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Title: The Assault: Germany Before the Outbreak and England in War-Time

Creator: Frederic William Wile

Release date: October 31, 2012 [eBook #41252]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Al Haines

Ambassador Gerard.


Germany Before the Outbreak and
England in War-Time

A Personal Narrative


Author of "Men Around the Kaiser"









This is not a "war book." It has not been my privilege at any stage of the Great Blood-Letting to come into close contact with the spectacular clash and din of the fray. Abler pens than mine, many of them wielded by the "neutral" hands of American colleagues, are immortalizing the terrible, yet irresistibly fascinating, scenes of this most stupendous drama. But every drama has its scenario and its prologue and its behind-the-curtain scenes--none ever written was so rich in these preliminaries and accessories as is Europe's epic. To have witnessed and lived through some of these was vouchsafed me; and to take American readers with me down the line of the past year's recollections and impressions is the sole object of this unpretentious effort. History, Carlyle said, was some one's record of personal experiences. To such experiences, as far as possible, the pages of this book are confined.

For thirteen years to the week--I have always had a respectful horror of thirteen--I was a resident of Berlin. During the first five years of that period my identity was clear: I was the representative in Germany of an American newspaper, the Chicago Daily News. But in 1906 I became an international complication, for it was then I joined the staff of the London Daily Mail, which converted my status into that of an American serving British journalistic interests in Germany. It was not long afterward that welcome opportunity presented itself to renew home professional ties in connection with my British work, and for several years prior to the outbreak of the war I carried the credentials of Berlin correspondent of the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. They were on my person, with my United States passport, the night of August 4, 1914, when the Kaiser's police arrested me as an "English spy."

I feel it necessary to introduce so highly personal a narrative with these details in order to make plain, at the outset, that it is the narrative of an American born and bred. My proudest boast during ten years' association with Great Britain's premier newspaper organization was that I never lost my Americanism. My English editor, on the occasion of my earliest physical conflict with the Mailed Fist in Berlin, doubtless recalls taking me to task for invoking the protection of the United States Embassy, just as my British colleagues, concerned in the same imbroglio, had invoked the aid of their Embassy. Of the reams I have written for the Daily Mail in my day, I never sent it anything which sprang more sincerely from the heart than the message to its editor that I had not renounced allegiance to my country when I pledged my professional services to a British newspaper.

I have no higher aspiration, as far as this volume is concerned, than that critics of it, hostile or friendly, may pronounce it "pro-Ally" from start to finish. I shall survive even the charge that it is "pro-English." I mean it to be all of that, as I have tried to breathe sincerity into every line of it. But I shall not feel inclined to accept without protest an accusation that the book is "anti-German." It is true that I regard this essentially a German-made, or rather a Prussian-made, war, and that I hold Prussian militarism and militarists solely responsible for plunging the world into this unending bath of blood and tears. It is true that I wish to see Germany beaten. I wish her beaten for the Allies' sake and for my own country's sake. A victorious Germany would be a menace to international liberty and become automatically a threat to the happiness and freedom of the United States. My years in Germany taught me that. But I cherish no scintilla of hatred or animosity toward the German people as individuals, who will be the real victims of the war. I saw them with my own eyes literally dragged into the fight against their will, fears and judgment. I know from their own lips that they considered it a cruelly unnecessary war and did not want it. They were joyful and prosperous a year and a half ago--never more so. They craved a continuance of the simple blessings of peace, unless their tearful protestations in the fateful month preceding the drawing of their mighty sword were the plaints of a race of hypocrites, and I do not think the percentage of hypocrisy higher in Germany, man for man, than elsewhere in the world. The German's Gott strafe England cult, for example, is no revelation to any man who has lived among them. Their hatred for Perfidious Albion has long been vigorous and purposeful.

During the war I have lived in Germany, England and the United States--a week of it in Berlin, three months at different periods in America, and the rest of the time in London. My observations of Germany have not been confined to the six and a half days the Prussian police permitted me to tarry in their midst, for my work in London has dealt almost exclusively with day-by-day examination of that weird production which will be known to history as the German war-time Press. I am quite sure the perspective of the life and times of the Kaiser's people in their "great hour" was clearer from the vantage-ground of a newspaper desk near the Thames embankment than it could possibly have been had it been my lot to view the Fatherland at war as an observer writing, under the hypnotic influence of mass-suggestion, of Germany from within.

Though I deal with Britain in war-time, no pretense is made of treating so vast a subject except by way of fleeting impressions. Indeed, nothing but snap-shots of British life are possible at the moment, so kaleidoscopic are its developments and vagaries. I am conscious that the pictures I have drawn are, therefore, superficial, but no portrayal of a people in a state of flux could well be otherwise. Although the concluding chapters were written in October, conditions now (in mid-December) have altered vitally in many directions. Sir John French no longer commands the British Army in France and Flanders. Serbia has gone the way of Belgium. Gallipoli has been abandoned. The Coalition Government, established at the end of May, is widely considered a failure at the end of December. The Man in the Street, that oracle of all-wisdom in these Isles, is asking whether the war can be won without still another, and more sweeping, change of National leadership.

I hope my British friends, and particularly my professional colleagues of ten years' standing, will not find my snap-shots too under-exposed. The camera was in pro-British hands every minute of the time. If the pictures appear indistinct, I trust the photography will at least not be criticized as in any respect due to lack of sympathy with the British cause.

F. W. W.
London, December 20, 1915.



  1. The Curtain Raiser

  2. The First Act

  3. The Plot Develops

  4. The Stage Managers

  5. Slow Music

  6. The Climax

  7. War

  8. The Americans

  9. August Fourth

  10. The War Reaches Me

  11. The Last Farewell

  12. Safe Conduct

  13. Complacency Rules The Waves

  14. Pro-Ally Uncle Sam

  15. The Helmsmen

  16. The General, The Admiral and the King

  17. "Your King And Country Want You"

  18. War in the Dark

  19. The Internal Foe

  20. The Empire of Hate

  21. The New England

  22. Quo Vadis?

New Introductory Chapter


It will hardly be possible for any faithful chronicler of that transcendent event to record that America's entry into the war set embattled Europe by the ears. The most such a historian can say of the impression created in Allied countries is that the abandonment of our neutrality toward the "natural foe to liberty" produced profound satisfaction but nothing in the way of a staggering sensation. Even in Germany and among her vassals, declaration of war by the United States failed to provoke consternation, although it was received in a spirit of nonchalance which was more studied than real. The Damoclean sword of Washington had hung so long in the mid-air of indecision that when the blow fell its effect was to a large extent lost upon beneficiary and victim alike. The peoples who became our Allies were gratified; the Germans mortified. But our leap into the arena stained with nearly three years of combatant blood was so belated that it seemed bereft of the power to plunge either our friends into paroxysms of enthusiasm or our enemies into the depths of despair.

I am speaking exclusively of the first impressions generated by President Wilson's call to arms. In Allied Europe, as well as Germanic Europe, opinion is changing, now that the words of April are merging into the deeds of midsummer. Still different emotions will fire the breasts of both our comrades-in-arms and of the common foe when the full magnitude of American intervention dawns upon their reluctant consciousness. As yet the illimitable import of America's "coming in" is only faintly realized. Europe's attitude toward the new belligerent is too strongly intrenched in decade-old disbelief in the existence of American idealism and in gross ignorance of our actual potentialities for war, spiritual as well as physical, to be lightly abandoned. We shall have to win our spurs. There is at this writing no inclination whatever to present them to us on trust.

In the introduction to the original edition of The Assault, which was completed at the end of 1915, I was un-neutral enough to utter the pious hope that Germany would be beaten. I confessed to the creed that "a victorious Germany would be a menace to international liberty and become automatically a threat to the happiness and freedom of the United States." I said that "my years in Germany taught me that"--years lived in closest contact with Prussian militarism long before it had taken the concrete form of savagery at sea. With that passion for corroboration of his own prejudices and predictions, which is inherent in the average man, and which dominates most writers, I rejoice to feel that our government and country have at length joined in liberty's fray from the identical motives which induced me at the outset to take the only side that it seemed possible for an American to espouse.

Properly to analyze Europe's mentality in respect of the United States' entry into the war we need to bear in mind that for the thirty-two preceding months President Wilson was the riddle of the political universe. Europe had been assured ceaselessly since August, 1914, that America was overwhelmingly and irretrievably pro-Ally, though its confidence in such assertions was shipwrecked when we failed to go to war over the Lusitania incident and was never fully restored. Not even Berlin could reconcile the Washington government's invincible neutrality with the alleged existence of universal counter-sentiment. Europeans are educated to believe that public opinion is the only monarch to whom the American citizenry owns allegiance. They were unable to comprehend a president who so resolutely refused to bow to the people's sovereign will. In its myopic misconception of American conditions, Allied Europe indulged in grotesque misinterpretation of Mr. Wilson's hesitancy and mystic diplomacy. He had been "re-elected by German votes." In London Americans were solemnly asked if the true explanation of his policy did not lie in the fact that he had "a German wife!" It was also mooted that he had "a secret understanding" with Count Bernstorff. The president was this, that and the other thing--everything, in fact, except what he ought to be. No American chief magistrate since Lincoln was ever so magnificently misunderstood, none so incorrigibly maligned.

Thus it was that although the United States' action under President Wilson's sagacious leadership did not fill Europe with either animation or excitement, it nevertheless came as a full-fledged surprise to both sets of belligerents. Briton, Frenchman, Russian and Italian, as well as German, Austrian and Hungarian, each in his own dogmatic way, had long since and definitely made up their minds that America did not mean to fight. Their cocksureness on this cardinal point was not unnaturally supported by the circumstances of President Wilson's re-election on what was commonly understood to be the democratic candidate's paramount campaign issue--his success in keeping the country out of the war. In the two or three days in which Mr. Wilson's fate trembled in the balance of the Electoral College, a London newspaper, venting splenitic feelings long pent up, gratefully acclaimed the premature announcement of Mr. Hughes' triumph as an historic and deserved rebuke of the statesman who was "too proud to fight."

Within a month President Wilson, in his first public utterance since election day, made his "peace-without-victory" address to the Senate. This cryptic deliverance was interpreted in Allied Europe as not only obliterating all possibility of America's entering the war against Germany, but as actually promoting Germany's efforts, launched about the same time, to secure a premature, or "German," peace. There was probably no time during the entire war when feeling against the president and the United States in general ran higher in England and France than during the ensuing weeks. It was not so much what one read in the public prints, for press utterances were restrained if not unqualifiedly friendly, that impelled many an American in London and Paris to seek cover from the withering blast of criticism and impatience to which he now found his country subjected. It was rather the sentiments encountered among Englishmen and Frenchmen in private that supplied the real index to, and revealed the full intensity of, the disappointment and indignation now aroused in Allied lands.

Indelibly impressed upon my memory is the passionate outburst of a dear--and, of course, temperamental--French friend in London. He is a gentleman, a scholar and sincere lover of America, where he found the charming lady who is now his wife. He had retired to a bed of illness in consequence of the climatic iniquities which will forever make it impossible for a Frenchman ever really to like England, and I was paying him a neighborly visit of inquiry. Though I had hoped and intended that the acrimonious topic of America would for once be eliminated from our conversation, I was not to be spared what turned out to be almost the most violent castigation of the United States and all its works under which I could ever remember to have winced. I was left in no doubt that his outpouring of righteous Gallic wrath, though it sprang to a certain degree from temperature as well as temperament, was the voice of France crying out in holy anger with the great but recreant sister republic. Wilson had "surrendered to the Germans and pro-Germans." They were now getting their reward. The president was "playing the Kaiser's peace game." He may not have meant to do so, but that is what his Senate manifesto amounted to, in French estimation. "The Americans care only for their money." So be it. France would not forget. Jamais! Americans would rue the day they had sent back to the White House the man who was now stabbing crucified democracy in the back!

The essential difference between the French and the English is that Frenchmen usually say what they feel, and Englishmen feel what they do not say. Emotions were given to Frenchmen to be expressed; to Englishmen, to be suppressed. Almost identically the same emotions which fired the French soul, as typified by the instance I have just cited, filled British breasts, but owing to the psychic machinery with which his organism is equipped the Englishman was able more successfully to stifle them. The public tone toward the latest manifestation of our "war policy" was punctiliously correct. It was discussed by the great newspapers in terms of polite dismay but almost invariably in good temper. Yet millions of Britons were boiling within, and if wearing their hearts on their sleeves had been "good form," there is little reason to doubt that their ebullitions would have been no less articulate or meaningful than those of my distinguished French friend herein narrated.

It was about at this time, the end of 1916, that an American colleague, Edward Price Bell, of The Chicago Daily News, set forth in the columns of The Times upon a bold adventure--an attempt to persuade captious Britons that, far from desiring to "play the Kaiser's game," President Wilson was actually anxious to make war on Germany, and, indeed, was deliberately, as was his way, proceeding in that direction. It was a risky throw for the doyen of the American press in London, who enjoyed a reputation for sanity and sagacity and who had good reason for desiring to preserve the respect of a community in which his professional lot had been cast for sixteen years. I purpose summarizing the course of Bell's effort to scale the walls of British prejudice because of its immensely symptomatic and psychological interest.

"I believe that Wilson wants to go to war," Bell wrote to The Times on December 23. "I believe that he wants to fight Germany. I believe that he wants Germany to commit herself to a program that would warrant him in asking the American people to enter the conflict." In every allied quarter in Europe, practically without exception, Bell's letter produced a prodigious and contemptuous guffaw. Americans in Europe, any number of them, joined in the gibes. Undismayed, Bell returned to the attack within three days. "America can not keep out of this war unless Germany gives way," he wrote on December 26. "The time may come very soon when President Wilson will be under the necessity of making his appeal to the American nation." The thunderer did not consign Bell's letters to the editorial waste-basket, where most Englishmen believed they belonged, yet it declined, in its scrupulously courteous way, to associate itself with its correspondent's manifestly fantastic and fanatical sophistry. In an editorial comment The Times expressed its reluctance to place any trust in Bell's exposition of the policy "which Mr. Wilson so carefully wraps up." Bell had by this time become a laughing-stock far beyond the confines of the metropolitan area of London. Paris, Petrograd and Rome read his letters and shook with incredulous mirth. The feelings of fellow-Americans toward him began to be tinged with pity.

Yet Bell broke forth afresh on New Year's Day with his third letter to Printing House Square, asserting, roundly, that "America will and can support no peace but an Entente peace." On January 25 The Times printed Bell's fourth letter within five weeks, in which he this time declared unequivocally that "Mr. Wilson's purpose is solely to inform the world what America stands for and what he is willing to ask America, if need be, to fight for."

Germany now proclaimed her new policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. Mr. Gerard was recalled from Berlin and Count Bernstorff received his passports in Washington. Yet Allied faith in America, momentarily revived by these events, took wings once more when it became known that Mr. Wilson's next "step" would be armed neutrality. The editor of The Times, who had been exceptionally tolerant of the pestiferous Bell, imagined now, I fancy, that events had at length put a timely end to the letter-writing energies of the Chicago scribe; for Englishmen, with notably few exceptions, had by this time pretty well "eliminated" America from their calculations. But on February 22, inspired perhaps by the rugged traditions clinging to that date, Bell cleared for action for the fifth time and next day The Times printed him for the fifth time. He wrote: "I will risk the view that we are on the edge of great things in America--things worthy of the country of Washington and Lincoln. America, I feel, is about to fructify internationally--about to make her real contribution to humanity and history." The Times now went so far as to suggest, with characteristic prudence, that Bell's "sagacious and racy letter deserves careful consideration by all who are trying to understand the situation in Washington." Unhappily, there was little evidence in the continued British mistrust of America that The Times' counsel was being taken widely to heart.

On February 27 Bell craved the indulgence of The Times for his sixth, and final, epistle to the skeptics. With what was destined to turn out to be rare prescience and penetration, he now said that Mr. Wilson's delay in coming to grips with Hohenzollernism meant only that "the president wants the public temper so hot throughout America that it will instantly burn to ash any revolutionary unrest or any opposition by the pacifist diehards." Five weeks later the United States and Germany were at war, with the American nation united in fervent support of the president's pronunciamento that the task which demanded the renunciation of our neutrality was one to which "we can dedicate our lives, our fortunes, everything we are and everything we have." The hour of Europe's awakening from its scornful dreams had come.

For several days after Congress, at the president's instigation, voted to "accept the gage of battle," there lay neatly folded up in a certain front room of the American Embassy in London a fine, new American flag. It had been put there for a special purpose--to be hoisted at a psychological moment believed to be imminent. Our people in Grosvenor Gardens, in their hearty, imaginative American way, considered that there might possibly be a "demonstration" in welcome of Britain's latest comrade-in-arms. There were visions of a procession, brass bands and cheering crowds; and the spick and span stars and stripes were to be flung to the glad breeze when the "demonstrators" reached the scene and called for a speech from Ambassador Page on the Embassy balcony. Such things happened when Italy and Roumania "came in." Surely history would not fail to repeat itself in the case of "daughter America." But neither procession, bands, cheers nor crowds ever materialized. After all, we could not expect Englishmen to celebrate in honor of the greatest mistake they had ever made in their lives. That would be something more than un-English. It would be a violation of all the laws of human nature.

Yet I suppose there was not an American in Great Britain who was not keenly disappointed at the conspicuously undemonstrative character of our welcome into the Allied fold. I must not be understood as minimizing the warmth of either governmental or press utterances evoked by President Wilson's Lincolnesque speech to Congress and the action which so promptly ensued. The sentiments expressed by Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. Asquith, Mr. Bonar Law, Lord Robert Cecil and Lord Bryce, in and out of Parliament, and the thoughts which found vivid expression in the columns of the newspapers of London and the provinces left little to be desired; but eloquent and hearty as they were, their effect upon that all-powerful molder of British public opinion known as the Man in the Street was strangely negligible. I am sure I am not the only American in England who, waiting for words of greeting from British friends and not getting them, was irresistibly constrained to search for the reason. Our chagrin was not lessened by assurances from Paris that "France was going wild with joy"; that the president's speech was being read aloud in the schools and officially placarded on all the hoardings of the republic; that the government buildings were flying the tricolor and "Old Glory" side by side; and that American men were being publicly embraced in the boulevards.

Many Americans found themselves, for reasons never entirely clear to them, the objects of "congratulation." I know of at least one instance in which a very estimable American lady, showered with "congratulations" by British friends on the action of her country, preserved sufficient presence of mind to suggest that she thought "congratulations" were due to the Allies. Another favorite view advanced by vox populi was that America had only "come in" at this late stage of the sanguinary game because "the war was won" and intervention now was "safe" and "cheap." It was not uncommon to be told that our determination to "spend the whole force of the nation" was due to commercial acumen and our desire to safeguard the heavy "investment" we had already made in the Allied cause. Last-ditchers--their name was legion: the Englishmen who refused to believe even yet that America "meant business"--declined to throw their hats into the air and shout until "big words" had become "big deeds." Much more impressive in my own ears seemed the explanation that Britons were not tumultuous in our honor because these days of endless sacrifice--the spring offensive in France was at its height and the nation's best were falling in thousands--were not days for cheering and flag-waving. And, finally, there was that extensive school of thought which had always and sincerely opposed American intervention on the ground that America, as a neutral granary and arsenal, was a more effective Allied asset than a belligerent America which would naturally and necessarily husband its vast resources for its own military requirements.

The story of Germany's state of mind toward America's entry into the lists against her is soon told. The German government and German people looked upon us as all but declared enemies throughout the war. They felt, and repeatedly said, that we were doing them quite as much damage as neutrals as we could possibly inflict in the guise of belligerents. That, indeed, was the argument on which Hindenburg and his fellow-strategists based the "safety" of inaugurating unrestricted submarine warfare and the moral certainty of war with the United States as a result. Not all Germans blithely relegated the prospect of a formally hostile America to the realm of inconsequence. Hindenburg and Ludendorff know nothing about America. But men like Ballin, Gwinner, Rathenau and Dernburg know that the United States, in a famous German idiom, is, indeed, "the land of unlimited possibilities." There can be no manner of doubt that the vision of America's limitless resources harnessed to those of the nations already at war with their country always filled the business giants of the Fatherland with all the terror of a nightmare. But as those elements, both before and during the war, were as a voice crying in the wilderness of Prussian militarism, they were condemned to silence when the dreaded thing became a reality; and the only note that issued forth from Berlin was the "inspired" croak in the government-controlled press that only the expected had happened; that Hindenburg's plans had been made with exact regard for that which had now supervened, and that Germany's irresistible march to victory would not and could not be arrested by anything the Americans could do.

Doubts were universally expressed in America and in Allied Europe as to whether the Kaiser's government would permit President Wilson's crushing indictment of Prussianism to be published in Germany. One heard of picturesque schemes to drop millions of copies of the speech over the German trenches and towns from aeroplanes. In at least one widely-read German newspaper, the Berliner Tageblatt, a Radical-Liberal journal which has not entirely surrendered its old-time independence, the president's speech was printed almost verbatim. In nearly every paper there were adequate extracts. But such effect as they may have been designed to create upon the German body politic--particularly the president's insistence that America's war is with "the Imperial German Government" and not with "the German people"--was nullified by the press bureau's imperious orders to editors to reject Mr. Wilson's "moral clap-trap" as impudent and insolent interference with Germany's domestic concerns. Under the leadership of the celebrated Berlin theologian, Professor Doctor Adolf Harnack, meetings of German scholars and savants were organized for the purpose of giving public expression to the "unanimity and indignation with which the German nation protests against the American president's officious intrusion upon matters which are the affair of the German people and themselves alone." Or words to that effect.

Meantime the so-called comic press of Germany, which to an extent probably unknown in any other country of the world gives the keynote for popular sentiment, engaged in an orgy of unbridled abuse of President Wilson, the United States and Americans in general. The leitmotif of hundreds of cartoons, caricatures and jokes was that the "American money power" had "dragged" us into the war. Simplicissimus epitomized German thoughts of the moment in a full-page drawing entitled "High Finance Crowning Wilson Autocrat of America by the Grace of Mammon." The president was depicted enthroned upon a dais resting on bulging money-bags and surmounted by a canopy fringed with gold dollars. A crown of shells and cartridges is being placed upon his head by the grinning shade of the late J. Pierpont Morgan. In the background is the filmy outline of George Washington, delivering the farewell address.

Then, of a sudden, German press policy toward the United States underwent a radical change. Silence supplanted abuse. It became so oppressive and so profound as to be eloquent. The purpose of this organized indifference soon became crystal-clear: on the one hand to bolster up German confidence in the innocuousness of American enmity, and, on the other, to slacken the United States' war preparations by committing no "overt act" of word or deed designed to stimulate them. Bernstorff had by this time reached Berlin and there is reason to suspect that his was the crafty hand directing the new policy of ostensible disinterestedness in American belligerency. The arrival of American naval forces in European waters; the inauguration of conscription; the far-reaching preparations for succoring our Allies with money, food and ships; the splendid success of the Liberty Loan; the presence of General Pershing and the headquarters staff of the United States Army in France; the enrollment of nearly ten million young men for military service; our ambitious plans for the air war; the girding up of our loins in every conceivable direction, that we may play a worthy part in the war--all these things have been either deliberately ignored in Germany, by imperious government order, or, when not altogether suppressed from public knowledge, been slurred or glossed over in a way designed to make them appear as harmless or "bluff." Finally, in an "inspired" article which offered sheer affront to the large body of truly patriotic American citizens of German extraction, the Cologne Gazette bade Germans to continue to pin their faith in "our best allies," i.e., the German-Americans, who might be relied upon (quoth the semi-official Watch on the Rhine) to "inject into American public opinion an element of restraint and circumspection which has already often been a cause of embarrassment to Herr Wilson and his English friends." "We may be sure," concluded this impudent homily, "that our compatriots are still at their post."

Events have marched fast since America "came in." In Great Britain and France men of perspicacity are not quite so jubilant over the effects of the Russian revolution as they were three months ago. They realize that the amazing cataclysm which began in Petrograd on March 13 warded off a treacherous peace between Romanoff and Hohenzollern, but also, alas! that it has effectually eliminated Russia as a fighting factor for the purposes of this year's campaign. Englishmen and Frenchmen are only now beginning to comprehend the immeasurable task that confronts New Russia in the erection of a democratic state on the ruins of autocracy while faced by the simultaneous necessity of warring against an enemy in occupation of vast Russian territory.

To-day there is little inclination in London or Paris to underestimate the providential importance of American intervention. The specter of dwindling manpower in both countries is of itself sufficient to cause them to gaze gratefully and longingly toward our untapped reservoir of human sinews. What is happening in chaotic and liberty-dazed Russia forces Englishmen and Frenchmen, however disconcerting to their pride, to acknowledge the absolute indispensability of American support. There are many among them candid enough to admit that democracy's horizon might now be perilously beclouded if the United States had refrained from playing a man's part in the battle of the nations. In Berlin, too, the true import of America's decision is dawning upon government and governed alike.

Our Allies expect us to justify our world-wide reputation for speed and organizing capacity and to transfer our activities from the forum of Demosthenes to the field of Mars. They are impressed by what we have already accomplished--I write on the day when the arrival of the first American army in France, well within three months of our entering the war, is officially announced. But amid our remote isolation from the scene of the conflict, safeguarded by geographical guarantees that its consuming fires can hardly ever sear our own soil, Englishmen and Frenchmen wonder whether we are able to estimate the magnitude of the effort required of us if we are to rise to the majestic zenith of our potentialities. Some of them, seemingly no wiser for their myopia of recent times, are frankly skeptical on that point.

It is our bounden duty, as I am sure it is our unconquerable resolve, to disillusion our Allies. To us has fallen the privilege of proving that our mighty sword has been drawn in earnest and that we shall not sheathe it until America's plighted word is gloriously made good. "Make Good!" Leaping to the tasks which await us on land and sea with that indigenous idiom on their lips, our soldiers and sailors need crave for no more inspiring slogan. Allied Europe expects us--expects us almost anxiously--to "make good."

London, June 28, 1917.




Countess Hannah von Bismarck missed her aim. The beribboned bottle of "German champagne" with which she meant truly well to baptize the newest Hamburg-American leviathan of sixty thousand-odd tons on the placid Saturday afternoon of June 20, 1914, went far wide of its mark. The Kaiser, impetuous and resourceful, came gallantly and instantaneously to the rescue. Grabbing the bottle while it still swung unbroken in midair by the black-white-red silken cord which suspended it from the launching pavilion, Imperial William crashed it with accuracy and propelling power a Marathon javelin-thrower might have envied squarely against the vast bow. The granddaughter of the Iron Chancellor, a bit crestfallen because she had only thrown like any woman exclaimed: "I christen thee, great ship, Bismarck!" and the milky foam of the Schaumwein trickled in rivulets down the nine- or ten-story side of the most Brobdingnagian product which ever sprang from shipwrights' hands. Then, with ten thousand awestruck others gathered there on the Elbe side, I watched the huge steel carcass, released at last from the stocks which had so long held it prisoner, glide and creak majestically down the greasy ways midst our chanting of Deutschland, Deutschland, über Alles. Half a minute later the Bismarck was resting serenely, house-high, on the surface of the murky river five hundred yards away. The Kaiser and Herr Ballin shook hands feelingly, the royal monarch smiling benignly on the shipping king. The military band blared forth Heil Dir im Siegeskranz, and the last fête Hamburg was destined to know for many a troublous month had passed into history.

Countess von Bismarck had missed her aim! I wonder if there are not many, like myself, who witnessed the ill-omened launch and who endow it now with a meaning which events of the intervening year have borne out? For, surely, when the Great General Staff at Berlin reviews dispassionately the beginnings of the war, as it some day will do, there will be an absorbingly interesting explanation of how the machine which Moltke, the Organizer of Victory, handed down to an incompetent namesake and nephew missed its aim, too--the winning of the war by a series of short, sharp and staggering blows which should decide the issue in favor of the Germans before the next snow. The argument has been advanced, in vindication of Germany's innocent intentions, that the Hamburg-American line would never have launched the mighty Bismarck if the Fatherland was planning or contemplating war. But the ship was not to have made her maiden transatlantic voyage until April 1, 1915, the centenary of her great patronym's birth. The German Staff expected to dictate a glorious peace long before that time, and might have done so but for Belgium, Joffre, "that contemptible little British army," and other miscalculations. If the Staff, like Countess von Bismarck, had not missed its aim, the Bismarck would have poked her gigantic nose into New York harbor on scheduled time, a mammoth symbol of Germany, the World Power indeed, and fitting incarnation of the new Mistress of the Seas. Who knows but what perhaps grandiose visions of that sort were in the far-seeing Herr Ballin's card-index mind?

The Kaiser customarily visits the Venice of the North on his way to Kiel Week, the yachting festival invented by him to outrival England's Cowes, and the launch of the Bismarck was timed accordingly. From Hamburg the Emperor proceeds aboard the Imperial yacht Hohenzollern up the Elbe to Brunsbüttel for the annual regatta of the North German Yacht Squadron, a club consisting for the most part of Hamburg, Bremen and Lübeck patricians with the love of the sea inborn in their Hanseatic veins. There was no variation from the time-honored programme in 1914. William II even adhered to his unfailing practice of delivering an apotheosis of the marine profession at the regatta-dinner of the N.G.Y.S. aboard the Hamburg-American steamer on which Herr Ballin is wont to entertain for Kiel Week a party of two or three hundred German and foreign notables. There was no glimmer of coming events in the guest-list of S.S. Victoria Luise, for it included Mr. John Walter, one of the hereditary proprietors of The Times, and several other distinguished Englishmen soon to be Germany's hated foes.

By that occult agency which determines with diabolical delight the irony of fate, it was ordained that Kiel, 1914, should be the occasion of a spectacular Anglo-German love-feast, with a squadron of British super-dreadnoughts anchored in the midst of the peaceful German Armada as a sign to all the world of the non-explosive warmth of English-German "relations." That, at any rate, was the design of that unfortunately nebulous element in Berlin, headed by Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg, known as the Peace Party; for had certain highly-placed Germans acting under the Imperial Chancellor's inspiration had their way, the British Admiralty yacht Enchantress, the official craft of the First Lord of the Admiralty and actually bearing that dignitary, Mr. Winston Churchill, M.P., would have been convoyed to Kiel by Vice-Admiral Sir George Warrender's ironclads. The Kaiser's approval of the Churchill project--as I happen to know--had been sought and secured. Eminent friends of an Anglo-German rapprochement in London had done the necessary log-rolling in England. Matters were regarded in Germany so much of a fait accompli that an anchorage diagram issued by the naval authorities at Kiel only a fortnight before the "Week" indicated the precise spot at which Mr. Churchill and the Enchantress would make fast in the harbor of Kiel Bay.

Watching for the Kaiser's Armada.

But Mr. Churchill did not come. I know why. Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz, to whom the half-American enfant terrible of British politics was a pet aversion, did not want him at Kiel. Mr. Churchill's visit might have resulted in some sort of an Anglo-German naval modus vivendi, or otherwise postponed "the Day." The German War Party's plans, so soon to materialize, would have been sadly thrown out of gear by such an untimely event, and von Tirpitz is not the man to brook interference with his programmes. Had not the German Government, under the Grand-Admiral's invincible leadership, persistently rejected the hand of naval peace stretched out by the British Cabinet? Was it not Mr. Churchill's own proposals to which Berlin had repeatedly returned an imperious No? Could Germany afford to run the risk of being cajoled, amid the festive atmosphere of Kiel Week, into concessions which she had hitherto successively withheld? Von Tirpitz said No again. For years he had been saying the same thing on the subject of an armaments understanding with Britain. He said No to Prince Bülow when the fourth Chancellor suggested the advisability of moderating a German naval policy certain to lead to conflict with Great Britain. He said No to Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg when Bülow's successor timorously suggested from time to time, as he did, the foolhardiness of a programme which meant, in an historic phrase of Bülow's, "pressure and counter-pressure." Von Tirpitz had had his way with two German Chancellors, his nominal superiors, in succession. He never dreamt of allowing himself to be bowled over now by an amateur sailor from London, who, if he came to Kiel, would only come armed with a fresh bait designed to rob the Fatherland of its "future upon the water."

Until a bare two weeks before the date of the arrival of the British Squadron in German waters, nothing was publicly known either in London or Berlin of the projected trip of Mr. Churchill to Kiel. Von Tirpitz thereupon had resort to the weapon he wields almost as dexterously as the submarine--publicity--to depopularize the scheme of the misguided friends of Anglo-German peace. It was not the first time, of course, that the Grand-Admiral had deliberately crossed the avowed policy of the German Foreign Office. Von Tirpitz now caused the Churchill-Kiel enterprise to be "exposed" in the press, in the confident hope that premature announcement would effectually kill the entire plan. It did. Tirpitz diplomacy scored again, as it was wont to do. Whereof I speak in this highly pertinent connection I know, on the authority of one of von Tirpitz's most subtle and trusted henchmen. To the latter's eyes, I hope, these reminiscences may some day come. He, at least, will know that history, not fiction, is recited here.



"I am simply in my element here!" exclaimed the Kaiser ecstatically to Vice-Admiral Sir George Warrender, as the twain stood surveying the glittering array of steel-blue German and British men-of-war facing one another amicably on the unruffled bosom of Kiel harbor at high noon of June 25. From my perch of vantage abaft the forward thirteen-and-one-half-inch guns of His Britannic Majesty's superdreadnought battleship King George V, whither the quartette of London correspondents had been banished during William II's sojourn in the flagship, I could "see" him talking on the quarter-deck below, speaking with those nervous, jerky right-arm gestures which are as important a part of his staccato conversation as uttered words.

The Kaiser was inspecting his flagship, for when he boarded us, almost without notice, in accordance with his irrepressible love of a surprise, Sir George Warrender's flag came down and the emblem of the German Emperor's British naval rank, an Admiral of the Fleet, was hoisted atop all the British vessels in the port. For the nonce the Hohenzollern War Lord was Britannia's senior in command. Aboard the four great twenty-three-thousand-ton battleships, King George V, Audacious, Centurion and Ajax and the three fast "light cruisers" Birmingham, Southampton and Nottingham there was, for the better part of an hour, no man to say him nay. I wonder if he, or any of us at Kiel during that amazing week, let our imaginations run riot and conjure up the vision of the Birmingham in action against German warships off Heligoland within ten short weeks, or of the Audacious at the bottom of the Irish Sea, victim of a German mine, five months later?

Warrender's squadron had come to Kiel two days before. Another British squadron was at the same moment paying a similar visit of courtesy and friendship to the Russian Navy at Riga. The English said then, and insist now, that their ships were dispatched to greet the Kaiser and the Czar as sincere messengers of peace and good-will. The Germans, in the myopic view they have taken of all things since the war began, are convinced that the White Ensign which floated at Kiel six weeks before Great Britain and Germany went to war was the emblem of deceit and hypocrisy, sent there to flap in the Fatherland's guileless face while Perfidious Albion was crouching for the attack. They say that to-day, even in presence of the incongruous fact that Serajevo, which applied the match to the European powder-barrel, wrote its red name across history's page while the British squadron was still riding at anchor in Germany's war harbor.

It was exactly ten years to the week since British warships had last been to Kiel. I happened to be there on that occasion, too, when King Edward VII, convoyed by a cruiser squadron, shed the luster of his vivacious presence on the gayest "Week" Kiel ever knew. Meantime the Anglo-German political atmosphere had remained too stubbornly clouded to make an interchange of naval amenities, of all things, either logical or possible. It was the era in which Germania was preparing her grim battle-toilet for "the Day"--for all the world to see, as she, justly enough, always insisted. They were the years in which her new dreadnought fleet sprang into being. It was the period in which offer after offer from England for an "understanding" on the question of naval armaments met nothing but the cold shoulder in Tirpitz-ruled Berlin. Not until the summer of 1914 had it seemed feasible for British and German warships to mingle in friendly contact. Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg quite legitimately accounted the arrangement of the Kiel love-feast as an achievement of no mean magnitude, viewed in the light of the ten acrimonious years which preceded it. The War Party, realizing its harmlessness, and, indeed, recognizing its value for the party's stealthy purposes, blandly tolerated it. Even Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz was on hand to do the honors, and no one performs them more suavely than Germany's fork-bearded sailor-statesman.

The day after Sir George Warrender's vessels crept majestically out of the Baltic past Friedrichsort, at the mouth of Kiel harbor, to be welcomed by twenty-one German guns from shore batteries, the symptomatic event of the "Week" was enacted--the formal opening of the reconstructed Kaiser Wilhelm Canal. I place that day, June 24, not far behind the sanguinary 28th of June, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand fell, in its direct relationship to the outbreak of the war. When the giant locks of Holtenau swung free, ready henceforth for the passage of William II's greatest warships, the moment of Germany's up-to-the-minute preparedness for Armageddon was signalized.

For ten plodding years tens of thousands of hands had been at work converting the waterway which links Baltic Germany with North Sea Germany (Kiel with Wilhelmshaven) into a channel wide and deep enough for navigation by battleships of the largest bulk. After an expenditure of more than fifty million dollars the canal, dedicated with pomp and ceremony in 1892 to the peaceful requirements of European shipping, was now become a war canal, pure and simple, raised to the war dimension and destined, as the German War Party knew, to play the role for which it was rebuilt almost before its newly-banked stone sides had settled in their foundations. When I watched proud William II, standing solemn and statue-like on the bridge of his Imperial yacht Hohenzollern, as her gleaming golden bow broke through the black-white-red strand of ribbon stretched across the locks, I recall distinctly an invincible feeling that I was witness of an historic moment. Germany's army, I said to myself, had long been ready. Now her fleet was ready, too. With an inland avenue of safe retreat, invulnerably fortified at either end, Teuton sea strategists had always insisted that the Fatherland's naval position would be well-nigh impregnable. That hour had arrived. There was the Kaiser, before my very eyes, leading the way through the War Canal for his twenty-seven-thousand-five-hundred-ton battleships and battle cruisers, and even for his thirty-five-thousand-ton or fifty-thousand-ton creations of some later day, for the War Canal was made over for to-morrow, as well as for to-day. The German war machine tightened up the last bolt when William of Hohenzollern emerged from Holtenau locks into the harbor of Kiel, spectacular symbol of the fact that German ironclads of any dimensions were now able to sally back and forth from the Baltic to the North Sea and hide for a year, as the world has meantime seen, even from the Mistress of the Seas. No wonder a British bluejacket, forming the link of an endless chain of his fellows dressing ship round the rail of the Centurion in honor of the War Lord, whispered audibly to a mate, as the Hohenzollern steamed down the line to her anchorage, "Say, Bill, don't he look jest like Gawd!" Perhaps the Divinely-Anointed felt that way, too.

When the Kaiser had left the King George V after a politely cursory "inspection"--the only real "understanding" effected between England and Germany at Kiel was a tacit agreement on the part of officers and men to do no amateur spying in one another's ships--Sir George Warrender summoned us from the turret and told us some details of the All-Highest visitation. The Emperor had been "delighted to make his first call in a British dreadnought aboard so magnificent a specimen as the King George V" (she and her sisters being at the time the most powerful battleships flying the Union Jack). He wanted the Vice-Admiral to assure the British Government what pleasure it had done the German Navy "in sending these fine ships to Kiel." He hoped nothing was being left undone to "complete the English sailors' happiness" in German waters. That extorted from Sir George Warrender the exclamation that German hospitality, like all else Teutonic, was seemingly thoroughness personified, for somebody had even been thoughtful enough to lay a submarine telephone cable from the Seebade-Anstalt Hotel to the Vice-Admiral's flagship, so that Lady Maude Warrender might talk from her apartments on shore directly to her husband's quarters afloat.

"Yes," continued the Kaiser, who is a genial conversationalist and raconteur, "I am in my element in surroundings like these. I love the sea. I like to go to launchings of ships. I am passionately fond of yachting. You must sail with me to-morrow, Admiral, in my newest Meteor, the fifth of the name. I race only with German crews now. Time was when I had to have British skippers and British sailors. You see, my aim is to breed a race of German yachtsmen. As fast as I've trained a good crew in the Meteor, I let it go to the new owner of the boat. I am the loser by that system, but I have the satisfaction of knowing that I am promoting a good cause." The confab was approaching its end. "Oh, Admiral, before I forget, how is Lady ........ and the Duchess of ........? I know so many of your handsome Englishwomen."

Sir George Warrender's captains and the officers of the flagship were now grouped around him for a farewell salute to their Imperial senior officer. The Kaiser spied the King George V's chaplain, and leaning over to him inquired, gaily, "Chaplain, is there any swearing in this ship?" "Oh, never, Your Majesty, never any swearing in a British dreadnought!" The War Lord liked that, for we who had been in the Olympian heights for'd remembered his laughing aloud at this veracious tribute to Jack Tar's world-famed purity of diction.

Kiel Week thenceforward was an endless round of Anglo-German pleasantries. A Zeppelin, harbinger of coming events, hovered over the British squadron at intervals, her crew wagging cheery greetings to the ships while acquainting themselves at close range with the looks of English dreadnoughts from the sky. British sailormen paid fraternal visits to German dreadnoughts and German sailormen returned their calls. The crew of the Ajax gave a music-hall smoker in honor of the crew of the big battle-cruiser Seydlitz, the Teuton tars being no little awestruck by the complacency with which two heavyweight British boxers pummeled each other a sea-green for six rounds and then smilingly shook hands when it was all over. Germans never punch one another except in gory hate, and they seldom fight with their fists. The Kaiser was host nightly at splendid State dinners in the Hohenzollern and Vice-Admiral Warrender returned the fire with state banquets aboard the King George V. The atmosphere was fairly thick with brotherly love. It was not so much as ruffled even when the octogenarian Earl of Brassey, who wards off rheumatism by an early morning pull in his row-boat, was arrested by a German harbor-policeman as an "English spy" for approaching the forbidden waters of Kiel dockyard. German diplomacy was typically represented by Lord Brassey's zealous captor, for the master of the famous Sunbeam brought that venerable craft to Kiel to demonstrate that Englishmen of his class sincerely favored peace, and, if possible, friendship with Germany. Wilhelmstrasse tact was exemplified again when, by way of apology to Lord Brassey, the Kiel police explained that there was, of course, no intention of charging him with espionage. The policeman who arrested him merely thought he was nabbing a smuggler! At dinner that night in the Hohenzollern, the Kaiser chuckled jovially at Lord Brassey's expense. England's greatest living marine historian stole away from Kiel with the Sunbeam in the gray dawn of the next day, with new ideas of German courtesy to the stranger within the gate. He had intended to stay longer.

A naval Zeppelin cruising over the British squadron at Kiel.

Of all the billing and cooing at Kiel there is photographed most indelibly on my memory the glorious jamboree of the sailors of the British and German squadrons in the big assembly hall at the Imperial dockyard on the Saturday night of the "Week." There were free beer, free tobacco, free provender for everybody, in typical German plenty. A ship's band blared rag-time and horn-pipes all night long. Only the supply of Kiel girls fell short of the demand, but that only made merrier fun for the bluejackets, who, lacking fair partners, danced with one another, and when the hour had become really hilarious, they tripped across the floor, when they were not rolling over it, embracing in threes, bunny-hugging, grotesquely tangoing, turkey-trotting and fish-walking more joyously than men ever reveled before.

There, I thought, was Anglo-German friendship in being--not an ideal, but an actuality. I am sure the British and German tars at Kiel that boisterous Saturday night which melted into the Sunday of Serajevo little dreamt that when next they would be locked in one another's arms, it would be at grips for life or death.



Von G. is a Junker. He is also Germany's ablest special correspondent. A Junker, let the uninitiated understand, is a Prussian land baron, or one of his descendants, who considers dominion over the earth and all its worms his by Divine Right. If, like von G., a Junker is an army officer besides, active or ausser Dienst, and had a grandfather who belonged to Moltke's headquarters in 1870-71, he is the superlatively real thing. So, as my mission in Germany was study of the Fatherland in its characteristic ramifications, I always felt myself richly favored by the friendship and professional comradeship of von G. He was Junkerism incarnate. Several years' residence in the United States had signally failed to corrode von G.'s Junker instincts. Indeed, it intensified them, for he was ever after a confirmed believer in the ignominious failure of Democracy. It was he who popularized "Dollarica" as a German nickname for "God's country."

Von G. and I roomed together at Kiel, sharing apartments and a bath in the harbormaster's flat above the Imperial Yacht Club postoffice, whose two stories of brick and stucco serve as "annex" to the always overcrowded and palatial Krupp hotel, the Seebade-Anstalt, at the other end of the flowered club grounds. That bath, which I mention in no spirit of ablutionary arrogance, has to do with the story of von G., for it was to bring me on a day destined to be historic in violent conflict with Junkerism. Von G. and I regulated the bath situation at Kiel by leaving word on our landlady's slate the night before which of us would bathe first next morning and at what hour. The bath happened to adjoin my sleeping quarters and von G. could not reach it except by crossing my bedroom, which he always entered without knocking. On Sunday, June 28, fateful day, von G. was timed to bathe at eight A.M., I at nine--so read the schedule inscribed by our respective hands on the good Frau Hafenmcistcr's tablet. At seven-thirty I was roused from my feathered slumbers by her soft footsteps--the softest steps of German harbormasters' wives are quite audible--as she trundled across the room to arrange Herr von G.'s eight o'clock dip. Junkers are punctual people, but that morning mine was late. Eight, eight-thirty, eighty-forty-five passed, and there was no sign of him. When nine o'clock came, I thought I might reasonably conclude, in my rude, inconsiderate American way, that von G. had overslept or postponed his bath, so I made for the tub at the hour I had intended to. I was just stepping one foot into it when--it was nine-ten now--von G., rubbing his eyes, bolted in.

"What do you mean by taking my bath?" he yelled at me. "That's some of your damned American impudence!"

Whereupon, imperturbably pouring the rest of me into the bath, I ventured to suggest to Field-Marshal von G., that if he would drop the barrack-yard tone and remember that I was neither a Dachshund nor a Pomeranian recruit, I would deign to hold converse on the point under debate. I am not sure I spoke as calmly as that sounds, for to gain a conversational lap on a German you must outshout him. At any rate, von G., abandoning abuse, stalked whimperingly from the room, fired some rearguard shrapnel about "just like an American's 'nerve'," and bathed later in the day.

I did not see him again until about five o'clock that afternoon. He bolted into my room this time, too, but in excitement, not anger.

"The Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife have been assassinated," he exclaimed.

"Good God!" I rejoined, stupefied.

"It's a good thing," said von G. quietly.

For many days and nights I wondered what the Junker meant. I think I know now. He meant that the War Party (of which he was a very potent and zealous member) had at length found a pretext for forcing upon Europe the struggle for which the German War Lords regarded themselves vastly more ready than any possible combination of foes. The first year of the war has amply demonstrated the accuracy of their calculations. Germany's triumphs in the opening twelvemonth of Armageddon were the triumphs of the superlatively prepared. If Serajevo had not come along when it did--with the German military establishment just built up to a peace-footing of nearly one million officers and men and re-armed at a cost of two hundred and fifty million dollars; with von Tirpitz's Fleet at the acme of its efficiency; with the Kiel Canal reconstructed for the passage of super-dreadnought ironclads--Germany's readiness for war might have been fatally inferior to that of her enemies-to-be. The Fatherland was ready, armed to the teeth, as nation never was before. The psychological moment had dawned.

This was the reassuring state of affairs at home. What did the War Party see when it put its mailed hand to the vizor and looked abroad, across to England, west over the Rhine to France, and toward Russia? It saw Great Britain on what truly enough looked to most of the world like the brink of revolution in Ireland. It saw a France, of which a great Senator had only a few days before said that her forts were defective, her guns short of ammunition and her army lacking in even such rudimentary war sinews as sufficient boots for the troops. It saw a Russia stirred by industrial strife which seemed to need only the threat of grave foreign complications to inflame her always rebellious proletariat into revolt. Serajevo had all the earmarks of providential timeliness.

"It's a good thing," said the sententious von G.

The "trippers" from Hamburg and nearer-by points in Schleswig-Holstein, whom the Sunday of Kiel Week attracts by the thousand, were far more stunned than von G. by the news from Bosnia, which put so tragic an end to their seaside holiday. The esplanade, which had been throbbing with bustle and glittering with color, did not know at first why all the ships in the harbor, British as well as German, had suddenly lowered their pennants to half-mast, or why the Austrian royal standard had suddenly broken out, also at the mourning altitude. The Kaiser was racing in the Baltic. "Old Franz Josef," some said, "has died. He's been going for many a day." Presently the truth percolated through the awestruck crowds. The sleek white naval dispatch-boat Sleipner tore through the Bay, Baltic-bound. She carries news to William II when he governs Germany from the quarter-deck of the Hohenzollern. Sleipner dodged eel-like, through the lines of British and German men-of-war, ocean liners, pleasure-craft and racing-yachts anchored here, there and everywhere. In fifteen minutes she was alongside the Emperor's fleet schooner, Meteor V, which had broken off her race on receipt of wireless tidings of the Archducal couple's murderous fate. The Hohenzollern had already "wirelessed" for the fastest torpedo-boat in port to fetch the Kaiser and his staff off the Meteor, and the destroyer and Sleipner snorted up, foam-bespattered, almost simultaneously. The Emperor clambered into the torpedo-boat and started for the harbor.

It was the face of a William II, blanched ashen-gray, which turned from the bridge of the destroyer to acknowledge, in solemn gravity, the salutes of the officers and crew of the British flagship, as the Kaiser's craft raced past the King George V. Always stern of mien, the Emperor now looked severity personified. His staff stood apart. He seemed to wish to be alone, absolutely, with the overwhelming thoughts of the moment. Three minutes later, and he stepped aboard the Hohenzollern. Now another pennant showed at the mainmast of the Imperial yacht--the blue and yellow signal flag which means: "His Majesty is aboard, but preoccupied." I wonder if posterity will ever know what monumental reflections flitted through the Kaiser's mind in that first hour after Serajevo? Did he, like von G., think it was "a good thing," too? I suppose the first stars and stripes to be half-masted anywhere in the world that dread sundown were those which drooped from the stern of Utowana, Mr. Allison Vincent Armour's steam-yacht, anchored in the Bay off Kiel Naval Academy. A puffing little launch took me out to the Utowana as soon as I had gathered some coherent facts, which I wanted to present to Mr. Armour and his guests, American Ambassador and Mrs. James W. Gerard, of Berlin, who had motored to Kiel the day before. Mrs. Gerard's sister, Countess Sigray, is the wife of a Hungarian nobleman, and the Ambassador's wife, if my memory serves me correctly, once told me of her sister's acquaintance with both of the assassinated Royalties. We Americans discussed the immediate consequences of the day's event--how the Kaiser would take it, how it would affect poor old Emperor Francis Joseph. William II and Admiral von Tirpitz had been the Archduke's guests at Konopischt in Bohemia only a few weeks before. The Kaiser and the future ruler of Austria-Hungary had become great friends. They were not always that. There had been a good deal of the William II in Franz Ferdinand himself. People often said it was a case of Greek meet Greek, and that two such insistent personalities were inevitably bound to clash. Others said that the Archduke, inspired by his brilliantly clever consort, always insisted that German overlordship in Vienna would cease when he came to the throne. Still others knew that despite antipathies and antagonisms, the two men had at length come to be genuinely fond of each other, and that their ideas and ideals for the greater glory of Germanic Europe coincided.

These things we chatted and canvassed, irresponsibly, on Utowana's immaculate deck. All of us were persuaded of the imminency of a crisis in Austrian-Serbian relations in consequence of Princip's crime. But I am quite sure not a soul of us held himself capable of imagining that, because of that remote felony, Great Britain and Germany would be at war five weeks later. Beyond us spread the peaceful panorama of British and German war-craft, anchored side by side, and the thought would have perished at birth.

Returned to the terrace of the Seebade-Anstalt, one found the atmosphere heavily charged with suppressed excitement. Immaculately-groomed young diplomats, down from Berlin for the Sunday, were twirling their walking-sticks and yellow gloves which were not, after all, to accompany them to Grand-Admiral Prince Henry of Prussia's garden-party. That, like everything else connected with Kiel Week, had suddenly been called off.

A party of Americans flocked together at the entrance to the hotel to exchange low-spoken views on the all-pervading topic. There was big Lieutenant-Commander Walter R. Gherardi, our wide-awake Berlin Naval Attaché, resplendent in gala gold-braided uniform, and Mrs. Gherardi, who had motored me around the environs of Kiel that morning; Albert Billings Ruddock, Third Secretary of the Embassy, and his pretty and clever wife; and Lanier Winslow, Ambassador Gerard's private secretary, his effervescent good nature repressed for the first time I ever remembered observing it in that unbecoming and unnatural condition. Secretary Ruddock's father, Mr. Charles H. Ruddock, of New York, completed the group.

I met Mr. Ruddock, Sr., six months later in New York. "Do you remember what you told me that afternoon at Kiel, when we were discussing Serajevo?" he asked. I pleaded a lapse of recollection. "You said," he reminded me, "'this means war.'"

The aspect of Kiel became in the twinkling of an eye as funereal as Serajevo and Vienna themselves must have been in that blood-bespattered hour. Bands stopped playing, flags not lowered to half-mast were hauled down altogether, and beer-gardens emptied. "Hohenzollern weather," Teuton synonym for invincible sunshine, vanished in keeping with the drooping spirits of everybody and everything, and bleak thunder-showers intermingled with flashes of heat-lightning to complete the mise en scène. A week of gaiety unsurpassed evaporated into gloom and foreboding.

For myself it had been a week crowded with great recollections. Special correspondents telegraphing to influential foreign newspapers, particularly if they were English and American newspapers, were always persona gratissima with German dignitaries, even of the blood royal. The group of us on duty at what, alas! was to be the last Kiel Week, at least of the old sort, for many a year, were the recipients, as usual, of that scientific hospitality which foreign newspapermen always receive at German official hands. Before we were at Kiel twenty-four hours we were deluged with invitations to garden-parties at the Commanding Admiral's, to soirees innumerable ashore and afloat, to luncheons at the Town Hall, to the grand balls at the Naval Academy, and to functions of lesser magnitude for the bluejackets. Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz had left his card at my lodgings and so had Admiral von Rebeur-Paschwitz, the Chief of Staff of the Baltic Station, who will be pleasantly remembered by friends of Washington days when he was German Naval Attaché there. Captain Lohlein, the courteous chief of the Press Bureau of the Navy Department at Berlin, had equipped me with credentials which practically made me a freeman of Kiel harbor for the time being. In no single direction was effort lacking, on the part of the authorities who have the most practical conception of any Government in the world of the value of advertising, to enable special correspondents at Kiel to practise their profession comfortably and successfully. I must not forget to mention the visit paid me by Baron von Stumm, chief of the Anglo-American division of the German Foreign Office; for Stumm's opinion of me underwent a kaleidoscopic and mysterious change a few weeks later. Treasured conspicuously in my memories of Kiel, too, will long remain the call I received from Herr Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach's private secretary, and the message he brought me from the Master of Essen. It seems less cryptic to me now than then. I sought an interview from the Cannon Queen's consort about the visit he and his staff of experts had just paid to the great arsenals and dockyards of Great Britain.

"Herr Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach presents his compliments," said the secretary, "and asks me to say how much he regrets he can not grant an interview, as the matters which took him to England are not such as he cares to discuss in public."

I wonder how many American newspaper readers, in the hurly-burly of the fast-marching events which preceded and ushered in the war, ever knew of the little army of eminent and expert "investigators" who honored England with their company on the very threshold of hostilities? June saw the presence in London, ostensibly for "the season," of Herr Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, accompanied not only by his plutocratic wife, but by his chief technical expert, Doctor Ehrensberger of Essen, an old-time friend of American steel men like Mr. Schwab and ex-Ambassador Leishman, and by Herr von Bülow, a kinsman of the ex-Imperial Chancellor, who was the Krupp general representative in England. With a naïveté which Britons themselves now regard almost incomprehensible, the Krupp party was shown over practically all of England's greatest weapons-of-war works at Birkenhead, Barrow-in-Furness, Glasgow, Newcastle-on-Tyne and Sheffield. They saw the world-famed plants of Firth, Cammell-Laird, Vickers-Maxim, Brown, Armstrong-Whitworth and Hadfield. Not with the eyes of Cook tourists, but with the practised gaze of specialists, they were privileged to look upon sights which must have sent them away with a vivid, up-to-date and accurate impression of Britain's capabilities in the all-vital realm of production of war materials for both army and navy. It was from this personally conducted junket through the zone of British war industry that Herr Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach returned--not to Essen, but to Kiel (where he has his summer home) and to the Kaiser and von Tirpitz. It was to them his report was made. I think I understand better now why he could not see his way to letting me tell the British public what he saw and learned in England. I was guileless when I sought the interview. Let this be my apology to Herr Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach for attempting to penetrate into matters obviously not fit "to discuss in public."

During July England entertained three other important German emissaries, each a specialist, as befitted the country of his origin and the object of his mission. Doctor Dernburg came over. He spent ten strenuous days "in touch" with financial and economic circles and subjects. No man could be relied upon to bring back to Berlin a shrewder estimate of the British commercial situation. A few days later Herr Ballin, the German shipping king, crossed the channel. I recall telegraphing a Berlin newspaper notice which explained that the astute managing director of the Hamburg-American line went to England to "look into the question of fuel-oil supplies." Herr Ballin, like Doctor Dernburg, also kept "in touch" with the British circles most important and interesting to himself and the Fatherland. He must have dabbled in high politics a bit, too, for only the other day Lord Haldane revealed that he arranged for Herr Ballin to "meet a few friends" at his lordship's hospitable home at Queen Anne's Gate. Germans always felt a proprietary right to seek the hospitality of the Scotch statesman who acknowledged that his spiritual domicile was in the Fatherland.

Then, finally, came another German, far more august than Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, Dernburg and Ballin--Grand-Admiral Prince Henry of Prussia. His visit fell within a week of Germany's declaration of war against France and Russia. The Prince, who enjoyed many warm friendships in England and visited the country at frequent intervals, also spent a busy week in London. He saw the King, called on with Prince Louis of Battenberg, the then First Sea Lord, and paid his respects to Mr. Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty. Englishmen only conjecture how he put in the rest of his time.

Perhaps an episode in the trial of Karl Lody, the German naval spy who was executed at the Tower of London on November 6, has its place in the unrecorded history of Prince Henry of Prussia's epochal visit to the British Isles. Lody confessed to his military judges at Middlesex Guildhall that he received his orders to report on British naval preparations from "a distinguished personage."

"Give us his name," commanded Lord Cheylesmore, presiding officer of the court.

"I would rather not tell it in open court," pleaded the prisoner, whom Scotland Yard, the day before, had asked me to look at, with a view to possible identification with certain Berlin affiliations.

"I will write his name on a piece of paper for the court's confidential information," Lody added. His request was granted.

When we were officially notified that the Kaiser would proceed next morning by special train to Berlin, we made our own preparations to depart. The British squadron had still a day and a half of its scheduled visit to complete, and Vice-Admiral Warrender told us he would remain accordingly. The German Admiralty had extended him the hospitality of the new War Canal for the cruise of his fleet into the North Sea, but he decided to send only the light cruisers by that route and take his battleships home, as they had come, by the roundabout route of the Baltic.

On Monday noon, June 29, I went back to Berlin, to live through five weeks of finishing touches for the grand world blood-bath.



Armageddon was plotted, prepared for and precipitated by the German War Party. It was not the work of the German people. What is the "War Party"? Let me begin by explaining what it is not. It is not a party in the sense of President Wilson's organization or Colonel Roosevelt's Bull Moosers. It maintains no permanent headquarters or National Committee, and holds no conventions. The only barbecue it ever organized is the one which plunged the world into gore and tears in August, 1914, though its attempts to drench Europe with blood are decade-old. You would search the German city directories in vain for the War Party's address or telephone number. No German would ever acknowledge that he belonged to Europe's largest Black Hand league. You could, indeed, hardly find anybody in Germany willing even to acknowledge that the War Party even existed. Yet, unseen and sinister, its grip was fastened so heavily upon the machinery of State that when it deemed the moment for its sanguinary purposes at length ripe, the War Party was able to tear the whole nation from its peaceful pursuits and fling it, armed to the teeth, against a Europe so flagrantly unready that more than a year of strife finds Germany not only unbeaten but at a zenith of fighting efficiency which her foes have only begun to approach.

When the German War Party pressed the button for the Great Massacre, the Fatherland had, roundly, sixty-seven million five hundred thousand inhabitants within its thriving walls. At a liberal estimate, no one can ever convince me that more than one million five hundred thousand Germans really wanted war. They were the "War Party." Sixty-six millions of the Kaiser's subjects, immersed in the most abundant prosperity any European country of modern times had been vouchsafed, longed only for the continuance of the conditions which had brought about this state of unparalleled national weal. I do not believe that William II, deep down in his heart, craved for war. I can vouch for the literal accuracy of a hitherto unrecorded piece of ante-bellum history which bears out my doubts of the Kaiser's immediate responsibility for the war, though it does not acquit him of supine acquiescence in, and to that extent abetting, the War Party's plot.

On the afternoon of Saturday, August 1, 1914, the wife of Lieutenant-General Helmuth von Moltke, then Chief of the Great German General Staff, paid a visit to a certain home in Berlin, which shall be nameless. The Frau Generalstabschef was in a state of obvious mental excitement.

"Ach, what a day I've been through, Kinder!" she began. "My husband came home just before I left. Dog-tired, he threw himself on to the couch, a total wreck, explaining to me that he had finally accomplished the three days' hardest work he had ever done in his whole life--he had helped to induce the Kaiser to sign the mobilization order!"

There is the evidence, disclosed in the homeliest, yet the most direct, fashion, of the German War Party's unescapable culpability for the supreme crime against humanity. The "sword" had, indeed, been "forced" into the Kaiser's hand. This is no brief for the Kaiser's innocence. No man did more than William II himself, during twenty-six years of explosive reign, to stimulate the military clique in the belief that when the dread hour came the Supreme War Lord would be "with my Army." Yet German officers, in those occasional moments when conviviality bred loquacity, were fond of averring, as more than one of them has averred to me, that "the Kaiser lacked the moral courage to sign a mobilization order." Die Post, a leading War Party organ, said as much during the Morocco imbroglio in 1911. Perhaps that is why General von Moltke had to force the pen, which for the nonce was mightier than the sword, into the reluctant hand of William II.

The Kaiser was constitutionally addicted to swaggering war talk, but, in my judgment, he preferred the bark to the bite. He likes his job. Like our Roosevelt, he has a "perfectly corking time" wielding the scepter. Raised in the belief that the Hohenzollerns were divinely appointed to their Royal estate, William II dearly loves his trade. He does not want to lose his throne. In peace there was little danger of its ever slipping from under him, thanks to a Socialist "movement" which was noisy but never really menacing. In war Hohenzollern rule is in perpetual peril. Hostile armies, if they ever battered their way to Potsdam, would almost surely wreck the dynasty, even if the mob had not already saved them that trouble. The Kaiser, sagacious like every man when his livelihood is at stake, always had these dread eventualities in mind. His personal interests, the fortunes of his House, all lay along the path of manifest safety--peace. Meantime his concessions to the War Party were generous and frequent. He rattled the saber on its demand. He donned his "shining armor" at Austria's side when the Germanic Powers coerced Russia into recognition of the Bosnian annexation in 1909. He sent the Panther to Agadir harbor in 1911 because the War Party howled for "deeds" in Morocco. It hoped that history in Northwestern Africa would repeat itself--that the Triple Entente would yield to German bluff as it yielded in Southeastern Europe two years previous. It did not, and it was then that the German War Party swore a solemn vow of "Never Again!" The days of the Kaiser who merely threatened war were numbered. Next time the sword would be "forced" into his hand. "Before God and history my conscience is clear. I did not will this war. One year has elapsed since I was obliged to call the German people to arms." Thus William of Hohenzollern's manifesto to his people from Main Headquarters on the first anniversary of the war, August 1, 1915. Herewith I place Frau Generalstabschef von Moltke on the stand as chief witness in the Kaiser's defense.

