The Project Gutenberg EBook of New York Times, Current History, Vol 1,
Issue 1, by Various

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Title: New York Times, Current History, Vol 1, Issue 1
       From the Beginning to March, 1915 With Index

Author: Various

Release Date: October 5, 2004 [EBook #13635]

Language: English

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The New York Times





From the Beginning to March, 1915

With Index

The New York Times Logo


Copyright 1914, 1915,
By The New York Times Company




By George Bernard Shaw
By Arnold Bennett
By George Bernard Shaw
By Cunninghame Graham
By Christabel Pankhurst
By George Bernard Shaw
By Herbert Eulenberg
With Facsimile Signatures
By H. G. Wells
By H. G. Wells
By Arnold Bennett
By Arnold Bennett
An Interview on the War
By John Galsworthy
By Jerome K. Jerome
By Rudyard Kipling
By Norman Angell
By Gilbert K. Chesterton
By H. Rider Haggard
By H. Rider Haggard
By Robert Bridges
TO ARMS! 132
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
By Maurice Maeterlinck
By Baron d'Estournelles de Constant
By Henri Bergson
With Rene Bazin's Appreciation
By Rene Doumic
By Emile Boutroux
By Gabriele Reuter
By Romain Rolland
By Gerhart Hauptmann
By Karl Wolfskehl
By Gerhart Hauptmann
By Ludwig Fulda
By Professors of Germany
By British Scholars
By Frederic Harrison
By M. Yves Guyot and Prof Bellet
By Prof. Adolf von Harnack
By Some British Theologians
By Theodore Niemeyer



As Interpreted by Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, German Imperial Chancellor.
By Kaiser Frawz Josef and Count Berchtold
Certified by Dr. Bernhard Dernburg, German ex-Colonial Secretary
Attested by Thirty-four German Dignitaries
Report by James W. Gerard, American Ambassador at Berlin, to President Wilson.
Speeches by British Ministers
Measures Taken Throughout the Empire Upon the Outbreak of War
British People Roused by Their Leaders
By Viscount Bryce
By President Poincare and Premier Viviani
Statement Issued by the Belgian Legation at Washington
Statement Issued by German Embassy at Washington, Oct. 13.
Protest Issued to Neutral Powers from French Foreign Office, Bordeaux, Sept. 21.



Argued by James M. Beck
By Dr. Edmund von Mach
By George Louis Beer
An Interview with Andrew Carnegie
WOMAN AND WAR--"Shot, Tell His Mother" (Poem) 458
By W.E.P. French, Captain, U.S. Army
An Interview with Jacob H. Schiff
By Jacob H. Schiff and Charles W. Eliot
LA CATHEDRALE (Poem Translated by Frances C. Fay) 472
By Edmond Rostand
Series of Five Letters by Charles W. Eliot, with Related Correspondence
By Joseph B. Gilder
By David Starr Jordan
By John Grier Hibben
JEANNE D'ARC--1914 (Poem) 506
By Alma Durant Nicholson
THE KAISER AND BELGIUM (With controversial letters) 507
By John W. Burgess
By William M. Sloane
Interview with Franklin H. Giddings
A German Circular
By Rudolf Eucken and Ernst Haeckel
By John Warbeke
By Brander Matthews
By Frank Jewett Mather, Jr.
By John Grier Hibben
By Arthur v. Briesen
PARTING (Poem) 553
By Louise von Wetter
By Kuno Francke
By Baron L. Hengelmuller
By George Haven Putnam
Interview with Nicholas Murray Butler
By Wilhelm Ostwald
By Newell Dwight Hillis
TIPPERARY (Poem) 581
By John B. Kennedy
By Harold Begbie
By Grace Harriet Macurdy
By Lord Channing of Wellingborough
By Adeline Adams
By Irving Fisher
By Roland G. Usher
Interview with M. de Lapredelle
By Albert Sauveur
By Lyman Abbott
VIGIL (Poem) 612
By Hortense Flexner
By Abraham Solomon
By Sir Gilbert Parker



Famous Dispatches of the British Commander in Chief to Lord Kitchener
By Col. E.D. Swinton of the Intelligence Department of the British General Staff
By Edward Neville Vose
By John Boon
By a Correspondent of The London Daily Chronicle
By G. H. Perris
By Philip Gibbs
By Philip Gibbs
By a Special Correspondent
By The Associated Press
By Philip Gibbs
By Cyril Brown of The New York Times
By a Correspondent of The London Daily News
By a Correspondent of The New York Times
By Philip Gibbs
By The Associated Press
By John H. Cox
By a Correspondent of The London Daily Chronicle
By Perceval Gibbon
By a Correspondent of The London Standard
By Jefferson Jones
As Told by Miss Geni La France, an Eyewitness
By Malcolm Ross, F.R.G.S.
By Edgar Rowan
By a Special Correspondent of The New York Times
By the Senior Surviving Officers, Commander Bertram W.L. Nicholson and
Commander Reginald A. Norton
By a Correspondent of The London Daily Chronicle
By the Cable Operator at Cocos Islands
By a Correspondent of The London Daily Chronicle
By Herbert B. Swope and Capt. Lieut. Otto Weddigen
By O.C.A. Child
By Irvin S. Cobb
By Anne Rittenhouse
From The London Times
Interview with F. Hopkinson Smith
By Mrs. Nina Larrey Duryee
By Perceval Gibbon
By Cyril Brown of The New York Times
By J.H. Whitehouse, M.P.
From The London Times
British Home Office Communication
By Thomas R. Ybarra



With Their Signatures
By British Men of Letters
By Paul Vinogradoff
By A. Konovalov of the Russian Duma
I AM FOR PEACE (Poem) 826
By Lurana Sheldon
By Peter Struve
To Help the Polish Victims of War
An Interview with the Reformer Tchelisheff
By the Russian Ministry of Commerce
By Prof. Migoulin
(Prof. Migoulin's Plan)
Digested from Russkia Vedomosti
By A. Sokolov
By Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace
By the Russian Ministry of Commerce
Proposed by the Ministry of Finance
By M.J. Bonn
By Georg Brandes
By P. Maslov
48 War Pictures Printed in Rotogravure
The Pastoral Letter of Cardinal D.J. Mercier, Archbishop of Malines
By Thomas Hardy
By Cyril Brown
By Vance Thompson
From The London Times
From The New York Times
By Beatrice Barry
From The New York Times
From The New York Times
By Ruth Kauffmann
From The New York Times
By H.W. Bodkinson
From The London Times
By The Associated Press
By Perceval Gibbon
From The New York Times
By Perceval Gibbon
By Ethel Therese Hugh
From The New York Times
A Group of Soldiers' Letters
How Ernst Lissauer's Lines were "Sung to Pieces" in Germany
By Beatrice M. Barry
By T. von Bethmann-Hollweg, German Imperial Chancellor
By Katharine Drayton Mayrant Simons, Jr.
By Hilaire Belloc
By H.T. Sudduth
By Walter Littlefield
GLORY OF WAR (Poem) 1004
By Adeline Adams



By A. T. Polyzoides
Case of the Secret Military Documents Presented by Both Sides
By William Archer
By Sidney Low
By Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg and Sir Edward Grey
By The Associated Press
HAIL! A HYMN TO BELGIUM (Music by F. H. Cowen) 1126
By John Galsworthy
HOLLAND'S FUTURE (With Map) 1128
By H.G. Wells
By The Associated Press
By Premier Viviani of France
By H.S. Haskins
From the Bulletin Francais
FOUR MONTHS OF WAR (With Map) 1169
From the Bulletin des Armees
By Claude Monet
By William J. Bryan, American Secretary of State
By Edith M. Thomas
By William J. Bryan, American Secretary of State
By The Associated Press
By Sir Edward Grey
ITALY AND THE WAR (With Map) 1192
By William Roscoe Thayer
By Carey C.D. Briggs
By Annie Vivanti Chartres
By Alice Meynell
By William Watson





"Common Sense About the War"

By George Bernard Shaw.


"Let a European war break out—the war, perhaps, between the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente, which so many journalists and politicians in England and Germany contemplate with criminal levity. If the combatants prove to be equally balanced, it may, after the first battles, smoulder on for thirty years. What will be the population of London, or Manchester, or Chemnitz, or Bremen, or Milan, at the end of it?" ("The Great Society," by Graham Wallas. June, 1914.)

(Copyright, 1914, By The New York Times Company.)

The time has now come to pluck up courage and begin to talk and write soberly about the war. At first the mere horror of it stunned the more thoughtful of us; and even now only those who are not in actual contact with or bereaved relation to its heartbreaking wreckage can think sanely about it, or endure to hear others discuss it coolly. As to the thoughtless, well, not for a moment dare I suggest that for the first few weeks they were all scared out of their wits; for I know too well that the British civilian does not allow his perfect courage to be questioned; only experienced soldiers and foreigners are allowed the infirmity of fear. But they certainly were—shall I say a little upset? They felt in that solemn hour that England was lost if only one single traitor in their midst let slip the truth about anything in the universe. It was a perilous time for me. I do not hold my tongue easily; and my inborn dramatic faculty and professional habit as a playwright prevent me from taking a one-sided view even when the most probable result of taking a many-sided one is prompt lynching. Besides, until Home Rule emerges from its present suspended animation, I shall retain my Irish capacity for criticising England with something of the detachment of a foreigner, and perhaps with a certain slightly malicious taste for taking the conceit out of her. Lord Kitchener made a mistake the other day in rebuking the Irish volunteers for not rallying faster to the defense of "their country." They do not regard it as their country yet. He should have asked them to come forward as usual and help poor old England through a stiff fight. Then it would have been all right.

Having thus frankly confessed my bias, which you can allow for as a rifleman allows for the wind, I give my views for what they are worth. They will be of some use; because, however blinded I may be by prejudice or perversity, my prejudices in this matter are not those which blind the British patriot, and therefore I am fairly sure to see some things that have not yet struck him.

And first, I do not see this war as one which has welded Governments and peoples into complete and sympathetic solidarity as against the common enemy. I see the people of England united in a fierce detestation and defiance of the views and acts of Prussian Junkerism. And I see the German people stirred to the depths by a similar antipathy to English Junkerism, and anger at the apparent treachery and duplicity of the attack made on them by us in their extremest peril from France and Russia. I see both nations duped, but alas! not quite unwillingly duped, by their Junkers and Militarists into wreaking on one another the wrath they should have {12}spent in destroying Junkerism and Militarism in their own country. And I see the Junkers and Militarists of England and Germany jumping at the chance they have longed for in vain for many years of smashing one another and establishing their own oligarchy as the dominant military power in the world. No doubt the heroic remedy for this tragic misunderstanding is that both armies should shoot their officers and go home to gather in their harvests in the villages and make a revolution in the towns; and though this is not at present a practicable solution, it must be frankly mentioned, because it or something like it is always a possibility in a defeated conscript army if its commanders push it beyond human endurance when its eyes are opening to the fact that in murdering its neighbours it is biting off its nose to vex its face, besides riveting the intolerable yoke of Militarism and Junkerism more tightly than ever on its own neck. But there is no chance—or, as our Junkers would put it, no danger—of our soldiers yielding to such an ecstasy of common sense. They have enlisted voluntarily; they are not defeated nor likely to be; their communications are intact and their meals reasonably punctual; they are as pugnacious as their officers; and in fighting Prussia they are fighting a more deliberate, conscious, tyrannical, personally insolent, and dangerous Militarism than their own. Still, even for a voluntary professional army, that possibility exists, just as for the civilian there is a limit beyond which taxation, bankruptcy, privation, terror, and inconvenience cannot be pushed without revolution or a social dissolution more ruinous than submission to conquest. I mention all this, not to make myself wantonly disagreeable, but because military persons, thinking naturally that there is nothing like leather, are now talking of this war as likely to become a permanent institution like the Chamber of Horrors at Madame Tussaud's, forgetting, I think, that the rate of consumption maintained by modern military operations is much greater relatively to the highest possible rate of production maintainable under the restrictions of war time than it has ever been before.

The Day of Judgment.

The European settlement at the end of the war will be effected, let us hope, not by a regimental mess of fire-eaters sitting around an up-ended drum in a vanquished Berlin or Vienna, but by some sort of Congress in which all the Powers (including, very importantly, the United States of America) will be represented. Now I foresee a certain danger of our being taken by surprise at that Congress, and making ourselves unnecessarily difficult and unreasonable, by presenting ourselves to it in the character of Injured Innocence. We shall not be accepted in that character. Such a Congress will most certainly regard us as being, next to the Prussians (if it makes even that exception), the most quarrelsome people in the universe. I am quite conscious of the surprise and scandal this anticipation may cause among my more highminded (hochnaesig, the Germans call it) readers. Let me therefore break it gently by expatiating for a while on the subject of Junkerism and Militarism generally, and on the history of the literary propaganda of war between England and Potsdam which has been going on openly for the last forty years on both sides. I beg the patience of my readers during this painful operation. If it becomes unbearable, they can always put the paper down and relieve themselves by calling the Kaiser Attila and Mr. Keir Hardie a traitor twenty times or so. Then they will feel, I hope, refreshed enough to resume. For, after all, abusing the Kaiser or Keir Hardie or me will not hurt the Germans, whereas a clearer view of the political situation will certainly help us. Besides, I do not believe that the trueborn Englishman in his secret soul relishes the pose of Injured Innocence any more than I do myself. He puts it on only because he is told that it is respectable.

Junkers All.

What is a Junker? Is it a German {13}officer of twenty-three, with offensive manners, and a habit of cutting down innocent civilians with his sabre? Sometimes; but not at all exclusively that or anything like that. Let us resort to the dictionary. I turn to the Encyclopaedisches Woerterbuch of Muret Sanders. Excuse its quaint German-English.

Junker = Young nobleman, younker, lording, country squire, country gentleman, squirearch. Junkerberrschaft = squirearchy, landocracy. Junkerleben = life of a country gentleman, (figuratively) a jolly life. Junkerpartei = country party. Junkerwirtschaft = doings of the country party.

Thus we see that the Junker is by no means peculiar to Prussia. We may claim to produce the article in a perfection that may well make Germany despair of ever surpassing us in that line. Sir Edward Grey is a Junker from his topmost hair to the tips of his toes; and Sir Edward is a charming man, incapable of cutting down even an Opposition front bencher, or of telling a German he intends to have him shot. Lord Cromer is a Junker. Mr. Winston Churchill is an odd and not disagreeable compound of Junker and Yankee: his frank anti-German pugnacity is enormously more popular than the moral babble (Milton's phrase) of his sanctimonious colleagues. He is a bumptious and jolly Junker, just as Lord Curzon is an uppish Junker. I need not string out the list. In these islands the Junker is literally all over the shop.

It is very difficult for anyone who is not either a Junker or a successful barrister to get into an English Cabinet, no matter which party is in power, or to avoid resigning when we strike up the drum. The Foreign Office is a Junker Club. Our governing classes are overwhelmingly Junker: all who are not Junkers are riff-raff whose only claim to their position is the possession of ability of some sort: mostly ability to make money. And, of course, the Kaiser is a Junker, though less true-blue than the Crown Prince, and much less autocratic than Sir Edward Grey, who, without consulting us, sends us to war by a word to an ambassador and pledges all our wealth to his foreign allies by a stroke of his pen.

What Is a Militarist?

Now that we know what a Junker is, let us have a look at the Militarists. A Militarist is a person who believes that all real power is the power to kill, and that Providence is on the side of the big battalions. The most famous Militarist at present, thanks to the zeal with which we have bought and quoted his book, is General Friedrich von Bernhardi. But we cannot allow the General to take precedence of our own writers as a Militarist propagandist. I am old enough to remember the beginning of the anti-German phase of that very ancient propaganda in England. The Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871 left Europe very much taken aback. Up to that date nobody was afraid of Prussia, though everybody was a little afraid of France; and we were keeping "buffer States" between ourselves and Russia in the east. Germany had indeed beaten Denmark; but then Denmark was a little State, and was abandoned in her hour of need by those who should have helped her, to the great indignation of Ibsen. Germany had also beaten Austria; but somehow everybody seems able to beat Austria, though nobody seems able to draw the moral that defeats do not matter as much as the Militarists think, Austria being as important as ever. Suddenly Germany beat France right down into the dust, by the exercise of an organized efficiency in war of which nobody up to then had any conception. There was not a State in Europe that did not say to itself: "Good Heavens! what would happen if she attacked us?" We in England thought of our old-fashioned army and our old-fashioned commander George Ranger (of Cambridge), and our War Office with its Crimean tradition of imbecility; and we shook in our shoes. But we were not such fools as to leave it at that. We soon produced the first page of the Bernhardian literature: an anonymous booklet entitled The Battle of Dorking. It was not the first page of English {14}Militarist literature: you have only to turn back to the burst of glorification of war which heralded the silly Crimean campaign (Tennyson's Maud is a surviving sample) to find paeans to Mars which would have made Treitschke blush (perhaps they did); but it was the first page in which it was assumed as a matter of course that Germany and not France or Russia was England's natural enemy. The Battle of Dorking had an enormous sale; and the wildest guesses were current as to its authorship. And its moral was "To arms; or the Germans will besiege London as they besieged Paris." From that time until the present, the British propaganda of war with Germany has never ceased. The lead given by The Battle of Dorking was taken up by articles in the daily press and the magazines. Later on came the Jingo fever (anti-Russian, by the way; but let us not mention that just now), Stead's Truth About the Navy, Mr. Spenser Wilkinson, the suppression of the Channel Tunnel, Mr. Robert Blatchford, Mr. Garvin, Admiral Maxse, Mr. Newbolt, Mr. Rudyard Kipling, The National Review, Lord Roberts, the Navy League, the imposition of an Imperialist Foreign Secretary on the Liberal Cabinet, Mr. Wells's War in the Air (well worth re-reading just now), and the Dreadnoughts. Throughout all these agitations the enemy, the villain of the piece, the White Peril, was Prussia and her millions of German conscripts. At first, in The Battle of Dorking phase, the note was mainly defensive. But from the moment when the Kaiser began to copy our Armada policy by building a big fleet, the anti-German agitation became openly aggressive; and the cry that the German fleet or ours must sink, and that a war between England and Germany was bound to come some day, speedily ceased to be merely a cry with our Militarists and became an axiom with them. And what our Militarists said our Junkers echoed; and our Junker diplomatists played for. The story of how they manoeuvred to hem Germany and Austria in with an Anglo-Franco-Russian combination will be found told with soldierly directness and with the proud candor of a man who can see things from his own side only in the article by Lord Roberts in the current number of The Hibbert Journal (October, 1914). There you shall see also, after the usual nonsense about Nietzsche, the vision of "British administrators bearing the White Man's Burden," of "young men, fresh from the public schools of Britain, coming eagerly forward to carry on the high traditions of Imperial Britain in each new dependency which comes under our care," of "our fitness as an Imperial race," of "a great task committed to us by Providence," of "the will to conquer that has never failed us," of our task of "assuming control of one-fifth of the earth's surface and the care of one in five of all the inhabitants of the world." Not a suggestion that the inhabitants of the world are perhaps able to take care of themselves. Not even a passing recollection when that White Man's Burden is in question that the men outside the British Empire, and even inside the German Empire, are by no means exclusively black. Only the sancta simplicitas that glories in "the proud position of England," the "sympathy, tolerance, prudence and benevolence of our rule" in the east (as shown, the Kaiser is no doubt sarcastically remarking, in the Delhi sedition trial), the chivalrous feeling that it is our highest duty to save the world from the horrible misfortune of being governed by anybody but those young men fresh from the public schools of Britain. Change the words Britain and British to Germany and German, and the Kaiser will sign the article with enthusiasm. His opinion, his attitude (subject to that merely verbal change) word for word.

Six of One: Half-a-Dozen of The Other.

Now, please observe that I do not say that the agitation was unreasonable. I myself steadily advocated the formation of a formidable armament, and ridiculed the notion that, we, who are wasting hundreds of millions annually on idlers and wasters, could not easily afford double, treble, quadruple our military {15}and naval expenditure. I advocated the compulsion of every man to serve his country, both in war and peace. The idlers and wasters perceiving dimly that I meant the cost to come out of their pockets and meant to use the admission that riches should not exempt a man from military service as an illustration of how absurd it is to allow them to exempt him from civil service, did not embrace my advocacy with enthusiasm; so I must reaffirm it now lest it should be supposed that I am condemning those whose proceedings I am describing. Though often horribly wrong in principle, they were quite right in practice as far as they went. But they must stand to their guns now that the guns are going off. They must not pretend that they were harmless Radical lovers of peace, and that the propaganda of Militarism and of inevitable war between England and Germany is a Prussian infamy for which the Kaiser must be severely punished. That is not fair, not true, not gentlemanly. We began it; and if they met us half-way, as they certainly did, it is not for us to reproach them. When the German fire-eaters drank to The Day (of Armageddon) they were drinking to the day of which our Navy League fire-eaters had first said "It's bound to come." Therefore, let us have no more nonsense about the Prussian Wolf and the British Lamb, the Prussian Machiavelli and the English Evangelist. We cannot shout for years that we are boys of the bulldog breed, and then suddenly pose as gazelles. No. When Europe and America come to settle the treaty that will end this business (for America is concerned in it as much as we are), they will not deal with us as the lovable and innocent victims of a treacherous tyrant and a savage soldiery. They will have to consider how these two incorrigibly pugnacious and inveterately snobbish peoples, who have snarled at one another for forty years with bristling hair and grinning fangs, and are now rolling over with their teeth in one another's throats, are to be tamed into trusty watch-dogs of the peace of the world. I am sorry to spoil the saintly image with a halo which the British Jingo journalist sees just now when he looks in the glass; but it must be done if we are to behave reasonably in the imminent day of reckoning.

And now back to Friedrich von Bernhardi.

General Von Bernhardi.

Like many soldier-authors, Friedrich is very readable; and he maintains the good and formidable part of the Bismarck tradition: that is, he is not a humbug. He looks facts in the face; he deceives neither himself nor his readers; and if he were to tell lies—as he would no doubt do as stoutly as any British, French, or Russian officer if his country's safety were at stake—he would know that he was telling them. Which last we think very bad taste on his part, if not downright wickedness.

It is true that he cites Frederick the Great as an exemplary master of war and of Weltpolitik. But his chief praise in this department is reserved for England. It is from our foreign policy, he says, that he has learnt what our journalists denounce as "the doctrine of the bully, of the materialist, of the man with gross ideals: a doctrine of diabolical evil." He frankly accepts that doctrine from us (as if our poor, honest muddle-heads had ever formulated anything so intellectual as a doctrine), and blames us for nothing but for allowing the United States to achieve their solidarity and become formidable to us when we might have divided them by backing up the South in the Civil War. He shows in the clearest way that if Germany does not smash England, England will smash Germany by springing at her the moment she can catch her at a disadvantage. In a word he prophesies that we, his great masters in Realpolitik, will do precisely what our Junkers have just made us do, It is we who have carried out the Bernhardi programme: it is Germany who has neglected it. He warned Germany to make an alliance with Italy, Austria, Turkey, and America, before undertaking the subjugation, first of France, then of England. But a prophet is not with{16}out honour save in his own country; and Germany has allowed herself to be caught with no ally but Austria between France and Russia, and thereby given the English Junkers their opportunity. They have seized it with a punctuality that must flatter Von Bernhardi, even though the compliment be at the expense of his own country. The Kaiser did not give them credit for being keener Junkers than his own. It was an unpleasant, indeed an infuriating surprise. All that a Kaiser could do without unbearable ignominy to induce them to keep their bulldogs off and give him fair play with his two redoubtable foes, he did. But they laughed Frederick the Great's laugh and hurled all our forces at him, as he might have done to us, on Bernhardian principles, if he had caught us at the same disadvantage. Officially, the war is Junker-cut-Junker, militarist-cut-Militarist; and we must fight it out, not Heuchler-cut-Hypocrite, but hammer and tongs.

Militarist Myopia.

Unofficially, it is quite another matter. Democracy, even Social-Democracy, though as hostile to British Junkers as to German ones, and under no illusion as to the obsolescence and colossal stupidity of modern war, need not lack enthusiasm for the combat, which may serve their own ends better than those of their political opponents. For Bernhardi the Brilliant and our own very dull Militarists are alike mad: the war will not do any of the things for which they rushed into it. It is much more likely to do the things they most dread and deprecate: in fact, it has already swept them into the very kind of organization they founded an Anti-Socialist League to suppress. To shew how mad they are, let us suppose the war carries out their western program to the last item. Suppose France rises from the war victorious, happy and glorious, with Alsace and Lorraine regained, Rheims cathedral repaired in the best modern trade style, and a prodigious indemnity in her pocket! Suppose we tow the German fleet into Portsmouth, and leave Hohenzollern metaphorically under the heel of Romanoff and actually in a comfortable villa in Chislehurst, the hero of all its tea parties and the judge of all its gymkhanas! Well, cry the Militarists, suppose it by all means: could we desire anything better? Now I happen to have a somewhat active imagination; and it flatly refuses to stop at this convenient point. I must go on supposing. Suppose France, with its military prestige raised once more to the Napoleonic point, spends its indemnity in building an invincible Armada, stronger and nearer to us than the German one we are now out to destroy! Suppose Sir Edward Grey remonstrates, and Monsieur Delcasse replies, "Russia and France have humbled one Imperial Bully, and are prepared to humble another. I have not forgotten Fashoda. Stop us if you can; or turn, if you like, for help to the Germany we have smashed and disarmed!" Of what use will all this bloodshed be then, with the old situation reproduced in an aggravated form, the enemy closer to our shores, a raid far more feasible, the tradition of "natural enmity" to steel the foe, and Waterloo to be wiped out like Sedan? A child in arms should be able to see that this idiotic notion of relaxing the military pressure on us by smashing this or that particular Power is like trying to alter the pressure of the ocean by dipping up a bucket of water from the North Sea and pouring it into the Bay of Biscay.

I purposely omit more easterly supposings as to what victorious Russia might do. But a noble emancipation of Poland and Finland at her own expense, and of Bosnia and Harzegovina at Austria's, might easily suggest to our nervous Militarists that a passion for the freedom of Egypt and India might seize her, and remind her that we were Japan's ally in the day of Russia's humiliation in Manchuria. So there at once is your Balance of Power problem in Asia enormously aggravated by throwing Germany out of the anti-Russian scale and grinding her to powder. Even in North Africa—but enough is enough. You can durchhauen your way out of the frying pan, but only into the fire. Better take Nietzsche's brave advice, and make it {17}your point of honour to "live dangerously." History shews that it is often the way to live long.

Learning Nothing: Forgetting Everything.

But let me test the Militarist theory, not by a hypothetical future, but by the accomplished and irrevocable past. Is it true that nations must conquer or go under, and that military conquest means prosperity and power for the victor and annihilation for the vanquished? I have already alluded in passing to the fact that Austria has been beaten repeatedly: by France, by Italy, by Germany, almost by everybody who has thought it worth while to have a whack at her; and yet she is one of the Great Powers; and her alliance has been sought by invincible Germany. France was beaten by Germany in 1870 with a completeness that seemed impossible; yet France has since enlarged her territory whilst Germany is still pleading in vain for a place in the sun. Russia was beaten by the Japanese in Manchuria on a scale that made an end forever of the old notion that the West is the natural military superior of the East; yet it is the terror of Russia that has driven Germany into her present desperate onslaught on France; and it is the Russian alliance on which France and England are depending for their assurance of ultimate success. We ourselves confess that the military efficiency with which we have so astonished the Germans is the effect, not of Waterloo and Inkerman, but of the drubbing we got from the Boers, who we aid probably have beaten us if we had been anything like their own size. Greece has lately distinguished herself in war within a few years by a most disgraceful beating of the Turks. It would be easy to multiply instances from remoter history: for example, the effect on England's position of the repeated defeats of our troops by the French under Luxembourg in the Balance of Power War at the end of the seventeenth century differed surprisingly little, if at all, from the effect of our subsequent victories under Marlborough. And the inference from the Militarist theory that the States which at present count for nothing as military Powers necessarily count for nothing at all is absurd on the face of it. Monaco seems to be, on the whole, the most prosperous and comfortable State in Europe.

In short, Militarism must be classed as one of the most inconsiderately foolish of the bogus "sciences" which the last half century has produced in such profusion, and which have the common characteristic of revolting all sane souls, and being stared out of countenance by the broad facts of human experience. The only rule of thumb that can be hazarded on the strength of actual practice is that wars to maintain or upset the Balance of Power between States, called by inaccurate people Balance of Power wars, and by accurate people Jealousy of Power wars, never establish the desired peaceful and secure equilibrium. They may exercise pugnacity, gratify spite, assuage a wound to national pride, or enhance or dim a military reputation; but that is all. And the reason is, as I shall shew very conclusively later on, that there is only one way in which one nation can really disable another, and that is a way which no civilized nation dare even discuss.

Are We Hypocrites?

And now I proceed from general considerations to the diplomatic history of the present case, as I must in order to make our moral position clear. But first, lest I should lose all credit by the startling incompatibility between the familiar personal character of our statesmen and the proceedings for which they are officially responsible, I must say a word about the peculiar psychology of English statesmanship, not only for the benefit of my English readers (who do not know that it is peculiar just as they do not know that water has any taste because it is always in their mouths), but as a plea for a more charitable construction from the wider world.

We know by report, however unjust it may seem to us, that there is an opinion abroad, even in the quarters most friendly to us, that our excellent qualities are marred by an incorrigible hypocrisy. To {18}France we have always been Perfidious Albion. In Germany, at this moment, that epithet would be scorned as far too flattering to us. Victor Hugo explained the relative unpopularity of Measure for Measure among Shakespeare's plays on the ground that the character of the hypocrite Angelo was a too faithful dramatization of our national character. Pecksniff is not considered so exceptional an English gentleman in America as he is in England.

Now we have not acquired this reputation for nothing. The world has no greater interest in branding England with this particular vice of hypocrisy than in branding France with it; yet the world does not cite Tartuffe as a typical Frenchman as it cites Angelo and Pecksniff as typical Englishmen. We may protest against it as indignantly as the Prussian soldiers protest against their equally universal reputation for ferocity in plunder and pillage, sack and rapine; but there is something in it. If you judge an English statesman, by his conscious intentions, his professions, and his personal charm, you will often find him an amiable, upright, humane, anxiously truthful man. If you judge him, as a foreigner must, solely on the official acts for which he is responsible, and which he has to defend in the House of Commons for the sake of his party, you will often be driven to conclude that this estimable gentleman is, in point of being an unscrupulous superprig and fool, worse than Caesar Borgia and General Von Bernhardi rolled into one, and in foreign affairs a Bismarck in everything except commanding ability, blunt common sense, and freedom from illusion as to the nature and object of his own diplomacy. And the permanent officials in whose hands he is will probably deserve all that and something to spare. Thus you will get that amazing contrast that confronts us now between the Machiavellian Sir Edward Grey of the Berlin newspapers and the amiable and popular Sir Edward Grey we know in England. In England we are all prepared to face any World Congress and say, "We know that Sir Edward Grey is an honest English gentleman, who meant well as a true patriot and friend of peace; we are quite sure that what he did was fair and right; and we will not listen to any nonsense to the contrary." The Congress will reply, "We know nothing about Sir Edward Grey except what he did; and as there is no secret and no question as to what he did, the whole story being recorded by himself, we must hold England responsible for his conduct, whilst taking your word for the fact, which has no importance for us, that his conduct has nothing to do with his character."

Our Intellectual Laziness.

The general truth of the situation is, as I have spent so much of my life in trying to make the English understand, that we are cursed with a fatal intellectual laziness, an evil inheritance from the time when our monopoly of coal and iron made it possible for us to become rich and powerful without thinking or knowing how; a laziness which is becoming highly dangerous to us now that our monopoly is gone or superseded by new sources of mechanical energy. We got rich by pursuing our own immediate advantage instinctively; that is, with a natural childish selfishness; and when any question of our justification arose, we found it easy to silence it with any sort of plausible twaddle (provided it flattered us, and did not imply any trouble or sacrifice) provided by our curates at £70 a year, or our journalists at a penny a line, or commercial moralists with axes to grind. In the end we became fatheaded, and not only lost all intellectual consciousness of what we were doing, and with it all power of objective self-criticism, but stacked up a lumber of pious praises for ourselves which not only satisfied our corrupted and half atrophied consciences, but gave us a sense that there is something extraordinarily ungentlemanly and politically dangerous in bringing these pious phrases to the test of conduct. We carried Luther's doctrine of Justification by Faith to the insane point of believing that as long as a man says what we have agreed to accept as the right thing it does not {19}matter in the least what he actually does. In fact, we do not clearly see why a man need introduce the subject of morals at all, unless there is something questionable to be whitewashed. The unprejudiced foreigner calls this hypocrisy: that is why we call him prejudiced. But I, who have been a poor man in a poor country, understand the foreigner better.

Now from the general to the particular. In describing the course of the diplomatic negotiations by which our Foreign Office achieved its design of at last settling accounts with Germany at the most favourable moment from the Militarist point of view, I shall have to exhibit our Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs as behaving almost exactly as we have accused the Kaiser of behaving. Yet I see him throughout as an honest gentleman, "perplexed in the extreme," meaning well, revolted at the last moment by the horror of war, clinging to the hope that in some vague way he could persuade everybody to be reasonable if they would only come and talk to him as they did when the big Powers were kept out of the Balkan war, but hopelessly destitute of a positive policy of any kind, and therefore unable to resist those who had positive business in hand. And do not for a moment imagine that I think that the conscious Sir Edward Grey was Othello, and the subconscious, Iago. I do think that the Foreign Office, of which Sir Edward is merely the figure head, was as deliberately and consciously bent on a long deferred Militarist war with Germany as the Admiralty was; and that is saying a good deal. If Sir Edward Grey did not know what he wanted, Mr. Winston Churchill was in no such perplexity. He was not an "ist" of any sort, but a straightforward holder of the popular opinion that if you are threatened you should hit out, unless you are afraid to. Had he had the conduct of the affair he might quite possibly have averted the war (and thereby greatly disappointed himself and the British public) by simply frightening the Kaiser. As it was, he had arranged for the co-operation of the French and British fleets; was spoiling for the fight; and must have restrained himself with great difficulty from taking off his coat in public whilst Mr. Asquith and Sir Edward Grey were giving the country the assurances which were misunderstood to mean that we were not bound to go to war, and not more likely to do so than usual. But though Sir Edward did not clear up the misunderstanding, I think he went to war with the heavy heart of a Junker Liberal (such centaurs exist) and not with the exultation of a Junker Jingo.

I may now, without more than the irreducible minimum of injustice to Sir Edward Grey, proceed to tell the story of the diplomatic negotiations as they will appear to the Congress which, I am assuming, will settle the terms on which Europe is to live more or less happily ever after.

Diplomatic History of the War.

The evidence of how the Junker diplomatists of our Foreign Office let us in for the war is in the White Paper, Miscellaneous No. 6 (1914), containing correspondence respecting the European crisis, and since reissued, with a later White Paper and some extra matter, as a penny bluebook in miniature. In these much-cited and little-read documents we see the Junkers of all the nations, the men who have been saying for years "It's bound to come," and clamouring in England for compulsory military service and expeditionary forces, momentarily staggered and not a little frightened by the sudden realization that it has come at last. They rush round from foreign office to embassy, and from embassy to palace, twittering "This is awful. Can't you stop it? Won't you be reasonable? Think of the consequences," etc., etc. One man among them keeps his head and looks the facts in the face. That man is Sazonoff, the Russian Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He keeps steadily trying to make Sir Edward Grey face the inevitable. He says and reiterates, in effect, "You know very well that you cannot keep out of a European war. You know you are pledged to fight Germany {20}if Germany attacks France. You know that your arrangments for the fight are actually made; that already the British army is commanded by a Franco-British Council of War; that there is no possible honourable retreat for you. You know that this old man in Austria, who would have been superannuated years ago if he had been an exciseman, is resolved to make war on Servia, and sent that silly forty-eight hours ultimatum when we were all out of town so that he could begin fighting before we could get back to sit on his head. You know that he has the Jingo mob of Vienna behind him. You know that if he makes war, Russia must mobilize. You know that France is bound to come in with us as you are with France. You know that the moment we mobilize, Germany, the old man's ally, will have only one desperate chance of victory, and that is to overwhelm our ally, France, with one superb rush of her millions, and then sweep back and meet us on the Vistula. You know that nothing can stop this except Germany remonstrating with Austria, and insisting on the Servian case being dealt with by an international tribunal and not by war. You know that Germany dares not do this, because her alliance with Austria is her defence against the Franco-Russian alliance, and that she does not want to do it in any case, because the Kaiser naturally has a strong class prejudice against the blowing up of Royal personages by irresponsible revolutionists, and thinks nothing too bad for Servia after the assassination of the Archduke. There is just one chance of avoiding Armageddon: a slender one, but worth trying. You averted war in the Algeciras crisis, and again in the Agadir crisis, by saying you would fight. Try it again. The Kaiser is stiffnecked because he does not believe you are going to fight this time. Well, convince him that you are. The odds against him will then be so terrible that he may not dare to support the Austrian ultimatum to Servia at such a price. And if Austria is thus forced to proceed judicially against Servia, we Russians will be satisfied; and there will be no war."

Sir Edward could not see it. He is a member of a Liberal Government, in a country where there is no political career for the man who does not put his party's tenure of office before every other consideration. What would The Daily News and The Manchester Guardian have said had he, Bismarck-like, said bluntly: "If war once breaks out, the old score between England and Prussia will be settled, not by ambassadors' tea parties and Areopaguses, but by blood and iron?" In vain did Sazonoff repeat, "But if you are going to fight, as you know you are, why not say so?" Sir Edward, being Sir Edward and not Winston Churchill or Lloyd George, could not admit that he was going to fight. He might have forestalled the dying Pope and his noble Christian "I bless peace" by a noble, if heathen, "I fight war." Instead, he persuaded us all that he was under no obligation whatever to fight. He persuaded Germany that he had not the slightest serious intention of fighting. Sir Owen Seaman wrote in Punch an amusing and witty No-Intervention poem. Sporting Liberals offered any odds that there would be no war for England. And Germany, confident that with Austria's help she could break France with one hand and Russia with the other if England held aloof, let Austria throw the match into the magazine.

The Battery Unmasked.

Then the Foreign Office, always acting through its amiable and popular but confused instrument Sir Edward, unmasked the Junker-Militarist battery. He suddenly announced that England must take a hand in the war, though he did not yet tell the English people so, it being against the diplomatic tradition to tell them anything until it is too late for them to object. But he told the German Ambassador, Prince Lichnowsky, caught in a death trap, pleaded desperately for peace with Great Britain. Would we promise to spare Germany if Belgium were left untouched? No. Would we say on what conditions we would spare Germany? No. Not if the Germans promised not to annex French territory? No. Not even if they prom{21}ised not to touch the French colonies? No. Was there no way out? Sir Edward Grey was frank. He admitted there was just one chance; that Liberal opinion might not stand the war if the neutrality of Belgium were not violated. And he provided against that chance by committing England to the war the day before he let the cat out of the bag in Parliament.

All this is recorded in the language of diplomacy in the White Paper on or between the lines. That language is not so straightforward as my language; but at the crucial points it is clear enough. Sazonoff's tone is politely diplomatic in No. 6; but in No. 17 he lets himself go. "I do not believe that Germany really wants war; but her attitude is decided by yours. If you take your stand firmly with France and Russia there will be no war. If you fail them now, rivers of blood will flow, and you will in the end be dragged into war." He was precisely right; but he did not realize that war was exactly what our Junkers wanted. They did not dare to tell themselves so; and naturally they did not dare to tell him so. And perhaps his own interest in war was too strong to make him regret the rejection of his honest advice. To break up the Austrian Empire and achieve for Russia the Slav Caliphate of South-East Europe whilst defeating Prussia with the help of France and of Russia's old enemy and Prussia's old ally England, was a temptation so enormous that Sazonoff, in resisting it so far as to shew Sir Edward Grey frankly the only chance of preventing it, proved himself the most genuine humanitarian in the diplomatic world.

Number 123.

The decisive communication between Sir Edward Grey and Prince Lichnowsky is recorded in the famous No. 123. With the rather childish subsequent attempt to minimize No. 123 on the ground that the Prince was merely an amiable nincompoop who did not really represent his fiendish sovereign, neither I nor any other serious person need be concerned. What is beyond all controversy is that after that conversation Prince Lichnowsky could do nothing but tell the Kaiser that the Entente, having at last got his imperial head in chancery, was not going to let him off on any terms, and that it was now a fight to a finish between the British and German empires. Then the Kaiser said: "We are Germans. God help us!" When a crowd of foolish students came cheering for the war under his windows, he bade them go to the churches and pray. His telegrams to the Tsar (the omission of which from the penny bluebook is, to say the least, not chivalrous) were dignified and pathetic. And when the Germans, taking a line from the poet they call "unser Shakespeare," said: "Come the four quarters of the world in arms and we shall shock them," it was, from the romantic militarist point of view, fine. What Junker-led men could do they have since done to make that thrasonical brag good. But there is no getting over the fact that, in Tommy Atkins's phrase, they had asked for it. Their Junkers, like ours, had drunk to The Day; and they should not have let us choose it after riling us for so many years. And that is why Sir Edward had a great surprise when he at last owned up in Parliament.

How the Nation Took It.

The moment he said that we could not "stand aside with our arms folded" and see our friend and neighbour France "bombarded and battered," the whole nation rose to applaud him. All the Foreign Office distrust of public opinion, the concealment of the Anglo-French plan of campaign, the disguise of the Entente in a quaker's hat, the duping of the British public and the Kaiser with one and the same prevarication, had been totally unnecessary and unpopular, like most of these ingenuities which diplomatists think subtle and Machiavellian. The British Public had all along been behind Mr. Winston Churchill. It had wanted Sir Edward to do just what Sazonoff wanted him to do, and what I, in the columns of The Daily News proposed he should do nine months ago (I must really be allowed to claim that I am not merely wise after the event), which was to arm {22}to the teeth regardless of an expense which to us would have been a mere fleabite, and tell Germany that if she, laid a finger on France we would unite with France to defeat her, offering her at the same time as consolation for that threat, the assurance that we would do as much to France if she wantonly broke the peace in the like fashion by attacking Germany. No unofficial Englishman worth his salt wanted to snivel hypocritically about our love of peace and our respect for treaties and our solemn acceptance of a painful duty, and all the rest of the nauseous mixture of school-master's twaddle, parish magazine cant, and cinematograph melodrama with which we were deluged. We were perfectly ready to knock the Kaiser's head off just to teach him that if he thought he was going to ride roughshod over Europe, including our new friends the French, and the plucky little Belgians, he was reckoning without old England. And in this pugnacious but perfectly straightforward and human attitude the nation needed no excuses because the nation honestly did not know that we were taking the Kaiser at a disadvantage, or that the Franco-Russian alliance had been just as much a menace to peace as the Austro-German one. But the Foreign Office knew that very well, and therefore began to manufacture superfluous, disingenuous, and rather sickening excuses at a great rate. The nation had a clean conscience, and was really innocent of any aggressive strategy: the Foreign Office was redhanded, and did not want to be found out. Hence its sermons.

Mr. H.G. Wells Hoists the Country's Flag.

It was Mr. H.G. Wells who at the critical moment spoke with the nation's voice. When he uttered his electric outburst of wrath against "this drilling, trampling foolery in the heart of Europe" he gave expression to the pent-up exasperation of years of smouldering revolt against swank and domineer, guff and bugaboo, calling itself blood and iron, and mailed fist, and God and conscience and anything else that sounded superb. Like Nietzsche, we were "fed up" with the Kaiser's imprisonments of democratic journalists for Majestaetsbeleidigung (monarch disparagement), with his ancestors, and his mission, and his gospel of submission and obedience for poor men, and of authority, tempered by duelling, for rich men. The world had become sore-headed, and desired intensely that they who clatter the sword shall perish by the sword. Nobody cared twopence about treaties: indeed, it was not for us, who had seen the treaty of Berlin torn up by the brazen seizure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria in 1909, and taken that lying down, as Russia did, to talk about the sacredness of treaties, even if the wastepaper baskets of the Foreign Offices were not full of torn up "scraps of paper," and a very good thing too; for General von Bernhardi's assumption that circumstances alter treaties is not a page from Machiavelli: it is a platitude from the law books. The man in the street understood little or nothing about Servia or Russia or any of the cards with which the diplomatists were playing their perpetual game of Beggar my Neighbour. We were rasped beyond endurance by Prussian Militarism and its contempt for us and for human happiness and common sense; and we just rose at it and went for it. We have set out to smash the Kaiser exactly as we set out to smash the Mahdi. Mr. Wells never mentioned a treaty. He said, in effect: "There stands the monster all freedom-loving men hate; and at last we are going to fight it." And the public, bored by the diplomatists, said: "Now you're talking!" We did not stop to ask our consciences whether the Prussian assumption that the dominion of the civilized earth belongs to German culture is really any more bumptious than the English assumption that the dominion of the sea belongs to British commerce. And in our island security we were as little able as ever to realize the terrible military danger of Germany's geographical position between France and England on her west flank and Russia on her east: all three leagued for her de{23}struction; and how unreasonable it was to ask Germany to lose the fraction of a second (much less Sir Maurice de Runsen's naïve "a few days' delay") in dashing at her Western foe when she could obtain no pledge as to Western intentions. "We are now in a state of necessity; and Necessity knows no law," said the Imperial Chancellor in the Reichstag. "It is a matter of life and death to us," said the German Minister for Foreign Affairs to our Ambassador in Berlin, who had suddenly developed an extraordinary sense of the sacredness of the Treaty of London, dated 1839, and still, as it happened, inviolate among the torn fragments of many subsequent and similar "scraps of paper." Our Ambassador seems to have been of Sir Maurice's opinion that there could be no such tearing hurry. The Germans could enter France through the line of forts between Verdun and Toul if they were really too flustered to wait a few days on the chance of Sir Edward Grey's persuasive conversation and charming character softening Russia and bringing Austria to conviction of sin. Thereupon the Imperial Chancellor, not being quite an angel, asked whether we had counted the cost of crossing the path of an Empire fighting for its life (for these Militarist statesmen do really believe that nations can be killed by cannon shot). That was a threat; and as we cared nothing about Germany's peril, and wouldn't stand being threatened any more by a Power of which we now had the inside grip, the fat remained in the fire, blazing more fiercely than ever. There was only one end possible to such a clash of high tempers, national egotisms, and reciprocal ignorances.

Delicate Position of Mr. Asquith.

It seemed a splendid chance for the Government to place itself at the head of the nation. But no British Government within my recollection has ever understood the nation. Mr. Asquith, true to the Gladstonian tradition (hardly just to Gladstone, by the way) that a Liberal Prime Minister should know nothing concerning foreign politics and care less, and calmly insensible to the real nature of the popular explosion, fell back on 1839, picking up the obvious barrister's point about the violation of the neutrality of Belgium, and tried the equally obvious barrister's claptrap about "an infamous proposal" on the jury. He assured us that nobody could have done more for peace than Sir Edward Grey, though the rush to smash the Kaiser was the most popular thing Sir Edward had ever done.

Besides, there was another difficulty. Mr. Asquith himself, though serenely persuaded that he is a Liberal statesman, is, in effect, very much what the Kaiser would have been if he had been a Yorkshireman and a lawyer, instead of being only half English and the other half Hohenzollern, and an anointed emperor to boot. As far as popular liberties are concerned, history will make no distinction between Mr. Asquith and Metternich. He is forced to keep on the safe academic ground of Belgium by the very obvious consideration that if he began to talk of the Kaiser's imprisonments of editors and democratic agitators and so forth, a Homeric laughter, punctuated with cries of, "How about Denshawai?" "What price Tom Mann?" "Votes for women!" "Been in India lately?" "Make McKenna Kaiser," "Or dear old Herbert Gladstone," etc., etc., would promptly spoil that pose. The plain fact is that, Militarism apart, Germany is in many ways more democratic in practice than England; indeed the Kaiser has been openly reviled as a coward by his Junkers because he falls short of Mr. Asquith in calm indifference to Liberal principles and blank ignorance of working-class sympathies, opinions, and interests.

Mr. Asquith had also to distract public attention from the fact that three official members of his Government, all men of unquestioned and conspicuous patriotism and intellectual honesty, walked straight out into private life on the declaration of war. One of them, Mr. John Burns, did so at an enormous personal sacrifice, and has since maintained a grim silence far more eloquent than the famous speech {24}Germany invented for him. It is not generally believed that these three statesmen were actuated by a passion for the violation of Belgian neutrality.

On the whole, it was impossible for the Government to seize its grand chance and put itself at the head of the popular movement that responded to Sir Edward Grey's declaration: the very simple reason being that the Government does not represent the nation, and is in its sympathies just as much a Junker government as the Kaiser's. And so, what the Government cannot do has to be done by unofficial persons with clean and brilliant anti-Junker records like Mr. Wells, Mr. Arnold Bennett, Mr. Neil Lyons, and Mr. Jerome K. Jerome. Neither Mr. Asquith nor Sir Edward Grey can grasp, as these real spokesmen of their time do, the fact that we just simply want to put an end to Potsdamnation, both at home and abroad. Both of them probably think Potsdam a very fine and enviable institution, and want England to out-Potsdam Potsdam and to monopolize the command of the seas; a monstrous aspiration. We, I take it, want to guarantee that command of the sea which is the common heritage of mankind to the tiniest State and the humblest fisherman that depends on the sea for a livelihood. We want the North Sea to be as safe for everybody, English or German, as Portland Place.

The Need for Recrimination.

And now somebody who would rather I had not said all this (having probably talked dreadful nonsense about Belgium and so forth for a month past) is sure to ask: "Why all this recrimination? What is done is done. Is it not now the duty of every Englishman to sink all differences in the face of the common peril?" etc., etc. To all such prayers to be shielded from that terrible thing, the truth, I must reply that history consists mainly of recrimination, and that I am writing history because an accurate knowledge of what has occurred is not only indispensable to any sort of reasonable behaviour on our part in the face of Europe when the inevitable day of settlement comes, but because it has a practical bearing on the most perilously urgent and immediate business before us: the business of the appeal to the nation for recruits and for enormous sums of money. It has to decide the question whether that appeal shall be addressed frankly to our love of freedom, and our tradition (none the less noble and moving because it is so hard to reconcile with the diplomatic facts) that England is a guardian of the world's liberty, and not to bad law about an obsolete treaty, and cant about the diabolical personal disposition of the Kaiser, and the wounded propriety of a peace-loving England, and all the rest of the slosh and tosh that has been making John Bull sick for months past. No doubt at first, when we were all clasping one another's hands very hard and begging one another not to be afraid, almost anything was excusable. Even the war notes of Mr. Garvin, which stood out as the notes of a gentleman amid a welter of scurrilous rubbish and a rather blackguardly Punch cartoon mocking the agony of Berlin (Punch having turned its non-interventionist coat very promptly), had sometimes to run: "We know absolutely nothing of what is happening at the front, except that the heroism of the British troops will thrill the ages to the last syllable of recorded time," or words to that effect. But now it is time to pull ourselves together; to feel our muscle; to realize the value of our strength and pluck; and to tell the truth unashamed like men of courage and character, not to shirk it like the official apologists of a Foreign Office plot.

What Germany Should Have Done.

And first, as I despise critics who put people in the wrong without being able to set them right, I shall, before I go any further with my criticism of our official position, do the Government and the Foreign Office the service of finding a correct official position for them; for I admit that the popular position, though sound as far as it goes, is too crude for official use. This correct official position can be found only by considering what Germany should have done, and might have done had she not {25}been, like our own Junkers, so fascinated by the Militarist craze, and obsessed by the chronic Militarist panic, that she was "in too great hurry to bid the devil good morning." The matter is simple enough: she should have entrusted the security of her western frontier to the public opinion of the west of Europe and to America, and fought Russia, if attacked, with her rear not otherwise defended. The Militarist theory is that we, France and England, would have immediately sprung at her from behind; but that is just how the Militarist theory gets its votaries into trouble by assuming that Europe is a chess board. Europe is not a chess board; but a populous continent in which only a very few people are engaged in military chess; and even those few have many other things to consider besides capturing their adversary's king. Not only would it have been impossible for England to have attacked Germany under such circumstances; but if France had done so England could not have assisted her, and might even have been compelled by public opinion to intervene by way of a joint protest from England and America, or even by arms, on her behalf if she were murderously pressed on both flanks. Even our Militarists and diplomatists would have had reasons for such an intervention. An aggressive Franco-Russian hegemony, if it crushed Germany, would be quite as disagreeable to us as a German one. Thus Germany would at worst have been fighting Russia and France with the sympathy of all the other Powers, and a chance of active assistance from some of them, especially those who share her hostility to the Russian Government. Had France not attacked her—and though I am as ignorant of the terms of the Franco-Russian alliance as Sir Edward Grey is strangely content to be, I cannot see how the French Government could have justified to its own people a fearfully dangerous attack on Germany had Russia been the aggressor—Germany would have secured fair play for her fight with Russia. But even the fight with Russia was not inevitable. The ultimatum to Servia was the escapade of a dotard: a worse crime than the assassination that provoked it. There is no reason to doubt the conclusion in Sir Maurice de Bunsen's despatch (No. 161) that it could have been got over, and that Russia and Austria would have thought better of fighting and come to terms. Peace was really on the cards; and the sane game was to play for it.

The Achilles Heel of Militarism.

Instead, Germany flew at France's throat, and by incidentally invading Belgium gave us the excuse our Militarists wanted to attack her with the full sympathy of the nation. Why did she do this stupid thing? Not because of the counsels of General von Bernhardi. On the contrary, he had warned her expressly against allowing herself to be caught between Russia and a Franco-British combination until she had formed a counterbalancing alliance with America, Italy, and Turkey. And he had most certainly not encouraged her to depend on England sparing her: on the contrary, he could not sufficiently admire the wily ruthlessness with which England watches her opportunity and springs at her foe when the foe is down. (He little knew, poor man, how much he was flattering our capacity for Realpolitik!) But he had reckoned without his creed's fatal and fundamental weakness, which is, that as Junker-Militarism promotes only stupid people and snobs, and suppresses genuine realists as if they were snakes, it always turns out when a crisis arrives that "the silly people don't know their own silly business." The Kaiser and his ministers made an appalling mess of their job. They were inflamed by Bernhardi; but they did not understand him. They swallowed his flattery, but did not take in his strategy or his warnings. They knew that when the moment came to face the Franco-Russian alliance, they were to make a magnificient dash at France and sweep her pieces off the great chess board before the Russians had time to mobilize; and then return and crush {26}Russia, leaving the conquest of England for another day. This was honestly as much as their heads could hold at one time; and they were helplessly unable to consider whether the other conditions postulated by Bernhardi were present, or indeed, in the excitement of their schoolboyish imaginations, to remember whether he had postulated any at all. And so they made their dash and put themselves in the wrong at every point morally, besides making victory humanly impossible for themselves militarily. That is the nemesis of Militarism: the Militarist is thrown into a big game which he is too stupid to be able to play successfully. Philip of Spain tried it 300 years ago; and the ruin he brought on his empire has lasted to this day. He was so stupid that though he believed himself to be the chosen instrument of God (as sure a sign of a hopeless fool in a man who cannot see that every other man is equally an instrument of that Power as it is a guarantee of wisdom and goodwill in the man who respects his neighbor as himself) he attempted to fight Drake on the assumption that a cannon was a weapon that no real gentleman and good Catholic would condescend to handle. Louis XIV. tried again two centuries ago, and, being a more frivolous fool, got beaten by Marlborough and sent his great-grandson from the throne to the guillotine. Napoleon tried it 100 years ago. He was more dangerous, because he had prodigious personal ability and technical military skill; and he started with the magnificent credential of the French Revolution. All that carried him farther than the Spanish bigot or the French fop; but he, too, accreted fools and knaves, and ended defeated in St. Helena after pandering for twenty years to the appetite of idiots for glory and bloodshed; waging war as "a great game"; and finding in a field strewn with corpses "un beau spectacle." In short, as strong a magnet to fools as the others, though so much abler.

Our Own True Position.

