Increase of wealth divides rather than unites a people; but suffering shared in common binds it together with hoops of steel. The Jews were the only race whose spiritual independence was not crushed by the Roman steam-roller.
I remember seeing, the morning we left Kantara, a steam-roller puffing stolidly along the road a ludicrous sight, too, there in the desert and it seemed when we left it behind that we were snapping the last link which bound us to civilisation.
"Do you see life, in your work, Mr. Banneker?" "See it? I feel it. Sometimes I think it's going to flatten me out like a steam-roller." "Then why not write it?" "It isn't news: not what I see." "Perhaps not. Perhaps it's something else. But if it's there and we can get a gleam of it into the paper, we'll crowd news out to make a place for it. You haven't been reading The Ledger I'm afraid."
Where is Russia today, the steam-roller that was to crush us? Where is the poor dupe Rumania? Where is the strength of Italy, who was once to do wonders for what she called Liberty? Broken, all of them. I have played my part in that work and now the need is past. My country with free hands is about to turn upon your armed rabble in the West and drive it into the Atlantic.
Very much more sumptuous than ours, their system of road-making consists in upholstering with silk instead of macadamizing. We sprinkle our roads with broken stones and level them by the pressure of a heavy steam-roller; they lay over their paths a soft satin rail, a work of general interest to which each contributes his thread. What is the use of all this luxury?
Such is the aspiration of our truly socialist types; other distinctions, like valour, energy, virtue, are for the democratic steam-roller, veritable impertinences of nature.
It was a ramshackle affair, dragged along by a knock-kneed, broken-winded somnambulist, which his owner, in a moment of enthusiasm, during conversation, referred to as a horse. I put the cheeses on the top, and we started off at a shamble that would have done credit to the swiftest steam-roller ever built, and all went merry as a funeral bell, until we turned the corner.
The voyage out to Buenos Ayres was uneventful, and on October 26 we sailed from that port for South Georgia, the most southerly outpost of the British Empire. Here, for a month, we were engaged in final preparation. The last we heard of the war was when we left Buenos Ayres. Then the Russian Steam-Roller was advancing. According to many the war would be over within six months.
But he stopped in time, not from remorse, but as though pulled up by a revelation of maddening absurdity. "Oh, you you! You don't understand. You aren't capable of understanding. You're a block a machine you don't feel you g-go about rolling over p-people and things like like a damned steam-roller. You're not a man at all. You don't love anyone not even yourself. What do you know about anything?"
There goes the great steam-roller along the road. Everybody can see that it crushes down, and makes its own path. Who drives it? The steam in the boiler, or is there a hand on the lever? And what drives the hand? Christianity answers, and answers with unfaltering lip, rising clear above contradictions apparent and difficulties real, 'The good pleasure of His will, and there men can rest.