I have said that sixty-six million Germans wanted peace and one million five hundred thousand demanded war. But in Germany minority rules. It rules supreme when the issue is war or peace, and when the German War Party insisted upon deeds instead of speeches the nation, Kaiser and all, Reichstag and Socialist, Prince and peasant, had but one alternative--to yield. In July, 1914, the War Party imperiously asked for war, and war ensued. That is the ineffaceable long and short of Armageddon. I am persuaded that William II on July 31 was confronted with something strangely like an abrupt alternative of mobilization or abdication.

Assertions of the German people's consecration to peace may strike the reader as incongruous in face of the magnificent unanimity with which the entire Fatherland has waged and is still waging the war. But such a view leaves wholly out of account the most prodigious and amazing of all the German War Party's preparations--the skilful manipulation of public opinion for "the Day." In ten brief days--those fateful hours between July 23, when Austria launched her brutal ultimatum at Serbia, and August 1, when mobilization of the German Army and Navy made a European conflagration a certainty--Germany's vast peace majority, by deception which I shall outline in a subsequent chapter, was converted into a multitudinous mob mad for war.

I count the merely material preparations of the War Party--the steady expansion of Krupps, the development of the Fleet, the invention of the forty-two centimeter gun, the vast secret storage of arms and ammunition, the 1913 increase of the Army, the accumulation of a war-chest of gold, the stealthy organization of every conceivable instrument and resource of war down to details too minute for the ordinary mind to grasp; all these, I count as nothing compared to the hypnotization of the German national mind extending over many years.

In England and America the name of Bernhardi was on everybody's lips as the archpriest of the war. I doubt if one man in ten thousand in Germany ever heard of Bernhardi before August, 1914. He became an international personality mainly through the graces of foreign newspaper correspondents in Berlin, who, recognizing his book, Germany's Next War, as classic proclamation of the War Party's designs on the world, dignified it with commensurate attention, not because of its authorship, but because of its innate authoritativeness. The result was the translation of Germany's Next War into the English language, and subsequently, I suppose, into every other civilized language in the world. Perhaps I am myself to some extent responsible for Bernhardi's vogue in the United States. He was going to cross our country en route back to Europe from the Far East, and wrote to ask me to suggest to him the name of an American translator and publisher for his books. Bernhardi, a mere retired general of cavalry with a gift for incisive writing, woke up to find himself famous. But nothing could be more beyond the mark than to imagine that he was the pioneer of German war-aggression. He was merely its most plain-spoken prophet. The way had been blazed for decades before he appeared upon the scene. After Bernhardi had been successfully launched on the bookshelves of the world, the German War Party took him up, and it was not long before Die Post, the Deutsche Tageszeitung and other organs of blood-and-iron were able to make "the highly gratifying" announcement that Bernhardi's manual had been compressed into a fifty-pfennig popular edition, so that the German masses might be educated in the inspiring doctrine of manifest Teuton destiny, as Bernhardi so unblushingly set it forth.

The German War Party's certificate of incorporation is dated Versailles, January 18, 1871, when, on the one hundred and seventieth anniversary of the creation of the Kingdom of Prussia, Bismarck and Moltke crowned victorious William I of Prussia German Emperor. Cradled in Prussianism, the German War Party has always been Prussian, rather than German. To the credit of Bavaria, Saxony, Baden and Wurttemberg be that forever remembered. Denmark and Austria, during the seven years preceding Versailles, had had their lessons. Now France lay prostrate, despoiled of her fairest provinces and financially bled white, as the conqueror imagined. From that moment the Prussian head began swelling with invincible self-esteem, to emerge in the succeeding generation in an insensate and megalomaniac conviction that to the race which had accomplished what the Germans had achieved nothing was impossible. "World Power"--Rule or Ruin--became the national slogan.

In the reconstruction years following the 1870-71 campaign non-military Germany was bent on laying the foundations of Teuton industrial greatness. The project was vouchsafed no support from the military hotspurs who, within ten years of Sedan and Paris, did their utmost to force Bismarck into giving humbled France a fresh drubbing, that her power to rise from the dust might be crushed for all time. Then the Prussian War Party demanded that the scalp of Russia be added to its insatiable belt. Bismarck propitiated the Bernhardis of that day by thundering in the Reichstag that "We Germans fear God, and nothing else in this world!" When the Chancellor of Iron burnt that piece of bombast into the German soul in 1887, a year before William the Speechmaker was enthroned, he wrote the German War Party's "platform." Since then it has had many planks added to it, but all of them have rested squarely and firmly on the concrete upon which they were imbedded, viz., that Furor Teutonicus was a power which, when it went forth to slay and conquer, was invincible because it was filled with naught but the fear of God. Nouveau riche Germany, with France's one billion two hundred and fifty million dollars of gold indemnity in its pocket, ceased to be the Fatherland of homely virtues, celebrated in song and story, and became the plethoric Fatherland, drunk with power and wealth won by arms, the Fatherland which was to adopt the gospel of political brutality as a new national Leit-motif. "We, not the Jews, are God's chosen people. Our military prowess and our intellectual superiority make German Weltmacht manifest destiny. Full steam ahead!" Thus it was, a generation ago, that the German War Party was launched on its mad career.

During the war the English-reading world has heard much of Treitschke and Nietzsche, just as it has had its ears dinned full of Bernhardi. Germans with scars on their faces and other marks of a college education--a gentry numbering several millions--know and venerate their Treitschke and Nietzsche, and to their pernicious dogma is due in large degree the war lust of so-called cultured Germany; yet to the German masses these renowned apostles of Might is Right are little more than names. Of far more importance for the purpose of tracing the origin of the Armageddon are the living captains of the "War Party," not its deceased intellectual sponsors. Historians of the present era will gain the really illuminating perspective by relegating Nietzsche, "that half-inspired, half-crazy poet-philosopher," and Treitschke, his more modern kindred spirit, to the dead past and elevating Tirpitz and the Crown Prince, Koester of the German Navy League and Keim of the German Army League to their places. It is men like them, politicians like Heydebrand, literary firebrands like Reventlow and Frobenius, and press-pensioners like Hammann who were the real pioneers of Armageddon. These are names with which the English-reading world, enchanted by the myopic prominence given to the writings of Nietzsche, Treitschke and Bernhardi, are not familiar. But they are the real stage managers of the war tragedy, and it is with them I shall deal before narrating the culminating effects of their devilry.

Prince Bülow, fourth Imperial Chancellor and most urbane of statesmen, will live in German history as a man who resembled Bismarck in but one important particular--the gift of phrase-making. Bismarck's aphorisms are quoted by Germans with the awesome regard in which Anglo-Saxons cite Shakespeare. Bülow's name will be enshrined in Teuton memory for an epigram which had as direct a psychic influence on the German War Party's demand for the present war as any other one thing said, written or done in Germany in the last fifteen years. When he proclaimed that Germany demanded her "place in the sun," he flung into the fire fat which was to go sizzling down the age. It was worth its weight in precious gems to the blood-and-iron brigade. As Bismarck's blasphemous bluster in 1887 gave the War Party of that day its fillip, Bülow in 1907 supplied the spurred and helmeted zealots of his era with a flamboyancy no less vicious. They snatched it up with alacrity, and, being Germans, proceeded to exploit it with masterly efficiency and deadly thoroughness. A "place in the sun" forthwith inspired an entirely new German literature. It became the spiritual mother of this war.

Like all the War Party's dogma, the "place in the sun" doctrine is sheer cant. Germany has occupied an increasingly expansive "place in the sun" for forty-four years without interruption. In 1913, Doctor Karl Helfferich, a director of the Deutsche Bank, who is now Secretary of the Imperial Treasury, in a pamphlet spread broadcast throughout the world, thus summarized Germany's "place in the sun":

"The German National Income amounts today to ten thousand seven hundred fifty million dollars annually as against from five thousand seven hundred fifty to six thousand two hundred fifty million dollars in 1895. The annual increase in wealth is about two thousand five hundred million dollars, as against a sum of from one thousand one hundred twenty-five to one thousand two hundred fifty million dollars fifteen years ago.

"The wealth of the German people amounts today to more than seventy-five thousand million dollars, as against about fifty thousand million dollars toward the middle of the nineties. These solid figures summarize, expressed in money, the result of the enormous economic labor which Germany has achieved during the reign of our present Emperor."

Doctor Helfferich continued the story of the incessant widening of the Fatherland's "place in the sun." He told of the steady rise of the population at the rate of eight hundred thousand a year; of the development of German industry at so miraculous a pace that while Germany in the middle eighties was losing emigrated citizens at the rate of one hundred thirty-five thousand a year, the total had sunk in 1912 to eighteen thousand five hundred, and that Germany had become, many years before that date, an importer of men, instead of an exporter; that the net tonnage of the German mercantile fleet increased from 1,240,182 in 1888 to 3,153,724 in 1913; that German imports and exports, during the rich years immediately prior to 1910, increased from one thousand five hundred million dollars to nearly four thousand million dollars, and in 1912 exceeded five thousand millions.

By a "place in the sun" Prince Bülow meant, primarily, territorial expansion for Germany's "surplus population." Yet even in this respect German aggrandizement kept pace with her fabulous economic development. When war broke out in 1914, the German colonial empire oversea was hundreds of thousands of square miles more extensive than Germany in Europe. It is true that the Germans went in for colonial land-grabbing late in the game, after England, particularly, had acquired the best territory in both hemispheres, and many years after the Monroe Doctrine had effectually checked European expansion in the Americas. As the result of "colonial empire" in inferior regions of the earth, the total white population of German colonies in 1913 was less than twenty-eight thousand, or roundly, three and one-half per cent. of the annual growth of German population. Although acquired nominally for "trade," Germany's commerce with her colonies in imports and exports totaled in 1914 a fraction more than twenty-five million dollars, or about one-half of one per cent. of Germany's total trade of five thousand million dollars in 1912. Germany's lust for a larger "place in the sun," as it has been aptly described by the author of J'Accuse, is "square-mile greed," pure and simple, and as the same frank and brilliant writer points out, Germany not only demands a "place in the sun," but claims it for herself alone, insisting that the rest of the world shall content itself with "a place in the shade."

To popularize the "place in the sun" theory two great German national organizations went valiantly to work--the Pan-German League and the German Navy League. The Pan-Germans, whose efforts were seconded by a subsidiary society called the Association for the Perpetuation of Germanism Abroad, set themselves the task of educating German public opinion in regard to "the bitter need" of a "Greater Germany," to be achieved by hook or crook. The German Navy League dedicated itself to fomenting agitation designed to meet the Kaiser's expressed "bitter need" of vast German sea power. Ostensibly private in character, both of these militant propaganda organizations enjoyed more or less official countenance and support. On occasion, when their activities appeared too pernicious or threatened to obstruct the subtle machinations of German diplomacy, the Government would convincingly "disavow" the leagues. But all the time they were working for Germany's "place in the sun." Under their auspices, the country for years was drenched with belligerent and provocative literature, which harped ceaselessly on the theme that what Germany could not secure by diplomacy she must prepare to extort by the sword.

As the Pan-Germans and the Navy League cherished twin aspirations, it was not surprising that two men, General Keim, a retired officer of the army, and Count Ernst zu Reventlow, a retired officer of the navy, should be moving spirits in both organizations. General Keim, in his zeal to support Admiral von Tirpitz's big navy schemes, eventually went to such extremes in the pursuit of his duties as president of the Navy League that the organization's existence as a national association was momentarily threatened. It was giving the game away. Keim was thereupon removed from his position, to be succeeded by the Grand Old Man of the German Fleet, Grand-Admiral von Koester. Koester was suaviter in modo, but no less fortiter in re than Keim. Entering the presidency of the Navy League in the midst of the Dreadnought era, when Germany's dream of her "future upon the water" was sweetest, his systematic fanning of the public temper, especially against England, left nothing to be desired.

General Keim, deposed from the leadership of the Navy League, was presently kicked up-stairs by the German War Party and made president of the newly-formed "German Defense League." This association was organized to launch a national agitation in favor of increasing the German military establishment.

The methods which had caused Keim's "downfall" from the presidency of the Navy League were promptly employed by him in the new army league. With a host of influential newspapers and "war industry" interests at their back, plus the benevolent patronage of the Imperial family and Government, Koester and Keim carried out for six years preceding August, 1914, the most prodigious and audacious propaganda crusade in European history. Germany's need for "a place in the sun," on whatever particular chord they harped, was always their keynote. The "Defense League" scored its crowning triumph in 1913 by accomplishing the passage of the celebrated Army Bill whereby the land forces of the Empire were augmented at an expense of two hundred fifty million dollars--the immediate preliminary step to the assault of Europe by the Kaiser's legions.

Count Reventlow, a Jingo of Jingoes, rendered both the navy and army leagues valiant support in the columns of his newspaper, the Deutsche Tageszeitung, and in a regular grist of pamphlets and books which his facile pen from time to time reeled off. Reventlow was one of the archpriests of the War Party. A champion hater of everything foreign, he was temperamentally fitted to advocate the doctrine of Force and Germany's right to world-conquest by fire and sword. Count Reventlow, whom it was my pleasure to know intimately, hated England, France and Russia with a ferocity delightful to behold. His Francophobism was little diminished by his marriage to a charming French noblewoman. He hated America, too. I could never quite divine the gallant Count's reason for eating an American alive, in his mind, every morning for breakfast, and for despising us as cordially as he detested Mr. Winston Churchill, Monsieur Delcassé or the Czar, until he confessed to me one day that he lost a fortune through unfortunate speculation in a Florida fruit plantation. Thenceforth, apparently, Reventlow's anti-Americanism knew no bounds. It was more explosive than usual during his discussion of the Lusitania massacre, but it was pathological.

A pillar of the German War Party, whose name is almost entirely unknown abroad, is Doctor Hammann, chief of the notorious Press Bureau of the German Foreign Office and Imperial Chancellery. Hammann for twenty years, because one of the craftiest, has been one of the most powerful men in German politics. For two decades he survived the incessant vicissitudes and intrigues of the Foreign Office, which indeed were more than once of his own making. He was frequently credited with being "the real Chancellor" in Bülow's days because of his sinister influence over that suave statesman. Hammann's nominal duties were confined to manipulating the German press for the Government's purposes and to exercising such "control" over the Berlin correspondents of foreign newspapers as might from time to time appear feasible or possible. Himself a retired journalist of unsavory reputation--he was a few years ago under indictment for perjury in an unlovely domestic scandal--he seemed to his superiors an ideal personage to deal with the Fourth Estate, which Bismarck trained Germans to look upon as "the reptile press." Hammann's function, for the War Party's purposes, was to mislead public opinion, at home and abroad, as to the real intentions and machinations of Weltpolitik. Under his shrewd direction German newspapers, restlessly propagating the Fatherland's need for "a place in the sun," systematically distorted the international situation so as to represent Germany as the innocent lamb and all other nations as ravenous wolves howling for her immaculate blood. That Hammann is regarded as having rendered "our just cause" priceless service was proved only a few months ago by his promotion to a full division-directorship in the Foreign Office. He had hitherto ranked merely as a Wirklicher Geheimrat, or sub-official of the department, although as a matter of fact five Foreign Secretaries, "under" whom he nominally served, were mere putty in the hands of Germany's Imperial Press Agent-in-Chief.

Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz, of course, has for years been one of the super-pillars of the German War Party. The Kaiser's Fleet is the creation of von Tirpitz, though William II receives popular credit for the achievement, and von Tirpitz created it essentially for war. Von Tirpitz once honored me with a heart-to-heart confab on Anglo-German naval rivalry. He rebuked me in a paternal way for specializing in German naval news. Germany had no ulterior motive, he said. She was building a defensive fleet primarily, though one that would be strong enough, on occasion, to "throw into the balance of international politics a weight commensurate with Germany's status as a World Power." Von Tirpitz was the incarnation of the naval spirit which longed for the chance to show the world that Germany at sea was as "glorious" as centuries of martial history had proved her on land. German sailors chafed under the corroding restraint of peace. They hankered for laurels. They were tired of manning a dress-parade fleet, whose functions seemed to be confined to holding spectacular reviews for the Kaiser's glorification at Kiel. They hungered for "the Day." Von Tirpitz has denied passionately that they ever drank to "the Day" in their battleship messes. But it was the unspoken prayer which lulled them to well-earned sleep, for in consequence of the iron discipline and remorseless labor which von Tirpitz imposed on his officers and men in anticipation of "Germany's Trafalgar," the Kaiser's Fleet was the hardest worked navy in the world. No Armada in history was ever so perpetually "battle-ready" as the German High Seas Fleet. It was the Fleet which made its very own that other hypocritical German battle-cry, "The Freedom of the Sea," which means, of course, a German-ruled sea.

Von Tirpitz's task was not only to build the fleet but to agitate German public opinion uninterruptedly in favor of its constant expansion. To him and the Navy League, which he controlled, and to his Press Bureau and its swarm of journalistic and literary parasites, were due the remarkable Anglophobe campaigns which resulted in the desired periodical additions to the Fleet. A politician of consummate talent, von Tirpitz held successive Reichstags in the palm of his hand. No Imperial Chancellor, though nominally his chief, was ever able to override the imperious will of von Tirpitz the Eternal. Repeatedly in the years preceding the war England held out the hand of a naval entente. The War Party and von Tirpitz said "No!" And Armageddon became as inevitable as the setting sun.

I have enumerated only the outstanding figures of the German War Party. They could be supplemented at will--there are the men like Professor von Schmoller, of the University of Berlin, who foresees the day when "a nation of two hundred million Germans oversea would rise in Southern Brazil"; or Professor Adolf Lasson, also of Berlin, who proclaimed the doctrine that Germans' "cultural paramountcy over all other nations" entitles them to hegemony over the earth; or Professor Adolf Wagner, the Berlin economist, who excoriates compulsory arbitration as the refuge of the politically impotent and a dogma beneath the dignity of the Germany of the Hohenzollerns; or the whole dynasty of politician-professors like Delbrück, Zorn, Liszt, Edward and Kuno Meyer, Eucken, Haeckel, Harnack, or minor theorists like Münsterberg, who year in and year out preached the doctrine of Teutonic superiority, Teutonic invincibility and Teutonic "world destiny." These intellectual auxiliaries of the War Party in their day have sent tens of thousands of young men out of German universities with politically polluted minds. Their class-rooms have been the real breeding ground and recruiting camps of the German War Party.

And then, of course, in addition to the admirals who wanted war, and the professors who glorified war, and the editors, pamphleteers, Navy and Army League leaders and paid agitators who wrote and talked war, there was the German Army, represented by its corps of fifty thousand or sixty thousand officers, which was the living, ineradicable incarnation of war and with every breath it drew sighed impatiently for its coming. I suppose armies in all countries more or less constitute "war parties." But never in our time has an army tingled and spoiled for battle as sleeplessly as the legions of the Kaiser. It was written in the stars that it was only a question of time when they would realize their aspiration to prove that the German war machine of the day was not only the peer, but incomparably the superior, of the Juggernauts with the aid of which Frederick the Great and Moltke remapped Europe.

But the Grand Mogul of the German War Party, its pet, darling and patron saint, was Crown Prince William, the Kaiser's ebullient heir who contributed so conspicuously to Germany's loss of Paris in September, 1914. For ten years he was the apple of the army's eye. William II's oratorical peace palaverings long ago convinced his military paladins that their hopes could no longer with safety be pinned on the monarch who would do nothing but rattle his saber. "A place in the sun" could never be achieved by such tactics, they argued, so they transferred their affections and their expectations to the "young man" who cheered in the Reichstag when his father's Government was accused of cowardice in Morocco. They placed their destinies in the keeping of the Imperial hotspur who wrote in his book, Germany in Arms, that "visionary dreams of everlasting peace throughout the world are un-German." Their real allegiance was sworn henceforth to the swashbuckling young buffoon, who, taking leave of the Death's Head Hussars after two years' colonelcy, admonished them to "think of him whose most ardent desire it has always been to be allowed to share at your side the supreme moment of a soldier's happiness--when the King calls to arms and the bugle sounds the charge!" It was an open secret that when the Crown Prince was exiled to the command of a cavalry regiment in dreamy Danzig, far away from the frenzied plaudits of the multitude in Berlin, the Kaiser's action was inspired by the disquieting realisation that his heir was acquiring a popularity, both in and out of the army, which boded ill for the security of the monarch's own status with his subjects.

These, then, are the men, and these their principal methods, which provided the scenario for the impending clash. As with every great "production," preliminary plans were well and truly laid. Rehearsals, in the form of stupendous maneuvers on "a strictly warlike basis," had brought the chief actors, scene shifters and other accessories to first-night pitch. The stage managers' work was done. They had now only to take their appointed places in the flies and wings and let the tragedy proceed. The rest could be left to the puppets on both sides of the footlights. A month of slow music, and then the grand finale.



July in Berlin of the red summer of 1914 began as placidly as a feast day in Utopia. The electric shock of Serajevo soon spent its force. Germans seemed to be vastly more concerned over the effect of the Archduke's assassination on the health of the old Austrian Emperor than over resultant international complications. It was Sir Edward Goschen, British Ambassador in Berlin, previously accredited to the Vienna court, who recalled to me Francis Joseph's once-expressed determination to outlive his heir. The doddering octogenarian had realized his grim ambition.

The German Emperor returned to Berlin from Kiel on Monday, the 30th of June. Ties of deep affection united him to his aged Austrian ally. It was universally assumed that the Kaiser, with characteristic impetuosity, would rush to Vienna to comfort Francis Joseph and attend the Archduke's funeral. So, as events developed, he ardently desired to do; but intimations speedily arrived from the Hofburg that "Kaiser Franz" had chosen to carry his newest cross unmolested by the flummery and circumstance of State obsequies, and William II remained in Berlin for honorary funeral services in his own cathedral in memory of the august departed. Some day a historian, who will have great things to tell, may relate the real reason for the baffling of the Kaiser's desire to play the rôle of chief mourner at spectacular death-rites in the other German capital. He had telegraphed the orphans of the murdered Archduke and Duchess that his "heart was bleeding for them." Men who have an X-ray knowledge of Imperial William's psychology were unkind enough to suggest that he longed to parade himself before the mourning populace of the Austrian metropolis as Lohengrin in the hour of its woe, an Emperor on whom it were safer to lean than on the decrepit figurehead now bowed in impotent grief, with a beardless grand-nephew of an heir apparent as the sole hope of the trembling future.

Until the late Archduke Francis Ferdinand began to assert himself, William II's influence at Vienna had been profound. Francis Joseph liked and trusted him. Austria was frequently governed from Potsdam. With the great bar to his ascendency removed from the scene, the German Emperor may well have thought the hour at length arrived for the virile Hohenzollerns to save the crumbling Hapsburgs from themselves, and invertebrate Austria-Hungary from the Hapsburgs. But Vienna decided it was better the Kaiser should stay at home. His political physicians, on the evening of July 1, suddenly discovered that His Majesty was suffering from that famous German malady known as "diplomatic illness," whereupon the court M.D. dutifully announced, through the obliging official news-agency, that "owing to a slight attack of lumbago" the Kaiser would not attend the funeral of the murdered Archduke, "as had been arranged." Forty-eight hours later other "face-saving" procedure was carried out--the Viennese court proclaimed that by the express wish of the Emperor Francis Joseph, no foreign guests of any nationality were expected to attend the Royal obsequies.

On Monday, July 6, William's "lumbago" having yielded to treatment, there was sprung one of the most dramatic of all the coups which preceded the fructification of the German War Party's now fast-completing conspiracy. Although martial law was being ruthlessly enforced in Bosnia and Herzegovina and all Austria-Hungary was in a state of rising ferment over the "expiation" which public opinion insisted "the Serbian murderers" must render, the Kaiser's mind was made up for him that the international situation was sufficiently placid for him to start on his annual holiday cruise to the North Cape. Four days previous, July 2, though the world was not to know it till many weeks afterward, the military governor of German Southwest Africa unexpectedly informed a number of German officers in the colony that they might go home on special leave if they could catch the outgoing steamer. These officers reached Germany during the first week in August, to find orders awaiting them to join their regiments in the field. Notifications issued to Austrian subjects in distant countries were subsequently found also to bear date of July 2. Things were moving.

The Hohenzollern steamed away to the fjords of Norway with the Kaiser and his customary company of congenial spirits. The Government-controlled Lokal-Anzeiger and other journalistic handmaids of officialdom forthwith proclaimed that "with his old-time tact our Emperor, by pursuing the even tenor of his way, gives us and the world this gratifying and convincing sign that however menacing the storm-clouds in the Southeast may seem, lieb' Vaterland mag ruhig sein. All is well with Germany." Or words to that effect. Germany and Europe were thus effectually lulled into a false sense of security, for, as one read further in other "inspired" German newspapers, "our patriotic Emperor is not the man to withdraw his hand from the helm of State if peril were in the air." So off went the Kaiser to his beloved Bergen, Trondhjem and Tromsö to flatter the Norwegians as he had done for twenty summers previous and to shake hands with the tourists who always "booked" cabins in the Hamburg-American North Cape steamers in anticipation of the distinction the Kaiser never failed to bestow upon Herr Ballin's patrons.

The Kaiser's departure from Germany was particularly well timed to bolster up the fiction subsequently so insistently propagated, that Austria's impending coercion of Serbia was none of Germany's doing. The Hohenzollern had hardly slipped out of Baltic waters when Vienna's "diplomatic demarche" at Belgrade began. It was specifically asserted that these "representations" would be "friendly." Europe must under no circumstances, thus early in the game, be roused from its midsummer siesta. The official bulletin from the Hohenzollern read: "All's well on board. His Majesty listened to-day to a learned treatise on Slav archeology by Professor Theodor Schiemann. To-morrow the Kaiser will inspect the Fridthjof statue which he presented to the Norwegian people three years ago."

Austria-Hungary has a press bureau, too, and doubtless a Hammann of its own; now it cleared for action. While Vienna's "friendly representations" were in progress at Belgrade, the papers of Vienna and Budapest began sounding the tocsin for "vigorous" prosecution of the Dual Monarchy's case against the Serbian assassins and their accessories. The Serbian Government meantime remained imperturbable. Princip and Cabrinovitch, the takers of the Archduke and Duchess' lives, after all were Austrian-Hungarian subjects, and their crime was committed on Austrian-Hungarian soil. Serbia, said Belgrade, must be proved guilty of responsibility for Serajevo before she could be expected to accept it. Then the Berlin press bureau took the field. The Lokal-Anzeiger "admitted" that things were beginning to look as if "Germany will again have to prove her Nibelung loyalty," i.e., in support of Austria, as during the other Bosnian crisis, in 1909.

By the end of the second week of July the world's most sensitive recording instruments, the stock exchanges, commenced to vibrate with the tremors of brewing unrest. The Bourse at Vienna was disturbingly weak. Berlin responded with sympathetic slumps. To the Daily Mail in London and the New York Times I was able, on the night of July 10, to cable the significant message that the German Imperial Bank was now putting pressure on all German banks to induce them to keep ten per cent. of their deposits and assets on hand in money. On the same day an unexplained tragedy occurred in Belgrade: the Russian minister to the Serbian court, Monsieur de Hartwig, Germanism's arch-foe in the Balkans, died suddenly while taking tea with his Austrian diplomatic colleague, Baron Giesling.

Germany the while was going about its business, which at mid-July consists principally in slowing down the strenuous life and extending mere nocturnal "bummeling" in home haunts to seashore, forests and mountains for protracted sojourns of weeks and months. The "cure" resorts were crowded. In the al fresco restaurants in the cities, one could hear the Germans eating and drinking as of peaceful yore. The schools were closed and Stettiner Bahnhof, which leads to the Baltic, and Lehrter Bahnhof, the gateway to the North Sea, were choked from early morning till late at night with excited and perspiring Berliners off for their prized Sommerfrische. Herr Bankdirektor Meyer and Herr and Frau Rechtsanwalt Salzmann were a good deal more interested in the food at the Logierhaus they had selected for themselves and the kinder at Heringsdorf or Westerland-Sylt than they were in Austria's avenging diplomatic moves in Belgrade. Stock-brokers were only moderately nervous over the gyrations of the Bourse. Germans who had not yet made off for the seaside or the Tyrol felt surer than ever that war was a chimera when they read that Monsieur Humbert had just revealed to the French Senate the criminal unpreparedness of the Republic's military establishment.

Strain between Austria and Serbia was now increasing. Canadian Pacific, German stock-dabblers' favorite "flyer," tumbled on the Vienna and Berlin Bourses to the lowest level reached since 1910. Real war rumors now cropped up. Austria was reported to have "partially mobilized" two army corps. Canadian Pacifics continued to be "unloaded" by nervous Germans in quantities unprecedented. Now Serbia was "reported" to be mobilizing. It was July 17. England, we gathered in Berlin, was thinking only of Ireland. Berlin correspondents of great London dailies who were trying to impress the British public with the gravity of the European situation had their dispatches edited down to back-page dimensions--if they were printed at all. One colleague, who represented a famous English Liberal newspaper, had arranged, weeks before, to start on his holidays at the end of July. He telegraphed his editor that he thought it advisable to abandon his preparations and to remain in Berlin. "See no occasion for any alteration of your arrangements," was wired back from Fleet Street.

The German War Party, acting through Hammann, now perpetrated another grim little witticism. It was solemnly announced in the Berlin press--on July 18--that the third squadron of the German High Seas Fleet was to be "sent to an English port in August (!) to return the visit lately paid to Kiel by a British squadron." Britain's Grand Armada the while was assembled off Spithead for the mightiest naval review in history--two hundred and thirty vessels manned by seventy thousand officers and men. King George spent Sunday, July 19, quietly at sea, steaming up and down the endless lines of dreadnoughts and lesser ironclads. The Lord Mayor of London opened a new golf course at Croydon. And Ulster was smoldering.

Highly instructive now were the recriminations going on in the German, Austrian and Serbian press. Belgrade denied that reserves had been called up. The North German Gazette, the official mouthpiece of the Kaiser's Government, no longer seeking to minimize the seriousness of the Austrian-Serbian quarrel, expressed the pious hope that the "discussion" would at least be "localized." Canadian Pacifics still clattered downward. Acerbities between Vienna and Belgrade were growing more acrimonious and menacing from hour to hour. Diplomatic correspondence of historic magnitude, as the impending avalanche of White Papers, Blue Books, Yellow Books and Red Papers was soon to show, was already (July 20) in uninterrupted progress, though the quarreling Irishmen and militant suffragettes of Great Britain knew it not, any more than the summer resort merrymakers and "cure-takers" of Germany. The foreign offices, stock exchanges, embassies, legations and newspaper offices of the Continent were fairly alive to the imminence of transcendent events, but the great European public, though within ten days of Armageddon, was magnificently immersed in the ignorance which the poet has so truly called bliss.

Her "friendly representations" at Belgrade having proved abortive, Austria now prepared for more forceful measures. On July 21 Berlin learned that Count Berchtold, the Viennese foreign minister, had proceeded to Ischl to submit to the Emperor Francis Joseph the note he had drawn up for presentation to Serbia. As the world was about to learn, this was the fateful ultimatum which poured oil on the European embers and set them aglare, to splutter, burn and devastate in a long-enduring and all-engulfing conflagration. Simultaneously--though this, too, was not known till months later--the Austrian minister at Belgrade sent off a dispatch to his Government, declaring that a "reckoning" with Serbia could not be "permanently avoided," that "half measures were useless," and that the time had come to put forward "far-reaching requirements joined to effective control." That, as events were soon to develop, was an example of the diplomatic rhetoric which masters of statecraft employ for concealment of thought. It meant that nothing less than the abject surrender of Serbian sovereignty would appease Vienna's desire for vengeance for Serajevo.

During all these hours, so pregnant with the fate of Europe, the German Foreign Office was stormed by foreign newspaper correspondents in quest of light on Germany's attitude. Was she counseling moderation in Vienna, or fishing in troubled waters? Was she reminding her ally that while Serajevo was primarily an Austrian question, it was in its broad aspects essentially a European issue? Was the Kaiser really playing his vaunted rôle as the bulwark of European peace, or was Herr von Tschirschky, his Ambassador in Vienna, adjuring the Ballplatz that it was Austria's duty to "stand firm" in the presence of the crowning Slav infamy, and that William of Hohenzollern was ready once again to don "shining armor" for the defense of "Germanic honor"?

These are the questions we representatives of British and American newspapers persistently launched at the veracious Berlin Press Bureau. What did Hammann and his minions tell us? That Germany regarded the Austrian-Serbian controversy a purely private affair between those two countries; that Germany had at no stage of the imbroglio been consulted by her Austrian ally, and that the last thing in the world which occurred to the tactful Wilhelmstrasse was to proffer unasked-for counsel to Count Berchtold, Emperor Francis Joseph's Foreign Minister, at so delicate and critical a moment. Vienna would properly resent such unwarranted interference with her sovereign prerogatives as a Great Power--we were assured. Germany's attitude was that of an innocent bystander and interested witness, and nothing more. That was the version of the Fatherland's attitude sedulously peddled out for both home and foreign consumption.

Behind us lay a week of tremor and unrest unknown since the days, exactly forty-four years previous, preceding the Franco-Prussian War. The money universe, most susceptible and prescient of all worlds, rocked with nervous alarm. Its instinctive apprehension of imminent crisis was fanned into panic on the night of July 23, when word came that Austria had presented Serbia an ultimatum with a time limit of forty-eight hours. My own information of Vienna's crucial step was prompt and unequivocal. It was on its way to London and New York before seven o'clock Thursday evening, Berlin time. I was gratified to learn at the Daily Mail office in London three weeks later that I had given England her first news of the match which had at last been applied to the European powder barrel. It was five or six hours later before general announcement of the Austrian ultimatum arrived in Fleet Street.

I was not surprised to learn that my startling telegram had aroused no little skepticism. During many days preceding it was the despair of the Berlin correspondents of British newspapers that they seemed utterly unable to impress their home publics with the fast-gathering gravity of the European situation. London was no less nonchalant than Paris and St. Petersburg. England was immersed to the exclusion of everything else in the throes of the Irish-Ulster crisis. Mr. Redmond and Sir Edward Carson loomed immeasurably bigger on the horizon than all Austria and Serbia put together. In the boulevards, cafés and government-offices of Paris the salacious details of the Caillaux trial absorbed all thought. In St. Petersburg one hundred sixty thousand working men threatened an upheaval which bore an uncomfortable resemblance to the revolutionary conditions of 1905. But it was the invincible indifference of London, as it seemed in Berlin, which appealed to us most.

The newspapers of July 21, 22 and 23 came in and indicated that for England Ulster had become Europe. There was obviously little space for, and less interest in, dispatches from Berlin or Vienna describing the "undisguised concern" prevalent in those capitals. On July 21 I quoted "high diplomatic authority" for the statement that the pistol would be at Serbia's breast before the end of the week. But London remained impervious. More than one of my British colleagues, equally unsuccessful in stirring the emotions of his people, threw up his hands in resignation, muttering things about "British complacency," which would have come with poor grace from a mere American.

Since then it has occurred to me that England's sublime unconcern in the approach of Armageddon may have been more apparent than real. Sir Edward Grey's strenuous days and nights of telegraphing to his Continental ambassadors, as England's White Paper revealed, had set in as early as July 20, when he wired Sir Edward Goschen to Berlin that "I asked the German Ambassador today if he had any news of what was going on in Vienna with regard to Serbia." That was No. 1 in the series of historic dispatches comprising the official British record of the genesis of the war, which shows that there was no lack of anticipation of coming events, as far as Downing Street was concerned. So I am impelled to think that there may have been method in Fleet Street's "splashing" (Anglice for "featuring") pretty Miss Gabrielle Ray's entangled love affairs and minimizing the determination of Austria to plunge Europe into war. There is a fine spirit of solidarity in England concerning foreign affairs. British editors in particular traditionally refrain from crossing the policy of the Foreign Office, no matter what the party complexion of the minister in charge. They are accustomed to supporting it unequivocally either by omission or commission, as the interests of Great Britain from hour to hour suggest. Whenever an attitude of debonair detachment toward a given "foreign affair" is best designed to promote the country's diplomatic programme, Fleet Street can be insensibility incarnate, national esprit de corps effectually fulfilling the function of a censor. No one has ever told me that that is why the appointment of a new principal for Dulwich College received almost as much prominence on the morning of July 24 as news from Berlin, Vienna or Belgrade. My suggestion of the reason is a diffident surmise, pure and simple. It contributed materially, no doubt, toward making Germany believe that England was too "preoccupied" with Irishmen and suffragettes to think of going to war for her political honor.

But in Berlin things were now (July 24) moving toward the climax with impetuous momentum. On that day, summing up events and opinion in official and military quarters, I telegraphed the following message to London:

"'We are ready!' This was the sententious reply given today by a high official of the General Staff to an inquiry with regard to Germany's state of preparedness in the event that an Austro-Serbian conflict precipitates a European war.

"I am able to state authoritatively that the casus foederis which binds Austria, Germany and Italy in alliance would come into effect automatically the instant Austria is attacked from any quarter other than Servia.[1]

[1] The "assurances" given me by Foreign Office spokesmen, as reproduced in the foregoing telegram, were, of course, made at a moment when the German Government, no doubt quite sincerely, felt surer than it did ten days hence that the casus foederis which obligated Italy to join Germany and Austria in war would be recognized by her without quibble. Germany, as the world was so soon to find out, had convinced her own people that her war was a holy war of defense, but Italy, visiting upon her Triple Alliance partners the supreme condemnation of contemporary political history, deserted them on the palpable ground that their war was war of aggression, pure and unalloyed.

"I am further able to say that while Germany expects that war between Austria and Serbia is possible, owing to the admittedly unprecedented severity of the Austrian demands, this Government confidently hopes that hostilities will be confined to them.

"It would be going too far to say that 'war fever' prevails in Berlin to the extent it is reported to be rampant in Vienna. I find, however, even in circles to which the thought of war is ordinarily repugnant, that the imminent possibility of a European conflict is contemplated with equanimity. They say that Austria's resolute action has already cleared the atmosphere of long-prevailing 'uncertainty' which was gradually becoming insufferable. They declare in accents of relief that a situation has finally been reached where there can be no retreat. Far worse things, it is declared, are conceivable than the conflagration which Europe for years has half dreaded and half prepared for.

"Official Germany, nevertheless, does not believe that Russia will force the issue. It is argued that the matter at stake is entirely a domestic quarrel between Austria and Serbia and involves Pan-Slavism only indirectly. If Russia makes the controversy a pretext for assisting the Serbians, it is pointed out that 'the world's strongest bulwark of the monarchial principle would practically place the stamp of approval on regicide.' As suppression of regicide propaganda, root and branch, is the mainspring of the Austrian action, the German Government holds it is inconceivable that Russia could in such circumstances align herself with Serbia. If she does, and I am permitted to underline this phase of the crisis with all possible emphasis, the full strength of Germany's and Italy's armed forces are ready to be mercilessly hurled against her, and will be.

"A war against Russia would never be more popular in Germany than at the present moment. For months past the country has been educated by its most distinguished leaders to believe that an attack from Russia is imminent. During the past week Professor Hans Delbrück has been giving wide publicity to an 'open letter' received from a Russian colleague, Professor Mitrosanoff, containing the following passage:

"'It must not be forgotten that Russian public opinion plays a vastly different rôle than it did a decade ago. It has now grown into a full political force. Animosity toward Germans is in everybody's heart and mouth. Seldom was public opinion more unanimous.'

"Almost simultaneously Professor Schiemann, the Kaiser's confidential adviser on world politics, has heaped fresh fuel on the anti-Russian fire by declaring: 'We have reason to think that the underlying purpose of President Poincaré's visit to the Czar was to expand the Triple Entente into a Quadruple Alliance by the inclusion of Rumania against Germany.'

"The Bourse closed amid undisguised alarm and the wildest fears for what the week-end may bring forth. The public is inclined to remain reassured as long as the Kaiser consents to remain afloat in the Hohenzollern in the fjords of Norway, but he can reach German waters in twenty-four hours aboard the speedy dispatch-boat Sleipner, which is attached to the Imperial squadron.

"I asked a military man today what show of force Germany would make at the outbreak of hostilities involving her. He said: 'She could easily mobilize one million five hundred thousand men within forty-eight hours on each of her frontiers, east and west. That gigantic total of three million would represent only the active war establishment and reserves.'"



My long-standing preconceptions of Berlin as the phlegmatic capital of a phlegmatic people were obliterated for all time at eight-thirty o'clock on Saturday evening, July 25, 1914. Along with them went equally well-founded beliefs that, however incorrigible their War Party's lust for international strife, the German masses were pacific by temperament and conviction. When the news of Serbia's alleged rejection of Austria's ultimatum was hoisted in Unter den Linden, and Berlin gave way in a flash to a babel and pandemonium of sheer war fever probably never equaled in a civilized community, I knew that all my "psychology" of the Germans was as myopic as if I had learned it in Professor Münsterberg's laboratory at Harvard. Instantaneously I realized that the stage managers had done their work with deadly precision and all-devouring thoroughness. If the mere suggestion of gunpowder could distend the nostrils of the "peaceful Germans" and cause their capital to vibrate in every fiber of its being as that first real hint of war did, I was forced to conclude that the cataclysm now impending would find a Germany animated to its innermost depths by primeval fighting passions. Events have not belied the new and disquieting impressions with which Berlin's war delirium inspired me.

On the evening of July 25, after cabling to England and the United States accounts of the blackest Saturday in Berlin bourse history, I made my way to Unter den Linden in anticipation of demonstrations certain to be provoked by the result of the Austrian ultimatum, no matter whether Serbia had yielded or defied. I reached the Wilhelmstrasse corner, where the British Embassy stood, only a moment after the fateful bulletin had been put up in the Lokal-Anzeiger's windows. It read: "Serbia Rejects the Austrian Ultimatum!" That was not quite true--to put it mildly--as the world was soon to know that far from "rejecting" Count Berchtold's cavalier demands, Serbia bent the knee to every single one of them except that which called for abject surrender of her sovereign independence. But the huge crowds which had been gathered in Unter den Linden since sundown--it was now a little past eight-thirty o'clock and still quite light--knew nothing of this. All they knew and all they cared about was that "Serbien hat abgelehnt!" War, the intuition of the mob assured it, was now inevitable.

"Krieg! Krieg!" (War! War!) it thundered. "Nieder mit Serbien! Hoch, Oesterreich!" (Down with Serbia! Hurrah for Austria!) rang from thousands of frenzied throats. Processions formed. Men and youths, here and there women and girls, lined up, military fashion, four abreast. One cavalcade, the larger, headed toward Pariser Platz and the Brandenburg Gate. Another eastward, down the Linden. A mighty song now rent the air--Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser (God Save Emperor Francis), the Austrian national anthem. Then shouts, yelled in the accents of imprecation--"Nieder mit Russland!" (Down with Russia). The bigger procession's destination was soon known. It was marching to the Austrian Embassy in the Moltke-strasse. The smaller parade was headed for the Russian Embassy in Unter den Linden. In my taxi I decided to follow on to Moltke-strasse, and, crossing to the far side of the Linden, I came up with the rearguard of the demonstrators just opposite the château-like Embassy of France in the Pariser Platz. Gathered on the portico servants were clustered watching the "manifestation." At their hapless heads the processionists were shaking their German fists as much as to say that France, too, was included in the orgy of patriotic wrath now surging up in the Teutonic soul. It was a touch of humor in an otherwise overwhelmingly grim spectacle.

Through the entrance to the leafy Tiergarten, down the pompous and sepulchral Avenue of Victory, across the Königs-Platz with its Gulliverian statue of the Iron Chancellor and the Column of Victory, through the district whose street nomenclature breathes of Germany's martial glory--Roon-strasse, Bismarck-strasse and Moltke-strasse--the parade, now swelled to many times its original proportions, halted in front of the Austrian Embassy. Some self-appointed cheer-leader called for Hochs for the ally, for another stanza of the Austrian national anthem, for more "Down with Serbia," and for more yells of defiance to Russia. Opposite the embassy-palace towered the massive block-square General Staff building. From it there emerged, while the demonstration was at its zenith, three young subalterns. The mob seized them joyously, shouldered them and acclaimed them--the brass-buttoned and epauletted embodiment of the army on whom Germany's hopes were presently to be pinned. "Krieg! Krieg!" the war mongers chanted in ecstatic shrieks. Then "Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles," twin of the Austrian anthem as far as the melody is concerned, was sung with tremendous fervor. The crowd yelled for Emperor Francis Joseph's ambassador, the Hungarian Count von Szögeny-Marich, but, if he was at home, he preferred not to face the multitude. Presently a beardless young embassy attaché appeared at an open window--the physical personification of the allied Empire--and he almost reeled from the shock of the tumultuous shout hurtled in his monocled countenance.

For nearly an hour delirium reigned unbridled. Then the demonstrators betook themselves back to the Linden district, where they met up with more processions. Throughout the night, far into Sunday morning, Berlin reverberated with their tramp and clamor. My doubts as to the capital's temper toward war were resolved, my cherished confidence in the average German's fundamental love of peace shattered. Berlin is the tuning-fork of the Empire. As she was shrieking "War! War!" so, I felt sure, Hamburg and Munich, Dresden and Stuttgart, Cologne and Breslau, Königsberg and Metz, would be shrieking before the world was many hours older. And when the Sunday papers reported that "fervent patriotic demonstrations" had broken out everywhere the night before, as soon as "Serbia's insolent action" was communicated to the public, something within me said that only a miracle could now restrain war-mad Germany from herself plunging into the fray.

I have said that Armageddon was instigated by the German War Party. In substantiation of that charge let me narrate a bit of unrecorded history. About four o'clock of the afternoon of July 25--the day of orgy in Berlin above described--the Austrian Foreign Office in Vienna issued a confidential intimation to various persons accustomed to be favored with such communications that the Serbian reply to the ultimatum had arrived and was satisfactory. It did not succumb in respect of every demand put forth by Austria, but it was sufficiently groveling to insure peace. Foreign newspaper correspondents, to several of whom the information was supplied, learned, when they applied at their own Embassies for confirmation, that the latter, too, had been formally acquainted with the fact that Serbia's concessions were far-reaching enough to guarantee a bloodless settlement of the ugly crisis.

Vienna breathed a long, sincere sigh of relief. She had feared the worst from the moment Count Berchtold dispatched the Berlin-dictated ultimatum to Belgrade; but the worst was over now. Serbian penitence had saved Austrian face.

While correspondents were busily preparing their telegrams, which were to flash all over the world the welcome tidings that war had been averted, though only by a hair's breadth, the Austrian Foreign Office was telephoning to the Foreign Office in Berlin the text of Serbia's reply.

A certain journalist was on his way to the telegraph office to "file" his "story." The editor of a great Vienna newspaper, a friend, intercepted him.

"Well, what are you saying?" the editor inquired. "That it's peace, after all," replied the correspondent.

"It was peace," said the editor sadly, "but meantime Berlin has spoken."

*      *      *      *      *

The week of fate opened on Monday, July 27, amid general expectations that the worst had become inevitable. Popular alarm was not assuaged by the impulsive action of the Kaiser, contrary to the preferences of the Government, in breaking off his Norwegian cruise when Serbia's defiance was wirelessed to the Hohenzollern and rushing back to Kiel under full steam. "The Foreign Office regrets this step," reported Sir Horace Rumbold, acting British Ambassador at Berlin, to Sir Edwin Grey. "It was taken on His Majesty's own initiative and the Foreign Office fears that the Emperor's sudden return may cause speculation and excitement." It was, of course, characteristic of the monarch whom Paul Singer, the late Socialist chieftain, once described to me as "William the Sudden." "Speculation and excitement" are precisely what the Kaiser's dramatic return did precipitate. He did not come into Berlin, but retired to the comparative privacy of the New Palace in Potsdam, to engage forthwith in protracted council with his political, diplomatic, military and naval advisers. Meantime Berlin throbbed with forebodings and unrest. The Stock Exchange almost collapsed. Values tumbled by the millions of marks. Fortunes vanished between breakfast and lunch. Financiers suicided. Savings banks were besieged by battalions of nervous depositors. Gold began to disappear from circulation.

At the Foreign Office, newspaper correspondents were informed that the situation was undoubtedly aggravated, but not "hopeless." Germany's aim was to "localize" the Austrian-Serbian war, which was now an actuality. "All depends on Russia," Herr Hammann's automatons assured us when we asked who held the key to the situation. Germany remained, as she had been from the beginning of the crisis, merely "an interested bystander." Austria had not sought her counsel, and "none had been offered." It would have been an insufferable offense (said the Hammannites) for Berlin to intrude upon Vienna with "advice" at such an hour. Austria was a great sovereign Power, Count Berchtold a diplomat of sagacity and courage, and Germany's rôle was obviously that of a silent friend. She had very particularly "not been concerned" with the admittedly stiff terms the rejection of which had now, unhappily, resulted in war. All this we were told at Wilhelmstrasse 76 in accents of touching sincerity.

The attitude of the German public was now one of amazing resignation to the possibility of war. Men of affairs, who had during the preceding forty-eight hours in many cases seen great fortunes irresistibly slipping from their grasp, contemplated a European conflagration with incredible equanimity. I recall with especial distinctness the views expressed by my old friend, Geheimrat L., the head of an important provincial bank. "We have not sought war," he said, "but we are ready for it--far readier than any of our possible antagonists. Our preparedness, military, naval, financial and economic, is in the most complete state it has ever attained. Confidence in the army and navy is unbounded, and it is justified. For years the political atmosphere has been growing more and more uncomfortable for Germany (Geheimrat L. evidently longed for "a place in the sun," too), and we have felt that war was inevitable, sooner or later. It is better that it comes now, when our strength is at the zenith, than later when our enemies have had time to discount our superiority." Geheimrat L. and I were standing in Unter den Linden while he talked. Another procession of war-zealots tramped by, singing Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles. "You see," he said, pointing to the demonstrators and waving his own hat as the crowd shrieked "Hoch der Kaiser!", "we all feel the same way." Germany, in other words, while not exactly spoiling for war, was something more than ready for it and would leap into the ring, stripped for the combat, almost before the gong had called time. Events did not belie that fantasy, either.

Sir Edward Grey was now making eleventh-hour efforts to stave off fate. He was constrained to have Vienna view the Serbian imbroglio from the broad standpoint of a European question, which the Germanic Powers, of course, knew that it was. He proposed a conference in London between himself and the ambassadors of Germany, Russia, France and Italy, in the hope of settling the Austrian-Serbian dispute on the basis of Serbia's reply to Count Berchtold's ultimatum. "It has become only too apparent," the British Foreign Secretary wrote a year later in a crushing rejoinder to the German Chancellor's revamped and distorted version of the war's beginnings, "that in the proposal we made, which Russia, France and Italy agreed to, and which Germany vetoed, lay the only hope of peace. And it was such a good hope! Serbia had accepted nearly all of the Austrian ultimatum, severe and violent as it was." Herr Hammann's minions told us with pleasing plausibility of the reasons why Germany declined the conference proposal. "We can not recommend Austria," they said, "to submit questions affecting her national honor to a tribunal of outsiders. It would not be consistent with our obligations as an ally." That was subterfuge unalloyed, as was amply proved by Germany's subsequent refusal even to suggest any other method of mediation, in which Sir Edward Grey had promised acquiescence in advance. The War Party's plans were plainly too far progressed to tolerate so tame and inglorious a retreat. It was thirsting for blood, and was in no humor to content itself with milk and water. It was like asking a champion runner, trained to the second and poised on the starting tape in an attitude of trembling expectation of the "Go" pistol, to rise, return to the dressing-room, get into street clothes and cool his ardor for victory and laurels by taking a leisurely walk around the block. The Tirpitzes, the Falkehhayns, the Reventlows, the Bernhardis and the Crown Princes, lurking Mephistopheles-like in the background, leaned over Bethmann Hollweg and the Kaiser on July 28, while Sir Edward Grey's proposal was undergoing final consideration, and whispered in their ear an imperious "No!" Germany, as "evidence of good faith," the Wilhelmstrasse told us next day, was continuing to exercise friendly pressure "in the direction of peace" at both St. Petersburg and Vienna. But, as the Colonel said of Mr. Taft, Berlin meant well feebly. The mills of the war gods were grinding remorselessly, and they were not to be clogged.

Early in the evening of Wednesday, July 29, the Kaiser summoned a council of war at Potsdam. The council lasted far into the night. Dawn of Thursday was approaching before it ended. All the great paladins of State, civilian, military and naval, were present. Prince Henry of Prussia, freshly arrived from London, brought the latest tidings of sentiment prevailing in England. The Imperial Chancellor and Foreign Secretary von Jagow were armed with up-to-the-minute news of the diplomatic situation in Paris and St. Petersburg. Russia's plans and movements were the all-dominating issue. General von Falkenhayn, Minister of War, was prepared with confidential information that, despite the Czar's ostensible desire for peace and his still pending communication with the Kaiser to that end, "military measures and dispositions" of unmistakably menacing character were in progress on both the German and Austrian frontiers. Lieutenant-General von Moltke, Chief of the General Staff, was supplied not only with corroborative information of the imminency of "danger" from Russia, but with reassuring details of Germany's power to meet and check it. Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz, Secretary of the Navy, and Admiral von Pohl, Chief of the Admiralty Staff, were ready to convince the Supreme War Lord that the fleet was no less prepared than the army for any and all emergencies. There was absolutely nothing, from a military and naval standpoint, so the generals and admirals were eager to demonstrate, to justify Germany in assuming and maintaining anything but "a strong position."

Some day, perhaps, the history of that fateful night at Potsdam will be written, for there was Armageddon born. Its full details have never leaked out. So much I believe can be here set down with certainty--it was not quite a harmonious council which finally plumped for war. At the outset, at any rate, it was divided into camps which found themselves in diametrical opposition. The "peace party," or what was left of it, is said, loath as the world is to believe it, to have been headed by the Kaiser himself. Bethmann Hollweg supported his Imperial Master's view that war should only be resorted to as a last desperate emergency. Von Jagow, the innocuous Foreign Secretary, dancing as usual to his superiors' whistle, "sided" with the Emperor and the Chancellor. Von Falkenhayn and von Tirpitz demanded war. Germany was ready; her adversaries were not; the issue was plain. Von Moltke was non-committal. He is a Christian Scientist, and otherwise pacific by temperament. Prince Henry of Prussia did not at least violently insist upon peace. I could never verify whether the German Crown Prince was permitted to participate in the war council or not. If he was, posterity may be sure that his influence was not exercised unduly in the direction of a bloodless solution of the crisis. Herr Kühn, the Secretary of the Treasury, submitted satisfying figures to prove that, if war must be, Germany was financially caparisoned. From Herr Ballin came word that if war should unhappily be forced upon the Fatherland by the bear, the present positions of German liners were such that few, if any, of them would fall certain prey to enemy cruisers. Those which could not reach home ports would be able to take refuge in snug neutral harbors.

The next day, Thursday, July 30, I was able to telegraph my chiefs in London and New York that the fat was now almost irrevocably in the fire. The War Party's views had prevailed. The fiction that "Russian mobilization" was an intolerable peril which Germany could no longer face in inactivity had been so assiduously maintained that any reluctance to go to war, which may have lingered in the Kaiser's soul, was now overcome. The sword had literally been "forced" into his hand. Russia, it was decided, was to be notified that demobilization or German "counter-mobilization" within twenty-four hours was the choice she had to make. My information went considerably beyond this so-called "last German effort on behalf of peace." It was to the effect that while Germany had taken "one more final step" in the direction of an amicable solution of the crisis, she did not really expect it to be successful, and had, indeed, resorted to it merely in order to be able to say that she had "left no stone unturned to prevent war."

Germany was now in everything except a formally proclaimed state of war. Mobilization was not actually "ordered," but all the multitudinous preliminaries for it were well under way. As later developed, German reservists from far-off Southwest Africa were at that very moment en route to Europe on suddenly granted "leaves of absence." The terrible button at whose signal the German war machine would move was all but pressed. To prove it the super-patriotic, Government-controlled Lokal-Anzeiger let a woefully tell-tale cat out of the bag. It issued a lurid "Extra" at two-thirty P.M., categorically announcing that "the entire German army and navy had been ordered to mobilize." After the news had spread through Berlin like wildfire and sent prices on the Bourse tobogganing toward the bottom at the dizziest pace of all the week, the Lokal-Anzeiger twenty minutes later blandly issued another "Extra," explaining that through "a gross misdemeanor in its circulating department" the public had been furnished with "inaccurate news" about mobilization!

The good "Lokal's" news was not "inaccurate." It was only premature, for twenty-four hours later, on Friday, July 31, it was permitted, along with other papers, to flood the metropolis with another "Extra," officially proclaiming that Emperor William had declared Germany to be in a "state of war." The "Extras" added that the Kaiser would himself shortly arrive in Berlin from Potsdam. No one doubted now that the Fatherland was on the brink of grim and portentous events. War might only be a matter of hours, perhaps minutes. Instantaneously all roads led to Unter den Linden. Through it, now Oberster Kriegsherr indeed--Supreme War Lord is not an ironical sobriquet foisted upon the German Emperor by detractors, as many people think, but an actual, formal title--the Kaiser would soon be passing. History was to be made to repeat itself. Old King William I, returning to Berlin from Ems on the eve of the Franco-Prussian War made a spectacular entrance into Berlin under identical circumstances. The welcome to his grandson must be no less imposing and immortal.

I was fortunate enough to secure a reserved seat in the grandstand--a table on the balcony of the Café Kranzler at the intersection of Friedrichstrasse and the Linden. The boulevard was jammed. All Berlin seemed gathered in it. Presently the triple-toned motor horn of the Imperial automobile tooted from afar the signal that the Kaiser was approaching. A tornado of cheers and Hochs greeted him all along the Via Triumphalis. The Empress, at his side, smiled in token of the most spontaneous welcome the Kaiser ever received at the hands of his never overfond Berliners. The brass-helmeted War Lord himself was the personification of gravity. His favorite pose in public is uncompromising sternness; to-day it was the last word in severity. He did not seem a happy man, nor even so haughty as I always imagined he would be in the midst of war delirium. It was an unmistakably anxious Kaiser who entered his capital on that afternoon of deathless memory.

The Imperial show, smacking strongly of William's own stage management, had only begun, for now the Crown Prince's familiar motor signal, Ta-tee, Ta-ta, sounded from the direction of Brandenburg Gate, and presently he came along, with the beauteous and all-captivating Crown Princess Cecelie at his side. Squatting between them, saluting solemnly in sailor-suit, was their eldest son, the eight-year-old Kaiser-to-be. The ebullition of the crowd in Unter den Linden knew no bounds at the sight of the Crown Prince, for years Berlin's darling. In striking contrast to the Kaiser's solemnity was his heir's smile-wreathed face, which, in the picturesque German idiom, was literally freudestrahlend (radiant of joy). The specter of war was obviously not depressing the Colonel of the Death's Head Hussars. He beamed and grinned in boyish happiness as the mob surged round his car so insistently that for a minute it could not proceed. Right and left he stretched out his arm to shake hands with the frenzied demonstrators nearest him. The Crown Princess shared her consort's manifest pleasure, while the princeling saluted tirelessly. Then other cars whirled by, containing Prince and Princess August Wilhelm of Prussia and the remaining Princes, the sailor Adalbert, and Eitel Friedrich, Joachim and Oscar. The Hohenzollern soldier-family picture was to be complete at this immortal hour. Now there was a fresh outburst of acclamation almost as volcanic as that which greeted the Crown Prince. Admiral Prince Henry, in navy blue and steering his own automobile, was passing. The Kaiser's brother is very dear to the popular heart in Germany. As the Crown Prince typifies the army, so Prince Henry stands for the navy. The procession was brought up by the funereal Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg. For him the cheering was only desultory, as he is not a familiar figure, and many of the crowd obviously had no notion who the worried-looking old gentleman in silk hat and frock coat might be.

Soldiers in the making--aiming practice

The throngs now streamed toward the Royal Castle in the confident hope that William the Speechmaker would not disappoint them. About six o'clock in the evening their patience and Hochs were rewarded. Surrounded by the members of his family, the Kaiser appeared at the balcony window facing the Cathedral across the Lustgarten (this was more of the 1870 precedent) and, looking down upon the densest and most fervent crowd of his subjects he ever faced, addressed to them in the guttural, jerky, but wonderfully far-reaching tones which are his oratorical style, the following homily:

"A fateful hour has fallen upon Germany. Envious people on all sides are compelling us to resort to just defense. The sword is being forced into our hand. If at the last hour my efforts do not succeed in maintaining peace, I hope that with God's help we shall so wield the sword that we shall be able to sheathe it with honor.

"War would demand of us enormous sacrifices in blood and treasure, but we shall show our foes what it means to provoke Germany, and now I commend you all to God. Go to church, kneel before God, and pray to Him to help our gallant army."

Berlin went to bed on the night of July 31 hoarse with Hoching and footsore from standing and marching, but now indubitably certain that events were impending which would try the Fatherland's soul as it had never been tried before.



"The Russian mobilization menace!" That was the great myth now irrevocably fastened on the German mind. "The Cossacks at our gate!" Thus was the Fatherland gulled by its war zealots into the belief that the tide of blood sweeping down from the East could no longer be stemmed. German war history was repeating itself. As 1870 was born in deceit, so was 1914. Bismarck doctored the Ems telegram forty-four years previous to extenuate the assault on France, and now the "Russian mobilization menace," the Cossack bogy, was invented as justification for precipitating and popularizing the conflict on which the Prussian War Party's heart was set. A "state of war" had been decreed by the Kaiser in accordance with the paragraph of the Imperial Constitution which authorizes him to declare martial law whenever the domains of the Empire or any part of them are in jeopardy. The Czar's hordes were gathered on the Eastern frontier, preparing to launch a murderous, burglarious attack on innocent, defenseless, peace-loving Germany. They had done more than that--and here was another Hohenzollern 1870 analogy; the Emperor of all the Russias had "insulted" the Kaiser by feloniously massing his legions on the German border while William II, at Nicholas' own request, was "working for peace." It was a pretty story, and German public opinion, shrewdly prepared, swallowed it whole. Germans, their Emperor's "honor" and their own safety now at stake, approved fervidly the ultimatum which they were told had been presented at St. Petersburg, demanding abandonment of the Czar's "provocative" military measures.

I have too much respect for the perfected might of the Teutonic war-machine to believe that any German soldier worthy of the name ever considered Russian military movements along the Prussian and Austrian frontiers at the end of July, 1914, a "menace." It was only a fortnight previous that the German Military Gazette, the official army organ, had laughed the whole Russian army out of court as an organization hardly worthy of Prussian steel. Now the transfer of half a dozen Russian corps had become so vast a peril as to necessitate plunging the whole German Empire into a "state of war!" Everybody who had eyes to see and ears to hear in Germany, native and foreigner alike, always knew that actual mobilization in that country was the merest formality. The Germans were always ready for war. It was their commonest boast. A high officer of the General Staff, twenty-four hours after Serbia's rejection of the Austrian ultimatum, when asked how ready Germany was for eventualities, said, sententiously, "All ready." My Junker friend, Von G., of Kiel, himself a Prussian officer, would have snorted with scornful glee if I had ever suggested to him that any Russian military measures could really "menace" Germany. He knew what I knew, and what anybody with sense in Germany always understood, that, compared to what the Fatherland with its comprehensive system of military-controlled state railways could achieve in the way of final "mobilization," Russia would require weeks where Germany would need only days, or even hours. Germany would be like Texas, criss-crossed in every direction with faultless means of communication and crammed with troops and munitions, mobilizing against the rest of the United States, with the latter having to concentrate armies on the Rio Grande from Florida, Maine, Oregon and Lower California, and a shoe-string railway system with which to do it. The "Russian mobilization menace" was Germany's supreme bluff.