Now comes the question, in what position did this result of a mad theory and a hopelessly incompetent application of it on the part of Potsdam place our own Government? It left us quite clearly in the position of the responsible policeman of the west. There was nobody else in Europe strong enough to chain "the mad dog." Belgium and Holland, Norway and Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland could hardly have been expected to take that duty on themselves, even if Norway and Sweden had not good reason to be anti-Russian, and the Dutch capitalists were not half convinced that their commercial prosperity would be greater under German than under native rule. It will not be contended that Spain could have done anything; and as to Italy, it was doubtful whether she did not consider herself still a member of the Triple Alliance. It was evidently England or nobody. For England to have refrained, from hurling herself into the fray, horse, foot, and artillery, was impossible from every point of view. From the democratic point of view it would have meant an acceptance of the pretension of which Potsdam, by attacking the French Republic, had made itself the champion: that is, the pretension of the Junker class to dispose of the world on Militarist lines at the expense of the lives and limbs of the masses. From the international Socialist point of view, it would have been the acceptance of the extreme nationalist view that the people of other countries are foreigners, and that it does not concern us if they choose to cut one another's throats. Our Militarist Junkers cried "If we let Germany conquer France it will be our turn next." Our romantic Junkers added "and serve us right too: what man will pity us when the hour strikes for us, if we skulk now?" Even the wise, who loathe war, and regard it as such a dishonour and disgrace in itself that all its laurels cannot hide its brand of Cain, had to admit that police duty is necessary and that war must be made on such war as the Germans had made by attacking France in an avowed attempt to substitute a hegemony of cannon for the comity of nations. There was no {27}alternative. Had the Foreign Office been the International Socialist Bureau, had Sir Edward Grey been Jaures, had Mr. Ramsay MacDonald been Prime Minister, had Russia been Germany's ally instead of ours, the result would still have been the same: we must have drawn the sword to save France and smash Potsdam as we smashed and always must smash Philip, Louis, Napoleon, et hoc genus omne.

The case for our action is thus as complete as any casus belli is ever likely to be. In fact its double character as both a democratic and military (if not Militarist) case makes it too complete; for it enables our Junkers to claim it entirely for themselves, and to fake it with pseudo-legal justifications which destroy nine-tenths of our credit, the military and legal cases being hardly a tenth of the whole: indeed, they would not by themselves justify the slaughter of a single Pomeranian grenadier. For instance, take the Militarist view that we must fight Potsdam because if the Kaiser is victorious, it will be our turn next! Well: are we not prepared to fight always when our turn comes? Why should not we also depend on our navy, on the extreme improbability of Germany, however triumphant, making two such terrible calls on her people in the same generation as a war involves, on the sympathy of the defeated, and on the support of American and European public opinion when our turn comes, if there is nothing at stake now but the difference between defeat and victory in an otherwise indifferent military campaign? If the welfare of the world does not suffer any more by an English than by a German defeat who cares whether we are defeated or not? As mere competitors in a race of armaments and an Olympic game conducted with ball cartridge, or as plaintiffs in a technical case of international law (already decided against us in 1870, by the way, when Gladstone had to resort to a new treaty made ad hoc and lapsing at the end of the war) we might as well be beaten as not, for all the harm that will ensue to anyone but ourselves, or even to ourselves apart from our national vanity. It is as the special constables of European life that we are important, and can send our men to the trenches with the assurance that they are fighting in a worthy cause. In short, the Junker case is not worth twopence: the Democratic case, the Socialist case, the International case is worth all it threatens to cost.

The German Defence to Our Indictment.

What is the German reply to this case? Or rather, how would the Germans reply to it if their official Militarist and Kaiserist panjandrums had the wit to find the effective reply? Undoubtedly they would say that our Social-Democratic professions are all very fine, but that our conversion to them is suspiciously sudden and recent. They would remark that it is a little difficult for a nation in deadly peril to trust its existence to a foreign public opinion which has not only never been expressed by the people who really control England's foreign policy, but is flatly opposed to all their known views and prejudices. They would ask why, instead of making an Entente with France and Russia and refusing to give Germany any assurance concerning its object except that we would not pledge ourselves to remain neutral if the Franco-Russian Entente fell on Germany, we did not say straight out in 1912 (when they put the question flatly to us), and again last July when Sazonoff urged us so strongly to shew our hand, that if Germany attacked France we should fight her, Russia or no Russia (a far less irritating and provocative attitude), although we knew full well that an attack on France through Belgium would be part of the German program if the Russian peril became acute. They would point out that if our own Secretary for Foreign Affairs openly disclaimed any knowledge of the terms of the Franco-Russian alliance, it was hard for a German to believe that they were wholly fit for publication. In short, they would say "If you were so jolly wise and well intentioned before the event, why did not your Foreign Minister and your ambassadors in Berlin and Vienna and St. Petersburg—we beg pardon, Petro{28}grad—invite us to keep the peace and rely on western public opinion instead of refusing us every pledge except the hostile one to co-operate with France against us in the North Sea, and making it only too plain to us that your policy was a Junker policy as much as ours, and that we had nothing to hope from your goodwill? What evidence had we that you were playing any other game than this Militarist chess of our own, which you now so piously renounce, but which none of you except a handful of Socialists whom you despise and Syndicalists whom you imprison on Militarist pretexts has opposed for years past, though it has been all over your Militarist anti-German platforms and papers and magazines? Are your Social-Democratic principles sincere, or are they only a dagger you keep up your sleeve to stab us in the back when our two most formidable foes are trying to garotte us? If so, where does your moral superiority come in, hypocrites that you are? If not, why, we repeat, did you not make them known to all the world, instead of making an ambush for us by your senseless silence?"

I see no reply to that except a frank confession that we did not know our own minds; that we came to a knowledge of them only when Germany's attack on France forced us to make them up at last; that though doubtless a chronic state of perfect lucidity and long prevision on our part would have been highly convenient, yet there is a good deal to be said for the policy of not fording a stream until you come to it; and that in any case we must entirely decline to admit that we are more likely than other people to do the wrong thing when circumstances at last oblige us to think and act. Also that the discussion is idle on the shewing of the German case itself; for whether the Germans assumed us to be unscrupulous Militarists or conscientious Democrats they were bound to come to the same conclusion: namely, that we should attack them if they attacked France; consequently their assumption that we would not interfere must have been based on the belief that we are simply "contemptible," which is the sort of mistake people have to pay for in this wicked world.

On the whole, we can hector our way in the Prussian manner out of that discussion well enough, provided we hold our own in the field. But the Prussian manner hardly satisfies the conscience. True, the fact that our diplomatists were not able to discover the right course for Germany does not excuse Germany for being unable to find it for herself. Not that it was more her business than ours: it was a European question, and should have been solved by the united counsels of all the ambassadors and Foreign Offices and chanceries. Indeed it could not have been stably solved without certain assurances from them. But it was, to say the least, as much Germany's business as anyone else's, and terribly urgent for her: "a matter of life and death," the Imperial Chancellor thought. Still, it is not for us to claim moral superiority to Germany. It was for us a matter of the life and death of many Englishmen; and these Englishmen are dead because our diplomatists were as blind as the Prussians. The war is a failure for secret Junker diplomacy, ours no less than the enemy's. Those of us who have still to die must be inspired, not by devotion to the diplomatists, but, like the Socialist hero of old on the barricade, by the vision of "human solidarity." And if he purchases victory for that holy cause with his blood, I submit that we cannot decently allow the Foreign Office to hang up his martyr's palm over the War Office Mantelpiece.

The First Penalty of Disingenuousness.

The Foreign Office, however, can at lease shift its ground, and declare for the good cause instead of belittling it with quibbling excuses. For see what the first effect of the nonsense about Belgium has been! It carried with it the inevitable conclusion that when the last German was cleared off Belgian soil, peace-loving England, her reluctant work in this shocking war done, would calmly retire from the conflict, and leave her {29}Allies to finish the deal with Potsdam. Accordingly, after Mr. Asquith's oration at the Mansion House, the Allies very properly insisted on our signing a solemn treaty between the parties that they must all stand together to the very end. A pitifully thin attempt has been made to represent that the mistrusted party was France, and that the Kaiser was trying to buy her off. All one can say to that is that the people who believe that any French Government dare face the French people now with anything less than Alsace and Lorraine as the price of peace, or that an undefeated and indeed masterfully advancing German Kaiser (as he seemed then) dare offer France such a price, would believe anything. Of course we had to sign; but if the Prime Minister had not been prevented by his own past from taking the popular line, we should not have been suspected of a possible backing-out when the demands of our sanctimoniousness were satisfied. He would have known that we are not vindicating a treaty which by accident remains among the fragments of treaties of Paris, of Prague, of Berlin, of all sorts of places and dates, as the only European treaty that has hitherto escaped flat violation: we are supporting the war as a war on war, on military coercion, on domineering, on bullying, on brute force, on military law, on caste insolence, on what Mrs. Fawcett called insensable deviltry (only to find the papers explaining apologetically that she, as a lady, had of course been alluding to war made by foreigners, not by England). Some of us, remembering the things we have ourselves said and done, may doubt whether Satan can cast out Satan; but as the job is not exactly one for an unfallen angel, we may as well let him have a try.

The Blank Cheque.

In the meantime behold us again hopelessly outwitted by Eastern diplomacy as a direct consequence of this ill-starred outburst of hypocrisy about treaties! Everybody has said over and over again that this war is the most tremendous war ever waged. Nobody has said that this new treaty is the most tremendous blank cheque we have ever been forced to sign by our Parliamentary party trick of striking moral attitudes. It is true that Mr. J.A. Hobson realised the situation at once, and was allowed to utter a little croak in a corner; but where was the trumpet note of warning that should have rung throughout the whole Press? Just consider what the blank cheque means. France's draft on it may stop at the cost of recovering Alsace and Lorraine. We shall have to be content with a few scraps of German colony and the heavy-weight championship. But Russia? When will she say "Hold! Enough!" Suppose she wants not only Poland, but Baltic Prussia? Suppose she wants Constantinople as her port of access to the unfrozen seas, in addition to the dismemberment of Austria? Suppose she has the brilliant idea of annexing all Prussia, for which there is really something to be said by ethnographical map-makers, Militarist madmen, and Pan-Slavist megalomaniacs? It may be a reasonable order; but it is a large one; and the fact that we should have been committed to it without the knowledge of Parliament, without discussion, without warning, without any sort of appeal to public opinion or democratic sanction, by a stroke of Sir Edward Grey's pen within five weeks of his having committed us in the same fashion to an appalling European war, shews how completely the Foreign Office has thrown away all pretence of being any less absolute than the Kaiser himself. It simply offers carte blanche to the armies of the Allies without a word to the nation until the cheque is signed. The only limit there is to the obligation is the certainty that the cheque will be dishonoured the moment the draft on it becomes too heavy. And that may furnish a virtuous pretext for another war between the Allies themselves. In any case no treaty can save each Ally from the brute necessity of surrendering and paying up if beaten, whether the defeat is shared by the others or not. Did I not say that the sooner we made up our minds to the terms of the treaty of peace, so that we might know what we were fighting for, and how far we {30}were bound to go, the better? Instead of which we sign a ridiculous "scrap of paper" to save ourselves the intolerable fatigue of thought.

Belgium Crucified Between the European Powers.

And now, before I leave the subject of Belgium, what have we done for Belgium? Have we saved her soil from invasion? Were we at her side with half a million men when the avalanche fell on her? Or were we safe in our own country praising her heroism in paragraphs which all contrived to convey an idea that the Belgian soldier is about four feet high, but immensely plucky for his size? Alas, when the Belgian soldier cried: "Where are the English?" the reply was "a mass of concrete as large as a big room," blown into the air by a German siege gun, falling back and crushing him into the earth we had not succeeded in saving from the worst of the horrors of war. We have not protected Belgium: Belgium has protected us at the cost of being conquered by Germany. It is now our sacred duty to drive the Germans out of Belgium. Meanwhile we might at least rescue her refugees by a generous grant of public money from the caprices of private charity. We need not press our offer to lend her money: German capitalists will do that for her with the greatest pleasure when the war is over. I think the Government realizes that now; for I note the after-thought that a loan from us need not bear interest.

Now that we begin to see where we really are, what practical morals can we draw?

Unpreparedness the Price of Secrecy.

First, that our autocratic foreign policy, in which the Secretary for Foreign Affairs is always a Junker, and makes war and concludes war without consulting the nation, or confiding in it, or even refraining from deceiving it as to his intentions, leads inevitably to a disastrous combination of war and unpreparedness for war. Wars are planned which require huge expeditionary armies trained and equipped for war. But as such preparation could not be concealed from the public, it is simply deferred until the war is actually declared and begun, at the most frightful risk of such an annihilation of our little peace army as we escaped by the skin of our teeth at Mons and Cambrai. The military experts tell us that it takes four months to make an infantry and six to make a cavalry soldier. And our way of getting an army able to fight the German army is to declare war on Germany just as if we had such an army, and then trust to the appalling resultant peril and disaster to drive us into wholesale enlistment, voluntary or (better still from the Junker point of view) compulsory. It seems to me that a nation which tolerates such insensate methods and outrageous risks must shortly perish from sheer lunacy. And it is all pure superstition: the retaining of the methods of Edward the First in the reign of George the Fifth. I therefore suggest that the first lesson of the war is that the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs be reduced to the level of a simple Prime Minister, or even of a constitutional monarch, powerless to fire a single shot or sign a treaty without the authority of the House of Commons, all diplomatic business being conducted in a blaze of publicity, and the present regulation which exacts the qualification of a private income of at least £400 a year for a position in the Diplomatic Service replaced by a new regulation that at least half the staff shall consist of persons who have never dined out at the houses of hosts of higher rank than unfashionable solicitors or doctors.

In these recommendations I am not forgetting that an effective check on diplomacy is not easy to devise, and that high personal character and class disinterestedness (the latter at present unattainable) on the part of our diplomatists will be as vital as ever. I well know that diplomacy is carried on at present not only by official correspondence meant for possible publication and subject to an inspection which is in some degree a responsible inspection, but by private letters which the King himself has no right {31}to read. I know that even in the United States, where treaties and declarations of war must be made by Parliament, it is nevertheless possible for the President to bring about a situation in which Congress, like our House of Commons in the present instance, has no alternative but to declare war. But though complete security is impracticable, it does not follow that no precautions should be taken, or that a democratic tradition is no safer than a feudal tradition. A far graver doubt is raised by the susceptibility of the masses to war fever, and the appalling danger of a daily deluge of cheap newspapers written by nameless men and women whose scandalously low payment is a guarantee of their ignorance and their servility to the financial department, controlled by a moneyed class which not only curries favour with the military caste for social reasons, but has large direct interests in war as a method of raising the price of money, the only commodity the moneyed class has to sell. But I am quite unable to see that our Junkers are less susceptible to the influence of the Press than the people educated by public elementary schools. On the contrary, our Democrats are more fool-proof than our Plutocrats; and the ravings our Junkers send to the papers for nothing in war time would be dear at a halfpenny a line. Plutocracy makes for war because it offers prizes to Plutocrats: Socialism makes for peace because the interests it serves are international. So, as the Socialist side is the democratic side, we had better democratize our diplomacy if we desire peace.



And now as to the question of recruiting. This is pressing, because it is not enough for the Allies to win: we and not Russia must be the decisive factor in the victory, or Germany will not be fairly beaten, and we shall be only rescued proteges of Russia instead of the saviours of Western Europe. We must have the best army in Europe; and we shall not get it under existing arrangements. We are passing out of the first phase of the war fever, in which men flock to the colours by instinct, by romantic desire for adventure, by the determination not, as Wagner put it, "to let their lives be governed by fear of the end," by simple destitution through unemployment, by rancour and pugnacity excited by the inventions of the Press, by a sense of duty inculcated in platform orations which would not stand half an hour's discussion, by the incitements and taunts of elderly non-combatants and maidens with a taste for mischief, and by the verses of poets jumping at the cheapest chance in their underpaid profession. The difficulty begins when all the men susceptible to these inducements are enlisted, and we have to draw on the solid, sceptical, sensible residuum who know the value of their lives and services and liberties, and will not give them except on substantial and honourable conditions. These Ironsides know that it is one thing to fight for your country, and quite another to let your wife and children starve to save our rich idlers from a rise in the supertax. They also know that it is one thing to wipe out the Prussian drill sergeant and snob officer as the enemies of manhood and honour, and another to let that sacred mission be made an excuse for subjecting us to exactly the same tyranny in England. They have not forgotten the "On the knee" episode, nor the floggings in our military prisons, nor the scandalous imprisonment of Tom Mann, nor the warnings as to military law and barrack life contained even in Robert Blatchford's testimony that the army made a man of him.

What the Labour Party Owes to the Army.

And here is where the Labour Party should come in. The Labour Party's business is to abolish the Militarist soldier, who is only a quaint survival of the King's footman (himself a still quainter survival of the medieval baron's retainer), and substitute for him a trained combatant with full civil rights, receiving the Trade Union rate of wages proper to a skilled worker at {32}a dangerous trade. It must co-operate with the Trade Unions in fixing this moral minimum wage for the citizen soldier, and in obtaining for him a guarantee that the wage shall continue until he obtains civil employment on standard terms at the conclusion of the war. It must make impossible the scandal of a monstrously rich peer (his riches, the automatic result of ground land-landlordism, having "no damned nonsense of merit about them") proclaiming the official weekly allowance for the child of the British soldier in the trenches. That allowance is eighteenpence, being less than one third of the standard allowance for an illegitimate child under an affiliation order. And the Labour Party must deprive the German bullet of its present double effect in killing an Englishman in France and simultaneously reducing his widow's subsistence from a guinea a week to five shillings. Until this is done we are simply provoking Providence to destroy us.

I wish I could say that it is hardly necessary to add that Trade Unionism must be instituted in the Army, so that there shall be accredited secretaries in the field to act as a competent medium of communication between the men on service and the political representatives of their class at the War Office (for I shall propose this representative innovation presently). It will shock our colonels; but I know of no bodies of men for whom repeated and violent shocking is more needed and more likely to prove salutary than the regimental masses of the British army. One rather pleasant shock in store for them is the discovery that an officer and a gentleman, whose sole professional interest is the honour and welfare of his country, and who is bound to the mystical equality of life-and-death duty for all alike, will get on much more easily with a Trade Union secretary than a commercial employer whose aim is simply private profit and who regards every penny added to the wages of his employees as a penny taken off his own income. Howbeit, whether the colonels like it or not—that is, whether they have become accustomed to it or not—it has to come, and its protection from Junker prejudice is another duty of the Labour Party. The Party as a purely political body must demand that the defender of his country shall retain his full civil rights unimpaired; that, the unnecessary, mischievous, dishonourable and tyrannical slave code called military law, which at its most savagely stern point produced only Wellington's complaint that "it is impossible to get a command obeyed in the British Army," be carted away to the rubbish heap of exploded superstitions; and that if Englishmen are not to be allowed to serve their country in the field as freely as they do in the numerous civil industries in which neglect and indiscipline are as dangerous as they are in war, their leaders and Parliamentary representatives will not recommend them to serve at all. In wartime these things may not matter: discipline either goes by the board or keeps itself under the pressure of the enemy's cannon; and bullying sergeants and insolent officers have something else to do than to provoke men they dislike into striking them and then reporting them for two years' hard labour without trial by jury. In battle such officers are between two fires. But soldiers are not always, or even often, at war; and the dishonour of abdicating dearly-bought rights and liberties is a stain both on war and peace. Now is the time to get rid of that stain. If any officer cannot command men without it, as civilians and police inspectors do, that officer has mistaken his profession and had better come home.

JOHN GALSWORTHY. (Photo by E.O. Hoppe.) See Page 102 RUDYARD KIPLING (Photo by E.O. Hoppe)See Page 106

JOHN GALSWORTHY. (Photo by E.O. Hoppe.) See Page 102.

RUDYARD KIPLING. (Photo by E.O. Hoppe.) See Page 106.

Obsolete Tests in the Army.

Another matter needs to be dealt with at the same time. There are immense numbers of atheists in this country; and though most of them, like the Kaiser, regard themselves as devout Christians, the best are intellectually honest enough to object to profess beliefs they do not hold, especially in the solemn act of dedicating themselves to death in the service of their country. Army form E 501 A (September, 1912) secured to these the benefit{33} of the Bradlaugh Affirmation Act of 1888, as the enlisting soldier said simply "I, So and So, do make Oath, &c." But recruits are now confronted with another form (E 501, June, 1914) running "I, So and So, swear by Almighty God, &c." On September 1st, at Lord Kitchener's call, a civil servant obtained leave to enlist and had the oath put to him, in this form by the attesting officer. He offered to swear in the 1912 form. This was refused; and we accordingly lost a recruit of just that sturdily conscientious temper which has made the most formidable soldiers known to history. I am bound to add, however, that the attesting officer, on being told that the oath would be a blasphemous farce to the conscience of the recruit, made no difficulty about that, and was quite willing to accept him if he, on his part, would oblige by professing what he did not believe. Thus a Ghoorka's religious conscience is respected: an Englishman's is insulted and outraged.

But, indeed, all these oaths are obstructive and useless superstitions. No recruit will hesitate to pledge his word of honour to fight to the death for his country or for a cause with which he sympathizes; and that is all we require. There is no need to drag in Almighty God and no need to drag in the King. Many an Irishman, many a colonial Republican, many an American volunteer who would fight against the Prussian monarchy shoulder to shoulder with the French Republicans with a will, would rather not pretend to do it out of devotion to the British throne. To vanquish Prussia in this war we need the active aid or the sympathy of every Republican in the world. America, for instance, sympathizes with England, but classes the King with the Kaiser as an obsolete institution. Besides, even from the courtly point of view the situation is a delicate one. Why emphasize the fact that, formally speaking, the war is between two grandsons of Albert the Good, that thoroughbred German whose London monument is so much grander than Cromwell's?

The Labour Party should also set its face firmly against the abandonment of Red Cross work and finance, or the support of soldiers' families, or the patrolling of the streets, to amateurs who regard the war as a wholesome patriotic exercise, or as the latest amusement in the way of charity bazaars, or as a fountain of self-righteousness. Civil volunteering is needed urgently enough: one of the difficulties of war is that it creates in certain departments a demand so abnormal that no peace establishment can cope with it. But the volunteers should be disciplined and paid: we are not so poor that we need spunge on anyone. And in hospital and medical service war ought not at present to cost more than peace would if the victims of our commercial system were properly tended, and our Public Health service adequately extended and manned. We should therefore treat our Red Cross department as if it were destined to become a permanent service. No charity and no amateur anarchy and incompetence should be tolerated. As to allowing that admirable detective agency for the defence of the West End against begging letter writers, the Charity Organization Society to touch the soldier's home, the very suggestion is an outrage. The C.O.S., the Poor Law, and the charitable amateur, whether of the patronizing or prying or gushing variety, must be kept as far from the army and its folk as if they were German spies. The business of our fashionable amateurs is to pay Income Tax and Supertax. This time they will have to pay through the nose, vigorously wrung for that purpose by the House of Commons; so they had better set their own houses in order and leave the business of the war to be officially and responsibly dealt with and paid for at full standard rates.

Wanted: Labour Representation in the War Office.

But parliamentary activity is not sufficient. There must be a more direct contact between representative Labour and the Army, because Parliament can only remedy grievances, and that not be{34}fore years of delay and agitation elapse. Even then the grievances are not dealt with on their merits; for under our party system, which is the most abominable engine for the perversion and final destruction of all political conscience ever devized by man, the House of Commons never votes on any question but whether the Government shall remain in office or give the Opposition a turn, no matter what the pretext for the division may be. Only in such emergencies as the present, when the Government is forced to beg the Labour members to help them to recruit, is there a chance of making reasonable conditions for the soldier.

The Four Inoculations.

It is therefore necessary that the War Office should have working class representatives on all committees and councils which issue notices to the public. There is at present, it would seem, not a single person in authority there who has the faintest notion of what the immense majority of possible British recruits are thinking about. The results have been beyond description ludicrous and dangerous. Every proclamation is urgently worded so as to reassure recruits with £5,000 a year and repel recruits with a pound a week. On the very day when the popular Lord Kitchener, dropping even the et rex meus of Wolsey, frankly asked the nation for 100,000 men for his army, and when it was a matter of life and death that every encouragement should be held out to working men to enlist, the War Office decided that this was the psychological moment to remind everybody that soldiers on active service often die of typhoid fever, and to press inoculation on the recruits pending the officially longed-for hour when Sir Almroth Wright's demand for compulsion can be complied with. I say nothing here about the efficacy of inoculation. Efficacious or not, Sir Almroth Wright himself bases his demand for compulsion on the ground that it is hopeless to expect the whole army to submit to it voluntarily. That being so, it seems to me that when men are hesitating on the threshold of the recruiting station, only a German spy or our War Office (always worth ten thousand men to our enemies) would seize that moment to catch the nervous postulant by the sleeve and say, "Have you thought of the danger of dysentery?" The fact that the working class forced the Government, very much against its doctor-ridden will, to abolish compulsory vaccination, shews the extent to which its households loathe and dread these vaccines (so called, but totally unconnected with cows or Jenner) which, as they are continually reminded by energetic anti-inoculation propagandists in largely circulated journals and pamphlets, not to mention ghastly photographs of disfigured children, sometimes produce worse effects than the diseases they are supposed to prevent. Indifferent or careless recruits are easily induced to submit to inoculation by little privileges during the ensuing indisposition or by small money bribes; and careful ones are proselytized by Sir Almroth's statistics; but on the whole both inoculation and amateur medical statistics are regarded with suspicion by the poor; and the fact that revaccination is compulsory in the regular army, and that the moral pressure applied to secure both typhoid inoculation and vaccination both in the regular army and the Territorials is such as only a few stalwarts are able to resist, is deeply resented. At present the inoculation mania has reached the pitch of proposing no less than four separate inoculations: revaccination, typhoid, cholera, and—Sir Almroth's last staggerer—inoculation against wounds! When the War Office and its medical advisers have been successfully inoculated against political lunacy, it will be time enough to discuss such extravagances. Meanwhile, the sooner the War Office issues a proclamation that no recruit will be either compelled or importuned to submit to any sort of inoculation whatever against his will, the better for the recruiting, and the worse for the enemy.

The War Office Bait of Starvation.

But this blunder was a joke compared {35}to the next exploit of the War Office. It suddenly began to placard the country with frantic assurances to its five-thousand-a-year friends that they would be "discharged with all possible speed THE MINUTE THE WAR IS OVER." Only considerations of space restrained them, I presume, from adding "LAWN TENNIS, SHOOTING, AND ALL THE DELIGHTS OF FASHIONABLE LIFE CAN BE RESUMED IMMEDIATELY ON THE FIRING OF THE LAST SHOT." Now what does this mean to the wage worker? Simply that the moment he is no longer wanted in the trenches he will be flung back into the labour market to sink or swim without an hour's respite. If we had had a Labour representative or two to help in drawing up these silly placards—I am almost tempted to say if we had had any human being of any class with half the brains of a rabbit there—the placards would have contained a solemn promise that no single man should be discharged at the conclusion of the war, save at his own request, until a job had been found for him in civil life. I ask the heavens, with a shudder, do these class-blinded people in authority really intend to take a million men out of their employment; turn them into soldiers; and then at one blow hurl them back, utterly unprovided for, into the streets?

But a War Office capable of placarding Lord Roberts's declaration that the men who are enlisting are doing "what all able-bodied men in the kingdom should do" is clearly ignorant enough for anything. I do not blame Lord Roberts for his oratorical flourish: we have all said things just as absurd on the platform in moments of enthusiasm. But the officials who reproduced it in cold blood would have us believe that soldiers live on air; that ammunition drops from heaven like manna; and that an army could hold the field for twenty-four hours without the support of a still more numerous body of civilians working hard to support it. Sane men gasp at such placards and ask angrily, "What sort of fools do you take us for?" I have in my hand a copy of The Torquay Times containing a hospitable invitation to soldiers' wives to call at the War Office, Whitehall, S.W., if they desire "assistance and explanation of their case." The return fare from Torquay to London is thirty shillings and sixpence third class; but the War Office no doubt assumes that all soldiers' wives keep motor cars. Still, let us be just even to the War Office. It did not ask the soldiers' wives for forms of authorization to pay the separation allowance to their bankers every six months. It actually offered the money monthly!

Delusive Promises.

The middle and upper classes are nearly as bad as the War Office. They talk of keeping every man's place open for him until the end of the war. Obviously this is flatly impossible. Some places can be kept, and no doubt are being kept. Some functions are suspended by the war and cannot be resumed until the troops return to civil life and resume them. Employers are so hardened to the daily commercial necessity for discharging men without a thought as to what is to become of them that they are quite ready to undertake to sack the replacers when the troops come back. Also the return of peace may be followed by a revival of trade in which employment may not be hard to find, even by discharged soldiers, who are always passed over in the labour market in favour of civilians, as those well know who have the task of trying to find places for them. But these considerations do not justify an attempt to persuade recruits that they can go off soldiering for months—they are told by Lord Kitchener that it will probably be for years—and then come back and walk to their benches or into their offices and pick up their work as if they had left only the night before. The very people who are promising this are raising the cry "business as usual" in the same breath. How can business be carried on as usual, or carried on at all, on unoccupied office stools and at counters with no men behind them? Such rubbish is an insult to the recruit's intelligence. These promises of keeping places open were made to the men who enlisted for {36}South Africa, and were of course broken, as a promise to supply green cheese by quarrying the moon would have been broken. New employees must be found to do the work of the men who are in the field; and these new ones will not all be thrown into the street when the war is over to make room for discharged soldiers, even if a good many of these soldiers are not disqualified by their new training and habits for their old employment. I repeat, there is only one assurance that can be given to the recruits without grossly and transparently deluding them; and that is that they shall not be discharged, except at their own request, until civil employment is available for them.

Funking Controversy.

This is not the only instance of the way in which, under the first scare of the war, we shut our eyes and opened our mouths to every folly. For example, there was a cry for the suspension of all controversy in the face of the national danger. Now the only way to suspend controversial questions during a period of intense activity in the very departments in which the controversy has arisen is to allow them all to be begged. Perhaps I should not object if they were all begged in favour of my own side, as, for instance, the question of Socialism was begged in favour of Socialism when the Government took control of the railways; bought up all the raw sugar; regulated prices; guaranteed the banks; suspended the operation of private contracts; and did all the things it had been declaring utterly and eternally Utopian and imposible when Socialists advocated them. But it is now proposed to suspend all popular liberties and constitutional safeguards; to muzzle the Press, and actually to have no contests at bye-elections! This is more than a little too much. We have submitted to have our letters, our telegrams, our newspapers censored, our dividends delayed, our trains cut off, our horses and even our houses commandeered, our streets darkened, our restaurants closed, and ourselves shot dead on the public highways if we were slow to realize that some excited person bawling in the distance was a sentry challenging us. But that we are to be politically gagged and enslaved as well; that the able-bodied soldier in the trenches, who depends on the able-minded civilian at home to guard the liberties of his country and protect him from carelesness or abuse of power by the authorities whom he must blindly and dumbly obey, is to be betrayed the moment his back is turned to his fellow-citizens and his face to the foe, is not patriotism: it is the paralysis of mortal funk: it is the worst kind of cowardice in the face of the enemy. Let us hear no more of it, but contest our elections like men, and regain the ancient political prestige of England at home as our expeditionary force has regained it abroad.

The Labour Party, then, need have no hesitation in raising all the standing controversies between Democracy and Junkerism in their acutest form, and taking advantage of the war emergency to press them to a series of parliamentary victories for Labour, whether in negotiations with the Government whips, in divisions on the floor of the House, or in strenuously contested bye-elections. No doubt our Junkers will try to disarm their opponents by representing that it would be in the last degree unfair, un-English, and ungentlemanly on the part of the Labour members to seize any tactical advantage in parliamentary warfare, and most treacherous and unpatriotic to attack their country (meaning the Junker Party) when it is at war. Some Labour members will be easily enough gulled in this way: it would be laughable, if the consequences were not so tragic, to see how our parliamentary beginners from the working class succumb to the charm of the Junker appeal. The Junkers themselves are not to be coaxed in this manner: it is no use offering tracts to a missionary, as the poor Kaiser found when he tried it on. The Labour Party will soon learn the value of these polite demonstrations that it is always its duty not to hamper the governing classes in their very difficult and delicate and dangerous task of safeguard{37}ing the interests of this great empire: in short, to let itself be gammoned by elegant phrases and by adroit practisings on its personal good-nature, its inveterate proletarian sentimentality, and its secret misgivings as to the correctness of its manners. The Junkers have already taken the fullest advantage of the war to paralyze democracy. If the Labour members do not take a vigorous counter-offensive, and fight every parliamentary trench to the last division, the Labour Movement will be rushed back as precipitately as General von Kluck rushed the Allies back from Namur to the gates of Paris. In truth, the importance of the war to the immense majority of Englishmen, Frenchmen, and Germans lies in the possibility that when Junkers fall out common men may come by their own.



Natural Limits to Duration of the War.

So much for the recruiting. Now for the terms of peace. It is time to take that subject in hand; for Lord Kitchener's notion that we are going to settle down to years of war as we did a century ago is soldierly, but not sensible. It is, of course, physically possible for us to continue for twenty years digging trenches and shelling German troops and shoving German armies back when they are not shoving us, whilst old women pull turnips and tend goats in the fire zones across which soldiers run to shelter. But we cannot afford to withdraw a million male adults who have passed a strictish health test from the work of parentage for several years unless we intend to breed our next generation from parents with short sight, varicose veins, rotten teeth, and deranged internal organs. Soldiers do not think of these things: "theirs not to reason why: theirs but to do and die"; but sensible civilians have to. And even soldiers know that you cannot make ammunition as fast as you can burn it, nor produce men and horses as instantaneously as you can kill them by machinery. It would be well, indeed, if our papers, instead of writing of ten-inch shells, would speak of £1,000 shells, and regimental bands occasionally finish the National Anthem and the Brabançonne and the Marseillaise with the old strain, "That's the way the money goes: Pop goes the Ten Inch." It is easy to rebuke Mr. Norman Angell and Herr Bloch for their sordid references to the cost of war; and Mr. H.G. Wells is profoundly right in pointing out that the fact that war does not pay commercially is greatly to its credit, as no high human activity ever does pay commercially. But modern war does not even pay its way. Already our men have "pumped lead" into retreating Germans who had no lead left to pump back again; and sooner or later, if we go on indefinitely, we shall have to finish the job with our fists, and congratulate ourselves that both Georges Carpentier and Bombardier Wells are on our side. This war will stop when Germany throws up the sponge, which will happen long before she is utterly exhausted, but not before we ourselves shall be glad enough of a rest. Nations are like bees: they cannot kill except at the cost of their own lives.

The question of terms will raise a fierce controversy. At the extremes of our public opinion we have two temperaments, first, our gentlemen, our sportsmen, our daredevils, our preux chevaliers. To these the notion of reviling your enemy when he is up; kicking him when he is knocked down by somebody else; and gouging out his eyes, cutting out his tongue, hewing off his right arm, and stealing all his money, is abhorrent and cowardly. These gallants say, "It is not enough that we can fight Germany to-day. We can fight her any day and every day. Let her come again and again and yet again. We will fight her one to three; and if she comes on ten to one, as she did at Mons, we will mill on the retreat, and drive her back again when we have worn her down to our weight. If her fleet will not come out to fight us because we have too many ships, we will send all the odds in our favour back to Portsmouth and fight {38}ship to ship in the North Sea, and let the bravest and best win." That is how gallant fighters talk, and how Drake is popularly (though erroneously) supposed to have tackled the Armada.

The Ignoble Attitude of Cruel Panic.

But we are not all preux chevaliers. We have at the other extremity the people who are craving for loot and vengeance, who clamour for the humiliation and torture of the enemy, who rave against the village burnings and shootings by the Prussians in one column and exult in the same proceedings by the Russians in another, who demand that German prisoners of war shall be treated as criminals, who depict our Indian troops as savage cutthroats because they like to think of their enemies being mauled in the spirit of the Indian Mutiny, who shriek that the Kaiser must be sent to Devil's Island because St. Helena is too good for him, and who declare that Germany must be so maimed and trodden into the dust that she will not be able to raise her head again for a century. Let us call these people by their own favourite name, Huns, even at the risk of being unjust to the real Huns. And let us send as many of them to the trenches as we can possibly induce to go, in the hope that they may presently join the lists of the missing. Still, as they rather cling to our soil, they will have to be reckoned with when the settlement comes. But they will not count for much then. Most of them will be heartily ashamed of what they said in those first three or four weeks of blue funk (I am too timid myself not to make allowances for that most distressing and universal, but fortunately transient effect of war); and most of those who are not will be ashamed to bear malice publicly.

The Commercial Attitude.

Far more weighty in the matter will be the intermediate sections. First, our commercial main body, which thinks that chivalry is not business, and that rancour is childish, but cannot see why we should not make the Germans pay damages and supply us with some capital to set the City going again, forgetting that when France did that after 1871 for Berlin, Berlin was set going so effectually that it went headlong to a colossal financial smash, whilst the French peasant who had provided the capital from his old stocking throve soberly on the interest at the expense of less vital classes. Unfortunately Germany has set the example of this kind of looting. Prussian generals, like Napoleon's marshals, have always been shameless brigands, keeping up the seventeenth and eighteenth century tradition of making cities bribe them to refrain from sack and pillage and even billeting, and being quite incapable of the magnificence of the great Condé (or was it Turenne?), who refused a payment offered by a city on the ground that he had not intended to march through it. Blucher's fury when Wellington would not allow him to plunder Paris, and his exclamation when he saw London "What a city to loot!" is still regarded as fair soldiering; and the blackmail levied recently by the Prussian generals on the Belgian and French towns they have occupied must, I suppose, be let pass as ransom, not as ordinary criminal looting. But if the penalty of looting be thus spared, the Germans can hardly complain if they are themselves held to ransom when the fortunes of war go against them. Liège and Lille and Antwerp and the rest must be paid their money back with interest; and there will be a big builder's bill at Rheims. But we should ourselves refrain strictly from blackmail. We should sell neither our blood nor our mercy. If we sell either we are as much brigands as Blucher.

Vindictive Damages.

And we must not let ourselves be tempted to soil our hands under pretext of vindictive damages. The man who thinks that all the money in Germany could pay for the life of a single British drummer boy ought to be shot merely as an expression of the feeling that he is unfit to live. We stake our blood as the Germans stake theirs; and in that ganz besonderes Saft alone should we {39}[make**] or accept payment. We had better not say to the Kaiser at the end of the war, "Scoundrel: you can never replace the Louvain library, nor the sculpture of Rheims; and it follows logically that you shall empty your pockets into ours." Much better say: "God forgive us all!" If we cannot rise to this, and must soil our hands with plunder, at least let us call it plunder, and not profane our language and our souls by giving it fine names.

Our Annihilationists.

Then we shall have the Militarists, who will want to have Germany "bled to the white," dismembered and maimed, so that she may never do it again. Well, that is quite simple, if you are Militarist enough to do it. Loading Germany with debt will not do it. Towing her fleet into Portsmouth or sinking it will not do it. Annexing provinces and colonies will not do it. The effective method is far shorter and more practical. What has made Germany formidable in this war? Obviously her overwhelmingly superior numbers. That was how she rushed us back almost to the gates of Paris. The organization, the readiness, the sixteen-inch howitzer helped; but it was the multitudinous Kanonenfutter that nearly snowed us under. The British soldier at Cambrai and Le Cateau killed and killed until his rifle was too hot to hold and his hand was paralyzed with slayer's cramp; but still they came and came.

Why Not Kill the German Women?

Well, there is no obscurity about that problem. Those Germans who took but an instant to kill had taken the travail of a woman for three-quarters of a year to breed, and eighteen years to ripen for the slaughter. All we have to do is to kill, say, 75 per cent, of all the women in Germany under 60. Then we may leave Germany her fleet and her money, and say "Much good may they do you." Why not, if you are really going in to be what you, never having read "this Neech they talk of," call a Nietzschean Superman? War is not an affair of sentiment. Some of our newspapers complain that the Germans kill the wounded and fire on field hospitals and Red Cross Ambulances. These same newspapers fill their columns with exultant accounts of how our wounded think nothing of modern bullet wounds and hope to be back at the front in a week, which I take to be the most direct incitement to the Germans to kill the wounded that could be devized. It is no use being virtuously indignant: "stone dead hath no fellow" is an English proverb, not a German one. Even the killing of prisoners is an Agincourt tradition. Now it is not more cowardly to kill a woman than to kill a wounded man. And there is only one reason why it is a greater crime to kill a woman than a man, and why women have to be spared and protected when men are exposed and sacrificed. That reason is that the destruction of the women is the destruction of the community. Men are comparatively of no account: kill 90 per cent, of the German men, and the remaining 10 per cent. can repeople her. But kill the women, and Delenda est Carthago. Now this is exactly what our Militarists want to happen to Germany. Therefore the objection to killing women becomes in this case the reason for doing it. Why not? No reply is possible from the Militarist, disable-your-enemy point of view. If disablement is your will, there is your way, and the only effectual way. We really must not call the Kaiser and Von Bernhardi disciples of the mythical Neech when they have either overlooked or shrunk from such a glaring "biological necessity." A pair of puling pious sentimentalists if you like. But Supermen! Nonsense. O, my brother journalists, if you revile the Prussians, call them sheep led by snobs, call them beggars on horseback, call them sausage eaters, depict them in the good old English fashion in spectacles and comforter, seedy overcoat buttoned over paunchy figure, playing the contrabass tuba in a street band; but do not flatter them with the heroic title of Superman, and hold up as magnificent villainies worthy of Milton's Lucifer these common crimes of violence and raid and lust that any {40}drunken blackguard can commit when the police are away, and that no mere multiplication can dignify. As to Nietzsche, with his Polish hatred of Prussia (who heartily reciprocated the sentiment), when did he ever tell the Germans to allow themselves to be driven like sheep to the slaughter in millions by mischievous dolts who, being for the most part incapable of reading ten sentences of a philosophic treatise without falling asleep, allow journalists as illiterate as themselves to persuade them that he got his great reputation by writing a cheap gospel for bullies? Strictly between ourselves, we also are an illiterate people; but we may at least hold our tongues about matters we don't understand, and not say in the face of Europe that the English believe that the composer of Parsifal was a Militarist Prussian (he was an exiled revolutionist); that Nietzsche was a diciple of Wagner (Nietzsche preferred the music of Bizet, a Frenchman); and that the Kaiser is a disciple of Nietzsche, who would have laughed his childish pietism to scorn.

The Simple Answer.

Nietzsche would certainly have agreed that we must kill the German women if we mean business when we talk of destroying Germany. But he would also have answered my Why not?, which is more than any consistent Militarist can. Indeed, it needs no philosopher to give the answer. The first ordinary anti-Militarist human person you meet will tell you that it would be too horrible; that life would be unbearable if people did such things. And he would be quite right; so please let us hear no more of kicking your enemy when he is down so that he may be unable to rise for a whole century. We may be unable to resist the temptation to loot Germany more or less if we conquer her. We are already actively engaged in piracy against her, stealing her ships and selling them in our prize courts, instead of honestly detaining them until the war is over and keeping a strict account of them. When gentlemen rise in the House of Commons and say that they owe Germans money and do not intend to pay it, one must face the fact that there will be a strong popular demand for plunder. War, after all, is simply a letting loose of organized murder, theft, and piracy on a foe; and I have no doubt the average Englishman will say to me what Falstaff said to Pistol concerning his share in the price of the stolen fan: "Reason, you rogue, reason: do you think I'll endanger my soul gratis?" To which I reply, "If you can't resist the booty, take it frankly, and know yourself for half patriot, half brigand; but don't talk nonsense about disablement. Cromwell tried it in Ireland. He had better have tried Home Rule. And what Cromwell could not do to Ireland we cannot do to Germany."

The Sensible People.

Finally we come to the only body of opinion in which there is any hope of civilization: the opinion of the people who are bent, not on gallantry nor revenge nor plunder nor pride nor panic nor glory nor any of the invidiousnesses of patriotism, but on the problem of how to so redraw the map of Europe and reform its political constitutions that this abominable crime and atrocious nuisance, a European war, shall not easily occur again. The map is very important; for the open sores which have at last suppurated and burst after having made the world uneasy for years, were produced by altering the colour of Alsace and Lorraine and of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the map. And the new map must be settled, not by conquest, but by consent of the people immediately concerned. One of the broken treaties of Europe which has been mentioned less frequently of late than the Belgian treaty is the treaty of Prague, by which a plebiscite was to have been taken on the subject of the nationality of Schleswig and Holstein. That plebiscite has never been taken. It may have to be taken, with other plebiscites, before this war is settled.

German Unity Inviolable.

But here let me warn those who are hoping for a disintegrated Germany like that which Thackeray ridiculed, that their hopes are vain. The southern {41}Germans, the, friendliest, most easy-going people in the world (as far as I know the world) dislike the Prussians far more heartily than we do; but they know that they are respected and strong and big as part of United Germany, and that they were weak and despised and petty as separate kingdoms. Germany will hold together. No doubt the Germans may reasonably say to the Prussian drill sergeant and his master Hohenzollern, "A nice mess you have made of your job after all we have endured from you because we believed you could make us invincible. We thought that if you were hard masters you were at any rate good grenadiers; but here are these piffling little Belgians and these Russians who were beaten by the Japanese, and these English who made such a poor show against a handful of Boer farmers, fighting and organizing just as well as you. So, as the French and English are organized as a republic and an extremely limited monarchy, we will try how that sort of constitution will suit us." But they will not break up: on the contrary, they are much more likely to extend the German community by incorporating German Austria. And as this would raise the question whether Hohenzollern or Hapsburg should rule the roost, the simplest solution would be to get rid of them both, and take the sooner or later inevitable step into the democratic republican form of Government to which Europe is visibly tending, though "this king business," as my American correspondents call it, has certain conveniences when it is limited and combined with an aristocracy also limited by primogeniture and politically controlled by a commonalty into which all but the eldest brothers in the aristocratic families fall, thus making the German segregation of the adel class impossible. Such a monarchy, especially when the monarch is a woman, as in Holland today, and in England under Victoria, is a fairly acceptable working substitute for a formal republic in old civilizations with inveterate monarchical traditions, absurd as it is in new and essentially democratic States. At any rate, it is conceivable that the western allies might demand the introduction of some such political constitution in Germany and Austria as a guarantee; for though the demand would not please Russia, some of Russia's demands will not please us; and there must be some give and take in the business.

Limits of Constitutional Interference.

Let us consider this possibility for a moment. First, it must be firmly postulated that civilized nations cannot have their political constitutions imposed on them from without if the object of the arrangement is peace and stability. If a victorious Germany were to attempt to impose the Prussian constitution on France and England, they would submit to it just as Ireland submitted to Dublin Castle, which, to say the least, would not be a millennial settlement. Profoundly as we are convinced that our Government of India is far better than any native Indian government could be (the assumption that "natives" could govern at all being made for the sake of argument with due reluctance), it is quite certain that until it becomes as voluntary as the parliamentary government of Australia, and has been modified accordingly, it will remain an artificial, precarious, and continually threatening political structure. Nevertheless, we need not go to the opposite extreme and conclude that a political constitution must fit a country so accurately that it must be home-made to measure. Europe has a stock of ready-made constitutions, both Monarchical and Republican, which will fit any western European nation comfortably enough. We are at present considerably bothered by the number of Germans who, though their own country and constitution is less than a day's journey away, settle here and marry Englishwomen without feeling that our constitution is unbearable. Englishmen are never tired of declaring that "they do things better abroad" (as a matter of fact they often do), and that the ways of Prussia are smarter than the ways of Paddington. It is therefore quite possible that a reach-me-down constitution proposed, {42}not by the conquerors, but by an international congress with no interest to serve but the interests of peace, might prove acceptable enough to a nation thoroughly disgusted with its tyrants.

Physician: Heal Thyself.

Now a congress which undertook the Liberalization of Germany would certainly not stop there. If we invite a congress to press for a democratization of the German constitution, we must consent to the democratization of our own. If we send the Kaiser to St. Helena (or whatever the title of the Chiselhurst villa may be) we must send Sir Edward Grey there, too. For if on the morrow of the peace we may all begin to plot and plan one another's destruction over again in the secrecy of our Foreign Office, so that in spite of Parliament and free democratic institutions the Foreign Secretary may at any moment step down from the Foreign Office to the House of Commons and say, "I arranged yesterday with the ambassador from Cocagne that England is to join his country in fighting Brobdingnag; so vote me a couple of hundred millions, and off with you to the trenches," we shall be just where we were before as far as any likelihood of putting an end to war is concerned. The congress will certainly ask us to pledge ourselves that if we shake the mailed fist at all we shall shake it publicly, and that though we may keep our sword ready (let me interject in passing that disarmament is all nonsense: nobody is going to disarm after this experience) it shall be drawn by the representatives of the nation, and not by Junker diplomatists who despise and distrust the nation, and have planned war behind its back for years. Indeed they will probably demur to its being drawn even by the representative of the nation until the occasion has been submitted to the judgment of the representatives of the world, or such beginnings of a world representative body as may be possible. That is the true Weltpolitik.

The Hegemony of Peace.

For the main business of the settlement, if it is to have any serious business at all, must be the establishment of a Hegemony of Peace, as desired by all who are really capable of high civilization, and formulated by me in the daily Press in a vain attempt to avert this mischief whilst it was brewing. Nobody took the smallest public notice of me; so I made a lady in a play say "Not bloody likely," and instantly became famous beyond the Kaiser, beyond the Tsar, beyond Sir Edward Grey, beyond Shakespeare and Homer and President Wilson, the papers occupying themselves with me for a whole week just as they are now occupying themselves with the war, and one paper actually devoting a special edition to a single word in my play, which is more than it has done for the Treaty of London (1839). I concluded then that this was a country which really could not be taken seriously. But the habits of a lifetime are not so easily broken; and I am not afraid to produce another dead silence by renewing my good advice, as I can easily recover my popularity by putting still more shocking expressions into my next play, especially now that events have shewn that I was right on the point of foreign policy.

East Is East; and West Is West.

I repeat, then, that there should be a definite understanding that whatever may happen or not happen further east, England, France, and Germany solemnly pledge themselves to maintain the internal peace of the west of Europe, and renounce absolutely all alliances and engagements that bind them to join any Power outside the combination in military operations, whether offensive or defensive, against one inside it. We must get rid of the monstrous situation that produced the present war. France made an alliance with Russia as a defence against Germany. Germany made an alliance with Austria as a defence against Russia. England joined the Franco-Russian alliance as a defence against Germany and Austria. The result was that Germany became involved in a quarrel between Austria and Russia. Having no quarrel with France, and only a second-hand quarrel with Russia, she was, nevertheless, {43}forced to attack France in order to disable her before she could strike Germany from behind when Germany was fighting France's ally, Russia. And this attack on France forced England to come to the rescue of England's ally, France. Not one of the three nations (as distinguished from their tiny Junker-Militarist cliques) wanted to fight; for England had nothing to gain and Germany had everything to lose, whilst France had given up hope of her Alsace-Lorraine revanche, and would certainly not have hazarded a war for it. Yet because Russia, who has a great deal to gain by victory and nothing except military prestige to lose by defeat, had a quarrel with Austria over Servia, she has been able to set all three western friends and neighbours shedding "rivers of blood" from one another's throats; an outrageous absurdity. Fifty years ago the notion of England helping Russia and Japan to destroy Germany would have seemed as suicidal as Canada helping the Apaches to destroy the United States of America; and though we now think much better of the Japanese (and also, by the way, of the Apaches), that does not make us any the more patient with the man who burns down his own street because he admires the domestic architecture of Yokohama, especially when the fire presently spreads to the cathedral of Rheims. It is bad enough that we should have betrayed oriental Persia to oriental Russia as we did (and get nothing for our pains but what we deserved); but when it comes to sacrificing occidental Germany to her as well, we are sharpening a knife for our own occidental throat. The Russian Government is the open enemy of every liberty we boast of. Charles I.'s unsuccessful attempt to arrest five members of the House of Commons for disagreeing with him is ancient history here: it occurred 272 years ago; but the Tsar's successful attempt to arrest thirty members of the Duma and to punish them as dangerous criminals is a fact of to-day. Under Russian government people whose worst crime is to find The Daily News a congenial newspaper are hanged, flogged, or sent to Siberia as a matter of daily routine; so that before 1906 even the articles in The Times on such events as the assassinations of Bobrikoff and the Grand Duke were simply polite paraphrases of "Serve him right." It may be asked why our newspapers have since ceased to report examples of Russia's disregard of the political principles we are supposed to stand for. The answer is simple. It was in 1906 that we began to lend Russia money, and Russia began to advertise in The Times. Since then she has been welcome to flog and hang her H.G. Wellses and Lloyd Georges by the dozen without a word of remonstrance from our plutocratic Press, provided the interest is paid punctually. Russia has been embraced in the large charity of cosmopolitan capital, the only charity that does not begin at home.

The Russian Russians and Their Prussian Tsars.

And here I must save my face with my personal friends who are either Russians or discoverers of the soul of the Russian people. I hereby declare to Sasha Kropotkin and Cunninghame Graham that my heart is with their Russia, the Russia of Tolstoy and Turgenieff and Dostoieffsky, of Gorki and Tchekoff, of the Moscow Art Theatre and the Drury Lane Ballet, of Peter Kropotkin and all the great humanitarians, great artists, and charming people whom their very North German Tsars exile and imprison and flog and generally do what in them lies to suppress and abolish. For the sake of Russian Russia, I am prepared to strain every point in Prussian Russia's favour. I grant that the Nihilists, much as we loved them, were futile romantic people who could have done nothing if Alexander II. had abdicated and offered them the task of governing Russia instead of persecuting them and being finally blown to bits by them. I grant that the manners of the Fins to the Russians are described as insufferable both by the Swedes and the Russians, and that we never listened to the Russian side of that story. I am ready to grant Gil{44}bert Murray's plea that the recent rate of democratic advance has been greater in Russia than anywhere else in Europe, though it does remind me a little of the bygone days when the Socialists, scoring 20 votes at one general election and forty at the next, were able to demonstrate that their gain of 100 per cent. was immensely in excess of the wretched two or three per cent. that was the best the Unionists or Liberals could shew. I am willing to forget how short a time it is since Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman said: "The Duma is dead: long live the Duma!" and since we refused to allow the Tsar to land in England when his ship was within gangway's length of our shore, on which occasion I myself held up the Anglo-Russian agreement for the partition of Persia to the execration of a crowd in Trafalgar Square, whilst our Metropolitan Police snatched the l'sarbeleidigend English newspapers from the sellers and tore them up precisely in the Cossack manner. I have an enormous relish for the art of Russia; I perceive a spirit in Russia which is the natural antidote to Potsdamnation; and I like most of the Russians I know quite unaffectedly. I could find it in my heart to reproach the Kaiser for making war on the Russia of these delightful people, just as I like to think that at this very moment good Germans may be asking him how he can bring himself to discharge shrapnel at the England of Bernard Shaw and Cunninghame Graham. History may not forgive him for it; but the practical point at the moment is that he does it, and no doubt attributes the perfidy of England to the popularity of our works. And as we have to take the Kaiser as we find him, and not as the Hohenzollern legend glorifies him, I have to take the Tsar as I find him. When we fight the Kaiser we are not fighting Bach and Wagner and Strauss, to whom we have just joyfully surrendered without a blow at the battle of Queen's Hall, but all the forces in Germany that made things hard for Wagner and Strauss. And when we fight for the Tsar we are not fighting for Tolstoy and Gorki, but for the forces that Tolstoy thundered against all his life and that would have destroyed him had he not been himself a highly connected Junker as well as a revolutionary Christian. And if I doubt whether the Tsar would feel comfortable as a member of a Democratic League of Peace, I am not doubting the good intent of Kropotkin: I am facing the record of Kropotkin's imperial jailer, and standing on the proud fact that England is the only country in Europe, not excepting even France, in which Kropotkin has been allowed to live a free man, and had his birthday celebrated by public meetings all over the country, and his articles welcomed by the leading review. In point of fact, it is largely on Kropotkin's account that I regard the Tsar as a gentleman of slightly different views to President Wilson, and hate the infamous tyranny of which he is the figurehead as I hate the devil. And I know that practically all our disinterested and thoughtful supporters of the war feel deeply uneasy about the Russian alliance. At all events, I should be trifling grossly with the facts of the situation if I pretended that the most absolute autocracy in Europe, commanding an inexhaustible army in an invincible country with a dominion stretching from the Baltic to the Pacific, may not, if it achieves a military success against the most dreaded military Power in Europe, be stirred to ambitions far more formidable to western liberty and human welfare than those of which Germany is now finding out the vanity after worrying herself and everyone else with them for forty years. When all is said that can be said for Russia, the fact remains that a forcibly Russianized German province would be just such another open sore in Europe as Alsace-Lorraine, Poland, Macedonia or Ireland. It is useless to dream of guarantees: if Russia undertook to govern democratically she would not be able to redeem her promise: she would do better with primitive Communism. Her city populations may be as capable of Democracy as our own (it is, alas! not saying much); but the overwhelming mass of peasants to whom the Tsar is a personal God will for a long time to {45}come make his bureaucracy irresistible. As against Russian civilization German and Austrian civilization is our civilization: there is no getting over that. A constitutional kingship of Poland and a sort of Caliphate of the Slavs in remapped southeastern Europe, with that access to warm sea water which is Russia's common human right, valid against all Balances of Power and Keys to India and the like, must be her reward for her share in the war, even if we have to nationalize Constantinople to secure it to her. But it cannot be too frankly said at the outset that any attempt to settle Europe on the basis of the present hemming in of a consolidated Germany and German Austria by a hostile combination of Russia and the extreme states against it, would go to pieces by its own inherent absurdity, just as it has already exploded most destructively by its own instability. Until Russia becomes a federation of several separate democratic States, and the Tsar is either promoted to the honourable position of hereditary President or else totally abolished, the eastern boundary of the League of Peace must be the eastern boundary of Swedish, German, and Italian civilization; and Poland must stand between it and the quite different and for the moment unassimilable, civilization of Russia, whose friendship we could not really keep on any other terms, as a closer alliance would embarrass her as much as it would embarrass us. Meanwhile, we must trust to the march of Democracy to de-Russianize Berlin and de-Prussianize Petrograd, and to put the nagaikas of the Cossacks and the riding-whips with which Junker officers slash German privates, and the forty tolerated homosexual brothels of Berlin, and all the other psychopathic symptoms of overfeeding and inculcated insolence and sham virility in their proper place, which I take to be the dustbin.

