It was almost midnight. Everything was quiet, the earth was asleep. The waters of the lake rippled and sparkled in the moonlight.
"I wish," said Wilfried, softly gritting his teeth, "I wish that instead of this peaceful scene we could see here properly and with our own eyes the kingdoms of the earth in all their glory. But let’s look at them in our mind’s eye. Let’s think of those swarming masses, whether smartly dressed in all their finery, or in rags. Exclude nobody.
Do you recognize their complete barbarity? Not the brave, bold, picturesque, happy barbarity of the young, but a sinister, sullen, churlish, ugly savagery which will kill everything and create nothing. You will at least be amazed by their mass - for their mass is indeed enormous! Look with wonder at its neat arrangement into three parts:
At their head, the motley tribe of fools. They lead in everything, carrying the keys, opening the doors, inventing phrases, wailing when they are wrong and assuring you that they would never have believed that this or that could happen.
Next, look at the scoundrels: They are everywhere - at the sides, at the front, and at the back. They run about, agitatedly working themselves up and their sole purpose is to stop anything from being settled, until they have settled themselves. But what’s the point of their being settled? Hardly has one of their gang declared that it has had its fill, then famished swarms of others rush up to take over.
And now look at the brutes. The fools have unleashed them. And the scoundrels are herding them in countless flocks
You might well ask what I make of such pandemonium. I can make of it only what it is: Stupidity, destruction, and death!
I can indeed perceive merely a world of insects, differing in size and species, armed with saws, pincers, drills, and other tools for ruin, intent on bringing down morals, rights, laws, and customs, all that I have loved and respected. A world which burns cities, razes monuments, and now spurns books, music, pictures, substituting for all of them potatoes, underdone beef, and rotten wine.
Would you want to spare such a rabble, If there was at hand a sure way of destroying them?
That’s for you to decide.
As far as I’m concerned: Lend me for one moment the Thunderbolts of Jupiter, and I will destroy however much is necessary of this irresponsible mass of brutes - they’re totally incapable of discrimination, I don’t see that they have any soul other than is scarcely their fault.
Nor should we show any excess of severity towards the scoundrels. I can hardly tell you that they are the salt of the earth, but they are its brine. We can, at a pinch, turn them into something, and so long as we hang a few of them from time to time, the rest can be employed, if not honestly, then at least usefully. Moreover, we have to admit that our planet produces them naturally and without excessive effort. In spite of itself, the world could never either get ride of them or even perhaps do without them
As for the fools, I would be pitiless! They are the vain and bloody offers, the sole and detestable agents of universal decay and my thunderbolts would rain down mercilessly upon their perverted brains. No, such a gang do not deserve to live. Indeed an ordered world cannot survive so long as such croaking vermin exist. The eras of splendor and creativity were those when such reptiles did not crawl upon the steps of power.”