St. Petersburg had been given until twelve o'clock noon of Saturday, August 1, to "demobilize." Failing to do so, Germany would be "compelled to resort to a counter-mobilization." France had been called upon to indicate what her attitude would be in case of a Russo-German conflict, but the ultimatum to Paris, we understood, had no time limit attached. All knew that the great decision rested essentially in Russia's hands; that war with the Czar meant war with the French, too. Twelve o'clock Berlin time came and went without word of any kind from Count Pourtales, the Kaiser's ambassador in St. Petersburg. The Emperor and his civil, military and naval advisers were closeted in a Crown council at the Castle. Pourtales' message, if there was one, the Foreign Office told us, would doubtless reach the Kaiser in the midst of the council, which was a continuous one. Berlin waited in excruciating impatience. The Bourse writhed in panic. Bankers met to consider closing it altogether, but decided that the worst might be avoided by limiting transactions to spot-cash deals. The air was electric with rumor. Russia had asked for a further period of grace, one heard. Hope, report said, while slender, was not yet utterly vanished.

The afternoon passed in almost insufferable anxiety. Unter den Linden and the Lustgarten, the sprawling area around the Castle, were choked with people tense with expectancy. Dread, rather than war fervor, inspired them. About five-twenty o'clock, after one of the daily heart-to-heart war talks I had been privileged to hold over the teacups with Mrs. Gerard, I drove through the Wilhelmstrasse toward the Linden, accompanied by my English colleague, Charles Tower, Berlin representative of the New York World and London Daily News. I do not suppose the historic little spectacle was specially arranged in our honor, but as a matter of fact we happened to pass the Foreign Office at the very instant that Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg, grave with inconcealable worry, was entering a plebeian taxicab. He was evidently starting out on a transcendent mission, for he held in his hand a document of such absorbing interest that he hardly raised his eyes from it as he clambered into the cab. Accompanying him were Foreign Secretary von Jagow and a military aide-de-camp. I blush to confess that Tower and I were filled with such overweening curiosity to find out what that ominous parchment contained, and where the Chancellor was taking it, that we ordered our chauffeur to follow at not too respectful a distance. I never saw a Berlin taxi tear through the heart of the down-town district so madly as Bethmann Hollweg scorched down the Behren-strasse, past the banks which line Germany's Wall Street and the back of the Opera, into Französische-strasse, over the little bridge which spans the canal, and into the southern esplanade of the castle. Only small crowds were gathered at this point, and the Chancellor's cab swung past the sentries and through the big Neptune Gate of the Schloss almost unnoticed. Now instinctively certain of the nature of Bethmann Hollweg's errand, Tower and I made our way to the Lustgarten, since early morning an endless vista of faces stretching nearly all the way from the Dom to the Brandenburg Gate end of Unter den Linden, a mile to the west. We felt sure that the universally awaited Order of Mobilization might be momentarily expected. As events developed, that was the document which we had seen the Chancellor taking to the Kaiser. It was six o'clock. The doleful chimes of the Cathedral across from the Castle were summoning the people to the service of intercession ordained by the Emperor earlier in the day. Solemnity hung over the multitude like a pall. Men and women knew now that Russia's answer, or lack of answer, whichever it might be, meant war, not peace. They had not long to wait for confirmatory news. As soon as word was telephoned to the Wolff Agency, the official news bureau, that the Imperial signature had at length been officially given--that the sword was now, literally and beyond recall, "forced" into William II's hands--the newspapers, which had had sufficient advance information for their purposes, drenched the capital with Extrablätter containing the fateful tidings:

|                                  |
|      GERMAN ARMY AND NAVY!"      |
|                                  |

Another two lines explained, breathlessly, that an order to that effect had just been promulgated by the Supreme War Lord. The twelve-hour period which Germany had granted to Russia for "the making of a loyal declaration" had been ignored. To-morrow, added the chief announcement in the most portentous Extrablatt a German newspaper ever issued, would be the first mobilization day. All Sunday, Monday and Tuesday the Furor Teutonicus would be busy donning shining armor. The deed was done. "Gentlemen," the Kaiser is said to have remarked to Moltke, Falkenhayn and the rest of the military clique, after affixing his signature to the document which meant not only mobilization, but war, "you will live to regret this."

In the midst of our exclusively German environment in those immortal hours--we could now neither telegraph nor telephone in anything except German, nor even read in anything except that language, for foreign newspapers were no longer arriving--I must confess I was filled with no little prepossession in Germany's favor. The Kaiser's case seemed not only good. On the biased evidence available--we had, of course, no other--it even seemed strong. Such fragmentary dispatches from abroad as the Military Censor, already enthroned, permitted to be printed were naturally only those which resolutely bolstered up the fiction of "our just cause." Of the stealthy plot to violate Belgium we had no glimmer of an inkling. We knew only of the "Russian mobilization menace," of the Kaiser's wrecked efforts in the direction of "peace," and of the reluctance with which impeccable Germany was stripping for the fray in defense of her honor, rights and imperiled territorial integrity. Convinced as I had long been of the War Party's lust for "the Day," a setting appeared to have been contrived which put Germany in a plausible, if not altogether blameless, light. It was mass-suggestion, as a Berlin psychologist would describe it, all-hypnotizing in its effects. It was not until five days afterward, when I had crossed the German frontier, reached Dutch territory and come up with the truth that the curtain was lifted and I could look out upon what seemed, after ten days of "inspired" information in Berlin, like country which my eyes had never seen before....

In front of the Royal Castle, Berlin, waiting for announcement of mobilization, August 1st, 1914.

The Mobilization Order tore through the capital with the velocity and the shock of a shell. Expected, it yet stunned. The throng before the Castle still sang Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles and cheered for the Kaiser, and desultory processions of young men and boys still marched hither and thither across the town. But an atmosphere of soberness and grim reality now descended upon Berlin. The street-corner pillars which serve as bill-boards in Germany were already splashed red with the official decree, gazetting August 2, 3 and 4 as the days when the Kaiser's subjects, liable for military service with the first line (Reserve), must report at long-appointed assembly depots, don long-ready uniforms, and march each to his long-designated place in the long-prepared war. Almost simultaneously the telegraph, now like the railway and postal services automatically passed into military control, brought every reservist in the realm definite information as to where and when he was expected to present himself. The magic system which Roon devised for hurling Germany's legions across the Rhine in '70 was once again in mechanical, yet noiseless, motion. Sheer jubilation, the grand-stand patriotism with which Berlin had reverberated for a week, died out. There were good-bys to be said now, long good-bys, and affairs to be wound up. The iron business of war was waiting to be attended to. The crowds in Unter den Linden and the Lustgarten melted homeward, silently, immersed in anxious reflection. Before they waked from their next sleep, the first shot might be fired. On what new paths had the Fatherland entered? Would they lead to death or glory? Never before, I imagine, was the modern German, in his inimitable idiom, given so furiously to think.

The war began early Sunday morning, August 2. Before nine o'clock "Extras" were in the streets with the following official news, the very first bulletin of the war:

"Up to 4 o'clock this morning the Great General Staff has received the following reports:

"1. During the night Russian patrols made an attack on the railway bridge over the Warthe near Eichenried (East Prussia). The attack was repulsed. On the German side, two slightly wounded. Russian losses unknown. An attempted attack by the Russians on the railway station at Miloslaw was frustrated.

"2. The station master at Johannisburg and the forestry authorities at Bialla report that during last night (1st to 2nd) Russian columns in considerable strength, with guns, crossed the frontier near Schwidden (southeast of Bialla) and that two squadrons of Cossacks are riding in the direction of Johannisburg. The telephone communication between Lyck and Bialla is broken down.

"According to the above, Russia has attacked German Imperial territory and begun the war."

The "Russian mobilization menace" was now an accomplished fact, and the Cossack bogy, too, converted into an officially hall-marked actuality!

Modern war, from the newspaperman's standpoint, consists principally of two things--censorship and rumors. Both had now set in with a vengeance. The first day in Berlin swarmed with irresponsible report. People believed anything. Official news was scarce and "far between." The second General Staff bulletin to be issued was a laconic announcement that troops of the VIII (Rhenish) army corps had occupied Luxemburg "for the protection of German railways in the Grand Duchy." Eydtkuhnen, the famous German frontier station opposite the Russian border town of Wirballen, was now reported occupied by Russian cavalry detachments. A Russian had been caught in the act of trying to blow up the Thorn railway bridge. Now France--like Russia, "without declaration of war"--had violated the sacredness of German territory. French aviators had flown into Bavaria and dropped bombs in the neighborhood of Nuremberg, evidently with the intent of destroying military railway lines. Canard succeeded canard. The famed "German war on two fronts" was no longer a figment of the imagination. It had become immutable fact. Monsieur Sverbieff, the Czar's ambassador, we heard, had already received his passports. He would leave Berlin in the evening in a special train to the Russian frontier. When would Monsieur Cambon, the French ambassador, the Republic's accomplished representative in Washington during our war with Spain, be given his walking-papers? So far rowdies had yelled Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles only in front of the Russian Embassy. Now that French airmen had shelled Bavaria, how long would it be before the chateau in Pariser Platz would be stormed?

The British Embassy was wrapped in Sabbath calm. Was not Berlin reading with intensest gratification the Wolff Agency's carefully selected London dispatches saying that "powerful influences are at work to prevent England becoming involved in the war"? Mr. Norman Angell had written in that sense to The Times--the Lokal-Anzeiger reported with undisguised satisfaction. A large number of British professors, it added, had launched a "protest" against war with Germany, "the leader in art and science and against whom a war for Russia and Serbia would be a crime against civilization." A "great and influential meeting of Liberals in the Reform Club" had adopted resolutions commending Sir Edward Grey's efforts on behalf of peace and "energetically demanding the strict preservation of English neutrality." The Germans took heart. Blandly ignorant of their Government's secret diplomatic schemings, now in frantic progress, to keep Great Britain out of the fray, they were lulled by their rulers and doctored press reports into thinking that the danger of interference from the other side of the North Sea was as good as non-existent. The German Imperial Government practised this deception on their own people till the last possible moment. German newspaper readers, in those fitful hours, were being led to believe that the voice of Britain was the pacifist, pro-German voice of Radicalism as represented by journals like The Daily News, Westminster Gazette and The Nation. No intimation was permitted to reach the German public that voices like The Times, The Observer, The Daily Mail, The Morning Post and Daily Telegraph were calling for the only action by the Government consonant with British honor and British rights. The outburst of fanatical rage against the "perfidious sister nation" so soon to ensue was mainly due, I shall always remain convinced, to the diabolical swindle of which the German nation was the victim at the hands of its dark-lantern diplomatists. In that far-off day when the scales have fallen from Teutonic eyes, I predict that the Germans will call for vengeance on their deceivers. As they were duped about Russia, so were they deliberately misled about England.

Before the war was half a day old the spy mania, which was destined to be one of the most amazing symptoms of the war's early hours, was raging madly from one end of the country to the other. It was directly inspired and encouraged by the Government. The authorities caused it to be known that "according to reliable news" Russian officers and secret agents infested the Fatherland "in great numbers." "The security of the German Empire," the people were informed, "demands absolutely that in addition to the regular official organs, the entire population should give vent to its patriotic sentiments by co-operating in the apprehension of such dangerous persons." "By active and restless vigilance," continued this official incitement to lynch law, "everybody can in his own way contribute toward a successful result of the war." It was not to be expected that a nation so idolatrous of officialdom as the Germans could possibly resist this carte-blanche permit to every man to play the rôle of an avenging sleuth. The inevitable result was that Germany became in a flash the scene of a nation-wide "drive" for spies, real or imaginary. Anybody who was either known to be a Russian or remotely suspected of being one, or who even looked like a Russian, was in imminent danger of his life. Now the notorious story of "poisoning of wells in Alsace by French army surgeons" was circulated. "Hunt for French spies!" promptly read the newest invitation to mob violence. Weird "news" began to fill the Extrablätter. A "Russian spy" had been caught in Unter den Linden, masquerading as a German naval officer. After being beaten into insensibility, he was dragged to Spandau and shot. In another part of town a couple of Russian "secret agents," disguised as women, were caught with "basketfuls of bombs." They, too, we learned, were riddled with bullets an hour later at Spandau. Everywhere, in and out of Berlin, the spy-hunt was now in full cry. An automobile, in which women were traveling, was "reported" to be crossing the country, en route to Russia with "millions of francs of gold." The whole rural population of Prussia turned out to intercept it.

One of the earliest victims of the espionage epidemic was an American newspaperman, Seymour Beach Conger, the chief Berlin correspondent of the Associated Press, who had started for St. Petersburg, where he was formerly stationed, as soon as war became imminent, only to be arrested by the spy-hunting Prussian police at Gumbinnen on the charge of being "a Russian grand-duke." Conger's United States passport, unmistakable journalistic credentials, well-known official status in Berlin and convincingly American exterior availed him not. He had plenty of money and a kodak, and that was enough. He must be a spy. For three days and nights he was locked in a cell, and, even after he had contrived to establish communication with the American Embassy in Berlin, he had great difficulty in securing his release. It was eventually granted on the understanding that he should ignore the Associated Press' orders to proceed to Russia and remain in Berlin for the rest of the war, where, I believe, he still is. I was told, but could never verify, that one of the conditions of Conger's liberation was that he should not "talk about" the affair.

How many hapless persons, Russians, French or unfortunates suspected of being such, with nothing in the world against them more incriminating than their real or imagined nationality, were put out of the way either by German mob savagery, police brutality or fortress firing-squads in those opening forty-eight hours of Armageddon will probably never be known. I do not suppose the Germans themselves know. But this I know--that even at that earliest stage of their sanguinary game they conducted themselves in a manner which, had they done no other single thing during the war to stagger humanity, would brand them as a race of semi-barbarians. Kultur gave a sorry account of itself in the Hottentot days between August 2 and 5, of which I shall have more to say, of a peculiarly personal nature, in a succeeding chapter.

War Sunday in Berlin, midst rumor and spy-chasing, was marked by an impressive open-air divine service on the Konigs-Platz, that vast quadrangle of spread-eagle statuary and gingerbread architecture in which the sepulchral "Avenue of Victory" culminates. In the great area between the Column of Victory and the bulky Bismarck memorial at the foot of the gilt-domed Reichstag building a concourse of many thousands gathered to hear a court chaplain, Doctor Dohring, sermonize eloquently on a text from the Revelation of St. John, chapter II, verse 10: "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." It was a singularly appropriate theme, for hundreds of reservists, their last day in citizens' clothes, were in the throng. There was a moment of indescribable pathos, as the chaplain, from a dais which raised him high above the heads of the multitude, invoked the huge congregation to recite with him the Lord's Prayer. Strong men and women were in tears when the Amen was reached. The service was brought to a close with a beautiful rendition by that mighty chorus of the Niederländisches Dankgebet, the famous hymn which proclaimed at Waterloo a century before the end of the Napoleonic terror.

Nightfall found those seemingly immobile Berlin thousands still clustered, now almost beseechingly, round the Royal Castle. They hungered for an opportunity to show the Supreme War Lord that Kaiser and Empire were dearer than ever to German hearts in the hour of imminent trial. Just before dark, while his outlines could still be plainly distinguished even by the rearmost ranks of the crowd, William II, thunderously greeted, stepped out once more to the balcony from which he had told the populace two nights previous that the sword was being "forced" into his hand. He beckoned for silence. Men reverently removed their hats, and leaned forward on tiptoes, the better to hear the Imperial message. This is what the Kaiser said:

"From the bottom of my heart I thank you for the expression of your love and your loyalty. In the struggle now impending I know no more parties among my people. There are now only Germans among us. Whichever parties, in the heat of political differences, may have turned against me, I now forgive from the depths of my heart. The thing now is that all should stand together, shoulder to shoulder, like brothers, and then God will help the German sword to victory!"

No historian of Germany in war-time will be able to say that his people did not take the Kaiser's stirring admonition to heart.



On the occasion, nine or ten years ago, when it was my privilege to be presented for the first time to that most sane and suave of German statesmen, Prince Bülow--it was at one of his so-called "parliamentary evenings" at the Imperial Chancellor's Palace during the political season,--he inquired, pleasantly:

"How long are you remaining in Germany?"

"Just as long as Your Serene Highness will permit," I responded, half facetiously and half seriously, for foreign correspondents are occasionally expelled from Germany for pernicious professional activity.

For the ten days preceding August 1, 1914, while the European cloudburst was gathering momentum, such time as I could spare from the chase for the nimble item was devoted to patching up my journalistic fences in Berlin, with a view to remaining there throughout the war. There was at that time no conclusive indication that England would be involved. Having seen Germany in full and magnificent stride in peace, I was overwhelmingly anxious to watch her in the practise of her real profession. As an American citizen and special correspondent of three great American newspapers--the New York Times, Philadelphia Public Ledger and Chicago Tribune--and fully accredited as such in German official quarters, I had every reason to hope that, even if England were drawn into the war (as to which I, myself, was never in doubt), my previous status as Berlin correspondent of Lord Northcliffe's Daily Mail would not interfere with my remaining in Germany as an American writing exclusively for American papers. It was, of course, obvious that if this permission were granted me, my connection with the British news organization, which for years was Germany's bête noire, would have automatically to cease.

In Ambassador Gerard, as ever, I found a ready supporter of my plans. He recognized, as I did, that a "Daily Mail man," particularly one who had specialized, as I did for eight years, in publishing as much as I dared about Germany's palpable preparations for war, would perhaps be on thin ice in asking favors of the Kaiser's Government at such an hour. But Judge Gerard also knew that, while persistently doing my duty in reporting the sleepless machinations of the German War Party to attain "a place in the sun," I had written copiously in England and with equal faithfulness of the many attractive and favorable aspects of German life and institutions. In 1913 I produced a little book, Men Around the Kaiser, which from cover to cover was a sincere hymn of praise of almost everything Teutonic. This foreigner's tribute to the real source of modern German greatness--the Fatherland's captains of science, art, letters, commerce, finance and industry--was considered so fair and flattering to the Germans that Männer um den Kaiser, a German translation, went through eight editions to the two of the English original. During the Zabern army upheaval in Alsace-Lorraine in the winter of 1913-14 an article of mine in The Daily Mail entitled "What the Colonel Said" was the only presentation of the German military attitude published in England. Even the War Party newspapers in Berlin honored me with a reproduction of that attempt to interpret the Prussian point of view that, where the sacredness of the King's tunic is at stake, all other considerations vanish into insignificance.

The Ambassador suggested, in the always practical way of American diplomacy, that I should assemble for him a dossier of some of my newspaper work in Berlin showing that I had consistently attempted to show the bright, as well as the dark side, of the German picture. Judge Gerard promised to submit my desire to remain in Germany during war, if war came, to Foreign Secretary von Jagow and to recommend that my aspiration should be gratified. It was welcome news which the Ambassador was finally enabled to give me on August 1, that the Foreign Secretary had considered my application and granted it. I rejoiced that a long-cherished ambition seemed on the brink of realization--to see the terrible German war-machine at work, to report its sanguinary operations from the inside, and perhaps some day to record in a book, which would have been incomparably more vital than this bloodless narrative, my close-range impressions of man-killing as an applied art.

I was not the only American appealing to our Embassy for amelioration of my troubles about this time. In fact there were so many others--hundreds and hundreds of them--that the Ambassador and his small staff ceased altogether to be diplomats and became merely comforters of distracted compatriots plunged suddenly into the abyss of terror and helplessness in a strange land by the specter of war. From early morning till long past midnight Wilhelms Platz 7, the dignified home maintained by the Gerards as American headquarters in Germany, was besieged by a mob of stranded or semi-stranded fellow citizens who flocked to the Embassy like chicks running to cover beneath the protecting wing of a mother hen. Never even in the history of Cook's was so frantic a conclave of the personally conducted assembled. They wanted two things and wanted them at once--money and facilities to get out of Germany with the least possible delay. That bespectacled school-marm from Paducah, Kentucky, had not come to Berlin to eat war bread and spend her spare time proving her identity at the police station--she moaned in tearful accents. That aldermanic committee of Battle Creek, Michigan, was not getting what it bargained for--study of Berlin's sewage farms and municipal labor exchanges. Its main concern now was to reach Dutch or Scandinavian territory, with the minimum of procrastination. That portly Chicago millionaire's wife yonder, when she bought a letter of credit on the Dresdner Bank, had not figured even on the remote possibility of its refusing to hand her over all the money she might care to draw. The moment had come, she was vociferating, to see what "American citizenship amounts to, anyhow," and what she demanded was a special train to warless frontiers, and then a ship to take her "home." These were just a few of the plaints and claims which issued in a crescendo of insistence and panic from these neurotic tourist folk, who, in tones often more imperious than appealing, wanted to know what "Our Government" intended to do with its war refugees and refugettes cruelly trapped in Armageddonland.

Americans who come to Europe proverbially feel a proprietary interest in their Embassies, Legations and Consulates. The Berlin Ambassador for years put in much valuable time assuaging the grief and disappointment of brother patriots who felt a God-given right to gratify such trifling ambitions as an audience with the Kaiser, an inspection of the German army or minor favors like exploration of the German educational system under the personal chaperonage of the Minister for Culture. Then, of course, there was the ever-present "German-Americans," who, having slipped away from their beloved Fatherland in youth without performing military service, would risk a visit to native haunts in later life, only to fall victim to the German military police system which has a long memory and a still longer arm for such transgressors. On many such an occasion, even when, like a Chicago man I know, the "German-American" stole back under an assumed name, the paternal diplomatic intervention of the United States has saved the "deserter" from a felon's cell in his "Fatherland."

By the morning of August 4, the American panic in Berlin began to assume truly disastrous dimensions. The Embassy was literally jammed with fretting men, and weepy women and children. Every room overflowed with them. The cry was now for passports. It was coming from all parts of the country. All foreigners were suspect, English-speaking ones in particular, and the German police were demanding in martial tone that Ausländer should "legitimatize" themselves.

The railways were available now only for troops. The Hamburg-American and North German Lloyd had canceled all their west-bound sailings, and our Consular officials in Hamburg and Bremen were telegraphing the Berlin Embassy that they, too, were stormed by throngs of Americans in various stages of anxiety, fear and financial embarrassment. From Frankfort-on-the-Main came a similar tale of woe. All around that delightful city are famous German watering places--Bad Nauheim, Homburg, Wiesbaden, Langen-Schwalbach, Baden-Baden, Kissingen and the like--and American "cure-guests," regardless of their rheumatism, heart troubles, gout and other frailties for which German waters are a panacea, forgot such insignificant woes in the now crowning anguish to own a passport which would designate them as peaceable and peace-loving children of the Stars and Stripes.

The Embassy rapidly and patiently mastered the situation. Mrs. Gerard converted herself into the adopted mother of every lachrymose American woman and child squatted on her broad marble staircase. Mrs. Gherardi, the wife of our Naval Attaché, and Mrs. Ruddock, the wife of the Third Secretary, who were at the time the only feminine members of the Embassy family, resourcefully seconded the Ambassadress' efforts to soothe the emotions of the sobbing sisters and youngsters from Iowa and Maine, from Pennsylvania and Texas, from Montana and Florida, and from nearly all the other States of the Union, who refused to view qualmless the prospect of remaining shut up for Heaven knew how long in war-mad Germany, already effectually isolated from the rest of the world behind an impenetrable ring of steel. As for the men of the Embassy, from the Ambassador down to "Wilhelm," the old German doorkeeper who has initiated two generations of American diplomats into the mysteries of their profession in Berlin, no faithful servants of an ungrateful Republic ever came so valiantly to the rescue of fellow taxpayers. The Embassy apartments, including the Ambassador's own sanctuary, were turned into offices which looked for all the world like a Census Bureau. Every available space for a desk was usurped by somebody taking applications for passports or filling up the passports themselves, to be turned over to Judge Gerard in an unceasing stream for his signature and seal. Uncle Sam surely never raked in so many two-dollar fees at one killing in all the history of his Berlin office. Nor did American citizens, I fancy, ever part with money which they considered half so good an investment.

The Embassy itself, hopelessly understaffed for such an emergency, was, of course, quite unequal to the enormous strain suddenly imposed upon it, so volunteer attachés and clerks were gladly pressed into service. There, for instance, sat a Guggenheim copper magnate, who probably never lifts a pen except to sign a million-dollar check, at work with a mantel-piece as a desk, recording the vital statistics of a Vermont grocery-man who wanted a passport. In another corner sat Henry White, ex-Ambassador in Rome and Paris, scribbling away at breakneck pace, in order that the age, complexion and height of that trembling Vassar graduate might be quickly and accurately inscribed in an application for a Yankee parchment. There, with the arm of a chair as his desk, was Professor Jeremiah W. Jenks, great authority on political economy, currency and trusts, patiently extorting the story of his life from the coroner of the Minnesota county who had been caught in the German war maelstrom in the midst of an investigation of municipal morgues. What a vast practical experience of inquests he might have reaped had he remained in Europe! And over there, looking out on the Wilhelms Platz, with a window-sill as a writing-board, the Titian-haired belle of Berlin's American colony, in daintiest of midsummer frocks and saucy turbans, who had never in years done anything more strenuous than organize a tea-party, was in harness as a volunteer in the impromptu army of Uncle Sam's clerks, doing her bit for her country and country-folk. It was all very typically and very delightfully American, a composite of true Democracy in which one is for all, and all for one. I like to doubt if there are any other people on earth who turn in and help one another in a spirit of all-engulfing national comradeship so readily, so unconventionally and so good-naturedly as Americans. That drama of companionship in misery and adaptability to emergency conditions, which held the boards at the American Embassy in Berlin during the first week of the Great War, will live long in the memory of those who witnessed it as one of the striking impressions of a Brobdingnagian moment.

Obviously things would have been different if the crisis had not found two real Americans in command of the Embassy in the persons of Mr. and Mrs. Gerard. When the typical New Yorker whom President Wilson sent to Berlin less than a year previous was first presented to his compatriots at a little function at which it was my honor to preside, the man whom political detractors contemptuously referred to as "a Tammany Judge" made a "keynote speech," which he meant to be interpreted as his "policy" in Germany, as far as Americans were concerned. He said: "When the time comes for me to retire from Berlin, if you will call me the most American Ambassador who ever represented you in Germany, you can call me after that anything you please."

Two years--what years--have elapsed since "Jimmy" Gerard made public avowal of his conception of what United States diplomatic representatives abroad ought to be--Americans, first, last and all the time. As these lines are written German-American official relations seem on the verge of rupture and our embassy's remaining days in Berlin appear to be calculable in hours. Whether it shall turn out that the Arabic insult was after all swallowed as the Lusitania infamy was stomached, or whether Judge Gerard is finally recalled from Berlin as a protest extracted at length from the most patient, reluctant and long-suffering Government on record, he will richly have realized his ambition--to be "the most American Ambassador" ever accredited to the German court. In my time in Berlin I knew four American ambassadors. Each one was a credit to his nation. But "Jimmy" Gerard was "the most American," and I count that, in a citizen of the United States called to represent his country abroad, the superlative quality. The seductive atmosphere of a Court in which adulation was obsequiously practised, especially toward Americans, never turned the head of Judge Gerard or his wife. They had far more than the share of hobnobbing with Royalty which falls to the lot of diplomatic newcomers in Berlin. Princes and princesses came with unwonted freedom to Wilhelms Platz 7. They found the former Miss Daly, of Anaconda, Montana, being a natural young American woman, as much at ease in their gilded presence as she was the day before when presiding over the tempestuous deliberations of the American Woman's Club out on Prager Platz.

To me the Gerards, apart from their personal charm, unaffected dignity and joyous Americanism, always were psychologically interesting because they typified so splendidly that greatest of our national traits--adaptability. To be dropped into the vortex of European political life, with its gaping pitfalls and brilliant opportunities for mistakes, is not child's play even for the most experienced of men and women. France, for example, regarded no name in its diplomatic register less eminent than that of a Cambon fit to head its mission to Berlin. England kept at the Hohenzollern court the most gifted ambassador on the Foreign Office's active list--Sir Edward Goschen. Unthinking Americans, by which I mean those who underestimate our inherent capacity to land on our feet, may have had their misgivings when a mere Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York and the daughter of a Montana copper king were sent to represent America among professional diplomats of the highest European rank. But "Jimmy" and "Molly" Gerard made good. It is the American way, and because it is that, it is their way. As for the Ambassador, he has demonstrated, to my way of thinking, that a graduate course in the university of American politics is ideal training for diplomacy. Intelligence, tact, resourcefulness and courage, the rudiments of the diplomatic career, are qualities which surely nothing can develop in a man more thoroughly than the hurly-burly, rough-and-tumble, give-and-take of an American electioneering campaign. It is amid its storms and tribulations that a man learns to be something more than an inhabited dress-suit. It is there he acquires the art of being human. It is there that he comes to appreciate the priceless value of loyalty. United States Presidents do not err seriously when they hunt for ambassadors among men who have been through the preparatory school from which "Jimmy" Gerard holds a magnum cum laude.

My personal observations of Judge Gerard's ambassadorial methods are based for the most part on his career before the war. But he has not departed from them during the war. Bismarck laid it down as a maxim that an ambassador should not be "too popular" at the court to which he was accredited. From all one can gather, "Jimmy" Gerard has not laid himself open to that charge in Berlin since August, 1914. Nobody who knows him ever suspected for a moment that he would. Toadying is not in his lexicon, and aggressively pro-American ambassadors are condemned in advance to be disliked in Germany. They do not fit into the Teutonic diplomatic scheme. If they are inspired by such unconventional aspirations as those to which Judge Gerard gave utterance in his "keynote speech" to the American Luncheon Club of Berlin, it is morally certain that their usefulness--to Germany--is limited.

Mrs. Gerard.

The American Ambassador had been acting for Great Britain in the enemy's country barely thirty-six hours, when Sir Edward Goschen, Great Britain's retiring Ambassador in Berlin, in his official report on the knightly treatment accorded him and his staff during their last hours on German soil, wrote:

"I should also like to mention the great assistance rendered to us all by my American colleague, Mr. Gerard, and his staff. Undeterred by the hooting and hisses with which he was often greeted by the mob on entering and leaving the Embassy, His Excellency came repeatedly to see me, to ask how he could help us and to make arrangements for the safety of stranded British subjects. He extricated many of these from extremely difficult situations at some personal risk to himself and his calmness and savoir faire and his firmness in dealing with the Imperial authorities gave full assurance that the protection of British subjects and interests could not have been left in more efficient and able hands."

Nobody who ever knew "Jimmy" Gerard--that is the affectionate way in which old friends and even acquaintances of brief duration almost invariably speak of him--would expect him to be anything in the world except "undeterred" by the cowardly onslaughts of the Berlin barbarians. An expert swimmer, clever amateur boxer, crack shot, volunteer soldier and veteran of New York politics, "Jimmy" Gerard never knew the meaning of the word fear, and the unfailing courage with which he has "stood up" to the Kaiser's Government throughout the various crises of the war has been in full keeping with his virile temperament.

It is sometimes said that our diplomatic system, or such as it is, reduces American ambassadors and ministers to the status of messenger-boys, who have little to do but to carry back and forth between their offices and the foreign ministries to which they are accredited the communications and instructions which Washington sends them. There could, of course, be no more obtuse misconception. Berlin, the capital of Macht-politik, is particularly a capital in which everything depends on the manner in which a foreign Government's views are expressed or its wishes conveyed. It has not been my privilege to be behind the innocuous von Jagow's screen when "Jimmy" Gerard strolled across the Wilhelms Platz to the ramshackle old Auswärtiges Amt, to tell the German Government what Washington thought of this, that or the other of her recurring acts of lawlessness, but I vow that von Jagow has got to know Gerard for just what he is--an American from the top of his extraordinarily well-shaped head to the soles of his feet. The war has brought us many blessings. Among them we may count high the fact that at the capital of the enemy of all mankind we had, ready to speak up and to stand up for us, in gladness or vicissitude, a real man.

No story of our Berlin war Embassy would be complete without a reference to the Ambassador's lieutenants, who, inspired by his own example of unruffled good nature and limitless patience, capably played their own trying parts. At Judge Gerard's right hand was Joseph Clark Grew, First Secretary, Harvard '02, who, having shot wild beasts in the jungles of Asia, would naturally not quail before Germans, no matter how stormy the conditions. Grew is one of the exceptional young men in our diplomatic service, because, he has weathered its snares unspoiled. A distinguished secretarial career at such important posts as Cairo, Mexico City, Vienna, Petrograd and Berlin, in the course of which he frequently acted as Ambassador or Minister in charge, has left him, at thirty-five, as natural, human and American as no doubt many Harvard men are while still beneath the democratizing influence of the campus elms. I mention the preservation of these qualities in Grew because they have been known to disappear in many of our worthy young fellow countrymen, jumped precipitately from college into representative positions abroad, and who thenceforth refused to brush shoulders with anything beneath the rank of royalty.

In Roland B. Harvey and Albert Billings Ruddock, respectively Second and Third Secretaries, Judge Gerard was also the fortunate possessor of a couple of adjutants who, in the presence of emergency, showed that hustle and bonhomie, besides being American talents, are diplomatic traits of no mean order. To preserve calm during the passport stampede of the first week of August, 1914, was to exhibit the finesse of a Disraeli. Harvey and Ruddock are types of the younger generation of American diplomatists who go in for the career with a view to devoting themselves to its serious side and from among whom, some day, we ought to evolve a professional service worthy of the name. Neither of them ever struck me as being afflicted by such emotions as filled the breast of a certain well-known young man when promoted from a European first-secretaryship to one of our important ministerships in South America. "Well, old boy," I asked him, "what do you think about going to ----?" "Oh," he rejoined, "I suppose it's all right, but it's a h-- of a way from Paris!"

I must not end this chapter, which I hope is recognizable as a poor expression of gratitude to all concerned for many kindnesses rendered, without a mention of the youngest, but by no means the least meritorious member, of the Berlin war Embassy family--Lanier Winslow, the Ambassador's ever-ebullient private secretary. War sobered Winslow so rapidly that he committed matrimony before it was six months old. I can hear him now, in the midst of the passport panic, still imitating Frank Tinney or humming Get Out and Get Under, just as Nero might have done if Rome had known what rag-time was. At an hour when it was most needed, Lanier Winslow was a paragon of good humor, and altogether, by common consent, a thing of beauty and a joy forever.



Germany's war Juggernaut by the morning of Monday, August 3, was in full, but incredibly noiseless, motion. I always knew it was a magnificently well greased machine, geared for the maximum of silence, but I felt sure it could not swing into action without some reverberating creaks. Yet Berlin externally had been far more feverishly agitated on Spring Parade days at recurring ends of May than it was now, with "enemies all around" and that "war on two fronts," which most Germans used to talk about as something, Gott sei Dank, they would never live to see. One's male friends of military age--it was now the second day of mobilization--kept on melting away from hour to hour, but amid a complete lack of fuss and bustle. It almost seemed as if the army had orders to rush to the fighting-line in gum-shoes and that everything on wheels had rubber tires. As the Fatherland for years had armed in silence, so she was going to battle. We saw no seventeen-inch guns rumbling to the front. Those were Germany's best-concealed weapons. A military attaché of one of the chief belligerents, who lived in Berlin for four years preceding the war, has since confessed that he never even knew of the "Big Berthas'" existence!

Germany girding for Armageddon was distinctly a disappointment. I entirely agreed with a portly dowager from the Middle West, who, between frettings about when she could get a train to the Dutch frontier, continually expressed her chagrin at such "a poor show." She imagined, like a good many of the rest of us, that mobilization in Germany would at the very least see the Supreme War Lord bolting madly up and down Unter den Linden, plunging silver spurs into a foaming white charger and brandishing a glistening sword in martial gestures as Caruso does when he plays Radames in the finale of the second act of Aida. Verdi's Egyptian epic is the Kaiser's favorite opera, and he ought to have remembered, we thought, how a conquering hero should demean himself at such a blood-stirring hour. At least Berlin, we hoped, would rise to the occasion, and thunder and rock with the pomp and circumstance of war's alarums.

There was amazingly little of anything of that sort. The Kaiser instead automobiled around town in a prosaic six-cylinder Mercedes, as he long was wont to do, just keeping some rather important professional engagements with the Chief of the General Staff, the Imperial Chancellor and the Secretary of the Navy. As he flitted by, the huge crowds lined up on the curbstone stiffened into attitudes, clicked heels, doffed hats and "hoched." The atmosphere was stimmungsvoller than usual, for German phlegm had vanished along with high prices on the Bourse, but the paroxysm of electric excitement which I always fancied would usher in a German war was unaccountably missing. When you mentioned that phenomenon to German friends, their bosoms swelled with visible pride. They were immeasurably flattered by your indirect compliment that the Kaiser's war establishment was so perfect a mechanism that it could clear for action almost imperceptibly.

I had now deserted my home in suburban Wilmersdorf, which I nicknamed the "District of Columbia," for in and all around it Berlin's American colony was domiciled, and taken a room for the opening scenes of the war drama in the Hotel Adlon. With its broad fronts on the Linden and Pariser Platz, and the French, British and Russian Embassies within a stone's throw to the right and left, the Adlon was an ideal vantage point. If there were to be "demonstrations," I could feel sure, at so strategic a point, of being in the thick of them. Events of the succeeding thirty-six hours were to show that I did not reckon without my host on that score.

From window and balcony overlooking the Linden I could now see or hear at intervals detachments of Berlin regiments, Uhlans or Infantry of the Guard, or a battery of light artillery, swinging along to railway stations to entrain for the front. Occasionally battalions of provincial regiments, distinguishable because the men did not tower into space like Berlin's guardsmen, crossed town en route from one train to another. The men seemed happier than I had ever before seen German soldiers. That was the only difference, or at least the principal one. The prospect of soon becoming cannon-fodder was evidently far from depressing. Most of them carried flowers entwined round the rifle barrel or protruding from its mouth. Here and there a bouquet dangled rakishly from a helmet. Now and then a flaxen-haired Prussian girl would step into the street and press a posey into some trooper's grimy hand. Yet, except for the fact that the soldiers were all in field gray, (I wonder when the Kaiser's military tailors began making those millions of gray uniforms!) with even their familiar spiked headpiece masked in canvas of the same hue, the Kaiser's fighting men marching off to battle might have been carrying out a workaday route-march. Then, suddenly, a company or a whole battalion would break into song, and the crowd, trailing alongside the bass-drum of the band, just as in peace times, would take up the refrain, and presently half-a-mile of Unter den Linden was echoing with Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles, and I knew that the Fatherland was at war.

At the railway stations of Berlin and countless other German towns and cities at that hour heart-rending little tragedies were being enacted, as fathers, mothers, wives, sisters and sweethearts bade a long farewell to the beloved in gray. Only rarely did some man in uniform himself surrender to the emotions of the moment. These swarthy young Germans, with fifty or sixty pounds of impedimenta strapped round them, were endowed with Spartan stolidity now, and smilingly buoyed up the drooping spirits of the kith and kin they were leaving behind. "Es wird schon gut, Mütterchen! Es wird schon gut!" (It will be all right, mother dear! It will be all right!) Thus they returned comfort for tears. "Nicht unterliegen! Besser nicht zurückkehren!" (Don't be beaten! Better not come back at all!) was the good-by greeting blown with the final kisses as many a trainload of embryonic heroes faded slowly from sight beneath the station's gaping archway. Germany was now indubitably convinced that its war was war in a holy cause. The time had come for the Fatherland to rise to the majesty of a great hour. "Auf wiedersehen!" sang the country to the army. But if there was to be no reunion, the army must go down fighting to the last gasp for unsere gerechte Sache, manfully, tirelessly, ruthlessly, till victory was enforced. Such were the inspiring thoughts amid which the boys in field gray trooped off to die for Kaiser and Empire.

The outstanding event of August 3 was the publication of the German Government's famous apologia for the war, the so-called "White Paper" officially described as "Memorandum and Documents in Relation to the Outbreak of the War." Early in the afternoon a telephone message arrived for me at the Adlon to the effect that if I would call at the Press Bureau of the Foreign Office at five o'clock, Legationsrat Heilbron, one of Hammann's lieutenants whom I had known for many years, would be glad to deliver me an advance copy for special transmission to London and New York. I lay great stress on the fact that up to sun-down of August 3, 1914, I continued to be persona gratissima with the Imperial German Government. It was true that one of the young Foreign Office cubs told off to censor press cablegrams at the Main Telegraph Office had, during the preceding three days, expressed annoyance with what he considered my eagerness to "go into details," but Legationsrat Heilbron's invitation to fetch the "White Paper" was gratifying evidence that my relations with the powers-that-be were still "correct," even if not cordial. I was glad of that, because there was constantly in my mind the desire to remain in Germany, whatever happened, with a front-row seat for the big show. At the appointed hour I presented myself in Herr Heilbron's room on the ground floor of the Wilhelmstrasse front of the Foreign Office. He greeted me with old-time courtesy, though I found his demeanor perceptibly depressed. He handed me a copy of the Denkschrift, and, when I begged him for a second one, he complied with a gracious bitte sehr.

A London colleague had already intimated to me that the Imperial Chancellor, desiring to place the German case promptly and fully before the British and American publics, would "do his best" with the military authorities who were now in supreme control of the postal telegraph and cable lines to induce them to allow London and New York correspondents to file exhaustive "stories" on the White Paper. As I was sure, however, that Reuter's Agency for England and the Associated Press for America would be handling the affair at great length, my treatment of it was confined, as was usual under such circumstances, to telegraphing a brief introductory summary.

What struck me instantly as the hall-marks of the German publication were its treatment of the war as an exclusively Russian-provoked Russo-German affair and its brazenly ex-parté character--how ex-parté I did not fully realize till I read England's White Paper a week later. Sir Edward Grey laid his cards on the table, without marginal notes or comment of any kind, and asked the world to pass judgment. Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg's White Paper began with a lengthy plea of justification and ended with quotation of such communications between the Kaiser's Government and its ambassadors and between the German Emperor and the Czar as would most plausibly support the Fatherland's case for war. It was manifestly a biased and incomplete record. It was in fact a doctored record, and suggested that its authors had Bismarck's mutilation of the Ems telegram in mind as a precedent, in emulation of which no German Government could possibly go wrong.

Although compiled to include events up to August 1, the German White Paper was silent as the grave in regard to Belgium and the negotiations with the Government of Great Britain. Issued on the night of August 3, when hundreds of thousands of German troops were waiting at Aix-la-Chapelle for the great assault on Liége--if, indeed, at that hour they were not already across the Belgian frontier--this sacred brief designed to establish the Fatherland's case at the bar of world opinion had no single word to say on what was destined to be almost the supreme issue of the war. It was the last word in Imperial German deception. If the German public had known that Sir Edward Grey on July 30 had already "warned Prince Lichnowsky that Germany must not count upon our standing aside in all circumstances," I imagine its bitterness a few nights later, when the fable of England's "treacherous intervention" was sprung upon the deluded Fatherland, might have been less barbaric in its intensity.

Next to the omission of all reference to what Sir Edward Grey called Germany's "infamous proposal" for the purchase of British neutrality--a pledge not to despoil France of European territory if England would stand with folded arms while Germany violated Belgium and ravished the French Colonial Empire--the striking feature of the Berlin White Paper was the admission of German-Austrian complicity in the humiliation of Serbia. The Foreign Office, as I have previously explained, had zealously affirmed Germany's entire detachment from Austria's programme for avenging Serajevo. What did the White Paper now tell us? That

"Austria had to admit that it would not be consistent either with the dignity or the self-preservation of the Monarchy to look on longer at the operations on the other side of the border without taking action.... We were able to assure our ally most heartily of our agreement with her view of the situation, and to assure her that any action she might consider it necessary to take in order to put an end to the movement in Servia directed against the existence of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy would receive our approval. We were fully aware, in this connection, that warlike moves on the part of Austria-Hungary against Servia would bring Russia into the question, and might draw us into a war in accordance with our duties as an ally."

The historic and ineffaceable fact is that Austria--wabbly, invertebrate Austria, which would even to-day, but for Germany, lay prostrate and vanquished--never made a solitary move in the whole plot to coerce Serbia without the full concurrence of the big brother at Berlin. It would be an insult to the intelligence of German diplomacy, stupid as it is, to imagine that the Kaiser's Government sat mute, unconsulted and nonchalant, while Austria worked out a scheme certain, as the Germans themselves admit in their White Paper, to plunge Europe into war.

It was my privilege on arriving in the United States on August 22, to furnish the New York Times with the first copy of the German White Paper to reach the American public. In preparing a prefatory note to accompany the verbatim translation published in next day's paper, I selected the paragraph above quoted as primâ-facie evidence that the German claim of non-collusion with Austria is subterfuge--to give it the longer and less unparliamentary term.

The German White Paper was prepared formally for the information of the Reichstag, which was summoned to meet on Tuesday, August 4 of imperishable memory, for the purpose of voting $325,000,000 of initial war credits. Paris was not won in the expected six weeks, and the Reichstag has voted $7,500,000,000 of war credits up to this writing (September 1, 1915), with melancholy promise of still more to come. The twenty-four hours preceding the war sitting had not been eventless. Monsieur Sverbieff and the staff of the Russian Embassy were the victims of gross insults from the mob in Unter den Linden, as they left their headquarters in automobiles for the railway station. Mounted police were present to "keep order," but their "vigilance" did not deter German men and youths from spitting in the faces of the Czar's representatives, belaboring them with walking-sticks and umbrellas, and offering rowdy indignities to the women of the ambassadorial party. In front of the French Embassy menacing crowds stood throughout the day and night, waiting for a chance to exhibit German patriotism at Monsieur Cambon's expense. When Señor Polê de Bernábe, the Spanish Ambassador, who was calling to arrange to take over the representation of France during the war, made his appearance, the mob mistook him for Cambon and was just prevented in the nick of time from assaulting the Spaniard. How the French Embassy finally got away from Germany, under circumstances which would have shamed a Fiji Island government, was later related for the benefit of posterity in the French Yellow Book. When I read it months later, I remembered my first German teacher in Berlin, a noblewoman, once telling me, when I asked her how to say "gentleman" in German: "There is no such thing as a 'gentleman' in the German language." That was paraphrased to me by another German on a later occasion, when, discussing the ability of German science, so well demonstrated during this war, to devise a substitute for almost anything, he remarked: "The only thing we can't make is a gentleman, because we never had a proper analysis of the necessary ingredients." The Germans, in their communicative moments, always used to acknowledge that Bismarck was right when he called them "a nation of house-servants." It is impressively exemplified on their stage, which boasts the finest character actors imaginable; but when a German player essays to portray the gentleman, he is grotesque. He gropes helplessly in a strange and unexplored realm.

On the day before the war session of the Reichstag, the Kaiser, more conscious than ever now of his partnership with Deity, ordained Wednesday, August 5, as a day of universal prayer for the success of German arms. Soon after its proclamation, William II, thunderously acclaimed, appeared in Unter den Linden intermittently, en route to conference with high officers of state. He was clad, like every German soldier one now saw, in field-gray, and ready, one heard, to leave for the front at a moment's notice, to take up his post, assigned him by Hohenzollern warrior traditions, on the battlefield in the midst of his loyal legions. Mobilization was now in full swing, and more and more troops were in evidence, crossing town to railway stations from which they were to be transported east or west, as the Staff's emergencies required. A week before, all these soldiers were in Prussian blue. They were gray now, from head to foot, millions of them. Obviously the clothing department of the army had not been taken by "surprise" by the cruel war "forced" on pacific Germany. Three million uniforms can not be turned out in a whole summer--even in Germany. I thought of this, as gray streams, far into the evening, kept pouring through Berlin, and I thought what a marvelously happy selection that peculiar shade of drab-gray, of almost dust-like invisibility from afar, was for field purposes. To shoot at lines no more colorful than that, it seemed to me, would be like banging away at the horizon itself....

History, I suppose, will date Armageddon from August 1, when the German army and navy were mobilized, or perhaps from August 2, when Germany claims that Russia and France fired the first miscreant shots. But the red-letter day of the World Massacre's opening week was beyond all question Tuesday, August 4, which began with the war sitting of the Reichstag and ended with England's declaration of war on Germany. It was destined to be especially big with import for me--of vital import, as events hanging over my unsuspecting head were speedily to reveal.

At midday, two hours before the session of the Reichstag in its own chamber, Parliament was "opened" by the Kaiser personally in the celebrated White Hall of the Royal Castle. I had applied for admission after the few available press tickets were already exhausted, but it was not difficult for me to visualize the scene. I had been in the White Hall on several memorable occasions in the past--during the visit of King Edward VII in February, 1909, at a brilliant State banquet and at the ball which followed; at the wedding of the Emperor's daughter, "the sunshine of my House," Princess Victoria Luise, and Duke Ernest August of Brunswick, in May, 1913; and a month later during the Silver Jubilee celebration of the Kaiser's reign, when our own Mr. Carnegie showered plaudits on the Prince of the world's peace. Tower, of The World and Daily News, was lucky enough to secure a ticket to the Castle ceremonial, and he was bubbling over with excitement at having been privileged to participate in so memorable a function. My old friend, Günther Thomas, late of the Newyorker-Staatszeitung, now joyous in the prospect of joining the German Press Bureau's war staff, came back from the Castle almost pitying me for not having been there. "Wile, I tell you," I can hear him saying now, "it was beautiful, simply beautiful! You missed it! It was enough to make one cry!" Thomas lived in New York seventeen years, but he returned to Germany a more devout Prussian than ever, as a man ought to be whose father fell gloriously at Königgrätz.

The description furnished by my English and Prussian colleagues evidently did not exaggerate the splendor and impressiveness of the scene at the White Hall. The Kaiser, in field-general's gray, entered, escorting the Empress. He was solemn, but not anxious-looking. Around the marble-pillared chamber, where only fifteen months before I had seen the Czar and George V of England tripping the minuet with German princesses as the Kaiser's honored guests, were grouped the first men of the Empire. In the places of distinction, closest to the canopied throne, each according to his Court rank, stood the Imperial Chancellor, General von Moltke, Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz and a score of other eminent officers of the civil, naval and military governments. Among the foreign ambassadors only the representatives of Russia and France were missing from their old-time places. Mr. Gerard, modest and retiring as always, amid the glitter of gold lace and brass buttons flashing on all sides, cut a more than ever self-effacing figure in his diplomatic uniform--the plain evening dress of an American gentleman.

The Kaiser read his War Speech, which he held in his right hand, while the left firmly gripped his sword-hilt. Beginning in a quiet tone, His Majesty's voice appreciably rose in intensity and volume as he approached the kernel of his message which told how "with a heavy heart I have been compelled to mobilize my army against a neighbor with whom it has fought side by side on so many fields of battle." The Imperial Russian Government, William II went on to say, "yielding to the pressure of an insatiable nationalism, has taken sides with a State which by encouraging criminal attacks has brought on the evil of war." That France, also, the Kaiser continued, "placed herself on the side of our enemies could not surprise us. Too often have our efforts to arrive at friendlier relations with the French Republic come in collision with old hopes and ancient malice." And when the Kaiser had ended, with an invitation to "the leaders of the different parties of the Reichstag" (there were no Socialists present) "to come forward and lay their hands in mine as a pledge," the White Hall reverberated with applause which must have seemed almost indecorous in so august an apartment, but which, no doubt, rang true. It was then, I suppose, that Thomas felt like weeping, and so should I, perhaps, had I been there. The Kaiser, his handshaking-bee over, strode from the scene amid an awesome silence, and the statesmen, the generals and the admirals went their respective ways. All was now in readiness for the real Reichstag session, in which words of deathless significance were to fall from the Chancellor's lips.

We were accustomed to sardine-box conditions in the always overcrowded press gallery of the Reichstag on "great days," but to-day we were piled on top of one another in closer formation even than a Prussian infantry platoon in the charge. Familiar faces were missing. Comert, of Le Temps, Caro, of Le Matin, and Bonnefon, of Le Figaro, were not there. They had escaped, we were glad to hear, by one of the very last trains across the French frontier. Löwenton (a brother of Madame Nazimoff), Grossmann, Markoff and Melnikoff, our long-time Russian colleagues, were absent, too. Had they gained Wirballen in time, we wondered, or were they languishing in Spandau?

Doctor Paul Goldmann, doyén of our Berlin corps, was in his accustomed seat, beaming consciously, as became, at such an hour, the correspondent-in-chief of the great allied Vienna Neue Freie Presse. The British and American contingents were on hand in force. Never had we waited for a Kanzlerrede in such electric expectancy. "Copy" in plenty, such as none of us had ever telegraphed before, was about to be made. Goldmann, a Foreign Office favorite, as well as the all-around most popular foreign journalist in Berlin, may have had an advance hint what was coming, as he frequently did, but to the vast majority of us--British, American, Swedish, Dutch, Italian, Swiss, Spanish and Danish, sandwiched there in the Pressloge so closely that we could hear, but not move--I am certain that the momentous words and extraordinary scenes about to ensue came as a staggering revelation.

Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg, who is flattered when told that he looks like Abraham Lincoln--the resemblance ends there--began speaking at three-fifteen o'clock. Gaunt and fatigued, he tugged nervously at the portfolio of documents on the desk in front of him during the brief introductory remarks of the President of the House, the patriarchal, white-bearded Doctor Kaempf. The Chancellor's manner gave no indication that before he resumed his seat he would rise to heights of oratorical fire of which no one ever thought that "incarnation of passionate doctrinarianism" capable. What he said is known to all the world now; how, in Bismarckian accents, he thundered that "we are in a state of self-defense and necessity knows no law!" How he confessed that "our troops, which have already occupied Luxemburg, may perhaps already have set foot on Belgian territory." How he acknowledged, in a succeeding phrase, to Germany's eternal guilt, that "that violates international law." How he proclaimed the amazing doctrine that, confronted by such emergencies as Germany now was, she had but one duty--"to hack her way through, even though--I say it quite frankly--we are doing wrong!" Our heads, I think, fairly swam as the terrible portent of these words sank into our consciousness. "Our troops may perhaps already have set foot on Belgian soil." That meant one thing, with absolute certainty. It denoted war with England. Trifles have a habit at such moments of lodging themselves firmly in one's mind; and I remember distinctly how, when I heard Bethmann Hollweg fling that challenge forth, I leaned over impulsively to my Swedish friend, Siosteen, of the Goteborg Tidningen, and whispered: "That settles it. England's in it now, too." Siosteen nods an excited assent. It is in the midst of one of the frequent intervals in which the House, floor and galleries alike, is now venting its impassioned approval of the Chancellor's words. I had heard Bülow and Bebel and Bethmann Hollweg himself, times innumerable, set the Reichstag rocking with fervid demonstrations of approval or hostility, but never has it throbbed with such life as to-day. It is the incarnation of the inflamed war spirit of the land. The more defiant the Chancellor's diction, the more fervid the applause it evokes. "Sehr richtig! Sehr richtig!" the House shrieks back at him in chorus as he details, step by step, how Germany has been "forced" to draw her terrible sword to beat back the "Russian mobilization menace," how she has tried and failed to bargain with England and Belgium, how she has kept the dogs of war chained to the last, and only released them now when destruction, imminent and certain, is upon her.

All eyes in the Press Gallery are riveted on the broad left arc of the floor usurped by the one hundred and eleven Social Democratic deputies of the House of three hundred and ninety-seven members. For the first time in German history their cheers are mingling with those of other parties in support of a Government policy. That, after the Belgian revelation, is beyond all question the dominating feature of a scene tremendous with meaning in countless respects. There is nothing perfunctory about the "Reds'" enthusiasm; that is plain. It is real, spontaneous, universal. No man of them keeps his seat. All are on their feet, succumbing to the engulfing magnitude of the moment. That, it instantly occurs to us, means much to Germany at such an hour. It means that the hope which more than one of the Fatherland's prospective foes in years gone by has fondly cherished, of Socialist revolt in the hour of Germany's peril, was illusory hope. The Chancellor knows what it means. "Our army is in the field!" he declares, trembling with emotion. "Our fleet is ready for battle! The whole German nation stands behind them!" As one man, the entire Reichstag now rises, shouting its approval of these historic words in tones of frenzied exaltation. For two full minutes pandemonium reigns unchecked. Bethmann Hollweg is turning to the Social Democrats. His fist is clenched and he brandishes it in their direction--not in anger this time, but in triumph--and, as if he were proclaiming the proud sentiment for all the world to hear, he exclaims, at the top of his voice, "Yea, the whole nation!" Thus was Armageddon born. Germany, all present knew, would be at war before another sun had gone down, not only with Russia and France, but with England, and, of course, with Belgium, too.

"Supposing the Belgians resist?" I asked Schmidt, of the B. Z. am Mittag, a German colleague whom I once christened Berlin's "star" reporter, as we wandered, thinking hard, back to Unter den Linden.

"Resist?" he replied, half pitying the feeble-mindedness which prompted such a question. "We shall simply spill them into the ocean."



"We are not barbarians, my dear Wile!" exclaimed Günther Thomas, when we met in the Adlon after the Reichstag sitting, in reply to my query about the safety of correspondents of English newspapers, now that Germany was about to annex Great Britain as an enemy in addition to Russia and France. I had found Thomas during ten years of acquaintance the best-informed German journalist I ever knew. His long residence in Park Row had grafted a "news nose" on him, which, coupled with a profound knowledge of the history and present-day undercurrents of his own country, made him an ideal and valuable colleague. I treasure my relations with him in grateful recollection. One required occasionally to dilute both his news and views with a strong solution of skepticism, for Thomas was both a Prussian patriot and representative of Mr. Ridder's New-Yorker Staatszeitung. But nine times out of ten his counsel and information were like Cæsar's wife. His assurance to me on the evening of August 4, 1914, that his countrymen "were not barbarians" was the most misleading piece of news he ever supplied me.

The imminence of hostilities with England revived irresistibly in my mind the qualms which had filled the Germans for a week previous on this very point. "What will the English do?" was the question they constantly flung at any one they thought likely to be able to answer it intelligently. It was the thing which gave themselves the most anxious heart-searching. The "war on two fronts," the purely Continental affair with the Dual Alliance, filled the average German with no concern. The Kaiser's military machine had been constructed to deal with France and Russia combined, and no German ever for a moment doubted its ability to do so. Events of the past year, I think it may fairly be said, have justified that confidence, for I suppose no expert anywhere in the world doubts but that for the presence of British sea power on France and Russia's side, the German eagle would in all probability now be screaming in triumph over Paris and Petrograd. But with the British "in," dozens of Germans confessed, as my own ears can bear testimony, their case was "hopeless." Few of them were persuaded that Germany could, in Bismarck's picturesque phrase, "deal with the British Navy in Paris." While the prospect of having to fight France and Russia did not disturb the Germans, the possibility of having to battle with Britain simultaneously filled them with undisguised alarm. They would not admit it now, but in the fading hours of July, 1914, and the opening days of August, it was a nightmare which pressed down so heavily upon their consciousness that they never spoke of it except in accents of dread. The Hate cult had not yet toppled their reason. Lissauer's demoniacal ballad was still unwritten. In those anguished moments they talked of England, when not in terms of outright fear, as the "brother nation" of kindred blood and ideals with whom war was unthinkable because it would be nothing short of "civil war." Doctor Hecksher, a well-known National Liberal member of the Reichstag and Stimmungsmacher (henchman) of the Foreign Office, busily assured English newspaper correspondents of the "horror" with which the mere idea of conflict with England filled the German soul. I thought it queer that one of my last dispatches to London, before Anglo-German telegraphic communication snapped, containing Doctor Hecksher's views and mentioning him by name, was ruthlessly censored in Berlin and returned to me as untransmissible. That meant one of two things--that Doctor Hecksher was wrong in attributing to Germany overweening desires of peace with England, or that it was unwise to let me indicate that Teuton knees were quaking at the prospect of war with her. Certainly lachrymose expressions of hope that England would not feel called upon to "intervene" in Germany's "just quarrel" with her neighbors were common to the point of universality in Berlin on the eve of the clash. They were born of inherent conviction that German aspirations of imposing Hohenzollern hegemony on the Continent must and would be wrecked by England's adherence to her century-old policy of opposing so vital a disturbance in the balance of European power.

Uppermost in my mind just now was how to transmit at least the vital passages of the Chancellor's "Necessity knows no law speech" to The Daily Mail. A merely informative bulletin about it to the editor had just been brought back from the Main Telegraph Office by my faithful young German secretary, Arthur Schrape, with the message that "no more dispatches to England are being accepted." That was about six o'clock P.M., at least three hours before Berlin or the world generally had any knowledge that England and Germany were actually at grips. Communication with the United States, Schrape had been told, was still open, so the most natural thing in the world was to attempt to get Bethmann Hollweg's crucial statements to London by way of New York. Then followed a decision on my part which was to prove my undoing--I committed the diabolical and treasonable crime of calling up my friend and colleague, Mackenzie, the able correspondent of the London Times (like my own paper, The Daily Mail, the property of Lord Northcliffe), and discussing with him the feasibility of cabling the New York representatives of our respective papers to relay to London the news which we were unable to send directly from Berlin. We were telephoning in German, of course, as every one for three days past had been required to do, and we realized that practically every conversation, especially between highly suspicious characters like long-accredited Berlin newspaper correspondents, was being overheard by some spy with an ear glued to a receiver. Knowing all this perfectly well, we talked with entire freedom of our nefarious scheme for undermining the safety of the German Empire. Finally it was agreed that Mackenzie should come to my rooms in the Adlon and arrange with me there the text of a cablegram to New York which should bottle up the German fleet, encircle the Crown Prince's army and generally wreck the Kaiser's plans for subjugating Europe, even before the ink on the General Staff's plans was dry. We agreed that the surest way of striking this blow for England was to cable to New York a message whose veiled language would disclose to even the most stupid eye that it concealed a plot of heinous proportions. It was decided that we should concoct in cable language a cablegram reading like this:

"Chancellor just delivered importantest speech Reichstag. As communication England unlonger possible suggest your cabling Newyorks news."

Mackenzie, accompanied by his assistant, Jelf, now a volunteer-officer in Kitchener's army, arrived at the Adlon; we canvassed the New York suggestion in detail--amid such secrecy that Schrape, a very keen-eared German of twenty-two and a patriot, who is also serving his Kaiser and Empire in field-gray, was permitted to participate in our deliberations. Then we came to the most treacherous decision of all, viz., not to carry out our grandiose project for confounding the German War Party's plot. But we had gone far enough. We were discovered. Our machinations, though we knew it not, were seen through, our guns were spiked, and all that remained was to put us, as soon as possible, where we could do no further harm. Any number of Frenchmen and Russians were already in the same place.