Driving Capital Out of the Country.

But I must here warn everyone concerned that the most formidable opposition to the break-up of these unnatural alliances between east and west, between Democracy and Autocracy, between the twentieth century and the Dark Ages, will not come from the Balancers of Power. They are not really Balance of Power alliances: in fact, they are tending to an enormous overbalance of power in favor of the east as against the west and in favor of Militarist Autocracy as against Democracy. They are at root absolutely unpatriotic, even absolutely conscienceless products of commercial finance; and the Balance of Power theories are only the attempts of our diplomats to put a public spirited face on the operations of private cupidity. This is not the first time nor the second that I have had to urge that the greatest danger to us in the sphere of foreign politics is the tendency of capital to run away from civilization: the one running downhill to hell as naturally as the other struggles uphill to the Celestial City. The Englishman is allowed to produce the subsistence of himself and his family only on condition that he produces the subsistence of the capitalist and his retainers as well; and lo! he finds more and more that these retainers are not Englishmen, but Russians, South Americans, Kaffirs, Persians, or yellow or black barbarians armed for his destruction (not to mention Prussians and Austrians), and that the treaties made by our diplomatists have less and less to do with the security of the nation or the balance of power or any other public business, and more and more with capitalist opportunities of making big dividends out of slavish labour. For instance, the Anglo-Russian agreement is not a national treaty: it is the memorandum of a commercial agreement settling what parts of Persia are to be exploited by the Russian and English capitalists respectively; the capitalists, always against State interference for the benefit of the people, being very strongly in favor of it for coercing strikers at home and keeping foreign rivals off their grass abroad. And the absurd part of it is that when the State has thus arranged for our capitalists to exploit certain parts of Persia, and for their sakes to protect the parliamentary liber{46}ties of the part left to Russia, they discovered that, after all, the most profitable game was to lend Russia the money to exploit with, and to facilitate the operation by allowing her to destroy the Persian parliament in the face of our own exhortation to it to keep the flag flying, which we accordingly did without a blush. The French capitalists had dragged France into an alliance with Russia long before this; but the French Republic had the excuse of the German peril and the need for an anti-German ally. Her natural ally for that purpose was England; but as there was no market in England for her money, her plutocrats drove her into the alliance with Russia as well; and it is that alliance and not the alliance with England that has terrified Germany into flying at her throat and plunging Europe into a frightful war. The natural alliance with England twice averted war: in the Moroccan crises of Algeciras and Agadir, when Sir Edward Grey said boldly that we should defend France, and took the first steps towards a joint military and naval control of the French and English forces. Why he shrank from that firm position last July and thereby led Germany to count so fatally on our neutrality I do not pretend to know; it suffices for my argument that we were able to hold the balance between France and Germany, but failed to hold it between Germany and Russia, and that it was the placing of Russian loans in France and England that brought Russia into our western affairs. It would have paid us ten times over to have made Russia a present of all we and France have lent her (indemnifying, of course, the holders of the stock through an addition to the income tax) rather than pay the price of a European war. But what is the use of crying for spilt milk? I am merely explaining why, when French money went to Russia, the French papers discovered that the Russians were a most interesting people and their Government—properly understood—a surprisingly Liberal Government; and why, when English money went to Russia, the English press suddenly developed leanings towards the Greek Church, and deplored the unofficial execution of Stolypin as deeply as it had rejoiced in the like fate of Bobrikoff. The upshot of it all is that western civilization is at present busy committing suicide by machinery, and importing hordes of Asiatics and Africans to help in the throat cutting, not for the benefit of the silly capitalists, who are being ruined wholesale, but to break up the Austrian Empire for the benefit of Russia and the Slavs of eastern Europe, which may be a very desirable thing, but which could and should be done by the eastern Powers among themselves, without tearing Belgium and Germany and France and England to pieces in the process.

The Red Flag and the Black.

Will you now at last believe, O stupid British, German, and French patriots, what the Socialists have been telling you for so many years: that your Union Jacks and tricolours and Imperial Eagles ("where the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered") are only toys to keep you amused, and that there are only two real flags in the world henceforth: the red flag of Democratic Socialism and the black flag of Capitalism, the flag of God and the flag of Mammon? What earthly or heavenly good is done when Tom Fool shoots Hans Narr? The plain fact is that if we leave our capital to be dealt with according to the selfishness of the private man he will send it where wages are low and workers enslaved and docile: that is, as many thousand miles as possible from the Trade Unions and Trade Union rates and parliamentary Labour Parties of civilization; and Germany, at his sordid behest, will plunge the world into war for the sake of disgracing herself with a few rubber plantations, poetically described by her orators and journalists as "a place in the sun." When you do what the Socialists tell you by keeping your capital jealously under national control and reserving your shrapnel for the wasters who not only shirk their share of the industrial service of their country, but intend that their {47}children and children's children shall be idle wasters like themselves, you will find that not a farthing of our capital will go abroad as long as there is a British slum to be cleared and rebuilt, or a hungry, ragged, and ignorant British child to be fed, clothed, and educated.

A League of Peace.

But in the west I see no insuperable obstacle to a Treaty of Peace in the largest sense. This war has smoothed the way to it, if I may use the word smoothing to describe a process conduced with so little courtesy and so much shrapnel. Germany has now learned—and the lesson was apparently needed, obvious as it would have been to a sanely governed nation—that when it comes to shoving and shooting, Germany instantly loses all the advantages of her high civilization, because France and England, cultured or uncultured, can shove and shoot as well or beter than she, whilst as to slashing and stabbing, their half barbarous Turco and Ghoorka slaves can cut the Prussian Guard to bits, in spite of the unquestionable superiority of Wagner's music to theirs. Then take France. She does not dream that she could fight Germany and England single-handed. And England could not fight France and Germany without a sacrifice as ruinous as it would be senseless. We therefore have the necessary primary conditions for a League of Peace between the three countries; for if one of them break it, the other two can make her sorry, under which circumstances she will probably not break it. The present war, if it end in the reconquest of Alsace and Lorraine by the French, will make such a League much more stable; not that France can acquire by mere conquest any right to hold either province against its will (which could be ascertained by plebiscite), but because the honors of war as between France and Germany would then be easy, France having regained her laurels and taught Germany to respect her, without obliterating the record of Germany's triumph in 1870. And if the war should further result in the political reconstruction of the German Empire as a democratic Commonwealth, and the conquest by the English people of democratic control of English foreign policy, the combination would be immensely eased and strengthened, besides being brought into harmony with American public feeling, which is important to the security and prestige of the League.

The Case of the Smaller States.

Already the war has greatly added to the value of one of the factors upon which the League of Peace will depend. The smaller States: Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Scandinavian Powers, would have joined it any time these 40 years, had it existed, for the sake of its protection, and thereby made the Protestant north of Mr. Houston Chamberlain's dream as much a reality as any such dream is ever likely to be. But after the fight put up by Belgium the other day, the small States will be able to come in with the certainty of being treated with considerable respect as military factors; for Belgium can now claim to have saved Europe single-handed. Germany has been very unpleasantly reminded of the fact that though a big man may be able to beat a little one, yet if the little one fights for all he is worth he may leave the victor very sorry he broke the peace. Even as between the big Powers, victory has not, as far as the fighting has yet gone, been always with the biggest battalions. With a couple of millions less men, the Kaiser might have taken more care of them and made a better job of it.

At the same time I hold no brief for small States as such, and most vehemently deny that we are in any way bound to knight errantry on their behalf as against big ones. They are mostly either incorrigibly bellicose themselves, like Montenegro, or standing temptations to the big Powers, like Bosnia and Herzegovina. They multiply frontiers, which are nuisances, and languages, which have made confusion since the building of Babel. The striking contrast between the United States of North America and the disunited States of {48}South America in this respect is, from the Pacifist point of view, very much in favor of the northern unity. The only objection to large political units is that they make extremely dangerous autocracies. But as groups of federated democracies they are the best neighbours in the world. A federal democratic Russia would be as safe a colleague as America: a federal democratic Germany would be as pleasant company as Switzerland. Let us, I beg, hear no more of little States as British Dulcineas.

The Claims of Belgium.

As to the special case of Belgium, its claims in the settlement are simple and indeed single. If we conclude a peace without clearing the Germans completely out of Belgium, we shall be either beaten or dishonoured. And such indemnity as a money payment can effect for Belgium is due not only by Germany, but by Britain, France, and Russia as well. Belgium has been crushed between the Alliance and the Entente: it was these two menaces to the peace of Europe that produced Armageddon; and as Belgium's heroic resistance served the Entente against the Alliance, the obligation to make good the remediable damage is even more binding on the Entente.

But there is another and more pressing matter arising out of the conquest of Belgium.

The Belgian Refugees and the Problem of Unemployment.

As I write these lines the descent on our shores of an army of refugees from captured Antwerp and threatened Ostend has forced the President of the Local Government Board to make a desperate appeal to all and sundry to form representative committees to deal with the prevention and relief of distress: in other words to save the refugees from starving to death. Now the Board of Trade has already drawn attention to a memorandum of the Local Government Board as to the propriety of providing employment for refugees. And instantly and inevitably the condition had to be laid down that if the Committees find employment for anyone, they shall refer the case to the local Labour Exchange in order that "any steps taken to assist refugees to find employment shall not be such as to endanger the employment of British workpeople." In other words, the starving Belgians have fled from the Germans only to compete for crust with starving Englishmen. As long as there is an unemployed Englishman in the country—and there are a good many, especially in the cotton industry—how is it possible to give a job to a Belgian without depriving an Englishman of it? Why, instead of making impossible conditions, and helplessly asking private citizens to do something for pity's sake, will not the Government face the fact that the refugee question is simply an intensification of the normal unemployed question, the only difference being that we are accustomed to leave our own people to starve when they are common persons with whom the governing classes do not associate, whereas the Belgians have rendered us such a tremendous service in the war, and our statesmen have so loudly protested that the integrity of Belgium is dearer to England than her own heart's blood, that we cannot with any decency treat the destitute Belgians as if they were mere British riffraff. Yet when we attempt to provide for the Belgians by finding work for them the Board of Trade has to point out that by doing so we are taking the bread out of the mouths of our own people. Hence we arrive at the remarkable situation of starving Britons and Belgians looking hungrily through barbed wire fences at flourishing communities of jolly and well fed German prisoners of war (whose friendly hat wavings to me and my fellow passengers as I rush through Newbury Racecourse Station in the Great Western Express I hereby acknowledge publicly with all possible good feeling). I therefore for the present strongly recommend all Belgians who have made up their minds to flee to England, to pick up German uniforms on the battle fields and surrender to the British in the character of Uhlans. Their subsistence will then be secure until the war is over, as {49}we dare not illtreat our prisoners lest the Germans should retaliate upon the British soldiers in their hands, even if we were all spiteful enough to desire to do it, as some of our baser sort have not been ashamed to propose.

But the women and children, and the too young and the too old, cannot resort to this expedient. And though theoretically our own unemployed could be dressed in British uniforms and sent abroad with instructions to take refuge in neutral territory and be "interned" or to surrender to the first Uhlan patrol they met, yet it would be difficult to reduce this theory to practice, though the possibility is worth mentioning as a reduction to absurdity of the situation. As a matter of common sense "we should at once place all destitute Belgian refugees on the footing of prisoners of war, except that we need not post sentries to shoot them if they try to escape, nor surround them with barbed wire. Indeed these precautions are necessary in the case of the Germans rather to save their sense of honour whilst remaining here than to defeat any very strong longing on their part to return to the trenches.

In a reasonable state of society there would be another difference. The Belgians would offer to work so as not to be a burden to us; whilst the German prisoner would say—as he actually does, by the way—"No: I am not here by my own will: if you open the door I shall go home and take myself off your hands; so I am in no way bound to work for you." As it is, our Trade Unions are up in arms at the slightest hint of either Belgian or German labour being employed when there is no shortage of English labour!

The Minority Report.

All this exasperating anomaly and deadlock and breakdown would disappear if we had a proper system of provision for our own unemployed civilians (there are no unemployed soldiers: we do not discharge them between the battles). The Belgians would have found an organization of unemployment ready for them, and would have been provided for with our own unemployed, not as refugees, but simply as unemployed. How to do that need not be explained here. The problem was worked out by one of the hardest bits of thinking yet done in the Socialist movement, and set forth in the Minority Report of the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and the Relief of Distress, 1909. Our helplessness in the present emergency shews how very unwise we were to shelve that report. Unluckily, what with the wounded vanity of the majority of the Commission, who had been played off the stage by Mrs. Sidney Webb; the folly of the younger journalists of the advanced guard, who had just then rediscovered Herbert Spencer's mare's nest of "the servile State," and revolted with all the petulant anarchism of the literary profession against the ideal Interfering Female as typified in their heated imaginations by poor Mrs. Sidney Webb, who became the Aunt Sally of our young artists in stale anti-bureaucratic invective; and, above all, the mulishly silent refusal of our governing classes to see why the unemployed should not be simply left to starve, as they had always been (the Poor Law being worse than useless for so large a purpose), nothing was done; and there is consequently no machinery ready for dealing with the refugees. That is why we must treat them for the moment simply as unguarded prisoners of war.

The General Strike Against War.

But if the problem of unemployment among our own people becomes acute, we shall have to fall back on the Minority Report proposals or else run the risk of a revolt against the war. We have already counted on the chances of that revolt hampering Germany, just as Germany counted on the chances of its hampering Russia, The notion that the working classes can stop a war by a general international strike is never mentioned during the first rally to the national flag at the outbreak of a war; but it is there all the time, ready to break out again if the supplies of food and glory run short. Its gravity lies in its impracticability. If it were practicable, every sane man {50}would advocate it. As it is, it might easily mean that British troops would be coercing British strikers at home when they should be fighting Potsdam abroad, thus producing a disastrous and detestable division of popular feeling in the face of the enemy.

The Disarmament Delusion.

Objections to the Western Pacifist settlement will come from several quarters, including the Pacifist quarters. Some of the best disposed parties will stumble over the old delusion of disarmament. They think it is the gun that matters. They are wrong: the gun matters very much when war breaks out; but what makes both war and the gun is the man behind them. And if that man really means the peace of the world to be kept, he will take care to have a gun to keep it with. The League of Peace must have a first-rate armament, or the League of War will very soon make mincemeat of it. The notion that the men of evil intent are to have all the weapons will not work. Theoretically, all our armaments should be pooled. But as we, the British Empire, will most certainly not pool our defenses with anyone, and as we have not the very smallest intention of disarming, and will go on building gun for gun and ship for ship in step with even our dearest friends if we see the least risk of our being left in a position of inferiority, we cannot with any countenance demand that other Powers shall do what we will not do ourselves. Our business is not to disable ourselves or anyone else, but to organize a balance of military power against war, whether made by ourselves or any other Power; and this can be done only by a combination of armed and fanatical Pacifists of all nations, not by a crowd of non-combatants wielding deprecations, remonstrances, and Christmas cards.

America's Example: War at a Year's Notice.

How far it will be possible to take these national armaments out of national control remains to be seen. Already America, who is as deeply demoralized by Capitalism as we are, though much less tainted with Militarism now that Colonel Roosevelt has lost his front seat, has pledged herself to several European States not to go to war with them until the matter under dispute has been in the hands of an international tribunal for a year. Now there is no military force on earth, nor likely to be, strong enough to prevent America from treating these agreements as Germany has just treated the 1839 Treaty guaranteeing the neutrality of Belgium. Therefore the Militarists declare that the agreements are not worth the scraps of paper they are written on. They always will footle in this way. They might as well say that because there are crimes which men can commit with legal impunity in spite of our haphazard criminal codes, men always do commit them. No doubt nations will do what it is to their interest to do. But because there is in every nation a set of noisy moral imbeciles who cannot see that nations have an overwhelming interest in creating and maintaining a tradition of international good faith, and honouring their promissory notes as scrupulously as the moral imbeciles pay their silly gambling debts and fight their foolish duels, we are not, I presume, going to discard every international guarantee except the howitzer. Why, the very Prussian Militarists themselves are reviling us for doing what their own Militarist preachers assumed as a matter of course that we should do: that is, attack Prussia without regard to the interests of European civilization when we caught her at a disadvantage between France and Russia. But we should have been ashamed to do that if she had not, by assuming that there was no such thing as shame (alias conscience), terrified herself into attacking France and Belgium, when, of course, we were immediately ashamed not to defend them. This idiotic ignoring of the highest energies of the human soul, without the strenuous pressure of which the fabric of civilization—German civilization perhaps most of all—could not hold together for a single day, should really be treated in the asylums of Europe, not on battlefields.

{51}I conclude that we might all very well make a beginning by pledging ourselves as America has done to The Hague tribunal not to take up arms in any cause that has been less than a year under arbitration, and to treat any western Power refusing this pledge as an unpopular and suspicious member of the European club. To break such a pledge would be an act of brigandage; and the need for suppressing brigandage cannot be regarded as an open question.

The Security Will o' the Wisp.

It will be observed that I propose no guarantee of absolute security. Not being a sufferer from delirium tremens I can live without it. Security is no doubt the Militarists' most seductive bait to catch the coward's vote. But their method makes security impossible, They undertook to secure the English in Egypt from an imaginary Islam rising by the Denshawai Horror, as a result of which nobody has ventured to suggest that we should trust the Egyptian army in this conflict, though India, having learnt from Mr. Keir Hardie and Mr. Ramsay Macdonald that there are really anti-Militarists in England who regard Indians as fellow creatures, is actually rallying to us against the Prussian Junkers, who are, in Indian eyes, indistinguishable from the Anglo-Indians who call Mr. Keir Hardie and Mr. Ramsay Macdonald traitors, and whose panicstricken denial of even a decent pretence of justice in the sedition trials is particularly unfortunate just now. We must always take risks; and we should never trade on the terror of death, nor forget that this wretchedest of all the trades is none the less craven because it can so easily be gilt with romance and heroism and solemn national duty and patriotism and the like by persons whose superficial literary and oratorical talent covers an abyss of Godforsaken folly.

The Only Real World Danger.

The one danger before us that nothing can avert but a general raising of human character through the deliberate cultivation and endowment of democratic virtue without consideration of property and class, is the danger created by inventing weapons capable of destroying civilization faster than we produce men who can be trusted to use them wisely. At present we are handling them like children. Now children are very pretty, very lovable, very affectionate creatures (sometimes); and a child can make nitroglycerine or chloride of nitrogen as well as a man if it is taught to do so. We have sense enough not to teach it; but we do teach the grown-up children. We actually accompany that dangerous technical training with solemn moral lessons in which the most destructive use of these forces at the command of kings and capitalists is inculcated as heroism, patriotism, glory and all the rest of it. It is all very well to fire cannons at the Kaiser for doing this; but we do it ourselves. It is therefore undeniably possible that a diabolical rhythm may be set up in which civilization will rise periodically to the point at which explosives powerful enough to destroy it are discovered, and will then be shattered and thrown back to a fresh start with a few starving and ruined survivors. H.G. Wells and Anatole France have pre-figured that result in fiction; and I cannot deny the strength of its probability; for if England and Germany can find no better way of celebrating their arrival at the highest point of civilization yet attained than setting out to blow one another to fragments with fulminates, it would seem that the peace of the neutral States is the result, not of their being more civilized, but less heavily armed. And when we see that the effect of the enterprise is not to redouble civil vigilance and stimulate the most alert and jealous political criticism, but on the contrary to produce an assumption that every constitutional safeguard must be suspended until the war is over, and that every silly tyrannical expedient such as censorship of the press, martial law, and the like, will begin to work good instead of evil the moment men take to murdering one another, it must be admitted that the prospect is not too hopeful. Our only consolation is that civilization has survived very destructive wars before, mostly because they have produced ef{52}fects not only unintended but violently objected to by the people who made them. In 1870, for instance, Napoleon III. can hardly have intended his own overthrow and return to exile in England; nor did Bismarck aim at the restoration of French Republicanism and the formation of an Anglo-Franco-Russian alliance against Prussia. Several good things may come out of the present war if it leaves anybody alive to enjoy them.

The Church and the War.

And now, where in our society is the organ whose function it should be to keep us constantly in mind that, as Lassalle said, "the sword is never right," and to shudder with him at the fact that "the Lie is a European Power"? In no previous war have we struck that top note of keen irony, the closing of the Stock Exchange and not of the Church. The pagans were more logical: they closed the Temple of Peace when they drew the sword. We turn our Temples of Peace promptly into temples of war, and exhibit our parsons as the most pugnacious characters in the community. I venture to affirm that the sense of scandal given by this is far deeper and more general than the Church thinks, especially among the working classes, who are apt either to take religion seriously or else to repudiate it and criticize it closely. When a bishop at the first shot abandons the worship of Christ and rallies his flock around the altar of Mars, he may be acting patriotically, necessarily, manfully, rightly; but that does not justify him in pretending that there has been no change, and that Christ is, in effect, Mars. The straightforward course, and the one that would serve the Church best in the long run, would be to close our professedly Christian Churches the moment war is declared by us, and reopen them only on the signing of the treaty of peace. No doubt to many of us the privation thus imposed would be far worse than the privation of small change, of horses and motor cars, of express trains, and all the other prosaic inconveniences of war. But would it be worse than the privation of faith, and the horror of the soul, wrought by the spectacle of nations praying to their common Father to assist them in sabring and bayonetting and blowing one another to pieces with explosives that are also corrosives, and of the Church organizing this monstrous paradox instead of protesting against it? Would it make less atheists or more? Atheism is not a simple homogeneous phenomenon. There is the youthful atheism with which every able modern mind begins: an atheism that clears the soul of superstitions and terrors and servilities and base compliances and hypocrisies, and lets in the light of heaven. And there is the atheism of despair and pessimism: the sullen cry with which so many of us at this moment, looking on blinded deafened maimed wrecks that were once able-bodied admirable lovable men, and on priests blessing war, and newspapers and statesmen and exempt old men hounding young men on to it, are saying "I know now there is no God." What has the Church in its present attitude to set against this crushed acceptance of darkness except the quaint but awful fact that there are cruder people on whom horrifying calamities have just the opposite effect, because they seem the work of some power so overwhelming in its malignity that it must be worshipped because it is mighty? Let the Church beware how it plays to that gallery. If all the Churches of Europe closed their doors until the drums ceased rolling they would act as a most powerful reminder that though the glory of war is a famous and ancient glory, it is not the final glory of God.

But as I know quite well that the Churches are not going to do anything of the kind, I must not close on a note which might to some readers imply that I hope, as some highly respected friends of mine do, to build a pacific civilization on the ruins of the vast ecclesiastical organizations which have never yet been able to utter the truth, because they have had to speak to the poor according to their ignorance and credulity, and to the rich according to their power. When I read {53}that the icon of the Russian peasant is a religious force that will prevail over the materialism of Helmholtz and Haeckel, I have to contain myself as best I can in the face of an assumption by a modern educated European which implies that the Irish peasants who tied scraps of rag to the trees over their holy wells and paid for masses to shorten the stay of their dead relatives in purgatory, were more enlightened than their countryman Tyndall, the Lucretian materialist, and to ask whether the Russian peasant may not find his religious opinions somewhat neutralized by his alliance with the countries of Paul Bert and Combes, of Darwin and Almroth Wright. If we are to keep up any decent show of talking sense on this point we must begin by recognizing that the lines of battle in this war cut right across all the political and sectarian lines in Europe, except the line between our Socialist future and our Commercialist past. Materialist France, metaphysical Germany, muddle-headed English, Byzantine Russia may form what military combinations they please: the one thing they cannot form is a Crusade; and all attempts to represent this war as anything higher or more significant philosophically or politically or religiously for our Junkers and our Tommies than a quite simple primitive contest of the pugnacity that bullies and the pugnacity that will not be bullied are foredoomed to the derision of history. However far-reaching the consequences of the war may be, we in England are fighting to shew the Prussians that they shall not trample on us nor on our neighbors if we can help it, and that if they are fools enough to make their fighting efficiency the test of civilization, we can play that game as destructively as they. That is simple, and the truth, and by far the jolliest and most inspiring ground to recruit on. It stirs the blood and stiffens the back as effectively and quickly as hypocrisy and cant and humbug sour and trouble and discourage. But it will not carry us farther than the end of the fight. We cannot go on fighting forever, or even for very long, whatever Lord Kitchener may think; and win, lose, or tie, the parties, when the fight is over, must fall back on their civil wisdom and political foresight for a settlement of the terms on which we are to live happily together ever after. The practicable conditions of a stable comity of nations cannot be established by the bayonet, which settles nothing but the hash of those who rely on it. They are to found, as I have already explained, in the substitution for our present Militarist kingdoms of a system of democratic units delimited by community of language, religion, and habit; grouped in federations of united States when their extent makes them politically unwieldy; and held against war by the bond of international Socialism, the only ground upon which the identity of interest between all workers never becomes obscured.

The Death of Jaures.

By far the greatest calamity wrought by the war has been the death of Jaurès, who was worth more to France and to Europe than ten army corps and a hundred Archdukes. I once proposed a press law that might have saved him. It was that every article printed in a newspaper should bear not only the name and address of the writer, but the sum paid him for the contribution. If the wretched dupe who assassinated Jaurès had known that the trashy articles on the Three Years Law he had been reading were not the voice of France in peril, but the ignorant scribbling of some poor devil at his wits' end to earn three francs, he would hardly have thrown away his own life to take that of the greatest statesman his country has produced since Mirabeau. It is hardly too much to say that this ghastly murder and the appalling war that almost eclipsed its horror, is the revenge of the sweated journalist on a society so silly that though it will not allow a man to stuff its teeth without ascertained qualifications for the task, it allows anyone, no matter how poor, how ignorant, how untrained, how imbecile, to stuff its brains without even taking the trouble {54}to ask his name. When we interfere with him and his sweaters at all, we interfere by way of appointing a censorship to prevent him from telling, not lies, however mischievous and dangerous to our own people abroad, but the truth. To be a liar and a brewer of bad blood is to be a privileged person under our censorship, which, so far, has proceeded by no discoverable rule except that of concealing from us everything that the Germans must know lest the Germans should find it out.

Socialism Alone Keeps Its Head.

Socialism has lost its leader on the Continent; but it is solid and representative on the main point; it loathes war; and it sees clearly that war is always waged by working men who have no quarrel, but on the contrary a supreme common interest. It steadily resists the dangerous export of capital by pressing the need for uncommercial employment of capital at home: the only practicable alternative. It knows that war, on its romantic side, is "the sport of kings": and it concludes that we had better get rid of kings unless they can kill their tedium with more democratic amusements. It notes the fact that though the newspapers shout at us that these battles on fronts a hundred miles long, where the slain outnumber the total forces engaged in older campaigns, are the greatest battles known to history, such machine-carnages bore us so horribly that we are ashamed of our ingratitude to our soldiers in not being able to feel about them as about comparatively trumpery scraps like Waterloo or even Inkerman and Balaclava. It never forgets that as long as higher education, culture, foreign travel, knowledge of the world: in short, the qualification for comprehension of foreign affairs and intelligent voting, is confined to one small class, leaving the masses in poverty, narrowness, and ignorance, and being itself artificially cut off at their expense from the salutary pressure of the common burden which alone keeps men unspoilt and sane, so long will that small class be forced to obtain the support of the masses for its wars by flattering proclamations of the national virtues and indignant denunciations of the villanies of the enemy, with, if necessary, a stiffening of deliberate falsehood and a strenuous persecution of any attempt at inconvenient truthtelling. Here there is no question of the Junker being a monster. You must rule ignoramuses according to their ignorance. The priest must work bogus miracles for them; the man of science must offer them magical cures and prophylactics; the barrister must win their verdict by sophistries, false pathos, and appeals to their prejudices; the army and navy must dazzle them with pageants and bands and thundering salvos and romantic tales; the king must cut himself off from humanity and become an idol. There is no escape whilst such classes exist. Mahomet, the boldest prophet that ever threw down the gage of the singleness and supremacy of God to a fierce tribe of warriors who worshipped stones as devotedly as we worship dukes and millionaires, could not govern them by religious truth, and was forced to fall back on revolting descriptions of hell and the day of judgment, invented by him for the purpose. What else could he do if his people were not to be abandoned to their own destruction? If it is an axiom of diplomacy that the people must not be told the truth, that is not in the least because, for example, Sir Edward Grey has a personal taste for mendacity; it is a necessity imposed by the fact that the people are incapable of the truth. In the end, lying becomes a reflex action with diplomatists; and we cannot even issue a penny bluebook without beginning it with the quite unprovoked statement that "no crime has ever aroused deeper or more general horror throughout Europe" than the assassination of the Archduke. The real tragedy was that the violent death of a fellow creature should have aroused so little.

Divided Against Ourselves.

This state of things would be bad enough if the governing classes really sought the welfare of the governed, and were deceiving them for their own good. {55}But they are doing nothing of the sort. They are using their power secondarily, no doubt, to uphold the country in which they have so powerful and comfortable a position; but primarily their object is to maintain that position by the organized legal robbery of the poor; and to that end they would join hands with the German Junkers as against the working class in Germany and England as readily as Bismarck joined hands with Thiers to suppress the Commune of Paris. And even if this were not so, nothing would persuade the working classes that those who sweat them ruthlessly in commercial enterprise are any more considerate in public affairs, especially when there is any question of war, by which much money can be made for rich people who deal in the things most wanted and most highly paid for in war time: to wit, armaments and money. The direct interest of our military caste in war accounts for a good deal; but at least it involves personal risk and hardship and bereavement to the members of that caste. But the capitalist who has shares in explosives and cannons and soldiers' boots runs no risk and suffers no hardship; whilst as to the investor pure and simple, all that happens to him is that he finds the unearned income obtainable on Government security larger than ever. Victory to the capitalists of Europe means that they can not only impose on the enemy a huge indemnity, but lend him the money to pay it with whilst the working classes produce and pay both principal and interest.

As long as we have that state of things, we shall have wars and secret and mendacious diplomacy. And this is one of many overwhelming reasons for building the State on equality of income, because without it equality of status and general culture is impossible. Democracy without equality is a delusion more dangerous than frank oligarchy and autocracy. And without Democracy there is no hope of peace, no chance of persuading ourselves that the sacredness of civilization will protect it any more than the sacredness of the cathedral of Rheims has protected it, not against Huns and Vandals, but against educated German gentlemen.


Commercial wage-slaves can never reproduce that wonderful company of sculptured figures that made Rheims unlike any other place in the world; and if they are now destroyed, or shortly about to be, it does not console me that we still have—perhaps for a few days longer only—the magical stained glass of Chartres and the choir of Beauvais. We tell ourselves that the poor French people must feel as we should feel if we had lost Westminster Abbey. Rheims was worth ten Westminster Abbeys; and where it has gone the others may just as easily go too. Let us not sneer at the German pretension to culture: let us face the fact that the Germans are just as cultured as we are (to say the least) and that war has nevertheless driven them to do these things as irresistibly as it will drive us to do similar things tomorrow if we find ourselves attacking a town in which the highest point from which our positions can be spotted by an observer with a field glass in one hand and a telephone in the other is the towering roof of the cathedral. Also let us be careful how we boast of our love of medieval art to people who well know, from the protests of Ruskin and Morris, that in times of peace we have done things no less mischievous and irreparable for no better reason than that the Mayor's brother or the Dean's uncle-in-law was a builder in search of a "restoration" job. If Rheims cathedral were taken from the Church to-morrow and given to an English or French joint stock company, everything transportable in it would presently be sold to American collectors, and the site cleared and let out in building sites. That is the way to make it "pay" commercially.

The Fate of The Glory Drunkard.

But our problem is how to make Commercialism itself bankrupt. We must beat Germany, not because the Militarist hallucination and our irresolution forced Germany to make this war, so desperate for her, at a moment so unfavourable to herself, but because she has made her{56}self the exponent and champion in the modern world of the doctrine that military force is the basis and foundation of national greatness, and military conquest the method by which the nation of the highest culture can impose that culture on its neighbors. Now the reason I have permitted myself to call General Von Bernhardi a madman is that he lays down quite accurately the conditions of this military supremacy without perceiving that what he is achieving is a reductio ad absurdum. For he declares as a theorist what Napoleon found in practice, that you can maintain the Militarist hold over the imaginations of the people only by feeding them with continual glory. You must go from success to success; the moment you fail you are lost; for you have staked everything on your power to conquer, for the sake of which the people have submitted to your tyranny and endured the sufferings and paid the cost your military operations entailed. Napoleon conquered and conquered and conquered; and yet, when he had won more battles than the maddest Prussian can ever hope for, he had to go on fighting just as if he had never won anything at all. After exhausting the possible he had to attempt the impossible and go to Moscow. He failed; and from that moment he had better have been a Philadelphia Quaker than a victor of Marengo, Austerlitz, Jena and Wagrarn. Within a short breathing time after that morning when he stood outside Leipsic, whistling Malbrook s'en va-t-en guerre whilst his flying army gasped its last in the river or fled under a hail of bullets from enemies commanded by generals without a tenth of his ability or prestige, we find him disguised as a postillion, cowering abjectly behind the door of a carriage whilst the French people whom he had crammed with glory for a quarter of a century were seeking to tear him limb from limb. His success had made him the enemy of every country except France: his failure made him the enemy of the human race. And that was why Europe rose up finally and smashed him, although the English Government which profited by that operation oppressed the English people for thirty years afterwards more sordidly than Napoleon would have oppressed them, and its Allies replaced him on the throne of France by an effete tyrant not worthy to unlace his shoe latchet. Nothing can finally redeem Militarism. When even genius itself takes that path its end is still destruction. When mere uppishness takes it the end is not changed, though it may be reached more precipitately and disastrously.

The Kaiser.

Prussia has talked of that path for many years as the one down which its destiny leads it. Its ruler, with the kid gloves he called mailed fists and the high class tailoring he called shining armour, did much of the talking, though he is in practice a most peaceful teetotaller, as many men with their imaginations full of the romance of war are. He had a hereditary craze for playing at soldiers; and he was and is a naïve suburban snob, as the son of The Englishwoman would naturally be, talking about "the Hohenzollerns" exactly as my father's people in Dublin used to talk about "the Shaws." His stage walk, familiar through the cinematograph, is the delight of romantic boys, and betrays his own boyish love of the Paradeschritt. It is frightful to think of the powers which Europe, in its own snobbery, left in the hands of this Peter Pan; and appalling as the results of that criminal levity have been, yet, being by no means free from his romantic follies myself, I do not feel harshly toward Peter, who, after all, kept the peace for over twenty-six years. In the end his talk and his games of soldiers in preparation for a toy conquest of the world frightened his neighbours into a league against him; and that league has now caught him in just such a trap as his strategists were laying for his neighbours. We please ourselves by pretending that he did not try to extricate himself, and forced the war on us; but that is not true. When he realized his peril he tried hard enough; but when he saw that it was no use he accepted the situation and dashed at his enemies with {57}an infatuate courage not unworthy of the Hohenzollern tradition. Blinded as he was by the false ideals of his class, it was the best he could do; for there is always a chance for a brave and resolute warrior, even when his back is not to the wall but to the Russians.

That means that we have to conquer him and not to revile him and strike moral attitudes. His victory over British and French Democracy would be a victory of Militarism over civilization; it would literally shut the gates of mercy on mankind. Leave it to our official fools and governesses to lecture the Kaiser, and to let loose Turcos and Ghoorkas on him: a dangerous precedent. Let Thomas Atkins, Patrick Murphy, Sandy McAlister, and Pitou Dupont fight him under what leadership they can get, until honour is satisfied, simply because if St. George does not slay the dragon the world will be, as a friend of mine said of Europe the other day, "no place for a gentleman."


1. The war should be pushed vigorously, not with a view to a final crushing of the German army between the Anglo-French combination and the Russian millions, but to the establishment of a decisive military superiority by the Anglo-French combination alone. A victory unattainable without Russian aid would be a defeat for Western European Liberalism; Germany would be beaten not by us, but by a Militarist autocracy worse than her own. By sacrificing Prussian Poland and the Slav portions of the Austrian Empire Germany and Austria could satisfy Russia, and merge Austria and Germany into a single German State, which would then dominate France and England, having ascertained that they could not conquer her without Russia's aid. We may fairly allow Russia to conquer Austria if she can; that is her natural part of the job. But if we two cannot without Russian help beat Potsdam, or at least hold her up in such a stalemate as will make it clear that it is impossible for her to subjugate us, then we shall simply have to "give Germany best" and depend on an alliance with America for our place in the sun.

2. We cannot smash or disable Germany, however completely we may defeat her, because we can do that only by killing her women; and it is trifling to pretend that we are capable of any such villainy. Even to embarrass her financially by looting her would recoil on ourselves, as she is one of our commercial customers and one of our most frequently visited neighbors. We must, if we can, drive her from Belgium without compromise. France may drive her from Alsace and Lorraine. Russia may drive her from Poland. She knew when she opened fire that these were the stakes in the game; and we are bound to support France and Russia until they are won or lost, unless a stalemate reduces the whole method of warfare to absurdity. Austria, too, knew that the Slav part of her empire was at stake. By winning these stakes the Allies will wake the Kaiser from his dream of a Holy Teuton Empire with Prussia as the Head of its Church, and teach him to respect us; but that once done, we must not allow our camp followers to undo it all again by spiteful humiliations and exactions which could not seriously cripple Germany, and would make bad blood between us for a whole generation, to our own great inconvenience, unhappiness, disgrace, and loss. We and France have to live with Germany after the war; and the sooner we make up our mind to do it generously, the better. The word after the fight must be sans rancune; for without peace between France, Germany, and England, there can be no peace in the world.

3. War, as a school of character and a nurse of virtue, must be formally shut up and discharged by all the belligerents when this war is over. It is quite true that ill-bred and swinish nations can be roused to a serious consideration of their position and their destiny only by earthquakes, pestilences, famines, comets' tails, Titanic shipwrecks, and devastating wars, just as it is true that African chiefs cannot make themselves respected unless they bury virgins alive beneath {58}the doorposts of their hut-palaces, and Tartar Khans find that the exhibition of a pyramid of chopped-off heads is a short way to impress their subjects with a convenient conception of their divine right to rule. Ivan the Terrible did undoubtedly make his subjects feel very serious indeed; and stupid people are apt to believe that this sort of terror-stiffened seriousness is virtue. It is not. Any person who should set-to deliberately to contrive artificial earthquakes, scuttle liners, and start epidemics with a view to the moral elevation of his countrymen, would very soon find himself in the dock. Those who plan wars with the same object should be removed with equal firmness to Hanwell or Bethlehem Hospital. A nation so degraded as to be capable of responding to no higher stimulus than that of horror had better be exterminated, by Prussian war lords or anyone else foolish enough to waste powder on them instead of leaving them to perish of their own worthlessness.

4. Neither England nor Germany must claim any moral superiority in the negotiations. Both were engaged for years in a race for armaments. Both indulged and still indulge in literary and oratorical provocation. Both claimed to be "an Imperial race" ruling other races by divine right. Both shewed high social and political consideration to parties and individuals who openly said that the war had to come. Both formed alliances to reinforce them for that war. The case against Germany for violating the neutrality of Belgium is of no moral value to England because (a) England has allowed the violation of the Treaty of Paris by Russia (violation of the neutrality of the Black Sea and closing of the free port of Batoum), and the high-handed and scandalous violation of the Treaty of Berlin by Austria (seizure of Bosnia and Herzegovina), without resorting to arms or remedying the aggression in any other way; (b) because we have fully admitted that we should have gone to war in defence of France in any case, whether the Germans came through Belgium or not, and refused to give the German Ambassador any assurance that we should remain neutral if the Germans sacrificed the military advantage of attacking through Belgium for the sake of avoiding a war with us; (c) that the apparent moral superiority of the pledge given by France and England to respect Belgian neutrality is illusory in face of the facts that France and England stood to gain enormously, and the Germans to lose correspondingly, by confining the attack on France to the heavily fortified Franco-German frontier, and that as France and England knew they would be invited by the Belgians to enter Belgium if the Germans invaded it, the neutrality of Belgium had, as far as they were concerned, no real existence; (d) that as all treaties are valid only rebus sic stantibus, and the state of things which existed at the date of the Treaty of London (1839) had changed so much since then (Belgium is no longer menaced by France, at whom the treaty was aimed, and has acquired important colonies, for instance) that in 1870 Gladstone could not depend on it, and resorted to a special temporary treaty not now in force, the technical validity of the 1839 treaty is extremely doubtful; (e) that even if it be valid its breach is not a casus belli unless the parties for reasons of their own choose to make it so; and (f) that the German national peril pleaded by the Imperial Chancellor in his Peer Gynt speech (the durchhauen one), when he rashly but frankly threw away the strong technical case just stated and admitted a breach of international law, was so great according to received Militarist ideas in view of the Russian mobilization, that it is impossible for us or any other Militarist-ridden Power to feel sure ourselves, much less to convince others, that we should have been any more scrupulous in the like extremity. It must be added that nothing can extenuate the enormity of the broad fact that an innocent country has been horribly devastated because her guilty neighbors formed two huge explosive combinations against one another instead of establishing the peace of Eu{59}rope, but that is an offence against a higher law than any recorded on diplomatic scraps of paper, and when it comes to judgment the outraged conscience of humanity will not have much patience with the naughty child's plea of "he began it."

5. Militarism must not be treated as a disease peculiar to Prussia. It is rampant in England; and in France it has led to the assassination of her greatest statesman. If the upshot of the war is to be regarded and acted upon simply as a defeat of German Militarism by Anglo-French Militarism, then the war will not only have wrought its own immediate evils of destruction and demoralization, but will extinguish the last hope that we have risen above the "dragons of the prime that tare each other in their slime." We have all been equally guilty in the past. It has been steadily assumed for years that the Militarist party is the gentlemanly party. Its opponents have been ridiculed and prosecuted in England; hanged, flogged or exiled in Russia; and imprisoned in France: they have been called traitors, cads, cranks, and so forth: they have been imprisoned for "bad taste" and for sedition whilst the most virulent sedition against Democracy and the most mutinous military escapades in the commissioned ranks have been tolerated obsequiously, until finally the practical shelving of Liberal Constitutionalism has provoked both in France and England a popular agitation of serious volume for the supersession of parliament by some sort of direct action by the people, called Syndicalism. In short Militarism, which is nothing but State Anarchism, has been carried to such a pitch that it has been imitated and countered by a movement of popular Anarchism, and has exploded in a European war because the Commercialist Governments of Europe had no faith in the effective guidance of any modern State by higher considerations than Lord Roberts's "will to conquer," the weight of the Kaiser's mailed fist, and the interest of the Bourses and Stock Exchanges. Unless we are all prepared to fight Militarism at home as well as abroad, the cessation of hostilities will last only until the belligerents have recovered from their exhaustion.

6. It had better be admitted on our side that as to the conduct of the war there is no trustworthy evidence that the Germans have committed any worse or other atrocities than those which are admitted to be inevitable in war or accepted as part of military usage by the Allies. By "making examples" of towns, and seizing irresponsible citizens as hostages and shooting them for the acts of armed civilians over whom they could exert no possible control, the Germans have certainly pushed these usages to a point of Terrorism which is hardly distinguishable from the deliberate murder of non-combatants; but as the Allies have not renounced such usages, nor ceased to employ them ruthlessly in their dealings with the hill tribes and fellaheen and Arabs with whom they themselves have to deal (to say nothing of the notorious domestic Terrorism of the Russian Government), they cannot claim superior humanity. It is therefore waste of time for the pot to call the kettle black. Our outcry against the Germans for sowing the North Sea with mines was followed too closely by the laying of a mine field there by ourselves to be revived without flagrant Pharisaism. The case of Rheims cathedral also fell to the ground as completely as a good deal of the building itself when it was stated that the French had placed a post of observation on the roof. Whether they did or not, all military experts were aware that an officer neglecting to avail himself of the cathedral roof in this way, or an opposing officer hestitating to fire on the cathedral so used, would have been court-martialed in any of the armies engaged. The injury to the cathedral must therefore be suffered as a strong hint from Providence that though we can have glorious wars or glorious cathedrals we cannot have both.

7. To sum up, we must remember that if this war does not make an end of war in the west, our allies of to-day may be our enemies of to-morrow, as they are of yesterday, and our enemies of to-day our allies of to-morrow as they are of {60}yesterday; so that if we aim merely at a fresh balance of military power, we are as likely as not to negotiate our own destruction. We must use the war to give the coup de grace to medieval diplomacy, medieval autocracy, and anarchic export of capital, and make its conclusion convince the world that Democracy is invincible, and Militarism a rusty sword that breaks in the hand. We must free our soldiers, and give them homes worth fighting for. And we must, as the old phrase goes, discard the filthy rags of our righteousness, and fight like men with everything, even a good name, to win, inspiring and encouraging ourselves with definite noble purposes (abstract nobility butters no parsnips) to face whatever may be the price of proving that war cannot conquer us, and that he who dares not appeal to our conscience has nothing to hope from our terrors.

"Shaw's Nonsense About Belgium"

By Arnold Bennett.


Mr. Bernard Shaw's "Common Sense About the War" is the talk of the town, and it deserves to be. One of its greatest values is its courage, for in it Shaw says many things no one else would have dared to say. It therefore, by breaking the unearthly silence on certain aspects of the situation, perhaps inaugurates a new and healthier period of discussion and criticism on such subjects as recruiting, treatment of soldiers and sailors' dependents, secret diplomacy, militarism, Junkerism, churches, Russia, peace terms, and disarmament. It contains the most magnificent, brilliant, and convincing common sense that could possibly be uttered. No citizen, I think, could rise from the perusal of this tract with a mind unilluminated or opinions unmodified. Hence everybody ought to read it, though everybody will not be capable of appreciating the profoundest parts of it.

Mixed up with the tremendous common sense, however, is a considerable and unusual percentage of that perverseness, waywardness, and arlequinading which are apparently an essential element of Mr. Shaw's best work. This is a disastrous pity, having regard to the immense influence and vogue of Shaw, not only in Germany, but in America, and the pity is more tragic as Shaw has been most absurd about the very matter which most Englishmen regard as most important, namely, Great Britain's actual justification for going to war.

Shaw's Admitted Prejudice.

Mr. Shaw begins by conceiving the possibility of his being blinded by prejudice or perversity, and admits his capacity for criticising England with a certain slight malicious taste for taking the conceit out of her. Seemingly he belongs to that numerous class who think that to admit a fault is to excuse it. As a highwayman might say before taking your purse, "Now, I admit, I have a certain slight taste for thieving," and expect you to smile forgiveness of his depredation, Shaw's bias is evident wherever he discusses the action and qualities of Great Britain. Thus he contrasts Bernhardi's brilliant with our own very dull militarists' facts, the result being that the intense mediocrity of Bernhardi leaps to the eye on every page, and that events have thoroughly discredited all his political and many of his military ideas, whereas we possess militarists of first-class quality.

Naturally, Shaw calls England muddle-headed. Yet of late nothing has been less apparent than muddle-headednes. Of British policy, Shaw says that since {61}the Continent generally regards us as hypocritical, we must be hypocritical. He omits to say that the Continent generally, and Germany in particular, regards our policy and our diplomacy as extremely able and clear-sighted. The unscrupulous cleverness of Britain is one of Germany's main themes.

These are minor samples of Mr. Shaw's caprices. In discussing the origin of the war Mr. Shaw's aim is to prove that all the great powers are equally to blame. He goes far back and accuses Great Britain of producing the first page of Bernhardian literature in the anonymous pamphlet "The Battle of Dorking." He admits in another passage that the note of this pamphlet was mainly defensive. He is constantly thus making intrenchments for himself in case of forced retirement, and there is in his article almost nothing unjust against Great Britain that is not ingeniously contradicted or mitigated elsewhere.

Great Britain's War Literature.

Beginning with "The Battle of Dorking" and ending with H.G. Well's "War in the Air," one of the most disturbing and effective warnings against militarism ever written, he sees simply that Great Britain has produced threatening and provocative militarist literature comparable to Germany's. No grounds exist for such a contention. There are militarists in all countries, but there are infinitely more in Germany than in any other country. The fact is notorious. The fact is also notorious that the most powerful, not the most numerous, party in Germany wanted the war. It would be as futile to try to prove that Ireland did not want home rule as that Germany did not want war. As for a war literature, bibliographical statistics show, I believe, that in the last ten years Germany has published seven thousand books or pamphlets about war. No one but a German or a Shaw, in a particularly mischievous mood, would seek to show that Great Britain is responsible for the war fever. It simply is not so.

Mr. Shaw urges that we all armed together. Of course we did. When one nation publicly turns bellicose the rest must copy her preparations. If Great Britain could live this century over again she would do over again what she actually did, because common sense would not permit her to do otherwise. The admitted fact that some Britons are militarists does not in the slightest degree impair the rightness or sagacity of our policy. If one member of a family happens to go to the bad and turn burglar, therein is no reason why the family mansion should not be insured against burglary.

Mr. Shaw proceeds to what he calls the diplomatic history of the war. His notion of historical veracity may be judged from his description of the Austrian ultimatum to Servia as an escapade of a dotard. He puts the whole blame of it on Franz Josef, and yet he must know quite well that Germany has admitted even to her own subjects that Austria asked Germany's opinion about her policy and obtained Germany's approval before delivering the ultimatum. [Official German pamphlet "Reasons for the War with Russia," August, 1914.] There is no word in Mr. Shaw's diplomatic history of the repeated efforts toward peace made by Great Britain and scotched by Germany. On the contrary, with astounding audacity and disingenuousness, he tries to make it appear that suggestions for peace were offered by Germany and rejected by Great Britain. Once more it simply was not so.

Defense of Sir Edward Grey.

Mr. Shaw's paraphrase of Document 17 in the British diplomatic dispatches is a staggering travesty. So far as I can see it bears no relation to the original. Further, he not only deplores that a liberal government should have an imperialist Foreign Secretary, but he accuses Sir Edward Grey of sacrificing his country's welfare to the interests of his party and committing a political crime in order not to incur the wrath of The Daily News and The Manchester Guardian. This is totally inexcusable. Let me not be misunderstood. I am not a liberal. I am an out-and-out radical. I foresee a cleavage in the Liberal Party, and when that cleavage comes I shall be on the extreme left wing. I entirely {62}agree with Mr. Shaw's denunciation of secret diplomacy and undemocratic control of foreign policy. By every social tradition I should be in opposition to Sir Edward Grey, but I think Grey was the best Foreign Secretary that the Liberal Party could have chosen and that he worked well on the only possible plane, the plane of practicality. I am quite sure he is an honest man, and I strongly resent, as Englishmen of all opinions will resent, any imputation to the contrary.

As for the undemocratic control of foreign policy, a strong point about our policy on the eve of the war is that it was dictated by public opinion. [See Grey's dispatch to the British Ambassador at Berlin, No. 123.] Germany could have preserved peace by a single gesture addressed to Franz Josef. She did not want peace. Mr. Shaw said Sir Edward Grey ought to have shouted out at the start that if Germany fought we should fight. Sir Edward Grey had no authority to do so, and it would have been foolish to do so. Mr. Shaw also says Germany ought to have turned her whole army against Russia and left the western frontier to the care of the world's public opinion in spite of the military alliance by which France was bound to Russia. We have here an example of his aptitude for practical politics.

Was Belgium a Mere Excuse?

Let us now come to Belgium. Mr. Shaw protests needlessly that he holds no brief for small States as such, and he most vehemently denies that we are bound to knight errantry on their behalf. His objection to small States is that they are either incorrigibly bellicose or standing temptations to big powers. Outside the Balkans no small State is bellicose. All are eminently pacific. That they are a standing temptation to thieves is surely no reason for their destruction. If it is a reason Mr. Shaw ought to throw his watch down the drain.

Mr. Shaw states that Belgium was a mere excuse for our going to war. That there was a vast deal more in the pre-war diplomacy than appears in the printed dispatches, or in any dispatches, I am as convinced as Mr. Shaw is, but I am equally convinced that so far as we are concerned there was nothing in diplomacy, however secret, to contradict our public attitude. The chief item not superficially apparent is that the diplomats knew all along that Germany wanted war and was doing all she could to obtain war on terms most favorable to herself. That our own interest coincided with our duty to Belgium did not by any means render our duty a mere excuse for action. If a burglar is making his way upward in the house where Mr. Shaw lives and Mr. Shaw comes down and collars him in the flat of a defenseless invalid below and hands him over to the police Mr. Shaw would not expect the police to say, "You are a hypocrite; you only seized the burglar because you feared he would come to you next." I stick to the burglar simile, because a burglar is just what Germany is.

The "Infamous Proposal" Phrase.

Mr. Shaw characterizes Mr. Asquith's phrase, "Germany's infamous proposal," as the "obvious barrister's claptrap." Once more this is totally inexcusable. I do not always see eye to eye with Mr. Asquith, I agree with Mr. Shaw that he has more than once sinned against democratic principles, but what has that to do with the point? My general impression of Mr. Asquith and general impression of this country is that Mr. Asquith, in addition to being a pretty good Liberal, is an honest man. His memorable speech containing the "infamous proposal" phrase was most positively a genuine emotional expression of his conviction and of the conviction of the whole country, and Mr. Shaw, a finished master of barrister's claptrap when he likes, has been merely scurrilous about it. Germany's proposal was infamous. Supposing that we had taken the Belgium point at Mr. Shaw's valuation of it, the "nonsense about Belgium," as he calls it, and refrained from war, what would have been the result? The result would have been that today we could not have looked one another in the face as we passed down the street.

But Mr. Shaw is not content with ar{63}guing that the Belgium point was a mere excuse for us. He goes further and continually implies that there was no Belgium point. Every time he mentions the original treaty that established Belgian neutrality he puts after it in brackets, [date 1839,] an obvious barrister's device, sarcastically to discredit the treaty because of its age. He omits to say that the chief clause in the treaty contains the word "perpetually." What is worse, he infers that by the mere process of years, as Belgium gradually made herself, civilized herself, enriched herself, and increased her stake in the world, her moral right to independence and freedom instead of being strengthened was somehow mysteriously weakened. The theory is monstrous, but if he does not mean that he means nothing.

