manuscripts. Enthrone ye then, therefore, once more, if not NAZARRO’S divinity, then at least such of His precepts as are practicable and beneficent for men of all faiths and for men of no faith, for the human race at large!... Thus alone shall ye thrive without unnecessary disturbances, social upheavals, industrial calamities, wanton slaughter, and without the despicable arousal of savage passions!

The Martian admonition ceased. And then I saw Professor FANSEE grow deadly pale; and as he reeled as if about to swoon, he whispered: “I feel as if my mind were giving way. That voice, that solemn message, did it come from space, or did it come to me from the heaps of the dead and dying that I seem to see dispersed on the battlefields of Belgium, France, and Poland? Was this the voice of departing spirits dying on our fair earth itself?” “Since we left for these vast fields of ice,” he said to me with a sickly smile, “many things may have happened!”

And then he swooned indeed, and it took fully six hours to bring him back to consciousness. From then on it was evident that he was suffering from some mysterious disease, of which he died two weeks[Pg 63] later. Had the electrical cloud that enveloped Mars, entering the communicating-apparatus, anything to do with this mysterious functional disturbance? My own knowledge of medicine is limited, and we had no physician with us. His remains were buried in the ice of the South Pole. The problem may never fully be answered.

And now, while I am preparing this narrative for publication, as yet far away from civilization and ignorant of recent events, I wonder whether the malicious nationality-mania, that dreadful mental aberration to which the Martian philosopher referred, could ever have developed to the same extent among civilized humanity on earth, arraying Christian nation against Christian nation! I wonder, in case this malady hereafter ever threatened to become acute, whether it could not easily be cured by a wise and systematic application of calm commonsense.

May all good men stand together to eradicate this evil!


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Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.