Carelessly leaving behind me my typewriting-machine, fifty-pfennig map of the North Sea, copies of my preceding week's cablegrams, scissors, paste-pot, carbon-paper, the latest Berlin newspapers, and other telltale emblems of my infamy, I went to the American Embassy to discuss the latest and obviously greatest turn of the war kaleidoscope with Judge Gerard. There were a thousand and one questions to level at him. Was it true that Sir Edward Goschen had already asked him to take charge of Great Britain's interests? What would panic-stricken American war refugees do now, with British warships blockading the German coasts? Would it any longer be safe in Berlin for our people to talk their own language in public? Would the United States Government be making any declaration of neutrality, or something of that sort, to the German Government? Was the Embassy still in direct communication with Washington? Could it facilitate the transmission of our news-cablegrams to New York or Chicago? These were the things the journalistic brethren en masse were anxious to know--and I recall vividly that the Ambassador and his staff, despite a week of worries unprecedented, were still smiling and managing to reply to every question, however abstract or unanswerable, with invincible equanimity. I have since heard that there were fellow citizens who found Gerard, Grew, Harvey and Ruddock "inattentive." I suppose they were the patriots who couldn't understand why local checks on the First National Bank of Roaring Branch, Pennsylvania, "weren't good" at the Embassy, and who were "peeved" because the Ambassador couldn't tell them why Uncle Sam hadn't already started a fleet of dreadnoughts and liners-de-luxe to Hamburg and Bremen to rescue his stranded tourist family. Or one of the complainants, who was "going to write to Bryan" about our "inefficient diplomatic service," may have been that plutocratic dame from Boston who demanded that Gerard should at least be able to commandeer "a special train" for the Americans, even if every military line in all Germany was at that hour choked with troop-transports. And yet we Yankees rank in effete Europe as a cool-headed and common-sense race!

What dominated my thoughts, of course, was whether, after all, I was now to be allowed to remain in Germany. My desire to do so was never stronger--to sit on the edge of history in the making at such a moment. Judge Gerard resolved my doubts. I should "cheer up" and hope for the best. I tarried for a moment longer, to chat over the day's overwhelming developments with Mrs. Gerard, with whom I had not had my usual daily cup of tea and war conference. We wondered how long it would be before a formal declaration of war between England and Germany would be declared. I spoke of my pleasurable anticipation at being permitted to live through the mighty days ahead of us in Berlin with herself and the Ambassador. They would be experiences worthy of transmission to grandchildren. We agreed we should be privileged mortals, in a way, to be vouchsafed so tremendous an opportunity. I commented on Mrs. Gerard's amazing lack of fatigue after four days and nights of trials and tribulations with terror-stricken compatriots. She spoke of the lively satisfaction it had given her to be of service of so homely and homespun a character, and remarked that young Mrs. Ruddock had been "a perfect brick" through it all, an aide-de-camp whom a field-marshal might have envied....

Eight o'clock. Dusk had just fallen as I quitted the Embassy. A trio of servants clustered at the entrance was examining in the dim light a Tageblatt "Extra" which, they said, was just out. I fairly snatched at it. This is what it said:

|                                                |
|  RELATIONS WITH GERMANY                        |
|                                                |
|  The English Ambassador in Berlin, Sir         |
|  Edward Goschen, appeared this evening in      |
|  the German Foreign Office and demanded his    |
|  passports.  That denotes, in all probability, |
|  war with England!                             |
|                                                |

I ought not to have been surprised, yet I was shocked. So England now, at last and really, was "in it." The realization was almost numbing. I stood reading and reading the Extrablatt, over and over again. "Joe" Grew came hurrying up in his automobile. He, too, had the Tageblatt in his hand. He was hastening to tell the Ambassador the news. It was true, Grew said, beyond any doubt. Ye Gods! What next? The world's coming to an end, one thought, was about all there was left. And that seemed nearer at hand than any of us ever felt it before.

Berlin Mob Attacking British Embassy on the night of Aug. 4, 1914. (Drawn for the Illustrated London News from a description by the author.)

I started now for the English Embassy, across the Wilhelms Platz and down the Wilhelmstrasse four or five blocks to the north. From afar I heard the rumble of a mob, not a singing cheering mob such as had been turning Berlin into bedlam for a week before, but a mob obviously bent on more serious business. I reached the Behrenstrasse, two hundred feet away from the English Embassy. Though quite dark, I could see plainly what was happening. The Embassy was besieged by a shouting throng, yelling so savagely that its words were not distinguishable. They were not chanting Rule, Britannia! I was sure of that. It was imprecations, inarticulate but ferocious beyond description, which they were muttering. I saw things hurtling toward the windows. From the crash of glass which presently ensued, I knew they were hitting their mark. The fusillade increased in violence. When there would be a particularly loud crash, it would be followed by a fiendish roar of glee. The street was crammed from curb to curb. Many women were among the demonstrators. A mounted policeman or two could be seen making no very vigorous effort to interfere with the riot. It was no place for an Englishman, or anybody who, being smooth-shaven, was usually mistaken for one in Berlin. I did not dream of trying to run the blockade. The rear, or Wilhelmstrasse, entrance of the Adlon adjoins the Embassy. It would be easy to gain access to the hotel that way. I tried the door. It was locked. I rang. One of the light-blue uniformed page-boys came, peered through the glass, recognized me and fled without letting me in. I rang again. No one came. Wilhelmstrasse now was roaring with the mob's rage. Ambassador Goschen's subsequent report on this classic manifestation of Kultur described how he and his staff, seated in the front drawing-room of the Embassy, narrowly escaped being stoned to death by missiles which now flew thick and fast through every paneless window of the building.

Extra Edition of Berliner Tageblatt Announcing War With England

I hailed a passing horse-cab and told the driver to make for the Adlon by the circuitous route of the Voss-strasse, Königgrätzer-strasse and Brandenburg Gate. Ten minutes later I reached the hotel. I stepped to the desk and asked for Herr Adlon, Sr., or Louis Adlon, his son; said the Wilhelmstrasse mob might soon decide to hold an overflow meeting and attack the hotel premises, and that certain precautionary measures might be useful. The lobby of the hotel, I noticed, was rapidly filling up with American war refugees, of whom there was to be a meeting. I recognized a dozen or more anxious compatriots whom I had seen encamped at the Embassy during the preceding two or three days. The Ambassador was expected, they said, and they were hoping and praying to hear from him that the Government had at last effected adequate rescue arrangements. The frock-coated menial at the hotel desk, only a few hours previous servility itself, was unusually curt when I asked where the Adlons were. I did not think of it at the time, but his rudeness assumed its proper importance in the scheme of things as they later developed. I stopped to chat with Ambassador Gerard, who had just strolled in. Then I met another acquaintance, Count von Oppersdorff, the urbane Silesian Roman Catholic political leader, a familiar and welcome figure on our Berlin golf links. "So England has come in," remarked the Count. "Yes," I rejoined, "you hardly expected her to keep out, did you?" "Well," said Oppersdorff, with a meaningful look in his mild blue eye, "there will be many surprises--many surprises." That was a war prophecy which has come true.

I dashed up to my room to write a dispatch to The Times in New York and The Tribune in Chicago, which should tell briefly of the outbreak of war between England and Germany, and of the extraordinary scenes in front of His Britannic Majesty's embassy. A Lokal-Anzeiger "extra" was now available, with this "cooked" summary of the events which had precipitated the climacteric decision:

|                                                    |
|                                                    |
|  OFFICIAL REPORT.                                  |
|                                                    |
|  This afternoon, shortly after the speech of       |
|  the Imperial Chancellor, in which the offense     |
|  against international law involved in our         |
|  setting foot on Belgian territory was frankly     |
|  acknowledged and the will of the German Empire    |
|  to make good the consequences was affirmed,       |
|  the British Ambassador, Sir Edward Goschen,       |
|  appeared in the Reichstag to convey to            |
|  Foreign Secretary von Jagow a communication       |
|  from his Government.  In this communication       |
|  the German Government was asked to make an        |
|  immediate reply to the question whether it could  |
|  give the assurance that no violation of Belgian   |
|  neutrality would take place.  The Foreign         |
|  Secretary forthwith replied that this was not     |
|  possible, and again explained the reasons which   |
|  compel Germany to secure herself against an       |
|  attack by the French army across Belgian soil.    |
|  Shortly after seven o'clock the British           |
|  Ambassador appeared at the Foreign Office to      |
|  declare war and demand his passports.             |
|                                                    |
|  We are informed that the German Government        |
|  has placed military necessities before all        |
|  other considerations, notwithstanding that it     |
|  had, in consequence thereof, to reckon that       |
|  either ground or pretext for intervention would   |
|  be given to the English Government.               |
|                                                    |

It was this news--reiterating by the printed word what the Chancellor had unblushingly announced in the Reichstag: that military necessities had taken precedence of "all other considerations," including honor--which aroused the ferocity of the mob and incited it, amid mad maledictions on "perfidious Albion," to vent its fury by attempting to wreck the English Embassy. This German "official report," moreover, besides distorting the facts so as to place the onus for the outbreak of hostilities exclusively upon England, deliberately misstated the object of Sir Edward Goschen's visit to the Foreign Office. As we know from his famous dispatch on the last phase, he did not "appear" there "to declare war." England's declaration of war, as a matter of historical record, was not made until eleven P.M., or midnight Berlin time. The assault on the Embassy by Kultur's knife-throwing, stone-hurling and window-breaking cohorts was in full progress by nine o'clock. It began almost immediately after Sir Edward Goschen's return from his celebrated farewell interview with the Imperial Chancellor--the torrid quarter of an hour in which von Bethmann Hollweg, incapable of concealing Germany's rage over the wrecking of her war scheme, blackened the Teutonic escutcheon for all time by branding the Belgian treaty of neutrality as a "scrap of paper." Of all egregious words which have fallen from the lips of German "diplomats," von Bethmann Hollweg's immortal indiscretions of that day will live longest, to his own and his country's ineffaceable shame.

While at work on my dispatches in my hotel room--it was now about nine o'clock--I could hear Unter den Linden below my windows roaring with mob fury against Britain. "Krämer-volk!" (Peddler nation!) "Rassen-Verrat!" (Race treachery!) "Nieder mit England!" (Down with England!) "Tod den Engländer!" (Death to the English!) were the shouts which burst forth in mad chorus. I have never hunted beasts in the jungle. Never have my ears been smitten with the snarl and growl of wild animals at bay. I never heard the horizon ring with the tumult of howling dervishes plunging fanatically to the attack. But the populace of Berlin seemed to me at that moment to be giving a vivid composite imitation of them all. Certainly no civilized community on earth ever surrendered so completely to all-obsessing brute fury as the war mob which thirsted for British blood in "Athens-on-the-Spree" on the night of August 4, 1914. It gave vent to all the animal passions and breathed the murder instinct said to be inherent in the average human when unreasoning rage temporarily supplants sanity. If it had caught sight of or could have laid hands on Sir Edward Goschen, or any one else identifiable as an Engländer, it would undoubtedly have torn him limb from limb. The Germans may not be the modern personification of the Huns, but the savagery to which their Imperial capital ruthlessly resigned itself on the threshold of war with England justifies the belief that they have inherited some of the characteristics of Attila's fiends. Next morning's Berlin papers explained in all seriousness, on police authority, that the mob "infuriated" because persons in the English Embassy had thrown "beggars' pennies" from the windows--a ludicrous falsehood.

Half an hour later I came down-stairs to motor to the Main Telegraph Office with my American cables. No sooner had I stepped to the threshold of the hotel than three policemen grabbed me--one pinioning my right arm, another my left, and the third gripping me by the back of the neck. All around the hotel entrance stood gesticulating Germans yelling, like Comanche Indians, "Englischer Spion! Nach Spandau mit ihm!" (English spy! To Spandau with him!) In far less time than it takes me to tell it, my captors, who had now drawn their sabers to "protect" me, as they explained, from the murderous intentions of the mob, tossed me into the rear seat of an open taxicab waiting at the curb. They allowed sufficient time to elapse for the mob, which now encircled the cab shouting "Englischer Hund!" (English dog!) "Schiesst den Spion!" (Shoot the spy!) and other cheery greetings, to cool its passions on my hapless head and body with fisticuffs and canes, while a misdirected upper-cut from a youth, aimed squarely at my jaw, did nothing but knock my hat into the bottom of the car and send my eye-glasses splintered and spinning to the same destination. The police, still covering me with their sabers, shoved me to the floor of the car and gave orders to the driver to make post-haste for the Mittel-strasse police station, half a dozen blocks away. The power of speech having temporarily returned--I wonder if my readers will regard it a humiliating confession if I acknowledge that cold chills were now chasing up and down my spine?--I ventured to ask the policemen to whom or to what I was indebted for this "striking" token of their solicitude.

"You know perfectly well why you're here," replied the giant who was gripping me by the right arm as if I might be contemplating escape from the lower regions of the taxi by falling through or flying away. "The mob heard the Adlon was full of English spies, and they were waiting for you to come out. They'd have killed you on the spot if we hadn't been there to rescue you." That was, of course, simply an absurd lie, as fast-crowding events of the succeeding night were to demonstrate. I was arrested because I had been denounced, in all formality, as a spy. If the German authorities are inclined to assert the contrary, I refer them, without permission, to the document reproduced opposite this page--the official and original denunciation obligingly slipped by mistake into my handbag of personal belongings at the Police-Presidency later in the night, when, on the demand of the American Ambassador, I was precipitately released from custody. Doctor Otto Sprenger, of Bremen, was one of the police spies stationed either in the Hotel Adlon, or at a wire therewith connected, to overhear conversations, and who, in the hour of his country's extremities, struck a herculean blow for Kaiser and Empire by catching Mackenzie (Kingsley is as near as he could get the name) and myself in our telephonic plot to frustrate Germany's war plans.

I was still remonstrating with the police about the absurdity of my arrest when the taxi pulled up in front of Mittel-strasse station. Evidently news of our impending arrival had preceded us, for another gang of shouting patriots was assembled in front of the station and proceeded to bestow upon me the same sort of a welcome as I received at the hands of the mob in Unter den Linden. Still "protecting" me with their drawn sabers, my guardians contrived to push and drag me into the station-house and up one flight of stairs to headquarters before the crowd had done anything more serious than crack me over the head and shoulders half a dozen times. I was then led into the back room of the station, where, as I soon saw, pickpockets and other criminals are taken to be stripped and searched, and was ordered to sit down in the midst of a group of twenty policemen, who eyed me with glances mingling contempt and murderous intent.

Facsimile of Original Denunciation of the Author as an "English Spy"

I had partially recovered my equilibrium after my somewhat exciting experiences of the previous ten minutes and found myself able to talk dispassionately to a courteous young lieutenant of police who was in charge of the station. I told him I was not only an American, but a long-time resident of Berlin, with a home of my own in Wilmersdorf, and that if he would communicate with his superior, Doctor Henninger, chief of the political police, who had known me for years, he would soon be able to convince himself that a grotesque mistake had been made in arresting me as an "English spy." The lieutenant, who, I should think, was the only man in all Berlin who had not yet entirely lost his reason, asked me politely for my papers and other credentials. I handed him my American passport, newly-issued at the Embassy a few days before, a visiting-card bearing my Berlin home address, one or two copies of my most recent news telegrams to London and New York, which I happened to have with me, my correspondent's identification card stamped by the Berlin police department, and finally a letter which I had been carrying with me during the war crisis for precisely some such emergency--a communication sent me from the Imperial yacht in the summer of 1913, acknowledging in gracious terms a copy of Men Around the Kaiser, which William II had deigned to accept at my hands. The police lieutenant almost clicked heels and came to the salute when he saw that his prisoner was the possessor of so priceless a document. He asked me to "calm" myself and await developments. "Es wird schon gut sein." Which in real language means that "everything will be all right."

As their superior officer had not lopped off my head on sight, and even condescended to hold courteous converse with the "spy," the group of policemen in whose midst I found myself now warmed up to me perceptibly.

"You are an American, eh?" ejaculated one of them. "I wonder if you know my brother in Minnesota? His name is Paul Richter."

I was genuinely sorry I had never met Herr Richter--probably he did not live in the Red River Valley, which was the only part of Minnesota I knew, I explained. I knew some Richters in my native county of La Porte, Indiana, but they had never claimed the honor, to my knowledge, of having a brother in the Kaiser's police. While Schutzmann Richter and I were doing our best to discover that the world is small, noise of fresh commotion, such as had greeted my own arrival at the station, ascended from the street. Apparently a fresh "bag" had come in. A second later, of all people on earth, who should be pushed into the room, with three policemen at his neck and arms, but my very disheveled friend, Tower. He was hatless, his collar and tie were awry, every hair of his Goethe-like blond head was on end, and he cut altogether the figure of a very much perturbed young man. There were no mirrors about, so I can not say with certainty how I myself looked, but I am sure I could have easily been mistaken for Tower's twin at that moment. Partners in misery and anxiety we certainly were. Tower, it appeared, was denounced to the spy-hunters at the Adlon by a chauffeur he had engaged to drive him a day or two before--the man who piloted the machine which was hired out to Adlon guests at fancy rates per hour. Presently the chauffeur himself bounded into the room, shouting like a madman. "Now we've got him--the damned English cur!" he snarled, shaking his fist, first in Tower's face, and then, recognizing me, in mine, with an oath and a "You, too, pig-dog!" The chauffeur now ranted his reasons for denouncing both Tower and me. "I'm an old African soldier!" he yelled. "I know these contemptible Engländer. This Tower (he called it Toever, which was the way Germans used phonetically to pronounce a former American ambassador's name) is the notorious Times correspondent!" Tower impetuously denied this soft impeachment, and pointed out that instead of being the Thunderer's representative, he was the correspondent of the Daily News, "the only Germanophile English newspaper." Tower himself was never Germanophile, but it was grasping at a legitimate straw so to describe his London paper. I could not conscientiously identify The Daily Mail as deutschfreundlich, or, I regretfully mused, it might be the means of saving my neck.

Now there was more noise from the lower regions. Whom had they nabbed this time. Astonished as I was to see Tower marched in, I fairly gasped when the newest batch of prisoners was shoved into the room, for it was headed by my young secretary, Schrape, and included Mrs. Hensel, a gray-haired German-American lady and an old Berlin friend of my family, and Miles Bouton, of the local staff of the Associated Press. Schrape and Mrs. Hensel had been denounced at the Adlon as my accomplices in espionage--Schrape for obvious reasons, and Mrs. Hensel because she had called to see me at the hotel a few minutes after my arrest, undoubtedly, of course, to bring me illicit information or receive her "orders." She had come, as a matter of fact, as countless acquaintances of mine had been doing throughout the week, to ask for advice or assistance in the midst of the topsy-turvy conditions into which life in Berlin had been so suddenly plunged. Schrape was remarkably cool. So was Bouton, who insisted upon expressing himself with such freedom about the indignities heaped upon him that I momentarily expected to witness his decapitation. Mrs. Hensel, poor soul, was frightened speechless and between her tears could only incoherently make me understand that she had no sooner asked for my name at the Adlon desk than the clerks handed her over to the police. Bouton seemed to owe his arrest to the fact that he was in Tower's company in the Adlon lobby, attending the meeting of American war refugees. Tower had been savagely cracked over the head by an Adlon waiter armed with a tray while being hustled out of the hotel by the police. Mrs. Bouton, tearfully protesting against her husband's arrest, had herself been threatened with arrest or something worse if she did not instantly "hold her mouth." Just what part the Adlon staff of clerks, porters, waiters and page-boys played in our arrest was not made clear to me until the next day; of which more in the succeeding chapter.

As soon as the "gang of spies," as the policemen in the room now pleasantly called us, was complete, Tower, Schrape and Bouton were lined up against the wall and ordered to raise their hands above their heads, while their clothes were searched for concealed weapons or incriminating espionage evidence. While my fellow prisoners (except Mrs. Hensel) were undergoing examination, a typical young Berlin thug, evidently a thief, was brought in, and took his place adjacent to my colleagues, also to be searched. The room was now resounding with encouraging shouts from overwrought policemen that "the English dogs ought to be hanged." Others suggested that "Spandau," the spy-shooting gallery, was a more appropriate place for us than the gallows. For some God-willed or other mysterious reason I was not searched. That gave me only temporary relief, for we were presently informed that we would be taken to the Police-Presidency (central station) for the night and "dealt with there." That meant searching of everybody, I felt morally sure, and it was then that the tongue of me began cleaving to the roof of my mouth, while my throat parched with terror. For in a leather card-case in my inside pocket I carried a telegraph code, utterly innocuous in itself--a make-shift affair got up during the preceding forty-eight hours and of which I posted a duplicate to London, with a view to explaining to my editor in cipher my movements and whereabouts if I had suddenly to leave Berlin. It was a quite harmless string of phrases reading like this:

"My wife's condition has become critical, and physicians recommend immediate departure if catastrophe is to be avoided."

All this was, of course, in German, and meant (as the code explained) that I was proceeding to the Hotel Angleterre in Copenhagen. Another phrase substituted "boy's" for "wife's" and meant that I was leaving for the Hotel Amstel in Amsterdam, etc., etc. It dawned instantly upon me that if the Berlin political police, at such a witching hour, discovered on a suspected spy a telegraphic code of so "incriminating" a character, he could hardly look forward to anything beyond the regulation thrill at sunrise. I might have been able to explain in prosaic peace-times, I soliloquized, that many newspaper correspondents use private codes in communicating with their editors, but to convince a Berlin police official at that moment that my code was of innocent import struck me as the quintessence of physical impossibility.

I was undergoing, I think, all the emotions of fear and trembling when our quintette of prisoners was now marched down to the street and piled into taxis for transportation to the Polizei-Präsidium in Alexander-Platz, two miles across town. An enormous throng filled the Mittel-strasse, snarling with rage. The sight of us maddened them into a fiendish scream. Tower and I were pushed into the first car, which happened to be the Adlon machine he had hired and was doubtless still paying for, and which was driven by his infuriated chauffeur. The "covering" sabers of the police, one each of whom guarded Tower and myself, respectively in the front and back seats, did not prevent the mob from belaboring us once more with fists and sticks, to the accompaniment of unprintable epithets and curses. My mind, however, was occupied completely with how to get rid of that code nestling in my inside pocket. Nothing short of entire insensibility could have deflected my thoughts from that all-absorbing issue. I was thinking hard and quickly.

Tower's chauffeur, proud to be serving the Kaiser on so historic an occasion, did not drive us, as he would naturally and ordinarily have done, through the darkened side streets leading from Mittel-strasse to Alexander-Platz, but decided to drag us in triumph like the victims chained to Nero's chariots, down the brilliantly illuminated Unter den Linden, which, though it was now nearly eleven o'clock, was packed with war demonstrators. Crossing to the more crowded southern side, at a point near the Hotel Bristol, the driver threw on his top-speed and whirled us down the glittering boulevard at breakneck pace. As for himself, with a policeman at his side, and two behind him pinioning Tower and myself, he was frantic with super-patriotic joy. Now steering with his left hand, he waved his right madly through space at the gaping curb crowds, and yelled, so that they might know what it all meant: "English spies! Now we've got 'em! Now we've got 'em! Hurrah! Hurrah!" It was a great moment in that illustrious Kraftwagenführer's career. Nothing in his greasy past had ever approached it in tremendousness. He saw the Iron Cross dangling in certain outlines before his ecstatic vision--the reward for valor in the hour of his Fatherland's need.

I was still brooding over that code, but even while being paraded past the Berliners, I was actively at work on a scheme for its removal. Necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention, and to this hour I do not fully comprehend how I came to find the courage or ingenuity to do what I was now successfully accomplishing. We had reached the Opera, were approaching the Castle, and Alexander-Platz was less than five minutes away. The need for quick work was growing more urgent from second to second. My policeman held me firmly by the right arm. My left was entirely free. With it I was able easily to reach the right-hand inside pocket of my coat, wherein the card-case containing the code was lodged. I contrived to finger my way into the case without attracting the attention of my jailer, who, Allah be praised, was still too fascinated by the plaudits of the crowds to be more than mildly interested in me. I could "feel" the code now. It was of flimsy tissue paper and could be easily torn into shreds. A sufficiently long interval had elapsed since my last visit to the manicure to make my finger-nails highly effective for the purpose, and by degrees which seemed infinitely slow I managed to crumple and dessicate the "guilty" document and by "palming" and working the bits into the spaces between my fingers the whole thing was effectually destroyed. I withdrew my hand, stuck it into the outside left-hand pocket of my coat to withdraw a handkerchief, blew my nose and, while in that unforbidden act, let I don't know how many hundreds of tissue paper particles fly back of me into the wind of Berlin's bristling night air. I was saved. They could search me now to their hearts' content. I found that, somehow or other, the power of speech had suddenly returned, and a moment later I was saying cheerily to my Schutzmann friend, "Well, we're here now."

The details of what happened in the big room of the Police-Presidency into which we were now ushered--my friend Simons, of the Amsterdam Telegraaf, and Nevinson, special correspondent of The Daily News, who were found in Tower's room at the Adlon and arrested on that "evidence," had arrived there before us--are brief and unessential. What had been taking place during the preceding two hours is vastly more to the point. Ambassador Gerard, who was at the Adlon when we were arrested, seems to have cleared for action in his typically shirt-sleeves diplomatic fashion. He dispatched First Secretary Grew to the Foreign Office to demand our instantaneous release. Grew informed Under-Secretary Zimmermann that if Germany continued to treat American citizens and newspaper correspondents in accordance with the practises of the Middle Ages (Conger was still languishing in jail at Gumbinnen) the Fatherland was dangerously likely to lose the esteem of the only first-class Power in the world which seemed still to be on speaking terms with her. Herr Zimmermann, who understands plain English when it is spoken to him, was apologetic in the extreme. He told Grew that immediate steps would be taken to liberate me and my friends and that the Foreign Office "regretted" that such indignities should have been heaped upon innocent persons. Mr. Gerard evidently determined to take no chances, for the first secretary was dispatched to the Police-Presidency with the embassy automobile, and with instructions to demand our delivery in the flesh and stay there till it was made. Meantime the Foreign Office had sent urgent telephonic instructions to the police to let us out. We were asked to fill up certain identification forms and exhibit some more papers, and then, in accents of courteous explanation, were assured that an "error" had unfortunately been made. We should "not hesitate, if anybody molested us again," to call up Police Headquarters, and matters would be speedily set right. It was not probable, we were assured, that we would have any more trouble. If we desired, a police escort was at our service, so that we might return to the hotel or to the Embassy in certain safety.

We had just been bowed out of the place of our brief detention when the familiar outlines of "Joe" Grew loomed into view, down the corridor, and with him "Fritz," the German "life-guard" of the Embassy. It is not customary for American men to kiss each other, but I confess here to having been momentarily inspired with a strong temptation to lavish some form of osculatory gratitude upon Grew. Certainly I felt that there was nothing quite so good on God's footstool just then as to be an American citizen. When Grew insisted on packing all five of us--Tower, Mrs. Hensel, Bouton, Schrape and myself--into the car and driving us back to the Embassy (it was now the romantic hour of one A.M.) behind the protecting folds of the Stars and Stripes flapping defiantly at the windshield, I vowed a solemn, silent oath--to aspire in such days as might still be left to me for an opportunity some day to reciprocate in kind the service the Ambassador and Grew had that night rendered me, the supreme service men can render a fellow man--to save his life.

They were to be called upon, though I did not then know it, to rescue me once again before either they or I were twenty-four hours older.



Such sleep as I enjoyed in what remained of the night between August 4 and 5 was secured, for the first time in a week, beneath my own roof. I had finished with the "hospitality" of the Hotel Adlon for all time to come. After a brief visit at the Embassy, to assure the Ambassador of my everlasting gratitude for having thrown out the life-line, and seeing Mrs. Hensel safely started for her home in Charlottenburg under trusted escort, I betook myself to Wilmersdorf, where our faithful little German governess, Anna Kranz, had been holding the fort all summer during the absence of my family in the United States. I telephoned Fräulein from the Embassy a summary of the night's events, fearing that police minions might be paying me a domiciliary visit and cause the poor girl unnecessary alarm. I told her Schrape was coming home with me for the night and that as neither of us had had a bite since the preceding noon, we could do full justice to anything, however frugal, which might at that romantic hour still be discoverable in the larder. It was a wide-eyed, then tearful and always sympathetic Thuringian damsel, who listened to our story over bread and cheese at the romantic hour of two-thirty A.M. I can hear her now interrupting with a characteristic and condoling "Aber, Herr Wile!"

Having dispatched Schrape to the Adlon early next day to pay my bill and fetch the belongings I had had so abruptly to leave behind me there the night before, I proceeded to town. At the Embassy was a host of friends anxious for news of me. The most absurd rumors, it seemed, were in circulation. There was a detailed version of my last moments in front of a firing-squad at Spandau, and somebody "who had a friend at the Police Presidency" had told somebody else that I was in shackles which would probably not be removed till the war was over--if then. Still another tale related circumstantially of how I had been "hurried" from Berlin at the dead of night, under military guard, to the Dutch frontier, across which, by this time, I was unceremoniously "expelled."

When I was able to gain the ear of the Ambassador--the American war-refugee panic was now at tempestuous zenith, with the Embassy like a place besieged--I represented to him that I feared my hopes of remaining in Germany, after what had happened, were slender in the extreme. Scouts had brought in the intelligence, I informed him, that a miniature mob of evident purpose was waiting in front of the Equitable Building, where The Daily Mail office was, now and then knowingly pointing to our big gilt window-sign, in order that passers-by might understand why traffic was being blocked in front of No. 59 Friedrichstrasse. If the crowd waited long enough, it probably saw at work the sign men whom I had ordered to take down the red rag. Discretion is ever the better part of valor, and I felt no compelling desire to superintend the job in person.

The Ambassador thought I was unduly disturbed. He was convinced that my arrest was purely an unfortunate blunder, due to a combination of officious patriotism and excessive zeal, and meant nothing. I was inclined to agree with him. Berlin and the Berliners had suddenly lost their minds, and nothing which occurs when a community of men are in a state of mental aberration ought in reason to be charged against them. I had obviously fallen victim to the mass dementia which robbed Germans of their senses when their lingering fears of war with England became terrifying actuality. I certainly did not overestimate the importance of the episode.

I now ran across von Wiegand of the United Press (as he then was) and Swing, of the Chicago Daily News. Being Americans, like myself, they had just taken the precaution of applying to the Foreign Office for credentials which would protect them from such delicate attentions as the police had shown me. They suggested that I should see Legationsrat Heilbron and get an Ausweiskarte. Swing was in jubilant mood. He had a scheme under promising way to accompany Major Langhorne, our military attaché, to the front as a "secretary." My heart pumped with envy. Von Wiegand had not yet worked out his forthcoming campaign for interviewing the German Empire and the Vatican, but all of us felt sure that his German noble origin, plus his nose for news and excellent official connections, would land Karl Heinrich on his feet, as far as reporting the war was concerned, if any one was going to be favored at all. The Anglo-American newspaper fraternity was already a rather decimated body. Conger, of the Associated Press, was still jailed at Gumbinnen. Wilcox, of The Daily Telegraph, had been fortunate enough, only a few days previous, to get to Russia. Ford, of The Morning Post, had not waited for the crash and left for England on one of the last peace-time trains. Tower, my night's partner in woe, had slept in the porter's basement of the American Embassy and was now a refugee in the British Embassy, where, I understood, all the other purely English correspondents were being rounded up during the day, to accompany Sir Edward Goschen and his staff out of Germany next morning on the safe-conduct train provided by the German government. Mackenzie, of The Times, with whom I had plotted by telephone, was still unarrested, for some miraculous reason; I had not yet seen the original "denunciation" of our espionage operations, from which I later knew that he had only been identified as "Kingsley." He can blame that circumstance, no doubt, for having been denied the privilege of my own experiences.

At five o'clock, the customary hour for newspaper men to visit the Foreign Office, I went to call on Legationsrat Heilbron. He had not yet come in, so I sent my card to his colleague, Legationsrat Esternaux, with whom I had enjoyed professional acquaintance ever since the hour of my arrival in Germany, thirteen years previous to the week. I assured Esternaux that I cherished no particular animosity toward the police authorities for my silly arrest, being convinced that a grotesque mistake alone was responsible. Mildly apologetic, he acquiesced in this view.

"You were a victim," Esternaux then began, "of our just and universal rage over the treacherous and treasonable action of England in stabbing us in the back. Never, as long as they live, will Germans forgive the perfidy of the British Government in betraying the common blood in favor of uncivilized Pan-Slavism. It is the most criminal faithlessness in the world's history--this taking advantage of our difficulties to vent long pent-up spite against the merely dangerous German commercial rival." Herr Esternaux did not mention Belgium, though the flow of his righteous indignation was increasing from phrase to phrase. "Race treason! That is what has fired the German soul to its depths! That is what caused last night's unseemly demonstrations. Nobody condones mob fury less than the German Government, but it is explained, if not justified, by what has happened. Of one thing the world may be sure--with whatever bitterness we make war on our Russian and French foes, it will be nothing--it will be child's-play--compared to the spirit of revengeful rancor and holy wrath in which we shall fight the English race-traitors. That was the temper of the Berlin mob last night. It is the temper in which we are going to war with Great Britain. It is the temper in which we shall wage the struggle with her to the bitter end. Make no mistake about that." I had listened, on the authoritative premises of the Imperial German Government, to perhaps the first official proclamation of the hate and frightfulness programme so far uttered. Gott strafe England! How graphically succeeding events were to bear it out!

After Legationsrat Esternaux had fired this high-explosive, he ushered me out, and I knocked on Legationsrat Heilbron's door, fifteen yards farther down the passageway. Fur-mittens and ear-muffs are not de rigueur in northern Germany in midsummer, but I should have worn them that afternoon of August 5, for the reception awaiting me at Heilbron's hands was of arctic frigidity. It was a vastly changed Heilbron from the obliging functionary who had pressed upon me, forty-eight hours previous, copies of the German White Paper, in order that I might spread the official truth about "how the Fatherland had worked to prevent the war" broadcast in England and the United States. It was also a strangely less courteous Legationsrat than the one (Esternaux) whose presence I had just quitted.

"Herr Legationsrat," I began, "I have come to ask you for an Ausweiskarte. You know, I suppose, of my little experience last night. I am quite willing to take my chances with the mob, but I ought to have something to protect me from the excesses of the police."

"Mobs are mobs," he rejoined. "I can do nothing for you."

"That is strange," I interposed. "Surely you know that the American Ambassador has arranged for my remaining in Germany?"

"I know nothing about that whatever," said Heilbron.

"Well, Legationsrat Esternaux does," I retorted, "because he told me so not five minutes ago, and he said you would issue the necessary credentials."

Heilbron, who like all German bureaucrats has the backbone of a crushed worm in the presence of superior authority, or the mere suggestion of it, now reached for his telephone-receiver and asked to be connected with somebody in the Foreign Office. He repeated the object of my call to whomever was at the other end of the line, nodded in assent to something apparently said to him, then turned to me:

"It is just as I thought. The Foreign Office can do nothing for you. If you want credentials, you must apply to the police."

"But, Herr Legationsrat," I persisted, "there can be no objection to your giving me something which will insure me ordinary safety at such a time as this. After all, I'm an American."

With a shrug of the shoulders and outflung arms, a German gesture expressing indifference or helplessness, or both, Heilbron observed, sardonically: "For us you are a Daily Mail man--nothing else. You are known everywhere as such. Certainly if you remain here, your position will undoubtedly be a precarious one."

It was plain that the ethics which impelled Von Bethmann Hollweg to tear up the Belgian "scrap of paper"--brazen disregard of pledges--were now being pursued in my very insignificant case. The German Foreign Secretary had given a formal undertaking, as I understood it, as to the inviolability of my personal and professional status as an American newspaper man. Not five minutes before, I had been assured by an official of the German Foreign Office in the Foreign Office that the latter was fully aware of the arrangements which Mr. Gerard had effected in my favor. And now another official calmly denied its existence, and, moreover, declared in substance that a United States passport calling upon the friendly German Government "to permit Frederic William Wile safely and freely to pass, and, in case of need, to give him all lawful aid and protection," was not worth the parchment on which it was engraved. International law was being refashioned in Berlin in a hurry.

Once again I was compelled to flee to the American Ambassador for protection--reluctantly enough, for I had already usurped far more of his time than one citizen is entitled to. I told him that the German Foreign Office was trying to convert me into a man without a country; not only that, but that its cheerful intimation as to my "position" being "undoubtedly precarious" rang clearly ominous in my ears. The Ambassador shared that view. He was of the opinion, when he saw me earlier in the day, that my alarm was unwarranted. From what other American newspaper men had meantime reported, my fears seemed to be justified. He agreed that it was best that I should go--but how? The town was already choked with Americans waiting to "go." If it were impossible to move any of them across the frontier, what possible chance was there of exporting me? There was, of course, just one chance that I could think of--to leave next day with the British Embassy. The Ambassador suggested that I should ask Sir Edward Goschen if he would take me, along with the purely British correspondents, who, I learned, were going in his train.

So now, the United States having obviously exhausted its powers on my behalf, I threw myself on the mercies of His Britannic Majesty. I found Sir Edward Goschen unhesitatingly responsive to my request, on the important condition that the German authorities would permit a non-Englishman to accompany a safe-conduct party of British subjects of highly official character! Once again the gates leading out of Germany seemed barred to me, for my status at the German Foreign Office, as the afternoon had established, was not exactly that of a persona grata who had but to ask a favor to have it granted. But, by an act of Providence, as it then and always since has seemed to me, Ambassador Gerard strolled into the lobby of the British Embassy while I was in the midst of conversation with Sir Edward Goschen. The British Ambassador repeated the conditions on which he would gladly rescue me--the assent of the German Government--whereupon Mr. Gerard quietly remarked that he would "look after that." He had little notion, I suppose, of the herculean effort which would be necessary to give effect to his words.

It was now past six o'clock. The British Embassy train was timed to leave Berlin at seven next morning, Thursday, August 6. If anything was going to be done for me, all concerned realized that it would have to be done soon. "Go home, pack up all you can jam into two suit-cases, and turn up at the American Embassy at nine o'clock," said Gerard.

No home was ever deserted, I am sure, more reluctantly or so precipitately as my little ménage in Wilmersdorf. It seemed a woefully inglorious ending to thirteen very happy and fruitful years in Berlin. I thanked Heaven that my wife and little boy were not there to be evicted with me. A woman's attachment to the things which have spelled home--the books, the pictures, the thousand and one household trinkets, enshrined with priceless value to those who have accumulated them--is far stronger than a man's. The wrench of separation would have been correspondingly harder to bear. In the midst of such reveries, sandwiched between selecting the most essential contents for the two suit-cases to which I was limited, I had a caller.

"Herr Direktor Kretschmar, of the Hotel Adlon, has come to see you," announced Fräulein.

Kretschmar is probably known to more American travelers to Europe than any other hotel man on the Continent. The Adlon had been Yankee headquarters in Berlin ever since its opening in the autumn of 1907. Old man Adlon, its genial founder and proprietor, he of the arc-light face at midnight, after a liberal evening's libations o'er the flowing bowl, used to be fond of assuring people that "mein lieber Freund Wile" had "made" the Adlon. If telling people that the Adlon was the best hotel in Berlin, and reporting in my American dispatches, as necessity required, that Governor Herrick, Mr. Carnegie, Mr. Schwab, Doctor David Jayne Hill, Vice-President Fairbanks, Theodore P. Shonts, John Hays Hammond, Otto H. Kahn or some other famous fellow citizen was lodged in the marble and bronze caravansary at the head of Unter den Linden--if this "made" the Adlon--I plead guilty to Herr Adlon's charge. I shall never do it again. I divined at once the object of the curly-haired Kretschmar's visit. Having graduated, I believe, like many eminent German hotel keepers, from the humble ranks of hall-porters and head waiters, he was a past master in obsequious servility. Many a time I had seen him bow and scrape like a grinning flunky as he welcomed the arriving or sped the parting guest at the Adlon, but never was he so cringing a Kretschmar as he stood before me now. He got down to business without delay.

There had been a "terrible mistake" at the hotel the night before. He was there to offer the "deepest regret" of both the elder and junior Herren Adlon that their "best friend" should have been the victim of "such an outrage" on their premises. They had dismissed no less than ten members of the hotel staff for complicity in my arrest. The Adlon hoped, from the bottom of its unoffending heart, that I would "forgive and forget." Kretschmar, at this point in his peccavi, almost broke down. He was in tears, and, if I had let him, he would probably have gone down on his knees. If I had known what I was told next day as to his own connection with my experience at the Adlon, he would not only have gone down on his knees, but down the stairs of my flat-building as well. Whether it was he who incited the page-boys, desk-clerks, elevator-men, chambermaids and waiters to regard me as an "English spy" I can not say, but, in light of the experience which a colleague, Alexander Muirhead, a London newspaper-photographer, had in the Adlon shortly after my arrest, there is at least ground to fear that Kretschmar may have been something more than an innocent bystander.

"When I asked for you at the desk," Muirhead told me, "a supercilious clerk, eying me fiercely, referred me to the manager, whereupon I was escorted into Kretschmar's room. 'I've come to see my friend Wile,' I explained. 'Your friend Wile's a spy!' snarled Kretschmar, who seemed beside himself with fury. 'And he's now where he ought to be! As for you, mein Herr, stand there against the wall, hold up your arms, and be searched for weapons. For all we know, you're a spy, too!' The mere thought of your name appeared to fill Kretschmar with incontrollable rage. Having satisfied himself that I had nothing more explosive about me than some undeveloped films, he allowed me to go my way amid incoherent mutterings and imprecations about that '---- of a ---- spy, Wile.' I was, of course, completely mystified by this extraordinary episode, as I was at that time entirely ignorant of your fate."

Muirhead is a plain-spoken Scotchman, as well as one of Europe's bravest and most famous "camera men," and although the lachrymose Kretschmar indignantly repudiates the occurrence, I hope he will not mind if I prefer to believe Muirhead. The manager of the Adlon still keeps my memory green. Periodically during the war, whenever some German paper has outdone itself in dignifying me with vile abuse, Kretschmar has faithfully marked it in blue pencil and sent it to me by two routes--Switzerland and Holland--to make sure that it reached me. As I have not taken the trouble to acknowledge these little tokens of his abiding interest, I hope he may learn from these pages that they have been duly received and fill not the least conspicuous niche in my chamber of German war horrors.

A weepy good-by scene with Fräulein, a parting, lingering look around my beloved Arbeitszimmer--so soon to be ransacked by the German police--an undying vow from the little woman to guard our Lares and Penates as if they were her own last earthly possessions, and all was at an end, so far as my habitat in Berlin was concerned. It has not been my privilege to say farewell to fireside and dear ones and then leave for the front in field-gray or khaki, but no soldier-man anywhere in this war has torn himself away from home ties more sorrowfully than I turned my back in the gathering dusk of August 5, 1914, on dear old Helmstedter-strasse. Instinctively I felt that I should never see it again, and my heart was heavy.

"What's Baron von Stumm got against you?" asked Second Secretary Harvey, smilingly, at the American Embassy, when I arrived, bag and baggage, at nine o'clock. "He says you're not an American." Stumm was the chief of the Anglo-American section of the German Foreign Office. He knew perfectly well that I am an American. He had entertained me at his own table in May, 1910, when he gave a luncheon-party in honor of the American newspaper correspondents stationed in Berlin and those traveling with Mr. Roosevelt on the occasion of the Colonel's visit to the Kaiser. Stumm had "nothing against me" in June, I explained to Harvey, because of his own sweet volition he distinguished me with a call at my hotel during Kiel Regatta. I could not imagine what had suddenly come over the scion of the humble Westphalian blacksmith's house, which was one of the first of the nouveau riche German industrial tribes to be ennobled. I could only think that, like the Berlin police, Legationsrat Heilbron, Herr Direktor Kretschmar and nearly all other Germans, Stumm had temporarily gone mad. If I was "not an American," it had taken the Imperial German Foreign Office thirteen years to make the discovery. Some day I am going to send Stumm a Christmas card. It will be embellished with a gilded birth-certificate attested by the clerk of the County of La Porte, Indiana.

No one supplied me with the details of the final negotiations which were necessary to induce the German Government graciously to consent to permit me to leave Germany alive. I have since learned that my pass was not secured without some extremely forcible remonstrances and representations. Stumm had denounced me as a "scoundrel" and in other knightly terms. Why the German Foreign Office so ardently desired to prevent my departure, after having earlier in the same day declined to promise me immunity from physical harm, is a mystery which I trust it may some day elucidate. To fathom it is beyond my own feeble powers of divination, and in this narrative of farewell tribulations in the Fatherland, I have confined myself strictly to facts. I have resolutely not yielded to the temptation to surmise. But as the official Genesis of Armageddon is not likely to honor me with mention, I have presumed to set forth my own diminutive part in it with perhaps a tiring superfluity of detail. I have the more eagerly ventured to do so because grotesque versions of the "terms" on which I, an American citizen, if you please, "secured permission to leave Germany," have been, and still are, for all I know, in circulation in Berlin. They are believed--and that is the one saddening thought they inspire in me--by people who were once my friends, among them Americans who place bread-and-butter business necessities and social expediency in Germany above the elementary dictates of gratitude and personal loyalty, which are traits one encounters even in a Dachshund. It is these insufferable lickers of German bootheels who "have heard" that I "gave my word of honor" to seal my lips forever "about Germany," to "go back to the United States at once" (perhaps as press-agent to Dernburg, who was also leaving Germany), to "renounce all connection with English journalism," and other pledges of equally imbecilic character. The only "broken pledge" which the rumor-mongers did not foist upon me was an outright agreement to join Germany's army of kept journalists. I should have been better off, financially no doubt, if I had enlisted in that immaculate service, which is one of the best paid in the world.

My permit to leave Germany, Harvey said, would be issued during the night and be handed me next morning at the British Embassy. Meantime, evidently to make assurance doubly sure, Ambassador Gerard gave me in his own handwriting an attest that I was leaving the country with Sir Edward Goschen. He affixed to it the great seal of the Embassy, handed me the note with a merry "Good luck," I wrung his hand in a last grip of gratitude and good-by, and we parted company.

Ambassador Gerard's Note

Meantime I had opened negotiations with the Embassy porter to pass the night on a cot in his lodge, where Tower had bunked after our arrest, and arranged with him to call me at four-thirty, so that I could be at the British Embassy well before six o'clock. While I was chatting in the hallway, Mrs. Gerard came along. "Where are you going to sleep to-night?" she inquired, solicitously. I told her. She would not hear of my lodging plans in the porter's basement. There were half-a-dozen bedrooms in the Embassy, and I must use one of them. Then she hustled away, in the most motherly fashion, to prepare for me what turned out to be a suite-de-luxe. My last night in Germany was slept on "American soil." It was not the most restful night I have spent in my life, but it lingers as the sweetest memory I cherish among a myriad of recollections which crowded thick one upon another in that great wild week in Berlin. "And do you like your breakfast eggs boiled three or four minutes?" was the cheery "Good night" and Auf Wiedersehen I had from "Molly" Gerard.

At least one German, in addition to my secretary and governess, who were models of devotion to the last, took the trouble to show me a parting mark of esteem. He was a colleague, Paul R. Krause, of the Lokal-Anzeiger staff, a son-in-law of Field Marshal von der Goltz, and one of the best of fellows. Krause lived abroad so long--his life has been spent mostly in Turkey, South Africa and South America--that he will perhaps not mind my saying that he always struck me as effectually de-Germanized. At any rate, having heard of my plight, he came to the Embassy late at night to offer me not only fraternal sympathy, but physical assistance in the form of readiness to become my "body-guard," if I really considered myself in personal danger! He could hardly be made to believe that Heilbron had been "such an ass," when I told of my parting interview in the Foreign Office. Krause and I exchanged Auf Wiedersehen in the "American bar" of the Hotel Kaiserhof, round the corner from the Embassy, where I noticed Doctor Dernburg, August Stein, of the Frankfurter Zeitung, and Doctor Fuchs, of the Deutsche Bank, gathered dolefully round a beer-table, and amazed, no doubt, to find Krause in such doubtful company.

I did not seek my downy couch in the Embassy until I had had a farewell promenade and visit with two very dear newspaper pals, Swing, of the Chicago Daily News, and Feibelman, of the New York Tribune and London Express. Feibelman was still in the throes of the anxiety from which I was about to be relieved, as the Foreign Office had also refused him credentials owing to his connection with an English journal. He sincerely envied my good fortune in being able to escape with the British Ambassador. I was glad to hear a week later that he too had eventually contrived, with the American Embassy's assistance, to reach Holland, where he has done excellent work for his paper during the war. Swing, Feibelman and I, arm-locked, walked the silent streets around and about the Embassy until long past midnight, speculating as to what the red-clotted future had in store for each of us, embittered at Fate for so ruthlessly disrupting friendships of affectionate intimacy, and wondering, when all was over, if it ever would be, whether Berlin or Kamchatka would be the scene of our next reunion....

Something told me that even a twelfth-hour attempt might be made to hamper my get-away, so, as a "positively last farewell" favor I asked "Joe" Grew, my rescuer from the police, to escort me to the train. Though it meant his tumbling out of bed at the unromantic hour of five, his breezy "Sure, I will" set my mind completely at rest. He arrived at the appointed minute. The sight of the Stars and Stripes flapping at the front of his car was a reassuring little picture. They had meant much to me during the preceding forty-eight hours. At the British Embassy, which looked more like a baggage-room or express-office struck by lightning, with the floors littered indiscriminately with hastily-packed boxes of documents and records, trunks, suit-cases, golf-bags and batches of clothing hastily slung or strapped into or around traveling-rugs--and all the other indescribable impedimenta of a suddenly-retreating army or an evicted family--I found my German pass awaiting me. It had been delivered to Godfrey Thomas, one of Sir Edward Goschen's able young attachés, all of whom, like the Ambassador himself, had given so characteristic an exhibition of British imperturbability during the final hours of crisis. The pass described me as "the English newspaper correspondent, Wile." It is reproduced opposite this page. I treasure it with the same pride which probably inspires a reprieved man to cherish the document which cheats the hangman.

Facsimile of the Pass

There was no guard of honor to bid Sir Edward Goschen and his staff Godspeed from the Wilhelmstrasse. No single German was so poor as to do them reverence except a couple of sleepy policemen and half-a-dozen blear-eyed, early-rising Berliners on their way to work. None of them had yet learned to say Gott strafe England, so the lonely cavalcade of luggage-laden taxis, which were hauling Great Britain's official representatives on the first stage of their journey out of the enemy's capital, proceeded on its way without molestation or demonstration.

The very day the Kaiser's ambassador to England, Prince Lichnowsky, was accorded a departure from London amid honors customarily reserved for a ruling sovereign. Great Britain's ambassador to Germany was leaving like a thief in the night, the Imperial Government having requested him, when shaking the dust of Berlin from his miscreant feet, to slink to the railway station as inconspicuously as possible and long before the righteous metropolis waked. Otherwise, it was solicitously suggested, Kultur, giving vent to the holy venom which now filled the Teutonic soul, might feel constrained to stone the Ambassador afresh. Thus, I, too, chaperoned by Grew, sneaked out of Berlin.

My old German teacher was right. She said there was no word for "gentleman" in the Kaiser's language. The fashion in which his people went to war with England proved it.



Lehrter Bahnhof, the gateway through which so many American tourists have passed out of Berlin en route to Hamburg or Bremen steamers, was not en fête in honor of the departing Engländer. My memory traveled back irresistibly to the last time the British Embassy in force was assembled there--to greet King George and Queen Mary when they arrived to visit the German Court in May, 1913. The rafters rang on that occasion with the blare of a Prussian Guards band thundering God Save the King, cousins George and William embraced fondly and kissed, and the station was swathed in the entwined colors of Germany and England. It was a different and forbidding aspect which the old brick and steel barn of a train-shed presented this muggy August morning. At every entrance sentries in gray and policemen with Brownings at the belt stood guard, for railways and stations were now as integral a part of the war-machine as fortresses and guns. Inside, infantrymen in gray from head to foot--all Germany had now grown gray--carrying rifles with fixed bayonets patrolled the platforms, searching each Englishman, as he came along, with glances mingling watchfulness and contempt.

Our band of pilgrims, who were to be some forty or fifty in all, arrived in detachments, having, as Sir Edward Goschen himself officially described it, "been smuggled away from the Embassy in taxicabs by side streets." The Ambassador himself was one of the last to turn up. No Imperial emissary came to wish him a happy journey and Auf Wiedersehen, though the Foreign Secretary deputized young Count Wedel to say good-by in his name. The Kaiser's farewell greeting to Sir Edward was conveyed the day before, when the All-Highest sent an adjutant with majestic regrets for the sacking of the Embassy premises on the night the war broke out. Of markedly less apologetic tenor was the adjutant's message that William II, "now that Great Britain had taken sides with other nations against her old allies of Waterloo, must at once divest himself of the titles of British Field Marshal and British Admiral." The uniforms, orders and decorations conferred on him by Perfidious Albion had desecrated the exalted person of the supreme Hohenzollern for the last time. In the memorable dispatch in which he so dispassionately narrated his final hours in Berlin, Sir Edward Goschen sufficiently indicated the true character of the Kaiser's adieu by mentioning that "the message lost none of its acerbity by the manner of its delivery." As a Prussian officer was firing it at the official incarnation of Great Britain, it is not difficult to imagine the mien and tone of the proud functionary on whom had been conferred the historic distinction of breathing Hate in the face of the foe at that cataclysmic hour.

I shall always hold it a privilege to have been in contact with Sir Edward Goschen during the days which preceded the war and in the hours of its beginning. He was throughout an object-lesson in imperturbability. In the midst of his holidays in England when the crisis arose, having left Kiel early in July with the British squadron, he returned hurriedly to his post in Berlin just before the match was applied to the powder-barrel. I recall distinctly the invincible state of his good humor when I visited him at the Embassy on July 31, only an hour or two before the Kaiser declared Germany to be in "a state of war."

"Wile," he remarked, fastening upon me a gaze which very successfully simulated vexation, "what did you mean by libeling me in that dispatch of yours from Kiel on the Kaiser's visit to our flagship? You had the effrontery to suggest that I was lolling about the quarter-deck in a tweed suit. I would have you understand that my costume afloat is always the regulation navy-blue!"

I pleaded color-blindness. I said that from our perch behind the thirteen-and-one-half-inch gun turret for'd, it looked to me as if His Excellency had actually worn tweed.

"Well, I didn't," he insisted, "and you caused me to be twitted not a little in London for my apparent ignorance of battleship etiquette."

Sir Edward Goschen, unlike other British Ambassadors I knew in Berlin, was never at any moment of his career there under any delusions as to the leitmotif of German policy toward Great Britain. No Teutonic wool was ever pulled over his eyes. During the week of tension which ended with war, he bore himself with tact and firmness characteristic of the highest diplomatic traditions. Though never surrendering a position in the trying negotiations with the Kaiser's Government, the Ambassador did not cease, up to the hour when he asked for his passports, to labor for such peace as would be consistent with British interests. It is not customary in the British service, I believe, to send a diplomatic official back to a country with which England has meantime been at war, but Sir Edward Goschen could return to Berlin with his head high, enjoying not only, I am sure, the limitless confidence of his own Government, but the unalloyed respect of Germany, as well.

Our party having been politely herded into the royal waiting-room of the station, a couple of silk-hatted and frock-coated young Foreign Office officials now buzzed busily about us, checking off our respective names and identities on their duplicate lists, lest no unauthorized Engländer should escape through the ring of steel drawn tight around Germany's frontiers. Our safe-conduct train had now pulled in. We found ourselves a somewhat indiscriminate collection of refugees. Besides Sir Edward Goschen, there was, of course, the full embassy family of secretaries, attachés, clerks, the wives of one or two of them, and one bonnie group of babes with their blue-and-white "nannies." Sir Horace Rumbold, the Counselor of the Embassy, who had conducted the initial negotiations with Germany, monocled and unruffled, was as calm as if he were starting off for a week-end in the country. Captain Henderson, the Naval Attaché, and a prince of sailormen, had no inkling of the undying discomfiture soon to be his, as an ingloriously interned captive in neutral Holland, for his first assignment from the Admiralty was to command a detachment of the ill-starred naval expedition to Antwerp. Colonel Russell, the Military Attaché, was quitting German soil with emotions a little different from those of the rest of us, for he had seen the light of day at Potsdam in 1874, while his late father, Lord Ampthill, was British Ambassador to Germany. It was only a few weeks previous that the colonel's own Berlin-born son had been christened "William" under the august Godfatherhood of the Kaiser, who sent the babe a golden cup emblazoned with the Hohenzollern arms. With us, too, were Messrs. Gurney, Rattigan, Monck, Thomas and Astell, Sir Edward Goschen's able staff of secretaries and young attachés, who had all "sat tight," in their British way, so splendidly during the preceding forty-eight hours. The official party also included the British Minister to Saxony, Mr. Grant-Duff, and Lady Grant-Duff, whose windows in Dresden had been broken, too, and Messrs. Charlton and Turner of the Berlin and Leipzig consulates, respectively.

The journalist-refugees consisted of Mackenzie and Jelf of The Times, Tower and Nevinson of The Daily News, Long of The Westminster Gazette, Lawrence of Reuter's Agency, Byles of The Standard, Dudley Ward, of the Manchester Guardian and his newly-wed German wife, and Muirhead, the "camera man" of The Daily Chronicle. Poor Jelf, who enlisted within a week after his arrival in England, was killed in action during the great offensive fighting in Artois, in September, 1915. Among the others whom Sir Edward Goschen had rescued from the maws of Hate was a little Australian woman, Mrs. Gunderson, trapped in Germany with her husband at the outbreak of war. They had journeyed around the world on their honeymoon to enable him to participate in an international chess match at Mannheim. He has been stalemated ever since at the British concentration camp at Ruhleben--Berlin. Then there was an estimable old English couple who had spent a night in jail on the charge of being "spies" prowling about the German countryside in their touring-car. They were not bemoaning the loss of their automobile in the presence of their own escape and that of their chauffeur. One of the luckiest of our traveling companions was Captain Deedes, a British army officer who was passing through Germany on his way home from service in Turkey, and just gained the precincts of the British Embassy before being nabbed by the police. We shuddered to think of the fate of Captain Holland of the British navy, also en route from Constantinople, who had not been so fortunate, and was now locked up at Spandau. I was the sole and lonely American member of the caravan.

The Germans provided Sir Edward Goschen with a "corridor train" of first-class cars, including "saloon carriages," which are a combination of parlor and sleeping cars, for himself and his immediate entourage, and for Baron Beyens, the Belgian Minister to Berlin, and his staff, who, appropriately enough, were conducted to the frontier along with the British. Baron Beyens has contributed to the genesis of the war not the least noteworthy evidence of Germany's felonious designs on European liberties and peace. As has been revealed by a Belgian Grey Book, the Baron was able to report to his government as early as July 26 that "the German General Staff regarded war as inevitable and near, and expected success on account of Germany's superiority in heavy guns and the unpreparedness of Russia." Baron Beyens also described his final and dramatic conversation with the German Foreign Secretary, who "announced with pain" Germany's determination to violate Belgian neutrality, and asked to be allowed to occupy Liége. The request was refused, Herr von Jagow admitting to the Minister that no other answer was possible. The Belgians had another "answer" up their sleeve, though von Jagow knew it not. It was the shambles into which the flower of the German Guard plunged at Liége a week later.

Berlin newspaper refugees on S. S. St. Petersburg. From left to right, standing: Muirhead; Wile; Jelf; Lawrence; Nevinson; Captain Deedes; Dudley Ward. Seated, Mackenzie.

Lieutenant-Colonel von Buttlar, a dapper little gray-haired Prussian officer with a Kaiser mustache and a heel-clicking manner, presently approached Sir Edward Goschen, saluted, introduced himself as the military chaperon of the party, and invited us to troop into the train. An armed guard, a strapping infantryman with glistening bayonet affixed to his shouldered rifle, was already aboard. He turned out, as did the lieutenant-colonel himself, to be a very harmless warden. When the Oberstleutnant, gloved and helmeted as if on dress parade, was not snoozing or reading during the journey, he merely hovered about, mother-like, to see that his charges were comfortable, as well as not up to mischief. In addition to the ordinary train-crew, we were shepherded by seven or eight plain-clothes Prussian detectives, whom even the ruse of regulation railway-caps could not disguise. You can tell a German "secret policeman," as he is idiomatically called, at least a mile off. He is the last word in palpability.

Our destination, we learned, was the Hook of Holland, where either a Great Eastern steamer or a British cruiser would pick us up. We were to travel via Hanover-Osnabrück to Amsterdam and thence to the sea. Mackenzie, Jelf and I, having preempted a compartment, settled down at the windows for a last long look at Berlin as the train now tugged slowly out of the station, a few minutes past eight o'clock. Speaking for myself, I am quite sure that railway trucks never rattled with such sweet melody as those beneath us were producing, for with every chug they were bringing us nearer to liberty. I remember a distinct feeling of consciousness that I should not consider myself an utterly freed felon until German territory was actually no longer under my feet. It was an indescribably gratifying sensation, all sufficient for the moment, to realize that Berlin at least was fading into oblivion. Whether any of my British colleagues were throbbing with similar emotions, I never knew. It is un-English, I believe, to reveal emotions even if one is battling with them. Whatever thoughts were in their minds, I myself was obsessed with a distinct desire, at that moment, to blot Berlin from my mind for all eternity. Perhaps, as I thus soliloquized, I was giving way unconsciously to a passing spell of that unreasoning malice which infested hate-maddened Berlin. I suppose I ought to have shed briny tears, as we skirted Spandau and sped across the dreary plain of the Mark of Brandenburg, and familiar landmarks passed from view. Certainly in the long ago, I had firmly made up my mind that when my time to leave Germany came I should go away with genuine regret. Life in the Fatherland had meant much to me and mine. Although I never adopted it, like Lord Haldane, as my "spiritual home," a man can not spend thirteen years of middle life in the same community, however alien to its spirit and institutions, without forming deep-rooted attachments. But the circumstances which precipitated me out of Germany conspired, I fear, to quench old-time affection. So, ungrateful as it may appear, my handkerchief was not brought into play and my eyes were uncommonly dry as the sand-wastes of Brandenburg vanished from our vision....

It was evident that we were in for a tedious journey and that our trek across Western Germany was to be agony long drawn out. Berlin to Hanover, the first leg of the trip, was one I had accomplished times innumerable under three hours, and even a Bummelzug hardly took longer. It was to take us nearly three times as long to-day. Mobilization was technically complete, but every railway track in the country, especially if it fed the great trunk-line to the west along which we were traveling, was still choked with troop trains. In consequence, though ours was a "special," we had to halt, back up, sidetrack and perform every other gyration of which a train is capable, whenever we came up with battalions en route toward one of the three frontiers on which German blood was now being spilled. At every station we encountered trainloads of men in gray, singing, cheering and laughing as if bound for a picnic instead of slaughter. It was always they who had the right of way, for it was soon borne in upon us that the meanest detachment of reservists bulked larger in Germany's eye just then than "the whole bally British diplomatic service put together," as Jelf irreverently expressed it. Never at any time were we doing anything dizzier than twenty miles an hour, and we figured that if we reached Hanover by dinner-time, we should be fortunate. As to London, which we used to reach twenty hours after leaving Berlin, it became painfully obvious that it would be nearer forty this trip.

But there was much to see, and to think and talk about. As we were being held up everywhere along the line by seemingly the entire male population of the Empire in uniform, it was not surprising, for one thing, to find the fields on either side of us as denuded of men as if Adam had never lived. None but women was discoverable at work on this eve of harvest, excepting here and there an old man, while children, too, were being pressed into service. At bridges, culverts and crossings, instead of the customary railway guards, who used to stand at salute with a flag as a train whirled past, there were now soldiers with rifles. No restrictions were placed upon our reconnoitering the adjacent country as long as we were in motion; but Lieutenant-Colonel von Buttlar, always heel-clicking and saluting beforehand, intimated to Mein Herren that the curtains of their compartment-windows must be drawn as the train approached or halted at stations. There was no suspicion, he begged to assure us, that we might attempt to practise espionage about troop movements. On the contrary, the suggestion was a precaution recommended in our own interests. Unfortunately, quoth the apologetic colonel, it had not been feasible to conceal the identity of our train. Western Germany was bursting with patriotic frenzy, and it was just within the range of possibilities that their exuberance might beat itself into disagreeable "demonstrations." Therefore, discretion was obviously our cue.