Further, he says that in 1870 Gladstone could not depend on the treaty of 1839 and resorted to a special temporary treaty not now in force, and that, therefore, technically the validity of the 1839 treaty is extremely doubtful. This twisting of facts throws a really sinister light upon the later developments of Mr. Shaw as a controversialist. The treaty of 1870 was, indeed, temporary, except in so far as it confirmed the treaty of 1839. Article 3 of the treaty of 1870 says it shall be binding on the contracting parties during the continuance of the war and for twelve months after, and then proceeds "and on the expiration of that time the independence and neutrality of Belgium will, so far as the high contracting parties are respectively concerned, continue to rest as heretofore on the quintuple treaty of 1839," (textual.)

Mr. Shaw's manifesto is lengthy and it will no doubt be reprinted in book form. I repeat what I said in my first paragraph as to the major part of it, but I assert that the objectionable part of the manifesto is so objectionable in its flippancy, in its perversity, in its injustice, and in its downright inexactitude as to amount to a scandal. Mr. Shaw has failed to realize either his own importance or the importance and very grave solemnity of the occasion. The present is no hour for that disingenuous, dialectical bravura which might excusably relieve a domestic altercation. Before reprinting Mr. Shaw should, I suggest; seriously reconsider his position and rewrite.

"Bennett States the German Case"

By George Bernard Shaw.

Letter to The Daily News of London.

To The Daily News, Sir:

In justice to the enemy I am bound to admit that Mr. Bennett's case, which is the German case, is a very strong one and that his ironic comment on the case against Germany, "We have here an example of Mr. Shaw's aptitude for practical politics," is a comment that the Kaiser will probably make and that the average "practical man" will make, too.

Mr. Bennett, in saying that I am a simpleton to doubt that, if Germany had not attacked France, France would have attacked her, shows a much greater courage than he credits me with. That is Germany's contention, and if valid is her justification for dashing at any enemy who, as Mr. Bennett believes, was lying in wait to spring on her back when Russia had her by the throat. If Mr. Bennett is right, and I am a simpleton, there is nothing more to be said. The Imperial Chancellor's plea of "a state of necessity" is proved up to the hilt.

I did not omit to say that Germany regards our policy and our diplomacy as extremely able and clear-sighted. I expressly and elaborately pointed that out. {64}Mr. Bennett, being an Englishman, is so flattered by the apparent compliment from those clever Germans that he insists it is deserved. I, being an Irishman and, therefore, untouched by flattery, see clearly that what the Germans mean by able and clear-sighted is crafty, ruthless, unscrupulous, and directed to the deliberate and intentional destruction of Germany by a masterly diplomatic combination of Russia, France and Great Britain against her, and I defend the English and Sir Edward Grey in particular on the ground, first, that the British nation at large was wholly innocent of the combination, and, second, that even among diplomatists, guilty as most of them unquestionably were and openly as our Junkers—like the German ones—clamored for war with Germany, there was more muddle than Machiavelli about them, and that Sir Edward never completely grasped the situation or found out what he really was doing and even had a democratic horror of war.

Shaw's Excuses Scorned.

But Mr. Bennett will not have any of my excuses for his unhappy country. He will have it that the Germans are right in admiring Sir Edward as a modern Caesar Bogia, and that our militarist writers are "of first class quality," as contrasted with the "intense mediocrity" of poor Gen. Bernhardi.

If Mr. Bennett had stopped there the Kaiser would send him the Iron Cross, but of course, like a true born Englishman, he goes on to deny indignantly that England has produced a militarist literature comparable to Germany and to affirm hotly that Mr. Asquith is an honest man whose bad arguments are "a genuine emotional expression of his convictions and that of the whole country," and that Sir Edward Grey is an honest man, and that he (Mr. Bennett) "strongly resents as Englishmen of all opinions will resent any imputation to the contrary"—just what I said he would say and that he entirely agrees with my denunciation of secret diplomacy and undemocratic control of foreign policy and that I am a perverse and wayward harlequin, mischievous, unveracious, scurrilous, monstrous, disingenuous, flippant, unjust, inexact, scandalous, and objectionable, and that on all points to which he takes exception and a good many more I am so magnificent, brilliant, and convincing that no citizen could rise from perusing me without being illuminated.

That is just a little what I meant by saying that Englishmen are muddle-headed, because they never have been forced by political adversity to mistrust their tempers and depend on a carefully stated case as Irishmen have been.

Showed Germany the Way.

I did with great pains what nobody else had done. I showed what Germany should have done, knowing that I had no right to reproach her for doing what she did until I was prepared to show that a better way had been open to her.

Bennett says, in effect, that nobody but a fool could suppose that my way was practicable and proceeds to call Germany a burglar. That does not get us much further. In fact, to me it seems a step backward. At all events it is now up to Mr. Bennett to show us what practical alternative Germany had except the one I described. If he cannot do that, can he not, at least, fight for his side? We, who are mouthpieces of many inarticulate citizens, who are fighting at home against the general tumult of scare and rancor and silly cinematograph heroics for a sane facing of facts and a stable settlement, are very few. We have to bring the whole continent of war-struck lunatics to reason if we can.

What chance is there of our succeeding if we begin by attacking one another because we do not like one another's style or confine ourselves to one another's pet points? I invite Mr. Bennett to pay me some more nice compliments and to reserve his fine old Staffordshire loathing for my intellectual nimbleness until the war is over.—G. BERNARD SHAW.

G.K. CHESTERTON. See Page 108 SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE. (Photo by Arnold Genthe) See Page 132

G.K. CHESTERTON. See Page 108

SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE. (Photo by Arnold Genthe) See Page 132

{65}Flaws in Shaw's Logic

By Cunninghame Graham.

Letter to The Daily News of London.

To the Editor of The Daily News:

The controversy between men of peace as to the merits, demerits, causes, and possible results of the great war is becoming almost as dangerous and little less noisy than the real conflict now being waged in and around Ypres. The only difference between the two conflicts is that the combatants in Flanders only strive to kill the body. Those who fire paper bullets aim at the annihilation of the soul.

Literature is a nice thing in its way. It both passes and gives us many weary hours. It has its place. But I submit that at present it is mere dancing on a tight rope. Whether the war could have been avoided or not is without interest today. In fact, there is no controversy possible after Maximilian Harden's pronouncement. In it he throws away the scabbard and says boldly that Germany from the first was set on war. Hence it becomes a work of supererogation to find excuses for her, and hence, my old friend, Bernard Shaw, penned his long indictment of his hereditary enemy, England, all in vain.

We are a dull-witted race. Although the Continent has dubbed us "Perfidious Albion," it is hard for us to take in general ideas, and no man clearly sees the possibilities of the development of the original sin that lies dormant in him. Thus it becomes hard for us to understand the reason why, if Germany tore up a treaty three months ago we are certain to tear up another in three years' time.

All crystal gazing appeals but little to the average man on this side of the St. George's channel. It may be that we shall tear up many treaties, but the broad fact remains that hitherto we have torn up none.

The particular treaty that Germany tore up was signed by five powers in 1839, ratified again in 1870 by a special clause respected by King Frederick William in his war against the French, was often referred to in Parliament by Gladstone and by other Ministers, and was considered binding on its signatories. Germany tore it up for her own ends, thus showing that she was a stupid though learned people, for she at once at the same time prejudiced her case to the whole world and made a military mistake.

No human motives are without alloy, but at the same time honesty in our case has proved the better policy. Germany, no doubt, would have granted us almost anything for our assent to her march through Belgium. We refused her offers, no doubt from mixed motives, for every Englishman is not an orphan archangel, stupid, or dull or muddle-headed, or what not. The balance of the world is with us, not, perhaps, because they love us greatly, but because they see that we, perhaps by accident, have been forced into the right course and that all smaller nationalities such as Montenegro, Ireland, Poland, and the rest would disappear on our defeat.


{66}Editorial Comment on Shaw

From THE NEW YORK TIMES, Nov. 5, 1914.

Mr. G. Bernard Shaw thinks that "the time has now come to pluck up courage and begin to talk and write soberly about the war." Our readers will find in THE TIMES Sunday Magazine this morning some of the fruits of this auto-suggestion. They are very remarkable. While Mr. Shaw can hardly be called a representative of any considerable class, the fact that one prominent writer, always much read, can assume Mr. Shaw's attitude and make public Mr. Shaw's comments throws a strong light on the spirit of British society. It is true that he intimates that he ran the risk of "prompt lynching" at one time, but that was probably the suggestion of a certain timidity and vanity to which he pleads guilty. His safe and prosperous existence is really a striking evidence, on the one hand, of British good nature, and, on the other, of the indifferent estimate the British put on his influence.

Like Iago, Mr. Shaw is nothing if not critical, and in this crisis his criticism is for the most part bitter, extreme, and in purpose destructive. He particularly dislikes Sir Edward Grey and the Government of which he is a leading spirit, and the class which the Government represents. He singles out Sir Edward as the chief "Junker" and among the chief "militarists" who brought about this war. Mr. Shaw's attacks on the Foreign Secretary are savage, and, as often happens with savage attacks—they are far from consistent. For example, Mr. Shaw paraphrases at some length the interview between Sir Edward and the German Ambassador, in which the latter made four different propositions to secure the neutrality of Great Britain if Germany waged war on France, all of which Sir Edward refused. Mr. Shaw sees in this only evidence of determination to take arms against Germany in any case, carrying out a long-cherished plan formed by the Government of which Sir Edward Grey was, for this matter, the responsible member. He does not see—- though it is so plain that a wayfaring man though a professional satirist should not err therein—that what the Secretary intended to do—what, in fact, he did do—was to refuse to put a price on British perfidy, to accept any "bargain" offered to that end.

On the other hand, Mr. Shaw paraphrases at still greater length the report of the interview in which the Russian Foreign Minister and the French Ambassador at St. Petersburg tried to induce the British Government to commit itself in advance to war against Germany. Mr. Shaw thinks that thus the German "bluff" would have been called and war would have been prevented, and he is confident that Mr. Winston Churchill would have taken the Bismarck tone and dictated the result. He cannot see—what is really the essential fact in both cases—that Sir Edward Grey was striving in every honorable way to preserve peace, that his Government refused to stand idle and see France crushed in the same spirit that it refused to menace Germany until a definite and undeniable cause of war arose.

That cause came with Germany's violation of its pledge to observe the neutrality of Belgium, and England's response excites Mr. Shaw's most furious contempt. He adopts with zest the judgment of the German Chancellor. The pledge for all who signed it was but a scrap of paper, of no more binding force than others that had gone their way to dusty death in the diplomatic waste baskets. To observe the obligation it imposed was hypocrisy. To fight in order to compel Germany to observe it was crass militarism. Plainly, Mr. Shaw is a little difficult. {67}The Government under which he lives is either too bellicose or not bellicose enough; too ready to help France if France is attacked or not ready enough to bully Germany, and especially it is all wrong about Belgium and its treaty, since treaties have several times been broken, and so on through a bewildering circle of contradictory statements and notions.

Mr. Shaw finds little to choose between the groups of combatants. He distinctly prides himself on his impartiality, not to say indifference. On account of his Irish birth he claims something of the detachment of a foreigner, but admits a touch of Irish malice in taking the conceit out of the English. Add to this his professed many-sidedness as a dramatist and playwright and we get as good an explanation as can be given of this noted writer's attitude toward the tremendous struggle now waging. But Mr. Shaw's assumption of even-handed scorn for every one concerned, of "six of one and a half dozen of the other," does not hold out. He feels profoundly that such fighting as Germany does, for such a purpose as inspires Germany, must be met by force, and that England could not in the long run, no matter by whom guided or governed, have shirked the task laid upon her. That being the case, one wonders a little why it was worth while to cover every one with ridicule and to present a picture of Great Britain so essentially grotesque and distorted.

Bernard Shaw on the End of the War.

From The New York Sun, Nov. 15, 1914.

In the midst of a good deal of untimely gibing, George Bernard Shaw, as reported in a London dispatch to The Sun of yesterday, says one or two very wise and appropriate things about the end of the war and the times to come after it. His warnings are a useful check to the current loose talk of the fire-eaters and preachers of the gospel of vengeance.

"We and France have to live with Germany after the war," Mr. Shaw points out. Even to embarrass her financially would be a blow to England herself, Germany being one of England's best customers and one of her most frequently visited neighbors. The truth of this is unanswerable. The great object must be to effect a peace with as little rancor as possible.

Mr. Shaw does not say it, but there are going to be overwhelming political reasons why the pride of Germany and Austria and still more why their military power shall not be too much impaired in case of their defeat.

Perhaps in the final settlement the Western Allies may be found to have more in common with Berlin than with St. Petersburg. Germany has pointed this out with much force.

Mr. Shaw's position is not admirable when he chooses their days of tribulation for sticking pins into his own people, even though some of the things he says may be unpleasantly true. But it cannot be denied that he has some sane views on the situation. The pity is that he must always impair the force of the useful things he has to say by flippancies, impertinences, and out-of-place girdings at those whose courage he should help to maintain. He reminds one of a man who insists on wrangling over the mistaken construction of a chimney while the house is burning down.

Bernard Shaw as a Patriot.

From The New York World, Nov. 17, 1914.

Bernard Shaw has written for our neighbor THE TIMES an elaborate three-page thesis to maintain:

1. That Great Britain was abundantly justified in making war with Germany.

2. That the explanation given by the British Government for making war against Germany was stupid, hypocritical, mendacious, and disgraceful.

3. That he alone is capable of interpreting the moral purpose of the British people in undertaking this necessary work of civilization.

4. That the reason the British Government's justification of the war is so inadequate is because no British Government is ever so clever as Bernard Shaw.

{68}5. That even in the midst of the most horrible calamity known to human history it pays to advertise.

Various patriots have various ways of serving their country. Some go to the firing line to be shot and others stay at home to be a source of innocent merriment to the survivors.

"Shaw Empty of Good Sense"

By Christabel Pankhurst.


His reputation for perversity and contrariety is fully maintained by George Bernard Shaw in the ineptly-named article, "Common Sense About the War." At home in Britain we all know that it is Mr. Shaw's habit to oppose where he might be expected to support, and vice versa. For example, should he speak at a prohibition meeting he would most likely extol strong drink, or if asked to defend the sale of liquor declare dramatically for prohibition.

He sees himself as the critic of everything and everybody—the one and only man who knows what to do and how to do it.

Mr. Shaw charges his compatriots with intellectual laziness, but they are not so lazy as to leave him to do their thinking for them. That he sometimes—and oftener in the past than now—says illuminating things is true, but firm reliance cannot be placed upon his freakish mental processes, exemplified in his writings about the war. He has played with effect the part of jester to the British public, but when, as now, his jests are empty of the kernel of good sense, the matter gets beyond a joke.

The truth is that in face of this great and tragic reality of war the men of mere words, the literary theorists, are in danger of missing their way. Certainly women of deeds are more likely to see things aright than are men of words, and it is as a woman of deeds that I, a suffragette, make answer to my irresponsible compatriot, Mr. Bernard Shaw. And yet not a compatriot, for Mr. Shaw disclaims those feelings of loyalty and enthusiasm for the national cause that fill the mass of us who live under the British flag!

"Until Home Rule emerges from its present suspended animation," says Mr. Shaw, "I shall retain my Irish capacity for criticising England with something of the detachment of a foreigner." Now, these words are not a little surprising, because Mr. Shaw's interest in the Home Rule cause has hitherto been of a most restrained and well-nigh secret character, and any one who imagines that Mr. Shaw is a strenuous campaigner for Home Rule is greatly mistaken. If in the years preceding the war the Horne Rule cause had depended upon Mr. Shaw's activities, it would have been in a bad way. It is now, when a foreign enemy menaces our nation as a whole, that Mr. Shaw manifests this enhanced interest in Home Rule.

The suffragettes, who have fought and suffered for their cause as no living man reformer in the British Isles has fought and suffered for his, have during the present crisis subordinated their claim to the urgent claims of national honor and safety. So Mr. Shaw, whose campaigning is done generally in the armchair, and never in any place more dangerous than the rostrum, ought surely to refrain from his frivolous, inconsistent, destructive, and unprofitable criticism of our country.

As for the question of lynching, Mr. Shaw is, the American public may be assured, in no danger whatever of being lynched. He is in far more danger of having the Iron Cross conferred upon {69}him by the Kaiser in recognition of his attempt to supplement the activities of the official German Press Bureau. But if he were a German subject, writing on certain points of German policy as he does upon certain points of British policy, his fate can well be imagined. The only retribution that will come upon this man, who exploits the freedom of speech and pen that England gives him, is that his words lose now and henceforth the weight they used to have. Oh, the conceit of the man, who in this dark hour, when the English are dying on the battlefield, writes of "taking the conceit out of England" by a stroke of his inconsequent pen!

Admits England's Cause Is Just.

But with all his will to "take the conceit" out of this England, so fiercely menaced, her sons killed, her daughters widowed—yet needing, so he thinks, his castigation into the bargain—the critic is constrained to admit that our country is playing the part of "the responsible policeman of the West" and that "for England to have refrained from hurling herself into the fray, horse, foot, and artillery, was impossible from every point of view." Then why preface these statements by a series of attacks upon the country which is admitted to be justly fighting in a just cause?

The sole importance of Mr. Shaw's criticism comes from this. He unwarrantably indorses statements made by Germany in her attempt to put the Allies in the wrong. Because he is known to the German people by his dramatic work, extracts from his article will be circulated among them as an expression of the views of a representative British citizen. And how are the Germans to know that this is false, deprived as they are of news of what is happening in the outside world and ignorant as they must be of Mr. Shaw's real lack of influence at this serious time?

That their traffic in mere words disables some literary men from comprehending facts is shown by Mr. Shaw's play upon the word "Junkerism." He points to the dictionary definition of the word instead of to the fact it represents, and by this verbal juggling tries to convince his readers that the military autocracy that dominates and misdirects Germany has its counterpart and equal in Great Britain. Whereas, the conditions in the two countries are wholly different, and it is this very difference that Germany has regarded as one of the signs of British inferiority.

Mr. Shaw's suggestion that the British are posing as "Injured Innocence" and as "Mild Gazelles" is neither funny nor true. We are simply a people defending ourselves, resisting conquest and military despotism, and fighting for the ideal of freedom and self-government. When our country is no longer in danger we suffragettes, if it be still necessary, are prepared to fight on and wage our civil war that we may win freedom and self-government for women as well as men. But, in the meantime, we support the men—yes, and even the Government do we in a sense support—in fighting the common enemy who menaces the freedom of men and women alike. Although the Government in the past have erred gravely in their dealing with the woman question, they are for the purpose of this war the instrument of the nation.

Facts Belie Him.

Mr. Shaw would seem to hold Britain responsible for German militarism, but the facts he cites are against him there. "I am old enough," says he, "to remember the beginnings of the anti-German phase of military propaganda in England. The Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871 left England very much taken aback. Up to that date nobody was much afraid that Prussia—suddenly Prussia beat France right down in the dust." Precisely! It was this war on France, deliberately engineered by Bismarck, and it was the defeat and despoilment of France that fed Germany's militarism and encouraged Germany to make those plans of military aggression which, after long and deliberate preparation, are being carried into effect in the present war. Germany's plans of military aggression have compelled other countries to prepare, {70}however inadequately, to defend themselves.

Mr. Shaw gives support to the Germans' contention that they are not the aggressors but are menaced by Russia. Yet he does not explain why, if that is so, Germany took French gold and territory in 1870 and has since continued to alienate France; nor why Germany has chosen Britain as her enemy of enemies to be supplanted and surpassed in power.

If Germany is simply on the defensive against Russia and has no desire to attack and cripple France and Britain, then why has she antagonized these countries and driven one after the other into a Russian alliance?

When he affects to criticise Germany for not having "entrusted the security of her western frontier to the public opinion of Western Europe and to America and fought Russia, if attacked, with her rear not otherwise defended," Mr. Shaw burkes the fact that Germany's object is to seize Belgium and to make it part of the German Empire, also to seize at least the northern coast of France and to make this seizure the means of dominating Britain.

Indeed, the point at which German ambition for conquest ceases would be hard to fix. And yet Mr. Shaw pictures for us an injured-innocent, mild-gazelle Germany on the defensive! Quite in this picture is his assertion that "the ultimatum to Servia was the escapade of a dotard," whereas, everybody knows that the ultimatum was dictated at Berlin. It is plain as a pikestaff that in order to bring on the Great War of conquest for which her rulers thought The Day had arrived. Germany dictated the issue and terms of the ultimatum to Servia and then urged Austria to refuse any compromise and arbitration which might have averted war.

Mr. Shaw has assumed the impossible task of trying to blind the American public to these and other facts that prove Germany to be the aggressor in this war, but he will fail in his attempt at white-washing German policy because it is one of the characteristics of the American people that they have a strong feeling for reality and that no twisting and combining of words can prevent them from getting at the facts beneath.

Bernhardi's writings are generally believed to be an inspiration, and in part a statement of German policy. But Mr. Shaw differs. In trying to prove that Bernhardism has nothing to do with the case, he maintains that Germany has neglected the Bernhardi programme, and says:

"He warned Germany to make an alliance with Italy, Austria, Turkey, and America before undertaking the subjugation of France, then of England."

Mr. Shaw then asserts that Germany disregarded this advice and allowed herself to be caught between Russia and a Franco-British combination with no ally save Austria. But here again facts are against him. For Germany has followed with marvelous precision the line drawn by Bernhardi.

She is actually fighting in partnership with Austria. She allied herself with Italy—though Italy has refused to fight with her in this present war of aggression. Germany has also bent Turkey to her purpose, and has dragged the Turks into the war. An alliance with America! Well, to have gained the help of America in crushing France and crippling England, and ravaging and conquering Belgium was quite beyond the power of German diplomacy and intrigue! Still Germany's attempts to win at least America's moral support in this war are vigorous, if unsuccessful.

And with what quotable matter Mr. Shaw provides the German rulers for the further deluding of their subjects when he writes of the German people being "stirred to their depths by the apparent treachery and duplicity of the attack made upon them in their extrernest peril from France and Russia," when he writes of the Kaiser doing "all a Kaiser could do without unbearable ignominy to induce the British not to fight him and give him fair play with Russia," and when he writes of "taking the Kaiser at a disadvantage." As though we ought meekly to have agreed to the Kaiser's plan of defeating France {71}and using her defeat as a bridge to England and a means of conquering England! Uncommon nonsense about the war—so we must rename Mr. Shaw's production!

And what is all this that flows from the pen of Mr. Shaw about Belgium and "obsolete treaties," "rights of way," "necessities that know no international law," "circumstances that alter treaties"? Made in Germany such statements are, and yet even the Imperial German Chancellor is not so contemptuous as Bernard Shaw is of Belgium's charter of existence, the treaty now violated by Germany.

That is a treaty that cannot become obsolete until the powers who made it release Belgium from the restrictions and obligations which the treaty imposes. Germany pleads guilty in this matter of the violation of Belgian neutrality, though Mr. Shaw attempts to show her innocent, for the German Chancellor has said: "This is an infraction of international law—we are compelled to overrule the legitimate protests of the Luxemburg and Belgian Governments. We shall repair the wrong we are doing as soon as our military aims have been achieved." And again the Chancellor said the invasion of Belgium "is contrary to the law of nature." To Mr. Bernard Shaw's peculiar sense of international morality such dealing is not, however, repugnant.

No "Right of Way" in Belgium.

In his letter to President Wilson Mr. Shaw, either willfully or ignorantly, seeks to confuse the neutrality of a neutralized State such as Belgium and the neutrality of an ordinary State such as Italy, and he pretends that violation of the first sort of neutrality creates a situation in no way different from that created by the violation of the second and normal sort of neutrality. I would refer Mr. Shaw to "The Case for Belgium" issued by the Belgian delegates to the United States wherein they point out that "the peculiarity about Belgian neutrality is that it has been imposed upon her by the powers as the one condition upon which they recognized her national existence."

The consequence of this is that whereas Italy and the United States and other powers having a similar status can, subject to the risk of attack from an affronted belligerent, please themselves whether or not they condone a violation of their neutrality, Belgium and the other neutralized States cannot condone such violation, but must either resist all breaches of their neutrality or surrender their right to existence. And further a neutralized State, putting faith in the treaty that guarantees its existence and its neutrality, refrains naturally from that preparation for war which would be deemed necessary in the absence of such a treaty.

There is no such thing as the "right of way" through neutralized Belgium which Mr. Shaw claims on behalf of belligerent Germany. Far from exercising a right of way Germany has violently committed a trespass, offering a German promise, a mere "scrap of paper," as reparation. "A right of way," argues Bernard Shaw, "is not a right of conquest"; but the truth is that in passing through Belgium Germany assumed dominion over Belgium, which dominion she has since formally asserted and is seeking forcibly to maintain.

A New Shavian Theory.

No comprehension does Mr. Shaw display of the hurt to the Belgians' sense of honor involved in Germany's use of their territory for purposes hostile to their friendly neighbor, France. To be forced into injuring a friend is an outrage, indeed, and Mr. Shaw surely knows too much of matters military to be unaware that to permit a right of way to one combatant amounts to making an attack upon the other, and that Germany, by the very fact of crossing Belgium soil, was forcing Belgium to be the enemy of France. Only by their great heroism were the Belgians able to escape this infamy that had been planned for them.

To be conquered does not really matter! There we have another Shavian {72}theory. How grateful would the would-be world-ruling Kaiser feel to Mr. Shaw were he to succeed in inoculating the peoples of Europe and of America with that theory! So would the task of putting the peoples under the German yoke (otherwise known as German culture) be made easier—and cheaper. But the spirit of national freedom, which is as precious to humanity as is the spirit of individual freedom, cannot be driven out by words any more than it can be driven out by blows. The most unlettered Belgian soldier, fighting for a truth that is at the very heart and depth of all things true, puts the mere wordmonger to shame.

That Great Britain does not fight only for Belgium is certainly a fact, though Belgium's plight alone would have been enough to bring us into the conflict. We fight also for France, because she is wrongfully attacked, and because she is by her civilization and culture one of the world's treasures. We fight for the all-sufficient reason of self-defense.

There is the case for Britain, and despite his special pleading for Germany, Mr. Shaw can show no flaw in it. He does say, however, that the British Government, instead of first seeking a mild way of preserving peace, ought to have said point blank to Germany: "If you attack France we shall attack you." I also think that such a declaration would have been the right one. To me and to many others the thought that our country might stand by and watch inactively an attack upon France was intolerable. Great was our relief when this apprehension was removed by the British Government's declaration of war. Why did not the British Government say to Germany before the war cloud burst that Britain would fight to defend France, and why did the Government delay so long in declaring war? Mr. Shaw does not give the reason, but I will give it.

It was that the Government feared opposition to our entering into the war would come from a Radico-Socialist literary clique in London, from a section of the Liberal press, and from certain Liberal and Labor politicians who had been deceived by German professors and other missionaries of the Kaiser into thinking the German peril did not exist. When Belgium was invaded most of these misguided ones were unable to cling any longer to their "keep out of it" policy, and then the Government felt free to act. Yet the Government need not have waited, because with the facts before them the people as a whole would perfectly have understood the necessity of fighting even had Belgium not been invaded.

Henceforward the general public must be kept informed of what is happening in the international world. Foreign politics must be conducted with greater publicity. There, at least, Bernard Shaw is right, but this is a reform which he and his fellow-men have failed to effect, whereas women, had they been voters, would have demanded and secured it long ago.

Now, although undue diplomatic secrecy, always wrong, will be especially wrong when the terms of peace come to be made, sentimentality will certainly be more mischievous still. It is difficult to resist the conclusion that Bernard Shaw's writings on the war are intended as an appeal to sentimentality—an appeal that Germany at the close of the war shall have treatment which, by being more than just to her, would be less than just to the countries whom she has attacked, and would mean a recurrence of this appalling war in after years.

Before the war specious words were used to cloak the German policy of aggression which has plunged the world in horror and is martyrizing peoples. In view of the coming victory of the Allies, the same tactics will be adopted by the German militarists, and it behooves Bernard Shaw to beware lest even without intent he serve as their tool. Men such as he who believe that while they can never be in the wrong, their country can never be in the right, are just the men who are in danger of stumbling at this time.

CHRISTABEL PANKHURST. Photo (C) by Underwood & Underwood. See Page 68 JAMES M. BARRIE. See Page 100

CHRISTABEL PANKHURST. Photo (C) by Underwood & Underwood. See Page 68.

JAMES M. BARRIE. See Page 100.

{73}Comment by Readers of Shaw

Shaw Has Made Minister von Jagow's Remark on a "Scrap of Paper" Understandable.

To the Editor of The New York Times:

Most hearty thanks for that masterly "common-sense" article of Bernard Shaw. How clearly he expresses the much that many of us have felt way down inside and have not been able to formulate even to ourselves!

He has made at least one woman—and one of German parentage at that—understand what reams of public and private communications from all over the Fatherland could not make clear: just why the blunt, impetuous, shocked, and astounded Kaiser dared give utterance to that disgraceful "scrap of paper" remark—inexcusable but also very understandable in the light of his knowledge of and confidence in a more astute miscreant; why France and Germany have always considered England more or less of a Tartuffe and a "Scheinheilige" (one who seems holy); and why every German—man, woman and child—so execrates Sir Edward Grey and colleagues.

Nothing in all the sickening present conditions, the future long-lasting woe and misery, the barbarous neutrality violations has so made me blush for my mother's country as the "scrap of paper" incident; and it has been most bitter to listen to the extravagant, fantastic eulogies on England, with which we've been so favored without feeling honestly able to make any excuses whatever for Germany.

But now—thanks to that article—I can understand what I may not condone, and, though abhorring the Kaiser and my mother's compatriots for their share in that horror going on abroad, I can also pity the hot-headed, imperfect mere man going to war under a carefully incited and fostered misapprehension, and need no longer glorify the cool-headed, sapient policy which so cleverly duped ruler and people.

Not since the war began have I felt so undepressed, so free to sympathize where I so love, so free from having to commend those for whom I feel no love whatever. For all of which accept the warmest thanks of


New York, Nov. 17.

Shaw Article Work of "Farceur."

To the Editor of The New York Times:

"Common sense and Shaw!" Shaw begins his article by saying, "I am giving my views for what they are worth, with a malicious bias." Later on he says: "I am writing history." Toward the end, after having obscured with words many things which had hitherto been clear to most people, he says: "Now that we begin to see where we really are, &c." How Shavian!

There are at least two sides to all questions, and so long as they are reasonably presented one is glad to hear them even if they fail to convince, but when a farceur is allowed to occupy three whole pages usually filled by serious and interesting writers it seems time to protest. The subject itself is not one for easy paradox or false and flippant epigram.

Mr. Shaw says he does not hold his tongue easily. He certainly does not, and when it wags it wags foolishly, and, as he admits, maliciously, albeit sometimes amusingly, and with superficial brilliance. He says the Irish do not consider England their country yet. Of course they do not. Why should the Irish consider themselves English? Neither do the Scots, nor the Welsh, nor the Canadians, nor will they ever so think. But they are all British, and so, despite all Mr. Shaw says to the contrary, Kitchener was right.

{74}Mr. Shaw falls into a common and regrettable error when he continually writes England when he really means the British Empire. It is the British Empire that is at war, for which, though a citizen, Mr. Shaw has no authority to speak or to be considered a representative, for, as he unnecessarily admits, he is not a "British patriot"; neither is he a "Junker," for I have looked through all his definitions of the word, and none applies to him.

In what way is the "Battle of Dorking" like Bernhardi? The one he says had as a moral: "To arms! or the Germans will besiege London!" The other said: "To arms! so that the Germans may besiege London, or any other country that does not want compulsory culture!" The one was defensive, the other offensive.

He says of the war: "We" began it. Since he says he is not English, and that it is an English war, whom does he mean by "We"? If he means the British, then, should a policeman see a small boy being ill-treated by a large man and go to the help of that boy, he, the policeman, must be said to have begun the fight which would probably ensue between him and said man, notwithstanding that the policeman is only fulfilling what he has sworn to do.

Monaco, he says, "seems to be, on the whole, the most prosperous and comfortable State in Europe." If this is buffoonery it is singularly out of place. But even Monaco has an "army," has had recently a small revolution, and the Monegasques do not consider themselves ideally comfortable, and they have many "injustices." Does he hold the principality up as a model administration and the source of its prosperity as above reproach?

Mr. Shaw represents no one but himself, and, like all small men, he reviles others greater than he, such as Sir Edward Grey and Mr. Asquith, but it does not become him, looking at his own life's history, to cast cheap sneers at anonymous journalists in cheap newspapers, who, though they may lack his literary style, possess, at least, one virtue which he boasts that he has not—patriotism! Yours very truly,


New York, Nov. 18.

Antidote to "Long Infliction of Dreary Stuff."

To the Editor of The New York Times:

Hail to Bernard Shaw! Could anything be more refreshing? After the long infliction upon us of the flood of dreary stuff from London and Paris, and all the talk of German militarism, and what is to become of it at the hands of such immaculately unmilitary apostles of peace and international righteousness and treaty observances as Russia, France, and England, and all the maudlin denunciations of the German Nietzsche and Bernhardi, and the terrible Kaiser, could anything be more refreshing than Shaw's advent in the field of current war history?

Though an Anglo-Saxon of American birth and long descent, and no believer in militarism of any sort of itself, yet I see in that no reason to distort ancient history by an attempt to make it appear that German militarism is at all the chief sinner, or, for that matter, not a very necessary and desirable thing in order that Germany may have her rightful place in the world, or any place at all.

V.A.W. Warwick, N.Y., Nov. 16.

False Assumptions Basis of Shaw's Attack.

To the Editor of The New York Times:

The article on the European war by Mr. G.B. Shaw in THE TIMES of Sunday appeals to me as a noteworthy specimen of what an artful literary genius can do in the way of argumentative cantankerousness. His chief grievance is British diplomacy as represented by Sir Edward Grey, upon whose devoted head he empties the vials of his splenetic humor.

Underlying his argument are two glaringly false assumptions, and on these the whole fabric rests. The first is that a certain undefined but presumably mul{75}titudinous body, which he designates as "Socialist," "Democratic," and "Social Democratic," is better qualified to determine the policy and conduct the correspondence of the Foreign Office than trained and experienced statesmen.

The second is that Sir Edward Grey should have followed the suggestion of Sazonof and threatened Germany with war at a certain stage of the correspondence. This can now be only a matter of opinion, but it may be confidently affirmed that of all nations the Germany of this day would be the last to back down in face of a threat. It may be also said generally that an open threat is about the surest way to bring on a war. Austria threatened Servia and war ensued. Germany threatened Russia and war ensued. Germany threatened Belgium—in the form of a notification that she intended to invade her territory—and war ensued.

Mr. Shaw's contentions are grotesque.

Flushing, Nov. 16. SAM TEST.

"Junkers" Controlled Old World Ages Before Shaw.

To the Editor of The New York Times:

With regard to the article by Mr. Bernard Shaw, the gist of the matter can be compressed in fewer words. The ideas expressed are not the exclusive property of Mr. Shaw. The Old World for indefinite ages has been controlled and directed by what he calls the "Junker" class, the rich and idle aristocrats who want for nothing, and, being born to rule, do not find it worth while to exert themselves mentally, and for whom there is no suitable profession but the army and diplomacy.

The mass of the people are to them the great unwashed, and those a little higher in the scale "cads and bounders," or the German equivalent, in fact the canaille of the French who at the time of the Revolution took things into their own hands to the great surprise of everybody. This substratum is not considered in the scheme of the "Junker's" existence, though the lower orders alone are the workers and producers and make ease and luxury possible.

Mr. Shaw. I believe, intends to intimate that there might be a use for the intellectual class, the thinkers and writers with the imagination that can put them mentally in the place of the individuals who make up the masses, think the thoughts and live the lives vicariously of the people who are the nation, and if the "Junker" class of England and Germany and kindred nations who govern and dictate its policies were leavened with the brains and broad-mindedness of the thinkers there might be found a better use for men than killing each other and a brighter outlook for the world which is now filled with widows and orphans.


Elizabeth, N.J., Nov, 16.

{76}Open Letter to President Wilson[1]

By George Bernard Shaw.

Sir: I petition you to invite the neutral powers to confer with the United States of America for the purpose of requesting Britain, France, and Germany to withdraw from the soil of Belgium and fight out their quarrel on their own territories. However the sympathies of the neutral States may be divided, and whatever points now at issue between the belligerent powers may be doubtful, there is one point on which there can be neither division nor doubt, and that is that the belligerent armies have no right to be in Belgium, much less to fight in Belgium, and involve the innocent inhabitants of that country in their reciprocal slaughter. You will not question my right to address this petition to you. You are the official head of the nation that is beyond all question or comparison the chief of the neutral powers, marked out from all the rest by commanding magnitude, by modern democratic constitution, and by freedom from the complication of monarchy and its traditions, which have led Europe into the quaint absurdity of a war waged formally between the German Kaiser, the German Czar, the German King of the Belgians, the German King of England, the German Emperor of Austria, and a gentleman who shares with you the distinction of not being related to any of them, and is therefore describable monarchically as one Poincaré, a Frenchman.

I make this petition on its merits, without claiming any representative character except such as attaches to me as a human being. Nobody here has asked me to do it. Except among the large class of constitutional beggars, the normal English feeling is that it is no use asking for a thing if you feel certain that it will be refused, and are not in a position to enforce compliance. Also, that the party whose request is refused{77} and not enforced looks ridiculous. Many Englishmen will say that a request to the belligerents to evacuate Belgium forthwith would be refused; could not be enforced; and would make the asker ridiculous. We are, in short, not a prayerful nation. But to you it will be clear that even the strongest power, or even allied group of powers, can have its position completely changed by an expression of the public opinion of the rest of the world. In your clear western atmosphere and in your peculiarly responsible position as the head centre of western democracy, you, when the European situation became threatening three months ago, must have been acutely aware of the fact to which Europe was so fatally blinded—namely, that the simple solution of the difficulty in which the menace of the Franco-Russo-British Entente placed Germany was for the German Emperor to leave his western frontier under the safeguard of the neighborliness and good faith of American, British, and French democracy, and then await quite calmly any action that Russia might take against his country on the east. Had he done so, we could not have attacked him from behind; and had France made such an attack—and it is in the extremest degree improbable that French public opinion would have permitted such a hazardous and unjustifiable adventure—he would at worst have confronted it with the fullest sympathy of Britain and the United States, and at best with their active assistance. Unhappily, German Kings do not allow democracy to interfere in their foreign policy; do not believe in neighborliness; and do believe in cannon and cannon fodder. The Kaiser never dreamed of confiding his frontier to you and to the humanity of his neighbors. And the diplomatists of Europe never thought of that easy and right policy, and could not suggest any substitute for it, with the hideous result which is before you.

The State of Belgium.

Now that this mischief has been done, and the two European thunderclouds have met and are discharging their lightnings, it is not for me to meddle with the question whether the United States should take a side in their warfare as far as it concerns themselves alone. But I may plead for a perfectly innocent neutral State, the State of Belgium, which is being ravaged in a horrible manner by the belligerents. Her surviving population is flying into all the neighboring countries to escape from the incessant hail of shrapnel and howitzer shells from British cannon, French cannon, German cannon, and, most tragic of all, Belgian cannon; for the Belgian Army is being forced to devastate its own country in its own defense.

For this there can be no excuse; and at such a horror the rest of the world cannot look on in silence without incurring the guilt of the bystander who witnesses a crime without even giving the alarm. I grant that Belgium, in her extreme peril, made one mistake. She called to her aid the powers of the Entente alone instead of calling on the whole world of kindly men. She should have called on America, too; and it is hard to see how you could in honor have disregarded that call. But if Belgium says nothing, but only turns her eyes dumbly toward you while you look at the red ruin in which her villages, her heaps of slain, her monuments and treasures are being hurled by her friends and enemies alike, are you any the less bound to speak out than if Belgium had asked you to send her a million soldiers?

Not for a moment do I suggest that your intervention should be an intervention on behalf of either the Allies or the Entente. If you consider both sides equally guilty, we know that you can find reasons for that verdict. But Belgium is innocent; and it is on behalf of Belgium that so much of the world as is still at peace is waiting for a lead from you. No other question need be prejudged. If Germany maintains her claim to a right of way through Belgium on a matter which she believed (however erroneously) to be one of life and death to her as a nation, nobody, not even China, now pretends that such rights of way have not their place among those common human rights which are su{78}perior to the more artificial rights of nationality. I think, for example, that if Russia made a descent on your continent under circumstances which made it essential to the maintenance of your national freedom that you should move an army through Canada, you would ask our leave to do so, and take it by force if we did not grant it. You may reasonably suspect, even if all our statesmen raise a shriek of denial, that we should take a similar liberty under similar circumstances in the teeth of all the scraps of paper in our Foreign Office dustbin. You see, I am frank with you, and fair, I hope, to Germany. But a right of way is not a right of conquest; and even the right of way was not, as the Imperial Chancellor imagined, a matter of life and death at all, but a militarist hallucination, and one that has turned out, so far, a military mistake. In short, there was no such case of overwhelming necessity as would have made the denial of a right of way to the German Army equivalent to a refusal to save German independence from destruction, and therefore to an act of war against her, justifying a German conquest of Belgium. You can therefore leave the abstract question of international rights of way quite unprejudiced by your action. You can leave every question between the belligerents fully open, and yet, in the common interest of the world, ask Germany to clear out of Belgium, into France or across the Channel, if she can, back home if she can force no other passage, but at all events out of Belgium. A like request would, of course, be addressed to Britain and to France at the same time. The technical correctness of our diplomatic position as to Belgium may be unimpeachable; but as the effect of our shells on Belgium is precisely the same as that of the German shells, and as by fighting on Belgian soil we are doing her exactly the same injury that we should have done her if the violation of her neutrality had been initiated by us instead of by Germany, we could not decently refuse to fall in with a general evacuation.

A Certain Result of Intervention.

At all events, your intervention could not fail to produce at least the result that even if the belligerents refused to comply, your request would leave them in an entirely new and very unpleasant relation to public opinion. No matter how powerful a State is, it is not above feeling the vast difference between doing something that nobody condemns and something that everybody condemns except the interested parties.

That difference alone would be well worth your pains. But it is by no means a foregone conclusion that a blank refusal would be persisted in. Germany must be aware that the honor of England is now so bound up with the complete redemption of Belgium from the German occupation that to keep Antwerp and Brussels she must take Portsmouth and London. France is no less deeply engaged. You can judge better than I what chance Germany now has, or can persuade herself she has, of exhausting or overwhelming her western enemies without ruining herself in the attempt. Whatever else the war and its horrors may have done or not done, you will agree with me that it has made an end of the dreams of military and naval steam-rollering in which the whole wretched business began. At a cost which the conquest of a whole continent would hardly justify, these terrible armaments and the heroic hosts which wield them push one another a few miles back and forward in a month, and take and retake some miserable village three times over in less than a week. Can you doubt that though we have lost all fear of being beaten, (our darkened towns, and the panics of our papers, with their endless scares and silly inventions, are mere metropolitan hysteria,) we are getting very tired of a war in which, having now re-established our old military reputation, and taught the Germans that there is no future for their empire without our friendship and that of France, we have nothing more to gain? In London and Paris and Berlin nobody at present dares say "Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to an{79}other?"; for the slightest disposition toward a Christian view of things is regarded as a shooting matter in these capitals; but Washington is still privileged to talk common humanity to the nations.

An Advantage of Aloofness.

Finally, I may remind you of another advantage which your aloofness from the conflict gives you. Here, in England and in France, men are going to the front every day; their women and children are all within earshot; and no man is hard-hearted enough to say the worst that might be said of what is going on in Belgium now. We talk to you of Louvain and Rheims in the hope of enlisting you on our side or prejudicing you against the Germans, forgetting how sorely you must be tempted to say as you look on at what we are doing, "Well, if European literature, as represented by the library of Louvain, and European religion, as represented by the Cathedral of Rheims, have not got us beyond this, in God's name let them perish." I am thinking of other things—of the honest Belgians, whom I have seen nursing their wounds, and whom I recognize at a glance as plain men, innocent of all warlike intentions, trusting to the wisdom and honesty of the rulers and diplomatists who have betrayed them, taken from their farms and their businesses to destroy and be destroyed for no good purpose that might not have been achieved better and sooner by neighborly means. I am thinking of the authentic news that no papers dare publish, not of the lies that they all publish to divert attention from the truth. In America these things can be said without driving American mothers and wives mad; here, we have to set our teeth and go forward. We cannot be just; we cannot see beyond the range of our guns. The roar of the shrapnel deafens us; the black smoke of the howitzer blinds us; and what these do to our bodily senses our passions do to our imaginations. For justice, we must do as the mediaeval cities did—call in a stranger. You are not altogether that to us; but you can look at all of us impartially. And you are the spokesman of Western democracy. That is why I appeal to you.



[1] The English newspaper, The Nation, in which Mr. Shaw's letter to the President of the United States appeared on Nov. 7, made the following comment thereon:

We are glad to publish Mr. Shaw's brilliant appeal to the President of the United States, because we believe that when the time for settlement arrives, the influence of America will be a powerful, perhaps a decisive, factor in obtaining it. We agree, too, with him that while she is not likely to respond to an appeal to intervene on the side of the Entente or the Alliance, the case of Belgium, the innocent victim of the war, is bound to find her in a very different mood. The States are already Belgium's almoner; it is only a step further for them to come in as her savior. But on a vital point we disagree with Mr. Shaw. His Irish mind puts the case with an indifference to which we cannot pretend. We have got to save Western Europe from a victory of Prussian militarism, as well as to avenge Belgium and set her on her feet again. We regard the temper and policy revealed in Germany's violation of Belgium soil and her brutalization of the Belgian people as essential to our judgment of this war and its end. And we dare not concede an inch to Mr. Shaw's "right of way" theory. His distinction between "right of way" and a "right of conquest" has no practical effect other than to extinguish the rights of small nationalities as against great ones, who alone have the power to take a "right of way" when it is refused, and afterward to turn it into a right of conquest. Germany's action was not only a breach of her own treaty (only revealed within a few hours of its execution), but of Article I. of The Hague Convention on the rights of neutral powers:


It is not therefore a small thing that Germany has ripped clean through the whole fabric of The Hague Conventions of 1907. Could the American Government, aware of that fact, address herself to intervention on the Belgian question without regard to the breaches of international law which were perpetrated, first, through the orignal German invasion of Belgium, and then in the conduct of the campaign in that country?

{80}A German Letter to G. Bernard Shaw

By Herbert Eulenberg.

The following letter from the noted German playwright Eulenberg, whose plays of a decided modern tendency have been presented extensively in Germany and in Vienna, was made public by the German Press Bureau of New York in October, 1914.

Bernard Shaw: You have addressed us Germans several times of late without receiving a reply from us. The reason for this was probably the momentary bitterness against your country of our people's intellectual representatives. Indeed, our best scholars and artists, Ernst Haeckel at 81 years, leading the rest, stripped themselves during these past weeks of all the honors which England had apportioned them. Permit me as one who had the opportunity to do much for the propagation of your dramatic works, especially of your finest drama, "Candida," in Western Germany and in Holland, to present as quiet and as moderate a retort as is possible.

Your appeal to intellectual Germany we reciprocate with a question to intellectual England. It is as follows: How is it possible for you to witness your country's present unheard of policy (so opposed to culture) without rising as one man against it? Do you believe that we thinking Germans would ever, without saying or doing anything, observe an alliance of our Government, whose goal was the strengthening of imperialism and the subjugation and destruction of a cultured power, such as France or England? Never! Among your people only a very small number of brave scholars protested against this criminal alliance of your Government at the beginning of the war. You others, you poets, painters, and musicians of present-day England were silent and permitted Sir Edward Grey to continue to sin against a people related to you by blood and intellect. You raised your voice a little, Bernard Shaw! But what did you propose to us: "Refrain from your militarism, my dear Germans, and become again the congenial, complacent poets and thinkers, the people of Goethe and Beethoven, whom no one hated! Then we will surely help you against the bad Russians!"

Is not this proposal a bit too naïve for you, Bernard Shaw? We are situated in the midst of Russians and Frenchmen, who have formed an open alliance against us for more than twenty years. Our neighbors in the East denounce nothing more than us, and our neighbors in the West denounce us and plan against us, who have for nearly half a century evinced nothing but friendliness toward them. When such enemies surround us, does not your friendly counsel, Bernard Shaw, seem as if you said to us: "Just let yourself be massacred, Germans! Afterward your British cousins will vouchsafe you their protection."

Germany Not Isolated.

Do you think that we would carry on our militarism and our expensive drilling if we lived on an island as you do? We would not think of it. We would speedily dispatch a blood-thirsty butcher, like your Lord Kitchener, from our island to our most unhealthy colony. We could not even reconcile our worthy Dr. Karl Peters, who had dealt a little unscrupulously with a few negro women, with our conceptions of culture, and had to pass him over to you! But the thought shall not come to me or to us, as it does to your Prime Ministers, to pose as angels of light, a fact about which you have yourself told your compatriots the bitter truth to our great joy. We admit having injured Belgium's neutrality, but we have only done it because of dire necessity, because we could not otherwise reach France and take up the fight against two sides forced upon us. Belgium's independence and freedom, which is suddenly of the utmost importance to your King and your Ministers, we have not touched. Even after the expeditious capture of Liége we asked Belgium for the second time: "Let us pass quickly through your country. We will make good every damage, and will not take away a square foot of your country! Do destroyers of liberty and Huns and vandals, or whatever other defamatory names your English papers now heap upon us, who at the time of Beethoven and Schopenhauer formed the Areopagus of culture, conduct themselves in such a way? Does not one of your living spirits in England cry aloud at the reprehensible alliance which your Government has made over your heads with Russia and Japan? On the most shameful day in English history, on the day when Mongolian Japan gave the German people her ultimatum at the instigation of your politicians, on this, I repeat it, most shameful day in the entire English history, I believed that the great dead in Westminster Abbey would rise from their graves horrified at the shameful deed which their grandsons and great-grandsons imposed upon old England.

The Land of Shakespeare.

We Germans venerated the old England almost as a fatherland. We have recognized, understood, and studied Shakespeare, whom you, Bernard Shaw, so dislike, more than any other people, even more than the English nation itself. Lord Byron received more benefits from Goethe alone than from all of England put together. Newton, Darwin, and Adam Smith found in Germany their best supporters and interpreters. The dramatic writers of latter-day England, most worthy of mention, from Oscar Wilde to you, Galsworthy and Knoblauch, are recognized by us and their plays performed numberless times. We have always endeavored to understand the English character. "Nowhere did we feel so much at home as in Germany," all your compatriots will tell you who have been guests here.

In "gratitude" for this our merchants were persecuted for years by your merchants, because of a wild hatred for Germans, which, by the way, had a most disagreeable effect upon the races of other colors. In "gratitude," with but few exceptions which we will not forget, we are now abused and belittled by your press before all of Europe and America as if we were assassins, vagabonds, enemies of culture and murderers, far worse than the Russians. As thanks for that you have entered upon a war against us, for which even Sir Edward Grey could not at first give a good reason until the injury of Belgium neutrality luckily came to his assistance.

Our people are, therefore, now rightly embittered against England because through your groundless participation you have made more difficult the war against Russia and France, for which one alone, the Czar of Russia, bears the blame. But despite this great bitterness they would never approve the demolition of your country and your nation, because of their respect for your great past and your share in the development of culture in Europe. You, however, joined an alliance as a third great power, whose only purpose is our dissolution and destruction. Merely for reasons of justice and of moral courage a Pitt, a Burke, a Disraeli would have withdrawn their participation in such an alliance, which—Oh, heroic deed—falls upon the Germans by threes, no, by fours or fives. Your present-day statesmen, wholly unworthy of representing a people with your past and your inheritance, incite the Mongolians and blacks against us, your brother nation. They steal and permit our small and insufficiently protected colonies to be stolen and no not care a jot for all considerations of Europeans' culture and morals.

An Unnatural Russian Alliance.

England, once the home and the refuge for all free spirits from the days of the Inquisition, from Rousseau until Freiligrath and Karl Marx, England has allied herself with Russia—the prison and the horror of all friends of liberty! Hear ye, hear ye illustrious dead, who lived and struggled for the freedom and the greatest possible joy of mankind, and {82}shake in your tombs with disgust and with horror! But you living ones, and you, Bernard Shaw, the foremost of all English artists, do everything in your power to break this terrible alliance and make it powerless for England. Much more lies in the balance for her than is understood by your present nearsighted politicians, who have in mind only the momentary advantages. The destruction of the German power is not the only thing in question here; no, it concerns a great part of civilized Europe in regard to the suspension of their hard-won political liberty; and England, the people of the Magna Charta, the first free Constitution, can never be a party to that. That is why we call to you, Bernard Shaw, in the name of Europe, and ask you for your voice in the struggle.

It is a splendid thing that this serious time has also aroused the poets, the thinkers and artists as political and diplomatic advisers, and we should not let ourselves be crowded out of this profession, for which, thanks to our minds, we are not less fitted than the high-brow Lords and Counts. Men of our guild from Thucydides and Herodotus to Petrarch and Rubens, and our Humboldt and your Beaconsfield have ever shown themselves to be good intermediaries and peace advocates. And that, believe me, Bernard Shaw, is of more importance to our people, as well as to our Kaiser, who for over twenty-five years has avoided war like a poison, than all other bloody laurels. Here's to a decent, honorable and "eternal" peace.


British Authors Defend England's War

One of the most interesting documents brought forth about the war was issued Sept. 17 in London. It was signed by fifty-three of the leading British writers. Herewith are presented the text of their defense of England and their autograph signatures in facsimile.

The undersigned writers, comprising among them men of the most divergent political and social views, some of them having been for years ardent champions of good-will toward Germany, and many of them extreme advocates of peace, are nevertheless agreed that Great Britain could not without dishonor have refused to take part in the present war. No one can read the full diplomatic correspondence published in the "White Paper" without seeing that the British representatives were throughout laboring whole-heartedly to preserve the peace of Europe, and that their conciliatory efforts were cordially received by both France and Russia.

When these efforts failed Great Britain had still no direct quarrel with any power. She was eventually compelled to take up arms because, together with France, Germany, and Austria, she had solemnly pledged herself to maintain the neutrality of Belgium. As soon as danger to that neutrality arose she questioned both France and Germany as to their intentions. France immediately renewed her pledge not to violate Belgian neutrality; Germany refused to answer, and soon made all answer needless by her actions. Without even the pretense of a grievance against Belgium she made war on the weak and unoffending country she had undertaken to protect, and has since carried out her invasion with a calculated and ingenious ferocity which has raised questions other and no less grave than that of the willful disregard of treaties.

When Belgium in her dire need appealed to Great Britain to carry out her pledge, that country's course was clear. She had either to break faith, letting the {83}sanctity of treaties and the rights of small nations count for nothing before the threat of naked force, or she had to fight. She did not hesitate, and we trust she will not lay down arms till Belgium's integrity is restored and her wrongs redressed.

The treaty with Belgium made our duty clear, but many of us feel that, even if Belgium had not been involved, it would have been impossible for Great Britain to stand aside while France was dragged into war and destroyed. To permit the ruin of France would be a crime against liberty and civilization. Even those of us who question the wisdom of a policy of Continental ententes or alliances refuse to see France struck down by a foul blow dealt in violation of a treaty.

We observe that various German apologists, official and semi-official, admit that their country had been false to its pledged word, and dwell almost with pride on the "frightfulness" of the examples by which it has sought to spread terror in Belgium, but they excuse all these proceedings by a strange and novel plea. German culture and civilization are so superior to those of other nations that all steps taken to assert them are more than justified, and the destiny of Germany to be the dominating force in Europe and the world is so manifest that ordinary rules of morality do not hold in her case, but actions are good or bad simply as they help or hinder the accomplishment of that destiny.

These views, inculcated upon the present generation of Germans by many celebrated historians and teachers, seem to us both dangerous and insane. Many of us have dear friends in Germany, many of us regard German culture with the highest respect and gratitude; but we cannot admit that any nation has the right by brute force to impose its culture upon other nations, nor that the iron military bureaucracy of Prussia represents a higher form of human society than the free Constitutions of Western Europe.

Whatever the world destiny of Germany may be, we in Great Britain are ourselves conscious of a destiny and a duty. That destiny and duty, alike for us and for all the English-speaking race, call upon us to uphold the rule of common justice between civilized peoples, to defend the rights of small nations, and to maintain the free and law-abiding ideals of Western Europe against the rule of "Blood and Iron" and the domination of the whole Continent by a military caste.