But what we could not see at Nauen, Rathenow, Stendal, Gardelegen, Obisfelde and Lehrte, we could hear, for all the inhabitants of every hamlet and town in Central Germany appeared to have orders from somewhere to assemble at their railway-stations and sing themselves red in the face for Kaiser and Empire. Manifestly the Supreme War Lord had not only called up his armed legions, but mobilized the country's Singvereine besides, and man, woman and child of them were now in the trenches with their throats bared to the foe. I suppose they were chanting Die Wacht am Rhein and Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles in other parts of Germany, too, but I have often thought that the country's most vociferous and tireless choral artists were concentrated on that day on the strategic line of the British safe-conduct train's route. If the Great General Staff at Berlin, with that incomparable attention to detail which is one of its vaunted accomplishments, schemed to send us out of Germany convinced, by the evidence of our own ears, that the Kaiser's people were sallying forth to war like Wagnerian heroes with music and triumphant cheers on their lips, the plan succeeded. My own indelible recollection of that farewell ride across Germany, at any rate, is the memory of song. For many days and nights afterward, Die Wacht am Rhein and Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles, would ring and ring through my head. At the time it all seemed beautifully spontaneous, for the Germans are a singing folk, who put soul into their anthems, but reflection makes me wonder if that continuous song-service which so mercilessly accompanied us from Berlin to the Netherlands was not a stage-managed extravaganza with a motive. The Germans are a thorough race, and in war they overlook no opportunity.

It was only at times that the singing was anything else than merely monotonous--the periodical occasions when, if we halted longer than usual at a station, the singers would line up alongside the train so closely that they could fairly shout in our ears. Then there would be a note of ill-mannered defiance in their song. At Hanover we happened to be drawn up in the station at the very moment when the British Ambassador and the Belgian Minister were in the dining-car, and there was a particularly vehement vocal endurance competition outside of the window at which they were sitting. But from my own table on the opposite side of the car I observed that Sir Edward Goschen was not visibly diverted from his Wiener-Schnitzel, for, while the Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles was doing its worst, he remarked, cheerily, to his Belgian colleague: "Rather fine singing, isn't it?"

Next to the songs which knew no ending the most conspicuous manifestation of Furor Teutonicus was the chalking of troop-trains with exuberant inscriptions symbolical of expected great German victories to come. "Special to St. Petersburg" was a prime favorite. "Excursion to Paris" was extremely popular. That, we know, is exactly what the War Party expected the campaign to be. "Through Train to Moscow" ran a particularly sanguine sentiment and "Death to the Blood-Czar," a more sanguinary one. Then there would be rude caricatures of Nicholas II or President Poincaré either at the end of a noose or of the boot of an equally rudely-cartooned Kaiser. And, of course, there were plenty of jests at Great Britain. "We'll soon be chewing roast-beef in London" was the way one artist epitomized his hopes. "Special Train to the Peddler-City"--a shaft at London, the home of the "shopkeeper nation" which "organized war against Germany" in order to "crush an unpleasant commercial rival." "Death to our enviers!" was the language in which another Anglophobe thought found expression. Beneath the British Ambassador's car-windows, I was told, some one had chalked a John Bull drooping ignominiously from the gallows, with "Race-Traitor" for an epitaph!

The night was fitful for us all. Curled up on the seats of our compartments, such attempts at sleep as we ventured were effectually defeated by Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles and Die Wacht am Rhein. All through the night they were hurled at us. At every town, regardless of the hour, the choristers were on the job. We welcomed our arrival at Bentheim, the final station in Prussia, at seven next morning, not half so eagerly because it was the last of Germany as because it was the last of Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles and Die Wacht am Rhein. For any sins we ever committed in the Fatherland, we felt we had been richly chastised. I understood now why General Sherman once crossed the Atlantic to escape Marching through Georgia--only to be bombarded with it beneath his windows before breakfast by an Irish band in Queenstown before he had been in Europe twelve hours. I am morally certain that when old Tecumseh said that "War is hell," he was thinking about Marching through Georgia. That is what Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles made me think about Armageddon.

None of us experienced any special difficulty in restraining our emotions when Lieutenant-Colonel von Buttlar and our other German chaperons handed us over at Bentheim to a Dutch train crew awaiting our arrival there with a Dutch locomotive. The colonel clicked and bowed his farewell respects to Sir Edward Goschen and Baron Beyens, accepted their appreciations of his courtesy and helpfulness, saluted for the last time, and then formally transferred us to Queen Wilhelmina's tender mercies. The hour of our liberation was at hand. And for the first time in a week a score of Englishmen and at least one American thought out aloud their opinions about Germany and all her works. What some of us said about the Hohenzollerns has been put by Colonel Watterson in far more immortal diction than my poor pen could epitomize it.

Sir Edward Goschen, late British Ambassador in Berlin, boarding S. S. St. Petersburg, en route to London, August 7th, 1914.

At Rozendaal, the first station in Holland, there was a wild scramble from the newspaper coach for the railway telegraph-office. All of us had reams of "copy" to release, after having been muzzled for five days. German money, we were distressed to observe, was already at a discount in the Netherlands, and those of us who did not hand in Dutch or British gold had to put our "stuff" on the wire after more fortunate colleagues had beaten us to it with legal tender. A couple of hours later found us at Amsterdam, where representatives of the British Legation at The Hague and the local Consulate-General were on hand to greet Sir Edward Goschen's party and furnish us with the first news of actual war operations which we had had. Fighting at sea had begun. England had drawn first blood. The German mine-layer Konigin Luise, within eighteen hours of the declaration of hostilities, i.e., on Wednesday, August 5, was overtaken by the British destroyer Lance and sunk in six minutes. There was reason to fear that a fleet of enemy mine-layers, masquerading as fishing-boats and in other pacific disguises, had been occupied for the better part of a week strewing mines through an area reaching from a point off Harwich--which we were soon to approach--along the east coast far up into Scottish waters. On the next day, Thursday, August 6, the British light cruiser Amphion struck a mine planted by the Konigin Luise and went down with heavy loss of life. Much more cheering was the news that gallant Belgium was giving the Germans a welcome they had not bargained for. The Meuse was being gloriously defended. Liége was menaced, but still untaken. Germans had been mown down by the regiment--if reports could be believed--and we devoured them eagerly. No news is ever so welcome as that which one longs to hear--even before it is confirmed.

The Hook was ready for us, we were told. The Great Eastern steamer St. Petersburg was there awaiting our arrival, having the night before landed Prince Lichnowsky and the other members of the German Embassy in London. The Kaiser's emissary had passed to the ship through a British guard of honor, while shore batteries fired an ambassador's salute. How like Sir Edward Goschen's slinking departure from Berlin, we thought! Shortly after two o'clock the St. Petersburg lifted anchor and amid typical North Sea weather, raw, rainy and misty, got under way. Few thought of German submarines at that time, but the Berlin Government, we pondered, had not guaranteed Sir Edward Goschen "safe conduct" through an indiscriminately sown field of floating mines. Quite obviously, we had now to pass through a zone bristling with uncertainty, to put it mildly. But we had not steamed far into the open sea before the sight of a British torpedo-boat flotilla on patrol convinced us that we were in a well-shepherded course. Then we had our first ocular demonstration of Jellicoe's unremitting vigilance, for the crescent of destroyers far forward now began rapidly to close in upon us. Our identity was apparently not known to them, and they were taking no chances. "They sent a shot across our bow yesterday, with the Germans on board," explained the skipper of the St. Petersburg to Captain Henderson, the Naval Attaché, who was with him on the bridge. Captain Henderson was not disturbed by the possibility of our getting an innocuous three-pounder in our wireless rigging or some other harmless token of the destroyers' solicitude, but he was concerned lest so innocent a craft should cause British destroyer captains to burn up valuable oil fuel needlessly at such an hour. So the next I saw of Henderson he was wig-wagging mysterious messages with signal-flags from the bridge of the St. Petersburg, which told the destroyers, I suppose, that we weren't in the slightest respect worthy of their attention or shell. They wig-wagged something back which must have pleased Henderson, for presently he clambered down smilingly from the upper regions, and said: "That's all right!"

Harwich hove into view at what should have been sundown. By six o'clock we were at the pier, boarded by the naval authorities of the port and the customs-men. Sir Edward Goschen's party, after the Ambassador himself had vouched for the identity of each and every one of us, was disembarked without formalities, and at six-forty-five P.M. of Friday, August 7, we found ourselves treading British soil. There were policemen, soldiers, reporters and photographers on the dock, but no formal welcoming delegation for the Ambassador. Somebody whispered to him that a special train would convey him and his refugees to London, and to it he took his way as undemonstratively as if he were a Cook's tourist back from a "tripper's" jaunt to the Continent. I remarked to Tower that I was afraid Americans would have made a real fuss over Goschen if he were our Ambassador home from the enemy's country; whereupon The Daily News man ejaculated something which was to ring in my ears for a year or more, whenever I presumed to comment on that strange phenomenon with which it is now my task to deal--England and the English in war-time: "Wile, you Americans can not understand the English character." Tower was right.

An American is general manager of the Great Eastern Railway. I strongly suspect that he must have had an alien hand in even the semblance of a "demonstration" of greeting which Sir Edward Goschen encountered when our train pulled into Liverpool Street Station a little after eleven o'clock. I did not wait to watch it, nor even to claim my baggage, for there was a hungry first edition waiting for my "story" at The Daily Mail office, and to Carmelite House I flew in the first taxi into which I could leap. By midnight Beattie, the night editor, was tearing "copy" from my hands as fast as an Underwood could reel it off, and it was rapidly approaching breakfast-time when I called it a night's work and went to bed--in England at last.



More than once during the last phase of our exciting journey to England, across the mine-strewn waters between the Hook and Harwich, I reflected that I seemed doomed to take up my residence on British soil in war-time. It was in the spring of 1900, in the anxious days between Ladysmith and Mafeking, when the tide of victory was still running in favor of the Boers, that I first arrived in London, and my lot was cast there for the succeeding year and a half of the South African struggle. I felt certain that the feverish interest with which even the sluggish British temperament had followed every detail of a campaign ten thousand miles away, and which engrossed only a fraction of the Empire's strength, would pale into tepid insignificance compared to the concern which would be generated by a tremendous European war only a channel-crossing distant. But I had time for only one breakfast and one morning's papers before I realized that John Bull had donned, even for Armageddon, the garment in which his bosom swells the proudest--the armor of invincible inexcitability.

Actually the only wrought-up people in the British Isles during the first week of the war appeared to be the frantic American tourist refugees, who, of course, heavily outnumbered their brothers and sisters in wretchedness whom I had left behind in Germany. If it had not been for the frantic transatlantic sob and worry fraternity storming the steamship and express companies' offices in Cockspur Street and the Haymarket on the morning of Saturday, August 8, when I went out to look for the war in London, no one could possibly have made me believe that such a thing existed. Such portions of the community as had not started for the links, the ocean, the river or the country "as usual" were demeaning themselves as self-respecting, imperturbable Britons customarily do on the edge of a "week-end." The seaside holiday season was at its zenith. The immortal "Twelfth," when grouse-shooting begins, was approaching. Everybody who was anybody was "out of town," and stayed there. It was only those fussy, fretting Americans who insisted upon losing their equilibrium and converting the most placid metropolis in the universe into a bedlam of unseemly agitation and alarm. It was "extraordinary," Englishmen said, how they resolutely declined to take a lesson from the composite stolidity of Britain, preferring to give their emotions unrestrained rein and to keep the cables hot in imperious demands for ships, gold and other panaceas for the scared and stranded. Which reminds me to say that traditional British hospitality to the stranger within the gate was never showered more graciously on American friends than in that trying hour.

The British had worried a whole week about the war already. That was a departure and a concession of no mean magnitude, for it is their boast and pride that they never "worry." Having, however, yielded to such un-British instincts in the earliest hours of the crisis, they pulled themselves together and swore a solemn resolve, come what may, not soon again to succumb to indecorous habits which the world associated exclusively with the explosive French or the irresponsibly impulsive "Yankees." I felt instinctively that an effectual rebuke was being administered to me personally by the writer of the following newspaper review of London after three days of war:

"A new metal has come into the London crowd out of the crucible of these last few days. The froth and fume of flag-wagging have evaporated; so, too, have lifted bone-quaking mists of dread and suspense. Exultation and depression are alike unhealthy. It is good that we are now free from them.

"The faces in the street are the barometers of the souls that men hide. It does one's heart good to walk London and to behold that very notable rise--apparent to every one and swift in its example--of the mercury of the people. The great war took all our comprehensions unawares. Although it has boded for years, it walked at last like an unbelievable spectre into a warm and lighted room. What wonder that we were shaken? What wonder at a creeping ague of the spirit in front of the unknown?

"The dizziness has gone. The trial before us, black as it is, is not so black as our anticipation of it. We have already surprised ourselves no less than we have confounded our enemies by our rally and our readiness. The financial situation is saved, the banks re-open, the food supplies are safeguarded, and prices controlled.

"A tremendous accession of calmness and reliance has come to the nation by the appointment of Lord Kitchener to the War Office. The news that the Army is in his hands, a rock of a man, has swept through London like a vivifying breeze.

"London is swinging back to as much of its normal life as possible. She has found herself. She is bravely being the usual London--the great city serene."

Far more profitable, obviously, than hunting war excitement was examination of the causes which accounted for its absence, and to that I forthwith devoted myself. In the first place, there was the navy, "England's All in All." By a fortuitous circumstance, for which, with all his faults, the Empire must render imperishable gratitude to its young half-American First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, the Fleet was instantly at its "war stations," fully mobilized, and in a state of battle-readiness and general efficiency unparalleled in British history. War maneuvers on an unapproached scale had been in progress for the preceding fortnight or three weeks. Only the merest word of command was wanting to convert the Grand Fleet into the battering-ram and shield, to constitute which in the hour of emergency it had been created. "Ringed by her leaden seas," which were held, moreover, by a "supreme" armada, there seemed every justification for equanimity, for the United Kingdom has no frontiers which an invading army can violate as long as Britannia rules the waves.

The domestic political situation, more menacingly turbulent than at any time within the memory of living Englishmen, had been resolved with miraculous rapidity and completeness. "Revolution" in Ulster, on which the Germans had so fondly banked, vanished as effectually as if it had never raised its head. "We will ourselves defend the coasts of Ireland," declared John Redmond in the House of Commons in a speech which will never die, "and I say to the Government that they may to-morrow withdraw every one of their troops from Ireland." Mrs. Pankhurst, freshly released from a periodical hunger-striking sojourn in Brixton jail, announced that the suffragettes had stacked arms and now knew only womankind's duty to England. That sent another Berlin dream careening into oblivion. "His Majesty's Loyal Opposition" proclaimed in Parliament through the mouth of the Conservative leader, Bonar Law, that the Government's political opponents were prepared to accord it "unhesitating support." In the Government itself the "Potsdam Party," as that relentless iconoclast, Leo Maxse, long termed the coterie which was for peace with Germany at almost any price, was either weeded out or suppressed. Lord Morley, the Lord President of the Council; "Honest John" Burns, still true to convictions, President of the Local Government Board, and Charles P. Trevelyan, Parliamentary Secretary of the Board of Education, unobtrusively retired from Mr. Asquith's official family in consequence of their inability to sanction the war. They have played their parts meantime with honorable consistency--by maintaining an hermetical silence on questions of the war. And finally, though primarily in popular judgment, Lord Haldane, the graduate of Göttingen, the translator of Schopenhauer and the admirer of German Geist, was driven by scandalized public opinion from the War Office, whither he had just come as an "assistant" to the Prime Minister, whose cabinet portfolio was the Secretaryship for War. Most of England sighed with thankful relief when the able Scotch lawyer and philosopher whom contemporary history accuses of responsibility for Britain's military unpreparedness, beat an ignominious retreat back to his regular post, the wool-sack, which, as Lord Chancellor, he by general consent conspicuously adorned. The country's relief became enthusiastic assurance when the lawyer, Asquith, himself retired from the War Office, to make way for the soldier, Kitchener, who was recalled by telegram the day before from Dover, just as he was about to board ship for Cairo, to resume his duties as the ruler of Egypt. With the "Potsdam Party" banished or made harmless, the Cabinet was now regarded as satisfactorily purged. The public heard with boundless gratification that the "strong men" of the Government--Grey, Lloyd-George and Churchill--had been uncompromisingly for war from the start as the only recourse compatible with British honor, to say nothing of the elementary dictates of self-preservation. It was at length possible for Mr. Asquith to assure the country that he presided over an administration of whose unity of view and determination there was no shadow of a doubt--a Government which was resolved, as Sir Edward Grey's great speech in the House of Commons on August 3 set forth, to accomplish three cardinal purposes:

1. To protect the defenseless French coast against attack by the German navy;

  1. To defend the integrity of Belgium; and

3. To put forth all Britain's strength and not run away from the obligations of honor and interest.

When the events of the Great War, and perhaps the chief actors in it themselves, have passed away, some British historian will almost certainly arise to tell the world the story--the "inside story"--of how Mr. Asquith's cabinet, through three days and nights of doubts, uncertainties, trials and tribulations, crossed the Rubicon to the shore of unanimity on the subject of British participation. There were moments, beyond all question, when that issue hung perilously in the balance. The French Government's frantic eleventh-hour appeals for a decision in Downing Street are mute evidence of the vacillation which prevailed--a species of tentativeness which has never been missing from the British conduct of the purely diplomatic affairs of the war. The ministerial debates during which the die was cast in favor of war will make immortal reading, even if only a digest of them is all that is vouchsafed posterity. The "strong men" of the Government, if report is reliable, were called upon to fight valiantly and ceaselessly to avoid England's "running away from the obligations of honor and interest." The tense interval which ensued while they were battering down the trenches of skepticism, chicken-heartedness and nonchalance among their Cabinet colleagues caused a delay which might easily have proved of fatal import; for the decision to throw the strength of the British army, as well as the navy, into the scales was under discussion, and it is conceivable that the Expeditionary Force, which it was eventually determined to send, might have been kept back for weeks, or even altogether, instead of the mere days its dispatch was actually retarded. Disaster incalculable would almost inevitably have resulted in that event.

The indispensable and all-governing preliminary measures for war in respect of domestic politics, the Government and the naval and military administration having thus been taken, equally radical precautions were invoked to put the nation's economic house in order. The Stock Exchange, following the lead of New York, Paris and Berlin, had shut down as early as July 31, in order that mere insensate panic on the part of the speculative and investing world might not degenerate into irretrievable rout. War having descended with irresistible suddenness during the "week-end" preceding the traditional August Bank Holiday (Monday, the 3rd), a meeting of great financiers in the Bank of England on the holiday itself decided to prolong it, as far as banks and bankers were concerned, for three days, i.e., until Friday, the 7th, in what turned out to be the well-grounded hope that public excitement would meantime subside and prevent "runs" ruinous alike to banks and depositors. A moratorium was established. The Bank discount-rate, which had already vaulted from four to eight per cent., was now raised to ten, an unheard-of figure, which effectually curbed the lust of persons anxious to profit from war abnormalities or otherwise indulge in operations not consistent with the gravity of the hour.

Germans Anxious to Fly from England. Remarkable scenes were witnessed outside the American Consulate, thousands of Germans clamoring for passage back to Germany.

It was mainly these things--wholesome, substantial proofs that their rulers had grappled with the situation with bold initiative that inspired the people of London with reassurance, which, diluted with the stoicism of the British character, became calm confidence Gibraltar-like in its inflexibility. She had "the men," England was saying; she had "the ships," and, Parliament having voted an initial war fund of one hundred million pounds as unconcernedly as if it were a thousand-pounds grant for a new switch-track at Woolwich arsenal, she unmistakably had "the money," too.

But even more self-comforting, if possible, than this iron trust in her own inexhaustible resources was England's conviction in the invincibility of her Allies. Was not even little Belgium holding back the flower of the German army before Liége? Even in the unlikely event of Liége's fall, would not the impregnable fortress of Namur provide Krupp guns with a still tougher nut to crack? Those were, alas! the hours in which the existence of the forty-two-centimeter siege gun was not even mooted in ostrich England. France? The Germans would find a vastly different antagonist awaiting them this time in the Ardennes, the Vosges passes and along the Meuse and the Sambre. There was a "New France," a France of élan and iron. It was the virile Republic of Poincaré, Delcassé, Joffre, Bleriot, Pegoud and Carpentier, with which the Prussian hosts must this time measure lances, not the degenerate Empire of the third Napoleon, which crumbled at Sedan and Metz and surrendered Paris. Russia? "Can't you just hear the steam-roller rumbling across East Prussia and thundering at the gates of Berlin?" a great English peer asked me, in all seriousness, during my first week in London. "Isn't the tread of the Czar's countless millions, pounding remorselessly toward the west, almost audible?" he persisted. Millions of Englishmen were thinking and saying the same thing. As for the German army, almost as many of them were convinced that that "over-organized, peace-stale" military establishment, which was a magnificent spectacle on parade, but lacked leaders experienced in modern campaigning, would crash to pieces not only against "superior numbers" but against Allied troops and commanders who had been fighting great wars this past quarter of a century in Africa and Asia. London's feelings toward Germany seemed, indeed, almost compassionate. Many people, otherwise sane, talked about the war being over by Christmas. The Kaiser's navy would come out and be smashed, they calculated, and such work as had not already been accomplished by the Allied armies within the Fatherland's eastern and western frontiers would soon be completed by "internal collapse," industrial stagnation, national impoverishment and universal starvation. Poor Germany! She had brought it on herself. Her end, after a peace soon to be dictated in Berlin, would manifestly be speedy and annihilating. The Social Democrats, it was true, were bamboozled into support of the war by fictitious assurances that the sword had been "forced" into Germany's unwilling and blameless hand, but the scales would presently fall from their eyes, and then woe betide whatever remained of the Hohenzollerns' ravished, defenseless realm! Street-hawkers in the Strand were selling blatant copies--a penny each--of The Kaiser's Last Will and Testament. Would William II be sent to St. Helena, like the other Napoleon, or be interned in some more accessible point in the British Empire, to pass the remaining days of his humiliation and remorse? And the "Crown Prince" with him, of course. These were the reveries of Britain in the early days of August, 1914. Nothing disturbed them except the creaking and the rumbling of the Russian steam-roller. Those being dulcet reverberations, John Bull paused eagerly in the midst of his musings to let them lull him into a still deeper siesta of optimism....

Serene and imperturbable as the vast majority of Englishmen were, the responsible leaders of the nation were under no delusions as to the magnitude of the task now confronting them. To the country's intense astonishment, though Lord Roberts had been dinning it in their ears incessantly for at least five years previous, England found itself in a state of practical impotence as far as effective participation in modern large-scale military operations was concerned. In the same five minutes during which Parliament voted one hundred million pounds as a first war credit, it also sanctioned an increase of the British army by five hundred thousand men. At that moment the Home military establishment, which was immediately mobilized as "The British Army Expeditionary Force" when England decided to enter the war with her soldiers as well as her sailors, consisted of eight divisions of all arms--roundly, one hundred fifty thousand men. An organization of another half-million troops, officered and equipped for a great Continental campaign, could not be stamped out of the ground. Its production, even in a country with the glorious military traditions of England, was manifestly fraught with stupendous difficulties. There was no mistrust of British patriotism; but when men recalled the futility of Lord Roberts' efforts to implant in England's conscience the necessity of some form of National Service--how he not only failed, but was ridiculed and vilified for pursuing his sagacious crusade in the face of merciless rebuff--and when inherent British repugnance to "soldiering" and even to wearing uniforms was remembered, there were widespread misgivings.

Prussian militarism long filled me with abhorrence. I had learned to detest it not as an institution, but for its numerous disgusting manifestations, principally the arrogance of its gilded popinjays and the brutal and overweening contempt in which their traditions and training taught them to hold mere civilian microbes. Yet in those frantic hours when hopelessly unready military England was compelled to patch up an army for battle against the world's most scientific war-machine, I pondered what a blessing a little "militarism" would have been for the British democracy. I had seen Germany trooping off to war, singing, cheering and flower-garnished; and I knew that her debonair demeanor was due less to lust for the fray--the great mass of the nation was animated by no such sentiment as that--than to the realization, which sprang from immutable facts and numbers, that her citizen army was equal to almost any emergencies it would be called upon to meet. Germany was a nation in arms. England was a nation in difficulties. How grotesquely unprepared to play a commensurate part in a military war, compared to her Continental allies and foes, this table showing the size of the various armies indicates:

                             Peace footing    War footing    Guns

Great Britain ...............    234,000         380,000    1,000
Austria-Hungary .............    500,000       2,200,000    2,500
France (including Algeria) ..    790,000       4,000,000    4,200
Germany .....................    850,000       6,000,000    5,500
Russia ......................  1,700,000       7,000,000    6,000

Lord Kitchener was obviously the man of the hour. An organizer primarily, rather than a strategist, tactician or field-marshal, his appointment to the War Secretaryship demonstrated that whoever was responsible for it--men say it was Lord Northcliffe--recognized instantly the all-overshadowing requirement: a recruiting sergeant. Joffre, the French Commander-in-Chief, would necessarily retain the supreme direction of the Allied forces operating against the German front in France and Belgium. England's part was to send him men. And the one to find, drill and equip them was unmistakably Kitchener of Khartum, South Africa, India and Egypt, the "organizer" of victory against the fuzzy-wuzzies and the Boers, the disciplinarian who had galvanized the Indian army into new life, and the administrator who was licking Egypt into Imperial shape. There would be time enough for the war itself to produce another Wellington or Roberts. What was needed now was men, rifles and guns, cartridges, shells and uniforms, war-planes, motor-lorries and hospital-trains and all the other innumerable impedimenta of modern man-killing. The summoning to the task of the big bluff soldier who first saw the light in County Kerry, who was looked upon as the incarnation of initiative and relentless efficiency, and who had proved his right so to be considered, was elementary and inevitable. It was work for a "sergeant-major" and a "drill-sergeant" rather than for a Napoleonic genius; and when England learned that "K.," as he is affectionately known in the army, was on the prodigious job, England took heart. She responded with a will to his first appeal for men. The hoardings of the Kingdom were plastered with it on the morning of August 8. It read as follows:

|                                                                  |
|                     YOUR KING AND COUNTRY                        |
|                          NEED YOU.                               |
|                                                                  |
|                        A CALL TO ARMS                            |
|                                                                  |
|  An addition of 100,000 men to his Majesty's Regular Army        |
|  is immediately necessary in the present grave National          |
|  Emergency.                                                      |
|                                                                  |
|  Lord Kitchener is confident that this appeal will be at once    |
|  responded to by all those who have the safety of our            |
|  Empire at heart.                                                |
|                                                                  |
|                      TERMS OF SERVICE                            |
|                                                                  |
|  General Service for a period of 3 years or until the war is     |
|  concluded.                                                      |
|                                                                  |
|            Age of Enlistment between 19 and 30.                  |
|                                                                  |
|                        HOW TO JOIN                               |
|                                                                  |
|  Full information can be obtained at any Post Office in the      |
|  Kingdom or at any Military depot.                               |
|                                                                  |
|                      GOD SAVE THE KING!                          |
|                                                                  |

In the past England's volunteer army had been maintained by a recruiting system which produced, on the average, about thirty-five thousand new men a year. They did not come easily, even in halcyon peace times, and the gaily-caparisoned recruiting-sergeant in Trafalgar Square, who would buttonhole a hundred likely "Tommies" in a day, earned well his fee if he succeeded in inducing ten of them to "take the shilling." It remained to be seen if "the present grave National Emergency" would find dormant in Britain military talent and inclination hitherto undreamt of. In the opening flush of the excitement and enthusiasm which the war engendered, Lord Kitchener's hopes were satisfactorily realized. Recruiting-offices in numerous districts were literally stormed. The response from the middle, "upper-middle" and upper classes was particularly buoyant. Duke, peer, aristocrat, nobleman, "nut," banker, lawyer, doctor, merchant, teacher and clerk came forward splendidly. But artisan, docker and miner lagged. The lower class revealed an inclination to continue to throng the public-houses rather than the recruiting-offices. It seemed evident at the outset that it was not they who were bent on saving England. They gave disquieting indication that their sort of patriotism was primarily individual self-preservation, that for them, love of country began at home. A waking-up process in their unenlightened ranks was destined to come to pass, thanks mainly to "separation allowances" for missus and the kids, but it was never to attain the dimensions of a rousing which extorted from their atrophied intelligence even an approximate appreciation of their obligations or their country's peril. Britain's war is being waged, as it will be won--speaking broadly--by the patriotism and blood of the excoriated upper ten thousand. The struggle had been in progress for more than a year, at a cost of nearly five hundred thousand British casualties, when it was still necessary for Lloyd-George to remind working-class England, in as unqualified language as a politician dare speak to the nation's electoral masters, that it was not doing its full duty.

While Britain at large still hugged the delusion of easy victory, in grotesque underestimation of the enemy's power, and while Kitchener's recruit-finding machinery was being put in vigorous motion, the War Office, in co-operation with the navy, was accomplishing as magnificent a piece of military work as army annals hold--the silent landing of the British Expeditionary Force of one hundred and sixty thousand men, with its full complement of horses, guns and stores, on the shores of France. That feat will live as immortal disproof of the charge popular in the United States that "hustle" is a word which is conspicuously missing from the British lexicon. Compared to it, our "hustle" in landing an army in Cuba in 1898 was the quintessence of procrastination and muddle. The British railways had been taken over by the Government coincident with the arrival of war, an "Executive Committee" consisting of the General Managers of the main companies having been established more than a year previous as an advisory council for such an emergency as had now supervened. Embarkation of the Expeditionary Force commenced on the night of August 7th. Admiral Jellicoe, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet, assured Lord Kitchener that the channel passage was as safe as the Thames itself. The British public, receiving its first lesson in relentless censorship of war news, was kept so effectually in the dark as to the dispatch of the largest army which ever left English shores that it knew nothing whatever of it till the host was at its destination, with breasts bared to the foe. The landing of Sir John French's legions on the soil of France was accomplished, complete in every detail, by August 17th.

British railways, when the record of that marvel of transportation is compiled, will share the honors with the ironclads of Britain's navy and the liners of her mercantile marine. Southampton being the main port of departure, the performance of the London and Southwestern Railway, which has carried so many thousand Americans in pacific days from Waterloo Station to the ship's side, is a case in point. I heard Sir H. A. Walker, the "Southwestern's" general manager make before the American Luncheon Club in London the first announcement of the railways' part in England's military mobilization. With his subsequent permission, I was privileged to give the British public its first information on that subject. The L. & S. W. had been assigned the task of making ready for dispatch to Southampton within sixty hours three hundred and fifty trains of thirty cars each. It did the trick in forty-five hours. During the first three weeks of war there were dispatched to and unloaded at the ships' sides seventy-three of such trains every fourteen hours. They arrived from the four quarters of the kingdom, and none of them was late. "I come from the land of 'big railway stunts,'" said Henry W. Thornton, the American general manager of the Great Eastern railway when Sir H. A. Walker had told this convincing story of British "hustle." "We think we are 'pulling off' some feat when we handle G.A.R. encampments and national conventions, but what British railways accomplished in the ten days between August 7 and 17 last may fairly be claimed as a unique record in railway history." What Mr. Thornton modestly failed to add was that he himself, as a colleague presently bore testimony, had played a conspicuous rôle in the drama of British military mobilization. Certain inanimate things, almost as well known to Americans as Mr. Thornton, played big parts, too. The palatial Mauretania, with her suites de-luxe battered into cargo-room for Tommy Atkins, and her big new sister, Aquitania, with only a maiden crossing or two to her credit, similarly knocked to pieces, made incessant trips back and forth between Southampton and other channel ports to Dieppe, Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk, landing in France on each occasion no less than five thousand British fighting-men, ready for death and glory.

Each mother's son of them carried with him this little personal message from Lord Kitchener:

"You are ordered abroad as a soldier of the King to help our French comrades against the invasion of a common enemy. You have to perform a task which will need your courage, your energy, your patience.

"Remember that the honour of the British army depends on your individual conduct. It will be your duty, not only to set an example of discipline and perfect steadiness under fire, but also to maintain the most friendly relations with those whom you are helping in this struggle. The operations in which you are engaged will, for the most part, take place in a friendly country, and you can do your own country no better service than in showing yourself in France and Belgium in the true character of a British soldier.

"Be invariably courteous, considerate, and kind. Never do anything likely to injure or destroy property, and always look upon looting as a disgraceful act. You are sure to meet with a welcome, and to be trusted; your conduct must justify that welcome and that trust. Your duty can not be done unless your health is sound. So keep constantly on your guard against any excesses. In this new experience you may find temptations in wine and women. You must entirely resist both temptations, and, while treating all women with perfect courtesy, you should avoid any intimacy.

"Do your duty bravely.
"Fear God.
"Honour the King.
"KITCHENER, Field-Marshal."

I remained in England only a week after my arrival from Germany. Part of the time had been pleasantly spent editing a special "American edition" of The Times for Lord Northcliffe, who placed the full machinery of his journalistic organization at the disposal of the "Yankee War Refugees." He was only prevented from extending them the hospitality of Sutton Place, his lovely estate in Surrey, now a hospital, for a "week-end" outing by the inability of the railways to guarantee the necessary special train facilities. To my astonishment but unalloyed delight Lord Northcliffe "ordered" me to take a month's vacation in the United States. He thought my family and kinsmen would like to have a look at an "English spy," fresh from Germany, before the earmarks of his nefarious trade had entirely evaporated, and so, having obtained the last bunk left on that veteran Cunard hulk, S.S. Campania, which had brought my wife and me to Europe on our honeymoon voyage, I sailed away from Liverpool on Saturday, August 15th, along with twelve hundred or fifteen hundred other sardines packed in an eighteen-knot steel box.



Somewhere in E. W. Hornung's Raffles, there is this homely bit of epigrammatic philosophy:

"Money lost, little lost. Honor lost, much lost. Pluckiest, all lost!"

The aphorism was paraphrased by my fellow war refugees in the Campania, tucked away in couples, trios, quintettes and baker's dozens into cabins which the Cunarder's designers back in the dim mid-Victorian past built for a half or a third as many passengers.

They made it read like this:

"Baggage lost, all lost!"

Now and then some particularly sentimental soul would spare a humanitarian thought for the minor horrors of the calamity which had fallen upon Europe and civilization. But his heart would not throb for long when somebody would break in upon his maudlin reflections with a really harrowing tale of trunks left behind in Berlin, Hamburg or Cologne, in Carlsbad, Lucerne or Ostend, at the Gare du Nord in Paris, or the quayside in Boulogne or Calais; or of suit-cases and "innovations" lost, strayed or stolen in the maelstrom of military traffic in Germany, Belgium or France; or of Packards, Peerlesses, Studebakers or Overlands summarily abandoned somewhere in the war zone. What were Europe's travails to these genuine disasters? It was all right for the war-mad Continent to deck itself in battle-paint if sanguinarily inclined, but ruthlessly and without notice to break up Americans' traveling plans, knock Cook tours into a cocked hat, interrupt "cures," and on top of that, if you please, actually to play ducks and drakes with the personal effects of free-born American citizens--all because, forsooth, eight or ten million troops required the right of way and insisted upon getting it--that was manifestly the last word in inconsiderateness. Incidentally, of course, it denoted how hopelessly inefficient Europe was, anyway, in the presence of a sudden emergency. Why, the general manager of a cross-town transfer company in New York would have tackled the job without turning a hair. Bah! It served Americans right--quoth a promenade-deck psychologist. Year in and year out they'd been lavishing "good United States dollars" on Europe, and this was her gratitude to her best paying guests. There was no dissent from the view, which prevailed from rudder to bow, that it was the ragged edge of what Bostonians call "the limit." "See America first!" ceasing to be mere admonition, was burnt there and then into the hearts of our baggage-bereft ship's company with all the force of a fervid national aspiration. "Never again!" was the way my Chicago millionairess deck-chair neighbor, who looted the Rue de la Paix annually, sententiously epitomized not only her aggrieved sentiments, but those of nearly everybody else. All swore a virtuous vow henceforth to practise the stay-at-home habit and for the rest of eternity let man-killing Europe wallow in its savagery.

The story of the exodus which the Second Book of Moses records will probably outlive the flight of the children of Columbia across the Atlantic in the summer of 1914. But that hegira will outrank its Egyptian prototype in one gleaming respect--its atmosphere of indomitable good humor, once the Campanians surmounted the initial stage of "grouch," groaning and gnashing of teeth.

Bank presidents and college professors willing to be buffeted across the ocean in the steerage; society women who bunked contentedly on sofas in the "ladies' saloon" of the stuffy second cabin; Pittsburgh plutocrats game enough to sleep six in a stateroom built for four; pampered folk with French chefs at home, who sat uncomplainingly through the interminable and usually refrigerated "second serving" in the Campania's old-fashioned dining-room; corporation lawyers with incomes the size of a King's civil list, who considered themselves lucky to have captured the hammocks of the fourth engineer or the hospital attendant in the odoriferous hold; all these compatriots, grinning and bearing, proved that after all we are the most adaptable people on earth. After each and all of us had exchanged tales of woe--everybody had one, even Doctor Ella Flagg Young, the septuagenarian Superintendent of Chicago's public schools, who was chased out of the war-zone across Scandinavia into England--and swapped stories of arrest or less thrilling inconveniences, and abused the incompetent authorities of the belligerent governments to our hearts' content, with a slap now and then, to vary the monotony, at our own United States--the Campania's passengers soon shook down to what turned out to be as jolly a crossing as any of us, I dare say, ever had. Between thrills about imaginary "German cruisers" and equally fantastic "rumbling of naval artillery," and our amusing discomforts, the week passed almost before we knew it, and more quickly than some of us even wished. There was, of course, that irrepressible Illinois State Senator who circulated a petition to "censure" the Cunard line for not sending us all home in the Aquitania, even though the British Government had requisitioned her for transport work; but a much more popular note was struck by my young friend, Miss Marjorie Rice, a typical New York belle, who collected a couple of hundred dollars with which to present Captain Anderson with a souvenir of our gratitude for having so gallantly brought us through invisible dangers. German cruisers were still roaming in the Atlantic, and, though we traveled at night with masked lights and took various other precautions like an occasional zigzag course, one never could tell, though I think most of us banished all thought of peril once we heard that British ironclads were keeping a lane of safety for Uncle Sam's fretting sons and daughters all the way from Fastnet to the Fire Island lightship. Asked by the ship's officers to tell "How the Germans Went to War" at the last-night-out concert, to which the Cunard Line with British reverence for tradition still religiously adheres, I could confidently interpret the sentiment of every American aboard in voicing deep thankfulness for the fact that Britannia ruled the waves. Going back with us to the United States was a batch of three or four young Germans, evidently of university education, because their jowls were embellished with saber-cuts. They had been stopped in England on their way home to fight, but were graciously permitted to return whence they came. Timorous friends beseeched me to beware of "saying too much" about the Germans in the hearing of these would-be soldiers of the Kaiser; but I escaped molestation and even heard next day that I had been "most fair."

Not till many days after we landed in New York did I know that two very eminent representatives of Allied Powers were sandwiched among the Campania's home-fleeing American passengers--Sir Cecil Spring-Rice, British Ambassador at Washington, and his colleague of France, the cultured Monsieur Jusserand. They had crossed in impenetrable incognito. Not only were their names missing from the passenger-list, but if they had ever promenaded or eaten or smoked, they must have done it in solitary enjoyment of their own exclusive society, as nobody during seven whole days and nights ever heard of them or saw them, or, what is vastly more miraculous aboard-ship, ever even talked about them. American newspapermen afloat in a liner like to flatter themselves that nothing with even the remotest odor of news ever escapes their insatiable quest. I had myself bored with strenuous pertinacity into every news-well in the Campania, and there were many. But Spring-Rice and Jusserand eluded me as thoroughly as if they had been contraband stored away in the hold, or stokers who only come to life out of the black hole of Calcutta once or twice a trip, when everybody with a white face is tight asleep. Bernstorff came in two days later like a brass band. The British and French Ambassadors broke into the United States, apparently, in felt-slippers through a back door on a dark night. The manner of the respective arrivals of the German and the Allied Ambassadors was to be characteristic of their conduct in the country throughout the war.

On Monday, August 24, I was lunching at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Bernstorff had landed that forenoon in the Dutch liner, Noordam. To my astonishment, the Ambassador, whom I had noticed lunching a few tables away with James Speyer, arose and advanced across the restaurant to where I was sitting. Bernstorff and I were old acquaintances. I liked him. Most newspapermen did. Through long residence in Washington, he had acquired an almost Rooseveltian art in dealing with us. I used to see him regularly during his periodical official visits to Berlin, having known him professionally from the days he was Councillor of the German Embassy in London during the Boer War. Few Americans are aware that Count Bernstorff was born in England while his father was serving as Prussian Minister to the Court of St. James. History was destined to repeat itself in the case of the son, who not only adopted the career of his father, but when he became an ambassador to a neutral country during one of Germany's wars was called upon to occupy himself just as the elder Count Bernstorff had done in London in 1870-71. The father put in most of his time in England in a vain endeavor to persuade Queen Victoria's Government to place an embargo on shipment of British arms and ammunition to the French. He failed as lamentably in that effort as his son and heir was destined to do in the United States under almost identical circumstances forty-four years later.

Smiling his most persuasive diplomatic grimace, Count Bernstorff went straight to the object of his luncheon-table call on me.

"Wile," he began, "you've gone back on us! I can see your hand at work in the attitude the New York Times has taken up."

I could not imagine at what the genial Count was driving. Perhaps he had read in the preceding day's Times my long account of the beginnings of the war as I observed them in Berlin, or my introduction to The Times' exclusive publication of the German White Paper, printed that day.

"Your Excellency flatters me," I ventured to rejoin. "I have only been in the country since Saturday night, and my activities at The Times office have been limited to the very prosaic duty of handing in several wads of 'copy' written aboard-ship."

But Bernstorff knew better. I had poisoned the atmosphere of Times Square against Germany's holy cause. He insisted upon thrusting upon me some occult influence over Mr. Ochs, The Times' able proprietor, and Mr. Miller, its brilliant editor, and said he was going to see somebody or other at The Times later in the day and "fix things up." Judging by the rivers of interviews which thenceforth flowed in an unceasing torrent from the Ambassador's headquarters in the Ritz-Carlton, he must have seen not only some Times men, but nearly all the journalists in Greater New York. How satisfactorily he "fixed things up" with the great newspaper which has proved to be the Allies' most consistent and effective supporter in the United States could be judged from next morning's edition, which was about as anti-Bernstorffian as could be imagined. The Imperial German Press-Agent's palaver about his ability to "fix things up" was bombast, pure and unalloyed. There was never the slightest possibility that he could "fix" anything in the New York Times office or in any American newspaper office where self-respect, journalistic honor and rugged independence are enthroned. There are American newspapers which lay no claim to these virtues, and their names are undoubtedly, and long have been, carefully card-indexed at 1435 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, D.C. Some of their owners have decorations bestowed by the Kaiser.

It proved to be a rare stroke of Fate which took me to the Ritz-Carlton, for I was destined to be an eyewitness of the assemblage of the Kaiser's Great General Staff for the Germanization of American public opinion on the war. Doctor Dernburg had arrived in the Noordam with Count Bernstorff, and along with them came Captain Boy-Ed, the Naval Attaché at Washington. I knew personally, from Berlin days, both the ex-Colonial Secretary and the sailor. Dernburg, before he was pitchforked into Government office from the comparatively humble station of a bank director in 1906, was the most approachable of men. His command of the American language was remarkable--an inheritance from his youth, part of which was spent as a volunteer clerk in a Wall Street bank. I never forgot my first call on him in Germany. I assumed him to be a Jew, as his father was. Some Semitic question of public interest was the news of the moment, and I regarded Dernburg an ideal man to interview. With a smile I recall how, insistently disavowing his origin, he told me I had come to "the wrong address." Later I watched his tempestuous career as administrator of the barren sand-wastes known as German colonies, saw him give electioneering in the Fatherland a new phase with his shirt-sleeves campaigning methods, and observed his meteoric rise to Imperial grace and political power, so soon to be followed by his equally precipitate fall from those dizzy heights. Dernburg's lack of manners and tact was commonly said in Berlin to have led to his official demise after less than four years of Cabinet glory. No one ever questioned his eminent ability. But his reputation as a banker rested on cold-blooded ruthlessness, and when he attempted to carry those methods into a bureaucratic government department, he struck snags which wrecked his bark. Neither he nor I supposed on August 24, 1914, when we chatted in the palm-court of the Ritz-Carlton, that his attempt to transplant Berlin ruthlessness into the United States would eventually prove his undoing there, too.

Captain Boy-Ed, as subsequent history was also to show, was bent on practising in America the tactics which won him renown and promotion in Germany. Prior to coming to Washington as Count Bernstorff's Naval Attaché--the Kaiser had decided that the United States navy was attaining dimensions which required watching by a shrewd observer--the captain was von Tirpitz' right-hand man at the Imperial Admiralty in Berlin. He had charge of the so-called News Division, nominally entrusted with the duty of informing the German public of "routine naval intelligence, such as accidents, transfers of ships and officers, etc., etc.," as I once heard von Tirpitz persuasively and naïvely describe the functions of the Nachrichten-Abteilung during a periodical plea to the Reichstag for more dreadnoughts. Boy-Ed, the son of a Turkish father and a German mother, devoted himself chiefly in the years between 1906 and 1912 to conducting von Tirpitz' astute propaganda for naval expansion. It was the era in which the Kaiser's fleet was being converted by leaps and bounds from a navy of obsolete thirteen-thousand-ton ships of the Deutschland and Braunschweig class into an armada of dreadnoughts and battle cruisers of the eighteen-thousand to twenty-four-thousand-ton "all-big-gun" Ost-Friesland and Seydlitz class. German public opinion required to be carefully manipulated in order to secure parliamentary sanction for "supplementary" appropriations which rose by stealthy degrees from $60,000,000 to $115,000,000 a year. Boy-Ed was assigned the responsible duty of organizing and carrying out the necessary campaign of education, and right well and thoroughly he did it. The shoals of pamphlets, books, newspaper-articles, public-lectures, Navy League speeches and other "educational" matter with which the Fatherland was flooded--always with "England, the Foe" as the leitmotif,--were to a large extent the child of Boy-Ed's resourceful brain. He did not write them all, of course, but he was their inspirer-in-chief. I account him one of the real creators of the modern German navy, second only to von Tirpitz himself. It was "the chief's" idea, but Boy-Ed made its materialization a practical possibility.

Knowing his methods, no revelations of his pernicious activities in the United States ever surprised me. He was only up to his old tricks, altering them to suit the American climate and character, but adhering always to certain basic principles which had stood him in such good stead in the Fatherland. It would be ungrateful of me not to acknowledge numerous professional courtesies received at Boy-Ed's hands when he was misleading the press of Germany and the world at the News-Division in Leipziger-Platz, Berlin. He nearly had me arrested at the Imperial dockyard in Wilhelmshaven in March, 1907, for gaining access, despite thoroughgoing preventive measures, to the launch of Germany's first dreadnought, the Nassau, but during his career at the Admiralty he more than made up for that by enabling me, in the columns of The Daily Mail, to be the medium of a formal discussion between von Tirpitz and the British naval authorities on the endlessly controversial question of Anglo-German sea rivalry. For the best "copy" it was ever my good fortune to send across the North Sea, my unwithering gratitude is due and is hereby expressed to the shifty chieftain of Germany's war-time "intelligence service" in the United States.

Who else besides Bernstorff, Dernburg, Boy-Ed and Speyer attended the opening council of war of the German field-marshals in the United States that broiling August day at the Ritz-Carlton, I never learned with certainty. Dernburg assured me that as far as he was concerned, purely humanitarian business had brought him to our generous shores; he had come to collect funds for the German Red Cross, and he once wrote me a letter on paper emblazoned with that worthy organization's innocuous trade-mark. I suspect that before the day was over, Professor Münsterberg of Harvard, Poet Viereck of The Fatherland, and Herman Ridder paid their respects to the propaganda-chieftains, and received their orders; and probably Julius P. Mayer, the New York manager of the Hamburg-American Line, and Claussen, his expert "publicity manager," left their cards, too. Evidently James Speyer thought his sequestered and palatial home at Rhinebeck-on-the-Hudson, far from the madding sleuths of the New York press, was a more ideal retreat for so momentous a pow-wow, for it was to that idyllic refuge that Count Bernstorff told me he was immediately repairing. Purely diplomatic affairs at Washington could obviously wait on the more transcendent business the Imperial German Ambassador now had in hand; and before he quit the banks of the Hudson for the shores of the Potomac, the Fatherland's marvelous attack on the natural sympathies of the American Republic in the great war was launched with all the force, skill and impudence of a German assault on the frontier of a foe.

New York was clearly more feverishly interested in the war than London. Nowhere in Fleet Street had I seen such vibrant throngs in front of newspaper-offices, as stood eager and transfixed by day and far into the night in Times and Herald Squares, Columbus Circle and Park Row. America might have been in the fray herself, to judge by the one absorbing topic which dominated men and women's talk and obsessed their thoughts. Detached as we were, it was unmistakable that Europe's agony had eaten deep into our souls, for even the baseball bulletin-boards were now deserted in favor of those which were telling in breathless telegrams of the German cannon-ball plunge through Belgium toward the fatal Marne and of Russia's seemingly irresistible advance into East Prussia. I had heard no Englishman arguing about the issues of Armageddon or the kaleidoscopic events of the battlefield with half the flaming ardor of those Broadway war experts. In fact there were no blackboards at all around which the British could hold curbstone parliaments, for Lord Kitchener's censorship was not parting with news enough, apparently, to make even the chalk worth while. In London I had observed the inexplicable phenomenon that at the moment when hell had broken loose for the British Empire, great journals, instead of deluging the public with news, actually reduced their ordinary size in some cases to four pages, though I believe that fear of a print-paper famine and disappearance of advertising had something to do with those atrophied dimensions. All in all, however, there was no doubt that isolated neutral America was excited about the war to a degree which reduced British interest almost to nonchalance by comparison.

Though I tarried in the East but forty-eight hours, I was conscious of breathing almost exclusively pro-Ally air. President Wilson's neutrality proclamation was being respected in letter, as far as restraining our people from actual breaches in favor of either belligerent group was concerned, but every minute of the day, everywhere, it was being vociferously violated in spirit. Before the war was a month old, Americans already were confessing freely that they were so "neutral" that they didn't care who won as long as Germany was "licked." They resigned themselves to the Chief Magistrate's dictum that the country as such must be guilty of no "un-neutral" acts, but it failed lamentably to still the natural instincts of American hearts which were beating fervently, irresistibly, for the Allies. Bernstorff's hour-by-hour interviews, apologies and explanations, Münsterberg's homilies, The Fatherland's vituperations, the New-Yorker Staatszeitung's editorials in English signed by Ridder and "boiler-plated" to any newspapers which would give them space, "fair play" appeals from obsequious ex-Berlin exchange-professors like Dean Burgess of Columbia--all these things fell on deaf ears. None of them could obliterate the crime of Germany, which loomed ineradicable on the war horizon as Americans scanned it--Belgium. All the instincts of American justice, liberty, humanity and regard for treaty obligations rebelled against "Necessity-knows-no-law" and "scrap of paper" ethics. We had gone to war ourselves, in 1898, to defend the rights of a small nation. The spectacle of Military Germany trampling little Belgium under foot, causelessly, mercilessly, was enough, had there been no other single issue to enlist our sympathy, to vouchsafe it, whole-heartedly, to the nations which were leagued in support of the old-fashioned principle that Right is nobler than Might. Thus was America's mind attuned in August, 1914, and at least in the opinion-molding area of the country which lies between the seaboard and the line where the Middle West begins, that mind was, with American predilection for reaching right conclusions spontaneously, irrevocably made up. The attempts of the Propaganda Steam-Roller to flatten out the anti-German prejudices provoked by the rape of Belgium were frantic, but fruitless. The pre-digested baby food which pedagogues and demagogues, ambassadors, brewers and rabbis now began to ladle out for American consumption did not temper those prejudices. Indeed, it was manifest that it was but aggravating them. Our own General Brooke, attending the German army maneuvers in Silesia eight or nine years ago, was asked by the Kaiser if he had ever been in Germany before. "Never in this part," remarked Brooke. "Where, then?" persisted William II. "In Cincinnati, Chicago and Milwaukee," replied the general. I was about to enter "that part" of Germany now. I was not there long before realizing that pro-Ally sentiment was immeasurably less assertive, at any rate, than in the outspokenly pro-Ally East. Chicago, of course, has more Germans than Düsseldorf, and Cincinnati and Milwaukee, in spots, are as Teutonic as Hamburg or Bremen, so it was natural to find Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles more than disputing supremacy with Rule Britannia. In Chicago pro-Germanism was rampant and articulate. An article written by me for the Chicago Tribune in the first fortnight of September, in which I ventured to express my opinion as to where the responsibility for the war lay, how long it would last and who would win it, brought down on me as violent a torrent of abuse as if it had been published in the Berliner Tageblatt. For saying that, in my judgment, the German War Party had made the war; that it would go on till Germany was beaten to her knees, and that eventual exhaustion of the Germanic Powers and the longer resources of the Allies would win the war for the latter, I became forthwith the target of all the forty-two-centimeter guns in the Windy City.



"We don't want to fight,
But, by Jingo! if we do,
We've got the men,
We've got the ships,
And we've got the money, too!"

When during the dark hours of the Russo-Turkish War in 1877 a London music-hall comedian named McDermott popularized the chorus of a ditty which has rung down the ages, he not only enriched the English language with a new synonym for a war zealot--Jingo--but he epitomized British faith in British invincibility and the basis on which it is founded. McDermott's blustering ballad, the Tipperary of its day, interpreted, by a fate which seems strangely ironical in the light of current events, Britain's determination to go to war to prevent the Bear from grabbing Constantinople.

The song applied precisely to conditions in this country in midsummer, 1914. Englishmen "didn't want to fight"--abroad, at least, for they were looking forward to cooling their belligerent ardor nearer home, in Ireland. But when the violation of Belgium resolved all dissension in the British Government on the question of intervention in a conflict which, up to then, concerned purely the Dual and Triple Alliances, and literally dragged Britain into the vortex in the name of both her honor and interest, Englishmen did want to fight. Taking quick stock of their resources, they felt assured, in McDermott's immortal words, that they had "got the men, the ships, and the money, too." But men, ships and money, vital as they are, are useless without leaders, and it was natural that Britons' first thoughts, in the dawn of the Empire's supreme emergency, should be concerned with the personnel of the helmsmen. A super-crisis calls insistently for super-men, and in the midst of an era which cynics call the age of mediocrities doubts were not few that England might find herself fatally lacking in a plight as stupendous as any Pitt, Nelson and Wellington had ever faced.

With their astonishing capacity to stifle domestic controversy and party bickerings on the threshold of a foreign crisis, Englishmen decided that the first essential was to repose implicit confidence in the existing Government. Ireland, Labor, Suffragettes, Opposition, the four thorns in the Asquith Administration's side, withdrew, leaving the cleavage they once made so completely healed that hardly a scar remained. The Liberal Cabinet, admittedly stale with nearly a decade of uninterrupted power, might not contain all the talents of statesmanship essential for the conduct of a struggle on whose issue hung Imperial existence. It was a Government overweighted with "tired lawyers," consisting (with the exception of Lord Kitchener) of exclusively professional politicians, and even tinged in important directions (like Lord Haldane) with confessed Germanophilism. It was a Government long and openly charged by its foes with desiring office at any cost and placing the perpetuation of its hold on the fleshpots before any other interest. It was a Government which had avowedly temporized with the Irish yesterday and the Labor Party to-day as the price of maintaining its Parliamentary existence. It was finally a Government notoriously consisting of rival internal factions best typified by the aristocratic Imperialism of Sir Edward Grey on the one hand and on the other by the rugged and radical Democracy of Mr. Lloyd-George. Yet the nation, in the presence of peril palpably incalculable, relegated its criticisms, its doubts and its carpings, and with one voice agreed that "Trust the Government!" must be the slogan of the hour. The Anglo-Saxon spirit of Fair Play asserted itself. The country said that the Asquith Administration must be given a chance to exhibit its mettle. If it failed, there was always time for a reckoning. The British Government of August, 1914, entered upon the war clothed with a mandate as sweeping in its powers as formal conferment of a Dictatorship could have been--a woof of national confidence amounting to little short of carte blanche. John Bright once said that a British Government is always annihilated by the war which it is called upon to wage. But Englishmen wished Mr. Asquith's Cabinet Godspeed, and by their unquestioning support of every measure it proposed showed that their loyalty and trust were real and sincere.

Although the British Government (by which is meant only the Premier's Administration) consists of twenty-one ministers of Cabinet rank, the war régime, it was manifest from the start, would be confined to five outstanding men combining the motive forces of the entire organization. These five were the Prime Minister himself, the Foreign Secretary (Sir Edward Grey), the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Lloyd-George), the First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Winston Churchill), and the Secretary for War (Lord Kitchener). Although the highest-salaried member of the Cabinet, the Lord High Chancellor (Lord Haldane) drew ten thousand pounds a year, and there were half-a-dozen others like the Home Secretary, the Colonial Secretary, the Secretary for India and the Presidents of the Board of Trade and Local Government Board whose financial status (five thousand pounds a year), outranked the four thousand five hundred pounds which Mr. Churchill received, the quintette named, by reason of their posts and personalities, was the logical inner Government to deal with the war. That brilliant English essayist and biographer, Mr. A. G. Gardiner, even further delimited the numerical dimensions of the real War Government when he said that "if Mr. Asquith is the brain of the Cabinet, Sir Edward Grey is its character and Mr. Lloyd-George is its inspiration."

Herbert Henry Asquith.

Herbert Henry Asquith, Yorkshireman by birth and barrister by profession, has been Prime Minister for seven years, succeeding his late Liberal chieftain, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, in 1908. Asquith, whom Bannerman used to call "the sledge-hammer," because of his lucidity of thought and expression, was sixty-three years old in September, 1915. Although not a Pitt, nor even a Disraeli or Palmerston, the statesman who looks like a Roman senator and is gifted with eloquence in keeping was considered in many respects a Heaven-sent blessing in the melting-pot era of British history, for as a purely steadying influence he is probably without a peer in contemporary politics. As a politician in the narrower sense of a party disciplinarian, manager and leader he will rank with the craftiest names in his country's tortuous history. British Liberalism has skated on perilous ice following the reaction which swept the Conservative Party from power after the Boer War and throughout the era of Democratic radicalism in which Great Britain has meantime had its being. That Mr. Asquith's party is enabled to celebrate ten years of sovereignty still strongly intrenched is by general consent due to the astute generalship of its commander-in-chief. Asquith is not commonly accused of imaginativeness. He is too typical a British statesman for that. His temperament is devoid of the adventurous, like that of the true intellectual, and he is pathologically fonder of harking to public opinion than boldly leading it. When he coined the "Wait and See" epigram during the Ulster crisis, he gave utterance to a phrase which accurately epitomizes the tentativeness so preponderant in his political career. British procrastination and vacillation at vital periods of the war were undoubtedly the reflex action of the Prime Minister's own low-speed mental processes. Yet in the revolt of the Curragh Camp officers, that strange curtain-raiser of the impending Ulster crisis, which threatened to embroil these fair isles in another Cromwellian trial of strength between Parliament and the army, Mr. Asquith, by a courageous stroke of positive genius--his own assumption of the Secretaryship for War in succession to the compromised Colonel Seely--resolved into tranquillity and hope a situation more menacing to civil peace in England than living Britons had ever before lived through. Beneath Mr. Asquith's polished exterior, unemotional mask and sweet reasonableness Germany, mistaking his for a peace-at-any-price nature, made one of the most egregious of her numerous and glaring miscalculations.

Only the results of the Peace Conference will determine the true ramifications of Sir Edward Grey's reputation. It was deservedly high when the war began. No Foreign Secretary in Europe approached him in stature, with the possible exception of Delcassé. He had long been Germany's bête noire, being looked upon as the incarnation of the British diplomatic policy of blocking German ambitions for a "place in the sun" wherever and whenever they manifested themselves. As long before as December, 1912, Professor Hans Delbrück, the sanest of German political professors, told me in a prophetic interview for The Daily Mail on "What Germany Wants" that unless England abandoned her policy of "arbitrary opposition to legitimate German political aspirations; if she had no inclination to meet us on that ground; if her interests rather pointed to a perpetuation of the anything-to-beat-Germany policy, so let it be. The Armageddon which must then, some day, ensue will not be of our making." That was a fairly plain warning of coming events. The Germans, as I have said, considered Sir Edward Grey anti-Germanism personified. They regard him to-day as the "organizer of the war." Taking an obviously short-sighted view, I used sometimes to think that it would have been good politics for Britain to buy off Germany with a Trinkgeld (tip) of some sort. If Bismarck was right when he called the Germans "a nation of house-servants," they could obviously have been bribed. Delbrück himself once confessed to me that Germany did not need more oversea territory; she only hankered for it for window-dressing purposes. She wanted as expensive millinery and high-powered a car as her rich neighbor across the way. Colonies were fashionable, and she had to have them. I occasionally thought that England would be staving off trouble for herself by bribing avaricious Germany with a coaling-station on some inconsequential trade-route or even shutting the eye to some burglarious descent on territory or concessions in Asia Minor or Central Africa. But such notions left the German character, the Oliver Twist in it, fatally out of account. The German is the most eager person in the world to covet a mile if given an inch. Concessions to his rapacity would have meant purchasing turmoil for the conceding party not eliminating it. British opposition to Pan-Germanic designs, typified by Sir Edward Grey, was based on thoroughgoing insight into the German nature and German ambitions, epitomized for all time by Bernhardi when he said that nothing would appease the Fatherland except World Power or downfall. Hush-money to Germany in the shape of periodically new "places in the sun" would have kept her quiet for spells. But the blackmailing process would have been resumed. It is the German way. "Mr. Balfour tells us we must not expect Englishmen to support our aims in the direction of territorial expansion," said Delbrück. "What remains then for us, except to enforce the accomplishment of our purposes by strengthened armaments?" Could avowal be plainer-spoken?

Sir Edward Grey is fifty-three years old and has been a childless widower since 1906. He has been a Member of Parliament continuously since he was twenty-three years of age. Though an Oxford graduate and successful barrister, he is in no sense a scholar, and his experience of foreign affairs up to his becoming Foreign Secretary in the Campbell-Bannerman ministry in 1905 was confined to an under-secretaryship of the Foreign Office in the preceding (Rosebery) Government. Grey, who is also of the smooth-shaven Romanesque type of statesman in external appearance, is an amazing example of natural British aptitude for the higher politics, for he is not a linguist (he speaks nothing but English) and except for a visit to France with the present King a couple of years ago was said never to have been abroad in his life. His hobbies are tennis, fly-fishing and birds. The only book he ever wrote was a treatise on the piscatory art and he tramped through the New Forest with Colonel Roosevelt talking ornithology all the way. Yet a man has only to read the British White Paper--he need not, indeed, do much except read Sir Edward Grey's dispatches to his ambassadors on July 29, 1914--to realize that the Foreign Secretary is a statesman of marvelous force and capacity to grapple with the essentials of a situation. No state papers of modern times outrival Grey's diplomatic correspondence on the eve of the war. They ought to insure him, as I believe they will, immortality, no matter how the war ends. Sir Edward Grey's speeches are like his dispatches--devoid of irrelevancy or rhetorical claptrap and incisive in the highest degree. They ring conviction and sincerity and their argument is usually unanswerable. Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg's clumsy attempts to parry Grey's mid-bellum dialectics have only brought out the latter in bolder relief. The war has notoriously eaten into Grey's soul. Germany calls it guilty remorse. Men who know are conscious that he labored for peace to the last minute with unflagging enthusiasm. His industry during the war has been intense, and his insistence upon looking at things for himself has threatened more than once to cost him his eyesight. As it is, intermittent relaxation has to be forced upon him by his colleagues and his medical advisers. Sir Edward Grey's permanent disappearance from Downing Street would rejoice Germany like a victorious battle. Grey has been violently blamed for the failure of Britain's mid-war diplomacy, especially in the Balkans. His own defense against charges of failure in that region is likely to seem plausible in the light of history, viz., that, unaccompanied by commensurate military successes, the efforts of Allied diplomacy in the Near East were almost hopelessly handicapped.