For these reasons and others the undersigned feel bound to support the cause of the Allies with all their strength, with a full conviction of its righteousness, and with a deep sense of its vital import to the future of the world.

{84} Signatures


WILLIAM ARCHER, dramatic critic and editor of Ibsen's works, author of "Life of Macready," "Real Conversations," "The Great Analysis," and (with Granville Barker) "A National Theatre."

H. GRANVILLE BARKER, actor, dramatist, and manager, shares with his wife management of the Kingsway Theatre, London; author of "The Voysey Inheritance," and (with Laurence Housman) "Prunella."

SIR JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE, creator of "Sentimental Tommy" and "Peter Pan," famous for his sympathetic studies of Scotch life and his fantastic comedies.

HILAIRE BELLOC, best known as a writer on history, politics, and economics; a recognized authority on the French Revolution.

ARNOLD BENNETT, author of many popular realistic studies of English provincial life, including "Clayhanger" and "Hilda Lessways."

ARTHUR CHRISTOPHER BENSON, chiefly known for "From a College Window," "Beside Still Waters," and other volumes of essays.

EDWARD FREDERIC BENSON, brother of the preceding, author of many novels of modern life, including "Dodo."

VERY REV. MONSIGNOR ROBERT HUGH BENSON, the youngest of the three famous Benson brothers. Besides numerous devotional and theological works, Monsignor Benson has written several widely appreciated historical novels.

LAWRENCE BINYON, author of many lyrics and poetic dramas, Assistant Keeper in the British Museum, in charge of Oriental Prints and Drawings.

ANDREW CECIL BRADLEY, critic, sometime Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, author of a standard work on Shakespeare.

ROBERT BRIDGES, Poet-Laureate. Prominent as a physician before his poetry brought him the high honor he now enjoys.

HALL CAINE, one of the most popular of contemporary novelists.

R.C. CARTON, dramatist, author of "Lord and Lady Algy" and "A White Elephant."

CHARLES HADDON CHAMBERS, dramatist, author of "John a Dreams," part author of "The Fatal Card."

GILBERT K. CHESTERTON, essayist, novelist, poet; defender of orthodox thought by unorthodox methods.

HUBERT HENRY DAVIES, dramatist, author of "The Mollusc" and "A Single Man."

SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, creator of "Sherlock Holmes."

HERBERT ALBERT LAURENS FISHER, Vice Chancellor of Sheffield University, author of "The Mediaeval Empire," "Napoleon Bonaparte," and other historical works.

JOHN GALSWORTHY, a novelist and dramatist who has come into great prominence during the last five years, his plays, "Strife" and "Justice," and his novel, "The Dark Flower," being widely known.

ANSTEY GUTHRIE, (F. ANSTEY,) author of "The Brass Bottle," "The Talking Horse," and other fantastic and humorous tales.

SIR HENRY RIDER HAGGARD, author of many widely read romances, among them being "She."

THOMAS HARDY, generally considered to be the greatest living English novelist.

JANE ELLEN HARRISON, sometime Fellow and Lecturer at Newnham College, Cambridge University; writer of many standard works on classical religion, literature, and life.

ANTHONY HOPE HAWKINS, (ANTHONY HOPE,) author of popular historical romance and sketches of modern society, including "The Prisoner of Zenda."

MAURICE HEWLETT, poet and romantic novelist, author of "Earthworks Out of Tuscany" and other mediaeval tales.

ROBERT HICHENS, novelist, author of "The Garden of Allah," "Bella Donna," and other stories.

JEROME K. JEROME, humorist, famous for "Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow" and the "Three Men" series, and for his play "The Passing of the Third Floor Back."

HENRY ARTHUR JONES, dramatist, author of "The Silver King," "The Hypocrites," and other plays.

RUDYARD KIPLING needs no introduction to people who read the English language.

WILLIAM J. LOCKE, author of "The Morals of Marcus," "Septimus," and "The Beloved Vagabond," which have been made into successful plays.

EDWARD VERRAL LUCAS, associate editor of Punch and editor of several popular anthologies, author of "A Wanderer in Holland."

JOHN WILLIAM MACKAIL, Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, author and editor of many volumes dealing with ancient Greek and Roman literature.

JOHN MASEFIELD, known chiefly for his long poems of life among the British poor.

ALFRED EDWARD WOODLEY MASON, writer of romantic novels, of which "The Four Feathers" and "The Turnstile" are perhaps the best known, and of several popular dramas.

GILBERT MURRAY, Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford University since 1908, editor and translator of Greek classics, perhaps the greatest Greek scholar now living.

HENRY NEWBOLT, "laureate of the British Navy," author of "Drake's Drum" and many other songs.

BARRY PAIN, author of "Eliza" and other novels and short stories of adventure, of many well-known parodies and poems.

SIR GILBERT PARKER, of Canadian birth, poet and author of romantic novels, including "The Judgment House," and "The Right of Way."

EDEN PHILLPOTTS, realistic novelist, noted for his exact portraits of the English rustic, author of "Down Dartmoor Way."

SIR ARTHUR WING PINERO, one of the most popular of living dramatists. His plays include "Sweet Lavender" and "The Second Mrs. Tanqueray."

{86}SIR ARTHUR QUILLER-COUCH, Professor of English Literature at Cambridge University, poet, novelist, and writer of short stories.

SIR OWEN SEAMAN, since 1906 editor of Punch, writer of parodies and light verse.

GEORGE R. SIMS, journalist, poet, and author of many popular dramas, including "The Lights of London," "Two Little Vagabonds," and "Harbour Lights."

MAY SINCLAIR, writer of novels dealing with modern moral problems, "The Divine Fire" and "The Combined Maze" being best known.

FLORA ANNIE STEEL, author of "Tales from the Punjab," "On the Face of the Waters," "A Prince of Dreamers," and other novels and short stories, most of which deal with life in India.

ALFRED SUTRO, dramatist, author of "The Walls of Jericho," "The Barrier," and other plays of modern society."

GEORGE MACAULAY TREVELYAN, late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge; author of "England Under the Stuarts," and other historical and biographical works.

RT. HON. GEORGE OTTO TREVELYAN, historian, biographer of Macaulay, and author of a four-volume work on the American Revolution.

HUMPHRY WARD, journalist and author, sometime Fellow of Brasenose College, editor of several biographical and historical works.

MARY A. WARD, (Mrs. HUMPHRY WARD,) best known of contemporary women novelists; her first success was "Robert Elsmere."

H.G. WELLS, novelist, author of "Tono Bungay" and "Ann Veronica."

MARGARET L. WOODS, poet; her "Wild Justice" and "The Invader" have placed her in the front rank.

ISRAEL ZANGWILL, novelist, poet, dramatist, interpreter of the modern Jewish spirit.

{87}The Fourth of August—Europe at War

By H.G. Wells.

Copyright, 1914, by The New York Times Company.

Europe is at war!

The monstrous vanity that was begotten by the easy victories of '70 and '71 has challenged the world, and Germany prepares to reap the harvest Bismarck sowed. That trampling, drilling foolery in the heart of Europe, that has arrested civilization and darkened the hopes of mankind for forty years. German imperialism, German militarism, has struck its inevitable blow. The victory of Germany will mean the permanent enthronement of the War God over all human affairs. The defeat of Germany may open the way to disarmament and peace throughout the earth.

To those who love peace there can be no other hope in the present conflict than the defeat, the utter discrediting of the German legend, the ending for good and all of the blood and iron superstition, of Krupp, flag-wagging Teutonic Kiplingism, and all that criminal, sham efficiency that centres in Berlin. Never was war so righteous as war against Germany now. Never has any State in the world so clamored for punishment.

But be it remembered that Europe's quarrel is with the German State, not with the German people; with a system, and not with a race. The older tradition of Germany is a pacific and civilizing tradition. The temperament of the mass of German people is kindly, sane, and amiable. Disaster to the German Army, if it is unaccompanied by any such memorable wrong as dismemberment or intolerable indignity, will mean the restoration of the greatest people in Europe to the fellowship of Western nations. The role of England in this huge struggle is plain as daylight. We have to fight. If only on account of the Luxemburg outrage, we have to fight. If we do not fight, England will cease to be a country to be proud of; it will be a dirt-bath to escape from. But it is inconceivable that we should not fight. And having fought, then in the hour of victory it will be for us to save the liberated Germans from vindictive treatment, to secure for this great people their right, as one united German-speaking State, to a place in the sun.

First we have to save ourselves and Europe, and then we have to stand between German on the one hand and the Cossack and revenge on the other.

For my own part, I do not doubt that Germany and Austria are doomed to defeat in this war. It may not be catastrophic defeat, though even that is possible, but it is defeat. There is no destiny in the stars and every sign is false if this is not so.

They have provoked an overwhelming combination of enemies. They have underrated France. They are hampered by a bad social and military tradition. The German is not naturally a good soldier; he is orderly and obedient, but he is not nimble nor quick-witted; since his sole considerable military achievement, his not very lengthy march to Paris in '70 and '71, the conditions of modern warfare have been almost completely revolutionized and in a direction that subordinates the massed fighting of unintelligent men to the rapid initiative of individualized soldiers. And, on the other hand, since those years of disaster, the Frenchman has learned the lesson of humility; he is prepared now sombrely for a sombre struggle; his is the gravity that precedes astonishing victories. In the air, in the open field, with guns and machines, it is doubtful if any one fully realizes the superiority of his {88}quality to the German. This sudden attack may take him aback for a week or so, though I doubt even that, but in the end I think he will hold his own; even without us he will hold his own, and with us then I venture to prophesy that within three months from now his tricolor will be over the Rhine. And even suppose his line gets broken by the first rush. Even then I do not see how the Germans are to get to Paris or anywhere near Paris. I do not see how against the strength of the modern defensive and the stinging power of an intelligent enemy in retreat, of which we had a little foretaste in South Africa, the exploit of Sedan can be repeated. A retiring German army, on the other hand, will be far less formidable than a retiring French army, because it has less "devil" in it, because it is made up of men taught to obey in masses, because its intelligence is concentrated in its aristocratic officers, because it is dismayed when it breaks ranks. The German Army is everything the conscriptionists dreamed of making our people; it is, in fact, an army about twenty years behind the requirements of contemporary conditions.

On the eastern frontier the issue is more doubtful because of the uncertainty of Russian things. The peculiar military strength of Russia, a strength it was not able to display in Manchuria, lies in its vast resources of mounted men. A set invasion of Prussia may be a matter of many weeks, but the raiding possibilities in Eastern Germany are enormous. It is difficult to guess how far the Russian attack will be guided by intelligence, and how far Russia will blunder, but Russia will have to blunder very disastrously indeed before she can be put upon the defensive. A Russian raid is far more likely to threaten Berlin than a German to reach Paris.

Meanwhile there is the struggle on the sea. In that I am prepared for some rude shocks. The Germans have devoted an amount of energy to the creation of an aggressive navy that would have been spent more wisely in consolidating their European position. It is probably a thoroughly good navy and ship for ship the equal of our own. But the same lack of invention, the same relative uncreativeness that has kept the German behind the Frenchman in things aerial has made him, regardless of his shallow seas, follow our lead in naval matters, and if we have erred, and I believe we have erred, in overrating the importance of the big battleship, the German has at least very obligingly fallen in with our error. The safest, most effective place for the German fleet at the present time is the Baltic Sea. On this side of the Kiel Canal, unless I overrate the powers of the waterplane, there is no safe harbor for it. If it goes into port anywhere that port can be ruined, and the bottled-up ships can be destroyed at leisure by aerial bombs. So that if they are on this side of the Kiel Canal they must keep the sea and fight, if we let them, before their coal runs short. Battle in the open sea in this case is their only chance. They will fight against odds, and with every prospect of a smashing, albeit we shall certainly have to pay for that victory in ships and men. In the Baltic we shall not be able to get at them without the participation of Denmark, and they may have a considerable use against Russia. But in the end even there mine and aeroplane and destroyer should do their work.

So I reckon that Germany will be held east and west, and that she will get her fleet practically destroyed. We ought also to be able to sweep her shipping off the seas, and lower her flag forever in Africa and Asia and the Pacific. All the probabilities, it seems to me, point to that. There is no reason why Italy should not stick to her present neutrality, and there is considerable inducement close at hand for both Denmark and Japan to join in, directly they are convinced of the failure of the first big rush on the part of Germany. All these issues will be more or less definitely decided within the next two or three months. By that time I believe German imperialism will be shattered, and it may be possible to anticipate the {89}end of the armaments phase of European history. France, Italy, England, and all the smaller powers of Europe are now pacific countries; Russia, after this huge war, will be too exhausted for further adventure; a shattered Germany will be a revolutionary Germany, as sick of uniforms and the imperialist idea as France was in 1871, as disillusioned about predominance as Bulgaria is today. The way will be open at last for all these western powers to organize peace. That is why I, with my declared horror of war, have not signed any of these "stop-the-war" appeals and declarations that have appeared in the last few days. Every sword that is drawn against Germany now is a sword drawn for peace.

If the Germans Raid England

By H.G. Wells.

From The Times of London, Oct. 31, 1914.

To the Editor of The [London] Times:

Sir: At the outset of the war I made a suggestion in your columns for the enrollment of all that surplus of manhood and patriotic feeling which remains after every man available for systematic military operations has been taken. My idea was that comparatively undrilled boys and older men, not sound enough for campaigning, armed with rifles, able to shoot straight with them, and using local means of transport, bicycles, cars, and so forth, would be a quite effective check upon an enemy's scouting, a danger to his supplies, and even a force capable of holding up a raiding advance—more particularly if that advance was poor in horses and artillery, as an overseas raid was likely to be. I suggested, too, that the mere enrollment and arming of the population would have a powerful educational effect in steadying and unifying the spirit of our people. My proposals were received with what seemed even a forced amusement by the "experts." I was told that I knew nothing about warfare, and that the Germans would not permit us to do anything of the sort. The Germans, it seems, are the authorities in these matters, a point I had overlooked. They would refuse to recognize men with only improvised uniforms, they would shoot their prisoners—not that I had proposed that my irregulars should become prisoners—and burn the adjacent villages. This seemed to be an entirely adequate reply from the point of view of the expert mind, and I gathered that the proper rôle for such an able-bodied civilian as myself was to keep indoors while the invader was about and supply him as haughtily as possible with light refreshments and anything else he chose to requisition. I was also reminded that if only men like myself had obeyed their expert advice and worked in the past for national service and the general submission of everything to expert military direction, these troubles would not have arisen. There would have been no surplus of manhood and everything would have gone as smoothly and as well for England as—the Press Censorship.

An Improbable Invasion.

For a time I was silenced. Under war conditions it is always a difficult question to determine how far it is better to obey poor, or even bad, directions or to criticise them in the hope of getting better. But the course of the war since {90}that correspondence and the revival of the idea of a raid by your military correspondent provoke me to return to this discussion. Frankly, I do not believe in that raid, and I think we play the German game in letting our minds dwell upon it. I am supposed to be a person of feverish imagination, but even by lashing my imagination to its ruddiest I cannot, in these days of wireless telegraphy, see a properly equipped German force, not even so trivial a handful as 20,000 of them, getting itself with guns, motors, ammunition, and provisions upon British soil. I cannot even see a mere landing of infantrymen. I believe in that raid even less than I do in the suggested raid of navigables that has darkened London. I admit the risk of a few aeroplane bombs in London, but I do not see why people should be subjected to danger, darkness, and inconvenience on account of that one-in-a-million risk. Still, as the trained mind does insist upon treating all unenlisted civilians as panicstricken imbeciles and upon frightening old ladies and influential people with these remote possibilities, and as it is likely that these alarms may even lead to the retention of troops in England when their point of maximum effectiveness is manifestly in France, it becomes necessary to insist upon the ability of our civilian population, if only the authorities will permit the small amount of organization and preparation needed, to deal quite successfully with any raid that in an extremity of German "boldness" may be attempted.

And, in the first place, let the expert have no illusions as to what we ordinary people are going to do if we find German soldiers in England one morning. We are going to fight. If we cannot fight with rifles, we shall fight with shotguns, and if we cannot fight according to rules of war apparently made by Germans for the restraint of British military experts, we will fight according to our inner light. Many men, and not a few women, will turn out to shoot Germans. There will be no preventing them after the Belgian stories. If the experts attempt any pedantic interference, we will shoot the experts. I know that in this matter I speak for so sufficient a number of people that it will be quite useless and hopelessly dangerous and foolish for any expert-instructed minority to remain "tame." They will get shot, and their houses will be burned according to the established German rules and methods on our account, so they may just as well turn out in the first place, and get some shooting as a consolation in advance for their inevitable troubles. And if the raiders, cut off by the sea from their supports, ill-equipped as they will certainly be, and against odds, are so badly advised as to try terror-striking reprisals on the Belgian pattern, we irregulars will, of course, massacre every German straggler we can put a gun to. Naturally. Such a procedure may be sanguinary, but it is just the common sense of the situation. We shall hang the officers and shoot the men. A German raid to England will in fact not be fought—it will be lynched. War is war, and reprisals and striking terror are games that two can play at. This is the latent temper of the British countryside, and the sooner the authorities take it in hand and regularize it the better will be the outlook in the remote event of that hypothetical raid getting home to us. Levity is a national characteristic, but submissiveness is not. Under sufficient provocation the English are capable of very dangerous bad temper, and the expert is dreaming who thinks of a German expedition moving through an apathetic Essex, for example, resisted only by the official forces trained and in training.

And whatever one may think of the possibility of raids, I venture to suggest that the time has come when the present exclusive specialization of our combatant energy upon the production of regulation armies should cease. The gathering of these will go on anyhow; there are unlimited men ready for intelligent direction. Now that the shortage of supplies and accommodation has been remedied the enlistment sluices need only be opened again. The rank and file of this country is its strength; there is no need, {91}and there never has been any need, for press hysterics about recruiting. But there is wanted a far more vigorous stimulation of the manufacture of material—if only experts and rich people would turn their minds to that. It is the trading and manufacturing class that needs goading at the present time. It is very satisfactory to send troops to France, but in France there are still great numbers of able-bodied, trained Frenchmen not fully equipped. It is our national duty and privilege to be the storehouse and arsenal of the Allies. Our factories for clothing and material of all sorts should be working day and night. There is the point to which enthusiasm should be turned. It is just as heroic and just as useful to the country to kill yourself making belts and boots as it is to die in a trench. But our organization for the enrollment and utilization of people not in the firing line is still amazingly unsatisfactory. The one convenient alternative to enlistment as a combatant at present is hospital work. But it is really far more urgent to direct enthusiasm and energy now to the production of war material. If this war does not end, as all the civilized world hopes it will end, in the complete victory of the Allies, our failure will not be through any shortage of men, but through a shortage of gear and organizing ability. It will not be through a default of the people, but through the slackness of the governing class.

Arms and Equipment Needed.

Now so far as the enrollment of us goes, of the surplus people who are willing to be armed and to be used for quasi-military work at home, but who are not of an age or not of a physique or who are already in shop or office serving some quite useful purpose at home, we want certain very simple things from the authorities. We want the military status that is conferred by a specific enrollment and some sort of uniform. We want accessible arms. They need not be modern service weapons; the rifles of ten years ago are quite good enough for the possible need we shall have for them. And we want to be sure that in the possible event of an invasion the Government will have the decision to give every man in the country a military status by at once resorting to the levée en masse. Given a recognized local organization and some advice—it would not take a week of Gen. Baden-Powell's time, for example, to produce a special training book for us—we could set to work upon our own local drill, rifle practice, and exercises, in such hours and ways as best suited our locality. We could also organize the local transport, list local supplies, and arrange for their removal or destruction if threatened. Finally, we could set to work to convert a number of ordinary cars into fighting cars by reconstructing and armoring them and exercising crews. And having developed a discipline and self-respect as a fighting force, we should be available not only for fighting work at home, in the extremely improbable event of a raid, but also for all kinds of supplementary purposes, as a reserve of motor drivers, as a supply of physically exercised and half-trained recruits in the events of an extended standard, and as a guarantee of national discipline under any unexpected stress. Above all, we should be relieving the real fighting forces of the country for the decisive area, which is in France and Belgium now and will, I hope, be in Westphalia before the Spring.

At present we non-army people are doing only a fraction of what we would like to do for our country. We are not being used. We are made to feel out of it, and we watch the not always very able proceedings of the military authorities and the international mischief-making of the Censorship with a bitter resentment that is restrained only by the supreme gravity of the crisis. For my own part I entertain three Belgians and make a young officer possible by supplementing his expenses, and my wife knits things. A neighbor, an able-bodied man of 42 and an excellent shot, is occasionally permitted to carry a recruit to Chelmsford. If I try to use my pen on behalf of my country abroad, where I have a few friends and readers, what I {92}write is exposed to the clumsy editing and delays of anonymous and apparently irresponsible officials. So practically I am doing nothing, and a great number of people are doing very little more. The authorities are concentrated upon the creation of an army numerically vast, and for the rest they seem to think that the chief function of government is inhibition. Their available energy and ability is taxed to the utmost in maintaining the fighting line, and it is sheer greed for direction that has led to their systematic thwarting of civilian co-operation. Let me warn them of the boredom and irritation they are causing. This is a people's war, a war against militarism; it is not a war for the greater glory of British diplomatists, officials, and people in uniforms. It is our war, not their war, and the last thing we intend to result from it is a permanently increased importance for the military caste.

Yours very sincerely,


Sir Oliver Lodge's Comment

To the Editor of The [London] Times:

Sir: In a strikingly vigorous letter Mr. H.G. Wells claims that a nation of which every individual prefers death to submission is unconquerable and cannot be successfully invaded. Ways of hampering an army are too numerous, if people are willing to run every risk, not only for themselves but for those dependent on them.

This may be admitted. And we may also agree that the British race would be likely to risk everything if the consequences of carefully engendered hate were loosed upon us. But here comes a point worthy of consideration. An invasion of England is, to say the least, unlikely; an invasion of Germany may soon have to be undertaken. May it not add to the difficulties of our troops if a policy of "arming every woman, child, and cat and dog" is favorably regarded by us? Is not such a policy a sort of left-handed outcome of the Prussian contention that even their own unarmed civilian populace is contemptible and may be slaughtered without mercy if military procedure is resisted, or even if supplies are not forthcoming?

It will be difficult, and I hope impossible, for the Allies to act in accordance with this latter view; though the German peasantry may have been so fed with lies that it will be unable to believe that our soldiers can be trusted to behave like civilized beings when the time has come for a forward march. It is clear that riotous license is subversive of discipline, and conduces to defeat—as it probably has in recent Continental experience. For, although ancient warriors used to ravage a country, and although women have occasionally intervened in order to stop a battle, surely never before in the history of the world have women and children been forced forward in defense of a fighting line! Yet undoubtedly war can be so conducted that foes mutually respect each other; indeed, save for the cowardly abomination of floating mines, this present war has been so conducted at sea. I suggest that the fair procedure in case of invasion is for each civilian to choose whether to be a combatant or not, and to incur the danger of an affirmative choice in a sufficiently conspicuous and permanent manner. I am, Sir, faithfully yours,

OLIVER LODGE, The University, Birmingham, Oct. 31.

{93}What the German Conscript Thinks

By Arnold Bennett.

Copyright, 1914, by The New York Times Company.

Some hold that this is a war of Prussian militarism, and not a war of the German people. This view has the merits of kindliness and convenience. Others warn us not to be misled by such sentimentalists, and assert that the heart of the German people is in the war. The point is of importance to us, because the work of the conscript in the field must be influenced by his private feelings. Notwithstanding all drill and sergeantry, the German Army remains a collection of human beings—and human beings more learned, if not better educated, than our own race! It is not a mere fighting machine, despite the efforts of its leaders to make it into one.

Among those who assert that the heart of the German people is in the war are impartial and experienced observers who have carefully studied Germany for many years. For myself, I give little value to their evidence. To come at the truth by observation about a foreign country is immensely, overpoweringly difficult. I am a professional observer: I have lived in Paris and in the French provinces for nine years; I am fairly familiar with French literature and very familiar with the French language—and I honestly would not trust myself to write even a shilling handbook about French character and life. Nearly all newspapers are conservative; nearly all foreign correspondents adopt the official or conventional point of view; and the pictures of foreign life which get into the press are, as a rule—shall I say incomplete?

Even when the honest observer says, "These things I saw with my own eyes and will vouch for," I am not convinced that he saw enough. An intelligent foreigner with first-class introductions might go through England and see with his own eyes that England was longing for protection, the death of home rule, and the repeal of the Insurance act. The unfortunate Prince Lichnowsky, after an exhaustive inquiry and access to the most secret sources of exclusive information telegraphed to the Kaiser less than a month ago that civil war was an immediate certainty throughout Ireland. Astounding fatuity? Not at all. English observers of England have made, and constantly do make, mistakes equally prodigious. See Hansard every month. So that when I read demonstrations of the thesis that the heart of the German people is in the war, I am not greatly affected by them.

German Heart Is In the War.

Still, I do myself believe that the heart of the German people is in the war, and that that heart is governed by two motives—the motive of self-defense against Russia and the motive of overbearing self-aggrandizement. I do not base my opinion on phenomena which I have observed. Beyond an automobile journey through Schleswig-Holstein, which was formidably tedious, and a yacht journey through the Kiel Canal and Kiel Bay, which was somewhat impressive, I have never traveled in Germany at all. I base my opinion on general principles. In a highly educated and civilized country such as Germany (the word "civilized" must soon take on a new significance!) it is impossible that an autocracy, even a military autocracy, could exist unrooted in the people. "Prussian militarism" may annoy many Germans, but it pleases more than it annoys, and there can be few Germans who are not flattered by it. That the lower classes have an even more tremendous grievance against the upper classes in Germany than in England or France is a certitude. But the existence and power of the army are their reward, their sole reward, for all that they have suffered in hardship and humiliation at the hands of the autocracy. It is the autocracy's bribe and sweetmeat to them.

The Germans are a great nation; they have admirable qualities, but they have also defects, and among their defects is a clumsy arrogance, which may be noticed in any international hotel frequented by Germans. It is a racial defect, and to try to limit it to the military autocracy is absurd. An educated and civilized nation has roughly the Government that it wants and deserves. And it has in the end ways of imposing itself on its apparent rulers that are more effective than the ballot box or the barricade, and just as sure. No election was needed to prove to the Italian Government that Italy did not want to fight for the Triple Alliance, and would not fight for it. The fact was known; it was immanent in the air, beyond all arguments and persuasions. Italy breathed a negative, and war was not. So in Germany the mass of Germans have for years breathed war, and war is. The war may be autocratic, dynastic, what you will; but it is also national, and it symbolizes the national defect.

How About the Leaders?

Does the German conscript believe in the efficacy of his leaders? I mean when he is lying awake and fatigued at night, not when he is shouting "Hoch!" or watching the demeanor of women in front of him. Does no doubt ever lancinate him? Again I would answer the question from general principles and not from observation. The German conscript must know what everybody knows—that in almost every bully there is a coward. And he must know that he is led by bullies. He learned that in the barrack yard. An enormous number of conscripts must also know that there is something seriously wrong with a system that for the sake of its own existence has killed freedom of the press. And the million little things that are wrong in the system he also knows out of his own daily life as a conscript. Further, he must be aware {94}that there is a dearth of really great men in his system. In the past there were in Germany men great enough to mesmerize Europe—Bismarck and von Moltke. There is none today that appeals to the popular imagination as Kitchener does in England or Joffre in France. Alone, in Germany, the Kaiser has been able to achieve a Continental renown. The Kaiser has good qualities. But twenty-four years ago he committed an act of folly and (one may say) "bad form" which nothing but results could justify, and which results have not justified. Whatever his good qualities may be it is an absolute certainty that common sense, foresight, and mental balance are not among them. The conscript feels that, if he does not state it clearly to himself. And as for the military organization of which the Kaiser is the figurehead, it has shown for many years past precisely those signs which history teaches us are signs of decay. It has not withstood the fearful ordeal of success. Just lately, if not earlier, the conscript must have felt that, too.

What is the conclusion? Take the average conscript, the member of the lower middle class. He is accustomed to think politically, because at least fifty out of every hundred of him are professed Socialists with a definite and bitter political programme against certain manifestations of the autocracy. (It is calculated that two-fifths of the entire army is Socialist.) He may not argue very closely while in the act of war; indeed, he could not. But enormous experience is accumulated in his subconsciousness—experience of bullying and cowardice, of humiliation, of injustice, of lying, and of his own most secret shortcomings—for he, too, is somewhat of the bully, out for self-aggrandisement as well as for self-defense, and his conscience privately tells him so. The organization is still colossal, magnificent, terrific. In the general fever of activity he persuades himself that nothing can withstand the organization; but at the height of some hand-to-hand crisis, when one-hundredth of a dogged grain of obstinacy will turn the scale, he may re{95}member an insult from an incompetent officer, or the protectionism at home which puts meat beyond his purse in order to enrich the landowner, or even the quite penal legislation of the autocracy against the co-operative societies of the poor, and the memory (in spite of him) may decide a battle. Men think of odd matters in a battle, and it is a scientific certainty that, at the supreme pinch, the subconscious must react.

Felix Adler's Comment

From The Standard, Oct. 14, 1914.

Apropos of a recent article by Mr. Arnold Bennett, wherein he speaks of the resentment which the German soldiers—two-fifths of them Socialists—must feel against the bullying discipline to which they have been subjected, the following reflections are jotted down. The reader who is interested in pursuing the subject further may profitably consult a book entitled "Imperial Germany," by Prince von Bülow, which contains some penetrating observations on the workings of the German mind, as well as the chapter on Germany in Alfred Fouillée's notable work, "Esquisse Psychologique des Peuples Européens."

The precision which characterizes the operations of the German military machine is due to the German notion of discipline. Discipline in Germany is based on the peculiar place assigned to the expert. Military experts exercise in their branch an authority different in degree but not in kind from that belonging to experts in other departments—strategy, tactics, improvements of armament, methods of mobilization. The inexpert soldier submits to the military expert as a person about to undergo a necessary operation would submit to a surgeon. It is a mistake to suppose that the Germans, a highly intelligent and educated people, are being cowed into submission by brutal non-commissioned officers. Brutality, when it occurs, is looked upon as exceptional and incidental to a system on the whole approved. The Germans would never tolerate the severe discipline to which they are subjected did they not willingly submit to it. They regard a highly efficient army as necessary to the safety of the Fatherland, and they are willing to leave the responsibility for the means of securing efficiency to the experts. During the Franco-German war, when a student in the University of Berlin, I talked with some of the brightest of the younger men about their military obligations, and I found that they took precisely the view just stated. The Pomeranian peasant may submit to military dictation in a dull, half-instinctive fashion. The flower and élite of German intelligence submit to it no less—from conviction.

How shall we account for the unique predominance of the expert in German life? The explanation would seem to lie in the phrase invented by a brilliant writer of the last century, "Deutschland ist Hamlet" (Germany is Hamlet). The Germans are a resolute people—not at all, as has been erroneously supposed, a nation of dreamers—just as Hamlet, according to recent criticism, was essentially of a resolute character. In the days of the Hansa and of the Hohenstaufen the Germans cut a great figure in oversea commerce and in war. They were great doers of deeds. The Germans are intensely volitional, but also intensely intellectual. Hence the native hue of resolution has sometimes been sicklied o'er by too much thinking. The intellect of the German refuses to sanction action until the successive steps to be taken have been worked out with logical accuracy, and a scientific groove, so to speak, has been hollowed out along which action can proceed. As soon as {96}this is accomplished, the flood of volitional impulse enters gladly into the channel prepared for it and moves on in it with irresistible force. Bismarck represents the active side, as the eminent philosophers of the German people represent the side of logical construction. The two sides must be taken together to understand German history and the tendencies prevailing in Germany today.

Underneath it all, of course, is German sentiment, but of this we need take no account in discussing German discipline, except in so far as love for the Fatherland enters in to sustain the patience of the people under the burden of their military establishment.

Discipline, or the subordination of the inexpert to the expert, likewise accounts for certain peculiarities of the German political parties. Prince von Bülow mentions three examples of supremely efficient organization—the Prussian Army, the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and the German Social Democracy. There are some 4,200 Socialist associations, subject to the orders of forty-two district associations, these in turn being ruled by the Central Committee. The working of the Social Democratic machine is almost flawless. The discipline, it is said, is iron.

Again, the conception of Government in Germany, unlike that which prevails in England, France, or America, is determined by the idea of expertness. The Government is the political expert par excellence. Its business is to study the interests of the State as a whole. In all matters of economic theory, of finance, of administration, of social reform, it invokes the advice of specialists. But it is itself the supreme political specialist. It stands high above all the political parties. It does not depend for its existence on majorities in Parliament. It seeks the co-operation of Parliament, but reserves to itself the right of initiative and leadership.

The object of the above remarks is to explain, not to justify, and in the face of much uninstructed criticism to point out the deep sources in the nature of the German people from which spring the influences that have molded their life. The chief objections to their system may be summarized in the statements, that it takes too little account of the value of the inexpert; that it tends to suppress latent spontaneity; and, especially in the sphere of government, that it ascribes to the expert a knowledge of the needs of the people such as no ruling class can ever possess. And it overlooks the highest aim of political life and activity, which is the education of the inexpert to such a point that they may become more or less expert in understanding and promoting the public weal.


MAURICE MAETERLINCK. See Page 144 EMILE BOUTROUX. (Photo from Bain News Service.) See Page 160


EMILE BOUTROUX. (Photo from Bain News Service.) See Page 160.

{97}When Peace Is Seriously Desired

By Arnold Bennett.

From The Daily News of London.

When peace is seriously desired in any quarter, the questions to be discussed by the plenipotentaries will fall into three groups:

1. Those which affect all Europe.

2. Those which chiefly affect Western Europe.

3. Those which chiefly affect Eastern Europe.

The first group is, of course, the most important, both practically and sentimentally. And the main question in it is the question of Belgium. The original cause of the war was Germany's deliberate and advertised bellicosity, and it might be thought that the first aim of peace would be by some means to extinguish that bellicosity. But relative values may change during the progress of a war, and the question of Belgium—which means the question of the sanction of international pledges—now stands higher in the general view than the question of disarmament. Germany has outraged the public law of Europe, and she has followed up her outrage with a series of the most cowardly and wanton crimes. She ought to pay, and she ought to apologize. Only by German payment and German apology can international law be vindicated. Germany should pay a sum large enough to do everything that money can do toward the re-establishment of Belgium's well-being. I have no competence to suggest the amount of the indemnity. A hundred million pounds does not appear to me too large.

Then the apology. It may be asked: Why an apology? Would not an apology be implied in the payment of an indemnity?

It is undeniable that Germany is now directed by hysteric stupidity wielding a bludgeon. Granted, if you will, that half the nation is at heart against the stupidity and the bludgeon. So much the worse for the half. Citizens who have not had the wit to get rid of the Prussian franchise law must accept all the consequences of their political ineffectiveness. The peacemakers will not be able to divide Germany into two halves.

For Potsdam a first-rate spectacular effect is needed, and that effect would best be produced by a German national apology carried by a diplomatic mission with ceremony to Brussels and published in all German official papers, and emphasized by a procession of Belgian troops down Unter den Linden. This visible abasement of German arms in front of the Socialists of Berlin would be an invaluable aid to the breaking of military tyranny in Prussia.

So much for the Belgium question and the sanction of international pledges. The other question affecting the whole of Europe is the hope of a universal limitation of armaments. But there is a particular question, touching France, which in practice would come before that. I mean Alsace-Lorraine. Unless Germany conquers Europe, Alsace-Lorraine should be restored to France. A profound national sentiment, to which all conceivable considerations of expediency or ultimate advantage are unimportant, demands imperatively the return of the plunder. And in the councils of the Allies, either alone or with German representatives, the attitude of French diplomacy would be: "Is it clear about Alsace-Lorraine? If so, we may proceed. If not, it's no use going any further."

Question of Armaments.

We now come to armaments. I have seen it suggested that the destruction of Essen, Wilhelmshaven, and Heligoland ought to be a condition of peace with Germany. Certainly the disappearance of these phenomena would be a gain {98}to the world. So would the disappearance of Rosyth and Toulon. It seems to me, however, very improbable that their destruction or dismantling by international command would occur after hostilities have ceased, or could usefully so occur. If the French Army on its way to Berlin can treat the Krupp factory as the German Army on its way to Paris treated Rheims Cathedral, well and good! In fact, most excellent! And if the British Navy can somehow emasculate Wilhelmshaven and Heligoland I shall not complain that its behavior has been purely doctrinaire. But otherwise I see nothing practical in the Essen-Wilhelmshaven-Heligoland suggestion. Nor in the project for dethroning the Kaiser and sending him and his eldest son to settle their differences in St. Helena! The Kaiser—happily—is not a Napoleon, nor has he yet himself accomplished anything big enough or base enough to merit Napoleon's fate. Any dethroning that may enliven the gray monotony of the post-bellum era at Potsdam should and will be done by the German soldiers themselves. Even in international politics it is futile to try to meddle in other people's private affairs.

Disarmament in Germany can be achieved by the exercise of one principle, and one principle only. That principle is the principle of mutuality. A scheme in which every nation will proportionately share should be presented to Germany, and she should be respectfully but quite firmly asked to participate in it. There would be no sense in saying to Germany: "You must disarm." The magic words would be: "We are going to disarm, and so are you, whether you want to or not." As to the procedure of disarmament—whether it shall be slow or fast, whether it shall include destruction or be content with mere omission to renew, how the proportions shall be decided, who shall give the signal to begin—here are matters which I am without skill or desire to discuss. All I know about them is that they are horribly complicated, unprecedentedly difficult, and bursting with danger; and that they will strain the wisdom, patience, and ingenuity of the negotiators to the very utmost.

Three Vital Points.

Compared to disarmament, all remaining questions whatsoever affecting peace are simple and secondary. Indemnities for France or Russia, or both, a Polish Kingdom, a Balkan United States, the precise number of nations into which Austria-Hungary is to be shattered, the ownership of the east coast of the Adriatic, even the reparation of the infamy by which Denmark was robbed of Schleswig-Holstein—what are these but favorable ground for the art of compromise? The vital points, at any rate for us Westerners, are only three: Belgium, Alsace-Lorraine, and disarmament. * * * Stay, there is another. It is vital to Great Britain's reputation that she should accept nothing—neither indemnity, nor colonies; not a single pound, not a single square mile.

Many persons, I gather, find it hard to believe that Prussia will ever admit that she is beaten or consent to her own humiliation. Naturally her conduct will depend upon the degree to which she is beaten. She has admitted defeat and swallowed the leek before, though it is a long time ago. Meanwhile she has forgotten, and her opponents seem to have forgotten also, that though her name is Prussia she is subject to the limitations of the human race. Out of her prodigious score off little Denmark, her thrashing of Austria—a country which never wins a war—and her victory over France, there grew a legend that Prussia, and therefore Germany, was not as other nations. This legend is contrary to fact. Every nation must yield to force—here, indeed, is Germany's contribution to our common knowledge.

If in July, 1870, it had been prophesied that France would give up Alsace-Lorraine and pay two hundred millions to get rid of a foreign army of occupation, France would have protested that she would fight to the last man and to the last franc first. But nations don't do these things. If Germany won {99}the present war and fulfilled her dream of establishing an army in this island, we should yield, and we should submit to her terms, we who have never been beaten save by our own colonies—that is a scientific certainty. And Germany's terms would not be amusing; in their terribleness they would outrun our poor Anglo-Saxon imagination. Similarly, if Germany is beaten, she will bow the head, and to precisely the extent to which she is walloped. We need not worry about that. Were she recalcitrant we need not even murmur in her ear: "What would you have extorted if you'd won?" A gesture of the still uplifted sword would suffice to convince her that facts are facts.

Assuming that the tide turns not again, the chances of a thorough, workmanlike common sense peace can only be imperiled by one thing—the deep desire of France and of Belgium for repose and recuperation. We in England do not know what war is. We have not lived in hell. Our plains have not been devastated, nor our women and children shot, nor our ears deafened by the boom of cannon, nor our cathedrals shelled, nor our land turned into a vast and bloody hospital; and we have not experienced the appalling terror and shame of the foe's absolute dominion in our streets and lanes. We have suffered; we shall suffer; but our suffering is nought and less than nought weighed against the suffering on the Continent. Why, in the midst of a war of unparalleled horror, we grumble if a train is late! We can talk calmly of fighting Germany to a stand-still, even if the job takes two years, and it behooves us to talk so, and to prepare for the task; and for myself I am convinced that we could make good the word. But France and Belgium will not use that tone, if Russia does. Once the German armies are across the frontiers, the instinctive pressure in favor of peace would be enormous, and considerations of the distant future, of the welfare of our descendants and the progress of mankind, would count little in the scale. In that moment, if it happily comes, our part and Russia's would be to sustain and encourage and salve the supreme victims of fate. A tremendous factor in our favor would be the exhaustion of Germany; and the measure of our power and of the fear we inspire is the furious intensity of Germany's anger against our inconvenient selves. Without us the war could not last beyond the end of this year, and the peace would be unsatisfactory.

And even with us, insisting on our own terms of reconciliation, I do not see how it can last over six months more on anything like the present scale, for the Kaiser, despite his kinship with Deity, can neither create men nor extract gold coins out of an empty hat. Military arguments, in Germany as elsewhere, hold good only for a certain period.

{100}Barrie at Bay: Which Was Brown?

An Interview on the War.

From The New York Times, Oct. 1, 1914.

As our reporter entered Sir James Barrie's hotel room by one door, the next door softly closed. "I was alone," writes our reporter. "I sprang into the corridor and had just time to see him fling himself down the elevator. Then I understood what he had meant when he said on the telephone that he would be ready for me at 10:30.

I returned thoughtfully to the room, where I found myself no longer alone. Sir James Barrie's "man" was there; a stolid Londoner, name of Brown, who told me he was visiting America for the first time.

"Sir James is very sorry, but has been called away," he assured me without moving a muscle. Then he added: "But this is the pipe," and he placed a pipe of the largest size on the table.

"The pipe he smokes?" I asked.

Brown is evidently a very truthful man, for he hesitated. "That is the interview pipe," he explained. "When we decided to come to America, Sir James said he would have to be interviewed, and that it would be wise to bring something with us for the interviewers to take notice of. So he told me to buy the biggest pipe I could find, and he practiced holding it in his mouth in his cabin on the way across. He is very pleased with the way the gentlemen of the press have taken notice of it."

"So that is not the pipe he really smokes?" I said, perceiving I was on the verge of a grand discovery. "I suppose he actually smokes an ordinary small pipe."

Again Brown hesitated, but again truth prevailed.

"He does not smoke any pipe," he said, "nor cigars, nor cigarettes; he never smokes at all; he just puts that one in his mouth to help the interviewers."

"It has the appearance of having been smoked," I pointed out.

"I blackened it for him," the faithful fellow replied.

"But he has written a book in praise of My Lady Nicotine."

"So I have heard," Brown said guardedly. "I think that was when he was hard up and had to write what people wanted; but he never could abide smoking himself. Years after he wrote the book he read it; he had quite forgotten it, and he was so attracted by what it said about the delights of tobacco that he tried a cigarette. But it was no good; the mere smell disgusted him."

Strange Forgetfulness.

"Odd that he should forget his own book," I said.

"He forgets them all," said Brown. "There is this Peter Pan foolishness, for instance. I have heard people talking to him about that play and mentioning parts in it they liked, and he tried to edge them off the subject; they think it is his shyness, but I know it is because he has forgotten the bits they are speaking about. Before strangers call on him I have seen him reading one of his own books hurriedly, so as to be able to talk about it if that is their wish. But he gets mixed up, and thinks that the little minister was married to Wendy."

"Almost looks as if he hadn't written his own works," I said.

"Almost," Brown admitted uncomfortably.

I asked a leading question. "You don't suppose," I said, "that any one writes them for him? Such things have been. You don't write them for him by any chance, just as you blackened the pipe, you know?"

Brown assured me stolidly that he did not. Suddenly, whether to get away {101}from a troublesome subject I cannot say, he vouchsafed me a startling piece of information. "The German Kaiser was on our boat coming across," he said.

"Sure?" I asked, wetting my pencil.

He told me he had Sir James's word for it. There was on board, it seems, a very small, shrunken gentleman with a pronounced waist and tiny, turned-up mustache, who strutted along the deck trying to look fierce and got in the other passengers' way to their annoyance until Sir James discovered that he was the Kaiser Reduced to Life Size. After that Sir James liked to sit with him and talk to him.

Sir James is a great admirer of the Kaiser, though he has not, like Mr. Carnegie, had the pleasure of meeting him in society. When he read in the papers on arriving here that the Kaiser had wept over the destruction of Louvain, he told Brown a story. It was of a friend who had gone to an oculist to be cured of some disease in one eye. Years afterward he heard that the oculist's son had been killed in some Indian war, and he called on the oculist to commiserate with him.

"You cured my eye," he said to him, "and when I read of your loss I wept for you, Sir; I wept for you with that eye."

"Sir James," Brown explained, "is of a very sympathetic nature, and he wondered which eye it was that the Kaiser wept with."

I asked Brown what his own views were about the war, and before replying he pulled a paper from his pocket and scanned it. "We are strictly neutral," he then replied.

"Is that what is written on the paper?" I asked. He admitted that Sir James had written out for him the correct replies to possible questions. "Why was he neutral?" I asked, and he again found the reply on the piece of paper: "Because it is the President's wish."

Brown Must Be Neutral.

So anxious, I discovered, is Sir James to follow the President's bidding that he has enjoined Brown to be neutral on all other subjects besides the war; to express no preference on matters of food, for instance, and always to eat oysters and clams alternately, so that there can be no ill-feeling. Also to walk in the middle of the streets lest he should seem to be favoring either sidewalk, and to be very cautious about admitting that one building in New York is higher than another. I assured him that the Woolworth Building was the highest, but he replied politely, "that he was sure the President would prefer him to remain neutral." I naturally asked if Sir James had given him any further instructions as to proper behavior in America, and it seems that he had done so. They amount, I gather, to this, that Americans have a sense of humor which they employ, when they can, to the visitor's undoing.

"When we reach New York," Sir James seems to have told Brown in effect, "we shall be met by reporters who will pretend that America is eager to be instructed by us as to the causes and progress of the war; then, if we are fools enough to think that America cannot make up its mind for itself, we shall fall into the trap and preach to them, and all the time they are taking down our observations they will be saying to themselves, 'Pompous asses.'

"It is a sort of game between us and the reporters. Our aim is to make them think we are bigger than we are, and theirs is to make us smaller than we are; and any chance we have of succeeding is to hold our tongues, while they will probably succeed if they make us jabber. Above all, oh, Brown, if you write to the papers giving your views of why we are at war—and if you don't you will be the only person who hasn't—don't be lured into slinging vulgar abuse at our opponents, lest America takes you for another university professor."

There is, I learned, only one person in America about whom it is impossible, even in Sir James's opinion, to preserve a neutral attitude. This is the German Ambassador, whose splendid work for England day by day and in every paper and to all reporters cannot, Sir James thinks, be too cordially recognized. Brown has been told to look upon the German Ambasador as England's great{102}est asset in America just now, and to hope heartily that he will be long spared to carry on his admirable work.

Lastly, it was pleasant to find that Brown has not a spark of sympathy with those who say that, because Germany has destroyed art treasures in Belgium and France, the Allies should retaliate with similar rudeness if they reach Berlin. He holds that if for any reason best known to themselves (such as the wish for a sunnier location) the Hohenzollerns should by and by vacate their present residence, a nice villa should be provided for them, and that all the ancestral statues in the Sieges-Allee should be conveyed to it intact, and perhaps put up in the back garden. There the Junkers could drop in of an evening, on their way home from their offices, and chat pleasantly of old times. Brown thinks they should be allowed to retain all their iron crosses, and even given some more, with which, after smart use of their pocket combs, they would cut no end of a dash among the nursemaids.

As for the pipe, I was informed that it had now done its work, and I could take it away as a keepsake. I took it, but wondered afterward at Brown's thinking he had the right to give it me.

A disquieting feeling has since come over me that perhaps it was Sir James I had been interviewing all the time, and Brown who had escaped down the elevator.

A "Credo" for Keeping Faith

By John Galsworthy.

I believe in peace with all my heart. I believe that war is outrage—a black stain on the humanity and the fame of man. I hate militarism and the god of force. I would go any length to avoid war for material interests, war that involved no principles, distrusting profoundly the common meaning of the phrase "national honor."

But I believe there is a national honor charged with the future happiness of man, that loyalty is due from those living to those that will come after; that civilization can only wax and flourish in a world where faith is kept; that for nations, as for individuals, there are laws of duty, whose violation harms the whole human race; in sum, that stars of conduct shine for peoples, as for private men.

And so I hold that without tarnishing true honor, endangering civilization present and to come, and ruining all hope of future tranquillity, my country could not have refused to take up arms for the defense of Belgium's outraged neutrality, solemnly guaranteed by herself and France.

I believe, and claim in proof, the trend of events and of national character during the last century, that in democracy alone lies any coherent hope of progressive civilization or any chance of lasting peace in Europe, or the world.

I believe that this democratic principle, however imperfectly developed, has so worked in France, in England, in the United States, that these countries are already nearly safe from inclination to aggress, or to subdue other nationalities.

And I believe that while there remain autocratic Governments basing themselves on militarism, bitterly hostile to the democratic principle, Europe will never be free of the surcharge of swollen armaments, the nightmare menace of wars like this—the paralysis that creeps on civilizations which adore the god of force.

And so I hold that, without betrayal of trusteeship, without shirking the elementary defense of beliefs coiled within its {103}fibre, or beliefs vital to the future welfare of all men, my country could not stand by and see the triumph of autocratic militarism over France, that very cradle of democracy.

I believe that democratic culture spreads from west to east, that only by maintenance of consolidate democracy in Western Europe can democracy ever hope to push on and prevail till the Eastern powers have also that ideal under which alone humanity can flourish.

And so I hold that my country is justified at this juncture in its alliance with the autocratic power of Russia, whose people will never know freedom till her borders are joined to the borders of democracy.

I do not believe that jealous, frightened jingoism has ever been more than the dirty fringe of England's peace-loving temper, and I profess my sacred faith that my country has gone to war at last, not from fear, not from hope of aggrandizement, but because she must—for honor, for democracy, and for the future of mankind.

Hard Blows, Not Hard Words

By Jerome K. Jerome.

From The London Daily News.

In one of Shaw's plays—I think it is "Superman"—one of the characters hints, toward the end of the last act, that the hero is a gentleman somewhat prone to talking. The hero admits it, but excuses himself on the ground that it is the only way he knows of explaining his opinions.

Times of stress and struggle, whether individual or national, afford men and women other methods of expressing their views, and a large number of our citizens are, very creditably, taking the present opportunity to act instead of shout. There are the young fellows who in their thousands are pressing around the door of the recruiting offices. They are throwing up, many of them, good jobs for the privilege of drilling for the next six months for eight hours a day. Their reward will be certain hardship, their share of sickness and wounds, the probability of lying ten deep in a forgotten grave, their chance of glory a name printed in small type among a thousand others on a War Office report.

There are the mothers and wives and children who are encouraging them to go; to whom their going means semi-starvation. The old, bent crones whose feeble hands will have to grasp again the hoe and the scrubbing brush. The young women who know only too well what is before them—the selling of the home just got together; first the easy chair and the mirror, and then the bed and the mattress; the weary tramping of the streets, looking for work. The children awestruck and wondering.

There are the men who are quietly going on with their work, doing their best with straitened means to keep their business going; giving employment; getting ready to meet the income tax collector, who next year one is inclined to expect will be demanding anything from half a crown to five shillings in the pound. There are others. But there is a certain noisy and, to me, particularly offensive man (and with him, I am sorry to say, one or two women) very much to the fore just now with whose services the country could very well dispense. He is the man who does his fighting with his mouth. Unable for reasons of his own to get at the foe in the field, he thirsts for the blood of the unfortunate unarmed and helpless Germans that the fortunes of war have left stranded in England. He writes to the paper thoughtfully suggesting plans that have occurred to him {104}for making their existence more miserable than it must be. He generally concludes his letter with a short homily directed against the Prussian Military Staff for their lack of the higher Christian principles.

He has spies on the brain. Two quite harmless English citizens have already been shot in consequence of the funk this spy mania has created among us. The vast majority of Germans in England have come to live in England because they dislike Germany. That a certain number of spies are among us I take to be highly probable. I take it that if the Allies know their business a certain number of English spies are doing what they can for us at great personal risk to themselves in Germany. Until the German Army has landed on our shores German spies can do little or no harm to us. The police can be trusted to know something about them, and if any are caught red-handed the rules of war are not likely to be strained for their benefit.

A Story from the South.

From a small town in the South of England comes a story I can vouch for. A couple of Boy Scouts had been set to guard the local reservoir. About noon one sunny day they remarked the approach, somewhat ostentatious, of a desperate-looking character. Undoubtedly a German spy! What can he be up to! The boys approached him and he fled, leaving behind him the damning evidence—a tin suggestive of sardines and labeled "Poison!" That the gentleman should have chosen broad daylight for his nefarious design, should have been careful to label his tin, seemed to the good townsfolk under present scare conditions proof that they had at last discovered the real German spy, full of his devilish cunning. The tin was taken possession of by the police. And then the Sergeant's little daughter, who happened to have had a few lessons in French, suggested that the word on the tin was "Poisson," and the town now breathes again.

So long as the war continues the spy will be among us. I suggest that we face the problem of his activities without blue funk and hysteria. The men and women who are shrieking for vicarious vengeance upon all the Germans remaining in our midst must remember that there are thousands of English families at the present moment residing in Germany and Austria. The majority of them, comparatively poor people, with all their belongings around them, were unable to get away. I shall, until I receive convincing proof to the contrary, continue to believe that they are living among their German neighbors unmolested. Even were it not so, I would suggest our setting the example of humanity rather than our slavishly following an example of barbarity.

We are fighting for an idea—an idea of some importance to the generations that will come after us. We are fighting to teach the Prussian Military Staff that other laws have come to stay—laws superseding those of Attila the Hun. We are fighting to teach the German people that, free men with brains to think with, they have no right to hand themselves over body and soul to their rulers to be used as mere devil's instruments; that if they do so they shall pay the penalty, and the punishment shall go hard. We are fighting to teach the German Nation respect for God! Our weapons have got to be hard blows, not hard words. We are tearing at each other's throats; it has got to be done. It is not a time for yelping.

Jack Johnson as a boxer I respect. The thing I do not like about him is his habit of gibing and jeering at his opponent while he is fighting him. It isn't gentlemanly, and it isn't sporting. The soldiers are fighting in grim silence. When one of them does talk, it is generally to express admiration of German bravery. It is our valiant stay-at-homes, our valiant clamorers for everybody else to enlist but themselves, who would have us fight like some drunken fish hag, shrieking and spitting while she claws.

Incredible Reports of Atrocities.

Half of these stories of atrocities I do not believe. I remember when I was living in Germany at the time of the {105}Boer war the German papers were full of accounts of Tommy Atkins's brutality. He spent his leisure time in tossing babies on bayonets. There were photographs of him doing it. Detailed accounts certified by most creditable witnesses. Such lies are the stock in trade of every tenth-rate journalist, who, careful not to expose himself to danger, slinks about the byways collecting hearsay. In every war each side, according to the other, is supposed to take a fiendish pleasure in firing upon hospitals—containing always a proportion of their own wounded. An account comes to us from a correspondent with the Belgian Army. He tells us that toward the end of the day a regrettable incident occurred. The Germans were taking off their wounded in motor cars. The Belgian sharpshooters, not noticing the red flag in the dusk, kept up a running fire, and a large number of the wounded were killed. Had the incident been the other way about it would have been cited as a deliberate piece of villainy on the part of the Germans. According to other accounts, the Germans always go into action with screens of women and children before them. The explanation, of course, is that a few poor terrified creatures are rushing along the road. They get between the approaching forces, and I expect the bullets that put them out of their misery come pretty even from both sides.