One night during the South African War a Radical M.P., advocating the downtrodden brother Boer's cause at a mass-meeting in Birmingham, received such a warm reception from the crowd that he had to flee for his life through a back-door, disguised as a policeman. His name was David Lloyd-George, whose present occupation is that of England's man of the hour. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer when war broke out and introduced the initial war budgets, earning thereby encomiums from the financial community which for years before looked upon him as capital's demagogic arch-foe. To-day, Minister of Munitions--the circumstances under which he became such are treated in a subsequent chapter--Lloyd-George comes far nearer being Britain's national hero than any of his contemporaries. He is charged by his detractors with the design to make himself Dictator. England could have a worse one.

If Lloyd-George were an American instead of a Welshman, he would have been President of the United States by this time, or at least as close to it as Bryan has ever been. There is in fact very little typically British about him. He is emotional, for example, and he has an imagination. His whole make-up is trans-atlantic, which is Anglice for sensational. Picture, if you can, a strong solution of Booker Washington (I mean, of course, only his eloquence), of flamboyant and appealing Billy Sunday, of the Boy Orator of the Platte at his silver-tongued best, and of our inimitable T. R. in his most rampageous form, and you will have Lloyd-George in composite. It was because he is all this that he was chosen for the "shells portfolio" in the reconstructed Asquith cabinet.


He knew very little--probably nothing--about munitions seven months ago. It could not have been very much before that when he probably thought that guncotton was raw material for pajamas. But he is the prize "enthuser" of the Kingdom, a master of the tedious art of welding drowsy Britons into a race of real war-makers. All the ingredients for supplying the army with the shells it needed were in existence; but they needed organization. The manufacturers and their works needed organization. The workmen needed organization. The public spirit needed organization; and the whole business needed a Lloyd-George. It got him ten months after it ought to have had him, but not too late. Obviously the diminutive Welsh country lawyer who had brought about the disestablishment of the State Church of Wales, imposed State Insurance and Old Age Pensions on a reluctant Kingdom, assailed the vested interests of the House of Lords and demolished them, was the man to impress the country with the true meaning of the shells tragedy. He took the stump, his natural element, for the purpose. He went to the people, especially in the great industrial centers, and told them the truth. He burned into their conscience--that was the only way to get the stolid British to wake up to a real peril--that shells, shells, and then shells, and nothing but shells, were required if Britain meant to win the war.

The people listened to Lloyd-George. He has a way of making them listen to him. They gave him their ear even in his pro-Boer days. They listened to him when he (an ardent Baptist) cleared for action against the Welsh Church. They listened to him even when he went down to Limehouse and coined a new word, "to limehouse," meaning violent political spell-binding, second cousin to demagogism, by the nature of his impassioned appeals to the people to rise and slay the Lords. It was inevitable that the country would listen to him in his newest and greatest rôle as organizer of victory.

Lloyd-George's goal is undoubtedly the Premiership--the ambition of every British politician. He has plenty of time to wait--he is only fifty-two--and unfailing week-end golf keeps him as "fit" as a man fifteen years his junior. Of Napoleonic stockiness of build, with a wealth of wavy gray hair worn long, he is a figure which radiates strength and power, though unimpressive of itself. He is a capital "mixer." It is, indeed, his principal political asset. He is as much at home laboring with a gang of recalcitrant miners at the pit-mouth--he always goes straight to headquarters when he essays to settle a strike--as he is on the floor of the House of Commons or as moderator at a Baptist convention. He likes Americans and specializes in extending hospitality to interesting ones. Unquestionably he has a strong hold on our imaginations, as a man of his temperament, career and talent is bound to have. An eminent Chicagoan visited London last summer, with introductions which would have easily paved his way to the throne or any other exalted British quarter. "Whom would you like to meet most of all?" he was asked. "Lloyd-George," he said, with the intuitive sense of a Yankee who only has time for the things worth while.

Winston Churchill, the son of an English father and an American mother, is the Peck's Bad Boy of the British Government. His popularity has been sadly dimmed since the war began, for he was looked upon as not only the author of the grotesque naval "relief" expedition to Antwerp--now either prisoners of war in Germany or interned in Holland--but the culprit who was chiefly responsible for the far more disastrous Dardanelles adventure. Another crime is charged against him, hardly less serious than the two just named: his imperious administration of the Admiralty drove from the First Sea Lordship the man universally considered Britain's greatest sailor, Lord Fisher. All agree, friend and foe, that to "Winston" was due in a very marked degree, England's superb readiness at sea when war broke out, but it is a matter of grave doubt whether even that superlative service to the country will be looked upon as great enough to blanket his subsequent and costly incompetencies. When the upheaval in the Asquith Cabinet came about, in the spring of 1915, Churchill was nominally squelched by interment in the harmless berth of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, most of whose official time is spent in licensing Justices of the Peace and Notaries Public. That ennui hung heavily on his hands was manifested by the announcement during the summer that Churchill had taken up painting as a pastime.

I have said that "Winston" was nominally subjugated, for a petrel of his peculiarly irrepressible storminess can only be wholly curbed by annihilation. Asquith is far too sagacious a politician to risk Churchill's complete eclipse in the Government of which he has always been the most picturesque constituent. Churchill, too, aspires to the Premier's toga, though a good many people fear that the defects of his qualities will keep him, just as they kept his distinguished father, Lord Randolph Churchill, from No. 10 Downing Street. But "Winston" is far less dangerous to the Government as a friend than as a foe. His chameleon political career justifies the fear that he would turn on his old associates and party cronies the moment he conceived that advantage to self was thereby obtainable. Obviously such a man is better in the Cabinet than out of it, especially if he is of Winston Churchill's undoubted personal charm, magnetism and resistless force.

Combining the best qualities of his dual ancestry, he makes a lively appeal to the average heart. Aristocratic to the core, with the blood of the Marlboroughs in his veins, and a snob of snobs in his personal relations, it is an anomalous fact that Churchill is an endlessly popular figure with the crowd. Whether it is his youth--he is only forty-one, was a soldier of no mean renown at twenty-three, a Member of Parliament at twenty-six, a Cabinet Minister at thirty-two and a force in Imperial politics long before he was forty--or his impetuous devil-may-care make-up, or his bombastic platform style, the masses like him. He has only one serious rival, indeed, in their affections, and that is Lloyd-George. He is remembered in war thus far not only for his Antwerp and Dardanelles indiscretions, but for his equally unhappy oratorical excesses, which are doomed, apparently, always to precede some untoward naval or military event. Within thirty-six hours of proclaiming at Liverpool (in September, 1914) that "if the German navy does not come out and fight, we shall dig it out like rats from a hole," U9 sent the Cressy, Hague and Aboukir to the bottom. In the spring of 1915, discussing the Dardanelles, Churchill blustered that "we are within a very few miles of the greatest victory this war has seen," and a few weeks later Kitchener announced that twelve miles of precarious front in Gallipoli were all there was to show for a campaign which had already cost eighty-seven thousand casualties. When Churchill prognosticates nowadays, the country trembles for what the next day will bring forth. Yet he is a rash prophet who would predict that "Winston" has run his course in British politics. He took manfully the discomfiture of the Coalition reshuffle, and although his picture is no longer cheered when it is flashed on the cinematograph screen the shrewdest seers are certain that he will "come back."[1]

[1] Churchill resigned from the Cabinet in November, 1915, declaring that he was a soldier--"and my regiment is in France." To it he said he preferred to go rather than continue in a position of "well-paid inactivity" at home. In a dramatic speech in the House of Commons, he took political farewell of the country and, having pleaded "Not Guilty" to the capital charges of responsibility for Antwerp and the Dardanelles, left England unostentatiously for the trenches, as a major of cavalry.

Lord Kitchener has always boasted that he scorned popularity. He has need for his philosophical temperament to-day, for there is no manner of doubt that his hold on the imaginations of his countrymen is less firm than it was when the war began. "K.'s" dramatic appointment to the War Office, in the earliest hours of the conflict, heartened the nation to an extraordinary degree. Britain had no army, Englishmen said, but it had Kitchener, who was a host in himself. His name alone was an asset which bred indescribable confidence. Men recalled his dominant traits--iron determination, strenuous application to duty, imperious disregard of hide-bound methods and red tape, and, above all, his genius for organization. They rejoiced to hear that he had accepted the War Office, long cob-webbed with circumlocutory traditions and petticoat influence, on the strict understanding that he was to be monarch of all he surveyed--that he would not tolerate such party interference as intrudes itself on departmental affairs in general. Immensely to the popular taste, because it confirmed the masses' conception of "K.," was the story that when he arrived at the War Office for the first time and was told there was "no bed here, Sir," he commanded the affrighted and astonished caretaker, then, "to put one in, as I am going to sleep here." Britain said to herself that she indubitably possessed a match for German Efficiency in her new Secretary for War, and all thought of "losing" with such a man as the supreme chief of the military establishment vanished from her mind.


Kitchener was never one of the war-will-be-over-by-Christmas crew. His maiden speech as War Minister in the House of Lords informed the country, bluntly, that he expected a three years' struggle. During the winter an anecdote ascribed to the taciturn War Secretary's loquacious sister gained currency, and passed from mouth to mouth. "When is the war going to end?" she asked him. "I don't know when it's going to end," he was said to have replied, "but it is going to begin in May." It was in May, by the pitiless irony of Fate, that the War Office's muddle of the ammunition supply was exposed.

Like all else in Britain--men, measures and institutions--the arbitrament of time will be required to pass final judgment on Kitchener's part in the war. In the principal field he was called upon to plow--the raising of a huge army from out of the earth--he accomplished marvels. No nation within fourteen months evolved from practically nothing an organization of, roundly, three million soldiers. It is not enough, for the actual requirements of the war call insistently for more and more, yet "K.'s" recruiting achievement stands forth without parallel in military history. It is certainly without precedent of even approximate magnitude in the annals of a non-conscript democracy. Lord Kitchener's accomplishments in other directions have notoriously not kept pace with his successes as a recruiting-sergeant. The shells affair can hardly fail to dim his reputation. The deficiencies of the voluntary system can not be called a failure directly chargeable to him, in that it has not brought forward men in quantity commensurate with the developed necessities of the campaign. Kitchener has hinted, but only that, that he is prepared to resort to Conscription the moment he is convinced that Voluntaryism has collapsed. But it does not seem unlikely that history may condemn him for clinging to the voluntary principle too long and hesitating to make Englishmen do their duty, instead of relying endlessly on their casual inclination to perform it. Kitchener has ruled the British War Office practically as an autocrat. He brooked no interference, even from the Cabinet. Viewed from that standpoint, "K." can hardly be absolved from cardinal responsibility for British military failures. Before the end of 1915 General Sir Ian Hamilton had disappeared from Gallipoli, Sir John French returned from France, General Townshend retreated from Baghdad, and the Allied "Relief" Expedition to Serbia had retired to Salonica, whence it had set out less than ten weeks previous.



That Sir John French, Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in France and Flanders, an army which reduces to comparative insignificance the largest host ever marshaled by Napoleon, comes from fighting stock is plain enough from the fact that his only sister, Mrs. Despard, is a militant suffragette. She herself provides homely evidence that the appointment of her brother (whom she practically "brought up") to lead the British fight against the Germans on land realized a boyhood aspiration. "When we were children," Mrs. Despard relates, "the great province of Schleswig-Holstein was taken from Denmark by what was then Prussia. We were discussing the disgraceful incident of poor little Denmark losing the province, and a certain little boy, then ten or twelve years of age, strutted about and said: 'If I was only a man, I know what I'd do to them.' He was very indignant. That little boy is now commander of Britain's great army."

It has been said that South Africa is the grave of British military reputations. Sir Redvers Buller's was buried there, and though those of Roberts and Kitchener emerged from the Boer War, the renown of Botha and Dewet admittedly outshone them. One British General at least was "made" by the three years' conflict with the Dutch Republics--Sir John French, the cavalryman who relieved Kimberley, and whose escutcheon during the sorry South African campaign was alone untarnished by blunder or reverse. As Kitchener was the logical choice for organizer of Britain's new armies, Sir John French was the natural selection for their field-commandership. French, following in paternal footsteps, began his fighting career in the navy, but he has been a soldier for the past forty-one years--he was sixty-three in September, 1915. A man whose entire manhood has been lived in the army, who knows it through and through, loves it passionately, has devoted himself to it with the zeal of a student, and fought in all its campaigns for nearly half a century, had an ideal claim upon its supreme honor in the hour of superlative crisis. Doubtless in the Government's mind when it entrusted "Jack" French with the command of the British Expeditionary Force was the reputation he had won in South Africa as a fighting field-general. Unquestionably the broad sweeping movements his cavalry divisions executed at Elandslaagte, Lombard's Kop, Bloemfontein, Pretoria and Barberton were operations which contributed, perhaps, more than any other scheme of the brilliantly mismanaged Boer campaign finally to bring it to a victorious end. Neither the British nor the German General Staff realized in August, 1914, that Armageddon was going to develop into a trench or "positional" war, with little or no latitude for those grandiose tactical maneuvers which delighted the heart of Moltke and made a Sedan the ambition of every modern tactician. Yet Sir John French, whose military virtues include adaptability, if not imaginativeness, which is oftener born, than acquired, turned out to be ideally fitted for "spade warfare," in which the qualities of endurance, steadfastness and patience have displaced the more spectacular talents of daring and recklessness and those bold strokes of magnificent vastness known as Napoleonic. Bonaparte's scintillating genius, his predilection for the stupendous, would probably have counted for little amid such immobile conditions as the Allied armies have had to face in the West, just as the Germans' prized Moltke traditions in the same region have come to naught.

Sir John French.

Military history will unquestionably accord the retreat of the British army from Mons a place among the finest achievements of all times. It was due to Sir John French's strategy that Berlin was cheated of that fiendishly coveted orgy of gloating over the "annihilation" of what the Kaiser is said to have called "the contemptible little British army." Since Mons and the Marne the British Field-Marshal's task has been to "hold" the enemy and to inspire his men to fulfil, unflinchingly, that prodigious, but comparatively inglorious, task. In the circumstances it was fortunate that a man of Sir John French's temperament was in charge. He knew how to "sit tight." Kinship with his soldiers has been his lifetime specialty. He is fond of sharing their joys and sorrows not in any stereotyped, dress-parade sense, but actually. He likes to move among them, and does so. His jaunty fighting bearing and unfailing good humor are a constant inspiration. Short and stocky, straight and energetic of movement, he looks every inch a soldier, and he has a soldier's habit of saying what he means, direct from the shoulder, whether it is a corporal, a staff officer, a brigadier or a Cabinet Minister to whom he is addressing himself.

The Allied military arrangement conferred supreme authority on General Joffre, but the British Field Marshal's character and career were considered a joint guarantee that Sir John French would not be found lacking when called upon to do and dare greatly on his own account. It would be going too far to say that the war has covered French with glory. He would be the first to banish such a thought. Though Britons have fallen laurel-crowned on a score of fields in France and Flanders and irrigated the cock-pit which lies between the Alps and the Channel with as heroic blood as was ever spilled, the British offensives in the West have been little more than brilliant failures. Neuve Chapelle is an undying story of Anglo-Saxon gallantry, as was Ypres before it; but it was nothing else. The "big push" which England hoped had at last begun with the fighting in Artois and the Champagne at the end of September, 1915, turned out to be a victory of distressingly short life and little real effectiveness. Yet when Germany lost the war--when she failed to take Paris--the British army under Sir John French wrote history of which Englishmen will never be ashamed. Who it was that most effectually parried von Kluck and the Crown Prince's thrust at the French capital will probably, among generations of schoolboys yet unborn, be as fruitful a theme of argument as is the question who won Waterloo--Wellington or Blücher--but whatever the verdict of posterity the smashing of the Germans on the Marne reeked glory for all concerned, and Britain's share of it is a heritage which will survive with Blenheim, Balaclava, Kandahar and Khartoum.[1]

[1] Sir John French returned to England in December, 1915, relinquishing (at his own request, it was officially stated) the commandership-in-chief in France for the command of the Home Defense forces. King George conferred the dignity of a Viscountcy on the Field-Marshal.

Another Sir John--Admiral Jellicoe--is commander-in-chief of the British navy. Events still to come must determine whether Anglo-Saxon history is to be enriched with another Nelson. But as far as human prescience could foretell, "Jack" Jellicoe was of all men in the British Fleet preordained by talent, temperament and training to be the admiral in whose keeping could safely be entrusted British destinies more priceless than those which were safeguarded at Trafalgar.

Jellicoe was one of the godfathers of the dreadnought, having been summoned by Lord Fisher, the real author of that revolution in naval science, to support and carry into execution the all-big-gun ship idea. Fisher had years before associated young Captain Jellicoe with him as assistant director of naval ordnance, whereupon there ensued an intimacy which friends say will link their names together much as history associated St. Vincent and Nelson as the twin victors of Trafalgar--the one, the far-sighted planner of preparatory reforms; the other, the faithful executor of their purpose.

Jellicoe resembles Sir John French in more than given name. Like him, he is of quite markedly small stature. Neither the Generalissimo or Admiralissimo of Britain in the Great War at all corresponds, physically, to the popular notion that the English are "big" men. Like French, again, Jellicoe is mild and gentle, a pair of conspicuously tight lips indicating poise, reserve force and self-confidence. The chieftain of the Grand Fleet--that is its official title and not an effusive expletive--did not make his first acquaintance with danger afloat when von Tirpitz' submarines began to make life a burden for British sailors. He has been snatched from the jaws of death on three separate occasions. In 1893 Jellicoe was commander of Sir George Tryon's Victoria, when it was sent to its doom in the Mediterranean, and, although "below" in the ship-hospital with fever at the moment of the disaster, was miraculously rescued by a midshipman when he came to the surface more dead than alive after the vessel foundered. Seven years previous, as if Fate was keeping a protecting hand over him for some great hour, Jellicoe had an equally marvelous escape from drowning when a gig he was commanding off Gibraltar capsized and he was washed ashore. In the Boxer war of 1900, Jellicoe was flag captain to Admiral Seymour, the commander of the Allied expedition which marched from Tien-tsin to the relief of the Powers' legations in Pekin, and at the battle of Peitsang Jellicoe was struck by a Chinese bullet, incurring wounds which the flagship-surgeon considered fatal. Again Jellicoe was spared. A brother-officer tells a story of Jellicoe's agony on that occasion, which illuminates his capacity for facing the music, however doleful. He had asked how the advance to Pekin was proceeding. Told that everything was going satisfactorily, Jellicoe flashed back: "Tell me the truth, damn it. Don't lie!"

The triumvirate which has accomplished that amazing, silent victory of the British Fleet in the war--the complete conquest of sea power without anything savoring of a decisive action in the open--consists of Lord Fisher, the creator of the dreadnought; Admiral Sir Percy Scott, the inventor of the central "fire control" system, and Sir John Jellicoe, to whose gunnery science and innovations in that all-important branch of naval warfare are ascribed, in large measure, the acknowledged preeminence of the British Fleet as a striking force. He had not been director of ordnance a year when the percentage of the navy's hits out of rounds fired increased from forty-two to more than seventy. "In other words," as a critic describes it, "Jellicoe enhanced by more than a third the fighting value of the British Fleet, and that without a keel being added to its composition."

Jellicoe, who is fifty-six years old, has nothing but sailor blood in his veins. His father was a captain in the Fleet before him, and one of his kinsmen, Admiral Philip Patton, was Second Sea Lord in Nelson's time. Jellicoe is the incarnation of the spirit, traditions, practises and brain-force of the British navy of to-day. He has the not inconsiderable advantage of having had opportunity personally to take the measure of his German antagonists, for he has visited their country, where he made the acquaintance of von Tirpitz, Ingenohl, Pohl, Behncke, Holtzendorff, Prince Henry and all the other naval men of the Fatherland, and was even privileged to cruise over Berlin in a Zeppelin.

England has heard little and seen nothing of Jellicoe during the war. The veil of mystery which envelops the Grand Fleet is seldom lifted. Not one Englishman in a million knows where the Fleet is, though all know that it is where it ought to be. A ten days' visit paid to the officers and men of the Armada by the Archbishop of York in the late summer of 1915 resulted in imparting to the nation the first glimmer of their life, of their indomitable watch and wait, which had been forthcoming.

"It is difficult for our sailormen," wrote the Archbishop, "to realize the value of their long-drawn vigil. Their one longing is to meet the German ships and sink them; and yet month after month the German ships decline the challenge. The men have little time or chance or perhaps inclination to read accounts in serious journals of the invaluable service which the Navy is fulfilling by simply keeping its watch; and naval officers do not make speeches to their men. I think, indeed I know, that it was a real encouragement to them to hear a voice from the land of their homes telling them of the debt their country owes them for the command of the seas--the safety of the ships carrying food and means of work to the people, supplies of men and munitions to the fields of battle--which is secured to us by the patient watching of the Fleet."

Speaking of Admiral Jellicoe, the Archbishop said:

"It was refreshing and exhilarating beyond words to find oneself in a world governed by a great tradition so strong that it has become an instinct of unity and mutual trust. But to the influence of this great tradition must be added the influence of a great personality. I can not refrain from saying here that I left the Grand Fleet sharing to the full the admiration, affection, and confidence which every officer and man within it feels for its Commander-in-Chief, Sir John Jellicoe. He reassuredly is the right man in the right place at the right time. His officers give him the most absolute trust and loyalty. When I spoke of him to his men I always felt that quick response which to a speaker is the sure sign that he has reached and touched the hearts of his hearers. The Commander-in-Chief--quiet, modest, courteous, alert, resolute, holding in firm control every part of his great fighting engine--has under his command not only the ships but the heart of his Fleet. He embodies and strengthens that comradeship of single-minded service which is the crowning honor of the Navy."

More than once the criticism has been uttered in England itself that the Fleet has been conspicuously lacking in the "Nelson touch." Even Americans, friendly observers, have ventured to suggest that there seemed to be an absence of the Farragut or Dewey "to-hell-with-mines" spirit. Up to the end of the first year of war, Britons faced the fact that their "supreme navy" had lost seven battleships aggregating 97,600 tons (not counting a super-dreadnought reported by the foreign press to have been lost in the early months of the war, but which was a loss never "officially confirmed" in England), and ten cruisers aggregating 81,365 tons. Submarines, in that nerve-racking and troublous day before Scott and Jellicoe solved the problem of sinking "U boats" almost faster than German dockyards could launch substitutes, accomplished terrific havoc among the British merchant fleet, even though the sea commerce of these islands was never remotely in danger of being "paralyzed," as von Tirpitz and the minions of Frightfulness fondly planned.

Sir J. R. Jellicoe.

Yet all this while, the British Fleet was tightening its grip upon the command of the sea to an extent which may now be described as absolute. The German flag, war ensign and merchant pennant, has been swept from the oceans as if it had never flown. Hamburg and Bremen, the Fatherland's prides, are as completely demolished, as far as their usefulness to Germany for war is concerned, as if they had been battered into smoking ruins. German mercantile trade simply no longer exists, except such of it as can be smuggled in tramps and ferries across the narrow reach of the Baltic between Pomerania and the Scandinavian ports. The Germanic Allies can import and export nothing oversea except by the grace of Jellicoe. Their deported propaganda chieftains or compromised ambassadors and attachés can not return to their homes in Europe from the United States without gracious "safe conduct" by the British Fleet. The toymakers of Nuremberg can not deliver a solitary tin soldier to an American Christmas tree unless Jellicoe says yes. Two score proud German liners, including the queen of them all, the Vaterland, are rotting and rusting in United States harbors, ingloriously imprisoned by British naval power. In a dozen other ports throughout the world Hamburg and Bremen vessels tug at anchor--greyhounds enchained. Germany is banned from the oceans like an outlaw. Her people can eat and drink only on the ration basis. The British Fleet has done something else of which, it seemed to me, an American Presidential message might legitimately have made mention. It has enabled the people of the United States for many months to traverse the oceans in security.

These are the immediate effects of British sea supremacy on the enemy, but even they are incommensurate with the advantages which accrue to Britain herself. A navy has three cardinal functions: to preserve its own shores from invasion; to maintain inviolate its country's oversea communications, including cables, food supply, passenger traffic and postal transportation; and, finally, to destroy the sea forces of the enemy. The first two of these functions have been fulfilled by the Grand Fleet, and at a cost in men and material, though not inconsiderable, which is infinitesimal, measured by the results attained. To absolve the third, and, of course, climacteric, function, Jellicoe and his men and his ironclads stand ready when the opportunity is given them--readier, by far, than when the war began. They have not lost a really vital fighting unit (supposing unconfirmed reports to the contrary to be unfounded). They have had a priceless experience of sea warfare under almost every conceivable condition. They are veterans of every essential contingency. There is hardly a terror, military or atmospheric, which they have not faced and surmounted. They have added to their battle efficiency by a great many new and powerful ships. Their morale is unbroken.

When the Kaiser's Canal Armada finally makes up its mind, as I believe that German public opinion will some day compel it to, to forsake the snug harbors of Kiel and Wilhelmshaven and the screen of Heligoland for the high sea, it will find that Jellicoe has up his iron sleeve a welcome, as to the issue of which no one in these islands is capable of cherishing the remotest doubt. History is barren of an instance of a Power defeated in war, who retained command of the sea. Were there no other considerations which spell the eventual, though probably not the early, frustration of Germany's ambition to master Europe and, as William II once sighed, to snatch the trident from Britannia's grasp, the vise-like grip of naval power which Jellicoe has wrested alone denotes that Armageddon can have but one ending, however long it be deferred.

In this cursory review of the men at Britain's helm, the Sovereign is deliberately put at the end instead of the beginning. I mean to cast no impious slur upon George V in thus classifying his relative importance in the scheme of British war life, yet to rank him at the front of the captains of the State would be hyperbole as unpardonable in a chronicler as gratuitous defamation would be.

To discuss the figure cut by England's King during the past year is a task which a foreigner approaches with diffidence. I should not dream of taking such liberties with their Britannic Majesties, for example, as my gifted friend and colleague, Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb, who recently diagnosed the Royal situation in England thus: "I have seen the King and Queen, and I know now why they call him George the Fifth; Mary's the other four-fifths." Whether this subtle tribute to the undoubtedly potent influence of the gracious Queen explains it or not, the indisputable fact remains that the part played by King George in the day of supreme British national trial has been a keen disappointment to a great many of his subjects. It is not a topic which they discuss at all in public, nor one upon which it is easy to extract their views even in private. But when an inquiring alien even of unmistakably sympathetic sentiment accomplishes the miracle of inducing a Briton to pour out his heart, he will secure evidence corroborative of an impression the foreigner has had from the start, if he has lived in England since August, 1914--that the monarchy, as such, has not given a wholly satisfactory account of itself. Men who are so utterly un-English as to be "quite" frank even suggest that King George's insistence not only upon enacting the "constitutional monarch," but overplaying that rôle, has not inconsiderably undermined the solidity of the Royal principle in numerous British hearts. They will tell you, if in communicative mood, that George has failed to rise to the majestic opportunities of the moment. They contrast his incorrigibly "constitutional" behavior with what they feel assured is the red-blooded lead King Edward would have given. They assert that the hour of Imperial peril, when national existence itself is at stake, has caused so many cherished shibboleths to go by the board, that the strait-jacket of "constitutional monarchy," which is another name for Irresponsibility, ought to go with them. In times of peace, say Englishmen, a conscientious figurehead on the throne is good enough. In times of war, they want a King. He need not be the blatant, ubiquitous limelight-chaser that the Kaiser is, but some of that royal dynamo's attributes, diluted with English seasoning, would not have been unwelcome to his people during the past year and a half. Britons, though, I repeat, they do not cry it out for the multitude to hear, are not edified by the spectacle of a sovereign who has sojourned with his army and fleet only in the most formal manner, whose war-time activities are confined to peripatetic visits to hospitals and convalescent homes, to inspections and reviews, and to distribution of Victoria Crosses and Distinguished Service medals at Buckingham Palace.

"The King," to whom Englishmen, before 10 P.M., still drink in reverential sincerity, and who rise in devout respect when they hear the anthem which beseeches Divine salvation for him, is an institution from which Britain felt it had a right to expect both lead and deed in a great war. She did not demand, or at least no conspicuous section of her has, that the King should take the field or the sea, and prance about in the saddle or on the quarter-deck, but they did hope, I think, for something more inspiring than nebulous constitutionalism. It was many months after thousands of other British mothers had sent their sons to death and glory that Queen Mary consented to the dispatch of the twenty-one-year-old Prince of Wales to the trenches. And Prince Albert, who is twenty, and was in the navy before the war, was never, as far as the public is informed, able to gratify his desire to return to active service afloat, but must cool his martial ardor in the inglorious capacity of an Admiralty messenger in London. Britons look across to Germany, Russia and Italy, even to Belgium and Serbia, and, contrasting the spectacle with "constitutionalism" in their own Royal household, acknowledge that theirs is not a thrilling picture.

If you attempt to penetrate into what may strike you as a mystery, you will be told that the cause as far as King George is concerned, is twofold: first, his high-minded, even slavish, devotion to his conception of his constitutional limitations, and, secondly, his equally incorrigible shyness. Sarah Bernhardt, when King George and Queen Mary were in Paris a couple of years ago, was once summoned to the royal box of the Comédie Franchise for presentation to the British sovereigns. She explained to friends afterward that the King's modesty positively unnerved her. He was as bashful as a schoolgirl. I have been told that his manner in the presence even of his Ministers is almost deferential. He does not know the meaning of "mixing," an art in which his late father excelled. "The King and Queen are fond of lunching alone, and usually take their tea together," I read the other day in a "well-informed" society paper. Edward VII was fond of lunching with men of affairs. He did not heed the hoots of the aristocratic set, which was scandalized by his intimacy with tea-merchants and money kings, because through them he was accustomed to keep in touch with the human currents of his people's life and times. Edward would hardly have allowed even the Empire's greatest soldier (Englishmen explain) to call the new army "Kitchener's Army." It would have been called the "King's Army" and the King would have thrown his incalculably great moral influence into the breach in some more practical way than lending his photograph for recruiting advertisements. George V could have been England's finest recruiting sergeant. He preferred to remain a constitutional monarch.

King George V.

Englishmen excuse, rather than blame, the King. They point out, in his extenuation, that George's is a gentle, self-effacing nature little fitted for the soul-stirring era in the midst of which Fate decreed that his reign should fall. They cast no aspersions on his rugged patriotism or even on his kingly zeal. They believe that, according to his lights, he exercises faithfully what he considers to be his prerogatives. They feel, they tell you, that it is not his fault that he remains the only man in the Kingdom who still wears a Prince Albert coat. His is, somehow, not the magnetic influence which, if it were that of Edward VII, would still be condemning Englishmen to cling to that ancient robe. They explain that it is his psychic misfortune, rather than a failing, that nobody thinks it worth while to emulate him by taking the pledge "for the duration of the war" and drinking barley-water. Edward VII's abstemious decree would have blotted the liquor trade out of existence, because in the lap of his example sat militant loyalty. The "old King's" wish was law.

Perhaps--I do not know--George V is wiser than men think. Perhaps he is not being kept in cotton-wool by his Victorian private secretary. Perhaps he is not yielding as supinely as many people imagine to the inflexible mandates of constitutionalism. Perhaps he has his ear closer to the ground than his contemporaries realize, and with it hears the far-off but unmistakable rumbles of the limitlessly democratized Britain which is already emerging from the crucible of war. Perhaps injustice is done to him by those who accuse him of not rising more vigorously to the opportunities of his Empire's hour of destiny. May he not be fitting himself still to sit the throne in that coming day when Britain will perhaps want even a more constitutional ruler than ermine and the crown now rest upon?



"Luna Park," in Berlin, once had an English manager and an American "publicity agent." In pursuit of his lime-light duties the transatlantic hustler, who had been engaged because he was such, reported to the manager one day that he had accomplished a feat on which he had been plodding for weeks. The owners of a building which commanded the most prominent view in Berlin had finally consented to let "Luna Park" affix a gigantic electric flash-light sign to the roof.

"It will be the greatest thing of the kind ever seen in Germany," exclaimed the enthusiast from the U.S.A. "They'll allow us to have 'Luna Park' in letters twenty feet high across a one-hundred-and-fifty-foot front, and you'll be able to see 'em a mile away!"

He expected his British superior fairly to jump for joy. But this is what he said:

"Quite so. But don't you think that will be a bit conspicuous?"

When I returned to London on September 24, after four short, strenuous weeks in the United States, I found Englishmen dominated seemingly by a genuine fear that the war might become "a bit conspicuous." It was true that stupendous things had happened in the interval. Namur, "the impregnable," had melted before the merciless German 42's like the other Belgian fortresses. Brussels was in the enemy's hands, unscotched, thanks to the intervention of the American Minister, Brand Whitlock, and through it were passing apparently endless streams of gray-clad Germans bound for Antwerp and the sea. France had been overrun, regardless of the cost in Teuton blood, Lille and the industrial provinces were securely held, and, although the Crown Prince and von Kluck had been gloriously repulsed in their frenzied dash on Paris, the capital had all but resounded to the clatter of Uhlan hoofs, and Bordeaux was still regarded a far safer seat of Government. England herself had lived through hours of anxious crisis blacker than any within the memory of the living generation. At Mons, as official reports disclosed, the gallant little British army narrowly escaped annihilation. As it was, it lost hideously in killed and wounded. Gaping holes had been ripped in the ranks of famous regiments, and the Expeditionary Force, within six weeks of its landing, was already sadly mangled. Sir John French stirred the nation with his dispatch on the retreat from Mons and told how his army, though hurriedly concentrated by rail only two days before, had tenaciously withstood, in the dogged British way, the combined attack of five crack German corps. In the subsequent fighting which beat the Germans on the Marne and saved Paris, British soldiers, battered and battle-scarred as they were, had done even more than their share. Two days before arrival in Liverpool the Campania wireless--I returned to England in the same veteran hulk which had taken me to America in August--brought the dread tidings of the submarining of cruisers Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue in the Channel by the U9 and Weddigen, with cruelly heavy sacrifice of British lives.

All these things had happened, and yet London was unshaken. She had been "a bit uneasy," my English friends conceded, in the days and nights when the fate of Paris and Sir John French's army seemed to be in doubt, and the U9's feat had "cost us three obsolete boats," but the Germans were checked now, and the worst was over. Churchill was sending a British naval expedition to Belgium to save Antwerp, and what was the use of worrying, anyhow? Kitchener's army was filling up with recruits by the thousand, and England's motto was "Business as Usual."

Yea, verily, Britain was pursuing the even tenor of her imperturbable way. The Savoy, at supper after theater, glittered with all its old-time flare. The tables were thronged in the same old way with gaily-clad women, romping chorus-girls, monocled "nuts" with hair plastered straight back, opulent stock-brokers, theatrical celebrities and all the other familiar people about town. The band interpolated Tipperary a little oftener between rag-time one-steps and fox-trots, and lordlings and other bloods in khaki gave a new tinge to the picture, but otherwise it was night-time London "as usual." The theaters and music-halls were full. At Murray's and the Four Hundred--those dens of revelry called "night clubs," invented for law-respecting English who can afford five guineas a year for the privilege of wining, supping and dancing after the Acts of Parliament send ordinary people to bed--you could hardly wedge your way in. At the Carlton or the Piccadilly, or for the matter of that at any other popular resort in all London, you found yourself lucky to locate a single unpreempted place. Wherever you went or turned, whomever you saw, it was dear old London "as usual." If you were an impulsive, excitable, sentimental American and thought you were mildly rebuking your British friends when you ventured to wonder at the extraordinary naturalness of life in the West End, or at Walton Heath golf links, or at Chelsea football grounds, or at the Newmarket race-course, you found yourself unconsciously paying a tribute to "British character." For John Bull, far from being ashamed of adhering religiously to peace-time activities, was positively proud of the exhibition of "reserve" and "poise" and "calmness" which he was now giving. People talked about the war, of course. They hardly mentioned anything else. But if you had the patience to listen to their airy, fairy converse, you soon gathered that they spoke of it exclusively as something about which no self-respecting Englishman or woman purposed for a solitary moment to get indecorously agitated. There were even people who confessed that the war was beginning to "bore" them.

As for myself, I had a go at British acquaintances from two entirely different standpoints. In the first place, fresh from America, where the war had burnt into people's minds as deeply almost as if it were their own destiny which was at stake, I was still filled with the energizing atmosphere omnipresent there. I remembered how even our puny war with Spain had gripped the nation's thought and concentrated it to the exclusion of all else. I could not, for the life of me, understand how Englishmen, with the history of the preceding eight weeks before them, could still look upon "business as usual" as the desideratum for which the moment insistently called. I knew, I thought, how Americans would feel and act at such an hour; and as I had in my time dozed through many after-dinner speeches about the "kindred ideals" and "identical habits of thought" which so indissolubly bound the English-speaking nations, I ventured to marvel, and even at times to swear, at the spectacle of national nonchalance which Britain at the beginning of October, 1914, so resolutely presented. It was magnificent, but it was not war.

In the second place, I was conscious, with the knowledge and conviction of a long-time eye-witness, of both the visible and the dormant strength of Germany. I had written literally reams, during the preceding eight years, about Teuton preparations on land, in the air and on the sea. I had discussed the German War Party, its leaders and its literature, its aspirations and its plans, till I often grew weary of the task, not so much because pacifist critics in England pilloried me as a war-monger and an alarmist, but because there was a monotony in that sort of news about Germany which strained even the patience of those whose duty it was to report it. When Englishmen now told me, as so many of them did, that they would "muddle through this show," as they had "muddled through" in South Africa and on all the other occasions in Britain's martial past, I grew sick at heart. I knew, as everybody who had lived in Germany between 1904 and 1914 and kept his ears and eyes open knew, that "muddling through" would never beat the Germans, even if it had finally overcome the Boers. I knew, and anybody really acquainted with the Germans knew, that they would not be vanquished so long as there was a man or a mark with which to fight. I knew that nothing short of the supreme effort which the British Empire and its Allies could put forth would suffice to overcome the most highly-organized and efficiently patriotic people which had ever gone to war. I knew that the German General Staff and the other war-makers of the Fatherland had long reckoned, in the emergency of a struggle with England, on the very thing of which my eyes were now witness--British reluctance to shake off the shackles of ease and comfort and buckle down, a nation in arms, to the inconvenient and grim realities of war. Of these things I thought, and the reflection was disquieting, as I saw the mad whirl of light, frivolity and care-free joy which the Savoy at supper-time, plainly epitomizing London life at the moment, presented night after night. "Business as usual!" It was small comfort my English friends provided, when, remonstrating with me for my foolish solicitude, they assured me that my misgivings were misplaced because I was hopelessly ignorant of "the British character."

England, it was obvious, was like the manager of "Luna Park" in Berlin. She was afraid the war might become "a bit conspicuous," and was, moreover, determined that it should not. I remember well the crushing rebuke administered to me by a Britisher of international renown when I intruded my view of all these things. I had offered, in a desire to hold the mirror up to Nature and let Londoners see how they looked to foreigners at so transcendent a moment in their national existence, to produce a little article entitled "What an American Thinks of the English in War-Time." I even went to the length of putting my thoughts on paper and submitting the manuscript. I did so with considerable confidence, because the celebrity in question is a notorious "Wake Up, England!" man. But he returned my masterpiece with a look and gesture mingling pity and contempt for my wretched unfamiliarity with "the British character."

"My dear Wile," he explained, "you do not understand us. You forget that this war is not an American World's Championship baseball series. You mustn't try to foist transatlantic brass-band methods on us. It is not the British way."

Lest I convey the impression that I had advocated rousing the British lion from his slumbers by wild and woolly western methods palpably unsuited to his stoical temperament, let me make haste to explain that I was pleading for nothing but a system which would, spectacularly if necessary, do something to let the British public at least know that they had a war on their hands, and popularize it. A great contingent of Indian troops, led by Maharajahs and Rajputs, Maliks, Rajahs and Jams, had arrived in Europe, tarried in England and been slipped, in the dead of a Channel night, across to France. An entire army from Canada was encamped on Salisbury Plain, and no one had seen a sign of it except an occasional detachment of boisterous subalterns, many with a pronounced "American accent," who had kicked up a row in some Leicester Square music-hall the night before. The Nelson monument in Trafalgar Square was desecrated with recruiting circus-bills which would have delighted the heart of Barnum, and every taxicab wind-shield in town beseeched passers-by to "enlist for the duration of the war." But why, I had had the temerity to inquire in my little "Wake Up, England!" homily, which was rejected because it revealed no insight into "British character," were not the turbaned Gurkhas and the swarthy Sikhs and the brown men from Punjab and Beluchistan brought to London-town and paraded up and down the Strand and the Embankment, for all the metropolis to have a priceless object-lesson in Imperial patriotism? Why was Kitchener allowed to intern the young giants in khaki from Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia in the hidden recesses of the provinces, instead of giving Londoners a glimpse of Colonial love of mother country in the flesh? It was due to the Indians and to the Canadians themselves, no less than to London, I argued, that opportunity should be provided to pay homage to the men who had crossed the seas to fight for Motherland. Non-British though I am, I felt morally certain that even my Hoosier bosom would swell with emotion in the presence of so ocular a demonstration of Britain's Imperial solidarity in the day of trial. But my suggestions were rejected as unbecomingly boisterous in their intent, good enough for the Polo Grounds or Madison Square Garden, but grotesquely out of place in England. If carried out, you see, they would inevitably have made the war "a bit conspicuous."

Kitchener's army

That the war was almost invisibly hidden, as far as the daily life of the people was concerned, was primarily due to the bureaucratic and autocratic methods of the censorship. Bureaucracy and autocracy in Germany, for instance, have their redeeming qualities. They are usually highly efficient, and their arrogance and high-handedness are tolerated because accompanied by a maximum of practical effectiveness. When England established her war censorship, she went over to bureaucracy and autocracy, as made in Germany, but lamentably lacking in the saving graces of the system as there exemplified. In vain the Press, now muzzled almost as effectually as if the Magna Charta and free speech had never existed, stormed and fumed against the tyranny of the "Press Bureau," the innocuous title chosen for the Juggernaut which, before six months had passed, was to grind British journalistic liberties into the dust. It was discovered that the "Bureau" was staffed for the most part by amiable gentlemen no longer fit for active duty in the army and navy, who, having patriotically offered their services to King and country, had been pitchforked indiscriminately into billets which clothed them with more real influence on the war than if they had commanded armies or fleets. It became painfully apparent that news of the war was being suppressed, mutilated and generally mismanaged either by military men who knew nothing of journalism, or by journalists who were profoundly ignorant of military matters--for the official censor caused it to be announced, in self-defense, that he had associated with the Bureau in an advisory capacity a couple of eminent ex-editors.

Just who was responsible for annihilating the elementary rights of the British Press never became quite clear. Some blamed Kitchener. His hostility to journalists and journalism was notorious, though "With Kitchener to Khartoum," by the most distinguished special correspondent of our time, the late G. W. Steevens, who died in The Daily Mail's service during the South African war, probably did as much to give "K." a reputation as anything which England's War Minister ever did in the field. Others said Joffre was the man who had put the lid on. Whoever laid down the law saw that it was relentlessly enforced. Petitions, protests, cajolings, threats, complaints, abuse--all were in vain. The antics of the "Press Bureau" became more exasperating and inexplicable from day to day. Also more domineering, if common report could be believed, for presently Fleet Street heard that "K." had intimated to a mighty newspaper magnate that if the latter did not mend his ways, and abate his insistence, "K." had the power, and would not shrink from using it, to incarcerate even a peer of the realm in the Tower and turn his entire "plant" into junk. That dire threat, I imagine, was just one of the myriad of chatterbox rumors with which the air in England, all through the war, fairly sizzled. At any rate, it failed utterly to curb the stormy petrel to terrorize whom it was said to have been uttered, for his onslaughts on the censorship grew, instead of diminishing, in intensity as the "war in the dark" proceeded.

But it was in its treatment of news destined for the United States that the Press Bureau most convincingly revealed its lack of imagination. Here was Germany leaving no stone unturned to take American sympathy by storm. The Bernstorff-Dernburg-Münsterberg campaign was in full blast. Von Wiegand in Berlin was interviewing the Crown Prince and Princess, von Tirpitz and von Bernhardi, Zeppelin, Hindenburg and Falkenhayn, and only narrowly escaped interviewing the Kaiser himself. American correspondents arriving in Germany were received with open arms, and had but to ask, in order to receive. Sometimes they received without asking. They could see anybody and go anywhere. That was German efficiency--and imagination--at work. The Germans realized that we are a newspaper-reading community. They knew that the best way in the world to win American newspapers' and American newspapermen's sympathy is to give them news. So they did it. When the German Crown Prince told the correspondent of the United Press that he would "love" to see American baseball, that he longed to hunt big game in Alaska, and that Jack London was his favorite author, he broke a lance for the Fatherland's cause in the United States that a four-hundred-fifty-paged "unhuman" British White Paper could never hope to equal. Somebody with an imagination--probably Bernstorff--had put a flea in Berlin's ear, and the result was open-house for American journalists for the duration of the war.

What was happening in London? There were plenty of American newspapermen on the ground, not only special correspondents who had come over to join the British army in the field, like Will Irwin, "Bell" Shepherd, Alexander Powell, Arthur Ruhl, or Frederick Palmer, to name only a few of them, but resident London correspondents who had lived in England a dozen years, like Edward Price Bell of the Chicago Daily News, Ernest Marshall of the New York Times, or James M. Tuohy of the New York World, who were well known to the British authorities as men of judgment, integrity and responsibility. But resident or newcomer, nothing but inconsequential facilities or the cold shoulder awaited them when they went to the Press Bureau, cap in hand, to ask even the most rudimentary professional courtesies for themselves or their papers. Quite apart from the indignities thus heaped on American correspondents, the Press Bureau, when it suppressed or butchered their dispatches, left pitiably out of account the susceptibilities of the great neutral news-devouring community which these men represented. Therein lay the real infamy. Think of it. Here was Great Britain and her Government confessedly anxious for American moral support in the war, and something more than that, and yet a subordinate department seemed clothed with authority to flout, exasperate and bully the agency directly responsible for the production of public sentiment in the United States. I call it a tremendous tribute to the sincerity and depth of our loyalty to the Allies' cause that we never for a moment allowed it to waver, even in the face of the British Press Bureau's arrant provocation. The American Press, asking for bread in England, received a stone. That it accepted it, and went on playing the Allies' game, has been one of the miracles of the war, for which these British Isles have reason to be profoundly grateful.

5 Questions to those who employ male servants

Inherent imperturbability and unimaginative censorship thus combined in the early weeks of the war, on the one hand to minimize popular conceptions of the struggle's magnitude in England, and on the other to smother enthusiasm for it. You can not fully realize the immensity of the task if you are not permitted by your overlords to see it in its true proportions. You can certainly not become ecstatic about it if they insist on having it painted in exclusively drab, routine and joy-killing tints, when they are not covering it up altogether. Yet British patriotism was triumphing over all these natural and artificial handicaps. Kitchener was not only calling for five hundred thousand volunteers, but intimated that he would soon be asking for another five hundred thousand. He was getting them. London and the provinces were now plastered with recruiting posters, calling in compelling language for soldiers. "Your King and Country Need You!" Thus ran the most direct and frank appeal. By the tens of thousands men answered it. The desecrating bill-board which we know in America is an unknown excrescence in the British Isles, but, for the purposes of advertising for men for "Kitchener's Army," practically every vacant space in the Kingdom was now turned into a hoarding. The base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square was splashed red, white and blue, black and yellow, green and orange, and every other shade capable of lending distinction to an eye-arresting poster. The great hotels and theaters, banks, government offices, and even churches, turned their walls and windows over to Kitchener's advertising department for recruiting-bills, and occasionally themselves put up huge signs across their most imposing facades with such legends as:






or you would read what the King had said:


Even the fences of the parks, the windows and sides of the omnibuses and the wind-shields of the taxicabs reminded men every hour of the day and night that "Your King and Country Need You."

I recall, with amusement, how "scandalized" some Americans were at England's resort to "circus methods" to manufacture an army. I remember that pert (and extremely pretty) young Chicago newspaper-woman who, having come over from Paris which had not needed to advertise for an army, because France had one, was mortified beyond words to find London screaming with "Your-King-and-Country-Need-You" sign literature. She was so stirred by this "undignified exhibition" that she sat down before she had been in town forty-eight hours and dashed off to her paper just what she thought about "degenerate Britain." She was convinced that a nation so "hopelessly unpatriotic" that it had to advertise for defenders was "doomed." Her erudite observations made a deep impression on her editors, who, in a learned editorial asked gravely whether the British Empire was "reaching the Diocletian period of the Romans."

4 Questions to the Women of England

As a matter of fact, Kitchener's project to advertise for an army was the one ray of imagination, and a boundlessly encouraging one, which the War Office had so far revealed. It showed even more imagination in entrusting the technique of the scheme to a professional, Mr. Hedley F. Le Bas, who, besides bringing to the task the expert knowledge of a publisher, had once been a trooper in the 15th Hussars, and knew and loved the army. Mr. Le Bas modestly disclaims credit for originating the plan to create an army of millions by advertisement. He says that the Duke of Wellington beat him to it. A hundred years ago, when England was at grips with the oppressor of that day, a poster appeal for soldiers was issued, which is prima facie evidence that advertising is not a modern invention. Only a few Englishmen, and probably still fewer Americans, are aware that even in Napoleonic times advertising for an army was de rigueur, and as the invitation to "The Warriors of Manchester" was, to a certain extent, the spiritual inspiration of Kitchener's remarkable recruit-getting campaign, I make no apologies, despite its raciness, for reproducing on the following page a document of genuinely historical value.

The methods to which the American Democracy has resorted to secure soldiers for her wars were also in the minds of Lord Kitchener and Mr. Le Bas. Indeed, the practises of President Lincoln, in respect of raising armies, were the model to which the British Government from the start determined to adhere. It was discovered that Lincoln and Seward had not shrunk from appealing to the men of the North from the hoardings and through the newspapers, while the advertisements of the United States army and navy during the Spanish-American War were a modern example of recruiting measures in a country where the absence of conscription compels a Government, in the hour of emergency, to scrape an army together by hook or crook. Then the constant advertising by our War and Navy departments, even in peace-times, proved that there must be efficacy in asking men to serve their country in posters, magazines or newspaper-columns in which they were also being persuasively urged to buy automobiles, "quality" clothes or shaving-sticks. Kitchener's "advertising campaign" was destined, before the war was old, to be the target of bitter attack, but the skill, persistence and comprehensiveness with which it was prosecuted played an immense rôle in the creation of the greatest volunteer army in history. It opened a new epoch in advertising and clothed that art with a distinction which will never be taken from it. The seal of an Empire has been placed on the maxim that it pays to advertise.

To the Warriors of Manchester.

By the end of October, after three months of war, the muster of the British Empire was in full progress. Complacency and nonchalance in London were still wretchedly wide-spread, but the call of the Motherland for soldiers was echoing around the world. Wherever Britons were domiciled, it was answered. It penetrated into far-off British Columbia, where young Englishmen, comfortably settled in new existences, abandoned them unhesitatingly. It was heard in even more distant climes, like Australia, New Zealand and Africa, where adventurous spirits who had crossed the seas to seek their fortunes in lands of promise were now dominated by no other ambition than to "do their bit" for King and country. Even emigrated Irishmen, long irreconcilable, were electrified by John Redmond's clarion message, and they, too, turned their faces homeward. By the ides of November whole shiploads of repatriated Britons, returning from the four points of the compass, reached the island shores, fired by one consuming purpose.

These home-coming patriots were not only rendering valiant service by placing their lives at the King's disposal, but they were demonstrating, along with native-born Canadians, South Africans, New Zealanders, Australians and Indians, that one of Germany's fondest dreams was the hollowest of fantasies. I had been familiar for years with a German political literature based on the roseate theory that, once Great Britain was embroiled in a great European war, her world-wide Empire would crack and tumble like a house of cards in a holocaust. Had not Sir Wilfred Laurier on a famous occasion declared that Canada would never be "drawn into the vortex of European militarism"? Were not the Boers thirsting restlessly for revenge and the hour of deliverance from the British yoke? Were not Republican sentiments notoriously rife in Australia and New Zealand, and would not Labor Governments in those remote regions seize eagerly on coveted opportunity to snap the silken cords which bound them to England, and declare their independence? Would not India, the enslaved Empire of the vassal Rajahs, leap at the throat of an England preoccupied in Europe and drive the tyrant into the sea? These were the thoughts which were discussed by Teuton political seers as something more than things which Germany merely desired and hoped for. They were treated as axiomatic certainties. The rally round the Union Jack by the Britons of Australia and New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, Nova Scotia and Jamaica, Barbadoes and Ceylon, British Guiana and Mauritius, Newfoundland and New Brunswick, was Germany's great illusion. When the "conquered Boers" under Botha, the "alienated Irish" under Redmond, the "rebellious Indians" under maharajahs and princes, even the "downtrodden" black Basutos, Barotses, Masai and Maoris of Africa and Australasia under their native chieftains, announced that they, too, were ready to bleed for the Empire, Germany's awakening was rude and complete. London might be callous, pleasure-loving and unperturbed. But the Empire was alive both to the peril and the duty of the hour, and when it vowed to face the one and absolve the other an oath was sworn which spelled British invincibility.



It is November, 1914. Britain is waking, but is far from awake. Nearly everybody and everything are proud to be "as usual." The Fleet has been able to secure but one action with the Germans--Beatty's smashing blow at the Kaiser's cruiser squadron in the bight of Heligoland. A great trophy of the engagement is in hand--Admiral von Tirpitz' son, watch-officer in the Mainz, a prisoner in Wales. For a month and more the war has been raging furiously in the west all the way from the Alps to the North Sea. Antwerp is taken, after a farce-comedy attempt at relief by levies of raw British naval reserves. Joffre is at sanguinary grips with the "Boches" in the Aisne country. The twelve or fifteen miles of British front in the northernmost corner of France and that patch of Flanders not yet in the enemy's hands is the scene of ceaseless, desperate combat. Jellicoe's dreadnoughts and destroyers take part at intervals in the grim battle for the channel coast. Ostend has fallen.

The German objective farthest west is now clear. The Berlin newspapers head-line the tidings from Flanders "the Road to Calais." Major Moraht in the Tageblatt acknowledges that the campaign for the base from which Napoleon essayed to invade England is "a matter of life or death" for the Germans. Sir John French and the remnant of Belgium's little army steel themselves for a stone-wall defense. Again and again they keep the frenzied enemy at bay. Have you ever seen Harvard holding the Yale eleven on the five-yard line three minutes before the call of time in the last half, with dark gathering so fast that you could hardly distinguish crimson from blue? Do you remember Yale's ferocious first, second, third, yet always vain, attempts to batter and plunge her way through Harvard's concrete, immobile phalanx? If you do, and if your red-blooded heart has tingled at some such spectacle of young American bulldoggedness, which can be seen West as well as East, in the North and in the South, just as commonly as in the New Haven bowl, you will be able to visualize, infinitesimally, the titanic grapple around Dixmude, Ypres and the Yser in the bloody days and hellish nights of October and November, 1914. "The Watch in the Mud" was the way German military critics paraphrased their national anthem, to describe the situation in Flanders, for the Belgians had now flooded the region contiguous to the Yser Canal, and the Kaiser's legions, in their breathless thrust for Calais, were fighting in mire and slush to their boot-tops. More than one company of Feldgrauer was ingloriously drowned.

The British were engaged in precisely the operation for which their temperament best fits them--"holding." The German attack rocked against them remorselessly, giving neither assailant nor defender rest or quarter. But the bulldog "held." He was mauled unconscionably and bled profusely. Thousands upon thousands of his teeth were knocked out, and he was half-blind, and limped. Yet he "held." Winter had come. Men lived in trenches which had been merely water-logged ditches, but were now frozen into rock. The German eagle, hammered, of course, no less cruelly than the bulldog, was still screaming and clawing, in his mad desire to cleave a way to Calais. But, mangled and scarred as he was, the bulldog barked "No!" He had set his squatty bow-legs, disjointed though they were, squarely across "the Road to Calais." There he intended to stay. It could be traversed, that road, only through a welter of blood which, regardless as German commanders are of the cost when they set themselves an objective, gave the General Staff at Berlin furiously to ponder.

I have already intimated that Britain all this tempestuous while was rubbing her eyes, but was only partially open-eyed. It was not altogether Britain's fault. The immutable Censorship still gave the public no real glimmer of the history-making struggle going on almost within ear-shot of the chalk-cliffs of Dover. Throughout the entire month of October, four weeks as crammed with death and glory as in all England's martial history, Sir John French was permitted to take the public into his confidence but on one single occasion--and that, a dispatch dealing with operations six weeks old! For its news of the heroic deeds and Spartan sufferings of the greatest army it ever sent abroad, the British Empire was compelled to depend on stilted French communiques and the fantastic or irrelevant narratives of an official "eye-witness at British Headquarters," who was allowed to bamboozle the nation for months before his flow of mediocrity and piffle was choked off by disgruntled public opinion. England was fighting her greatest war in Cimmerian darkness. Casualty lists, terrible in their regularity and magnitude, kept on coming, but of the coincident imperishable triumphs of British sacrifice and courage, not a word. One's Illustrated London News and Sphere printed depressing double-pages weekly, filled with pictures of England's masculine flower killed in action "somewhere in France" or "somewhere in Flanders." But of the manner in which their precious lives had been laid down, of the price they had made the Germans pay for them, not a syllable. If by accident some correspondent or newspaper secured the account of an engagement, which ventured so much as to hint with some picturesqueness of detail how Englishmen were dying, the Press Bureau guillotine came down on the narrative with a crash which taught the offender to mend his ways for the future.

Under the circumstances it was not surprising to hear well-founded reports that recruiting was falling off. In the clubs men said that Kitchener's "first half-million" was in hand, but that men for the second five hundred thousand, for which the War Office had now called, were holding back to a disappointing, and even disquieting, degree. Meantime the popular ballad of the hour was, appropriately, Paul Rubens' "Your King and Country Want You"--"a women's recruiting song," as its sub-title runs. Its opening verse and chorus tell their own story:

We've watched you playing cricket
And every kind of game.
At football, golf and polo,
You men have made your name.
But now your country calls you
To play your part in war,
And no matter what befalls you,
We shall love you all the more.
So, come and join the forces
As your fathers did before.
Oh! We don't want to lose you,
But we think you ought to go.
For your King and your Country
Both need you so!
We shall want you, and miss you,
But with all our might and main
We shall cheer you, thank you, kiss you,
When you come back again!

These words, in prosaic type, look banal. Their appeal seems trite. Yet rendered to plaintive melody by such an operatic artist as little Maggie Teyte, they went straight to men's hearts. They must have sent thousands upon thousands of cricketers, footballers, golfers and poloists--that is a classification which takes in pretty nearly all Englishmen--into khaki and training-camps. But the growing insistence with which the walls and windows of Old England were plastered with recruiting posters--even entire front pages of newspapers were now employed to advertise that "Your King and Country Need You"--indicated that Kitchener's army was not being built up yet by the desired leaps and bounds. Obviously the war needed some other kind of advertising than even the accomplished Mr. Le Bas could give it. It was not strange that the enthusiasm of Englishmen, cheated of the chance to know what was really going on at the front, was beginning to find expression in other directions.

Greeting the Kaiser (in helmet) the day he declared Germany "in a state of war," July 31st, 1914.

It was not magnificent, for example, but it was natural, that Englishmen should, in all the circumstances, reveal a very materialistic passion to "capture Germany's trade." Denied the opportunity of "enthusing" over events at the seat of war, they proceeded to dedicate themselves energetically to the task of eliminating the Germans as a factor in the markets of the world. A profound book on the subject appeared--The War on German Trade, with the sub-titles of "Ammunition for Civilians" and "Hints for a Plan of Campaign." My old friend, Sidney Whitman, the distinguished author of Imperial Germany, dignified it with a preface. England had not entered upon the war "in a commercial spirit or with a commercial purpose," he said, "yet it behooves her to seize and hold fast the ripe fruit which has dropped into Englishmen's lap--as a first incident in the clash of nations." The volume had frankly been published, explained Whitman, "with the purpose of stimulating the English manufacturer and the English trader to seize the opportunities thrust upon them by the war."

Then, as the Censorship, as callous to criticism and abuse as if it were a sphinx, still insisted that Englishmen must fight and die in the dark, as far as their kith and kin were concerned, patriotism at home found vent in a crusade against the Germans still at large on British soil. They numbered thousands. They were a distinct and undeniable danger. In days of peace they spied patriotically and flagrantly, thanks to John Bull's easy-going, guileless toleration of the stranger within his gate. Personally I never believed that the German waiters and barbers in the Savoy or the Carlton, and their myriad of confrères elsewhere in the country, were the advance guard of the German army of invasion in disguise. Nor did I imagine (as I actually made a very British friend once seriously believe) that Appenrodt's restaurants in the Strand and Piccadilly were in reality masked commissariat-stations of the Kaiser's General Staff. Nor could even so persuasive an authority as William Le Queux, author of German Spies in England, convince me that every German resident who kept homing-pigeons, owned a country-place near the East Coast suitable for wireless, or got drunk on the Kaiser's birthday in the Gambrinus restaurant in Glasshouse Street, was a paid member of the Berlin secret-service. Most of these stories made me smile as broadly as the "star" rumor of the war--the story that seventy thousand armed Russians had been "actually seen" by Heaven knows how many veracious Britons sneaking across England from Newcastle to Southampton, on their stealthy way from Archangel to the Western allied front.

Yet it was palpably not the hour for German subjects, any number of them of military age and ardor, to be at large in England. So Britain, in a tardy manifestation of self-preservation, began to arrest and intern the Kaiser's hapless subjects, who hitherto had suffered no impairment of their liberties except detention in the country, compulsory visits to the police, and restriction of movement (except by special permission) to an area five miles from their domicile. The German is far too much of a patriot to be trusted to do as he pleases in a country with which his Fatherland is at war. He never forgets that he is a German first, and a stock-broker earning commissions in London, a barber taking English tips, or a waiter spilling English soup, afterward. It is always Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles with him. He may not have made a profession or habit of writing home to Berlin or Hamburg, Cologne or Breslau, Kiel or Wilhelmshaven, what he noted of interest at Aldershot, Portsmouth, Dover, Woolwich, or Sheerness, or what his English friends might from time to time tell him of interest at the Admiralty or the War Office. But it was "bomb-sure," as the Teuton idiom rather appropriately puts it, that if ever a British state secret fell into Herr Apfelbaum's hands on the Stock Exchange, or into Johann's in the "hair-dressing saloon" of the Ritz, or into Gustav's at the grillroom of the Piccadilly, that morsel would sooner or later find its way to Germany. When one considered that Englishmen of the highest class--one even said the King had a German valet!--were attended night and day, in their homes, their clubs, their offices and their favorite "American bars," hotels, grillrooms, cafés and restaurants by Germans, with eyes to see and ears to hear, it was small wonder that an irresistible cry was sent up before the winter of war had advanced very far, that these "enemy aliens" should not be merely ticketed, labeled and superficially watched, but placed behind barbed-wire, with British sentries on guard. And so it came to pass that Mr. McKenna, Home Secretary, whose reluctance to intern the Germans gossip absurdly ascribed to his "German connections," finally ordered "the enemy in our midst" to be rounded up. Not all of them were at first taken. Thousands remained at liberty. The British are a patient and a trusting clan.