The men are mad. Mad with fear, mad with hate, blinded by excitement. Take a mere dog fight. If you interfere you have got to be prepared for your own dog turning upon you. In war half the time the men do not know what they are doing. They are little else than wild beasts. There was great indignation at the dropping of bombs into Antwerp. One now hears that a French dirigible has been dropping bombs into Luxembourg—a much more dignified retort. War is a grim game. Able editors and club-chair politicians have been clamoring for it for years past. They thought it was all goose-step and bands.

The truth is bad enough, God knows. There is no sense in making things out worse than they are. When this war is over we have got to forget it. To build up barriers of hatred that shall stand between our children and our foemen's children is a crime against the future.

These stories of German naval officers firing on their wounded sailors in the water! They are an insult to our intelligence. At Louvain fifty of the inhabitants were taken out and shot. On Monday the fifty had grown to five hundred; both numbers vouched for by eye-witnesses, "Dutchmen who would have had no interest," &c. That the beautiful old town has been laid in ashes is undoubted. Some criminal lunatic strutting in pipeclay and mustachios was given his hour of authority and took the chance of his life. If I know anything of the German people it will go hard with him when the war is over, if he has not had the sense to get killed. But that won't rear again the grand old stones or wipe from Germany's honor the stain of that long line of murdered men and women—whatever its actual length may have been. War puts a premium on brutality and senselessness. Men with the intelligence and instincts of an ape suddenly find themselves possessed of the powers of a god. And we are astonished that they do not display the wisdom of a god!

There are other stories that have filtered through to us. There was a dying Uhlan who caught a child to his arms and kissed him. One would like to be able to kiss one's own child before one dies, but failing that—well, after all, there is a sort of family likeness between them. The same deep wondering eyes, the same—and then the mist grows deeper. Perhaps after all it was Baby Fritz that he kissed.

And of a Belgian woman. She had seen her two sons killed before her eyes. She tells of that and of other horrors. Among such, of the German lads she had stepped over, their blue eyes quiet in death. The passion and the fear and the hate cleansed out of them. Just boys with their clothes torn—so like boys.

"They, too, have got mothers, poor lads!" is all she says, thinking of them lying side by side with her own.

{106}When the madness and the folly are over, when the tender green is creeping in and out among the blackened ruins, it will be well for us to think of that dying Uhlan who had to put up with a French baby instead of his own; of that Belgian mother to whom the German youngsters were just "poor lads"—with their clothes torn.

And the savagery and the cruelty and the guiltiness that go to the making of war we will seek to forget.

"As They Tested Our Fathers"

By Rudyard Kipling.

Following is the text of an address by Mr. Kipling to a mass meeting at Brighton, Sept. 8, 1914:

Through no fault nor wish of ours we are at war with Germany, the power which owes its existence to three well-thought-out wars; the power which for the last twenty years has devoted itself to organizing and preparing for this war; the power which is now fighting to conquer the civilized world.

For the last two generations the Germans in their books, teachers, speeches, and schools have been carefully taught that nothing less than this world conquest was the object of their preparations and their sacrifices. They have prepared carefully and sacrificed greatly.

We must have men, and men, and men, if we with our allies are to check the onrush of organized barbarism.

Have no illusions. We are dealing with a strong and magnificently equipped enemy, whose avowed aim is our complete destruction.

The violation of Belgium, the attack on France, and the defense against Russia are only steps by the way. The Germans' real objective, as she has always told us, is England and England's wealth, trade, and worldwide possessions.

If you assume for an instant that that attack will be successful, England will not be reduced, as some people say, to the rank of a second-rate power, but we shall cease to exist as a nation. We shall become an outlying province of Germany, to be administered with what severity German safety and interest require.

We arm against such a fate. We enter into a new life in which all the facts of war that we had put behind or forgotten for the past hundred years have returned to the front and test us as they tested our fathers. It will be a long and a hard road, beset with difficulties and discouragements, but we tread it together and we will tread it together to the end.

Our petty social divisions and barriers have been swept away at the outset of our mighty struggle. All the interests of our life of six weeks ago are dead. We have but one interest now, and that touches the naked heart of every man in this island and in the empire.

If we are to win the right for ourselves and for freedom to exist on earth, every man must offer himself for that service and that sacrifice.

{107}Kipling and "The Truce of the Bear"

STAUNTON, Va., Sept. 25, 1914.—On Sept. 5 The Staunton News printed some verses by Dr. Charles Minor Blackford, an associate editor, addressed to Rudyard Kipling, calling attention to the apparent inconsistency of his attitude of distrust of Russia as shown in his well-known poem, "The Truce of the Bear," and his present advocacy of the alliance between Russia and Great Britain. A copy of the verses was sent to Mr. Kipling and the following reply was received from him:

Bateman's Burwash, Sussex.

Dear Sir: I am much obliged for your verses of Sept. 4. "The Truce of the Bear," to which they refer, was written sixteen years ago, in 1898. It dealt with a situation and a menace which have long since passed away, and with issues that are now quite dead.

The present situation, as far as England is concerned, is Germany's deliberate disregard of the neutrality of Belgium, whose integrity Germany as well as England guaranteed. She has filled Belgium with every sort of horror and atrocity, not in the heat of passion, but as a part of settled policy of terrorism. Her avowed object is the conquest of Europe on these lines.

As you may prove for yourself if you will consult her literature of the last generation, Germany is the present menace, not to Europe alone, but to the whole civilized world. If Germany, by any means, is victorious you may rest assured that it will be a very short time before she turns her attention to the United States. If you could meet the refugees from Belgium flocking into England and have the opportunity of checking their statements of unimaginable atrocities and barbarities studiously committed, you would, I am sure, think as seriously on these matters as we do, and in your unpreparedness for modern war you would do well to think very seriously indeed. Yours truly,


On the Impending Crisis

By Norman Angell.

To the Editor of The London Times:

Sir: A nation's first duty is to its own people. We are asked to intervene in the Continental war because unless we do so we shall be "isolated." The isolation which will result for us if we keep out of this war is that, while other nations are torn and weakened by war, we shall not be, and by that fact might conceivably for a long time be the strongest power in Europe, and, by virtue of our strength and isolation, its arbiter, perhaps, to useful ends.

We are told that if we allow Germany to become victorious she would be so powerful as to threaten our existence by the occupation of Belgium, Holland, and possibly the North of France. But, as your article of today's date so well points out, it was the difficulty which Germany found in Alsace-Lorraine which prevented her from acting against us during the South African War. If one province, so largely German in its origin and history, could create this embarrassment, what trouble will not Germany pile up for herself if she should attempt the absorption of a Belgium, a Holland, and a Normandy? She would have created for herself embarrassments compared with which Alsace and Poland would be a trifle; and Russia, with her 160,000,000, would in a year or two be as great a menace to her as ever.

The object and effect of our entering into this war would be to insure the vic{108}tory of Russia and her Slavonic allies. Will a dominant Slavonic federation of, say, 200,000,000 autocratically governed people, with a very rudimentary civilization, but heavily equipped for military aggression, be a less dangerous factor in Europe than a dominant Germany of 65,000,000 highly civilized and mainly given to the arts of trade and commerce?

The last war we fought on the Continent was for the purpose of preventing the growth of Russia. We are now asked to fight one for the purpose of promoting it. It is now universally admitted that our last Continental war—the Crimean war—was a monstrous error and miscalculation. Would this intervention be any wiser or likely to be better in its results?

On several occasions Sir Edward Grey has solemnly declared that we are not bound by any agreement to support France, and there is certainly no moral obligation on the part of the English people so to do. We can best serve civilization, Europe—including France—and ourselves by remaining the one power in Europe that has not yielded to the war madness.

This, I believe, will be found to be the firm conviction of the overwhelming majority of the English people.

Yours faithfully,


4 Kings Bench Walk, Temple, E.C., July 31.

Why England Came To Be In It

By Gilbert K. Chesterton.


Unless we are all mad, there is at the back of the most bewildering business a story; and if we are all mad, there is no such thing as madness. If I set a house on fire, it is quite true that I may illuminate many other people's weaknesses as well as my own. It may be that the master of the house was burned because he was drunk; it may be that the mistress of the house was burned because she was stingy, and perished arguing about the expense of the fire-escape. It is, nevertheless, broadly true that they both were burned because I set fire to their house. That is the story of the thing. The mere facts of the story about the present European conflagration are quite as easy to tell.

Before we go on to the deeper things which make this war the most sincere war of human history, it is easy to answer the question of why England came to be in it at all; as one asks how a man fell down a coal hole, or failed to keep an appointment. Facts are not the whole truth. But facts are facts, and in this case the facts are few and simple.

Prussia, France, and England had all promised not to invade Belgium, because it was the safest way of invading France. But Prussia promised that if she might break in through her own broken promise and ours she would break in and not steal. In other words, we were offered at the same instant a promise of faith in the future and a proposal of perjury in the present.

Those interested in human origins may refer to an old Victorian writer of English, who in the last and most restrained of his historical essays wrote of Frederick the Great, the founder of this unchanging Prussian policy. After describing how Frederick broke the guarantee he had signed on behalf of Maria Theresa he then describes how Frederick sought to put things straight by a promise that was an insult. "If she would but let him have Silesia, he would, he said, stand by her against any power which should {109}try to deprive her of her other dominions; as if he was not already bound to stand by her, or as if his new promise could be of more value than the old one." That passage was written by Macaulay; but so far as the mere contemporary facts are concerned, it might have been written by me.

Diplomacy That Might Have Been.

Upon the immediate logical and legal origin of the English interest there can be no rational debate. There are some things so simple that one can almost prove them with plans and diagrams, as in Euclid. One could make a kind of comic calendar of what would have happened to the English diplomatist if he had been silenced every time by Prussian diplomacy. Suppose we arrange it in the form of a kind of diary:

July 24—Germany invades Belgium.

July 25—England declares war.

July 26—Germany promises not to annex Belgium.

July 27—England withdraws from the war.

July 28—Germany annexes Belgium. England declares war.

July 29—Germany promises not to annex France. England withdraws from the war.

July 30—Germany annexes France. England declares war.

July 31—Germany promises not to annex England.

Aug. 1—England withdraws from the war. Germany invades England.

How long is anybody expected to go on with that sort of game, or keep peace at that illimitable price? How long must we pursue a road in which promises are all fetiches in front of us and all fragments behind us? No; upon the cold facts of the final negotiations, as told by any of the diplomatists in any of the documents, there is no doubt about the story. And no doubt about the villain of the story.

These are the last facts, the facts which involved England. It is equally easy to state the first facts—the facts which involved Europe. The Prince who practically ruled Austria was shot by certain persons whom the Austrian Government believed to be conspirators from Servia. The. Austrian Government piled up arms and armies, but said not a word either to Servia, their suspect, or Italy, their ally. From the documents it would seem that Austria kept everybody in the dark, except Prussia. It is probably nearer the truth to say that Prussia kept everybody in the dark, including Austria.

The Demands on Servia.

But all that is what is called opinion, belief, conviction, or common sense, and we are not dealing with it here. The objective fact is that Austria told Servia to permit Servian officers to be suspended by the authority of Austrian officers, and told Servia to submit to this within forty-eight hours. In other words, the Sovereign of Servia was practically told to take off not only the laurels of two great campaigns, but his own lawful and national crown, and to do it in a time in which no respectable citizen is expected to discharge a hotel bill. Servia asked for time for arbitration—in short, for peace. But Russia had already begun to mobilize, and Prussia, presuming that Servia might thus be rescued, declared war.

Between these two ends of fact, the ultimatum to Servia, the ultimatum to Belgium, any one so inclined can, of course, talk as if everything were relative. If any one asks why the Czar should rush to the support of Servia, it is easy to ask why the Kaiser should rush to the support of Austria. If any one say that that the French would attack the Germans, it is sufficient to answer that the Germans did attack the French.

There remain, however, two attitudes to consider, even perhaps two arguments to counter, which can best be considered and countered under this general head of facts. First of all, there is a curious, cloudy sort of argument, much affected by the professional rhetoricans of Prussia, who are sent out to instruct and correct the minds of Americans or Scandinavians. It consists of going into convulsions of incredulity and scorn at the mention of Russia's responsibility for Servia or England's responsibility for Belgium; and suggesting that, treaty or {110}no treaty, frontier or no frontier, Russia would be out to slay Teutons or England to steal colonies.

England Kept Her Contracts.

Here, as elsewhere, I think the professors dotted all over the Baltic plain fail in lucidity and in the power of distinguishing ideas. Of course, it is quite true that England has material interests to defend, and will probably use the opportunity to defend them; or, in other words, of course England, like everybody else, would be more comfortable if Prussia were less predominant. The fact remains that we did not do what the Germans did. We did not invade Holland to seize a naval and commercial advantage; and whether they say that we wished to do it in our greed or feared to do it in our cowardice, the fact remains that we did not do it. Unless this common sense principle be kept in view, I cannot conceive how any quarrel can possibly be judged. A contract may be made between two persons solely for material advantages on each side; but the moral advantage is still generally supposed to lie with the person who keeps the contract. Surely, it cannot be dishonest to be honest—even if honesty is the best policy. Imagine the most complex maze of indirect motives, and still the man who keeps faith for money cannot possibly be worse than the man who breaks faith for money.

It will be noted that this ultimate test applies in the same way to Servia as to Belgium and Britain. The Servians may not be a very peaceful people; but on the occasion under discussion it was certainly they who wanted peace. You may choose to think the Serb a sort of a born robber; but on this occasion it was certainly the Austrian who was trying to rob. Similarly, you may call England perfidious as a sort of historical summary, and declare your private belief that Mr. Asquith was vowed from infancy to the ruin of the German Empire —a Hannibal and hater of the eagles. But when all is said, it is nonsense to call a man perfidious because he keeps his promise. It is absurd to complain of the sudden treachery of a business man in turning up punctually to his appointment, or the unfair shock given to a creditor by the debtor paying his debts. Lastly, there is an attitude not unknown in the crisis against which I should particularly like to protest. I should address my protest especially to those lovers and pursuers of peace who, very shortsightedly, have occasionally adopted it. I mean the attitude which is impatient of these preliminary details about who did this or that and whether it was right or wrong. They are satisfied with saying that an enormous calamity called war has been begun by some or all of us, and should be ended by some or all of us. To these people this preliminary chapter about the precise happenings must appear not only dry (and it must of necessity be the dryest part of the task), but essentially needless and barren. I wish to tell these people that they are wrong; that they are wrong upon all principles of human justice and historic continuity; but that they are especially and supremely wrong upon their own principles of arbitration and international peace.

As to Certain Peace Lovers.

These sincere and high-minded peace lovers are always telling us that citizens no longer settle their quarrels by private violence, and that nations should no longer settle theirs by public violence. They are always telling us that we no longer fight duels, and need no longer wage wars. In short, they perpetually base their peace proposals on the fact that an ordinary citizen no longer avenges himself with an axe.

But how is he prevented from avenging himself with an axe? If he hits his neighbor on the head with the kitchen chopper what do we do? Do we all join hands, like children playing mulberry bush, and say: "We are all responsible for this, but let us hope it will not spread. Let us hope for the happy, happy day when he shall leave off chopping at the man's head, and when nobody shall ever chop anything forever and ever." Do we say: "Let bygones be bygones. Why go back to all the dull details with which the business began? {111}Who can tell with what sinister motives the man was standing there within reach of the hatchet?"

We do not. We keep the peace in private life by asking for the facts of provocation and the proper object of punishment. We do not go into the dull details; we do inquire into the origins; we do emphatically inquire who it was that hit first. In short, we do what I have done very briefly in this place.

Given this, it is indeed true that behind these facts there are truths—truths of a terrible, of a spiritual sort. In mere fact the Germanic power has been wrong about Servia, wrong about Russia, wrong about Belgium, wrong about England, wrong about Italy. But there was a reason for its being wrong everywhere, and of that root reason, which has moved half the world against it, I shall speak later in this series. For that is something too omnipresent to be proved, too indisputable to be helped by detail. It is nothing less than the locating, after more than a hundred years of recriminations and wrong explanations, of the modern European evil—the finding of the fountain from which poison has flowed upon all the nations of the earth.


Russian or Prussian Barbarism?

It will hardly be denied that there is one lingering doubt in many who recognize unavoidable self-defense in the instant parry of the English sword and who have no great love for the sweeping sabre of Sadowa and Sedan. That doubt is the doubt of whether Russia, as compared with Prussia, is sufficiently decent and democratic to be the ally of liberal and civilized powers. I take first, therefore, this matter of civilization.

It is vital in a discussion like this that we should make sure we are going by meanings and not by mere words. It is not necessary in any argument to settle what a word means or ought to mean. But it is necessary in every argument to settle what we propose to mean by the word. So long as our opponent understands what is the thing of which we are talking, it does not matter to the argument whether the word is or is not the one he would have chosen. A soldier does not say, "We were ordered to go to Mechlin, but I would rather go to Malines." He may discuss the etymology and archaeology of the difference on the march, but the point is that he knows where to go. So long as we know what a given word is to mean in a given discussion, it does not even matter if it means something else in some other and quite distinct discussion. We have a perfect right to say that the width of a window comes to four feet, even if we instantly and cheerfully change the subject to the larger mammals and say that an elephant has four feet. The identity of the words does not matter, because there is no doubt at all about the meanings, because nobody is likely to think of an elephant as four feet long, or of a window as having tusks and a curly trunk.

Two Meanings of "Barbarian."

It is essential to emphasize this consciousness of the thing under discussion in connection with two or three words that are, as it were, the keywords of this war. One of them is the word "barbarian." The Prussians apply it to the Russians, the Russians apply it to the Prussians. Both, I think, really mean something that really exists, name or no name. Both mean different things. And if we ask what these different things are we shall understand why England and France prefer Russia, and consider Prussia the really dangerous barbarian of the two.

To begin with, it goes so much deeper even than atrocities; of which, in the past, at least, all the three empires of Central Europe have partaken pretty {112}equally; as they partook of Poland. An English writer, seeking to avert the war by warnings against Russian influence, said that the flogged backs of Polish women stood between us and the Alliance. But not long before the flogging of women by an Austrian General led to that officer being thrashed in the streets of London by Barclay and Perkins draymen. And as for the third power, the Prussians, it seems clear that they have treated Belgian women in a style compared with which flogging might be called an official formality.

But, as I say, something much deeper than any such recrimination lies behind the use of the word on either side. When the German Emperor complains of our allying ourselves with a barbaric and half Oriental power, he is not (I assure you) shedding tears over the grave of Kosciusko. And when I say (as I do most heartily) that the German Emperor is a barbarian, I am not merely expressing any prejudices I may have against the profanation of churches or of children. My countrymen and I mean a certain and intelligible thing when we call the Prussians barbarians. It is quite different from the thing attributed to Russians; and it could not possibly be attributed to Russians. It is very important that the neutral world should understand what this thing is.

If the German calls the Russian barbarous, he presumably means imperfectly civilized. There is a certain path along which Western nations have proceeded in recent times; and it is tenable that Russia has not proceeded so far as the others; that she has less of the special modern system in science, commerce, machinery, travel, or political constitution. The Russ plows with an old plow; he wears a wild beard; he adores relics; his life is as rude and hard as that of a subject of Alfred the Great. Therefore, he is, in the German sense, a barbarian. Poor fellows, like Gorky and Dostoieffsky, have to form their own reflections on the scenery, without the assistance of large quotations from Schiller on garden seats; or inscriptions directing them to pause and thank the All-Father for the finest view in Hesse-Pumpernickel. The Russians, having nothing but their faith, their fields, their great courage, and their self-governing communes, are quite cut off from what is called (in the fashionable street in Frankfort) the true, the beautiful, and the good. There is a real sense in which one can call such backwardness barbaric, by comparison with the Kaiserstrasse; and in that sense it is true of Russia.

Now we, the French and English, do not mean this when we call the Prussians barbarians. If their cities soared higher than their flying ships, if their trains traveled faster than their bullets, we should still call them barbarians. We should know exactly what we meant by it; and we should know that it is true. For we do not mean anything that is an imperfect civilization by accident. We mean something that is the enemy of civilization by design. We mean something that is willfully at war with the principles by which human society has been made possible hitherto. Of course, it must be partly civilized even to destroy civilization. Such ruin could not be wrought by the savages that are merely undeveloped or inert. You could not have even Huns without horses or horses without horsemanship. You could not have even Danish pirates without ships, or ships without seamanship.

The "Positive Barbarian."

This person, whom I may call the positive barbarian, must be rather more superficially up to date than what I may call the negative barbarian. Alaric was an officer in the Roman legions, but for all that he destroyed Rome. Nobody supposes that Eskimos could have done it at all neatly. But (in our meaning) barbarism is not a matter of methods but of aims. We say that these veneered vandals have the perfectly serious aim of destroying certain ideas which, as they think, the world has outgrown; without which, as we think, the world will die.

It is essential that this perilous peculiarity in the Pruss, or positive barbarian, should be seized. He has what he fancies is a new idea, and he is going to {113}apply it to everybody. As a fact, it is simply a false generalization, but he is really trying to make it general. This does not apply to the negative barbarian; it does not apply to the Russian or the Servian, even if they are barbarians. If a Russian peasant does beat his wife, he does it because his fathers did it before him; he is likely to beat less rather than more as the past fades away. He does not think, as the Prussian would, that he has made a new discovery in physiology in finding that a woman is weaker than a man. If a Servian does knife his rival without a word, he does it because other Servians have done it. He may regard it even as piety—but certainly not as progress. He does not think, as the Prussian does, that he founds a new school of horology by starting before the word "Go." He does not think he is in advance of the world in militarism—merely because he is behind it in morals.

No; the danger of the Pruss is that he is prepared to fight for old errors as if they were new truths. He has somehow heard of certain shallow simplifications, and imagines that we have never heard of them. And, as I have said, his limited but very sincere lunacy concentrates chiefly in a desire to destroy two ideas, the twin root ideas, of national society. The first is the idea of record and promise; the second is the idea of reciprocity.

It is plain that the promise, or extension of responsibility through time, is what chiefly distinguishes us, I will not say from savages, but from brutes and reptiles. This was noted by the shrewdness of the Old Testament when it summed up the dark, irresponsible enormity of Leviathan in the words, "Will he make a pact with thee?" The promise, like the wind, is unknown in nature and is the first mark of man. Referring only to human civilization, it may be said with seriousness that in the beginning was the Word. The vow is to the man what the song is to the bird or the bark to the dog; his voice, whereby he is known. Just as a man who cannot keep an appointment is not fit to fight a duel, so the man who cannot keep an appointment with himself is not sane enough even for suicide. It is not easy to mention anything on which the enormous apparatus of human life can be said to depend. But if it depends on anything it is on this frail cord, flung from the forgotten hills of yesterday to the invisible mountains of tomorrow. On that solitary string hangs everything from Armageddon to an almanac, from a successful revolution to a return ticket. On that solitary string the barbarian is hacking heavily with a sabre which is fortunately blunt.

Prussia's Great Discovery.

Any one can see this well enough merely by reading the last negotiations between London and Berlin. The Prussians had made a new discovery in international politics—that it may often be convenient to make a promise, and yet curiously inconvenient to keep it. They were charmed, in their simple way, with this scientific discovery and desired to communicate it to the world. They therefore promised England a promise on condition that she broke a promise, and on the implied condition that the new promise might be broken as easily as the old one. To the profound astonishment of Prussia, this reasonable offer was refused. I believe that the astonishment of Prussia was quite sincere. That is what I mean when I say that the barbarian is trying to cut away that cord of honesty and clear record on which hangs all that men have made.

The friends of the German cause have complained that Asiatics and Africans upon the very verge of savagery have been brought against them from India and Algiers. And in ordinary circumstances I should sympathize with such a complaint made by a European people. But the circumstances are not ordinary. Here again the quite unique barbarism of Prussia goes deeper than what we call barbarities. About mere barbarities, it is true, the Turco and the Sikh would have very good reply to the superior Teuton. The general and just reason for not using non-European tribes against {114}Europeans is that given by Chatham against the use of the red Indian—that such allies might do very diabolical things. But the poor Turco might not unreasonably ask, after a week-end in Belgium, what more diabolical things he could do than the highly cultured Germans were doing themselves.

Nevertheless, as I say, the justification of any extra-European aid goes deeper than by any such details. It rests upon the fact that even other civilizations, even much lower civilizations, even remote and repulsive civilizations, depend as much as our own on this primary principle on which the supermorality of Potsdam declares open war. Even savages promise things, and respect those who keep their promises. Even Orientals write things down; and though they write them from right to left, they know the importance of a scrap of paper. Many merchants will tell you that the word of the sinister and almost unhuman Chinaman is often as good as his bond; and it was amid palm trees and Syrian pavilions that the great utterance opened the tabernacle to him that sweareth to his hurt and changeth not. There is doubtless a dense labyrinth of duplicity in the East; and perhaps more guile in the individual Asiatic than in the individual German. But we are not talking of the violations of human morality in various parts of the world.

A Fight Against Anarchy.

We are talking about a new inhuman morality which denies altogether the day of obligation. The Prussians have been told by their literary men that everything depends upon "mood," and by their politicians that all arrangements dissolve before "necessity." That is the importance of the German Chancellor's phrase. He did not allege some special excuse in the case of Belgium, which might make it seem an exception that proved the rule. He distinctly argued, as on a principle applicable to other cases, that victory was a necessity and honor was a scrap of paper. And it is evident that the half-educated Prussian imagination really cannot get any further than this. It cannot see that if everybody's action were entirely incalculable from hour to hour, it would not only be the end of all promises but the end of all projects.

In not being able to see that, the Berlin philosopher is really on a lower mental level than the Arab who respects the salt, or the Brahmin who preserves the caste. And in this quarrel we have a right to come with scimitars as well as sabres, with bows as well as rifles, with assegai and tomahawk and boomerang, because there is in all these at least a seed of civilization that these intellectual anarchists would kill. And if they should find us in our last stand girt with such strange swords and following unfamiliar ensigns and ask us for what we fight in so singular a company, we shall know what to reply: "We fight for the trust and for the tryst; for fixed memories and the possible meeting of men; for all that makes life anything but an uncontrollable nightmare. We fight for the long arm of honor and remembrance; for all that can lift a man above the quicksands of his needs and give him the mastery of time."


Disposing of Germany's Civilizing Mission

In the last summary I suggested that barbarism, as we mean it, is not mere ignorance or even mere cruelty. It has a more precise sense, and means militant hostility to certain necessary human ideas. I took the case of the vow or the contract which Prussian intellectualism would destroy. I urged that the Prussian is a spiritual barbarian, because he is not bound by his own past, any more than a man in a dream. He avows that when he promised to respect a frontier on Monday he did not foresee what he calls "the necessity" of not respecting it on Tuesday. In short, he is like a child who at the end of all reasonable explanations and reminders of admitted arrangements has no answer except "But I want to."

There is another idea in human arrangements so fundamental as to be forgotten, but now for the first time denied. It may be called the idea of reciprocity; or, in better English, of give and take. The Prussian appears to be quite intellectually incapable of this thought. He cannot, I think, conceive the idea that is the foundation of all comedy—that in the eyes of the other man he is only the other man. And if we carry this clue through the institutions of Prussianized Germany we shall find how curiously his mind has been limited in the matter. The German differs from other patriots in the inability to understand patriotism. Other European peoples pity the Poles or the Welsh for their violated borders, but Germans only pity themselves. They might take forcible possession of the Severn or the Danube, of the Thames or the Tiber, of the Garry or the Garonne—and they would still be singing sadly about how fast and true stands the watch on the Rhine and what a shame it would be if any one took their own little river away from them. That is what I mean by not being reciprocal; and you will find it in all that they do, as in all that is done by savages.

"Laughs When He Hurts You."

Here again it is very necessary to avoid confusing this soul of the savage with mere savagery in the sense of brutality or butchery, in which the Greeks, the French, and all the most civilized nations have indulged in hours of abnormal panic or revenge. Accusations of cruelty are generally mutual. But it is the point about the Prussian that with him nothing is mutual. The definition of the true savage does not concern itself even with how much more he hurts strangers or captives than do the other tribes of men. The definition of the true savage is that he laughs when he hurts you and howls when you hurt him. This extraordinary inequality in the mind is in every act and word that comes from Berlin.

For instance, no man of the world believes all he sees in the newspapers, and no journalist believes a quarter of it. We should therefore be quite ready in the ordinary way to take a great deal off the tales of German atrocities; to doubt this story or deny that. But there is one thing that we cannot doubt or deny—the seal and authority of the Emperor. In the imperial proclamation the fact that certain "frightful" things have been done is admitted and justified on the ground of their frightfulness. It was a military necessity to terrify the peaceful populations with something that was not civilized, something that was hardly human.

"Howls When You Hurt Him."

Very well. That is an intelligible policy; and in that sense an intelligible argument. An army endangered by foreigners may do the most frightful things. But then we turn the next page of the Kaiser's public diary, and we find him writing to the President of the {116}United States to complain that the English are using dumdum bullets and violating various regulations of The Hague Conference. I pass for the present the question of whether there is a word of truth in these charges. I am content to gaze rapturously at the blinking eyes of the true, or positive, barbarian. I suppose he would be quite puzzled if we said that violating The Hague Conference was "a military necessity" to us; or that the rules of the conference were only a scrap of paper. He would be quite pained if we said that dumdum bullets "by their very frightfulness" would be very useful to keep conquered Germans in order. Do what he will, he cannot get outside the idea that he, because he is he and not you, is free to break the law and also to appeal to the law. It is said that the Prussian officers play at a game called Kriegspiel, or the war game. But in truth they could not play at any game, for the essence of every game is that the rules are the same on both sides.

But, taking every German institution in turn, the case is the same; and it is not a case of mere bloodshed or military bravado. The duel, for example, can legitimately be called a barbaric thing, but the word is here used in another sense. There are duels in Germany; but so there are in France, Italy, Belgium, Spain; indeed, there are duels wherever there are dentists, newspapers, Turkish baths, time tables, and all the curses of civilization—except in England and a corner of America. You may happen to regard the duel as a historic relic of the more barbaric States on which these modern States were built. It might equally well be maintained that the duel is everywhere the sign of high civilization, being the sign of its more delicate sense of honor, its more vulnerable vanity, or its greater dread of social disrepute. But whichever of the two views you take, you must concede that the essence of the duel is an armed equality. I should not, therefore, apply the word barbaric, as I am using it, to the duels of German officers, or even the broadsword combats that are conventional among the German students. I do not see why a young Prussian should not have scars all over his face if he likes them; nay, they are often the redeeming points of interest on an otherwise somewhat unenlightening countenance. The duel may be defended; the sham duel may be defended.

The One-Sided Prussian Duel.

What cannot be defended is something really peculiar to Prussia, of which we hear numberless stories, some of them certainly true. It might be called the one-sided duel. I mean the idea that there is some sort of dignity in drawing the sword upon a man who has not got a sword—a waiter, or a shop assistant, or even a schoolboy. One of the officers of the Kaiser in the affair at Zabern was found industriously hacking at a cripple. In all these matters I would avoid sentiment. We must not lose our tempers at the mere cruelty of the thing, but pursue the strict psychological distinction. Others besides German soldiers have slain the defenseless, for loot or lust or private malice, like any other murderer. The point is that nowhere else but in Prussian Germany is any theory of honor mixed up with such things, any more than with poisoning or picking pockets. No French, English, Italian, or American gentleman would think he had in some way cleared his own character by sticking his sabre through some ridiculous greengrocer who had nothing in his hand but a cucumber. It would seem as if the word which is translated from the German as "honor" must really mean something quite different in German. It seems to mean something more like what we should call "prestige."

Absence of the Reciprocal Idea.

The fundamental fact, however, is the absence of the reciprocal idea. The Prussian is not sufficiently civilized for the duel. Even when he crosses swords with us his thoughts are not as our thoughts; when we both glorify war we are glorifying different things. Our medals are wrought like his, but they do not mean the same thing; our regiments are cheered as his are, but the thought in the heart is not the same; the Iron {117}Cross is on the bosom of his King, but it is not the sign of our God. For we, alas! follow our God with many relapses and self-contradictions, but he follows his very consistently. Through all the things that we have examined, the view of national boundaries, the view of military methods, the view of personal honor and self-defense, there runs in their case something of an atrocious simplicity; something too simple for us to understand; the idea that glory consists in holding the steel, and not in facing it.

If further examples were necessary it would be easy to give hundreds of them. Let us leave, for the moment, the relations between man and man in the thing called the duel. Let us take the relation between man and woman, in that immortal duel which we call a marriage. Here again we shall find that other Christian civilizations aim at some kind of equality, even if the balance be irrational or dangerous. Thus, the two extremes of the treatment of women might be represented by what are called the respectable classes in America and in France. In America they choose the risk of comradeship, in France the compensation of courtesy. In America it is practically possible for any young gentleman to take any young lady for what he calls (I deeply regret to say) a joy ride; but at least the man goes with the woman as much as the woman with the man. In France the young woman is protected like a nun while she is unmarried; but when she is a mother she is really a holy woman; and when she is a grandmother she is a holy terror.

By both extremes the woman gets something back out of life. There is only one place where she gets little or nothing back, and that is the north of Germany. France and America aim alike at equality; America by similarity, France by dissimilarity. But North Germany does definitely aim at inequality. The woman stands up with no more irritation than a butler; the man sits down with no more embarrassment than a guest. This is the cool affirmation of inferiority, as in the case of the sabre and the tradesmen. "Thou goest with women; forget not thy whip," said Nietzsche. It will be observed that he does not say "poker," which might come more naturally to the mind of a more common or Christian wife-beater. But, then, a poker is a part of domesticity, and might be used by the wife as well as the husband. In fact, it often is. The sword and the whip are the weapons of a privileged caste.

Pass from the closest of all differences, that between husband and wife, to the most distant of all differences, that of the remote and unrelated races who have seldom seen each other's faces, and never been tinged with each other's blood. Here we still find the same unvarying Prussian principle. Any European might feel a genuine fear of the Yellow Peril, and many Englishmen, Frenchmen, and Russians have felt and expressed it. Many might say, and have said, that the heathen Chinee is very heathen indeed; that if he ever advances against us he will trample and torture and utterly destroy, in a way that Eastern people do, but Western people do not. Nor do I doubt the German Emperor's sincerity when he sought to point out to us how abnormal and abominable such a nightmare campaign would be, supposing that it could come.

But now comes the comic irony, which never fails to follow on the attempt of the Prussian to be philosophic. For the Kaiser, after explaining to his troops how important it was to avoid Eastern barbarism, instantly commanded them to become Eastern barbarians. He told them, in so many words, to be Huns, and leave nothing living or standing behind them. In fact, he frankly offered a new army corps of aboriginal Tartars to the Far East, within such time as it may take a bewildered Hanoverian to turn into a Tartar. Any one who has the painful habit of personal thought will perceive here at once the non-reciprocal principle again. Boiled down to its bones of logic, it means simply this: "I am a German and you are a Chinaman. Therefore, I {118}being a German, have a right to be a Chinaman. But you have no right to be a Chinaman, because you are only a Chinaman." This is probably the highest point to which the German culture has risen.

"The Principle of Being Unprincipled."

The principle here neglected, which may be called mutuality by those who misunderstand and dislike the word equality, does not offer so clear a distinction between the Prussian and the other peoples as did the first Prussian principle of an infinite and destructive opportunism; or, in other words, the principle of being unprincipled. Nor upon this second can one take up so obvious a position touching the other civilizations or semi-civilizations of the world. Some idea of oath and bond there is in the rudest tribes, in the darkest continents. But it might be maintained, of the more delicate and imaginative element of reciprocity, that a cannibal in Borneo understands it almost as little as a professor in Berlin. A narrow and one-sided seriousness is the fault of barbarians all over the world. This may have been the meaning, for aught I know, of the one eye of the Cyclops; that the barbarian cannot see around things or look at them from two points of view, and thus becomes a blind beast and an eater of men. Certainly there can be no better summary of the savage than this, which, as we have seen, unfits him for the duel. He is the man who cannot love—no, nor even hate—his neighbor as himself.

But this quality in Prussia does have one effect which has reference to the same question of the lower civilizations. It disposes once and for all at least of the civilizing mission of Germany. Evidently the Germans are the last people in the world to be trusted with the task. They are as short-sighted morally as physically. What is their sophism of "necessity" but an inability to imagine tomorrow morning? What is their non-reciprocity but an inability to imagine, not a god or devil, but merely another man? Are these to judge mankind? Men of two tribes in Africa not only know that they are all men but can understand that they are all black men. In this they are quite seriously in advance of the intellectual Prussian, who cannot be got to see that we are all white men. The ordinary eye is unable to perceive in the Northeast Teuton anything that marks him out especially from the more colorless classes of the rest of Aryan mankind. He is simply a white man, with a tendency to the gray or the drab. Yet he will explain in serious official documents that the difference between him and us is a difference between "the master race and the inferior race."

How to Know "The Master Race."

The collapse of German philosophy always occurs at the beginning rather than the end of an argument, and the difficulty here is that there is no way of testing which is a master race except by asking which is your own race. If you cannot find out, (as is usually the case,) you fall back on the absurd occupation of writing history about prehistoric times. But I suggest quite seriously that if the Germans can give their philosophy to the Hottentots there is no reason why they should not give their sense of superiority to the Hottentots. If they can see such fine shades between the Goth and the Gaul, there is no reason why similar shades should not lift the savage above other savages; why any Ojibway should not discover that he is one tint redder than the Dakotas, or any nigger in the Kameruns say he is not so black as he is painted. For this principle of a quite unproved racial supremacy is the last and worst of the refusals of reciprocity. The Prussian calls all men to admire the beauty of his large blue eyes. If they do, it is because they have inferior eyes; if they don't, it is because they have no eyes.

Wherever the most miserable remnant of our race, astray and dried up in deserts or buried forever under the fall of bad civilization, has some feeble memory that men are men, that bargains are bargains, that there are two sides to a question, or even that it takes two to make a quarrel—that remnant has the {119}right to assist the New Culture, to the knife and club and the splintered stone. For the Prussian begins all his culture by that act which is the destruction of all creative thought and constructive action. He breaks that mirror in the mind in which a man can see the face of his friend or foe.


Russia Less Despotic Than Prussia

The German Emperor has reproached this country (England) with allying itself with "barbaric and semi-Oriental power." We have already considered in what sense we use the word barbaric; it is in the sense of one who is hostile to civilization, not one who is insufficient in it. But when we pass from the idea of the barbaric to the idea of the Oriental, the case is even more curious. There is nothing particularly Tartar in Russian affairs, except the fact that Russia expelled the Tartars. The Eastern invader occupied and crushed the country for many years; but that is equally true of Greece, of Spain, and even of Austria. If Russia has suffered from the East, she has suffered in order to resist it; and it is rather hard that the very miracle of her escape should make a mystery about her origin. Jonah may or may not have been three days inside a fish; but that does not make him a merman. And in all the other cases of European nations who escaped the monstrous captivity, we do admit the purity and continuity of the European type. We consider the old Eastern rule as a wound, but not as a stain. Copper-colored men out of Africa overruled for centuries the religion and patriotism of Spaniards. Yet I have never heard that "Don Quixote" was an African fable on the lines of "Uncle Remus." I have never heard that the heavy black in the pictures of Velasquez was due to a negro ancestry. In the case of Spain, which is close to us, we can recognize the resurrection of a Christian and cultured nation after its age of bondage. But Russia is rather remote; and those to whom nations are but names in newspapers can really fancy, like Mr. Baring's friend, that all Russian churches are "mosques." Yet the land of Turgenev is not a wilderness of fakirs; and even the fanatical Russian is as proud of being different from the Mongol as the fanatical Spaniard was proud of being different from the Moor.

"Scratch a Russian."

The town of Reading, as it exists, offers few opportunities for piracy on the high seas; yet it was the camp of the pirates in Alfred's days. I should think it hard to call the people of Berkshire half Danish merely because they drove out the Danes. In short, some temporary submergence under the savage flood was the fate of many of the most civilized States of Christendom, and it is quite ridiculous to argue that Russia, which wrestled hardest, must have recovered least. Everywhere, doubtless, the East spread a sort of enamel over the conquered countries; but everywhere the enamel cracked. Actual history, in fact, is exactly opposite to the cheap proverb invented against the Muscovite. It is not true to say, "Scratch a Russian and you find a Tartar." In the darkest hour of the barbaric dominion it was truer to say, "Scratch a Tartar and you find a Russian." It was the civilization that survived under all the barbarism. This vital romance of Russia, this revolution against Asia, can be proved in pure fact; not only from the almost superhuman activity of Russia during the struggle, but also (which is much rarer as human history goes) by her quite consistent conduct since. She is the only great nation which has really expelled the Mongol from her country and continued to protest against presence of the Mongol in her continent. Knowing what he had been in Russia, she knew what {120}he would be in Europe. In this she pursued a logical line of thought, which was, if anything, too unsympathetic with the energies and religions of the East. Every other country, one may say, has been an ally of the Turk—that is, of the Mongol and the Moslem. The French played them as pieces against Austria; the English warmly supported them under the Palmerston régime; even the young Italians sent troops to the Crimea; and of Russia and her Austrian vassal it is nowadays needless to speak. For good or evil, it is the fact of history that Russia is the only power in Europe that has never supported the Crescent against the Cross.

That doubtless will appear an unimportant matter, but it may become important under certain peculiar conditions. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that there were a powerful Prince in Europe who had gone ostentatiously out of his way to pay reverence to the remains of the Tartar, Mongol, and Moslem left as an outpost in Europe. Suppose there were a Christian Emperor who could not even go to the tomb of the crucified without pausing to congratulate the last and living crucifier. If there were an Emperor who gave guns and guides and maps and drill instructors to defend the remains of the Mongol in Christendom, what would we say to him? I think at least we might ask him what he meant by his impudence when he talked about supporting a semi-Oriental power. That we support a semi-Oriental power we deny. That he has supported an entirely Oriental power cannot be denied, no, not even by the man who did it.

Whom Has Prussia Emancipated?

But here is to be noted the essential difference between Russia and Prussia; especially by those who use the ordinary liberal arguments against the latter Russia has a policy, which she pursues, if you will, through evil and good; but at least so as to produce good as well as evil. Let it be granted that the policy has made her oppressive to the Finns, the Poles—though the Russian Poles feel far less oppressed than do the Prussian Poles. But it is a mere historic fact, that if Russia has been a despot to some small nations, she has been a deliverer to others. She did, so far as in her lay, emancipate the Servians or the Montenegrins. But whom did Prussia ever emancipate—even by accident? It is, indeed, somewhat extraordinary that in the perpetual permutations of international politics the Hohenzollerns have never gone astray into the path of enlightenment. They have been in alliance with almost everybody off and on; with France, with England, with Austria, with Russia. Can any one candidly say that they have left on any one of these people the faintest impress of progress or liberation? Prussia was the enemy of the French monarchy, but a worse enemy of the French Revolution. Prussia had been an enemy of the Czar, but she was a worse enemy of the Duma. Prussia totally disregarded Austrian rights; but she is today quite ready to inflict Austrian wrongs. This is the strong particular difference between the one empire and the other. Russia is pursuing certain intelligible and sincere ends, which to her at least are ideals, and for which, therefore, she will make sacrifices and will protect the weak. But the North German soldier is a sort of abstract tyrant; everywhere and always on the side of materialistic tyranny. This Teuton in uniform has been found in strange places; shooting farmers before Saratoga and flogging soldiers in Surrey, hanging niggers in Africa and raping girls in Wicklow, but never, by some mysterious fatality, lending a hand to the freeing of a single city or the independence of one solitary flag. Wherever scorn and prosperous oppression are, there is the Prussian; unconsciously consistent, instinctively restrictive, innocently evil; "following darkness like a dream."

Disinterested Despotism.

Suppose we heard of a person (gifted with some longevity) who had helped Alva to persecute Dutch Protestants, then helped Cromwell to persecute Irish Catholics, and then helped Claverhouse to persecute Scotch Puritans—we should find it rather easier to call him a persecutor than to call him a Protestant or a {121}Catholic. Curiously enough, this is actually the position in which the Prussian stands in Europe. No arguments can alter the fact that in three converging and conclusive cases he has been on the side of three distinct rulers of different religions, who had nothing whatever in common except that they were ruling oppressively. In these three Governments, taken separately, one can see something excusable, or at least human. When the Kaiser encouraged the Russian rulers to crush the revolution, the Russian rulers undoubtedly believed they were wrestling with an inferno of atheism and anarchy. A Socialist of the ordinary English kind cried out upon me when I spoke of Stolypin and said he was chiefly known by the halter called "Stolypin's Necktie." As a fact, there were many other things interesting about Stolypin besides his necktie—his policy of peasant proprietorship, his extraordinary personal courage, and certainly none more interesting than that movement in his death agony, when he made the sign of the cross toward the Czar, as the crown and captain of his Christianity. But the Kaiser does not regard the Czar as the captain of Christianity. Far from it. What he supported in Stolypin was the necktie, and nothing but the necktie; the gallows, and not the cross. The Russian ruler did believe that the Orthodox Church was orthodox. The Austrian Archduke did really desire to make the Catholic Church catholic. He did really believe that he was being pro-Catholic in being pro-Austrian. But the Kaiser cannot be pro-Catholic, and, therefore, cannot have been really pro-Austrian; he was simply and solely anti-Servian; nay, even in the cruel and sterile strength of Turkey, any one with imagination can see something of the tragedy, and, therefore, of the tenderness of true belief. The worst that can be said of the Moslems is, as the poet put it, they offered to man the choice of the Koran or the sword. The best that can be said for the German is that he does not care about the Koran, but is satisfied if he can have the sword. And for me, I confess, even the sins of these three other striving empires take on, in comparison, something that is sorrowful and dignified; and I feel they do not deserve that this little Lutheran lounger should patronize all that is evil in them, while ignoring all that is good. He is not Catholic; he is not Orthodox; he is not Mohammedan. He is merely an old gentleman who wishes to share the crime, though he cannot share the creed. He desires to be a persecutor by the pang without the palm. So strongly do all the instincts of the Prussian drive against liberty that he would rather oppress other peoples' subjects than think of anybody going without the benefits of oppression. He is a sort of disinterested despot. He is as disinterested as the devil, who is ready to do any one's dirty work.

The Paradox of Prussia.

This would seem obviously fantastic were it not supported by solid facts which cannot be explained otherwise. Indeed it would be inconceivable if we were thinking of a whole people, consisting of free and varied individuals. But in Prussia the governing class is really a governing class, and a very few people are needed to think along these lines to make all the other people act along them. And the paradox of Prussia is this: That while its princes and nobles have no other aim on this earth but to destroy democracy wherever it shows itself, they have contrived to get themselves trusted, not as wardens of the past, but as forerunners of the future. Even they cannot believe that their theory is popular, but they do believe that it is progressive. Here again we find the spiritual chasm between the two monarchies in question. The Russian institutions are, in many cases, really left in the rear of the Russian people, and many of the Russian people know it. But the Prussian institutions are supposed to be in advance of the Prussian people, and most of the Prussian people believe it. It is thus much easier for the war lords to go everywhere and impose a hopeless slavery upon every one, for they have al{122}ready imposed a sort of hopeful slavery on their own simple race.

A Factory of Thumbscrews.

And when men shall speak to us of the hoary iniquities of Russia and of how antiquated is the Russian system we shall answer, "Yes; that is the superiority of Russia." Their institutions are part of their history, whether as relics or fossils. Their abuses have really been uses; that is to say, they have been used up. If they have old engines of terror or torment, they may fall to pieces from mere rust, like an old coat of armor. But in the case of the Prussian tyranny, if it be tyranny at all, it is the whole point of its claim that it is not antiquated, but just going to begin, like the showman. Prussia has a whole thriving factory of thumbscrews, a whole humming workshop of wheels and racks, of the newest and neatest pattern, with which to win Europe back to reaction * * * infandum renovare dolorem. And if we wish to test the truth of this, it can be done by the same method which showed us that Russia, if her race or religion could sometimes make her an invader and an oppressor, could also be made an emancipator and a knight errant. In the same way, if the Russian institutions are old-fashioned, they honestly exhibit the good as well as the bad that can be found in old-fashioned things. In their police system they have an inequality which is against our ideas of law. But in their commune system they have an equality that is older than law itself. Even when they flogged each other like barbarians, they called each other by their Christian names like children. At their worst, they retained all the best of a rude society. At their best, they are simply good, like good children or good nuns. But in Prussia, all that is best in the civilized machinery is put at the service of all that is worst in the barbaric mind. Here again the Prussian has no accidental merits, none of those lucky survivals, none of those late repentances, which make the patchwork glory of Russia. Here all is sharpened to a point and pointed to a purpose; and that purpose, if words and acts have any meaning at all, is the destruction of liberty throughout the world.


The "Bond of Teutonism"

In considering the Prussian point of view we have been considering what seems to be mainly a mental limitation—a kind of knot in the brain. Toward the problem of Slav population, of English colonization, of French armies, and of reinforcements it shows the same strange philosophic sulks. So far as I can follow it, it seems to amount to saying, "It is very wrong that you should be superior to me, because I am superior to you." The spokesman of this system seems to have a curious capacity for concentrating this entanglement or contradiction sometimes into a single paragraph, or even a single sentence. I have already referred to the German Emperor's celebrated suggestion that in order to avert the peril of Hunnishness we should all become Huns. A much stronger instance is his more recent order to his troops touching the war in Northern France. As most people know, his words ran: "It is my royal and imperial command that you concentrate your energies, for the immediate present, upon one single purpose, and that is that you address all your skill and all the valor of my soldiers to exterminate first the treacherous English and to walk over Gen. French's contemptible little army." The rudeness of the remark an Englishman can afford to pass over. What I am interested in is the mentality, the train of thought that can manage to entangle itself even in so brief a space. If French's little army is contemptible it would seem clear that {123}all the skill and valor of the German Army had better not be concentrated on it, but on the larger and less contemptible allies. If all the skill and valor of the German Army are concentrated on it it is not being treated as contemptible. But the Prussian rhetorician had two incompatible sentiments in his mind, and he insisted on saying them both at once. He wanted to think of an English Army as a small thing; but he also wanted to think of an English defeat as a big thing. He wanted to exult, at the same moment, in the utter weakness of the British Nation in their attack and the supreme skill and valor of the Germans in repelling such an attack. Somehow it must be made a common and obvious collapse for England and yet a daring and unexpected triumph for Germany. In trying to express these contradictory conceptions simultaneously he got rather mixed. Therefore he bade Germania fill all her vales and mountains with the dying agonies of this almost invisible earwig, and let the impure blood of this cockroach redden the Rhine down to the sea.

Prof. Harnack's Reproach.

But it would be unfair to base the criticism on the utterance of any accidental and hereditary Prince; and it is quite equally clear in the case of the philosophers who have been held up to us, even in England, as the very prophets of progress. And in nothing is it shown more sharply than in the curious, confused talk about race, and especially about the Teutonic race. Prof. Harnack and similar people are reproaching us, I understand, for having broken "the bond of Teutonism"—a bond which the Prussians have strictly observed, both in breach and observance. We note it in the open annexation of lands wholly inhabited by negroes, such as Denmark. We note it equally in their instant and joyful recognition of the flaxen hair and light blue eyes of the Turks. But it is still the abstract principle of Prof. Harnack which interests me most, and in following it I have the same complexity of inquiry, but the same simplicity of result. Comparing the professor's concern about "Teutonism" with his unconcern about Belgium, I can only reach the following result: "A man need not keep a promise he has made. But a man must keep a promise he has not made." There certainly was a treaty binding Britain to Belgium, if it was only a scrap of paper. If there was any treaty binding Britain with Teutonism it is, to say the least of it, a lost scrap of paper—almost what one might call a scrap of waste paper. Here again the pedants under consideration exhibit the illogical perversity that makes the brain reel. There is obligation and there is no obligation; sometimes it appears that Germany and England must keep faith with each other; sometimes that Germany need not keep faith with anybody and anything; sometimes that we, alone among European peoples, are almost entitled to be Germans; sometimes that besides us Russians and Frenchmen almost rise to a Germanic loveliness of character. But through all there is, hazy but not hypocritical, this sense of some common Teutonism.

Prof. Haeckel, another of the witnesses raised up against us, attained to some celebrity at one time through proving the remarkable resemblance between two different things by printing duplicate pictures of the same thing. Prof. Haeckel's contribution to biology, in this case, was exactly like Prof. Harnack's contribution to ethnology. Prof. Harnack knows what a German is like. When he wants to imagine what an Englishman is like he simply photographs the same German over again. In both cases there is probably sincerity, as well as simplicity. Haeckel was so certain that the species illustrated in embryo really are closely related and linked up that it seemed to him a small thing to simplify it by mere repetition. Harnack is so certain that the German and Englishman are almost alike that he really risks the generalization that they are exactly alike. He photographs, so to speak, the same fair and foolish face twice over, and calls it a remarkable resemblance between cousins. Thus he can prove the {124}existence of Teutonism just about as conclusively as Haeckel has proved the more tenable proposition of the non-existence of God.

Germans and English.

Now, the German and the Englishman are not in the least alike—except in the sense that neither of them are negroes. They are, in everything good and evil, more unlike than any other two men we can take at random from the great European family. They are opposite from the roots of their history—nay, of their geography. It is an understatement to call Britain insular. Britain is not only an island, but an island slashed by the sea till it nearly splits into three islands, and even the midlands can almost smell the salt. Germany is a powerful, beautiful, and fertile inland country, which can only find the sea by one or two twisted and narrow paths, as people find a subterranean lake. Thus the British Navy is really national because it is natural. It has cohered out of hundreds of accidental adventures of ships and shipmen before Chaucer's time and after it. But the German Navy is an artificial thing, as artificial as a constructed Alp would be in England. William II. has simply copied the British Navy, as Frederick II. copied the French Army, and this Japanese or antlike assiduity in imitation is one of the hundred qualities which the Germans have and the English markedly have not. There are other German superiorities which are very much superior. The one or two really jolly things that the Germans have got are precisely the things which the English haven't got, notably a real habit of popular music and of the ancient songs of the people; not merely spreading from the towns or caught from the professionals. In this the Germans rather resemble the Welsh, though heaven knows what becomes of Teutonism if they do. But the difference between the Germans and the English goes deeper than all these signs of it. They differ more than any other two Europeans in the normal posture of the mind.

Above all, they differ in what is the most English of all English traits—that shame which the French may be right in calling "the bad shame," for it is certainly mixed up with pride and suspicion, the upshot of which we call shyness. Even an Englishman's rudeness is often rooted in his being embarrassed. But a German's rudeness is rooted in his never being embarrassed. He eats and makes love noisily. He never feels a speech or a song or a sermon or a large meal to be what the English call "out of place" in particular circumstances. When Germans are patriotic and religious they have no reactions against patriotism and religion, as have the English and the French. Nay, the mistake of Germany in the modern disaster largely arose from the facts that she thought England was simple, when England is very subtle. She thought that because our politics have become largely financial they had become wholly financial; that because our aristocrats had become pretty cynical they had become entirely corrupt. They could not seize the subtlety by which a rather used-up English gentleman might sell a coronet when he could not sell a fortress; might lower the public standards and yet refuse to lower the flag. In short, the Germans are quite sure that they understand us entirely because they do not understand us at all. Possibly, if they began to understand us they might hate us even more, but I would rather be hated for some small but real reason than pursued with love on account of all kinds of qualities which I do not possess and which I do not desire. And when the Germans get their first genuine glimpses of what modern England is like they will discover that England has a very broken, belated, and inadequate sense of having an obligation to Europe; but no sort of sense whatever of having any obligation to Teutonism.

Slippery Strength of Stupidity.

This is the last and strongest of the Prussian qualities we have here considered. There is in stupidity of this sort a strange, slippery strength, because it can be not only outside rules, but outside reason. The man who really cannot see that he is contradicting him{125}self has a great advantage in controversy, though the advantage breaks down when he tries to reduce it to simple addition, to chess—or to the game called war. It is the same about the stupidity of the one-sided kinship. The drunkard who is quite certain that a total stranger is his long-lost brother has a great advantage until it comes to matters of detail. "We must have chaos within," said Nietzsche, "that we may give birth to a dancing star."