It was not only the acknowledged German subject in Great Britain who was the object of the anti-Teuton crusade. The naturalized German, in many cases the holder for years of a certificate of British citizenship, was made to feel the blight of the wave of passion sweeping over the country. Naturalized Germans have won in England wealth and eminence outstripping even the heights to which they have climbed in the United States. In the preceding reign they were the bosom companions of the Sovereign. King Edward's intimate circle contained the Cologne financier, Sir Ernest Cassel, and another Prussian native, Sir Felix Semon, was His Majesty's Physician Extraordinary. In the "City," London's Wall Street, German financiers almost dominated the picture. Baron Schroeder (naturalized only within a few hours of the outbreak of the war) was so great a power that citizenship was practically thrust upon him as a measure of vital British self-protection. Sir Edgar Speyer, like Cassel a member of the King's Privy Council, and a Baronet besides, was not only a City magnate, but controlled London's vast system of surface and underground traction lines, including the omnibus service; yet his English counting-house was a branch of a parent establishment in Frankfort-On-Main. These were a few of the outstanding names among the "Germans" in high place in England. They by no means exhausted the list. Domiciled in this country for years, they had, while openly maintaining sentimental relations with their Fatherland, played no inconspicuous rôle in British affairs, economic and political. Any number of naturalized Germans were married to British women and were fathers of British-born families. Scores of their sons were already wearing King George's khaki in Kitchener's army. Sir Ernest Cassel had given five thousand pounds to the Prince of Wales' National Relief Fund. Yet rumor shortly afterward had him locked up in a traitor's cell in the Tower of London! No matter how acclimatized these naturalized Germans had become, no matter how long they had been British subjects--in many cases their title to that distinction was half a century old--they found themselves under a ban. They were not physically maltreated. Their windows were not broken. Men did not spit in their faces. They were permitted (like the rest of the British) to do "business as usual," except the stock-brokers, who were invited to keep off 'Change. But they were a marked class. If they ventured to visit clubs in Pall Mall or St. James Street, to which they had paid dues for years, they were confronted with notices reading:

|                                                 |
|  Members of German or Austrian nationality      |
|  are requested, in their own interests, not     |
|  to frequent the club premises during the war,  |
|  and British members are asked not to           |
|  bring to the club any guests of enemy          |
|  nationality.                                   |
|                                                 |

Or, if the naturalized German, no matter whether his boy had just fallen at Ypres or not, went to his favorite golf-club of a Saturday or Sunday, he received a greeting to the same effect. The virtue of tolerance, a prized British quality, was vanishing from the face of these war-ridden isles.

The anti-German fury in England claimed an early victim and a shining mark--His Serene Highness Vice-Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg, who, as First Sea Lord of the Admiralty, was practically in supreme control of British strategy at sea. Prince Louis is a native-born Austrian, and although he had been a naturalized British subject and attached to the Royal Navy since 1868, and in 1884 married into the British Royal Family by wedding his own cousin, Princess Victoria of Hesse, a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria, a campaign inaugurated and mercilessly prosecuted by the aristocratic Morning Post, led, on October 29, to the Prince's resignation. Public opinion unreservedly approved the disappearance from a post, from which it was not too much to say the destinies of the Empire were controlled, of a man who was brother-in-law of Prince Henry of Prussia, the Inspector-General of the German Navy, and of the Grand Duke of Hesse, one of the Kaiser's federated allies. The same spirit of "Safety First" which sent the German barbers and waiters to camps in Frith Hill and the Isle of Man dispatched Vice-Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg into official oblivion. Nobody actually distrusted his patriotism. But England was in no humor to run even remote risks. He had to go. Satisfaction over Battenberg's retirement was only slightly modified by a later revelation that it was Prince Louis himself, and not Mr. Churchill, as universally supposed, who was chiefly responsible for the mobilization of the British Fleet just before the outbreak of war in consequence of having "commanded the ships to stand fast, instead of demobilizing as ordered."

November was a month of kaleidoscopic sorrow and joy for the British. It began in gloom, with Turkey's entry into the war and the inherent menace to Egypt which that event denoted. Then came the great naval action off Chili, with first blood to the Kaiser in the only regulation stand-up battle in which British and German warships had so far met. The sinking of Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock's flagship, the cruiser Good Hope, and her companion, the Monmouth, by Admiral Count von Spee's cruiser squadron, with the loss of one thousand four hundred precious lives, was a bitter blow. Lord Charles Beresford, under whom Cradock had once served, told me that his death was a more serious loss to the British Fleet than a squadron of cruisers.

It was a depressing beginning for the First Sea Lordship of Lord "Jackie" Fisher, who succeeded Prince Louis of Battenberg. Churchill was still First Lord of the Admiralty--what we in the United States should call Secretary of the Navy--but Fisher, as First Sea Lord, was in practical control of everything connected with the actual activities of the Fleet. The First Lord of the Admiralty's business is to get ships for the navy. The First Sea Lord's task is to man, arm and fight them. Fisher lost no time in angry remorse over Cradock's disaster. He set about to repair it. He applied forthwith the "Fisher touch." He ascertained that it was Rear-Admiral Sir Frederick Doveton Sturdee, Chief of the War Staff, who had been chiefly responsible for dispatching Cradock's squadron to waters in which it would have to meet a German force superior in both tonnage and gun-power. Whereupon Fisher ordered Sturdee to place himself at the head of a squadron which was to find and destroy von Spee, and not come back until it had done so. Sturdee "delivered the goods" with neatness and dispatch. Almost a month later to the day--it is a fortnight's journey from British waters to the Southern Atlantic even for twenty-seven-knot battle-cruisers--he carried out Fisher's imperious orders. On December 8 Cradock was gloriously avenged. Von Spee in his flagship, the Scharnhorst, together with the sister cruiser Gneisenau and the smaller Leipzig, was sent to the bottom off the Falkland Islands, and the remaining units in the German squadron, the Dresden and Nürnberg, were accounted for later. Britain breathed easier. The bulldog breed in her navy was still to be relied upon. Everybody instinctively felt that there was any number of more Sturdees and ships and guns and sailors ready to do equally invincible service for England if the Germans would but give them the chance von Spee had offered at the Falklands.

Spirits which had drooped when Cradock was lost were revived ten days later by the most welcome piece of naval news the British people had had since the war began--the destruction of the Kaiser's champion commerce-raider Emden by the Australian cruiser Sydney off the Cocos Islands and the capture of her intrepid commander, Captain von Müller, and many of his crew. The Emden sank seventeen ships and cargoes worth eleven million dollars before her career was ended. But von Müller won universal renown and even popularity in Great Britain for his daring, "sportsmanship" and gallantry to vanquished merchantmen. Germans do not appreciate such a spirit, and do not deserve to be its beneficiary--the utter lack of the sporting instinct in the Fatherland is responsible for that unfortunate fact--yet if von Müller had been landed a prisoner of war in England and could have been paraded down Pall Mall, he might have counted confidently on a welcome which Englishmen customarily reserve for their own heroes. Here and there in London protests were raised against the encomiums which almost every newspaper, and for the matter of that almost every Englishman, uttered in praise of von Muller's vindication of the nobility of the sea, but the overwhelmingly prevalent opinion was that he had "played the game" and, pirate though he was, deserved well of a race which still holds high the traditions of the naval service.

Ever-changing and stirring were November's events--the capitulation of Germany's prized Chinese colony of Kiau-Chau to the besieging Japanese; Lord Roberts' tragic death in the field among the soldiers he loved so well, the Indians who had come to Europe to fight Britain's battles; the still victorious advance of the Russians in East Prussia, though Hindenburg's smashing blow in the Tannenberg swamps had been delivered many weeks before; the honorable acquittal of Rear-Admiral E. C. T. Troubridge, commanding the Mediterranean cruiser squadron, on the charge of having allowed the German cruisers Goeben and Breslau to slip through his meshes into Constantinople--the Admiral had applied for a court-martial, to clear himself of a grotesque accusation that a relationship with the captain of the Goeben had induced him to let the Germans through. But all these things combined left no such indelible impression on my mind as the Lord Mayor's dinner at the Guildhall in the city of London on the night of November 9. That function, the inauguration of the new chief magistrate, is celebrated in British history as the annual occasion on which leaders of the State promulgate some great new line of Governmental policy--a national keynote for the year to come. The Guildhall dinner in the midst of Britain's greatest war was sure to be of immemorial significance, and my heart beat high with anticipation when Lord Northcliffe assigned me to attend it and record an American's impressions of England's most august feast.

Guildhall was the scene of a famous flamboyancy by the Kaiser not so many years ago, when he had talked about the comparatively firmer consistency of blood compared to water and consecrated himself to the cause of Anglo-German peace and friendship. I was keenly anxious to hear what sort of sentiments would echo through the century-old sanctuary of the City to-night, with men like Asquith, Balfour, Kitchener, Churchill and Cambon, the French Ambassador, as the speakers. I looked forward to an evening sure to be crowded with imperishable memories. I was not disappointed. At midnight when it was all over, I sat down to write "an American's impressions" for The Daily Mail, and as they were exuberant with the freshness of mental sensations just experienced and have not cooled in the sincerity of their utterance in the long interval which has supervened, I make no apology for repeating them herewith verbatim:

"When I became the joyful recipient of an invitation to attend last night's Guildhall banquet I reveled in the prospect of a feast of Bacchanalian pomp and pageantry. I expected to witness nothing much except a Lord Mayor's 'show,' translated into Lucullian environment, a riot of food, drink, cardinal robes, gold braid, gold chains, gold sticks, wigs and the other trappings of mayoral magnificence. I came away utterly disillusioned, for I had spent three hours in what will live in my recollection as the Temple of British Dignity.

"Those stately Gothic walls, whose simple groups of statuary which tell of Wellington and Nelson and Beckford; those amazingly non-panicky war speeches of your Romanesque premier, your grim Kitchener, your--and our--Winston Spencer Churchill, and your polished Balfour, all made me feel that I was tarrying for the nonce within four walls which, if they did not envelop all the great qualities of the British race, at least typified and epitomized them.

"Guildhall is dignified by itself beyond my feeble hours of description. I have never trod its historic floors before, but I have the unmistakable impression that it has taken on fresh dignity to-day for the words which were spoken in it yestereve. I was about to say, in the idiom which springs more naturally to the lips of an American, 'for the words which rang through it.' Words were not made to 'ring' through Guildhall. They would be ludicrously out of place. An American political spellbinder, no matter how silver-tongued, would pollute the atmosphere of London's civic shrine. Its acoustic qualities, which I should think were not faultless, are intended for exclusively such oratory as put them to the test last night.

"Guildhall's tone is the tone of Mr. Asquith--'practicing the equanimity of our forefathers, the fluctuating fortunes of a great war will drive us neither into exaltation nor despondency.' I thought that striking phrase of a brilliant peroration British character in composite. It was more than that. It was Guildhallian. The cheers for the Premier, like those for Balfour, Churchill and Kitchener, would have been more vociferous in my country. But my country is not British. We are not devoid of dignity, I hope, but we have no Guildhall."

It was left to other hands to report in detail the speeches of the Prime Minister, the First Lord of the Admiralty and the Secretary of War. Each uttered phrases of golden significance. Mr. Churchill was evidently still his ebullient self, although he had not yet fulfilled his promise of September that the German navy, if it remained in port and refused to come out, would be "dug out like a rat from a hole," nor had his now acknowledged personal responsibility for the fiasco of the Antwerp naval expedition perceptibly staled his infinite buoyancy. "Six, nine, twelve months hence," he declared, "you will begin to see the results that will spell the doom of Germany." I had never heard "Winston" speak before, but I understood now the charm of his personality and the attractiveness of an oratorical style made even more magnetic by the suggestion of a combined stammer and lisp. "In spite of its losses," he continued, "our Navy is now stronger, and stronger relatively to the foe, than it was on the declaration of war." Asquith read his speech, and Kitchener was about to do the same, but Churchill, youthful, vibrant, tense, spoke extemporaneously, and the consequent effect was indubitably the most striking of all the oratory of the night.

Lord Kitchener, in khaki and with a mourning band on his arm, was redolent of strength and impressiveness, but when he rose, clumsily adjusted a pair of huge horn-rimmed reading glasses, and began to chant his carefully-prepared "speech" in monotone from manuscript, he was far less convincing, and certainly not approximately so electrifying as Churchill. But he had messages of no less magnitude and cheer. "We may confidently rely on the ultimate success of the Allies in the west," he said simply. "But we want more men and still more men. We have now a million and a quarter in training."

But it was Asquith's peroration, at which my impressionistic sketch in The Daily Mail only hinted, which was the nugget of the night. Englishmen still repeat it as something which puts in more terse and concrete words than anybody else has clothed it the solemn spirit in which they have consecrated themselves to the task now trying the Empire's soul:

"It is going to be a long, drawn-out struggle. But we shall not sheathe the sword until Belgium recovers all, and more than all, she has sacrificed; until France is adequately secured against the menace of aggression; until the rights of smaller nations are placed on an unassailable foundation; until the military domination of Prussia is finally destroyed."

It was in that incorrigible resolve that Britain entered upon the second calendar year of war, bleeding uncomplainingly, losing stoically, taking what came and ruing it not; determined as she lived, to keep on until her vow to herself was vindicated and her duty to civilization performed.



Britain's autumn of complacency faded unruffled into a winter and spring of lassitude and bungle. Nothing, no matter how ominous or catastrophic, seemed capable of rousing the nation to the immensity of its emergency. The Kingdom was aflame with recruiting posters, in ever increasingly lurid hues and language, but with amazingly little red-blooded interest in or enthusiasm for the war. If one commented on the oppressive and disconcerting nonchalance of the populace, one was called a "Dismal Jimmy," or a "professional whimperer" whose mind was poisoned by the "Northcliffe Press." If you remarked that indications were countless that the enemy was vastly more alive to the stupendousness of the moment than England seemed to be, you were set down for a "pro-German," and the patriot whose guest you were when you ventured that suggestion never invited you to dinner again. If you were an Englishman, you were simply snubbed henceforth. If you were a foreigner, your name may have been handed in to Scotland Yard as that of an "alien" worth watching. Whoever you were, or whatever your views, unless they represented unadulterated admiration of unshakable British calm, you were headed straight for a crushing rebuke. Retribution took the form of branding you either as pitiably ignorant of "British character" or not knowing history well enough to realize that the British are "slow starters" and "always muddle through somehow." You were advised to squander your qualms on a needier cause. The "boys of the bulldog breed" were "all right."

You wondered, if you were a blithering, neurotic American, for example, what would stir the British temperament into something faintly resembling ardor and emotion. Zeppelins came, despite Mr. Churchill's swagger that a horde of "aeroplane hornets" was ready to greet and sting them. They came periodically, leaving destruction in their wake, but the coast towns are one hundred fifty miles away from London, and nobody cared. They had demonstrated, it was true, that England was no longer an island, but "they can't reach London--that's one sure thing," and, "anyway, the time to worry about that was when they tried it." Was not the metropolis magnificently equipped with searchlights, even if the sky-pirates should attempt the impossible and try to pick their way up the Thames in the dark? Then, always, there were those "hornets," and "British coolness."

"Scarborough Shelled by German Cruisers!" So ran the newspaper posters in the streets at midday of December 16th, 1914, an announcement grim with historical import. For the first time in centuries the sacred shores of these sea-girt isles had felt the impact of bombardment. The raid extended far along the Yorkshire coast. Whitby and Hartlepool had been attacked--there were a hundred deaths in the latter alone. Material damage was extensive; homes, shops, hotels, churches, hospitals were struck and shattered. Yet England was "calm." It did not matter in the least that there was a list of seven hundred Britons dead and injured, or that the Kaiser's "Canal Fleet" apparently was able to risk a sortie in the North Sea. What mattered most was that the islanders still alive were unmoved and immovable. That the "baby-killers" by air and water had signally failed to "excite" or "frighten" the country was the circumstance which made incomparably the liveliest appeal to the imagination. Kitchener's astute recruiting advertisers shrieked "Remember Yarmouth!" (where the Zeppelins had been) and "Avenge Scarborough!" across the top of their newest posters, but West End London, where the seats of the mighty are, and where the opinion which gives tone to national thought is molded, remained Gibraltarian. A flock of British aeroplanes assailed Cuxhaven on Christmas Day by way of "reprisal" for the intermittent Zeppelin raids over English territory. The attack was not noteworthy in its results, but it gave a fresh fillip to British confidence that "everything was all right."

As a matter of fact, "everything" was about as all wrong as it could be. Beneath the surface of national life a volcano was boiling and sputtering, and though it gave early and unmistakable evidence of its presence, British calm with invincible indifference tossed it off as a sporadic manifestation unworthy of serious consideration. I refer to the Labor question--to trade-unionism's revolt against reorganization of industry for the purposes of war, and to its stubborn opposition to the introduction of compulsory military service. As long ago as January, the Labor controversy raised its hydra-head, and yet, in October, despite nine months of subsequent turmoil, it only began to be recognized for what it is--the peril which threatens these isles with danger hardly less gigantic than invasion itself. It is the decade-old British story of temporizing with impending menace, oblivious of its portent, serenely conscious only that it, too, can be "muddled through," like everything else in Britain's glorious past. It is the spirit in which Britain almost invited war with Germany, the flaming warnings of which the islands had for years.

The workmen on the Clyde, the engineers, mechanics and artisans responsible for the maintenance of British life itself--for in their hands rests the creation of the ironclads to preserve England from invasion and the merchantmen to bring food to her shores--were the first to cause the volcano to rumble. They objected to "overtime." The process of "speeding up" in every department, due to the iron necessities of war, was violating the most sacred traditions of trade-unionism. If not forcibly checked, practises tolerated in the name of emergency were in imminent peril of becoming fixed rules. The Clyde workmen struck. They paid no heed to Sir George Askwith, the Chief Industrial Commissioner, when he declared that "the requirements of the nation were being seriously endangered." Jellicoe urgently needed those six new destroyers waiting to be riveted. But the Clyde engineers wanted the overtime question settled, and settled in their way; and until it was, the navy could go hang. Englishmen were disappointed when they read the news from Glasgow and Greenock, but they were not upset. Matters would "right themselves." Trade-unionists were an "unreasonable lot." But they always "came around." At any rate, there was no cause to "worry."

One man, a big man, was "worrying." He was Lloyd-George, whose specialty is taking bulls by their horns. Being Welsh, it was not "un-English" for him to dignify an emergency with its intrinsic importance and act accordingly. He grasped instantly the menace which the situation on the Clyde conjured up. With decision of Napoleonic boldness in a politician to whom report ascribed the ambition to hoist himself into a dictatorship on the shoulders of the "masses," Lloyd-George determined to "speed up" industrial England for war by Act of Parliament. If labor would not voluntarily throw trade-union dogma to the wind when national existence was at stake, the possibility of imperiling it should simply be taken from them. Thereupon he introduced in the House of Commons an amendment to the "Defense of the Realm Act," which provided for nothing short of Industrial Conscription. Emerged later as the Munitions Act, it conferred enormous powers upon the Government. Reduced to essentials, it robbed Labor of the right to strike. It forbade lockouts, as well. It provided for compulsory arbitration of all disputes. It withheld from a workman the right to leave one employment and take another. It obliterated primarily and absolutely that holiest of holy trade-union regulations, by which output is restricted. On the other hand, it provided for the limitation of employers' profit by establishing a system of "controlled establishments," i.e., works engaged exclusively in the production of munitions for the Government and whose financial operations could, therefore, be exactly checked.

The Munitions of War Act was Great Britain's longest step in the direction of Industrial Socialism. It emanated with singular appropriateness from Lloyd-George, the father of the German-imported system of old age pensions and workmen's insurance introduced six years previous. Trade-unionism was aghast at the radicalism of the new proposals, which Mr. Balfour rightly described as the "most drastic" for which British Parliamentary sanction had ever been sought. Lloyd-George only partially subdued Labor's misgivings by pledging the Government's word that the scheme applied for the duration of the war only, and that with peace the old order of things would be automatically reestablished.

The men on the Clyde had no sooner gone back to work, reluctantly and sullen after a "compromise" settlement, when the dockers of Manchester, Birkenhead and Liverpool struck on the overtime issue. Lord Kitchener, while reviewing troops in the district, formally notified the Dock Laborers' Union that if they "did not do all in their power to help carry the war to a successful conclusion," he would have to "consider what steps would be necessary" to hammer patriotism into their souls. "K.'s" unambiguous language signally failed to impress the dockers. They remained on strike. A deputation of shipbuilding and shipowning firms now waited on Lloyd-George. They told him that drink, more truly the curse of the British working classes than of any other in the world, was at the bottom of the rebellious, lazy spirit of the men. They urged prohibition for the period of the war. The deputation declared that eighty per cent. of avoidable loss of time could be ascribed to drink. Lloyd-George sympathized with that view. "We are, plainly," he said, "fighting Germany, Austria and drink, and as far as I can see, the greatest of these three deadly foes is drink."

Now the miners became restless. They demanded a revision of the wage scale in accordance with the mine-owners' notoriously swollen war profits. Their Federation decided that notice should be given on April 1st to terminate all existing agreements at the end of June. There were hints that the miners intended pressing not only for a "war bonus," but for an advance of twenty per cent. on current wages. From the pits of South Wales comes the coal which is the navy's black breath of life. A week's idleness meant one million tons unproduced. The Government summoned the Miners' Federation for conference. Coal prices were already soaring. Here and there there was a shortage of supply. Germany was jubilant. Labor's temper in the Clyde country, the docker districts and in the colliery regions was far from improved by Lloyd-George's support of the suggestion that drink was the root of the industrial evil. The Chancellor of the Exchequer essayed to play a trump card. He announced that King George, "deeply concerned over a state of affairs which must inevitably result in the prolongation of the horrors and burdens of this terrible war," was himself prepared to set an august example to Labor by giving up all alcoholic liquor, "so that no difference should be made as far as His Majesty is concerned between the treatment of rich and poor in this question." Working-class Britain committed wholesale lèse-majesté by paying no attention to the King's decree of self-denial.

The sequel, though not, of course, the immediate result of King George's total abstinence proclamation, was the outbreak of the South Wales miners' dispute in full fury a few weeks later. Joint conference between the Federation, the owners and the Government ended in hopeless deadlock. The miners stubbornly refused to accept the principle of compulsory arbitration provided by Lloyd-George's now enacted Munitions Law. Two hundred thousand men stopped work. Threats to enforce the punitive provisions of the law did not terrify them. The establishment in Wales and Monmouthshire of a "Munitions Tribunal," before which they could be haled, only made them more defiant. In London one heard irresponsible mutterings that "a few leaders of the Federation" might usefully be shot, and it was suggested that if England were Germany, they would be. More than one voice advocated lynching "a few owners," too. The country waited dutifully for the Government to employ the "drastic powers" it had arrogated to itself only a few short weeks before. Instead of anything so heroic, it flung Lloyd-George into the breach. It sent him to South Wales, and in his entourage went Arthur Henderson, the new Labor member of the Cabinet, and Mr. Runciman, the President of the Board of Trade (the government department which deals with industry). The little Welshman drew forth from his inexhaustible arsenal the weapon he seldom unsheathes in vain--his persuasively silver tongue. New terms were drawn up between the miners and the colliery owners. The men got about everything they wanted. "Fill the bunkers," Lloyd-George cried to them amid their cheers in a farewell speech at Cardiff. "It means defense. It means protection. It means an inviolate Britain." The miners went back to work. But peace had been dearly bought by the Government. It had not dared to enforce the coercive paragraphs of the vaunted Munitions Law. The Act, it was now painfully evident, might do very well to discipline a handful of "shirking-men" at some shell works or shipyard, but to invoke its machinery to browbeat two hundred thousand organized miners was manifestly a horse of a different color. And one which the British Government was not prepared to back. Industrial Conscription was magnificent in theory. In its first great test in practise it had proved to be fire with which the authorities preferred not to play. Some one (I think it was Price Collier) called England the Land of Compromise. The Welsh miners seem to have shown that he was right.

Events were not long in forthcoming to demonstrate that neither forceful persuasion by a popular Cabinet Minister nor "drastic" Acts of Parliament were in themselves capable of regenerating the British working man or inspiring him with full and patriotic realization of the national emergency. Shortly after becoming Minister of Munitions in May, Lloyd-George began a speech-making tour of the industrial districts. He pleaded eloquently to Labor to forget its "isms" and its "rules" and throw the full weight of its Titan strength into the balance for the winning of the war. He addressed his appeal alike to masters and men. Passionately he begged both to relegate traditions, suspicions and prejudices and join hands for the common cause. He did not mince words as to the national consequences if either of them permitted ancient antagonisms to restrict their producing power at a moment when nothing short of the Empire's existence was trembling in the balance. "Pile up the shells!" was the burden of his plea. Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield, Coventry, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester, all the great industrial centers of the Kingdom, listened, and promised. By the beginning of autumn Lloyd-George had pledged nearly one thousand establishments, hitherto engaged in the peaceful arts, to devote their plants exclusively to the manufacture of sinews of war, and employers and workmen passed automatically under the "control" of the Ministry of Munitions. The country seemed to be yielding effectively to Lloyd-George's project for "speeding up" war industry.

Yet, as sporadic announcements in the newspapers presently indicated, the system was by no means producing desired results. Dogmatic trade-unionism was dying hard. The Government's call to men and women to do their "bit" for the war, either by enlisting in the fighting forces or engaging in munitions work, naturally sent tens of thousands of people to the factories who never possessed a "union card" in their lives. Organized Labor was horrified by the deluge of "scabs" thus created. It saw the results of decades of crusade for "union shops" and for privilege for skilled hands swept away like chaff in the wind. Another phenomenon of no less disagreeable omen was making its appearance. Marvelous American automatic lathes for shell-making were being installed on a prodigious scale--machinery so simple in construction that one man, or even a woman or girl, might learn to keep five lathes running at one time. This conjured up disquieting visions for the devotees of a system which looks upon arbitrary limitation of output and minimum employment of maximum numbers of skilled men as an inalienable heritage of Organized Labor. War might be war, national existence might be at stake, nothing else might count except victory, to say nothing of a dozen other shibboleths dinned incessantly into their ears, but trade-unionists had "rights" and "necessities," too. It had cost them years of blood and tears, and strikes and lockouts galore, to enforce them. Was Labor supinely to permit them to be snatched away bodily under cover of war, which Labor had always opposed? Were sainted rules about Sunday work and other "overtime," about apprentices, about female labor, and a dozen other trophies of triumphant trade-unionism to be renounced? Could Governments, from which hard-won prerogatives had had to be extorted almost by violence, be trusted voluntarily to restore them, once Labor had been cowed into surrendering them, and comfortable precedents established? Was the British proletariat, now only on the threshold of its liberties, to be hurled back at one fell swoop into the abyss of inglorious mid-Victorian "slavery"? Let the nation rant itself blue in the face over Labor's "disgraceful lack of patriotism." Let Germany find comfort, if it could, in the spectacle of British working men refusing to relinquish their holiest privileges on the blood-smeared altar of Militarism. "Patriotism begins at home," said the trade-unionist. "The Government is looking after its own interests. I am looking after mine," he explained.

With such recalcitrant and explosive conditions prevailing, the public was not surprised, though profoundly chagrined, to learn at the end of September--I choose the case as typical, and by no means because it was an isolated instance--that the Liverpool Munitions Tribunal had fined hundreds of workmen employed by Messrs. Cammell, Laird & Company, one of the most important firms of armament manufacturers in the country. It was testified that owing to shirking during the period of the preceding twenty weeks, there had been a loss of 1,500,000 hours' time. The evidence is so characteristic that I reproduce it textually:

"The average daily number of men employed was 10,349, and the average number of men out on each day of the week was: Monday, first quarter, 2,135, and the whole day, 1,156; Tuesday, 1,421 and 1,030; Wednesday, 1,439 and 1,231; Thursday, 1,764 and 1,126; Friday, 1,492 and 984; and Saturday, 1,057 and 1,015. The average number out per day for the whole period was 1,552 who lost a quarter, and 1,090 losing the whole day. In other words, fifteen per cent. lost a quarter, and about ten and one-half per cent. did not go into work at all on every day of the whole twenty weeks. The loss of working hours on ordinary working days was a million and a half, and represented a full week's work for nearly thirty thousand men; or, alternatively, the time lost practically represented a complete shutting down of the whole establishment for three working weeks. Neither the men themselves nor their societies could plead ignorance of what was going on. Frequent appeals had been made to representative deputations of the men in the works by the managing director of the company, also to the local representatives of the men's unions, pointing out this most discreditable state of affairs. Seeing that the men had proved deaf to all persuasion, and had shown no improvement in response to appeals either from Ministers of the Crown, their own trade unions, or their employers, the only course was to prosecute them before that tribunal."

The announcement of the sentences on the shirkers caused an outbreak of dissatisfaction, and the chairman of the Tribunal was interrupted several times by the men as he was giving the judgments. Half a dozen or more of the men all attempting to speak at once caused great confusion. "There'll be a revolution in this country," cried one, and such phrases as, "It's time the Germans were here if we are to be treated like this," "What did South Wales do? Defy them!" "We are not here as slaves" were shouted from various quarters. The disturbers were asked to leave the Court. "Let's all go," called one of the men--and they all went, giving "three cheers for the British workman."

Labor pleads in extenuation of its seemingly treasonable disregard of national interests that it is not merely reluctance to yield ground on fixed trade-union principles which inspires a spirit of revolt in the "munition areas." It is only fair to record that the attitude of Union leaders throughout has generally been above reproach. Their counsel to the men to forget "rules" and give the best that is in them has in many cases fallen on deaf ears. What particularly gnawed at the men's hearts was a conviction that they were not getting even an approximately "square deal" under the abnormal conditions of "war industry." They insisted that while employers' profits had risen inordinately in almost every branch--shipping, collieries, the steel and iron trades, and primarily, of course, in the armaments industries--the wages of the men who were doing the actual producing lamentably failed to keep step with the masters' swollen revenue. The men assert, indeed, that such advance in wages as has taken place does not remotely correspond to the increased cost of living, which averaged forty per cent. up to the end of the summer of 1915, with a further rise in almost inevitable prospect. Labor, in other words, so the working classes claimed, was being "sweated" in order that the coffers of the "profiteers" might continue to overflow. If British trade-unionism had an epigrammatist as inventive as Mr. Bryan, it would no doubt have adopted as its war-time slogan the aphorism that Capital was determined to press down a crown of thorns upon Labor's brow, and crucify working mankind upon a cross of gold. Those, at any rate, were precisely the sentiments which fired British Labor's soul.

But if revolt on the old-time issues of output, overtime and Unionism was bitter and menacing, it was destined to be a mere whisper compared to Labor's rebellious hostility to Conscription. The "controlled establishment" system evoked more or less continuous opposition. Almost every day batches of workmen, ranging from twos and threes to troops of fifty or a hundred, were dragged before Munition Tribunals, and fined a week's pay for shirking. In one or two cases they preferred the martyrdom of imprisonment to money punishment. But on the whole, notwithstanding the ceaseless howl of Ramsay Macdonald's Labor Leader and George Lansbury's Socialist Herald against the "tyranny" and "slavery" of the Munitions Act and the "unchecked piracy of the employer-profiters," the ambitions of Lloyd-George to "speed up" war industry were satisfactorily realized. He was able to state that "taking the figure one as representing the output of shells in September, 1914, the figure for July, 1915, was fifty times greater. It was a hundred times greater in August, and thenceforward production would continue to rise in a surprisingly rapid crescendo."

By midsummer of 1915 Britain was faced by an emergency not a whit less urgent than shells. She had effectively organized her facilities for turning out a maximum of high-explosives. She had now to confront and solve the insistent problem of manning her decimated armies. Kitchener and the voluntary system had worked wonders. The actual figures, for some unaccountably censorious reason, were never disclosed, except in the case of Ireland, which up to October 1 had furnished 81,000 recruits; but the authorities allowed to pass uncontradicted the statement that the United Kingdom and the Colonies between them had raised a volunteer army of approximately 3,000,000 men. Had it turned out to be anything except a War of Miscalculations, this gigantic contribution of British military force might have sufficed, but with 500,000 British casualties after fourteen months of fighting--roundly, 400,000 in France and Flanders and 100,000 in the Dardanelles--and with the Germans not only not yet expelled from Belgium or France, but in undisputed possession of Poland and about to pound through Serbia on "the road to Constantinople, Egypt and India," it was apparent that probably twice 3,000,000 British soldiers would be required. Two spectacular attempts to "break through" the wall of concrete and iron Germany had erected in the West had been made. Both failed, however gloriously. Neuve Chapelle and Artois inscribed fresh and imperishable deeds of valor on the scroll of the British army, but each was strategically valueless. Results attained were frightfully out of proportion to the price they cost in blood and treasure.

Succeeding events of the war of stalemate in the West and fiasco in the Dardanelles--dreary and weary months of fighting accounted "victorious" if it took three hundred yards of trenches, or a hill, or a cemetery, or a sugar-factory, or a strip of beach, or if it advanced the British line a mile and a half over a front of twelve miles--every "gain" entailing a terrible toll in killed and maimed and fabulous expenditure of shells--all demonstrated one outstanding, immutable fact: that nothing but sheer preponderance of man-power weight would or could "cleave the way to victory." If it cost 25,000 or 30,000 young British lives to win Neuve Chapelle, probably twice that many to carry out the trial push of the great offensive at the end of September, and 100,000 casualties to fail in Gallipoli, what rivers of blood would not have to be spilled along that once-vaunted "march to Berlin"?

Britain's volunteers had done nobly. But they manifestly did not do enough. Mighty as was their response, Britons must yet come, or be brought, forward in their millions if the Empire was to be saved. The specter of Conscription became more of a tangible reality from day to day. Voluntaryism had received a fair and a long and patient trial. It accomplished far more, probably, than its most sanguine supporters hoped for. It outstripped any record approximated by Lincoln in our Civil War, but now, like him, England was plainly compelled to resort to more heroic measures if the overthrow of Germany was to be anything more than a pious aspiration. "Mahanism" had given Britannia control of the sea, but "Moltkeism" was still unbeaten on the Continent.

Soldiers in the making--11th Battalion cook-house.

Now Organized Labor revolted afresh. It would not hear of the "Prussianization" of England by Conscription. It had already "surrendered" its "industrial liberty." It did not propose to part with whatever vestige of "personal freedom" remained. It pilloried Conscription as "Compulsion" and, as brazenly as they dared, certain leaders threatened any Government which essayed to fasten it upon the "British Democracy" with political ruin for itself and gory revolution for the country. The Conscriptionists were accused of wanting, instead of an army of volunteer freemen, "a servile, cheap and sweated army." They aspired to "something which would imperil the civic basis of British liberty and degrade the nation." Conscription was "desired for the war and for after the war, in order that its advocates might better be able to promote their Imperialistic schemes abroad and their class vanity and political interests at home." In the midst of a war to "crush militarism," it was now plotted to impose that monster on Englishmen themselves. Shrieked Bruce Glasier, for example, a paladin of the Socialist-Labor phalanx:

"Compulsion, especially with regard to personal service, to one's choice of occupation and way of life, is of the essence of slavery and oppression. Nothing but actual extremity of life and death ought to justify us in resorting to it even temporarily. No such extremity has arisen, or is, happily, likely to arise. The voluntary principle has not failed either in the Army or any other profession. What has failed, what does fail, is the political policy and administration of the Government.

"Since the days of Feudal slavery in Great Britain no man or woman, except he be a criminal, a lunatic, or a pauper, has been compelled personally to serve any master or Government, or engage in any occupation or task by legal compulsion.

"Shall we allow the old-world tyranny to return?"

Glasier, unwittingly, tapped the very root of the problem, as far as his own particular cohorts, "downtrodden labor," are concerned. The British masses, in their preponderant majority, have not been brought to comprehend what Germany's war is--that it involves for Britain "nothing but actual extremity of life and death." Although leaders of public opinion, from the highest to the lowest, never ceased to emphasize the true inwardness of the struggle, Organized Labor was not convinced that Voluntary Service was unequal to the emergency. At Bristol, in the first week of September, 610 delegates to the annual Trade Union Congress, representing nearly 3,000,000 workers, placed themselves on record flat-footedly against Conscription. With British military failure in the war crying to Heaven, the following "anti-Compulsion" resolutions were adopted:

"We, the delegates to this congress, representing nearly three millions organized workers, record our hearty appreciation of the magnificent response made to the call for volunteers to fight against the tyranny of militarism. We emphatically protest against the sinister efforts of a section of the reactionary press in formulating newspaper policies for party purposes and attempting to foist on this country Conscription, which always proves a burden to workers and will divide the nation at a time when absolute unanimity is essential.

"No reliable evidence has been produced to show that the voluntary system of enlistment is not adequate to meet all the empire's requirements. We believe that all the men necessary can and will be obtained through a voluntary system properly organized, and we heartily support and will give every aid to the Government in its present efforts to secure the men necessary to prosecute the war to a successful issue."

When the cheers following the unanimous adoption of these resolutions subsided, Robert Smillie, the miners' leader and one of the most respected Labor chieftains in Britain, received the heartiest applause of the whole debate when he rapped out: "Now that this congress has declared, on behalf of organized labor, that it is against Conscription, it will be the duty of organized labor to prevent Conscription taking place."

It was not long after the Bristol Trade Union Congress defied the Government to establish Conscription that Vernon Hartshorn, the Socialist miners' leader, declaimed in the Christian Commonwealth that "a golden opportunity for Labor" had arrived, asked "whether trade-unions shall now not be successfully recognized as the controlling authority in a new industrial democracy," and set up "the irresistible claim of Labor to control its own destinies and those of the country." The Bristol and Hartshorn manifestoes were followed by the most extraordinary outburst of all--the formal declaration on the official premises of the British House of Commons by J. H. Thomas, a Member of Parliament for Derby and Organizing Secretary of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Workmen, that if the Government attempted to enforce Conscription, 3,000,000 employees of the national transportation lines of the country would not shrink from precipitating "industrial revolution!"

Interesting to the foreign observer as are all these manifestations of the British masses' opposition to war-time "control" and universal military service, the pathological causes of it are no less absorbing. They are not, in my judgment, far to seek. I thought I gained a composite glimpse of them one day at Shepherd's Bush, by no means the most squalid section of London, for it lies in the west, far from the putrid east. I had gone to watch a great "recruiting-rally"--an attempt to inject some patriotism into regions where it was sadly lacking. I found myself in the midst of a huge typically lower-class and lower middle-class multitude. Scattered throughout it were countless hundreds of what should have been young men fit for military service. It was for the most part a motley throng of blear-eyed men and women of all sorts, sizes and conditions of mental and physical deterioration. Nearly everybody, particularly children, was unkempt and seemed underfed. In the wide-open doors of odoriferous saloons stood hatless, slovenly females, balancing with one hand a half-emptied mug of beer, while the other shepherded a cluster of wretched youngsters with dirty faces, tattered clothing and shredded shoes. Collarless men slouched along, filthy of attire and language alike. The remarks one overheard, as the troops trudged by and the bands blared Rule, Britannia, were usually purely ribald, and the cheering, when a taxi full of wounded Tommies, shoved into the procession to lend corroborative detail to what Sir W. S. Gilbert would have called an otherwise bald and unconvincing spectacle, was desultory and short-lived. The parade had been assigned a line of march through several miles of district precisely like Shepherd's Bush. I could hardly imagine that the scenes anywhere were considerably different from those of which I was an astonished and chagrined witness. There were very few recruits.

I could not resist a reminiscent soliloquy. I had stood in the midst of German crowds in Berlin and elsewhere times without number. But I was quite sure that nowhere in the Fatherland had I ever been in contact with such concentrated, omnipresent, apparently inconquerable squalor and proletarian apathy. It was manifestly not this stratum of English society which was to perpetuate Britannia's rule of the waves. Lamentably little of the "bulldog breed" was visible here. It was more like the starved cur type. Starved! That was the word. Starved for generations of the nourishment on which health, education, ideals and patriotism must be developed, if they are to stand the test in the hour of supreme trial! Why, I asked myself, was such a disheartening picture as good as physically impossible in Berlin or Hamburg or Düsseldorf or Breslau? I may be wrong, but the answer seemed to me to be that paternalistic Government in Germany had produced a race of men and women who, because better educated, better housed, better fed and generally better cared for--even under the relentless jackboot of Militarism--looked upon a war for national existence through entirely different-colored spectacles than this slipshod composite of British illiteracy and nonchalance. I seriously doubted if Shepherd's Bush understood the meaning of Patriotism as the Germans know it; understood that Service and Sacrifice are necessary in the hour of the nation's jeopardy, and, because necessary, must be lavishly, unquestioningly rendered. I found myself excusing the British proletariat. I felt that they were what they were, and acting as they were, or, rather, failing to act as they ought, because they knew no better. Patriotism is not altogether instinct. It is largely a cultivated virtue. That is why we teach immigrant children from Russia and Italy and Hungary to sing "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" as the rudiment of their American schooling. Education has been compulsory in Britain for many years, but drink has been traditionally universal, and housing of the poor and the working classes was only in comparatively recent years deemed a subject worthy of vast national effort. Public hygiene is no longer a neglected theme, and playgrounds and parks are numerous. But illiteracy, intemperance and disease can not be eradicated in a generation. Masses which have for decades been neglected and held in subjection and contempt by an unrelenting class-distinction system heavily charged with arrant snobbishness can not be churned, by the turning of a crank, into a community of enlightened, high-minded or able-bodied patriots and war-makers. Britain has sown the wind. She is reaping the whirlwind. That has been said before, but never has it applied with such grim significance as at this hour.

Recruiting "rallies," recruiting advertisements, reproaches of the "slacker" and the "shirker" in the press, on the platform, in the parks and from the pulpit, have signally failed to shame lower-class Britain into doing its duty as the upper and middle classes have so gloriously done. In consequence, the Voluntary system is on its last legs. Early in October Lord Kitchener appointed Lord Derby "Director of Recruiting." In assuming the thankless job, Derby said he felt like taking over the receivership of a bankrupt concern. He proposed granting Voluntaryism a six weeks' respite. He would give the stay-at-homes one more chance. The Government (which enacted the National Register for the purpose--hated Prussian system which card-indexed every male and female in the realm between fifteen and fifty-five!) knew exactly who and where they were. "Push and Go," said one of the last-ditch poster appeals, "But It's Better to Go than Be Pushed." Lord Derby intimated that "pushing" would set in on December 1. It was estimated that, by hook or crook, not less than thirty thousand fresh men a week would be needed to keep the British armies in Europe and Africa at effective strength in 1916, and, if they did not come forward voluntarily, Kitchener was determined to "fetch" them. That means Conscription. Northcliffe calls it National Service. Shepherd's Bush calls it National Servility. If Labor means what it says, "Compulsion" will not be established until Trafalgar Square and Whitechapel, Clydebank and South Wales, have run red with the organized proletariat's "freeman" blood. On Britain's recreant past, then, rather than on her embattled present, will lie, in my judgment, the real responsibility for that dread triumph of ignorance and indolence over the elementary dictates of patriotism and self-preservation.

If I have emphasized British Labor's influence in blocking National Service, I must, in all fairness, point out that brows not accustomed to sweat and hands never grimy from toil have joined their frowns and their strength with Trade-Unionism and Socialism against Conscription. The professional pacifists, the "anti-militarists," the statesmen and the newspapers which for years prior to 1914, and even during the weeks immediately preceding August of that year, ridiculed the idea of "war with Germany," were all mobilized against the revolutionary idea of converting able-bodied Britons by law into defenders of the realm. From these quarters the men who have dared to advocate Conscription have been besmirched with abuse no less torrential than that which was heaped upon them at the Trade-Union Congress in Bristol or from week to week in the columns of Socialist-Labor organs. It will not be only certain famous proletariat leaders who prevented Britain from rising in the great war to her full military stature--if prevented she be--but the party-hack editors, authors and anything-for-office politicians who preferred the fetish of "our unenslaved Democracy" and "Voluntaryism" to the system under which every other single one of Britain's Allies is fighting and under which, if the opinion of professional soldiers is to be trusted, victory alone can be made to perch on the Union Jack.



Though the end of the carnage is not even approximately in sight, a synoptic view of Germany in war-time is feasible to a more comprehensive extent than is possible in Britain. Armageddon found the Fatherland completely caparisoned for war, with her people so steeped in discipline that it was the merest formality to harness their peace-time habits to Mars' Juggernaut and drive the entire nation to battle as one would a well-trained team. "Team-work," in fact, exactly describes Germany's war-time performances. They are achievements in national unison without parallel in history. Britain, on the other hand, having been overtaken by war, except for her navy, in a state of naked unpreparedness, was plunged forthwith into the melting-pot. Traditions, customs, institutions, hobbies, prejudices, fetishes, even cherished laws, had to be abandoned, upset or reconstructed to fit a world of iron conditions unsuited to a dreamland of comfortable theories. The remaking of Britain, after sixteen months of war, is not yet ended. It has, indeed, hardly commenced. The time to write an accurate history of these isles during the Great Test will come not when peace is signed, but perhaps a decade later, when the New England will have begun to assume, in misty outline at least, the physical, moral and intellectual dimensions in which war, with its scars and its cleansings, left her.

Organized for war, body and soul, as Germany has been for generation upon generation, and never more so, of course, than in the living generation, the country slid into the bloody groove as neatly as if it had never had its being elsewhere. The prospect of "starvation," for instance, quite apart from the fact that it was a German-invented bogy trotted out to deceive the enemy and extort the commiseration of neutrals, never seriously disturbed the Germans' equanimity, for from the cradle up frugality has been instilled in them as a virtue sister to patriotism. No people in the world could overnight descend to a war standard of living so rapidly as the Germans. Accustomed to the affluence of sudden prosperity as the nation, as a whole, was, it had yet only to return to familiar inculcated habits, when the Kaiser called. The grand German bluff of the first year of the war was the introduction of the bread-ticket ration system. How the grain-shippers of Chicago and Duluth must have chuckled over it, when they recalled the gigantic advance purchases of wheat made for German and Austrian account in May, 1914--three full months before "the Russian mobilization menace!" Germany can never be starved, and she knows it. Von Tirpitz knew it when he proclaimed submarine piracy as a "reprisal" for British "attempts to starve us out." The grip of the British Fleet around Germany's neck has inconvenienced the Germans, but it can never cause them to famish. The "starvation" myth which the German propagandists in the United States so assiduously circulated was devised, purely and simply, for the purpose of arousing the compassion of the generous-hearted American people, in the hope that our most sentimental of governments would intervene, in humanity's name, to lift from Germany's throat a yoke which she herself was powerless to remove. That is the long and short of the "starvation" story.

As inborn and cultivated habits of frugality and thrift enabled the introduction of the bread-ticket without marked disturbance to normal German life, so the nation resorted willingly and easily to all the other new conditions which war imposed. A people goose-stepped and policed from the nursery to the grave, bred in docility, with wills of their own eternally broken before they have left the Kinderstube, with initiative and self-reliance knocked out of them with the rod at home and in school, and with blind unyielding subordination to discipline literally pounded into their bones in barracks, provides no astonishing spectacle in making war, when war comes, as one man obeying one supreme will. War is the ultima ratio, indeed, which this national system of self-suppression has in mind. The surprising thing is not that the world has witnessed so colossal an exhibition of team-work in Germany. The unexpected would have been if Germany had given any other account of herself. When we speak, as we all do, and especially the English, of "Germany's years of preparation," we should eliminate the notion that these preparations were confined to shells, guns, fortifications, battleships and legions. No single other "preparation" of the German war gods measured up, in my judgment, to the unseen and unnoticed, yet all-engulfing, decade-old, national scheme of molding the minds of men, women, children and babes along the line of unresisting, complete slavery to Superiority, uniformed as the State. When you dilute this super-subjugation with the wine of true patriotism which, despite their Socialism, their police, their burdensome taxes, their goose-step, their powerless parliaments and all the other concomitants of an autocratic monarchy, flows red and joyously through the soul of the Germans, you secure a spiritual admixture which approaches invincibility. You discover the ingredients of what Lloyd-George christened the "potato-bread spirit," which he truly described as a greater danger for Germany's enemies than Hindenburg's strategy. The former will survive long after the latter has broken down.

For a full year, interrupted only by six weeks in the United States at the end of the winter of 1914-15, I have kept in as close touch with Germany in war-time as if I were at my old lookout in the Friedrichstrasse. My professional task in London all that time has been to study the German Press. Day in and day out I have done so. I have read the Government-controlled Lokal-Anzeiger, the radical Berliner Tageblatt, the venerable Vossische Zeitung, Count Reventlow's organ of Frightfulness, the Deutsche Tageszeitung, the Pan-German Tägliche Rundschau, the Thunderer of Prussian conservatism, the Kreuz-Zeitung, and Maximilian Harden's vitriolic Zukunft. The voice of paralyzed Hamburg has come to me morning and night through the malevolent Hamburger Nachrichten and Fremdenblatt. Vorwärts has kept me informed of German Socialism's invertebrate vagaries. The cultured Cologne Gazette, the property of Doctor Neven-Dumont, whose wife is half-English and whose son is proud of his Oxford degree, and yet has almost led the German Press in the violence of its Anglophobism, has told me what semi-official Germany wanted the world to believe was its views from hour to hour. In the Frankfurter Zeitung I have been able to glean the news and opinion of the great German financial and commercial classes for which it speaks. Catholic Bavaria, the land of Crown Prince "Rupprecht, the Bloody," has been interpreted to me by the Munich Neueste Nachrichten. The Dresdner Anzeiger has mirrored Saxony day by day. And, as the Stimmung of no country in the world is so faithfully reproduced by its comic press as is opinion in Germany, my readings have been amplified, as well as lightened, by heartlessly ironic Simplicissimus, artistic Jugend, Fliegende Blätter and Lustige Blätter. My German literary diet, which was ruining my eye-sight, has been almost more opulent than when in Berlin, has finally been enriched from week to week by the incessant grist of pamphlets and booklets which has poured from the German mill even in more copious and overwhelming measure than in peace-times. If the printed word is the index of a nation's thought, little of moment in Germany since August, 1914, has escaped me. I have had the inestimable advantage of being able to absorb it in the light of its relationship to the situation outside of Germany--an opportunity of which the Germans themselves, though I would not try to make them believe it, have been cruelly deprived.

Telescopic observation of Germany, as reflected by its press, a little knowledge of what Doctor Münsterberg would call the Fatherland's "psychology," and the actual deeds of the German army, navy and Government have provided me, I think I may make so bold as to say, with a fairly complete and accurate picture. Germany, thus visualized, stands out to me in bold, clear-cut relief. It is a strange and terrible composite of forces generally considered incongruous and mutually destructive--Efficiency, Malice and Intolerance. The world ought to have known that in war Germany would reveal titanic powers of scientific organization. It did not expect to find her an Empire of Hate. It hardly imagined that the land of Goethe and Wagner, Koch, Behring and Ehrlich, Siemens, Rathenau and Ballin, Hauptmann, Strauss and Reinhardt, Eucken, Haeckel and Harnack, could be turned even by the devouring blasts of war into a community capable of elevating to the dignity of a national anthem such a ferocious song as Lissauer's Hymn of Hate Against England, whose soul is best breathed by its closing stanza:

"Take you the folk of the Earth in pay,
With bars of gold your ramparts lay,
Bedeck the ocean with bow on bow,
Ye reckon well, but not well enough now.
French and Russian, they matter not,
A blow for a blow, a shot for a shot,
We fight the battle with bronze and steel,
And the time that is coming Peace will seal.
You will we hate with a lasting hate,
We will never forego our hate,
Hate by water and hate by land,
Hate of the head and hate of the hand,
Hate of the hammer and hate of the crown,
Hate of seventy millions, choking down.
We love as one, we hate as one,
We have one foe, and one alone--

Even Barbara Henderson's brilliant translation of this epic of spleen, the first version of which to be published in Great Britain it was my privilege to reprint in The Daily Mail from the columns of the New York Times, fails to do justice to the innate rancor and gall of Lissauer's original verses. Americans who visited Germany during the war were unanimous in agreeing that no rendering of the Hymn of Hate in English could possibly interpret its consuming spirit. You had to hear it rasped with the ferocity of snarling, guttural German, they would say, to gain even an approximate idea of its power. You had to watch a man or woman recitationist or singer, for it was set to music, too, bawl it out, in a crescendo of passionate fury as the final word of each stanza, England! was reached. You had to sit in the midst of a theater, café or music-hall audience, or even in a drawing-room, and note all around you the frenzied countenances, the clenched fists, the whole enraged being, of men, women and children, to know how Lissauer's ballad of gall had burnt itself into a people's soul. There have been more or less sincere efforts in Germany to banish the Hymn of Hate. Lissauer having previously received the Iron Cross for poetic gallantry, and from the pulpit and the school rostrum the unrighteousness of hate had been sanctimoniously proclaimed. But Lissauer only put into verse the spirit which maddened Berlin on the night of August 4, 1914, which grew in intensity as the magnitude of British intervention in the war slowly dawned, and which, surface manifestations to the contrary notwithstanding, lingers deep and ineffaceable in the German breast, and will remain there, barring a miracle, for generations after the war is over.

While the Hymn of Hate was at the zenith of its glory, some genius whose name, unfortunately, will be lost to posterity, invented Gott strafe England! (God punish England) as the most patriotic form of greeting which one German could exchange with another. Friends meeting in the suburban trains or street-cars, or in the streets, no longer lifted their hats as usual and said Guten Morgen. They shook hands solemnly and exclaimed Gott strafe England! When they parted at night, it was not Guten Abend, but Gott strafe England! Then they began stamping it--with a rubber-stamp which was sold by the thousand for the purpose--on their letters to correspondents at home and abroad. It was even adopted, now and then, as an epitaph for a fallen soldier, whose relatives would end up the customary obituary in the advertising columns of the newspapers with Gott strafe England. Now postcards blossomed forth with the new national motto. Scarf-pins made their appearance in the windows of cheap-jewelry stores, inscribed Gott strafe England! The legend was reproduced in a score of different designs on cuff-links, brooches, and even wedding-rings, while hardly a schoolchild was without a badge or button emblazoned with the Fatherland's holiest war prayer. Handkerchiefs were embroidered with it, pocket-knives had it enameled on their handles, and many a Liebesgabe to a dear one in the trenches went forth with a pair of black-white-red braces imprinted Gott strafe England! On a medal which doubtless decorated thousands of German breasts--a sample reached England--was engraved:

"Give us this day our daily bread; England
would take it from us. God punish her!"

Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, who was beaten by Sir John French's "contemptible little army" at Neuve Chapelle and Artois, placed Royal approval on the Gott strafe England cult in his notorious battle-order in the winter campaign to "annihilate the British arch-foe in front of us at any and all cost."

Englishmen, and especially English soldiers, perhaps measured the Gott strafe England sentiment at below its real value as a German fighting asset when they decided to treat it as a joke. That was the spirit, at any rate, which animated a group of young Eton men at the front, who sent a postcard to the Headmaster of their historic school rival reading: Gott strafe Harrow! And on April Fool's day British Tommies across a certain meadow of death in Flanders expelled from a mine-thrower something which looked murderously like a bomb. When it bounced in front of the German lines, and bounced again, without exploding, a "Boche" ventured out of the trenches and picked it up. He found it was a football, and on it was inscribed:

April Fool!
Gott strafe England!

Mr. Punch and his lesser confrères in British humor have almost lived through the war on Gott strafe England! The sentiment has not struck terror into John Bull's heart, but it has very materially added to his war-time gaiety.

Next to the Hate epidemic, the mystifying account of themselves which the German Social Democrats have given during the war stands out as the main phenomenon. I have asked myself more than once what might have been if Bebel, the brains, or Singer, the fists, of the old-time Socialistic movement had been alive in August, 1914. Certainly the utter failure of the Socialists to hamper the operation of the German war-machine will remain forever one of the amazing episodes of the war. It will rank, of course, also, as one of the blazing miscalculations of the Fatherland's enemies. It is true that Bebel, the long-time autocrat of the German "Reds," proclaimed often enough that when Germany was in peril, he and his Genossen would shoulder the musket with a will. Yet the suspicion always lurked that when the German War Party's time came and it essayed to drag the German people across the Rubicon, the Social Democracy, with 4,250,000 voters, 111 members of parliament and German trades-unionism almost solidly behind it, would be found standing like an insuperable barrier against the powers of aggression. There had been more than one hint that working-class Germany, in that hour, would not shrink from utilizing the potent weapon of the General Strike to stay the hand of the war zealots. Opinion on that score amounted to almost positive conviction in non-Socialistic Germany and throughout Europe, in case the test were to be forced by a German war of manifestly provocative character. It therefore was of prime importance to the clique which engineered the war that the Social Democracy be made to believe, forthwith and implicitly, that the impending conflict was a "defensive war," to which Socialist leaders had always pledged the proletariat's unswerving support. Categorical and lachrymose assurances to that effect were accordingly given to the Social Democratic group of the Reichstag by the Imperial Chancellor in the confidential conferences with the parties, which preceded the public session of the House on August 4, 1914. The once-despised "Reds," so often denounced by William II as "men without a country," but whose votes in the national legislature were now so essential to the show of Imperial unity with which Germany desired to go to war, were supplied with ample "evidence" that Germany's cause was "just." She had been "fallen upon" by ruthless, envious enemies, the struggle about to begin would be waged by the Fatherland in "defense" of its holiest national interests, and the support of all classes was essential to the waging of the fight with which nothing short of "the Empire's existence" was was bound up. The Socialists listened, patriotically, to this siren song. They believed its tale of woe. They bade the Chancellor to be assured that they would not be found wanting in Germany's moment of peril. And a few hours later Herr Haase, the chairman of the party, was on his feet in the Reichstag, uttering glittering platitudes about Socialism's constitutional abhorrence of war and all its works, but proclaiming that the party's full strength and support were at the Government's disposal for the purpose of repelling the invader! Sic transit gloria mundi! August Bebel might well have remarked, could his shade have hovered over this abject surrender to Mars by his supine heirs of the fundamental principles to which he had consecrated a life-time.

From that moment forth the Kaiser needed to give himself no concern as to "the internal foe," the nickname of reproach always saddled on the Social Democracy by the Military Autocracy. The wing-clipped "Reds" were even allowed a certain latitude of free speech and thought about the war. They were permitted to indulge in their favorite academic discussions about the propriety of Socialist votes for war credits, and even Haase himself, having gradually come to realize that the Kaiser and Bethmann Hollweg had sold the Social Democracy a political gold brick, was not locked up for sedition for issuing, together with two fellow-leaders, Bernstein and Kautsky, a courageous manifesto against support of limitless war grants. Vorwärts, the Socialist organ, and other party newspapers were from time to time suppressed by the military censor for airing war opinions too freely, but as successive war measures were presented for the approval of the Reichstag, a safe majority of Socialist votes was on each occasion cast in their favor. The myth of a "war of defense" was never broken down. The King of Bavaria and the National Liberal Party gave the game away during the spring and summer of 1915, by blustering about the necessity for sweeping "rectifications of our frontiers," or, in other words, wholesale annexation of conquered territory, but Germany's war was well into its second year finding the Social Democracy, for the purposes and needs of the Government at least, entirely harmless. Food shortage and high prices churned proletariat Germany into growing discontent, as the war proceeded. Butter and meat riots have occurred in Berlin, and there have been ominous suggestions that the military authorities are alive to the possibility of "revolutionary" manifestations. But the day of Germany's Commune is not yet. No better evidence of the completeness with which the Socialist party was hypnotized from the outset could have been supplied than by the action of Doctor Ludwig Frank, one of its brilliant young leaders, in volunteering for military service. Frank fell in the earliest fighting in France, in August, 1914, and now fills a hero's grave. A Jewish lawyer in Baden, he was commonly looked upon as the future chieftain of Social Democracy. The war interfered with a cherished plan of his--to visit and lecture in the United States--and I suppose the last interview he ever gave was one I had with him, in which he spoke with enthusiasm of the American impressions he hoped to gather. He was keenly interested in the corporation problem, recognized that it contained evils with which Germany before long would have to cope, and wanted to equip himself with first-hand knowledge of its ramifications in the home of its highest development. Frank was not a fire-eating German Social Democrat. He belonged to the moderate or "revisionist" wing of the party. He was obsessed with no illusions as to the future possibilities of Socialism in Germany and acknowledged that sane democrats had long since abandoned hope of accomplishing anything more than the establishment of a truly constitutional monarchy and Parliamentary government. It is a thousand pities that Ludwig Frank has not been spared to play his capable part in the political reconstruction of Germany which, win or lose, is almost inevitably certain to follow the war. Doctor Karl Liebknecht, that stormy petrel of German Socialism, remained the one man to utter anti-war sentiment day in and day out. Even the Government's action in sticking him into field-gray and dispatching him to the front for intermittent service failed to check the flow of his invective. Liebknecht represents the Imperial borough of Potsdam, of all places in the world, in the German Parliament, but, though he has talked incessantly and voted rebelliously, the voice of the representative of the Kaiser's congressional district was destined to remain as one crying in the wilderness.

I have said that the triumphs of Germany behind the firing-line--the fortitude with which she has borne her hideous losses in life, the magnificently effective demonstration of unity, economy, self-sacrifice, industrial and financial organization, and adaptability to all the domestic conditions of war--were only things which those of us who knew the Germans expected to come to pass. They were as inevitable, in their paternalized State, the Empire of System, as were the early cannon-ball successes of the German army. We who were aware, as eye-witnesses, of Germany's prodigious preparations for "the Day," never doubted that, having chosen her own moment for launching her thunderbolts, they would accomplish precisely the staggering blows and strangle-holds which August and September, 1914, brought forth. Although (including myself) there was not one man in ten thousand in Berlin who knew who Hindenburg was--I have merely a faint recollection of having once read his name as an army commander in Kaiser Maneuvers--a good many of us had an abiding impression that the Russian army was no match for the German war machine, however easily the Czar might roll up the Austrians. The victories of the German armies in the war are no surprise to the German people. They have been raised in the belief that their military power was invincible, even against a world of foes. Events in the first year and a half of the war, even though Paris and Calais remained untaken, were certainly such as to convince Germans that their traditional and child-like confidence in their armed prowess was justified.

But in addition to Hate and Socialist impotence, two things which astounded those who knew and admired the German people, were their callousness toward the deeds which have been committed by their army and navy and their savage intolerance of any other point of view except their own. I am not one of those who believe that all Germans have cloven hoofs. Bitterly as I oppose their cause in this war and fully as I hold their War Party responsible for the war, I am not prepared to believe that the Germans are either a decadent or a lost race. What I do believe is that the war has, temporarily at least, annihilated the moral qualities of the Germans and dragged them from the high estate of ethical and discriminating intelligence in which they lived in antebellum times. The Germans of Louvain, of the Lusitania, asphyxiating gas, liquid fire, submarine piracy, airship assassination and General Frightfulness are not the Germans among whom I spent thirteen happy, fruitful years. They are not the Germans whose main concern, as it is that of the average run of men and women in other climes, was to prosper, raise families, educate children, live comfortably, acquire a competence and enjoy life generally. These Germans no longer exist. They have been succeeded by a race of war-maddened Germans, who were told by their Imperial Chancellor that "necessity knows no law," that treaties are "scraps of paper," and who have been made to believe that, in war, there is but one thing to do--"to hack our way through"--and that, as Bismarck and the German War Book said, the enemy must be left with nothing except eyes to weep with. The Germans have been steeped in all this by their overlords, living and dead, and, being children of discipline, they have looked with unmoistened eye upon all and sundry done in the holy name of these bedrock German principles.