In these slight notes I have suggested the principal strong points of the Prussian character—a failure in honor which almost amounts to a failure in memory; an egomania that is honestly blind to the fact that the other party is an ego, and, above all, an actual itch for tyranny and interference, the devil which everywhere torments the idle and the proud. To these must be added a certain mental shapelessness, which can expand or contract without reference to reason or record—a potential infinity of excuses. If the English had been on the German side the German professors would have noted what irresistible energies had evolved the Teutons. As the English are on the other side, the German professors will say that these Teutons were not sufficiently evolved; or they will say they were just sufficiently evolved to show that they were not Teutons. Probably they will say both. But the truth is that all that they call evolution should rather be called evasion. They tell us they are opening windows of enlightenment and doors of progress. The truth is that they are breaking up the whole house of the human intellect that they may abscond in any direction. There is an ominous and almost monstrous parallel between the position of their overrated philosophers and of their comparatively underrated soldiers. For what their professors call roads of progress are really routes of escape.

South Africa's Boers and Britons

By H. Rider Haggard.

The heart of South Africa, Boer and Briton, is with England in this war. Here and there you will find an individual who cherishes bitter and hostile memories, of which there has been an example in Mr. Beyers letter the other day, so effectually answered by Gen. Botha. But such instances, I believe, are so rare that really they are the exceptions which seem to prove the rule. Of course, it goes without saying that every person of English descent is heartily with the mother country, and I do not suppose it would be an overestimate to add that quite 80 per cent, of the Dutch are of the same way of thinking.

Still, there is a party among the South African Dutch that sees no necessity for the invasion of German Southwest Africa. This party overlooks the fact that the Germans have for long been preparing to invade them; also that if by any chance Germany should conquer in this war South Africa would be one of the first countries that they would seize.

In speaking of this I talk of what I understand, since for the last two and a half years it has been my duty to travel around the British Empire upon the service of his Majesty. In addition to South Africa, I have visited India, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, and Canada. I have recently traveled throughout South Africa as a member of the Dominion's Royal Commission. It was my first visit there after the lapse of a whole generation, and I can only say that everywhere I have found the most intense loyalty and devotion to the old mother land. The empire is one and indivisible; together it will stand or together it will fall.

{126}South Africa is united; it has forgotten its recent labor troubles. I answer "absolutely" all such things are past history, blown away and destroyed by this great wind of war. South Africa, down to its lowest Hottentot, has, I believe, but one object, to help England to win in this vast battle of the nations. Why, even the natives, as you may have noticed, are sending subscriptions from their scanty hoards and praying to be allowed "to throw a few stones for the King." Did not Poutsma say as much the other day?

In the old days, of course, there were very strained relations between the English and Boers, which had their roots in foolish and inconsistent acts carried out by the Home Government, generally to forward party ends. I need not go into them because they are too long.

Then came the Boer war, which, as you know, proved a much bigger enterprise than the Home Government had anticipated. It cost Britain 20,000 lives and £300,000,000 of English money before the Boers were finally subdued. Only about half a score of years have gone by since peace was declared. Within two or three years of that peace the British Government made up its mind to a very bold step and one which was viewed with grave doubts by many people—namely, to give full self-government to the Transvaal and the Orange River Colonies.

Astonished at Results.

When I traveled through South Africa the other day this new Constitution had been working for a few years, and I can only say that I was astonished at the results. Here and there in the remoter districts, it is true, some racial feeling still prevailed, but taken as a whole this seems absolutely to have died away. Briton and Boer have come together in a manner for which I believe I am right in saying there is no precedent in the history of the world, so shortly, at any rate, after a prolonged and bitter struggle to the death. I might give many instances, but I will only take one. At Pretoria I was asked to inspect a company of Boy Scouts, and there I found English and Dutch lads serving side by side with the utmost brotherhood. Again I met most of the men who had been leaders of the Boers in the war. One and all professed the greatest loyalty to England. Moreover, I am certain that this was not lip loyalty; it was from the heart. Especially was I impressed by that great man, Gen. Botha, with whom I had several conversations. I am convinced that at this moment the King has no truer or more faithful servant than Gen. Botha. Again and again did I hear from prominent South Africans of Dutch or Huguenot extraction that never more was there any chance of trouble between Boer and Briton.

I know it is alleged by some that this is because the Dutch feel that they have on the whole made a good bargain, having won absolute constitutional liberty and the fullest powers of self-government, plus the protection of the British fleet. There may be something in this view, but I am sure that the feeling goes a great deal deeper than self-interest. Mutual respect has arisen between those who ten years ago were enemies fighting each other.

Appeal to People's Imagination.

Moreover, the Boer now knows a great deal more of the British Empire and what it means than he did then. Lastly, the supreme generosity evinced by Britain in giving their enemy of the day before every right and privilege that is owned by her other oversea dominions with whom she has never had a quarrel appeals deeply to the imagination of the Dutch people. Now, the world sees the results. Germany, which has miscalculated so much in connection with this war and the part that the British Empire would play in it, miscalculated nowhere more than it did in the case of South Africa. The German war lords hoped that India and Egypt would rise, they trusted that Canada and Australia would prove lukewarm, but they were certain that South Africa would seize the opportunity to rebel. How could it be other{127}wise, they thought, seeing that but yesterday she was at death grips with us. Then came the great surprise. Lo and behold! instead of rebelling, South Africa promptly cabled to England saying that every British soldier might be withdrawn from her shores, and, further, that the burghers of the land would themselves undertake the conquest of the German possessions of Southwest Africa for the Crown. They are doing so at this moment. I believe that today there is no British soldier left at the Cape, and I know that now a great force is moving on Southwest Africa furnished by Boer and Briton alike. Can the history of the world tell us of any parallel case to this—that a country conquered within a dozen years should not only need no garrison, but by its own free will undertake war against the enemies of its late victor? Surely this is something of which Britain may feel proud.

Deep Distrust of Germany.

Now, some of your readers may ask: "Why is it? How did this miracle, for it is little less, happen?" My answer is that it has been caused first by a supreme and glorious trust in the justice and generosity of England, which knows how to rule colonies as no other nation has done in the history of the earth, and secondly by a deep distrust of Germany. To my own knowledge, Germany has been intriguing in South Africa for the last quarter of a century. I remember, I suppose it must be almost twenty years ago, sending to the late Mr. Chamberlain, who was then Colonial Secretary, information to this effect which reached me from undoubted sources in South Africa. Again, not long ago, I was shown a document which was found among the papers of the Zulu Prince Dinizulu, son of King Cetewayo, who died the other day. It was concluded between himself and Germans, and under it the poor man had practically sold his country nominally to a German firm, but doubtless to more powerful persons behind. In short, there is no question that for many years Germany has had its eye upon South Africa as a desirable field of settlement for its subjects under the German and not the British flag. Now, the Boers are perfectly well acquainted with this fact and have no wish to exchange the beneficent rule of Britain for that of Potsdam, the King Log of George V. for the King Stork of Kaiser Wilhelm.

You ask me if I think that the Boers are likely to succeed in their attack on Southwest Africa, where it must be remembered that the Germans have a very formidable force; indeed, I have been told, I do not know with what accuracy, that they have accumulated there the vast arsenal of war material that was obviously intended to be used on some future occasion in the invasion of the Cape. I answer: "Certainly, they will succeed, though not easily." Remember what stock these Boers come from. They are descendants of the men who withstood and beat Alva in the sixteenth century.

Botha of Huguenot Descent.

I happen to be well acquainted with that period of history. I wrote a story called "Lysbeth" concerning it, and to do this I found it necessary not only to visit Holland on several occasions, but to read all the contemporary records. In the light of the information which I thus obtained, I state positively that the world has no record of a more glorious and heroic struggle than that made by the Dutch against all the power of Spain. Well, the Boers are descended from these men and women (for both fought). Also, they include a very large dash of some of the best blood of Europe, namely, that of the Huguenots. For instance, Botha himself is of Huguenot descent. It is impossible for a person like myself, who have that same blood in me, to talk with him for five minutes without becoming aware of his origin. Long before he told me so I knew that he was in part a Frenchman. Men so great are not easily conquered, as we know to our cost. Why, it took quite 250,000 soldiers and three years of strenuous guerrilla warfare to enable Britain to defeat 40,000 or 50,000 Dutch farmers. Therefore I have personally not the least fear of the ultimate result of the campaign against Southwest Africa.

{128}I went as a lad as Secretary to the Governor of Natal. That was in 1875. Subsequently I accompanied Sir Theophilus Shepstone, one of the greatest men that ever lived in South Africa, on his famous mission to the Transvaal. I am now, I believe, the only survivor of that mission, and certainly the only man who knows all the inner political history of that event. Afterward I held office in the Transvaal, and was in the country during all the disastrous period of the first Boer war. For instance, I dined with Gen. Colley the night before he started on his ill-fated expedition. I think there were thirteen of us present at that historical dinner. Within a few weeks six or eight of these were dead, including Colley himself, killed in the fight of Majuba, of which I heard the guns. Of those present at that dinner party there now survive only Lady Colley, my wife, and myself.

Felt Like Rip Van Winkle.

After this I left Africa, and more than thirty years went by before I returned as a commissioner in the service of the Crown. It was a very extraordinary experience; indeed, I felt like a new Rip Van Winkle, for nearly all my old chiefs and colleagues were dead, and another generation had arisen. I can only say that I was deeply touched by the reception which I received throughout the country. It was with strange feelings that almost on the very spot where I helped to read the proclamation of annexation of the Transvaal, in 1877, and with my own hands hoisted the British flag over the land, I listened to my health being proposed by the Dutch Chief Justice of the Transvaal territory, once more a part of the British Empire. Such was my greeting everywhere. Three and thirty years before I had left the shores of Africa, believing that soon or late the British power was doomed to failure and probably to extinction there. When I left them again, six months ago, it was with the glad knowledge that, by the united wish of the inhabitants of South Africa, it was re-established, never again to pass away. It is a wonderful thing for a man in his own lifetime to see a country pass through so many vicissitudes, and in the end to appear in the face of the world no longer as England's enemy, but as a constituent part of the great British Empire, one of her best friends and supporters, glorying in her flag, which now floats from Cape Agalhas to the Zambesi, and soon will float over those contingent regions that have been seized by the mailed fist of Germany.

Capt. Mark Haggard's Death in Battle

To the Editor of The [London] Times:

Sir: In various papers throughout England has appeared a letter, or part of a letter, written by Private C. Derry of the Second Battalion, Welsh Regiment. It concerns the fall of my much-loved nephew, Capt. Mark Haggard, of the same regiment, on Sept. 13 in the battle of the Aisne.

Since this letter has been published and, vivid, pathetic, and pride-inspiring as it is, does not tell all the tale, I have been requested, on behalf of Mark's mother, young widow, and other members of our family, to give the rest of it as it was collected by them from the lips of Lieut. Somerset, who lay wounded by him when he died. Therefore I send this supplementary account to you in the hope that the other journals which have printed the first part of the story will copy it from your columns.

It seems that after he had given the order to fix bayonets, as told by Private Derry, my nephew charged the German Maxims at the head of his company, he and his soldier servant outrunning the other men. Arrived at the Maxim in front of him, with the rifle which he was using as Derry describes, he shot and killed {129}the three soldiers who were serving it, and then was seen "fighting and laying out" the Germans with the butt end of his empty gun, "laughing" as he did so, until he fell mortally wounded in the body and was carried away by his servant.



LUDWIG FULDA. See Page 180.

His patient and heroic end is told by Private Derry, and I imagine that the exhortation to "Stick it, Welsh!" which from time to time he uttered in his agony, will not soon be forgotten in his regiment. Of that end we who mourn him can only say in the simple words of Derry's letter, that he "died as he had lived—an officer and a gentleman."

Perhaps it would not be inappropriate to add as a thought of consolation to those throughout the land who day by day see their loved ones thus devoured by the waste of war, that of a truth these do not vainly die. Not only are they crowned with fame, but by the noble manner of their end they give the lie to Bernhardi and his school, who tell us that we English are an effete and worn-out people, befogged with mean ideals; lost in selfishness and the lust of wealth and comfort. Moreover, the history of these deeds of theirs will surely be as a beacon to those destined to carry on the traditions of our race in that new England which shall arise when the cause of freedom for which we must fight and die has prevailed—to fall no more.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,


Ditchingham, Norfolk, Oct. 9.

An Anti-Christian War

By Robert Bridges.

To the Editor of The [London] Times:

Sir: Since the beginning of this war the meaning of it has in one respect considerably changed, and I hope that our people will see that it is primarily a holy war. It is manifestly a war declared between Christ and the devil.

The conduct of the German conscripts has demonstrated that they have been instructed to adopt in full practice the theories of their political philosophers, and that they have heartily consented to do this and freely commit every cruelty that they think will terrorize the people whom they intend to crush. The details of their actions are too beastly to mention.

Their philosophers, as I read them, teach openly that the law of love is silly and useless, but that brutal force and cruelty are the useful and proper means of attaining success in all things. Shortly, you are not to do to others as you wish they should do to you, but you should do exactly what you wish they should not do to you; that is, you should cut their throats and seize their property, and then you will get on.

As for these enlightened philosophers, their doctrines are plainly an apostasy from the Gospel—and this they do not scruple to avow; and their tenets are only a recrudescence or reassertion of the barbarism which we hoped we had grown out of; it is all merely damnable. But it seems to me that, judged only as utilitarian policy, it is stupid; and that they blundered in neglecting the moral force (for that is also a force) of the antagonism that they were bound to arouse in all gentle minds, whether simple or cultured. It was stupid of them not to perceive that their hellish principles would shock everything that is most beloved and living in modern thought, both the "humanitarian" tendency of the time and the respect which has grown up for the rights of minorities and nationalities. Now, not to reckon with such things was stupid, unless they can win temporary justification by immediate success.

{130}What success is possible for those who thus openly outrage humanity remains to be seen; but they cannot be allowed the advantage of any doubt as to what they are about. Those who fight for them will fight for "the devil and all his works"; and those who fight against them will be fighting in the holy cause of humanity and the law of love. If the advocacy of their bad principles and their diabolical conduct do not set the whole world against them, then the world is worse than I think. My belief is that there are yet millions of their own countrymen who have not bowed the knee to Satan, and who will be as much shocked as we are; and that this internal moral disruption will much hamper them. This morning I have a legal notice sent me from a German resident in England announcing that he has changed his name, for shame (I suppose) of his Fatherland.

All their apology throughout has been a clumsy tissue of self-contradictory lies, and their occasional hypocrisy has been hastily pretended and ill-conceived. The particular contention against us—that we were betraying the cause of civilization by supporting the barbarous Slav—does not come very convincingly from them if their apostle is Nietzsche, while the Russian prophet is Tolstoy.

The infernal machine which has been scientifically preparing for the last twenty-five years is now on its wild career like one of Mr. Wells's inventions, and wherever it goes it will leave desolation behind it and put all material progress back for at least half a century. There was never anything in the world worthier of extermination, and it is the plain duty of all civilized nations to unite to drive it back into its home and exterminate it there. I am, &c.,


Sept. 1.

English Artists' Protest

Art lovers in Great Britain have drawn up a protest against the vandalism of German soldiers. Copies of this protest have been sent to the Comte de Lalaing, Belgian Minister in London; the American Ambassador, with a humble request that it may be forwarded to the President of the United States; and Baron Kervyn de Lettenhove, Art Adviser to the Belgian Government. Those who have signed include well-known collectors, Trustees of the British Museum, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Galleries of Scotland; the Director and Principal Librarian of the British Museum; the Directors of the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the National Galleries of Scotland and Ireland; the Keepers of the Wallace Collection and the National Gallery of British Art; Keepers in the British Museum; the Joint Honorary Secretaries of the National Art Collections Fund, and many critics and others prominent in the art world.

The whole civilized world has witnessed with horror the terrible effects of modern warfare on helpless inhabitants of Belgium and France, and on ancient buildings and other works of art which are the abiding monuments of the piety and culture of their ancestors.

Some of the acts of the invading German army against buildings may be defensible from the military standpoint; but it seems certain from present information that in some signal instances, notably at Louvain and Rheims, this defense cannot hold good against the mass of evidence to the contrary.

The signatories of this protest claim that they are in no sense a partisan body. Their contention in this matter is that the splendid monuments of the arts of the Middle Ages which have been destroyed or damaged are the inheritance of the whole world, and that it is the duty of all civilized communities to endeavor to preserve them for the benefit and instruction of posterity. While France and Belgium are individually the poorer from such wanton destruction, the world at large is no less impoverished.

On these grounds, therefore, we desire to express our strong indignation and abhorrence at the gratuitous destruction {131}of ancient buildings that has marked the invasion of Belgium and France by the German Army, and we wish to enter a protest in the strongest terms against the continuance of so barbarous and reckless a policy. That it is the result of a policy, and not of an accident, is shown by the similarity of the fate of Louvain, Malines, Termonde, Senlis, and finally Rheims.

Many of us have had the opportunity of showing that our love and respect for art are not bounded by our nationality, but we feel compelled to publish to the world our horror and detestation of the barbarous acts committed by the army that represents a country which has done so much to promote and advance the study of art and its history.

The signatories are:


{132}To Arms!

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Is it possible that there are still some of our people who do not understand the causes of this war, and are ignorant of the great stakes at issue which will speedily have so important a bearing upon the lives of each and all of them? It is hard to believe it, and yet it is so stated by some who profess to know. Let me try, in the shortest space and in the clearest words that I can command, to lay before them both the causes and the possible effects, and to implore them now, now, at this very moment, before it is too late, to make those efforts and sacrifices which the occasion demands. In Germany, every man from the ages of sixteen to fifty-five is with the colors. The last man has been called up. And yet we hear—we could not bear to see—that young athletic men in this country are playing football or cricket, while our streets are full of those who should be in our camps. All our lives have been but a preparation for this supreme moment. All our future lives will be determined by how we bear ourselves in these few months to come. Shame, shame on the man who fails his country in this its hour of need! I would not force him to serve. I could not think that the service of such a man was of any avail. Let the country be served by free men, and let them deal with the coward or the sluggard who flinches.

The causes of the war are only of moment to us, at this stage, in that we gain more strength in our arms and more iron in our souls by a knowledge that it is for all that is honorable and sacred for which we fight. What really concerns us is that we are in a fight for our national life, that we must fight through to the end, and that each and all of us must help, in his own fashion, to the last ounce of his strength, that this end may be victory. That is the essence of the situation. It is not words and phrases that we need, but men, men—and always more men. If words can bring the men then they are of avail. If not they may well wait for the times to mend. But if there is a doubt in the mind of any man as to the justice of his country's quarrel, then even a writer may find work ready to his hand.

Let us cast our minds back upon the events which have led up to this conflict. They may be divided into two separate classes, those which prepared the general situation, and those which caused the special quarrel. Each of these I will treat in its turn.

Teuton Intoxication.

It is a matter of common knowledge, one which a man must be blind and deaf not to understand, that for many years Germany, intoxicated by her success in war and by her increase of wealth, has regarded the British Empire with eyes of jealousy and hatred. It has never been alleged by those who gave expression to this almost universal national passion that Great Britain had in any way, either historically or commercially, done Germany a mischief. Even our most bitter traducers, when asked to give any definite historical reasons for their dislike, were compelled to put forward such ludicrous excuses as that the British had abandoned the Prussian King in the year 1761, quite oblivious of the fact that the same Prussian King had abandoned his own allies in the same war under far more damaging circumstances, acting up to his own motto that no promises are binding where the vital interests of a State are in question. With all their malevolence they could give no examples of any ill turn done by us until their deliberate policy had forced us into antagonism. On the other hand, a long list of occasions could very easily be compiled on which we had helped them in some {133}common cause, from the days of Marlborough to those of Blucher. Until the twentieth century had turned they had no possible cause for political hatred against us. In commerce our record was even more clear. Never in any way had we interfered with that great development of trade which has turned them from one of the poorest to one of the richest of European States. Our markets were open to them untaxed, while our own manufactures paid 20 per cent. in Germany. The markets of India, of Egypt, and of every portion of the empire which had no self-appointed tariff, were as open to German goods as to British ones. Nothing could possibly have been more generous than our commercial treatment. No doubt there was some grumbling when cheap imitations of our own goods were occasionally found to oust the originals from their markets. Such a feeling was but natural and human. But in all matters of commerce, as in all matters political before the dawn of this century, they have no shadow of a grievance against us.

And yet they hated us with a most bitter hatred, a hatred which long antedates the days when we were compelled to take a definite stand against them. In all sorts of ways this hatred showed itself, in the diatribes of professors, in the pages of books, in the columns of the press. Usually it was a sullen, silent dislike. Sometimes it would flame up suddenly into bitter utterance, as at the time of the unseemly dispute around the deathbed of the Emperor's father, or on the occasion of the Jameson Raid. And yet this bitter antagonism was in no way reciprocated in this country. If a poll had been taken at any time up to the end of the century as to which European country was our natural ally, the vote would have gone overwhelmingly for Germany. "America first and then Germany" would have been the verdict of nine men out of ten. But then occurred two events which steadied the easy-going Briton, and made him look more intently and with a more questioning gaze at his distant cousin over the water. Those two events were the Boer war and the building of the German fleet. The first showed us, to our amazement, the bitter desire which Germany had to do us some mischief, the second made us realize that she was forging a weapon with which that desire might be fulfilled.

The Boer War and Germany.

We are most of us old enough to remember the torrent of calumny and insult which was showered upon us in the day of our temporary distress by the nation to whom we had so often been a friend and an ally. It is true that other nations treated us little better, and yet their treatment hurt us less. The difference as it struck men at the time may be summarized in this passage from a British writer of the period.

"But it was very different with Germany," he says. "Again and again in the world's history we have been the friends and the allies of these people. It was so in the days of Marlborough, in those of the Great Frederick, and in those of Napoleon. When we could not help them with men we helped them with money. Our fleet has crushed their enemies. And now, for the first time in history, we have had a chance of seeing who were our friends in Europe, and nowhere have we met more hatred and more slander than from the German press and the German people. Their most respectable journals have not hesitated to represent the British troops—troops every bit as humane and as highly disciplined as their own—not only as committing outrages on person and property, but even as murdering women and children.

"At first this unexpected phenomenon merely surprised the British people, then it pained them, and finally, after two years of it, it has roused a deep, enduring anger in their minds."

He goes on to say: "The continued attacks upon us have left an enduring feeling of resentment, which will not and should not die away in this generation. It is not too much to say that five years ago a complete defeat of Germany in a European war would have certainly {134}caused British intervention. Public sentiment and racial affinity would never have allowed us to see her really go to the wall. And now it is certain that in our lifetime no British guinea and no soldier's life would under any circumstances be spent for such an end. That is one strange result of the Boer war, and in the long run it is possible that it may prove not the least important."

Such was the prevailing mood of the nation when they perceived Germany, under the lead of her Emperor, following up her expressions of enmity by starting with restless energy to build up a formidable fleet, adding programme to programme, out of all possible proportion to the German commerce to be defended or to the German coastline exposed to attack. Already vainglorious boasts were made that Germany was the successor to Britain upon the seas. "The Admiral of the Atlantic greets the Admiral of the Pacific," said the Kaiser later in a message to the Czar. What was Britain to do under this growing menace? So long as she was isolated the diplomacy of Germany might form some naval coalition against her. She took the steps which were necessary for her own safety, and without forming an alliance she composed her differences with France and Russia and drew closer the friendship which united her with her old rival across the Channel. The first fruit of the new German fleet was the entente cordiale. We had found our enemy. It was necessary that we should find our friends. Thus we were driven into our present combination.

And now we had to justify our friendship. For the first time we were compelled to openly oppose Germany in the deep and dangerous game of world politics. They wished to see if our understanding was a reality or a sham. Could they drive a wedge between us by showing that we were a fair-weather friend whom any stress would alienate? Twice they tried it, once in 1906 when they bullied France into a conference at Algeciras but found that Britain was firm at her side, and again in 1911 when in a time of profound peace they stirred up trouble by sending a gunboat to Agadir, and pushed matters to the very edge of war. But no threats induced Britain to be false to her mutual insurance with France. Now for the third and most fatal time they have demanded that we forswear ourselves and break our own bond lest a worse thing befall us. Blind and foolish, did they not know by past experience that we would keep our promise given? In their madness they have wrought an irremediable evil to themselves, to us, and to all Europe.

I have shown that we have in very truth never injured nor desired to injure Germany in commerce nor have we opposed her politically until her own deliberate actions drove us into the camp of her opponents. But it may well be asked why then did they dislike us, and why did they weave hostile plots against us? It was that, as it seemed to them, and as indeed it actually may have been, we, independently of our own wills, stood between Germany and that world empire of which she dreamed. This was caused by circumstances over which we had no control and which we could not modify if we had wished to do so. Britain, through her maritime power and the energy of her merchants and people, had become a great world power when Germany was still unformed. Thus, when she had grown to her full stature, she found that the choice places of the world and those most fitted for the spread of a transplanted European race were already filled up. It was not a matter which we could help nor could we alter it, since Canada, Australia, and South Africa would not, even if we could be imagined to have wished it, be transferred to German rule. And yet the Germans chafed, and if we can put ourselves in their places we may admit that it was galling that the surplus of their manhood should go to build up the strength of an alien and possibly a rival State. So far we could see their grievance, or, rather their misfortune, since no one was in truth to blame in the matter. Had their needs been openly and reasonably expressed, and had the two States moved in concord in the matter, {135}it is difficult to think that no helpful solution of any kind could have been found.

As Germans See England.

But the German method of approaching the problem has never been to ask sympathy and co-operation, but to picture us as a degenerate race from whom anything might be gained by playing upon our imagined weakness and cowardice. A nation which attends quietly to its own sober business must, according to their mediaeval notions, be a nation of decadent poltroons. If we fight our battles by means of free volunteers instead of enforced conscripts then the military spirit must be dead among us. Perhaps, even in this short campaign, they have added this delusion also to the dust-bin of their many errors. But such was their absurd self-deception about the most virile of European races. Did we propose disarmament, then it was not humanitarianism but cowardice that prompted us, and their answer was to enlarge their programme. Did we suggest a navy-building holiday, it was but a cloak for our weakness and an incitement that they should redouble their efforts. Our decay had become a part of their national faith. At first the wish may have been the father to the thought, but soon under the reiterated assertions of their crazy professors the proposition became indisputable. Bernhardi in his book upon the next war cannot conceal the contempt in which he has learned to hold us. Neibuhr long ago had prophesied the coming fall of Britain, and every year was believed to bring it nearer and to make it more certain. To these jaundiced eyes all seemed yellow, when the yellowness lay only in themselves. Our army, our navy, our colonies, all were equally rotten. "Old England, old, indeed, and corrupt, rotten through and through." One blow and the vast sham would fly to pieces, and from those pieces the victor could choose his reward. Listen to Prof. Treitschke, a man who, above all others, has been the evil genius of his country, and has done most to push it toward this abyss: "A thing that is wholly a sham," he cried, in allusion to our empire, "cannot, in this universe of ours, endure forever. It may endure for a day, but its doom is certain." Were ever words more true when applied to the narrow bureaucracy and swaggering Junkerdom of Prussia, the most artificial and ossified sham that ever our days have seen? See which will crack first, our democracy or this, now that both have been plunged into the furnace together. The day of God's testing has come, and we shall see which can best abide it.

The Blame Not England's.

I have tried to show that we are in no way to blame for the hostility which has grown up between us. So far as it had any solid cause at all it has arisen from fixed factors, which could no more be changed by us than the geographical position which has laid us right across their exit to the oceans of the world. That this deeply rooted national sentiment, which forever regarded us as the Carthage to which they were destined to play the part of Rome, would, sooner or later, have brought about war between us, is, in my opinion, beyond all doubt. But it was planned to come at the moment which was least favorable for Britain. "Even English attempts at a rapprochement must not blind us to the real situation," says Bernhardi. "We may, at most, use them to delay the necessary and inevitable war until we may fairly imagine we have some prospect of success." A more shameless sentence was never penned, and one stands marveling which is the more grotesque—the cynicism of the sentiment or the folly which gave such a warning to the victim. For be it remembered that Bernhardi's words are to be taken very seriously, for they are not the ravings of some Pan-German monomaniac, but the considered views of the foremost military writer of Germany, one who is in touch with those inner circles whose opinions are the springs of national policy. "Our last and greatest reckoning is to be with Great Britain," said the bitter Treitschke. Sooner or later the shock was to come. Germany {136}sat brooding over the chessboard of the world waiting for the opening which should assure a winning game.

It was clear that she should take her enemies separately rather than together. If Britain were attacked it was almost certain that France and Russia would stand by her side. But if, on the contrary, the quarrel could be made with these two powers, and especially with Russia, in the first instance, then it was by no means so certain that Great Britain would be drawn into the struggle. Public opinion has to be strongly moved before our country can fight, and public opinion under a Liberal Government might well be divided upon the subject of Russia. Therefore, if the quarrel could be so arranged as to seem to be entirely one between Teuton and Slav there was a good chance that Britain would remain undecided until the swift German sword had done its work. Then, with the grim acquiescence of our deserted allies, the still bloody sword would be turned upon ourselves, and that great final reckoning would have come.

Such was the plan, and fortune favored it. A brutal murder had, not for the first time, put Servia into a position where a State may be blamed for the sins of individuals. An ultimatum was launched so phrased that it was impossible for any State to accept it as it stood and yet remain an independent State. At the first sign of argument or remonstrance the Austrian Army marched upon Belgrade. Russia, which had been already humiliated in 1908 by the forcible annexation of Bosnia, could not possibly submit a second time to the Caudine Forks. She laid her hand upon her sword hilt. Germany sprang to the side of her ally. France ranged herself with Russia. Like a thunderclap the war of the nations had begun.

So far all had worked well for German plans. Those of the British public who were familiar with the past and could look into the future might be well aware that our interests were firmly bound with those of France, and that if our faggots were not tied together they would assuredly be snapped each in its turn. But the unsavory assassination which had been so cleverly chosen as the starting point of the war bulked large in the eyes of our people, and, setting self-interest to one side, the greater part of the public might well have hesitated to enter into a quarrel where the cause seemed remote and the issues ill-defined. What was it to us if a Slav or a Teuton collected the harbor due of Saloniki! So the question might have presented itself to the average man who in the long run is the ruler of this country and the autocrat of its destinies. In spite of all the wisdom of our statesmen, it is doubtful if on such a quarrel we could have gained that national momentum which might carry us to victory. But at that very moment Germany took a step which removed the last doubt from the most cautious of us and left us in a position where we must either draw our sword or stand forever dishonored and humiliated before the world. The action demanded of us was such a compound of cowardice and treachery that we ask ourselves in dismay what can we ever have done that could make others for one instant imagine us to be capable of so dastardly a course. Yet that it was really supposed that we could do it, and that it was not merely put forward as an excuse for drawing us into war, is shown by the anger and consternation of the Kaiser and his Chancellor when we drew back from what the British Prime Minister had described as "an infamous proposal." One has only to read our Ambassador's description of his interview with the German Chancellor after our decision was announced, "so evidently overcome by the news of our action," to see that through some extraordinary mental aberration the German rulers did actually believe that a vital treaty with Britain's signature upon it could be regarded by this country as a mere "scrap of paper."

The Treaty of 1839.

What was this treaty which it was proposed so lightly to set aside? It was the guarantee of the neutrality of Belgium signed in 1839 (confirmed verbally and in writing by Bismarck in 1870) by {137}Prussia, France, and Britain, each of whom pledged their word to observe and to enforce it. On the strength of it Belgium had relied for her security amid her formidable neighbors. On the strength of it also France had lavished all her defenses upon her eastern frontier, and left her northern exposed to attack. Britain had guaranteed the treaty, and Britain could be relied upon. Now, on the first occasion of testing the value of her word it was supposed that she would regard the treaty as a worthless scrap of paper, and stand by unmoved while the little State which had trusted her was flooded by the armies of the invader. It was unthinkable, and yet the wisest brains of Germany seem to have persuaded themselves that we had sunk to such depths of cowardly indolence that even this might go through. Surely they also have been hypnotized by those foolish dreams of Britain's degeneration, from which they will have so terrible an awakening.

As a matter of fact the General Staff had got ahead of the diplomatists, and the German columns were already over the border while the point was being debated at Berlin. There was no retreat from the position which had been taken up. "It is to us a vital matter of strategy and is beyond argument," said the German soldier. "It is to us a vital matter of honor and, is beyond argument," answered the British statesman. The die was cast. No compromise was possible. Would Britain keep her word or would she not? That was the sole question at issue. And what answer save one could any Briton give to it? "I do not believe," said our Prime Minister, "that any nation ever entered into a great controversy with a clearer conscience and stronger conviction that it is fighting, not for aggression, not for the maintenance of its own selfish interest, but in defense of principles the maintenance of which is vital to the civilization of the world." So he spoke, and history will indorse his words, for we surely have our quarrel just.

So much for the events which have led us to war. Now for a moment let us glance at what we may have to hope for, what we may have to fear, and, above all, what we must each of us do that we win through to a lasting peace.

What have we to gain if we win? That we have nothing material to gain, no colonies which we covet, no possessions of any sort that we desire, is the final proof that the war has not been provoked by us. No nation would deliberately go out of its way to wage so hazardous and costly a struggle when there is no prize for victory. But one enormous indirect benefit we will gain if we can make Germany a peaceful and harmless State. We will surely break her naval power and take such steps that it shall not be a menace to us any more. It was this naval power, with its rapid increase and the need that we should ever, as Mr. Churchill has so well expressed it, be ready at our average moment to meet an attack at their chosen moment—it was this which has piled up our war estimates during the last ten years until they have bowed us down. With such enormous sums spent upon ships and guns, great masses of capital were diverted from the ordinary channels of trade, while an even more serious result was that our programmes of social reform had to be curtailed from want of the money which could finance them. Let the menace of that lurking fleet be withdrawn—the nightmare of those thousand hammers working day and night in forging engines for our destruction—and our estimates will once again be those of a civilized Christian country, while our vast capital will be turned from measures of self-protection to those of self-improvement. Should our victory be complete, there is little which Germany can yield to us save the removal of that shadow which has darkened us so long. But our children and our children's children will never, if we do our work well now, look across the North Sea with the sombre thoughts which have so long been ours, while their lives will be brightened and elevated by money which we, in our darker days, have had to spend upon our ships and our guns.

{138}Consider, on the other hand, what we should suffer if we were to lose. All the troubles of the last ten years would be with us still, but in a greatly exaggerated form. A larger and stronger Germany would dominate Europe and would overshadow our lives. Her coast line would be increased, her ports would face our own, her coaling stations would be in every sea, and her great army, greater then than ever, would be within striking distance of our shores. To avoid sinking forever into the condition of a dependant, we should be compelled to have recourse to rigid compulsory service, and our diminished revenues would be all turned to the needs of self-defense. Such would be the miserable condition in which we should hand on to our children that free and glorious empire which we inherited in all the fullness of its richness and its splendor from those strong fathers who have built it up. What peace of mind, what self-respect could be left for us in the remainder of our lives! The weight of dishonor would lie always upon our hearts. And yet this will be surely our fate and our future if we do not nerve our souls and brace our arms for victory. No regrets will avail, no excuses will help, no after-thoughts can profit us. It is now—now—even in these weeks and months that are passing that the final reckoning is being taken, and when once the sum is made up no further effort can change it. What are our lives or our labors, our fortunes or even our families, when compared with the life or death of the great mother of us all? We are but the leaves of the tree. What matter if we flutter down today or tomorrow, so long as the great trunk stands and the burrowing roots are firm. Happy the man who can die with the thought that in this greatest crisis of all he has served his country to the uttermost, but who would bear the thoughts of him who lives on with the memory that he had shirked his duty and failed his country at the moment of her need?

There is a settled and assured future if we win. There is darkness and trouble if we lose. But if we take a broader sweep and trace the meanings of this contest as they affect others than ourselves, then ever greater, more glorious are the issues for which we fight. For the whole world stands at a turning point of its history, and one or other of two opposite principles, the rule of the soldier or the rule of the citizen, must now prevail. In this sense we fight for the masses of the German people, as some day they will understand, to free them from that formidable military caste which has used and abused them, spending their bodies in an unjust war and poisoning their minds by every device which could inflame them against those who wish nothing save to live at peace with them. We fight for the strong, deep Germany of old, the Germany of music and of philosophy, against this monstrous modern aberration the Germany of blood and of iron, the Germany from which, instead of the old things of beauty, there come to us only the rant of scolding professors with their final reckonings, their Weltpolitik, and their Godless theories of the Superman who stands above morality and to whom all humanity shall be subservient. Instead of the world-inspiring phrases of a Goethe or a Schiller, what are the words in the last decade which have been quoted across the sea? Are they not always the ever-recurring words of wrath from one ill-balanced man? "Strike them with the mailed fist." "Leave such a name behind you as Attila and his Huns." "Turn your weapons even upon your own flesh and blood at my command." These are the messages which have come from this perversion of a nation's soul.

A Mighty Despotism.

But the matter lies deep. The Hohenzollerns and the Hapsburgs have used their peoples as a great landowner might use the serfs upon his estate. It was, and is, their openly expressed theory that they were in their position by the grace of God, that they owed no reckoning to any man, and that kingdom and folk were committed for better or worse to their charge. Round this theory of the Dark Ages there gathered all the forces {139}of the many courts of the empire, all the nobility who make so huge a class in Germanic countries, all the vast army to whom strict discipline and obedience were the breath of life, all the office-holders of the State, all the purveyors of warlike stores. These and their like were the natural setting to such a central idea. Court influence largely controlled the teaching at school and universities, and so the growing twig could be bent. But all these forces together could not have upheld so dangerous and unnatural a theory had it not been for the influence of a servile press. How that press was managed, how the thoughts of the people could be turned to the right or the left with the same precision as a platoon of grenadiers, has been shown clearly enough in the memoirs of Bismarck. Public opinion was poisoned at its very roots. The average citizen lived in a false atmosphere where everything was distorted to his vision. He saw his Kaiser, not as an essentially weak and impetuous man with a dangerous entourage who were ever at his ear, but as Germany personified, an angel with a flaming sword, beating back envious assailants from the beloved Fatherland. He saw his neighbors not as peaceful nations who had no possible desire to attack him, but on the contrary lived in constant fear of him, but as a band, of envious and truculent conspirators who could only be kept in order by the sudden stamp of the jackboot and the menacing clatter of the sabre. He insensibly imbibed the Nietzsche doctrine that the immorality of the Superman may be as colossal as his strength and that the slave-evangel of Christianity was superseded by a sterner law. Thus, when he saw acts which his reason must have told him were indefensible he was still narcotized by this conception of some new standard of right. He saw his Kaiser at the time of a petty humiliation to Great Britain sending a telegram of congratulation to the man who had inflicted this rebuff. Could that be approved by reason? At a time when all Europe was shuddering over the Armenian massacres he saw this same Kaiser paying a complimentary visit to the Sultan whose hands were still wet with the blood of murdered Christians. Could that be reconciled with what is right? A little later he saw the Kaiser once again pushing himself into Mediterranean politics, where no direct German interest lay, and endeavoring to tangle up the French developments in Northern Africa by provocative personal appearances at Morocco, and, later, by sending a gunboat to intrude upon a scene of action which had already by the Treaty of Algeciras been allotted to France. How could an honest German whose mind was undebauched by a controlled press justify such an interference as that? He is or should be aware that, in annexing Bosnia, Austria was tearing up a treaty without the consent of the other signatories, and that his own country was supporting and probably inciting her ally to this public breach of faith. Could he honestly think that this was right? And, finally, he must know, for his own Chancellor has publicly proclaimed it, that the invasion of Belgium was a breach of international right, and that Germany, or, rather, Prussia, had perjured herself upon the day that the first of her soldiers passed over the frontier. How can he explain all this to himself save on a theory that might is right, that no moral law applies to the Superman, and that so long as one hews one's way through, the rest can matter little? To such a point of degradation have public morals been brought by the infernal teachings of Prussian military philosophy, dating back as far as Frederick II., but intensified by the exhortations of press and professors during our own times. The mind of the average kindly German citizen has been debauched and yet again debauched until it needed just such a world crisis as this to startle him at last from his obsession and to see his position and that of his country in its true relation with humanity and progress.

The Final Stakes.

Thus I say, that for the German who stands outside the ruling classes, our victory would bring a lasting relief, and some hope that in future his destiny should be controlled by his own judg{140}ment and not by the passions or interests of those against whom he has at present no appeal. A system which has brought disaster to Germany and chaos to all Europe can never, one would think, be resumed, and amid the debris of his empire the German may pick up that precious jewel of personal freedom which is above the splendor of foreign conquest. A Hapsburg or a Hohenzollern may find his true place as the servant rather than the master of a nation. But apart from Germany, look at the effects which our victory must have over the whole wide world. Everywhere it will mean the triumph of reasoned democracy, of public debate, of ordered freedom in which every man is an active unit in the system of his own Government, while our defeat would stand for a victory to a priviliged class, the thrusting down of the civilian by the arrogance and intolerance of militarism, and the subjection of all that is human and progressive to all that is cruel, narrow, and reactionary. This is the stake for which we play, and the world will lose or gain as well as we. You may well come, you democratic oversea men of our blood, to rally round us now, for all that you cherish, all that is bred in your very bones, is that for which we fight. And you, lovers of freedom in every land, we claim at least your prayers and your wishes, for if our sword be broken you will be the poorer. But fear not, for our sword will not be broken, nor shall it ever drop from our hands until this matter is forever set in order. If every ally we have upon earth were to go down in blood and ruin, still would we fight through to the appointed end. Defeat shall not daunt us. Inconclusive victory shall not turn us from our purpose. The grind of poverty and the weariness of hopes deferred shall not blunt the edge of our resolve. With God's help we shall go to the end, and when that goal is reached it is our prayer that a new era shall come as our reward, an era in which, by common action of State with State, mutual hatreds and strivings shall be appeased, land shall no longer be estranged from land, and huge armies and fleets will be nightmares of the past. Thus, as ever, the throes of evil may give birth to good. Till then our task stands clear before us—a task that will ask for all we have in strength and resolution. Have you who read this played your part to the highest? If not, do it now, or stand forever shamed.

Conan Doyle on British Militarism

Early last year, in the course of some comments which I made upon the slighting remarks about our army by Gen. von Bernhardi, I observed: "It may be noted that Gen. von Bernhardi has a poor opinion of our troops. This need not trouble us. We are what we are, and words will not alter it. From very early days our soldiers have left their mark upon Continental warfare, and we have no reason to think that we have declined from the manhood of our forefathers." Since then he has returned to the attack.

With that curious power of coming after deep study to the absolutely diametrically wrong conclusion which the German expert, political or military, appears to possess, he says in his "War of Today": "The English Army, trained more for purposes of show than for modern war," adding in the same sentence a sneer at our "inferior colonial levies."

He will have an opportunity of reconsidering his views presently upon the fighting value of our oversea troops, and surely, so far as our own are concerned, he must already be making some interesting notes for his next edition, or, rather, for the learned volume upon "Germany and the Last War," which will, no doubt, come from his pen. He is a man to whom we might well raise a statue, for I am convinced that his frank {141}confession of German policy has been worth at least an army corps to this country. We may address to him John Davidson's lines to his enemy:

Unwilling friend, let not your spite abate.
Spur us with scorn and strengthen us with hate.

There is another German gentleman who must be thinking rather furiously. He is a certain Col. Gadke, who appeared officially at Aldershot some years ago, was hospitably entertained, being shown all that he desired to see, and on his return to Berlin published a most deprecatory description of our forces. He found no good thing in them. I have some recollection that Gen. French alluded in a public speech to this critic's remarks, and expressed a modest hope that he and his men would some day have the opportunity of showing how far they were deserved. Well, he has had his opportunity, and Col. Gadke, like so many other Germans, seems to have made a miscalculation.

Germans Untried in War.

An army which has preserved the absurd parade schritt, an exercise which is painful to the bystander, as he feels that it is making fools of brave men, must have a tendency to throw back to earlier types. These Germans have been trained in peace and upon the theory of books. In all that vast host there is hardly a man who has stood at the wrong end of a loaded gun. They live on traditions of close formations, vast cavalry charges, and other things which will not fit into modern warfare. Braver men do not exist, but it is the bravery of men who have been taught to lean upon each other, and not the cold, self-contained, resourceful bravery of the man who has learned to fight for his own hand. The British have had the teachings of two recent campaigns fought with modern weapons—that of the Tirah and of South Africa. Now that the reserves have joined the colors there are few regiments which have not a fair sprinkling of veterans from these wars in their ranks. The Pathan and the Boer have been their instructors in something more practical than those imperial grand manoeuvres where the all-highest played with his puppets in such a fashion that one of his Generals remarked that the chief practical difficulty of a campaign so conducted would be the disposal of the dead.

Boers and Pathans have been hard masters and have given many a slap to their admiring pupils, but the lesson has been learned. It was not show troops, General, who, with two corps, held five of your best day after day from Mons to Compiègne. It is no reproach to your valor, but you were up against men who were equally brave and knew a great deal more of the game. This must begin to break upon you, and will surely grow clearer as the days go by. We shall often in the future take the knock as well as give it, but you will not say that we are a slow army if you live to chronicle this war, nor will your imperial master be proud of the adjective which he has demeaned himself in using before his troops had learned their lesson.

The South African Lesson.

The fact is that the German Army, with all its great traditions, has been petrifying for many years back. They never learned the lesson of South Africa. It was not for want of having it expounded to them, for their military attache—"'im with the spatchcock on 'is 'elmet,'" as I heard him described by a British orderly—missed nothing of what occurred, as is evident from their official history of the war. And yet they missed it, and with all those ideas of individual efficiency and elastic independent formation which are the essence of modern soldiering. Their own more liberal thinkers were aware of it. Here are the words which were put into the mouth of Güntz, the representative of the younger school, in Beverlein's famous novel:

"The organization of the German Army rested upon foundations which had been laid a hundred years ago. Since the great war they had never seriously been put to the proof, and during the last three decades they had only been altered in the most trifling details. In {142}three long decades! And in one of those decades the world at large had advanced as much as in the previous century.

"Instead of turning this highly developed intelligence to good account, they bound it hand and foot on the rack of an everlasting drill which could not have been more soullessly mechanical in the days of Frederick. It held them together as an iron hoop holds together a cask, the dry staves of which would fall asunder at the first kick."

Lord Roberts has said that if ten points represent the complete soldier, eight should stand for his efficiency as a shot. The German maxim has rather been that eight should stand for his efficiency as a drilled marionette. It has been reckoned that about two hundred books a year appear in Germany upon military affairs, against about twenty in Britain. And yet, after all this expert debate, the essential point of all seems to have been missed—that in the end everything depends upon the man behind the gun, upon his hitting his opponent and upon his taking cover so as to avoid being hit himself.

After all the efforts of the General Staff, the result when shown upon the field of battle has filled our men with a mixture of admiration and contempt—contempt for the absurd tactics and admiration for the poor devils who struggle on in spite of them. Listen to the voices of the men who are the real experts. Says a Lincolnshire Sergeant: "They were in solid square blocks, and we couldn't help hitting them." Says Private Tait (Second Essex): "Their rifle shooting is rotten. I don't believe they could hit a haystack at 100 yards." "They are rotten shots with their rifles," says an Oldham private. "They advance in close column, and you simply can't help hitting them," writes a Gordon Highlander. "You would have thought it was a big crowd streaming out from a cup tie," says Private Whitaker of the Guards. "It was like a farmer's machine cutting grass," so it seemed to Private Hawkins of the Coldstreams. "No damned good as riflemen," says a Connemara boy. "You couldn't help hitting them. As to their rifle fire, it was useless." "They shoot from the hip, and don't seem to aim at anything in particular."

Not Books That Count.

These are the opinions of the practical men upon the field of battle. Surely a poor result from the 200 volumes a year and all the weighty labors of the General Staff! "Artillery nearly as good as our own, rifle fire beneath contempt." That is the verdict. How will the well-taught parade schritt avail them when it comes to a stricken field?

But let it not seem as if this were meant for disparagement. We should be sinking to the Kaiser's level if we answer his "contemptible little army" by pretending that his own troops are anything but a very formidable and big army. They are formidable in numbers, formidable, too, in their patriotic devotion, in their native courage, and in the possession of such material, such great cannon, aircraft, machine guns, and armored cars as none of the Allies can match. They have every advantage which a nation would be expected to have when it has known that war was a certainty, while others have only treated it as a possibility. There is a minuteness and earnestness of preparation which are only possible for an assured event. But the fact remains, and it will only be brought out more clearly by the Emperor's unchivalrous phrase, that in every arm the British have already shown themselves to be the better troops. Had he the Froissart spirit within him he would rather have said: "You have today a task which is worthy of you. You are faced by an army which has a high repute and a great history. There is real glory to be won today." Had he said this then, win or lose, he would not have needed to be ashamed of his own words—the words of ungenerous spirit.

It is a very strange thing how German critics have taken for granted that the British Army had deteriorated, while the opinion of all those who were in close touch with it was that it was never so good. Even some of the French experts {143}made the same mistake, and Gen. Bonnat counseled his countrymen not to rely upon it, since "it would take refuge amid its islands at the first reverse." One would think that the cause which makes for its predominance were obvious. Apart from any question of national spirit there is the all-important fact that the men are there of their own free will, an advantage which I trust that we shall never be compelled to surrender. Again, the men are of longer service in every arm, and they have far more opportunities of actual fighting than come to any other force. Finally they are divided into regiments with centuries of military glories streaming from their banners, which carry on a mighty tradition. The very words the Guards, the Rifles, the Connaught Rangers, the Buffs, the Scots Greys, the Gordons, sound like bugle calls. How could an army be anything but dangerous which had such units in its line of battle?"

History Repeating Itself.

And yet there remains the fact that both enemies and friends are surprised at our efficiency. This is no new phenomenon. Again and again in the course of history the British armies have had to win once more the reputation which had been forgotten. Continentals have always begun by refusing to take them seriously. Napoleon, who had never met them in battle, imagined that their unbroken success was due to some weakness in his Marshals rather than in any excellence of the troops. "At last I have them, these English," he exclaimed as he gazed at the thin, red line at Waterloo. "At last they have me, these English," may have been his thought that evening as he spurred his horse out of the débacle. Foy warned him of the truth. "The British infantry is the devil," said he. "You think so because you were beaten by them," cried Napoleon. Like von Kluck or von Kluck's master, he had something to learn.

Why this continual depreciation? It may be that the world pays so much attention to our excellent right arm that it cannot give us credit for having a very serviceable left as well. Or it may be that they take seriously those jeremiads over our decay which are characteristic of our people, and very especially of many of our military thinkers. I have never been able to understand why they should be of so pessimistic a turn of mind, unless it be a sort of exaltation of that grumbling which has always been the privilege of the old soldier. Croker narrates how he met Wellington in his later years, and how the Iron Duke told him that he was glad he was so old, as he would not live to see the dreadful military misfortunes which were about to come to his country. Looking back, we can see no reason for such pessimism as this. Above all, the old soldier can never make any allowance for the latent powers which lie in civilian patriotism and valor. Only a year ago I had a long conversation with a well-known British General, in which he asserted with great warmth that in case of an Anglo-German war with France involved the British public would never allow a trained soldier to leave these islands. He is at the front himself and doing such good work that he has little time for reminiscence, but when he has he must admit that he underrated the nerve of his countrymen.

Assurance Beneath Pessimism.

And yet under the pessimism of such men as he there is a curious contradictory assurance that there are no troops like our own. The late Lord Goschen used to tell a story of a letter that he had from a Captain in the navy at the time when he was First Lord. This Captain's ship was lying alongside a foreign cruiser in some port, and he compared in his report the powers of the two vessels. Lord Goschen said that his heart sank as he read the long catalogue of points in which the British ship was inferior—guns, armor, speed—until he came to the postscript, which was: "I think I could take her in twenty minutes."

With all the grumbling of our old soldiers, there is always some reservation of the sort at the end of it. Of course, those who are familiar with our ways of getting things done would understand {144}that a good deal of the croaking is a means of getting our little army increased, or at least preventing its being diminished. But whatever the cause, the result has been the impression abroad of a "contemptible little army." Whatever surprise in the shape of 17-inch howitzers or 900-foot Zeppelins the Kaiser may have for us, it is a safe prophecy that it will be a small matter compared to that which Sir John French and his men will be to him.

But above all I look forward to the development of our mounted riflemen. This I say in no disparagement of our cavalry, who have done so magnificently. But the mounted rifleman is a peculiarly British product—British and American—with a fresh edge upon it from South Africa. I am most curious to see what a division of these fellows will make of the Uhlans. It is good to see that already the old banners are in the wind, Lovat's Horse, Scottish Horse, King Edward's Horse, and the rest. All that cavalry can do will surely be done by our cavalry. But I have always held, and I still very strongly hold, that the mounted rifleman has it in him to alter our whole conception of warfare, as the mounted archer did in his day; and now in this very war will be his first great chance upon a large scale. Ten thousand well-mounted, well-trained riflemen, young officers to lead them, all broad Germany, with its towns, its railways and its magazines before them—there lies one more surprise for the doctrinaires of Berlin.

The Need of Being Merciless

By Maurice Maeterlinck.

From The London Daily Mail.

At these moments of tragedy none should be allowed to speak who cannot shoulder a rifle, for the written word seems so monstrously useless and so overwhelmingly trivial in face of this mighty drama that will for a long time and maybe forever free mankind from the scourge of war—the one scourge among all that cannot be excused and that cannot be explained, since alone among all scourges it issues entirely from the hands of man.

But it is while this scourge is upon us—while we have our being in its very centre—that we shall do well to weigh the guilt of those who committed this inexpiable crime. It is now, when we are in the awful horror, undergoing and feeling it, that we have the energy and clearsightedness needed to judge it. From the depths of the most fearful injustice justice is best perceived. When the hour shall have come for settling accounts—it will not be long delayed—we shall have forgotten much of what we have suffered and a censurable pity will creep over us and cloud our eyes.

Will Seek Sympathy.

This is the moment, therefore, for us to frame our inexorable resolution. After the final victory, when the enemy is crushed—as crushed as he will be—efforts will be made to enlist our sympathy. We shall be told that the unfortunate German people are merely the victims of their monarch and their feudal caste; that no blame attaches to the Germany we know that is so sympathetic and cordial—the Germany of quaint old houses and open-hearted greetings; the Germany that sits under its lime trees beneath the clear light of the moon—but only to Prussia, hateful, arrogant Prussia; that homely, peace-loving Bavaria, the genial, hospitable dwellers on the banks of the Rhine, the Silesian and Saxon—I know not who besides—have merely obeyed and been compelled to obey orders they detested, but were unable to resist.

{145}We are in the face of reality now. Let us look at it well and pronounce our sentence, for this is the moment when we hold the proofs in our hands; when the elements of the crime are hot before us and should out—the truth that will soon fade from our memory. Let us tell ourselves now therefore that all we shall be told hereafter will be false. Let us unflinchingly adhere to what we decide at this moment when the glare of the horror is on us.

No Degrees of Guilt.

It is not true that in this gigantic crime there are innocent and guilty or degrees of guilt. They stand on one level, all who have taken part. The German from the north has no more especial craving for blood than the German from the south has especial tenderness and pity. It is very simple. It is the German from one end of the country to the other who stands revealed as a beast of prey that the firm will of our planet finally repudiates. We have here no wretched slaves dragged along by a tyrant King who alone is responsible. Nations have the Government they deserve, or rather the Government they have is truly no more than a magnified public projection of the private morality and mentality of the nation.

If eighty million innocent people merely expose the inherent falseness and superficiality of their innocence—and it is a monster they maintain at their head who stands for all that is true in their nature, because it is he who represents the eternal aspirations of their race, which lie far deeper than their apparent transient virtues—let there be no suggestion of error, of intelligent people having been tricked and misled. No nation can be deceived that does not wish to be deceived. It is not intelligence that Germany lacks. In the sphere of intellect such things are not possible, nor in the region of the enlightened, reflecting will. No nation permits herself to be coerced into the one crime man cannot pardon. It is of her own accord she hastens toward it. Her chief has no need to persuade. It is she who urges him on.

We have forces here quite different from those on the surface—forces that are secret, irresistible, profound. It is these we must judge, must crush under heel once for all, for they are the only ones that will not be improved, softened or brought into line by experience, progress, or even the bitterest lesson. They are unalterable, immovable. Their springs lie far beneath hope or influence. They must be destroyed as we destroy a nest of wasps, since we know these never can change into a nest of bees.