The Fatherland's heartlessness toward such events as the rape of Belgium becomes less inexplicable when one recalls the cult of brutality which pursues the German from the nursery upward. As a child in swaddling clothes, he is taught that he has no right to a will of his own, and if he attempts to cultivate one, it is promptly beaten out of him. I recall, with more amusement than the episode inspired in me at the time, the struggle we had with our beloved family physician in Berlin, Doctor Keiler, to allow us to bring up our three or four-year-old son as a boy and not as a machine. "Das Kind darf keinen Willen hoben!" I remember dear old Keiler shrieking in Wilmersdorf more than once, as he labored in vain to convince us that if Frightfulness was necessary to break the youngster's inborn initiative and self-reliance, we must not shrink from resorting to it. And when the German escapes the Kinderstube with its unfailing rod and enters Gymnasium, he is once more under the cruel lash of Efficiency, which drives scores of lads to suicide at each recurring Easter-time because they have failed in examinations for the higher grade, notwithstanding a term's unceasing hounding by their drill-sergeant of a teacher and class-room and home cramming which have kept his frame thin and his cheek pallid. A whole literature has come into existence in opposition to the intellectual brutality to which German schoolboys between the ages of eight and sixteen are subjected, but the consensus of opinion is that the system's advantages outweigh its deficiencies, and that youthful suicides are part of the price the Fatherland must pay for what Professor Lasson of Berlin calls its "cultural superiority" over the rest of mankind.

Thrashed in the nursery, tormented in school, the German lad must then face a period of bullying in barracks, for, if he has managed to survive his Gymnasia years in health, he will enter the army. It is not necessary in this narrative to dilate upon the cruelties committed in German barracks in the sacrosanct name of Discipline and Thoroughness. There is a literature in Germany on that subject, too, and the penal records of the military and civil courts comprise the bulk of it. It is only with the lesson of the system with which we need to concern ourselves here; and that is, that the German man who emerges from the army comes out with notions about the efficacy and justifiability of brute force and brutality which are certain, under the red license which war confers, to find expression in terrible deeds. In other words, a German who has himself perhaps been assaulted by his regimental sergeant on scores of occasions (such cases are plentiful), who has seen the bloody saber-duel elevated in his university days to the level of the manliest art, who has throughout his life been a supine victim of police violence, who holds womankind in semi-contempt, who thinks it sportsmanlike to shoot birds alight, who rejoices in his prowess as a slaughterer of wild game, who beats his horses, who is as unfamiliar with the ethics of sport and play as he is with the lingo of a Choctaw dialect--such a man, I say, is bound, when he is sent forth with his Kaiser's mandate to "hack his way through," to stagger humanity as the Germans have never ceased to stagger it on land, on sea and in the air since August, 1914. Given a nation of non-combatants who have been instructed to believe that these things must be because otherwise their existence will be imperiled, and you have to do with a community which, however delightful its qualities as individuals, is no longer capable of measuring right and wrong, by normal standards and which is ready to tolerate any and everything, as long as it is part and parcel of the general scheme to "preserve the Fatherland." If one considers all these things, which I set down in no spirit of venom, but purely in an attempt to diagnose German war callousness, one will begin to be able to understand why German sensibilities remain unshocked in the presence of things which have horrified civilization. One's understanding will be complete if it is remembered that not one in a million Germans believes that these things have happened at all!

Philosophy, logic, metaphysics and psychology are cultivated sciences in Germany. It is even sometimes claimed--in Berlin and in certain regions of Harvard--that they were "made in Germany." Yet as applied sciences they have given a woefully sorry exhibition of themselves in the Fatherland during the war. They have, as a matter of fact, entirely disappeared. They have been supplanted by a new doctrine, for which the Germans themselves have an old and incomparable word--Rechthaberei. I learned that precious term from an American colleague in Berlin, a South Carolinian and profound student of German character named William C. Dreher. Dreher, who is an able journalist specializing in economics, has held forth to me on countless occasions about "Prussian Rechthaberei"--the unquenchable conviction of the average Teuton that he not only is "right" about everything, but that everybody else whom he permits to have a thought or a word on the same subject is essentially, inherently and incorrigibly "wrong." I can hardly credit the report that Dreher himself has fallen a victim to the insidious influence of Rechthaberei. It is something that presupposes omniscience and mental aristocracy on the part of the propounder of a given theory, and senility or utterly misguided stubbornness on the part of the opponent. Germany has wallowed in Rechthaberei since August 1, 1914. It has sucked into the mire of intolerance everybody who has dared to cherish a contrary view. It has refused the right of independence of thought to every living soul, unless that thought is pro-German. It has swallowed whole anything the German Government and its muzzled press have said, and it has condemned as criminal falsehood anything published in enemy countries. It allows British, French and Russian newspapers, in a lordly way, to circulate freely in Germany, as of yore, thumping its chest and saying "We are not afraid of the truth"--but only after having drilled the country into believing that nothing printed abroad about the war is or can be true! So the German who finds The Daily Mail or the New York Times on its accustomed file at his favorite café, just as he used to do in peace days, knows in advance that he is to read "lies," and he digests them, leaving his patriotism unpolluted.

"Mass-suggestion" has thus worked wonders in War Germany. It has driven me for example--I hope not forever--from the ranks of my oldest and best friends in Germany--Americans, as well as Germans. It impelled my wife's dearest friend, the Philadelphia-born wife of a German, to write a letter early in the war, formally "canceling" the friendship, because "your husband, instead of choosing to identify himself with an honest cause, has thrown in his lot with England, and, with her, will share the downfall toward which that nation is headed." That would be funny, if it were not so tragically pathetic. I hear that a great many good people in Berlin, wasting upon me breath and choleric energy which deserved to be spent on a far worthier object, fairly splutter when they hear or read my name. I have been the target of absurd and filthy personal abuse in the German press. I have won undying execration, for I have dared, in a most un-German way, to have a view of my own on the question which is agitating men's minds and searching their hearts as never was done before.

Yet all the millstones of hate and intolerance are not preventing the Germans from conducting a fight which challenges, in its efficiency, barring its inhuman aspects, the admiration of foe and neutral the world over. They are, indeed, a nation in arms. Their Spartan qualities behind the front, their contempt of death in the enemy's fire, will not easily be conquered. Exhaustion, economic and human, must tell against them in the long run, though the process of attrition will be vastly slower, I fancy, than armchair war critics in England think. The Germans will fight to the last man and the last pfennig, as I know them, and when they are beaten, they will furl their tattered standards after a combat which, stripped of its horrors, will yet have been marked by deeds of patriotism, courage and glory fit to take their place alongside the heroic traditions of mankind.



Rome was not built in a day, but England has been made over in a year. Personal liberty is gone. A free press no longer exists. Extravagance is "bad form." Economy has become respectable. Dukes' sons and cooks' sons are "pals." Drunkenness is disappearing. Conscription looms on the horizon. The Irish are loyal. Suffragettes are making shells and bandaging wounds instead of smashing windows and going to jail. Pride is humbled, though not crushed. Still ringed by Kipling's "leaden seas," Britain is no longer an island, for Zeppelins have maimed and killed and wrecked in the heart of London. Tolerance is a lost art. British have learned to hate. The link-boy has come back into his own; the streets at night, that Admiral Sir Percy Scott, defender of London by air, may blind the "sky-Huns," recall the gloom of the Cimmerian Regency. Though Waterloo was won a hundred years ago, a terror worse than the Napoleonic scourge has overtaken the descendants of Nelson and Wellington. Britannia rules the waves, but the blood of a half million of her best sons fertilizes the soil of France, Belgium, Turkey, Serbia and Africa; and the flow is far from checked. The "shopkeeper of the world" has become a nation in arms. Only one phase of its multifarious life, immutable as the sphinx, has survived the crucible of war in pristine glory--British calm. Ships may sink, men may fall, bombs may annihilate and treasure be sapped, but British imperturbability, like Time itself, pursues the even tenor of its way, Himalayan in its imperviousness.

Assuredly it has been for no lack of cause that England has ridden the sea of Armageddon without capsizing. Squalls, typhoons, storms and barometric disturbances of every form of violence have beset her from the outset of the voyage. But though there has been tempest, there is no shipwreck. She enters upon another lap of a seemingly endless journey, battered indeed, but keel down and full steam ahead. It is still night. Stokers and crew, nor even the captains and commodores, are not a completely united band, but their differences concern only the methods of cleaving through darkness to the port, to gain which, at any cost, all are grimly determined. Failure to reach the waters of their desire as soon as the unthinking majority hoped and believed would be possible has sobered the vision and intensified the resolve of crew and commanders alike. It has not reconciled their antagonisms, but it is making surer than ever that they will land their craft in the appointed harbor, though the damnations of all the powers of destruction are buffeted against her in the attempt.

My name for Armageddon is the War of Miscalculations, for it is a title which indicts every belligerent without exception. The Germans expected their army to be in Paris by the end of September, 1914. The English and the French reckoned that Russian Cossacks would be hacking souvenirs from the sepulchral statues in the Berlin Sieges-Allee about the same time. The British thought that Jellicoe would starve the Germans. Von Tirpitz imagined that U-boats would paralyze Britain's life-line. The British pounded vainly at the Dardanelles for nine months, and when they couldn't get Calais the Germans started out to crush Serbia. Sir Edward Grey thought Bulgaria and Greece were only waiting like ripe fruit to drop into the Allies' lap and cry for marching orders. He was about as near right as the German political professors who always assured William II that India, Egypt, Canada, South Africa and Australia were itching to revolt when the Motherland was immersed in a vast European war. The great war has been a rude awakening for all concerned. In addition to killing its millions of men and squandering its billions of money, it has annihilated theories, expectations, plans and aspirations so cruelly that the "war expert" has become a deathless laughing-stock. If "experts" have learned anything from the war, they will henceforth prefer history to prophecy.

"Business as Usual"--life generally in the old rut, in other words--was adopted by Britons as their war motto. Truly did a politician of renown exclaim a year later that no unhappier, because no more unfortunate, maxim was ever foisted upon or accepted by a patriotic people. The nation made no inconsiderable attempt to convert "Business as Usual" from an aphorism into an actuality. Seven or eight months of unrealized objectives had to pass over English men and women's resolute heads before they began even to doubt the efficacy of the complacent principle they had laid down for themselves. But the mills of Mars, like those of his colleagues, keep on grinding, and England was to learn that, while invasion had not seared her soil as it had scotched that of all her European allies, war yet had terrors capable of burning into the soul, saddening the homes and despoiling the pockets of even an unravished land.

I fix the date when Great Britain began to face the iron logic of events with sterner realization and to doubt the efficacy of "muddle" for purposes of war as May, 1915. In the two preceding months there had been a series of episodes of more climacteric magnitude than was apparent at the moment of their occurrence. In March Sir John French's army made a vigorous attempt to break through the German lines, and the much-heralded "victory" of Neuve Chapelle resulted. Thousands of British soldiers, and half a hundred Americans fighting in the Canadian contingent, died gallantly in an action which, when its terrible cost was eventually counted, could not be catalogued as anything but a glorious failure. In April two affairs of purely German origin were recorded, each predestined to leave a deep impress on the British public mind: the employment of poison gas by the enemy in sanguinary engagements around Ypres, and the flinging of thirty-nine British officers, captives in Germany, into felons' cells by way of "reprisal" for the segregation in England of captured German submarine crews.

Because the truth about Neuve Chapelle remained suppressed for many weeks, attention was bestowed to an overshadowing degree on the gas and officer-imprisonment episodes. Hitherto the universal demand in England was that, no matter how the Germans waged war, Englishmen must continue to fight "like gentlemen." Suggestions that the hour had long since arrived for an eye-for-an-eye and tooth-for-a-tooth warfare were rejected in almost every quarter as "un-English" and, therefore, undebatable. The Kaiser's soldateska might rape, pillage, loot and murder, but British troops must battle "in the old-fashioned way"--with clean hands. Tirpitz's bluejackets might practise the tactics of pirates, but Britannia's sailors would continue to respect the high traditions of their calling. Men went so far as to asseverate that it were better that Britain should be beaten than win by "German methods." Sir Edward Clarke, the leader of the bar, protesting against Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's proposal that Zeppelin murders could only be checked by British air reprisals against defenseless German communities, wrote to The Times: "It may be our misfortune to be defeated in this war, but it will be our own fault if we are disgraced." Yet British "fighting blood" seemed at length stirred to a boil by asphyxiating-gas and "Hate" measures against British officer-captives. A wave of holy rage swept over the country. Those who had advocated the use of kid gloves against an enemy which fought with brass knuckles and poison found their views sensibly less popular. Britain was waking at last to the realization which even the Belgian atrocities, "Zeppelin murder" and the "Scarborough baby-killers" had not fully aroused--that her high-minded "sporting ethics" were lamentably out of place in war with a foe which believed in ruthless "Frightfulness." The Tommies who died horrible deaths from the effects of German poison gas and the officers who languished in burglars' cells because martyrs in a worthy cause--their anguish convinced England almost against her will that the German was the most ferocious, pitiless and unconscionable enemy who had ever engaged in the noble calling of arms.

While this healthy conviction was soaking into Britain's sluggish consciousness, the crowning infamy of the Lusitania massacre was committed. The cup of indignation, already full to the brim, now overflowed. Demand for vengeance, in the form of a campaign against the Germans to be waged with resolution and force more destructive than any previous effort, was universal. There must be no more temporizing, no more half measures, no more vacillation and procrastination. Recruiting enjoyed a fresh spurt, a response to the lurid posters headed "Remember the Lusitania!" and reproducing the verdict of the Queenstown coroner's jury

"that this appalling crime was contrary to international law and the conventions of all civilized nations, and we therefore charge the officers of the said submarine, the Emperor and Government of Germany, under whose orders they acted, with the crime of wilful and wholesale murder before the tribunal of the civilized world."

"It is your duty," the poster added, "to take up the Sword of Justice to avenge this devil's work. ENLIST TO-DAY!"

The Lusitania horror unchained the mob spirit from Land's End to John o' Groat. Uninterned Germans, who were still at large in their thousands, were the victims of rioters' fury in London and the big provincial towns, and the Home Office was forced by irate public opinion to place barbed-wire around all the "enemy aliens" not already in captivity. Simultaneously the demand went forth that the pampering of German prisoners of war in palatial manor-houses like Dorington Hall should give way to rigor more suitable for men condemned henceforth to be known as Huns. The Lusitania's aftermath was accompanied by ample proof that the bulldog was no longer curled up on the hearth-rug as unconcernedly as he had been throughout the winter and spring. He was showing his teeth, and he was snarling. He meant business now. There had been enough of Queensbury rules, Hurlingham ethics and Crystal Palace niceties in dealing with the Germans. They had served notice to Humanity that it had no laws which the German army and navy felt bound to respect. Englishmen said to themselves: "So be it." Then they rolled up their sleeves.

Thus was Britain ringing with righteous wrath in the middle of May, 1915, when what I venture to dignify as the turning-point of the war arrived: the exposure by Lord Northcliffe's newspapers of what was henceforth to be known as "the shells tragedy." Northcliffe himself had recently been the guest of Sir John French at the front. Still more lately the military critic of The Times, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Repington, had visited British Field Headquarters under the same auspices. There they were told the truth about Neuve Chapelle. It was a simple story. The British army had essayed to smash through the German lines, hopelessly short of the right kind of ammunition--high explosive shells. Batteries of artillery, often on the threshold of decisive victory, found themselves suddenly starved of the only sort of shell which could possibly blast a way through the concrete and barbed-wire of the enemy's entrenchments. What happened at Neuve Chapelle--a terribly heavy loss of British life with nothing like compensatory results--would inevitably happen again when the British army was called upon to attack. It would simply be sentenced to death and defeat. Sir John French had been provided with shrapnel which was good enough to smash the Boers, but he was criminally ill-equipped with the shells which alone were capable of demolishing the elaborate German defensive arrangements and enabling the British infantry to advance with a fighting chance of success. If the army was not to be condemned to inglorious impotence or annihilation, it had to be provided forthwith with high-explosive ammunition on an immense and unceasing scale. The British Commander-in-Chief declined, in effect, to assume further responsibility for the fate of the campaign in Flanders unless there was sweeping and instant remedial action by the War Office.

On May 14 Lieutenant-Colonel Repington, in a dispatch to The Times from "Northern France," which, like other news from the field, passed the Censor at Headquarters before transmission to England, declared that "the want of an unlimited supply of high explosive was a fatal bar to our success." Describing an attack which had collapsed for the same reason that the offensive at Neuve Chapelle had failed, Repington wrote:

"We found the enemy much more strongly posted than we expected. We had not sufficient high explosive to level his parapets to the ground after the French practice, and when our infantry gallantly stormed the trenches, as they did in both attacks, they found a garrison undismayed, many entanglements still intact, and maxims on all sides ready to pour in streams of bullets. We could not maintain ourselves in the trenches won, and our reserves were not thrown in because the conditions for success in an assault were not present.

"The attacks were well planned and valiantly conducted. The infantry did splendidly, but the conditions were too hard.

"On our side we have easily defeated all attacks on Ypres. The value of German troops in the attack has greatly deteriorated, and we can deal easily with them in the open. But until we are thoroughly equipped for this trench warfare, we attack under grave disadvantages. The men are in high spirits, taking their cue from the ever-confident and resolute attitude of the Commander-in-Chief.

"If we can break through this hard outer crust of the German defenses, we believe that we can scatter the German Armies, whose offensive causes us no concern at all. But to break this hard crust we need more high explosive, more heavy howitzers, and more men. This special form of warfare has no precedent in history.

"It is certain that we can smash the German crust if we have the means. So the means we must have, and as quickly as possible."

By way of illustrating what British guns could do, if sufficiently numerous and adequately fed, Repington told how the French "by dint of the expenditure of 276 rounds of high explosive per gun in one day, leveled with the ground all the German defenses, except the villages." He left no doubt that until Sir John French's artillery could attack under similar conditions, British hopes of effective cooperation with Joffre's army were futile. The Times critic's plain-spoken observations, which bore the unmistakable imprint of "inspiration" from British Headquarters, startled the nation. They could hardly have been more suggestive if the Commander-in-Chief himself had gone to the country and proclaimed the facts. Indeed, if others had not promptly done so, I have reason to believe that Sir John French would not have shrunk from that very task. No one had so direct and personal a reason for taking the bull by the horns, for if the British campaign were to degenerate from futility into fiasco, the odium would necessarily fall upon its field chieftain. History will hardly condemn him for resolving that the blame should be placed where it belonged, if, as may well have been the case, inspiration of the impending public exposure emanated from him.

On May 21 Lord Northcliffe's Daily Mail--his critics are fond of calling The Times the "penny edition" of The Daily Mail--opened a ruthless fire on Lord Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War, as the man directly responsible for the high-explosive famine which was paralyzing British military effort. England was plastered with flaming placards reading: "Kitchener's Tragic Blunder." With the journalistic instinct for a catch-phrase, Northcliffe christened the situation "The Shells Tragedy." He hammered home mercilessly the theory that England must hold to accountability the man whom the country had entrusted with practically autocratic control of the War Office. He insisted that Kitchener could not take shelter behind a brilliant past. It was a bold throw for the Bonaparte of British newspaperdom. He was not only assailing the man whom he himself had helped to elevate to the War Secretaryship; he was attacking the national idol. To the overwhelming majority of Englishmen, as I have already pointed out, the name of Kitchener spelled confidence. Next to the Fleet, he represented the country's greatest war asset. Whenever Britons doubted whether the course of events was leading to victory, they thought of the navy and of Kitchener, and were of stout heart. Northcliffe knew and understood all this--none better. But he said to himself that the relief of the shells crisis was of vastly more moment than the prestige of a national idol; that if the vital interests of the country demanded the dragging of Kitchener from his pedestal, there must be no hesitation in performing that unpleasant task. In an editorial article which stirred Great Britain to its uttermost foundations, The Daily Mail went full tilt to the issue. It reminded Englishmen that Lord Kitchener loomed large in the public eye primarily as an organizer of victory against the Sudanese and as a man who had "helped" Lord Roberts in South Africa, though (it recalled) there were men who knew Roberts' private opinions of Kitchener's achievements in the Boer campaign. Kitchener had also been Commander-in-Chief in India and, until the outbreak of war, was engaged in the comparatively easy task of running the Egyptian machine, whose wheels had been so well oiled by Lord Cromer. Northcliffe was well aware that Kitchener, owing to his long absence in the East, where he had spent the greater part of his life, was not in touch with the democracy at home, nor had Lord Kitchener ever pretended to any such knowledge. The Daily Mail admitted all these things and declared moreover that it was fair to Kitchener to say that he had been thrust at a moment's notice into a position of immense difficulty. No longer in his first youth, and more than twice the age of successful military commanders of one hundred years ago, Kitchener had been put in charge of the raising, drilling, clothing, equipping, arming, feeding and fighting of an army which had to be manufactured at a speed unprecedented in the history of the world. Kitchener, though not essentially a good organizer, was a man of enormous driving-power. His talents in that respect had stood him in good stead so far in the war. With the aid of a gigantic advertising campaign, he had accomplished marvels in the direction of raising a volunteer army; but "the shells tragedy" was thunderous proof that the Secretary for War had bitten off more than he could chew. Unless things were to go from bad to worse, the all-important question of providing munitions must be taken from Kitchener's overburdened shoulders and transferred to those of men better equipped in respect of time, temperament and training, to deal with it. The Northcliffe revelations lost none of their sensationalism in presence of Mr. Asquith's solemn assurances at Newcastle, barely three weeks previous, that Britain's munition supply, as well as that of her Allies, was entirely adequate.

If Northcliffe had suddenly proposed the abdication of the Sovereign, or the demolition of St. Paul's Cathedral, or the proclamation of a Republic, nothing could have been more cyclonic in its effect than The Daily Mail's imperious demand for the curtailment of Kitchener's supreme authority at the War Office, because he had "blundered" with the army's ammunition. At the Stock Exchange and on the Baltic (the shipping mart) copies of all the Northcliffe papers were ceremoniously burnt. Town councils held indignation meetings, to discuss the advisability of banning them from the public reading-rooms. Super-patriots and Hide-the-Truth zealots rushed to their newsdealers and canceled their subscriptions to The Times, The Daily Mail and other Northcliffe organs. Rival publishers went so far as to suggest that Northcliffe and his editorial staff should be lined up in front of a firing-squad and shot for high treason. Wherever one went, one encountered the most violent abuse of the journalist who had dared to sling mud at the great soldier who was the incarnation of the nation's hopes and to write "Failure" next to his magic name. Punch epitomized national sentiment in a cartoon showing John Bull patting Kitchener on the shoulder, trampling a Daily Mail under foot, and saying:

"If you need assurance, Sir, you may like to know that you have the loyal support of all decent people in this country."

But Northcliffe, who possesses those valuable twin assets of the true journalist, an elephantine hide and utter fearlessness, returned to the attack, day after day. He never let up. The "shells tragedy," though Liberal organs were reluctant to admit it, dealt the Asquith Liberal Government a body blow. It was reeling from the effects of still another revelation. Lord Fisher, "Fighting Jack," the First Lord of the Admiralty, tendered his resignation. He refused longer to hold office under the temperamental Mr. Winston Churchill or even under a government to which that impetuous young statesman belonged. The public learned that Fisher had not acquiesced whole-heartedly in Mr. Churchill's schemes for limiting the Dardanelles campaign to a purely naval operation. England was now seething with unrest. The political position was chaotic. Acrimonious debate in Parliament on the shells question was inevitable. For weeks previous there had been demands from many quarters that the conduct of the war should be transferred from a purely Party Government to the hands of a "National Cabinet" of all political complexions. Mr. Asquith yielded to the inevitable. Before The Daily Mail's exposure of "Kitchener's Tragic Blunder" was a week old, the reconstruction of the Cabinet into a "Coalition" Administration was in full progress. Northcliffe's papers were still being burnt in public places, but he had won a victory for England for which, as she lives, she will yet come to acclaim his name. The completion of the Coalition Ministry was announced on June 11. Lord Kitchener remained Secretary of War, but a "Ministry of Munitions," which took shells and other sinews of war out of Kitchener's hands, was created, and the "hustler" of the Cabinet, Lloyd-George, was entrusted with its organization and administration. Northcliffe had carried his point.

The war has not been prolific in England of "big men." Barring, perhaps, Joffre and Hindenburg, it has produced none anywhere. But I venture that far into the realm of prophecy to predict that the recorder of the life and times of Great Britain in the crucible which was 1915 will pay no mean tribute to the newspaper proprietor who risked prestige and power for the sake of that most prodigious of all tasks--stuffing unpalatable truth down British throats. Northcliffe's actual methods in the performance of the deed may have been debatable. His motives were certainly beyond question, and they will, undoubtedly, appear in true perspective in the impartial light of history. He is not offended when people detect Napoleonic flashes in his impetuous eccentricities, and he would be the last man in the world to deny that his brand of genius is entirely devoid of defects, as it assuredly is not. Northcliffe has been held up to public obloquy as hardly any man of his generation ever was before him and has even been charged with being in "German pay." But he has lived to see the ripening of the fruits of his sensational crusade: the British munitions output has been quadrupled since the Stock Exchange first burnt The Daily Mail. Lloyd-George, at the Ministry of Munitions, has gathered round him the strongest company of business and scientific brains that was ever applied to any Government department in England. One million men and women, in more than two thousand "controlled" establishments, are turning out days, nights and Sundays the shells with which the British army, early or late, is going to cleave its way to victory. In the great fighting around Loos at the end of September, when the French and the British between them fired 65,000,000 shells in seventy-two hours, there was no shortage of the wherewithal, the lack of which turned Neuve Chapelle into a "victory" which Britain had been better without. A prodigious amount of high explosive was necessary to wreck the Germans' first defensive lines in Artois, but still the supply was not exhausted. When the cease-fire was sounded, the British commanders found that they had on hand a great deal more ammunition than they expected, and in certain departments there was actually a greater quantity ready for the gunners at the end of the struggle than at the beginning. Mr. Lloyd-George received and was entitled to the chief glory for that splendid assurance that there would be no more Neuve Chapelles. But I am sure that the little Welshman who has accomplished the miracle of "speeding up" Britain would be the first to acknowledge that The Daily Mail, though its circulation is 150,000 less than it was in May, can not be robbed of the honor that belongs to it for having torn the scales from England's eyes on the "shells tragedy."

Previous to the "shells tragedy," I do not think it will be possible for even the friendliest chroniclers to record that, with the single exception of the magnificent rush to arms of her upper and middle classes, Great Britain had given a particularly flattering account of herself in the searching test of war. I do not refer, of course, to the accomplishments of the army and navy. British soldiers and sailors need no encomium at my hands. The Trojan heroism of the army, despite its lack of sweeping victory, will enrich military history for all time. The silent effectiveness of the navy, with its vindication of Admiral Mahan's theories, is the marvel of the war. I am referring to the conduct of the British who have not been in the war as combatants--to the moral psychic aspect of life in this country during the year of travail. That is why I call the Lusitania a blessing in disguise, just as I sometimes felt that a landing of a German force on the British coasts, had it only taken place soon enough, might have proved the most practically beneficial tonic to the British war spirit which could have been conceived. Something was needed to bring the war home to Englishmen. The Lusitania partially served the purpose.

The renaissance set in with the dawn of summer. Events did not give recruiting quite that "boom" which was expected, but the national sobering process which ensued was more than a compensating factor. Lloyd-George, inevitable and irrepressible, invented the doctrine that "silver bullets" (money) and Germany's "potato-bread spirit" (economy) were now as urgently necessary for Britain to win as high-explosives with which to kill Germans. Only a few weeks before becoming "Shells Minister" and while still Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lloyd-George introduced the second War Budget, which gave Britons a staggering idea of what killing Germans meant in mere lucre. It was costing $15,000,000 a day then--in May--and the scale was crescendo, not diminuendo. Lloyd-George declared that the nation's bills could not be met unless the country went over, horse, foot and dragoon, to the Simple Life. The Prime Minister seconded his appeal for the radical regeneration of British life--a conversion from recklessness to Spartanism--with some eloquent figures. In a "keynote speech" at Guildhall, Mr. Asquith declared that "waste, on the part either of individuals or of classes, which is always foolish and shortsighted, is in these times nothing short of a national danger." The United Kingdom's annual income, the Premier explained, was between $11,250,000,000 and $12,000,000,000. Annual expenditure aggregated about $10,000,000,000. The country, therefore, saved under normal conditions between $1,250,000,000 and $2,000,000,000. But the necessities of "our seven wars" (in different parts of the hemisphere) required Britons to save about two and a half times what they customarily put away. They needed to store up $5,000,000,000 instead of $2,000,000,000 a year. In other words, they must reorganize their scheme and standards of living--and of spending--so that they saved $50 for every $20 saved in the past. In no other conceivable way, said the Prime Minister, could Great Britain shoulder the burden of a struggle already costing her at the rate of $5,475,000,000 a year. To ask the notoriously most extravagant people in Europe--the returns from the United States are not in yet--to "economize" on the Brobdingnagian lines which these figures conjured up was a very tall order, indeed.

But the gassed Tommies back from the trenches and the widows and the orphans manufactured by the Lusitania and the impregnability of the German lines were uppermost in England's mind, and she set her jaw to the inevitable. The Simple Life did not find itself among friends in the midst of a race which believes in a maximum of servants on a minimum of income; whose very homes and kitchens are the paradise of wasters; which venerates leisure, week-ends, "good addresses" and "parties"; which left the omnibuses to the crowd and scorned anything beneath the rank of a taxi for the truly well-born; which would gladly go poor for a week for the sake of a Saturday lunch at the Piccadilly grill and a supper at the Savoy, with a theater and a music-hall between, and Murray's afterward till dawn; which, while never ostentatious, was addicted to luxury; which worshiped golf, football, bridge and horse-racing like liberty itself, and which drank like sailors all.

But the ax of retrenchment was infinitely preferable to the sword of Damocles. Lords and ladies, "gentry" and common folk, prepared to make the best of it. Prohibition, mainly to enforce sobriety on the working classes, was considered by the Government, but not for long, for there was a mighty howl from the "trade" and from its bibulous votaries, who in England include both sexes, all classes and nearly every age. Restriction, not prohibition, was adopted as a compromise. In the "munition areas" the saloons were closed at the hours when, in former times, working men were most inclined to squander their wages on debilitating ale and alcohol. Everywhere a "No-drinks-before-10-A.-M." decree was promulgated, and, simultaneously, it became a misdemeanor for a restaurant, saloon, hotel, bar or even a private club to dispense liquor after ten o'clock at night. Clubland in Pall Mall, St. James's and Piccadilly groaned, and there was gnashing of teeth among the "nuts" (young bloods) and the ladies of the chorus. But people found they had more money for bread and butter, potatoes, vegetables and meat, which were costing semi-famine prices as it was, and there were fewer besot wrecks of women in the Strand, and almost no intoxicated men in khaki. War manifestly had its blessings, too. One met unfamiliar people in the plebeian motor-buses, who at first wrapped their evening-coats exclusively and close around them, for contact with the common clay was still new and strange. It became positively fashionable to be a cheese-parer. You were no longer considered "bad form" if you went straight home from the theater, and confessed why. If my lady of Mayfair did not close up her house in South Audley Street or Park Lane altogether, to live in "chambers" or some cozy country cottage, which was also cheap, she at least shut up the drawing-rooms, dispensed with a maid or two, cut out the most expensive courses at her dinners, when she gave any at all, and didn't mind if her guests turned up in day clothes.

The plutocratic peer who ordinarily maintained a "place" at the seashore, an estate in Middlesex or Devon, and a town-house in Berkeley Square had probably long ago handed over the "place" and the estate for military hospital purposes--hardly a mansion or manor-house in England to-day is devoted to any other use--and now retrenchment became for him the order of the day in London, too. His stable of thoroughbreds almost vanished in the early days of the war, for the needs of the cavalry and the artillery were insatiable and undiscriminating, and now his garage was down to a war basis--the most plebeian car he ever drove; the others were in army service either in England or "somewhere in France." Sackville Street and Albemarle Street, Bond Street and Regent Street, where smart clothes and other expensive trinkets for men and women were formerly sold, became deserted. Men's tailors displayed nothing but khaki in their windows, and Paquin's, Redfern's and Worth's languished as if England were famine-blighted. Society faded away as if pestilence had swept Uppertendom into oblivion. Women of Britain's first families were almost ashamed to be seen in anything more chic than the livery of mourning, and by midsummer of 1915 black was pitiably fashionable and omnipresent. "Entertaining" had been a lost art for months. "Going in for it" now seemed and was sacrilege. Indulged at all, it was excusable only if it had the extenuating excuse of having been arranged, and then in the most modest of ways, for one's wounded or recuperating officer friends, back from Hell or on the eve of going there--"somewhere in France." It was war-time in England at last.

If I have seemed to emphasize that the reconstruction of British life, after bitterly hard knocks on land and sea pounded some realization of their task's magnitude into Englishmen's heads, went on chiefly in the upper and upper-middle classes, it is precisely the impression I seek to convey. It is they alone, to date, who have taken the full measure of Britain's terrible emergency and acted accordingly. Even that statement requires qualification, for the fools' paradise is not even to-day inhabited exclusively by the benighted lower strata of the population. Neuve Chapelle, asphyxiating gas and the Lusitania had passed into history a full month before, yet there lingers painfully in my memory the recollection of a country-house week-end party broken up because Englishwomen of "class" objected to hearing a fellow-guest venture the opinion that dear old England would better "wake up" to the fact that calm alone, mighty an asset as it was, could not "march to Berlin" against an enemy like the Germans. These ladies were interesting as types. Their name was legion, and many of them, as an Irishman might say, were men. Common sense, prized of Anglo-Saxon virtues, and tolerance, its twin sister, lost their old-time hold on many millions in these isles during the war. The "Anti-German Union," which was founded by well-meaning noblemen and noblewomen for the purpose of organizing hate of the Teuton and all his works, perhaps set itself an unethical goal, but the psychology at the bottom of the movement was wholesome; it was all to the good, because it was sharpening the bulldog's teeth. It committed uncouth excesses like sending interrupters to the German Church service in Montpelier Place, forgetting that my esteemed friend, the Reverend Mr. Williams, the Anglican chaplain in Berlin, was never prevented from assembling his uninterned flock for worship at St. George's in Montbijou-Platz. Far less excusable than the "Anti-German Union's" super-patriotic eccentricities was the smug intolerance of enormous numbers of British toward elementary questions of the war. They would hear nothing of the Germans unless it was discreditable. I would write in my "Germany Day by Day" column in The Daily Mail that there were growing indications (let us say) that the enemy was still at fighting zenith--his stock of men, materials and provisions still far from exhausted. The next day's post would invariably bring me denunciatory letters from anonymous members of the public. I was "pro-German." I was "a German agent." I was "playing the enemy's game." Englishmen didn't "care to read the twaddle of a man who was still so enamored of the Hun capital where he so long lived." And when I wrote of American exasperation with British shipping practises in war, an English patriot induced my editor to print a letter in retort, "praying passionately for preservation from the candid friend." Other correspondents did not confine their observations to supplication. They were the high privates, these human ostriches, of the Grand Army of Truth-Hiders, who, commanded by great editors in Fleet Street and ably abetted by the Censorship, preferred palatable fiction to iron facts. It is they who kept John Bull lulled in complacent slumber for most of the first year of the war and are doing their diabolical best to administer sleeping-powder even now.

Yet, by and large, the section of the British public which does its thinking above its gaiter-tops was effectually roused from its dreams as Armageddon's initial twelvemonth approached its finish. It was the sub-stratum which could not be roused from the stupor of indifference. The war had brought mourning and desolation to the upper-class homes of England. The havoc wrought in the ranks of the peerage and other dignities is poignantly summarized in the new Debrett. Ten per cent. of the British officers who have died in the war were in the pages of Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage, and in the issue for 1916, just published, the War Roll of Honor of the dead comprises eight hundred names. In it appear one member of the Royal Family--Prince Maurice of Battenberg; six peers, sixteen baronets, six knights, and seven members of Parliament, one hundred sixty-four knights companion, ninety-five sons of peers, eighty-two sons of baronets, and eighty-four sons of knights. Two successive heirs to the earldom of Loudoun fell, and the death of Lord Worsdey affected the succession to three separate peerages, the earldom of Yarborough and the baronies of Fauconberg and Conyers. Succession has been unduly precipitated, or the normal descent changed, in over one hundred instances by the casualties of the war. The peer, the professional man, or the merchant, had had an almost annihilating blow struck at his fortune. Things during the past year had dealt these classes a vicious thrust. But working-class and lower-class Britain were actually profiting from the war. Wages were inordinately high--despite trade-unionism's unceasing clamor. Unemployment no longer existed. There were no soup-kitchens along the Embankment. The Salvation Army's poor-relief system was almost without an excuse. Families of clerks and working men--many thousands of whom were volunteers in Kitchener's armies--were, thanks to generous separation allowances paid by the War Office, almost better off than in the days when the bread-winner was at home. For the British proletariat Mars seemed almost a savior. He had brought it unwonted prosperity. The temper in which a vast portion of the "downtrodden" looked upon their new-born affluence was that self-preservation, being the first law of nature, insistently demanded nothing from them which would precipitately evict them from Easy Street. The Grand Fleet protected lower-class England from the only blow which could conceivably have knocked sense into it--invasion. As that did not and could not occur, Shepherd's Bush envisaged war not as an unmixed evil, but as something better, somehow, than peace had ever been. It is all woefully at loggerheads with Norman Angell's theories of the "devastating economic influence of war." But the immutable fact is that working-class Britain, despite the havoc the war has played with trade, incomes and high finance generally, finds itself, despite even the higher cost of living, at least on as prosperous a level as at any time in its contemporary history. It may be a myopic view, but it explains, in my judgment, much of the proletariat's amazing apathy toward the crucial national emergency.

The building of the New England is still in progress. The melting-pot is full. Years will elapse before the finished product leaves the crucible. The process of transition, however, has made enormous strides. Adversity is a wonderful reorganizer. The physiognomy of things long held unchangeable is altered almost beyond recognition. It is a better England already, as well as a new one. Above all, Democracy has not failed in the supreme test. The spectacle of three million men, uncoerced, responsive and responsible to no law but their own conscience, marching out to death and glory that England may live, is a sublime picture, which will blot out and overshadow much of the bungling and many of the disasters and excrescences of the past.

If I have seemed to dwell with insistence and even cynicism upon "British calm" amid the thunders, let me here and now subscribe unqualifiedly to the view that it remains, when all is said and done, a magnificent achievement second only to the demonstration of Voluntaryism as a Democracy's first line of defense. Britannia will continue to rule the waves mainly because she was calm when they surged about her most angrily.



October, 1915. The eighty-third day of the second year of war. A woman, writing in The Times, suggests that England adopt as her national prayer, "God help us win this war." King George V, emerging at length from the No Man's Land of Constitutional Irresponsibility, appeals, stirringly, "to my people" to save the sinking bark of Voluntary military service. It is the calm before the Conscription storm. The Sovereign discourses upon "the grave moment in the struggle" and calls for "men of all classes to come forward and take their share in the fight in order that another may not inherit the free Empire which their ancestors and mine have built." The King hints at "the darkest moment" which, from time immemorial, "has ever produced in men of our race the sternest resolve."

Britain's horizon is clouded, wherever one looks. No forced optimism can blink iron facts. In the East, Russia is paralyzed for months to come, even if not "crushed." Her fortresses, "deemed impregnable," writes Lloyd-George in the preface of his compiled war speeches, "are falling like sand castles before the resistless tide of Teutonic invasion." The "steam-roller" must go into winter quarters. In the West, the great Anglo-French offensive in Artois and the Champagne punctures the German front and advances the Allied lines two or three miles. The German losses are her severest of the war--140,000, so the French say, including vast heaps of dead, whole regiments of maimed and at least 25,000 prisoners and 145 field-guns. But the victory, substantial and promising as it is, has been dearly bought. The Germans claim that the preliminary seventy-two-hour bombardment represented an expenditure of 65,000,000 shells--mostly of American production, so allege the "inspired" war-correspondents at German headquarters, with sneering references to "blood-smeared dollars." The Allies' casualties are not tabulated. They are only known to be cruelly heavy. Englishmen fear there has been another Neuve Chapelle. Joffre and French have demonstrated that the German front is not quite impenetrable. But the enemy, on his part, has shown that for the Allies to "break through" in the West is a task fraught with peril and toll sickening to contemplate.

General Sir Ian Hamilton, Commander-in-Chief at the Dardanelles, has been recalled "to report." Another British general, unnamed, is dismissed for having led an army into a shambles at Suvla Bay. The campaign in Gallipoli is a tacitly acknowledged failure. General Sir Charles Monro is hurried to Turkey to succeed Hamilton and retrieve the fortunes of an expedition which has already cost 100,000 casualties, a trio of battleships, a transport full of troops, and heart-breaking incalculable. There are ugly rumors that the Allies, facing the inevitable, are about to abandon the ill-starred Dardanelles venture, and try their luck elsewhere. Against the German-led Turks twelve miles of precarious "front" with a back to the sea is all Anglo-Colonial-French valor has been able to achieve. But misfortune has dogged the Allies in fields remote from the actual theaters of war. While Germanic-Turko armies have been wrecking their military hopes East, West and Near East, Allied diplomacy has been disastrously foiled in the pivotal Balkans. Bulgaria, deemed friendly, though venal, openly goes over to the enemy. Sir Edward Grey, like his fellow-idol, Kitchener, is under withering fire. He is charged with permitting Berlin to score a victory which might have been London's if British diplomacy had been characterized by less tentativeness of policy and greater impetuosity of deed. It seems the old story--"too late." "Have we a Foreign Office?" bitterly asks Fleet Street. But the cup of disappointment is not full even yet. Greece, too, is recreant. She mobilizes, supposedly as a pro-Ally counterstroke to the pro-German Bulgarian menace, for is not the King of the Hellenes bound by solemn treaty to join Peter of Serbia in the eventuality of attack by Ferdinand of Sofia? But Downing Street failed to reckon with King "Tino" of Athens and his Hohenzollern consort, the Kaiser's favorite sister, Sophia. Premier Venizelos, the Allies' hope, is forced to resign. Greece remains "neutral," between German Charybdis and English Scylla, as King Constantine himself describes his plight. She shuts her eyes to the nebulous Allied expeditionary force landed at Salonica and "rushed" precipitately at the eleventh hour to the relief of the Serbs, who are even now threatened with annihilation between the German-Austrians on the north and west, and the back-stabbing Bulgars on the east. Belgrade falls. Uskub is captured. The Salonica line to Nish is cut. Germany's "road to Constantinople" is open. The Kaiser can get there now before the Allies. Diplomacy grasps at a last straw. Cyprus, annexed from Turkey by Britain early in the war, is offered to Greece if she will fling her army into the breach. In Athens, it appears, dictates of self-preservation govern. Revealing a highly-developed Missourian trait, Greece asks to be "shown." By active operations against the Germanic Powers and Bulgaria, assisted by mere promises of more Allied reinforcements via Salonica or the driblets already sent, Greece fears to share Belgium and Serbia's fate. If the Allies will send 400,000 troops to the Balkans--or about twice as many as have been pounding fruitlessly at the Dardanelles--Greece might change her mind. The suggestion inspires little enthusiasm in England. Kitchener and French can doubtless spare the men. But the equipment of another huge British army for operations in the Near East in time to turn the tables is a taller order. Meantime Mackensen and Gallwitz batter their way across the Serbian ranges. In London there are anxious doubts whether there will even be any Serbian army to "relieve" by the time the Allies place an effective rescuing expedition in the decisive theater. Serbia begins to look uncomfortably like another Belgium--Salonica like ill-starred Antwerp. Blunder and procrastination were ever the parents of disaster.

So much for the military and political situation, which even the Truth-Hiders begin to see in its true colors. But if things were "messed" abroad--in the West and in the Near East--muddle and bungle were even more rampant at home. Take the Zeppelins. They first visited these shores in January, 1915. In October Press and Parliament commenced for the first time seriously to investigate the adequacy of Britain's "aerial defenses," with the result that chaotic demoralization and systemless go-as-you-please were found to prevail. Sir Percy Scott, the country's greatest gunnery expert, had been in charge of London's defenses against the sky-pirates, but it appeared that his guns were ineffective, his gunners untrained for the highly specialized feat of hitting mile-high targets flying in the dark, and things in general unorganized and more or less futile. The Press Bureau condescendingly parted with an abstract story of the latest and most disastrous raid of all over "the London area." People derived lively satisfaction from its disclosure that the metropolis was "cool" and unafraid under fire. Only a few courageous "alarmists" read the signs of the times aright and demand that some life and efficiency forthwith be injected into the "anti-aircraft" department, lest, when Count Zeppelin's range-finding practise cruises across London are finished, an armada of German airships sail across the Channel and reduce the heart of the Empire, ever calm, to a smoking ash-heap before Sir Percy Scotts' defense is perfected. There was anxious talk of bringing over "expert gunners" from France--in October, after nearly ten months and after twenty-five Zeppelin raids over English territory!

The while the elephant-hided Censorship, as if Britannia's troubles were not all-sufficient, insisted upon making itself more of an international laughing-stock and object of world contempt than ever. It censored Kipling's Recessional in a battle-story from France. It deleted a quotation from Browning in another narrative from the front. It cut out a famous war correspondent's tribute to the bravery of the enemy. It eliminated a reference to Chatham, England's greatest War Minister, because it confused him with the famous British naval base from which he took his title. It refused to let out a single notch in the muzzle it has attached even to the benevolently neutral American Press, as represented by its accredited and notoriously Anglophile correspondents in England. It reveled in concealment, deception and grotesqueness, though concealing nothing from the enemy and everything from England, deceiving exclusively the British public, and making nobody grotesque except its egregious self. Calls for the light at home, ridicule and criticism from abroad, alike left the Censor unmoved. The sparrows cried from the housetops in ever more insistent accents that all was not well with England, but the Censorship, magnificently blind even to the Royal pronouncement that Britons unfailingly respond when the hour is dark, maintained imperiously that what it was well for the country to know was for it, and it alone, to decide. If the British public were a transgressor, its way could not have been harder.

Came Mr. Montagu, the Financial Secretary of the Treasury, the reputed "budget genius" of the Government. Britons must be prepared, he told them, "during the year ahead, to disgorge to the State not less than one-half of their entire income, either in the form of taxes or loans." Lord Reading's borrowing commission to America was still on the water, the ink on its $500,000,000 "credit loan" in New York not yet dry. "I estimate our expenditure for the year," said Mr. McKenna, the Finance Minister, in the House of Commons, at "seven billions, nine hundred fifty million dollars" (only he spoke in pounds). "As our total estimated revenue, inclusive of new taxes, is one billion, five hundred twenty-five million dollars, the deficit for the year will be six billion, four hundred twenty-five million dollars. We have now to contemplate a Navy costing for the current year $950,000,000, an Army costing $3,575,000,000, and external advances to our Allies (Russia, France, Italy, Serbia and Belgium) amounting to $2,115,000,000."

Then the merciless Chancellor of the Exchequer acquainted Parliament with his scheme for raising a part of this Brobdingnagian revenue. Free trade must be partially shelved. There will be a revenue tariff on "luxury" imports. Income-tax in 1916 will be forty per cent. higher and will amount altogether to about fifty cents on every five dollars earned. Even the man with $650 a year will pay, while "plutocrats" with incomes above that figure will be mulcted even more relentlessly. He of $25,000 will pay $5,150, and nabobs with $50,000, $100,000 and $500,000 per annum (England has several in the latter category) will contribute, respectively, $12,650, $30,150 and $170,150. War is hell. No wonder a parliamentary wag, on the day Mr. McKenna introduced "Conscription of Wealth," interrupted with a merry "Why don't you take it all?"

Up to December, 1915, the Government had asked Parliamentary sanction for war credits aggregating $6,500,000,000. But even this staggering total (the war was now costing $25,000,000 a day) was planned to carry the campaign only up to the middle of November. The $500,000,000 loan transaction in the United States only produced funds to be spent there, and it was but half of what was asked. It only indirectly relieves the situation at home. Allowing for the deficit carried over from last year, the latest budget proposes taxes amounting to $1,525,000,000 and loans aggregating $6,425,000,000 for the fiscal year 1915-16. But even the most patriotic experts in Threadneedle Street acknowledge the utter impossibility of raising $6,425,000,000 of genuine money by public loan in Britain per year. They reluctantly predict that the Government will soon be driven to extend its use of fictitious money and paper--on the excoriated German model. The war has already eaten toward the bottom of the stockings and the strong-boxes of Britain where American securities are stored.

As the financier not only of her own colossal requirements in the war, but as banker for her allies, England's money necessities are thus seen to be no less urgent than her need of men and munitions. They comprise, these three M's, the trilogy on which the existence of the Empire now depends. British performances in respect to the cash sinews of war have truly been on a monumental scale. History shows no parallel for the achievement of raising at home in loans and Treasury bills over $5,500,000,000 without abandonment of the gold standard and without resort to inconvertible paper, and yet keeping British credit at an altitude which gives hard-headed Uncle Sam no pause in taking John Bull's I-O-U for another half billion. It is an imperishable tribute to the stamina, prestige, wealth and commercial fabric of the British Empire and to the enterprise and ingenuity of the merchants, manufacturers, shippers, bankers and traders who have made their islands the center of the world's exchanges and London the money-market of the universe.

Lord Northcliffe

But magnificent as has been the past, the financial future can not be viewed except with anxiety. Indebtedness has been piled up sky-high--out of every twenty-five dollars spent since the war began, at least twenty dollars has been borrowed. That was possible because of the superlative excellence of British credit. "Our credit is now almost everything," explains The Economist. "It comes next to the Navy, and the two can not be dissociated. For if either suffer, our food supplies would be in danger. In one sense, credit is at the mercy of the Government and of the Treasury, for a great false step of policy or continuance in a false course would bring disaster. The responsibility of the Prime Minister and of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and of the Cabinet, as a whole, is prodigious. Whatever else we do, we must maintain our financial equilibrium. With that and the command of the seas, we can not be defeated."

Manifestly Britain's economic problem is almost the darkest spot on her overclouded war horizon--the problem of meeting rising obligations out of falling revenue. The Empire suffers from no lack of men; its physical resources are well-nigh inexhaustible. If patriotism does not send them to the trenches of their own free will in adequate numbers, they will be "fetched." There is no longer any question of shortage of munitions. England's own vast industrial plant, as well as that of France, is now occupied almost exclusively in the production of man-killing merchandise for the Allies and is turning it out at high pressure. To the manufacturing equipment of England and France are harnessed, in addition, German bombs and German-incited strikes to the contrary notwithstanding, the limitless productive facilities of the United States and Canada. Britain's one and only nightmare is money, and its corollary aspects, exchange and credit.

No estimate has so far appeared which fixes the 1916 deficit which England will have to meet at less than $7,000,000,000, based on a total war cost for the calendar year of $9,000,000,000. How to grapple with the gigantic task conjured up by such a prospect is not engaging popular attention to any marked degree, though upon its solution depends, primarily, Britain's ability to conquer in this war of exhaustion. With the palpable impossibility of raising the wind at home by successive new public loans; with the necessity to invoke such heroic measures as borrowing $500,000,000 in America to bolster up sterling exchange and keep British credit "intact"; with Englishmen sacrificing their enormous holdings of American securities for the same pious purpose; with the British industrial plant so preoccupied with munitions that it can neither, in accordance with tradition, pay for British imports with British exports nor increase British revenue by the same token; with national expenditure advancing by gigantic leaps and national income restricted as it never was before; with all these immutable conditions staring at Englishmen, it is no wonder that those of them who think, as distinguished from those who merely hurrah, contemplate what looms ahead with anxious concern.

But admittedly grave as the future is, it is by no means hopeless. Britain's plight is not "desperate," as the Germans, seeking to hide their own, are so fond of making believe. Even the misgivings of Englishmen themselves regarding their economic situation would be promptly and legitimately resolved into confidence if the community as a whole could be induced to pull itself together and look facts in the face. In its incorrigible disinclination to do so alone lies danger. The British Empire is not bankrupt. It can hardly ever become so. A recent estimate assessed the income of the Empire, including India, at something over the fabulous sum of $20,000,000,000! It may be embarrassed--it is unquestionably that already--just as the richest of men frequently are, in the midst of titanic transactions which have outrun their calculations. But embarrassment seldom eventuates in ruin, either for men or nations, if they come to grips with it betimes. Thus, disaster can only follow tribulation in the case of Britain if her people, preferring to wallow in happy-go-lucky nonchalance and drift, postpone until too late those sagacious, clean-sweep measures of reorganization and retrenchment which alone, in the opinion of competent judges, can save the situation.

In the preceding chapter I told of the introduction of the Simple Life, of the dawn of the Economy Era in war-time England; but it would be hyperbole to intimate that it has been inaugurated on anything but a superficial scale. Luxury and self-indulgence are still rife. To vast numbers of people, in the classes as well as the masses, the war, far from oppressing them, has brought positive affluence, and with their new riches they have gone in for spending instead of saving. Spartanism in Britain remains a good deal of a theory; it has not become a condition. While Germany, shut off by land and sea, contrives to remain at fighting zenith without her customary imports of $2,500,000,000 a year (she calls Jellicoe's blockade a blessing in disguise because it has compelled her to spend at home what she used to pay out abroad), England's imports of such articles as oranges, cocoa, tea, coffee, tobacco, cheese, rice, meats, pepper and onions have heavily exceeded her importations of the same articles in corresponding peace periods.[1] The Prime Minister tells the country that "victory seems likely to incline to the side which can arm itself the best and stay the longest." Mr. Asquith declares that "that is what we meant to do." But until, for instance, Englishmen realize that by abstaining from tobacco for a year, $40,000,000 of money would be available for the smoke of battle; that if every man, woman and child in the Kingdom puts away 25 cents a week, a new treasure of $600,000,000 could be piled up for war; and that unless waste, extravagance and slothful habits generally are banished, by duke and by docker, as if they were leprous disease, Mr. Asquith's brave words will remain a hollow aspiration. They alone will not enable England to "stay the longest" in the world's most destructive endurance competition.

[1] There are ugly rumors that Produce Exchange patriots who burnt The Daily Mail for exposing the "shells tragedy" are the importers of these excessively large stores and are selling them to "Holland"--and other "neutrals" adjacent to Germany at exorbitant profits.

It is not change of governments, but ruthless change of system, which England requires. She has relegated a vast deal since the cleansing process set in, in August a year ago, but the scrap-heap clamors for more. It cries most insistently of all for obliteration of the fetish that politicians, lawyers and other amateurs are fit to conduct a government engaged in the most terrible combat of human history. Napoleon once said that a nation of lions led by a stag would be beaten by a nation of stags led by a lion. Britons claim to be a nation of lions. They contemplate the first year of the war and ask if they are to continue to be led along the path of disaster by stags. The Truth-Hiders quote Lincoln and deprecate "swapping horses while crossing a stream." Lord Willoughy de Broke effectually disposes of this "plea for incompetence in office" by telling the House of Lords that "whether such a course should be adopted depends on what sort of a horse a man has beneath him. If the horse is standing in the middle of the stream and seems as if he were going to lie down, the best thing is to get another." Englishmen admit that war like this demands wholesale reconstruction of national life, yet their government has substituted spasmodic patchwork for reconstruction. Instead of bold tearing-down and rebuilding, there has been nibbling and tinkering, and even then, too late. The people have waited for marching orders in countless directions, but the Government band has played nothing but a hesitation waltz. Take the drink evil, Britain's most malignant ulcer. Russia is not commonly looked to for economic or social inspiration, yet even she has wrestled with drink in a manner which puts England to shame. While the Czar was banishing vodka absolutely for the pestilence that it was, England's governors, fearful of Labor and "the trade" alike, temporized and enacted makeshifts which materially ameliorated the liquor menace without throttling its power for evil. They have made "treating" a misdemeanor, closed the saloons, both public and private, at 10 P.M., and restricted the hours when drink may be sold in London and the industrial districts. But clubmen, artisans and soldiers can get drunk to their heart's content as of yore. They have had only to rearrange their bibulous hours. Take the air defense muddle. "I, for one," wrote a Briton in October, protesting against the prevailing theory that the call of the hour, in the midst of the Zeppelin peril was "coolness," "am tired of being complimented on the calmness with which I behave in the presence of danger. It is no comfort to me that my death, if it occurs, will have no military importance. I want to be congratulated not on the stoicism with which I go to my funeral, but on my share in a system of government which affords effective protection to my country."

Nothing could better stigmatize the epidemic of Self-Sufficiency which, in the writer's deliberate judgment, is primarily responsible for British failures in the war thus far. There has been too much congratulation and self-congratulation on the sang-froid with which John Bull can take punishment. He is a mighty gladiator, but cheery comfort from his seconds between rounds has failed on many an occasion to prevent a champion pugilist from being knocked out. It is not that England is incapable of defeating Germany. It is that she seems unwilling to do so by throwing into the balance every atom of strength for which that prodigious task calls. For at least a decade before 1914 Britain's political ostriches, disarmament-mongers, professional pacifists and pro-Germans declined to recognize the German danger even when it was approaching with strides so brazen that almost the blind could see. They preferred the "valor of ignorance," thought Ballin and Harnack instead of Tirpitz and Bernhardi typified Modern Germany, continued to revel in the bliss of contemptuous self-confidence, and attempted to parley with a tiger which was crouching for the attack. I enter a modest claim to have done my own little share for eight years in the futile work of arousing Britain to the Teuton peril. I refer merely to my work at Berlin, in reporting military and naval developments--"Germany laid all her cards on the table," as Admiral von Tirpitz once said to me. When the crash came, Englishmen pinned their faith to their history. They were no match for "forty years of preparations," of course; but they always "started late" and "muddled through" their wars. The Crimea began in terror and ended in triumph. The South African affair was the same sort of thing. War with Germany would be no different. The race which had finished off Napoleon need have no qualms in tackling his pinchbeck successor. Britons admit that a year of war has dissipated nearly all their comfortable illusions, but signs are still wanting that there is nation-wide, deep-seated realization of the immensity of the ordeal and the dimensions of the sacrifices yet to be faced. On December 8, 1915, when the war was sixteen months old, Admiral Lord Charles Beresford wrote this letter to The Times:

"We are at present in a complex tangle of muddle and mismanagement. Our military campaigns are being conducted without any objective or plan. Policy only has been considered.

"In war a policy has to be enforced by the Navy and Army. The War Staffs have not been consulted as to whether they had the means in men and material for enforcing the different policies inaugurated by the Cabinet. Individuals have been consulted; combined opinion of War Staffs has not been sought. The result is disaster in nearly every direction.

"We have not taken full advantage of our mastery of the sea. In every department we observe doubt, hesitation, and procrastination. War requires quick decisions and prompt actions. The question of supplying recruits for the Army has been postponed once, and apparently may be postponed again. Unless a decision is come to immediately we shall be a year before the recruits joined under any new scheme can possibly be ready to take the field.

"The public is sick of the policy conveyed in the sentence 'Wait and see.' The danger to the Empire becomes more apparent every day. The country is waiting for a strong, clear lead. Our present methods will prolong the war indefinitely. If we continue hesitating without making up our minds on any single question connected with the war, we shall plunge straight into disaster."

I, too, shall be a pessimist about England's chances to win the war only so long as she neglects to go to war. Mere command of the sea, it has been amply demonstrated, can not crush Germany. It can sorely inconvenience her and compel her to live on the ration basis, but it can not force what King George has called "a highly organized enemy" prematurely to make peace. When England has staked her all, I shall turn blithe optimist, for I believe that nothing else in the world can overthrow her savagely efficient antagonist. Germany has staked her all. Until England does likewise, they will not fight on even terms. When England, like Germany, has relentlessly marshaled every tithe of her national strength for war, subordinated all else to that purpose, harnessed to the chariot of Mars every conceivable resource at her command, pulverized caste distinctions, banned politics and politicians, and made the war and the winning of it the only thing the nation eats for, works for, dreams of, or wastes thought upon--then I shall feel constrained to feel assured that victory will perch, however distant the hour, on Liberty's and not on Tyranny's banners. The Anglo-German endurance test--into which the war will eventually resolve itself--can have but one issue. Germans know that. Their analytical mind long ago taught them that the dormant resources of the British Empire, once mobilized, would be invincible. But what is happening is precisely what the Germans counted upon: the irresolute British habit of mind, the "too late" system, the century-old cult of comfort and ease, the "Splendid Isolation" school of thought, which, when the hour of trial came, might be relied upon to cripple the effort to convert latent potentialities into an inconquerable organism. History will have names for all these things. It will call them Belgium, Serbia, Dardanelles and Salonica.

The British people must triumph over themselves before they can break the Germans. Their inexhaustible moral and material assets must be commandeered and husbanded, if they are to accomplish their manifest destiny, and not merely be bragged about in the clubs of Pall Mall and the ostrich-farms of Fleet Street. If the world-wide realm on which the sun never sets can produce armies calculable only in millions, as it most assuredly is able to do, let them come forth, or be brought forth. If the wealth of the United Kingdom, India and the dominions oversea represents riches unmatched, as it does, let it be lavished exclusively on war, and not squandered in any other single direction. If common sense is the proudest of Anglo-Saxon virtues, let it prevail and sweep away governments which value votes more than men's lives and abolish a Censorship which treats Britons as if they were half-witted. If there must be calm at all costs, let it be the calm of high-pressure effort, and not the coolness of impotent resignation or casual performance. If faith must be placed in the efficacy of "attrition," let the process of "bleeding Germany white" be hastened by British achievements afield, lest "attrition," when the flags are furled, find the victor as emaciated as the vanquished.

I forget neither Germany's wrecked military hopes and economic disintegration, nor the magnitude of Britain's service and accomplishment thus far. I regret only, along with England's other well-wishers, that her sacrifices have not resulted, as they so richly deserved to, in advancing the British cause farther toward the goal. I can not help thinking that, in many respects, it is wasted achievement, for the object which England and her Allies have set themselves is not merely the pinioning of Germany to fronts in Russia, France, Belgium and Greece beyond which she can not thrust herself. I am not unmindful of the glorious response of Britain's noblest sons, who sleep by their gallant thousands in the blood-manured soil of France, Belgium, Turkey and the Balkans, nor of the Trojan spirit in which the women of the Empire are giving their best and bravest, and weeping not. I mourn only because death and suffering leave triumph still so remote. The remorselessness with which the Reaper has stalked through the great families and homes of England is saddening, yet inspiring, evidence that the heart of Britain is sound. The immortal deeds of the Grenfells and the O'Learys and of all the one hundred thirty who have won Victoria Crosses are only the outstanding tokens of undying British heroism. But if sacrifice is not to continue to be cruelly in vain, there must be relentless regeneration of the purely material governance of British life, even more destructible of tradition and institutions than anything which has gone before. Of bulldog British determination to fight to a finish and to win there is no shadow of doubt. There is no Briton worthy of the name not ready to be beggared to that end. The sublimity of the cause for which England is bleeding is a more ennobling incentive than ever, for it has come to comprehend life or death for herself, as well as the liberation of Belgium. Spirituality has forfeited none of its pristine efficacy as an asset in war and bulwark in stress, but in our machine-gun era it must be backed by scientific efficiency and patriotism of deed before there can be imposed upon Germany that peace which is essential not only to British security, but to the world's happiness.