Even though individually and singly Germans are all innocent and merely led astray, they are none the less guilty in mass. This is the guilt that counts—that alone is actual and real, because it lays bare underneath their superficial innocence, the subconscious criminality of all. No influence can prevail on the unconscious or subconscious. It never evolves. Let there come a thousand years of civilization, a thousand years of peace, with all possible refinements, art, and education, the German spirit which is its underlying element will remain absolutely the same as today and would declare itself when the opportunity came under the same aspect with the same infamy.

Through the whole course of history two distinct will-powers have been noticed that would seem to be the opposing elemental manifestations of the spirit of our globe, one seeking only evil, injustice, tyranny, suffering, the other strives for liberty, right, radiance, joy. These two powers stand once again face to face. Our opportunity is to annihilate the one that comes from below. Let us know how to be pitiless that we have no more need for pity. It is the measures of organic defense—it is essential that the modern world should stamp out Prussian militarism as it would stamp out a poisonous fungus that for half a century had poisoned its days. The health of our planet is the question. Tomorrow the United States and Europe will have to take measures for the convalescence of the earth.

{146}Letters to Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler

By Baron d'Estournelles de Constant.

Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, President of Columbia University, has permitted THE NEW YORK TIMES to have the extracts printed herewith from letters sent to him since the beginning of the war by Baron d'Estournelles de Constant, Senator of France, and Member of the International Court at The Hague.

First Letter.

PARIS, Aug. 15, 1914.—* * * Today I am full of grief to feel myself impotent before the murderous conflicts now going on in Belgium and at a number of points on our northern and eastern frontiers, while awaiting the great battles and hecatombs which will follow; my thought is full of these terrible calamities willfully brought about; so many precious lives already wiped out or soon to be; so much avoidable mourning which one neither can nor wishes now to avoid!

In France there is not a single family which has not given without hesitation all its children of military age to fight for the repulse of the invader. All the men from Créans, of ages 20 to 48 years, have gone, with one exception, and he is now going; and meanwhile no work has ceased because of their absence. In all the communes, in all the hamlets of the whole of France, the women, the children, and the men over 48 have assumed all duties, in particular the gathering of the harvests, which I see already finished as in normal times. * * *

When one thinks that Servia alone, even though exhausted by two atrocious wars, is sufficient to hold in check imperial Austria; when one sees Italy remain neutral, and in reality hostile to Austria, and Russia open slowly, inexorably, her reservoir of men, resources, and infinite energy on the eastern frontier of Germany, one asks truly if the Pan-Germanists have not been the veritable plague of God for their country; the Fatherland, which men like Goethe, Kant, and Beethoven had made so cultured, so glorious, and which asked only to live and to prosper, the Pan-Germanists have isolated only to deliver it to the execration of the world. It was the same in France formerly, when she ceded to chauvinistic influences.

Second Letter.

PARIS, Sept. 3, 1914.

* * * May you never witness such calamities as have fallen upon Europe. The visions of horror, which formerly we evoked in order to terrify the world and to try to conjure them away, are now surpassed; and we are only at the commencement of the war! The trains, thronged with youth and enthusiasm, which I saw leave are now returning crowded with the wounded. They have filled all the hospitals, the barracks which had been left empty, the lyceums, and the schools throughout France. In but a few days they have arrived everywhere in the south, the west and the centre of the country. At La Flèche alone we have five improvised hospitals with 1,200 beds. Créans is a hospital annex, and so it is in all the villages and in the dwellings which can provide one or more beds. The wounded who occupy these beds are happy, very happy. One of them, who has only a broken leg, but who thinks of the thousands of his comrades who remain wounded upon the fields of battle, said to me, "I am in heaven." * * *

The worst of all, (I have always said it, but it is even worse than I had thought,) the worst is that each of the combatants, for the most part incapable of cruelty under ordinary conditions, is now devoted to the horrible work of hatred and of reprisal; and even more than the combatants, their children, their orphans, all those who are to remain in mourning. * * *

As far as France is concerned, our first reverses have served to exalt the national {147}spirit and to fortify the unanimous resolution to conquer or to die. It is important that this be well understood in the United States and that it be given due consideration if it is desired to intervene without irritating the most noble scruples. * * *

It is the Prussian military system of domination with its contagion which has done the harm and which ought to disappear, and that system itself is the fruit of Napoleonic imperialism. The struggle is always, and more now than ever, between imperialism and liberty, between force and right. May you in the United States profit by this lesson, so that you may avoid falling into the European error. * * * It is barbarity triumphant. But that triumph will be only momentary, and all agree at the conclusion of this terrible drama on having a United States of Europe with disarmament, or at least with armaments limited to a collective police force.

Third Letter.

PARIS, Sept. 8, 1914.

* * * You have comprehended that France is struggling for justice and peace. Be sure that she will resist even to the last man, with the certainty that she is defending not herself alone but also civilization. Never have I suspected to what degree of savagery man can be degraded by unrestrained violence. I had believed that the world could never again see the time of the Massacre of the Innocents; I deceived myself; we have returned to barbarity, and the Prussian Army leaves us no alternative between victory and extermination; should she become mistress of Paris, which I doubt, and of the half of France, she will find the other half which will bury her under its ruins. * * *

The English troops march on our roads, stop at Clermont-Créans! Oh, miracle! I see among my compatriots the worst chauvinists, those who openly desire for me the fate of Jaurès, those who fought me in 1902 with cries of "Fashoda" or "Chicago," hasten to meet the English soldiers in order to aid and acclaim them, in this country still full of the memories and the ruins of the hundred years' war! It is because the English troops are also defending the land of liberty, theirs as ours and as yours. Every one except the Prussians comprehend this, and this it is which exalts their souls! * * *

The whole misfortune, I repeat, is the result of the crime committed forty-three years ago, the crime which we accepted to avoid recommencing the war. Our resignation has not sufficed; it has not caused the trouble to disappear; the German Government has none the less been obliged to confirm it each day. The misfortune has been the forcible annexation of Alsace-Lorraine. For that the Germans are paying today; for that they will pay until they have made atonement for their fault. In this regard France is irreproachable; she has resisted the chauvinists; our general elections, the conferences of Berne and of Basle, have proved that, far from seeking revenge, she wished by mutual concessions to arrive worthily at reconciliation in peace.

The Germans are paying today for their fault of 1870-71, because that fault has corrupted and poisoned them. I have said it a thousand times. In order to keep those two unfortunate provinces under their domination it has been necessary for them to use force, to institute a régime of force. * * * It has been necessary to prevent revolts by repressive measures, as at Saverne, which have disgusted, and even disquieted, the whole world; that ignominious brutality become sovereign mistress, by the force of circumstances, even against the will of the Kaiser and against the protestation of all the élite of Germany, of such men as Zorn, Förster, Nippold, and Bebel, has ended by being a menace and a danger to Germany itself. All this is connected, and, whatever happens, Germany cannot emerge victorious from a war which is itself but the logical result of the abuse of her victories. She cannot conquer civilization; it is impossible. * * *

Comprehend this well, repeat it, publish it if you wish; France, Belgium, and England may suffer check after check; they are prepared for this, they expect it, but they will not be discouraged. The German armies may exhaust themselves {148}uselessly in killing, burning, and destroying. They will destroy themselves in the end. Our national policy is to take them in their own trap and to wear them out.

The day of reckoning is coming, when the inexorable advance of the Slavic race, always increasing in numbers—it little matters whether it is well or badly organized—will come from the rear to attack the Germans at the time when they are confident of victory and to drown them in the floods of blood which they have caused to flow; terrible punishment for a war which we and our friends have done everything to prevent. The victims of this punishment will be at least a half million of French, Belgians, and Englishmen, together with a whole nation which desired peace as we did, but which has allowed herself to be misled by a Government mad enough to wish to reconcile the irreconcilable, namely, the maintenance of peace and the spirit of conquest. May this punishment at least begin an era of new peace! Alas! how may we hope for this when we see the human beast awakening in a delirium of fury and getting beyond our control to destroy the masterpieces of human genius.

Fourth Letter.

PARIS, Sept. 11, 1914.

The Germans appear to have comprehended that the atrocities which have bitterly aggravated the remorseless violation of Belgian neutrality have only aroused general indignation, and have at the same time exasperated the opposing nations and armies. Contrary to the tales which appear in the sensational journals, which are naturally as eager today to embitter the war as they were formerly to bring it about, I am assured that the German armies in France are repudiating the unworthy excesses of the beginning of the campaign and are respecting life and private property. This will alleviate the horrors of the war, but France nevertheless will place no limit on the sacrifices which she will make. She will wear out the German Army and destroy it, day after day, in continuous battles. * * *

The Belgians with us at Clermont-Créans, instead of being a burden, as I had feared, are making themselves useful. They are very welcome. They are gradually recognized and appreciated as estimable people, and are employed in the homes and farms and fields. We should like to have more of them. How we shall regret them when they leave! * * *

The German Emperor must stand either as a pacifist or as a conqueror. He cannot pass as both. All the results which may follow this war could well have been obtained in peace by a general effort of good-will. On the other hand, the legacy of the war will be endless rancor, hatred, reprisal, and savagery. When it shall be understood that, in spite of Governments and Parliaments, the war has been, in large part, excited by the manoeuvres of an international band of the dealers in military supplies and by their all-powerful newspapers, when it shall be thoroughly comprehended that these dealers and these newspapers have played with rumors of war as with a scarecrow, for the purpose of keeping up a general condition of disquiet favorable to their sinister operations, then, too late, alas! there will be a revulsion of public opinion to sustain finally those men, like our friends, who have urged arbitration rather than war, and conciliation rather than arbitration.

* * * More than ever our motto, "Pro patria per orbis concordiam," will be that of every good patriot who wishes to develop the internal prosperity of his country through friendly foreign relations. * * * More than a century ago you Americans condemned and executed British imperialism; subsequently Europe condemned and executed Napoleonic imperialism; Europe is now going to condemn and execute Germanic imperialism; profit by this threefold lesson to make an end of imperialism in your country, and by your good example to render to Europe an incalculable service.

Such an example will be more efficacious than overhasty or superficial intervention, however well intentioned it might be. Above all, beware of offering {149}aid to Europe in a spirit of opportunism rather than of high principle. Especially, do not try to take advantage of some circumstances in order to urge a lame and ephemeral peace. Public opinion will be bitterly divided if the war is brought to an end merely by lassitude and a desire for comfort. Public opinion will accept only a peace inspired with high ideals, without needless humiliation for the conquered, and equally without sacrifice of any principles which have brought together the anti-German coalition.

The war itself, however atrocious it has been and still may be, will have been only a commencement, the beginning of continual wars into which the New World will be drawn, if we do not leave the desire of life and the means of living to Germany, conquered but still alive. It is possible to conquer and to exterminate armies, but it is not possible to exterminate a nation of 70,000,000 people. It will then be necessary to make a place for Germany which will permit the exercise of her fecund activity in the struggle of universal competition. If we yield to the temptation to make an end of German competition, we shall neither end the competition nor shall we end war.

For years I have repeated this to our English friends who were intoxicated with the theories of Chamberlain. I see without surprise but with sorrow that serious journals of London and Paris spread before the eyes of their readers the absurd idea that this war will kill the German foreign commerce, while the English and French production will be enriched without a rival, and consequently without effort. Place should be made for Germany from Berlin to Vienna in the organization of a general European confederation which will give full satisfaction to Italy at Trieste, will install the Turkish Government in Asia, will bring about an agreement between the Christian Balkan States, and give the free disposal of their destinies to Poland, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Rumania, and Alsace-Lorraine.

In this manner the worst problems on which general peace depends would be solved, and with these problems that of armaments, which it would no longer be dangerous nor humiliating to reduce if the general reduction, extending even to Japan and seconded by all the republics of the New World, were agreed to by all. Certainly such an agreement would be difficult to develop; it would terrify the diplomats, but outside of such an agreement I see in perspective nothing but perpetual war, internal revolution, and general ruin.

Fifth Letter.

PARIS, Sept. 18, 1914.

* * * The pride of an empire may not be crushed without a bitter struggle. The German Government has at its disposition the live force of a young and growing people. However, the day is coming when that people, aware that they have been deceived, will be able to repudiate their Government, just as the French people did after Sedan. Meanwhile the German armies have stopped their retreat in order to form a new line of resistance. But to what good? This line will be overthrown, and in the end the German Army will be obliged to retreat in disorder and again to cross the land which it has laid waste.

The true difficulties, in my opinion, are going to commence when the conquered Germans must submit to the conditions made by the conquerors. The victors will be able to agree, I believe, to stop the war and to dictate conditions. But will they agree to make these conditions moderate? That is the question. At that moment even France will be far from unanimous, as she has been unanimous in defending herself. France is of one opinion on these principal points:

1. Alsace-Lorraine ought to be liberated at last, free to return to France; her rights ought to be respected and recognized. Such liberation should extend as far as possible to every country in Europe whose right has been violated.

2. We must make an end of ruinous armed peace, invented, so it was said, to prevent war, but which has made war inevitable. German militarism must be crushed unless it is again to become a menace and give the signal for another {150}competition of armaments. This peace will be only a truce, a sinister comedy, unless it is crowned by a general convention of disarmament, to which Germany must subscribe with all the others and before all the others.

3. Arbitration, conciliation, all the means already provided for amicable adjustment, and if possible for the prevention of international conflicts, should be organized on a more solid and more definite basis than in the past, with the sanction, or at least the maximum of necessary precautions, of a federated Europe. All which we have done at The Hague, far from being lost, will serve as a foundation for the building of a pacific federation.

On these three points one may prophesy a unanimity almost complete; but the division will begin when it comes to distinguishing between Germany and the empire, between the German people who have a right to live and the German Empire which opposed the right to live; the division will begin when some demand the humiliation of Germany, others the ruin of her colonies, and of her very life. France, who has defended peace, will, I am sure, also defend justice; but justice will not triumph without difficulty. And it is here that the United States will render great service, if the United States has preserved, as one can see so clearly in the Mexican crisis, her moral authority and disinterestedness.

In the cuttings from the American papers which you have sent me I have read with great disquietude an article which says that, after all, the United States "will be the beneficiary of the European war." This article claims that the United States may profit very easily by this war to take away from Germany her commerce in the three Americas, &c. It is a dangerous form of reasoning, which, however, is not new.

If war has attracted ardent partisans it is because it appeals to the temperament of many people, it flatters their self-pride, but also it serves their interests. I have never understood it as I do at present. I see, for example, the town of Mons enriching itself through the war; cafés, restaurants, the hotels, are unable to accommodate all who come to them; the farmers are seen disputing about their products. There are also the military requisitions by which one can profit in getting rid of an old horse, of a wagon, an automobile, &c.; there are the butchers, the bakers, the dealers in cutlery, &c., who have never had so many purchasers; the furnishers of materials for the hospitals, pharmacists, orthopedists, &c.

Add to these an immense number of furnishers of military supplies, not only those who sell cannon, arms, and ammunition, but the accessories, the uniforms, material for the transports, and for the administrative work, &c. They are legion. Add to these all the combatants who have been promised positions as officers, Colonels, Generals. * * * Napoleon I. gave titles and honors. * * * You will understand that after the war, if there is an infinite number of unfortunates who mourn and who are ruined by the war, there are others, on the contrary, who have profited very well, who have enriched themselves and been raised to a privileged, fortunate class, who will find it quite natural to demand war or whose children will demand it later; while the mass of unfortunates, without strength, without resources, without protection, will need years to reconquer in peace the rights which they legally enjoyed before the war, and which the war suddenly took from them.

If to this class, more powerful than numerous, of natural partisans of the war in Europe you are going to add the American partisans of the European war, you will commit a grave fault, for the Americans have more than ever everything to gain by peace and all to lose in war, which they will not be able to limit if it breaks out again in the world.

The truth is that the Americans evidently gain in the war, but they lose more. Europe is something else to them than a market over which to dispute, she is a reservoir of experiences, good and bad, but of experiences which you cannot do without. To wish for the continuation of the war in Europe or even to take {151}sides with it as a sort of half evil is for the Americans a crime, a sort of suicide; that would be to applaud the destruction of models which civilization seems to have collected for your edification and for your development. Later, the United States can do without many of these lessons which she learns from Europe, but she will always have need of the inspiration of the masterpieces of our civilization. It is only a barbarous reasoning which allows one to see in the European war profit for the United States; it is a loss, a mourning, a shame for the whole world, and particularly for the free countries which are the guides of other peoples and which can only fulfill their mission in times of peace.

I have often heard the profits of war discussed. The undertakers of impressive funeral services can also congratulate themselves over catastrophes. A railroad accident which puts an entire country in mourning can enrich them. The most murderous battles bring profit in the final reckoning to somebody, if it is only to the jackals and the crows; but it is the whole of a country, and for the United States it is the whole world, which must be considered, and the more the whole world prospers the more will the United States find friends, collaborators, and clients. The more the world is troubled, on the contrary, the more commerce and general activities will suffer from it, without mention of the development of instruction and of the progress of human thought, which will be paralyzed.

I have been surprised to see a serious American paper bring up these old questions for discussion, and I conclude that we are going to feel in Europe the result of our errors. It is going to be necessary to find money to fill up the financial gulf which we dig each day under our feet without realizing it; a gulf twice made, by the billions which it has been necessary to spend for the war, by the billions of ordinary income which must now go by default. We cannot reasonably expect that Germany will be able to pay all the deficits in France, England, Russia, Belgium, and Japan; she will have no longer her foreign commerce; her misery is going to be frightful; it will be necessary then that each of the adversaries which she has so rashly provoked limit his demands; we must ourselves limit her ruin unless our own credit shall be ruined also.

In a word, there are two victories equally difficult for the Allies to win: the first over Germany, the second over themselves. Let us prepare ourselves to the uttermost and with all the authority which we can husband to facilitate the first here, and from your side as well as from ours, the second. To make war there is the first difficulty; but to finish well, that is what makes me anxious for the future.

Sixth Letter.

PARIS, Sept. 24, 1914.

In spite of all, unity of purpose is maintained among the Allies as well as among Frenchmen. I say in spite of all, because at Berlin this was hardly believed possible at the beginning of the war.

* * * All the men have left Créans; my farm is empty, and as I told you, the work is accomplished just the same. Means are found to feed the wounded English, becoming more and more numerous, the wounded Belgians and the prisoners. At the mill the miller's wife has four sons and a son-in-law in the army. I went to see her; not a tear, she looked straight before her absorbed in her work and said only "It is necessary." She continues her work as yesterday, as always, only with more energy and seriousness than formerly, with the purpose to accomplish double.

Meanwhile in spite of lack of news, we are beginning to learn that many sons, husbands, fathers, and brothers whom we saw go away will never return. Each day a few of the wounded are buried, and so it is in all the communities in the country which are not occupied by the Germans. In every town, village, home, and heart the national tribulations have their local echo.

If all France were victim of a catastrophe of nature, an earthquake, a conflagration, or a flood, the country would be crushed; but, no, the contrary is now {152}true, for the present catastrophe has been brought about by an evil will and each one comprehends that this will, if left free to act, will continue to do evil until it has been crushed. We have neither the time nor the wish to complain; we fight. * * *

The people, all those who are now devoted to my policy, to our policy, remain more faithful than ever. They keep silent awaiting the end of the war and knowing well that in fact it is not so much a question of Germany as of German reaction, German imperialism, and German militarism. They know also that if the German reaction might have been crushed sooner, the war would not have broken out. Thus, far from being blind, public opinion is alive to the truth. The grandeur, and to speak the whole truth, alas, the beauty of the atrocious war is that it is a war of liberation. * * *

It is impossible that the New World should remain a simple spectator before the gigantic struggle which is progressing in Europe. I do not ask that the New World intervene by armed force, but that it shall not conceal its opinion, its aversion for that horror which is called reaction and which truly is only death; that it shall not conceal its indignation for the abominable calculation of that reaction which is incapable of comprehending anything of the life, the work, the science and the art of human genius. I ask that the New World shall not remain skeptical before the senile attacks of those armies which respect nothing, neither women, children, old men, unfortified cities, museums, nor cathedrals. * * *

It is impossible that the free United States, born out of the sacred struggle against European domination, enlarged, enriched, and ennobled by that struggle, and now in the front rank among nations as the fruit of that struggle, should hesitate between revolution and reaction, between right and conquest, between peace and war.

Americans are too generous to hesitate, too wise, also, for Prussian reaction is cracking and is going to crumble; even Americans of German origin would be acting against their own fatherland if they, by their sympathies, should sustain the régime of caporalism which is now destroying it.

The Vital Energies of France

By Henri Bergson.

From The Bulletin des Armees, Nov. 5, 1914.

The issue of the war is not doubtful: Germany will succumb. Material force and moral force, all that sustains her will end by failing her because she lives on provisions garnered once for all, because she wastes them and will not know how to renew them.

Everything has been said about her material resources. She has money, but her credit is sinking, and it is not apparent where she can borrow. She needs nitrates for her explosives, oil for her motors, bread for her sixty-five millions of inhabitants. For all this she has made provision, but the day will come when her granaries will be empty and her reservoirs dry. How will she fill them? War as she practices it consumes a frightful number of her men, and here, too, all revitalization is impossible; no aid will come from without, since an enterprise launched to impose German domination, German "culture," German products, does not and never will interest those who are not Germans. Such is the situation of Germany confronting a France who keeps her credit intact and her ports open, who procures provisions and ammunition according to her need, who reinforces her army with all that her Al{153}lies bring to her, and who can count—since her cause is that of humanity itself—upon the increasingly active sympathy of the civilized world.

But it is not merely a question of material force, of visible force. What of the moral force that cannot be seen and that is more important than the other—which to a certain degree can be supplied—that is essential, since without it nothing avails?

The moral energy of nations, like that of individuals, can only be sustained by some ideal superior to themselves, stronger than they are, to which they can cling with a strong grip when they feel their courage vacillate. Where lies the ideal of contemporary Germany? The time has past when her philosophers proclaimed the inviolability of justice, the eminent dignity of the person, (the individual?), the obligation laid upon nations to respect one another. Germany militarized by Prussia has thrust far from her those noble ideas which came to her formerly for the most part from the France of the eighteenth century and the Revolution. She has made for herself a new soul, or rather, she has docilely accepted that which Bismarck has given her. To that statesman has been attributed the famous phrase: "Might makes right." As a matter of fact Bismarck never said it, because he was unable to distinguish between might and right; in his eyes right was simply that which is desired by the strongest, that which is declared in the law imposed by the victor upon the vanquished. His whole moral philosophy is summed up in that. The Germany of the present knows no other. She also worships brute force. And as she believes herself strongest she is entirely absorbed in adoration of herself. Her energy has its origin in this pride. Her moral force is only the confidence by which her material force inspires her. That is to say, that here also she lives on her reserves, that she has no means of revitalization. Long before England was blockading her coasts she had blockaded herself, morally, by isolating herself from all ideals capable of revivifying her.

Therefore she will see her strength and her courage worn out. But the energy of our soldiers is linked to something which cannot be worn out, to an ideal of justice and liberty. Time has no hold on us. To a force nourished only by its own brutality we oppose one that seeks outside of itself, above itself, a principle of life and of renewal. While the former is little by little exhausted, the latter is constantly revived. The former already is tottering, the latter remains unshaken. Be without fear: the one will be destroyed by the other.

France Through English Eyes

With Rene Bazin's Appreciation.

Referring to the article printed below, which appeared in The London Times Literary Supplement of Oct. 1, and which the French Government ordered to be read in all Parisian schools, M. Rene Bazin writes in l'Echo de Paris:

Is not this language admirable? What full and flowing phrases. They are like a ship filled with grain sailing into port with her sails full. Preserve them, these fugitive lines written by a neighbor, and read them to your children. They will teach them the greatness of France and the greatness of England.

The whole world recognizes two qualities in the Englishman: his bravery and his common sense. We know that the Englishman is true to his given word, and that even in the antipodes he never changes his habits. As I write, the postman brings me a letter from the front, dated Oct. 17. The cavalryman who sends it tells of our Allies. "We are fighting the enemy's cavalry," he writes, "and for two days my brigade was in action with the British. They know how to fight and they astonish us by their marvelous {154}powers of organization and their coolness."

Yes, we know that of old. We also know that England never closes her doors to liberty. We have a confused memory of the hospitality given to our priests in the times of the Revolution. Now England provides us with fresh proof of her kindness of heart. You have heard the news—the professors and students of the Catholic University of Louvain invited to Cambridge. The destroyed Belgian university reconstituted in the home of the celebrated English university. What a magnificent idea!

I do not know whether the author who has spoken so well of France in the great English newspaper has ever visited this country. But he has surely meditated on our history and has divined the reason of the very existence of France; why she merits love beyond her frontiers, and why she should be defended "like a treasure." England is not made up of traders, soldiers, sailors, politicians, but also—and that is what the French people will learn better every day—of poets, subtle philosophers, and of thoughtful and religious spirits.

In truth, the day which Joan of Arc foresaw has arrived. She did not hate the English. It was only their intolerable rule of the kingdom which was hateful to her. The good maid of Lorraine said that after having driven the English out of France she would reconcile them with the French and lead them together in a crusade. This has become true. Her dream is accomplished. The crusade is not against the Saracens, but it is a crusade all the same.

France through English Eyes

From The London Times Literary Supplement

Among all the sorrows of this war there is one joy for us in it: that it has made us brothers with the French as no other two nations have ever been brothers before. There has come to us, after ages of conflict, a kind of millennium of friendship; and in that we feel there is a hope for the world that outweighs all our fears, even at the height of the worldwide calamity. There were days and days, during the swift German advance, when we feared that the French armies were no match for the German, that Germany would be conquered on the seas and from her eastern frontier, that after the war France would remain a power only through the support of her Allies. For that fear we must now ask forgiveness; but at least we can plead in excuse that it was unselfish and free from all national vanity. If, in spite of ultimate victory, France had lost her high place among the nations, we should have felt that the victory itself was an irreparable loss for the world. And now we may speak frankly of that fear because, however unfounded it was, it reveals the nature of the friendship between France and England.

That is also revealed in the praise which the French have given to our army. There is no people that can praise as they can: for they enjoy praising others as much as some nations enjoy praising themselves, and they lose all the reserve of egotism in the pleasure of praising well. But in this case they have praised so generously because there was a great kindliness behind their praise, because they, like us, feel that this war means a new brotherhood stronger than all the hatreds it may provoke, a brotherhood not only of war but of the peace that is to come after it. That welcome of English soldiers in the villages of France, with food and wine and flowers, is only a foretaste of what is to be in both countries in a happier time. It is what we have desired in the past of silly wrangles and misunderstandings, and now we know that our desire is fulfilled.

"That Sweet Enemy."

For behind all those misunderstandings, and in spite of the difference of character between us, there was always an understanding which showed itself in {155}the courtesies of Fontenoy and a hundred other battles. When Sir Philip Sidney spoke of France as that sweet enemy, he made a phrase for the English feeling of centuries past and centuries to be. We quarrelled bitterly and long; but it was like a man and woman who know that some day their love will be confessed and are angry with each other for the quarrels that delay the confession. We called each other ridiculous, and knew that we were talking nonsense; indeed, as in all quarrels without real hatred, we made charges against each other that were the opposite of the truth. We said that the French were frivolous; and they said that we were gloomy. Now they see the gayety of our soldiers and we see the deep seriousness of all France at this crisis of her fate. She, of all the nations at war, is fighting with the least help from illusion, with the least sense of glory and romance. To her the German invasion is like a pestilence; to defeat it is merely a necessity of her existence; and in defeating it she is showing the courage of doctors and nurses, that courage which is furthest removed from animal instinct and most secure from panic reaction. There is no sign in France now of the passionate hopes of the revolutionary wars; 1870 is between them and her; she has learned, like no other nation in Europe, the great lesson of defeat, which is not to mix material dreams with spiritual; she has passed beyond illusions, yet her spirit is as high as if it were drunk with all the illusions of Germany.

And that is why we admire her as we have never admired a nation before. We ourselves are an old and experienced people, who have, we hope, outlived gaudy and dangerous dreams; but we have not been tested like the French, and we do not know whether we or any other nation could endure the test they have endured. It is not merely that they have survived and kept their strength. It is that they have a kind of strength new to nations, such as we see in beautiful women who have endured great sorrows and outlived all the triumphs and passions of their youth, who smile where once they laughed; and yet they are more beautiful than ever, and seem to live with a purpose that is not only their own, but belongs to the whole of life. So now we feel that France is fighting not merely for her own honor and her own beautiful country, still less for a triumph over an arrogant rival, but for what she means to all the world; and that now she means far more than ever in the past.

Furia Francese.

This quarrel, as even the Germans confess, was not made by her. She saw it gathering, and she was as quiet as if she hoped to escape war by submission. The chance of revenge was offered as it had never been offered in forty years; yet she did not stir to grasp it. Her enemy gave every provocation, yet she stayed as still as if she were spiritless; and all the while she was the proudest nation on the earth, so proud that she did not need to threaten or boast. Then came the first failure, and she took it as if she had expected nothing better. She had to make war in a manner wholly contrary to her nature and genius, and she made it as if patience, not fire, were the main strength of her soul. Yet behind the new patience the old fire persisted; and the Furia Francese is only waiting for its chance. The Germans believe they have determined all the conditions of modern war, and, indeed of all modern competition between the nations to suit their own national character. It is their age, they think, an age in which the qualities of the old peoples, England and France, are obsolete. They make war, after their own pattern, and we have only to suffer it as long as we can. But France has learned what she needs from Germany so that she may fight the German idea as well as the German armies; and when the German armies were checked before Paris there was an equal check to the German idea. Then the world, which was holding its breath, knew that the old nations, the old faith and mind and conscience of Europe, were still standing fast and that science had not utterly betrayed them all to the new barbarism. Twice before, at Tours and in the Cata{156}launian fields, there had been such a fight upon the soil of France, and now for the third time it is the heavy fate and the glory of France to be the guardian nation. That is not an accident, for France is still the chief treasury of all that these conscious barbarians would destroy. They knew that while she stands unbroken there is a spirit in her that will make their Kultur seem unlovely to all the world. They know that in her, as in Athens long ago, thought remains passionate and disinterested and free. Their thought is German and exercised for German ends, like their army; but hers can forget France in the universe, and for that reason her armies and ours will fight for it as if the universe were at stake. Many forms has that thought taken, passing through disguises and errors, mocking at itself, mocking at the holiest things; and yet there has always been the holiness of freedom in it. The French blasphemer has never blasphemed against the idea of truth even when he mistook falsehood for it. In the Terror he said there was no God, because he believed there was none, but he never said that France was God so that he might encourage her to conquer the world. Voltaire was an imp of destruction perhaps, but with what a divine lightning of laughter would he have struck the Teutonic Antichrist, and how the everlasting soul of France would have risen in him if he could have seen her most sacred church, the visible sign of her faith and her genius, ruined by the German guns. Was there ever a stupidity so worthy of his scorn as this attempt to bombard the spirit? For, though the temple is ruined, the faith remains; and whatever war the Germans may make upon the glory of the past, it is the glory of the future that France fights for. Whatever wounds she suffers now she is suffering for all mankind; and now, more than ever before in her history, are those words become true which one poet who loved her gave to her in the Litany of Nations crying to the earth:

I am she that was thy sign and standard bearer,
Thy voice and cry;
She that washed thee with her blood and left thee fairer,
The same am I.
Are not these the hands that raised thee fallen, and fed thee,
These hands defiled?
Am not I thy tongue that spake, thine eye that led thee,
Not I thy child?

The Soldier of 1914

By Rene Doumic.

In spite of the great European war, which struck France with the full force of its horrors, the Institute of France, which includes the world-famous French Academy, held its regular session on Oct. 26 last. The feature of this session, widely heralded beforehand, was the address of the celebrated critic, M. Rene Doumic of the Academy, on "The Soldier of 1914." "Every sentence, every word of it, was punctuated with acclamations from the audience," says Le Figaro in its report. Below is a translation of M. Doumic's address:

The soldier of 1914. We think only of him. We live only for him, just as we live only through him. I have not chosen this subject; it has forced itself upon me. My only regret is that I come here in academician's costume, with its useless sword, to speak to you about those whose uniforms are torn by bullets, whose rifles are black with powder.

And I am ashamed, above all, of placing so feeble a voice at the service of so great a cause. But what do words matter, when the most brilliant of them would pale before acts of which each day makes us the witnesses? For these acts we have only words, but let us hope that these, coming from the heart, may bring {157}to those who are fighting for their country somewhere near the frontier the spirit of our gratitude and the fervor of our admiration.

Our history is nothing but the history of French valor, so ingenious in adopting new forms and adapting itself each time to the changing conditions of warfare. Soldiers of the King or of the republic, old "grognards" of Napoleon, who always growled yet followed just the same, youngsters who bit their cartridges with childish lips, veterans of fights in Africa, cuirassieurs of Reichshofen, gardes-mobiles of the Loire, all, at the moment of duty and sacrifice, did everything that France expected of her sons.

So, too, for this war, the soldier needed has arisen. After so many heroes he has invented a new form of heroism.

I say the soldier, for the soldier is what one must say. Here begins what is clearly expressed in one phrase only—the French miracle. This national union in which all opinions have become fused is merely a reflection of the unity which has been suddenly created in our army.

When War Broke Out.

When war broke out it found military France ready and armed; mere troopers, officers none of whom ever thought that he would one day lead his men under fire, and that admirable General Staff which, never allowing itself to be deflected from its purpose, did its work silent and aloof.

But there was beside this France another France, the France of civilians, accustomed by long years of peace to disbelieve in war; which, in conjuring up a picture of Europe delivered over to fire and blood, could not conceive that any human being in the world would assume the responsibility for such an act before history. War surprised the employe at his desk, the workman in his workshop, the peasant in his field. It snatched them from the intimacy of their hearths, from the amenities of family life which in France is sweeter than elsewhere. These men were obliged to leave behind beings whom they loved tenderly. For the last time they clasped in their arms the beloved partners of their lives, so deeply moved yet so proud, and their children, the eldest of whom have understood and will never forget. And all of them, artist and artisan, priest and teacher, those who dreamed of revenge and those who dreamed of the fraternity of nations, those of every mind, every profession, every age, as they stepped into their places, were endowed with the soul of the soldier of France, every one of them, and became thus the same soldier.

The war which lay in wait for these men, many of whom did not seem made for war, was a war of which nobody had ever seen the like. We have heard tell of wars of giants, of battles of nations, but nobody had ever seen a war extending from the Marne to the Vistula, nor battles with a front of hundreds of kilometers, lasting weeks without respite day or night, fought by millions of men. Never in its worst nightmares had hallucinated imagination conjured up the progress made in the art of mowing down human lives. The German Army, to which the German Nation has never refused anything, either moral support or money, the nerve of war, has been able to profit by all this progress, to reduce to a formula the violence which drives forward the attack, to prepare the spy system which watches over the unarmed foe, to organize even incendiarism, and to become thus, forged by forty-four years of hatred, the most formidable tool of destruction that has ever sown ruin and death.

German Meets Belgian.

The Germans arrived, with the irresistible impetus of their masses, with the fury of a tempest, with the roar of thunder, enraged at having been confronted on their road by that little Belgian Nation which has just inscribed its name among the first on the roster of heroism. Already the German chiefs imagined themselves lords of Paris, which they threatened to reduce to ashes—and which did not tremble.

It was to meet this colossus of war that our little soldier marched forth. And he made it fall back.

{158}To this new war he brings his old qualities, the qualities of all time. Courage—let us not speak of that. Can one speak of courage? Just read the short sentences in the army orders.

Corporal Voituret of the Second Dragoons, mortally wounded on a reconnoissance, cries: "Vive la France! I die for her! I die happy!" Private Chabannes of the Eighteenth Chasseurs, unhorsed and wounded, replies to the Major who asks him why he had not surrendered: "We Frenchmen never surrender!" And remember those who, mortally wounded, stick to their posts so as to fight to the end with their men, and those wounded men who have but one desire—every one of us can vouch for this—to return to the firing line! And that one who, hopelessly mutilated, said to me: "It is not being crippled that hurts me; it is that I shall not be able to see the best part of the thing!" These, and the others, the thousands of others, shall we speak of their courage? —what would it mean to speak of their courage?

And the dash of them!—the only criticism to which they lay themselves open is that they are too fiery, that they do not wait the right moment for the charge, in order to drive back the enemy at the point of the bayonet. What spirit! What gayety! All the letters from our soldiers are overflowing with cheerfulness. Where, for instance, does that nickname come from applied by them to the enemy—the "Boches"? It comes from where so many more have come; its author is nobody and everybody; it is the spontaneous product of that Gallic humor which jokes at danger, takes liberities with it.

What pride! What sense of honor! Whereas the German officer, posted behind his men, drives them forward like a flock of sheep, revolver in his hand and insults on his lips, we, on our side, hear nothing but those beautiful, those radiant words: "Forward! For your country!"—the call of the French officer to his children, whom he impels forward by giving them the example, by plunging under fire first, before all of them, at their head.

The Password: "Smile!"

And—supreme adornment of all—with what grace they deck their gallantry! A few seconds before being killed by an exploding shell, Col. Doury, ordered to resist to the last gasp, replies: "All right! We will resist. And now, boys, here is the password: Smile!" It is like a flower thrown on the scientific brutality of modern war, that memory of the days when men went to war with lace on their sleeves. There we recognize the French soldier such as we have always known him through fifteen centuries of the history of France.

But now we look upon him in a form of which we did not suspect the existence, the form in which he has just revealed himself to us.

To go forward is all very well; but to fall back in good order, to understand that a retreat may be a masterpiece of strategy, to find in himself that other kind of courage which consists in not getting discouraged, to be able to wait without getting demoralized, to preserve unshaken the certainty of the final outcome—in these things lies a virtue which we did not know we possessed: the virtue of patience. It won us our victory of the Marne. One man is its personification today, that great chief, wise and prudent, who spares his men, who makes up his mind not to give battle except in his own time on his own ground, that chief toward whom at this moment the calm and confident eyes of the entire country are turned.

To carry a position by assault is one thing. But to stand impassive in a rain of shot, amid exploding shells, amid infernal din and blinding smoke; to fire at an invisible enemy, to dispute foot by foot ground covered with traps, to retake the same village ten times, to burrow into the soil and crouch there, to watch day after day for the moment when the beast at bay ventures from his lair—where have we acquired the phlegmatic coolness for such things? Has it come from the proximity of our English allies? {159}It is in the English reports that we read the eulogies of our army for its endurance and tenacity.

We have always known how to pluck the laurels of the brave on fields of battle and to water them with our blood. We Frenchmen, all of us, are lovers of glory. The stories of war which we read in our childhood days—captures of redoubts, fiery charges, furious fights around the flag—made us thrill. And, like the Athenians who left the performance of a tragedy by Aeschylus thirsting to close their books and march on the enemy, we dreamed of combats in which we were to win fame.

But since those days military literature has undergone somewhat of a change, and the communiqués which we devour twice a day, hungry for news, give us no such tales of prowess.

"On the left wing we have progressed. On the right wing we have repulsed violent counter-attacks. On the front the situation remains without change." Where are our men? What troops are meant? What Generals? Nothing is told of such things. The veil of anonymity shrouds great actions, a barrier of impenetrable mystery protects the secret of the operations.

Great Things Done Simply.

Our soldiers have endured every hardship, braved every danger, never knowing whether each dawning day was their last, yet the cleverest manoeuvring, the most gallant feats, are obliterated, effaced, lost, in the calculated colorlessness of an enigmatic report. But that sacrifice also have they made. To be at the post assigned to them, to play a great or infinitesimal role in the common work, is the only reward they desire. Can it be that the disease of individualism is a thing of yesterday? The soldier of 1914 has cured us of it. Never have disinterestedness and modesty been pushed so far.

Let us say it in a word: Never have great things been done so simply.

But he knows why he is fighting. It is not for the ambition of a sovereign or the impatience of his heir, for the arrogance of a caste of country squires or the profit of a firm of merchants. No; he fights for the land where he was born and where his dead sleep; he fights to free his invaded country and give her back her lost provinces, for her past, struck to the heart by the shells that bombarded the Cathedral of Rheims; he fights so that his children may have the right to think, speak, and feel in French, so that there may still be in the world a French race, which the world needs. For this war of destruction is aimed at the destruction of our race, and our race has been moved to its depths. It has risen as one man and assembled together; it has called up from its remotest history all its energy, in order to reincarnate them in the person of him whose duty is to defend the race today; it has inspired in him the valor of the knights of old, the endurance of the laborer bending over his furrow, the modesty of the old masters who made of our cathedrals masterpieces of anonymity, the honesty of the bourgeois, the patience of humble folk, the consciousness of duty which mothers teach to their children, all those virtues which, developed from one generation to another, become a tradition, the tradition of an industrious people, made strong by a long past and made to endure. It is these qualities, all of them together, which we admire in the soldier of 1914, the complete and superb type of the entire race.

A Holy Intoxication.

When it has such an aim, the noblest of all, war is sublime; all who go into it are as if transfigured. It exalts, expands, and purifies souls. On approaching the battlefield a holy intoxication, a holy happiness, takes possession of those for whom has been reserved the supreme joy of braving death for their country. Death is everywhere, but they do not believe in it any more. And when, on certain mornings, to the sound of cannon that mix their rumblings with mystic voices of bells, in the devastated church which cries to the heavens through every breach opened in its walls, the Chaplain {160}blesses the regiment that he will accompany the next minute to the firing line, every head will be bent at the same time and all will feel on their brows the breath of God.

Alas! the beauty of the struggle does not hide from me its sadness. How many went away, full of youth and hope, to return no more. How many have fallen already without seeing realized what they so ardently desired; sowers they, who to make the land fertile have watered it with their blood, yet will not see the harvest.

But at least their sacrifice will not have been in vain. They have brought reconciliation to their divided country, they have made her become conscious of herself again, they have made her learn enthusiasm once again. They have not seen victory, but they have merited it. Honor to them, struck down first, and glory to those who will avenge them! We enfold them both in our devotion to the same sacred cause.

Would that a new era might dawn, thanks to them, that a new world might be born in which we might breathe more freely, where injustices centuries old might be made good, where France, arising from long humiliation, might resume her rank and destiny. Then, in that cured, vivified France, what an awakening, what a renewal, what a sap, what a magnificent flowering there would be! This will be thy work, soldier of 1914! To you we shall owe this resurrection of our beloved country. And later on, and always, in everything beautiful and good that may be done among us, in the creations of our poets and the discoveries of our savants, in the thousand forms of national activity, in the strength of our young men and the grace of our young women, in all that will be the France of tomorrow, there will be, soldier so brave and so simple in your greatness, a little of your heroic soul!

Germany's Civilized Barbarism

By Emile Boutroux.

From the Revue des Deux Mondes.

I sincerely thank M. Emile Boutroux for the letter he has been good enough to write to me; and the readers of the Revue will join me, for it is addressed to them also. No one could speak of Germany more authoritatively than M. Boutroux; no one, indeed, is better acquainted with the Germany of yesterday and that of today, or better equipped to draw a comparison between them, which for the Prussianized Germany of the present is a verdict and a condemnation. The violence, brutality, barbarism which she displays—a frightful spectacle—doubtless spring from the deepest instincts of race; but man always feels the need of justifying his conduct, and the Germans are too much philosophers not to seek justification for theirs in a scientific system in which these doctrinaires of a new sort are encouraged to persevere without the least scruple or pity. M. Boutroux explains to us the detestable sophism which has perverted the entire German soul and made of a nation which our grandfathers loved and admired, a monster whose implacable egotism weighs heavily on the world. But let M. Boutroux speak.


PARIS, 28 September, 1914.

To the Director of the Revue des Deux Mondes:

Mr. Director and Dear Colleague: You have done me the honor to ask me, as I have lived in Germany and studied in part German philosophy and literature, whether I was not prepared to submit some observations touching the present war. I confess that at this moment words, and even thoughts, seem to me to amount to little. Like every French{161}man, I am given up wholly to the task of the hour; all my interest is in our generous and admirable army, and my sole concern is to take part, however modestly, in the work of the nation. True, a thousand memories and reflections crowd my mind; the notion of pausing to express them in writing had not occurred to me, but it would be ungracious in me to decline your kind invitation. Please omit from the ideas I throw on paper whatever seems to you to be lacking in interest.



YVES GUYOT. See Page 194.

Mephistopheles Appears.

In the presence of such events as are passing before our eyes, how can we keep our minds free? We have to say to ourselves: "See what has come of that philosophic, artistic, scientific development whose grandeur and idealistic character all the world has proclaimed!" "That is what the infernal cur had in his belly," said Faust as he saw the dog which was playing at his side change into Mephistopheles. What! Having declared the morality of Plato and Aristotle inadequate and mediocre, having preached duty for duty's sake, having established the unconditioned supremacy of moral worth, the royalty of the intellect, to end by officially declaring that a signed engagement is but a scrap of paper, and that juridic or moral laws do not count if they incommode us and if we are the strongest! Having given to the world marvelous music, in which the purest and deepest aspirations seem to be heard; having raised art and poetry to a sort of religion, in which man communes with the Eternal by the worship of the ideal; having exalted the universities as the most sublime of human creations, temples of science and of intellectual freedom, to come to bombarding Louvain, Malines, and the Cathedral of Rheims! Having assumed the role of representative par excellence of culture, of civilization in its loftiest form, at the end to aim at the subjugation of the world and to strive toward that aim by the methodical letting loose of brute force, wickedness, and barbarism! To boast of having attained the highest plane of human nature, and to reveal themselves as survivors of the Huns and Vandals!

Only yesterday Germany was feared throughout the world because of her power, but esteemed for her science and her heritage of idealism. Today, on the contrary, there is a common cry of reprobation and horror raised against her from one end of the earth to the other. Fear is overcome by indignation. On every side it is asserted that the victory of German imperialism and militarism would be the triumph of despotism, brutality, and barbarism. These ideas are expressed to us by Americans of the North and South, by Spaniards, Italians, Greeks, Swiss, and Rumanians. The nation which burned the University of Louvain and the Cathedral of Rheims has brought dishonor upon itself.

What shall we think of the prodigious contrast which manifests itself between the high culture of Germany and the end at which she aims, the means which she employs in the present war? Is it enough to explain this contrast, to allege that in spite of all their science the Germans are but slightly civilized, that in the sixteenth century they were still boorish and uncultivated and that their science, an affair of specialists and pundits, has never penetrated their soul or influenced their character?

This explanation is justified. Consider the German professor in the beer garden, in the relations of everyday life, in his amusements. With certain notable exceptions he excels only in discovering and collecting materials for study and in drawing from them, by mechanical operations, solutions that rest wholly upon text and argument and make no appeal whatever to ordinary judgment and good sense. What a disproportion often between his science and his real education. What vulgarity of tastes and sentiments and language. What brutality of methods on the part of this man whose authority is indisputable in his specialty. Take this learned man from his university chair, place him on that scene of war where force can alone reign and where the gross appetites are un{162}chained, it is not surprising that his conduct approaches that of savages.

A Culture of Violence.

That is the current judgment and not without reason. The savant and the man, among the Germans, are only too often strangers to each other. The German in war is inhuman not merely because of an explosion of his true nature, gross and violent, but by order. His brutality is calculated and systematized. It justifies the words of La Harpe, "There is such a thing as a scientific barbarity." In 1900 the German Emperor haranguing his soldiers about to set sail for China, exhorted them to leave nothing living in their path and to bear themselves like Huns.

If, then, in this war, in the manner in which they have prepared and provoked it and now conduct it, they violate without scruple the laws of the civilized world, it is not despite their superior culture, it is in consequence of that very culture. They are barbarous because they are more civilized. How can such a combination of contradictory elements, such a synthesis, be possible?

Fichte in the famous discourses to the German Nation which he delivered at the University of Berlin during the Winter of 1807 and 1808, had one object: to arouse the German Nation by kindling its self-consciousness, that is to say, its pure Germanic essence, Deutschheit, in order to realize that essence when possible beyond its borders and to make it dominate the world. The general idea which must guide Germany in the accomplishment of this double task is: Germany is to all the rest of the world as good is to evil.

The appeal of Fichte was heard. During the century which followed, Germany in the most precise and practical manner, on the one hand built up the theory of Germanism or Deutschtum, on the other hand prepared the domination of Germanism in the world. This notion of Germanism furnishes, if I am not mistaken, the principle of the inference which I wish to indicate, the explanation of the surprising solidarity which Germans have created between culture and barbarism.

It would be interesting to probe this notion and follow its development.

In the first place how can a people come to claim for its ideas, its virtue, its achievements, not only the right to exist and to be respected by other people, but the privilege of being the sole expression of the true and the good while everything which emanates from other peoples represents nothing but error and evil?

The philosopher Fichte after having built up his system under the influence of Kant and of French ideas, notably under the influence of Rousseau—of whom he said "peace to his ashes, for he has done things"—could think of nothing better to reinforce the German soul after Jena than to persuade it that in itself and itself alone there was to be found the sense of the ideal combined with power to realize that ideal in the world.

The Power to Realize.

Starting from a certain notion of the absolute he found after Jena that this very notion constituted the foundation of the German genius. Soon this mystic method was merged in a more concrete method better adapted to the positive spirit of modern generations. The one science where all knowledge and ideas which concern human life are concentrated is history. To this science our epoch has devoted a veritable worship. Now the Germans have drawn from history two lessons of the highest importance. One is that history is not only the succession of events, which mark the life of humanity, it is the judgment of God upon the rivalries of peoples. Everything which is wishes to be, and to endure, struggle, and impose itself. History tells us which are the men and the things Providence has elected. The sign of that election is success. To subsist, grow, conquer, dominate is to prove that one is the confidant of the thought of Providence, the dispenser of the power of Providence. If one people appears designated by history to dominate the others then that people is the vicegerent {163}of God upon earth, is God Himself, visible and tangible for His creatures.

The second lesson which German erudition has drawn from the study of history is that the actual existence of a people charged with representing God is not a myth, that such a people exists and that the German people is that people. From the victory of Hermann (Arminius) over Varus in the forest of Teutoburg in the year 9 A.D., the will of God is evident. The Middle Ages show it, and if in modern times Germany has appeared to efface herself it is because she was reposing to collect her force and strike more heavily. When she was not obviously the first, she was so virtually. It was in 1844 that Hoffmann von Fallersleben composed the national song, Deutschland über alles, über alles in der Welt. Germany over all, Germany over all the world, Germany extending from the Meuse to the Niemen, from the Adige to the Belt.

Not only is Germany the elect of Providence but the sole elect, and other nations are rejected. The sign of her election is the annihilation of the three legions of Quinctilius Varus, and her eternal task is to revenge herself for the insolence of the Roman General. "We shall give battle to Hermann and we shall avenge ourselves, "und wollen Rache haben." Thus ran the celebrated national song. Der Gott, der Eisen wachsen liess.

Germanism and God.

German civilization has developed in antagonism with the Greco-Roman civilization. To adopt the former was on the part of God to reject the latter. Therefore German consciousness, realized without hindrance in all its force, is but the Divine consciousness. Deutschtum = God and God = Deutschtum. In practice it is enough that an idea is authentically German in order that we may and must conclude that it is true, that it is just, and that it ought to prevail.

What are the essential dogmas of this truth, which is German because it is true and which is true because it is German? German metaphysicians explain that to us more clearly than is usual by thought. The first quality of this truth is that it is in opposition to what classic or Greco-Latin thought would recognize as true. The latter has sought to discover what in man is essentially human, to render man superior to other beings, and to substitute more and more the superior elements for the inferior elements in human life—reason for blind impulse, justice for force, good for wickedness. It has undertaken to create in the world a moral force capable of controlling and humanizing material forces. To this doctrine, which rests upon man as its centre and which was essentially human, German thought opposes itself as the infinite opposes the finite, the absolute the relative, the whole the part. The disciples of the Greeks had at their disposition no light except that of human reason; the German genius possesses a transcendent reason which pierces the mysteries of the absolute, of the Divine. What would light be without the shadow from which it is detached? How could the ego exist if there was not somewhere a non ego to which it is opposed? Evil is not less indispensable than good in the transcendent symphony of the whole.

There is something more. It may be a satisfaction for a Greco-Latin, impelled by his mediocre logic to say that good is good, evil is evil, but these simple formulas are contrary to the truth per se. Good by itself is absolutely impotent to realize itself. It is only an idea, an abstraction. The power and faculty of creation belong to evil alone. So that if good is to be realized it can only be by means of evil, and by means of evil left entirely to itself. God could not exist if He were not created by the devil, and thus, in a sense, evil is good and good is bad. Evil is good because it creates. Good is bad because it is impotent. The supreme and true divine law is just this: That evil left to itself, evil as evil, gives birth to good, which, by itself, would never be able to advance from the ideal to the real. "I am," said Mephistopheles, "part of that force which always wishes evil and always creates the good." Such is the divine order. He who undertakes to do good by good will only do evil. It is only in unchaining the power of evil {164}that one has a chance to realize any good.

From these metaphysical principles questions raised by the idea of civilization receive most remarkable solutions.

The Essence of Civilization.

What is civilization in the German and true sense of the word?

Nations in general, especially the Latin nations, put the essence of civilization in the moral element of human life, in the softening of human manners. To those who understand human culture in this way the Germans will apply the words of Ibsen's Brand, "You wish to do great things but you lack energy. You expect success from mildness and goodness." According to the German thought, mildness and goodness are only weakness and impotence. Force alone is strong and force par excellence is science, which puts at our disposal the powers of nature and indefinitely multiplies our strength. Science, then, should be the principal object of our efforts. From science and from the culture of scientific intelligence there will necessarily result, by the effect of Divine grace, the progress of the will and of the conscience which is called moral progress. It is in this sense that Bismarck said, "Imagination and sentiment are to science and intelligence what the tares are to the wheat. The tares threaten to stifle the wheat; that is why they are cut down and burned." True civilization is a virile education, aiming at force and implying force. A civilization which under pretext of humanity and of courtesy enervates and softens man is fit only for women and for slaves.

Is that to say that the notion of right which men invoke against force has in reality no meaning, and that a highly civilized people would disregard it? We must clearly understand the relation which exists between the notion of right and the notion of force. Force is not the right. All existing forces do not have an equal right to exist; mediocre forces in reality have but a feeble share in the Divine force; but in proportion as a force becomes greater it is more noble. A universally victorious and all-powerful force would be identical with Divine force and should, therefore, be obeyed and honored in the same degree. Justice and force, moreover, belong to two different worlds—the natural and the spiritual. The former is the phenomenon and symbol of the latter. We live in a world of symbols; and so preponderant force is for us the visible and practical equivalent of right.

It is, then, puerile to admit the existence of a natural right inherent in individuals or in nations, and manifested in their aspirations, their powers, their sympathies, their wills. The right of peoples should be determined by a purely objective method.

Now in this sense people should be divided into Naturvölker, Halbkulturvölker, and Kulturvölker—people in the state of nature, half-cultivated people, and cultivated people. This is not all. There are people who are simply cultivated—Naturvölker—and people who are wholly cultivated—Vollkulturvölker. Now the degree of right depends on the degree of culture. As compared with the Kulturvölker the Naturvölker have no rights. They have only duties—submission, docility, obedience. And if there exists a people which deserves more than all others the title of Vollkulturvölker—completely cultured people—to this people the earth belongs and the supremacy thereof. Its mission is to bend all other peoples beneath the yoke of its omnipotence co-ordinated with its supreme culture.

The Master Nation.

Such is the idea of the master nation. This nation must not be simply an abstract type, it must necessarily be able to realize itself in our world. In effect the spirit is the supreme form of being; it necessarily wishes to be; and as it is infinite, it can be realized only by means of an infinite force. A nation capable of imposing its will upon everybody is the necessary instrument of the Divine will which can grant the prayer: "Our Father, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."

As a master nation is necessary in the {165}world there must be subordinate nations. There can be no efficient "yes" without a decided "no." The ego, says Fichte, is effort. Therefore it presupposes something that resists it, namely, that which we call matter. The master nation commands. Therefore nations must exist who are made to obey it. It is needful even that these nations, which are to the master nation what the non ego is to the ego, should resist the action of this superior nation. For this resistance is necessary to enable the latter to develop and employ its force and to become fully itself; that is, to become the whole, enriching itself by the spoils of its enemies.

The ideal nation is thus defined by a transcendental deduction, and this same deduction leads us to affirm that the master nation must be not merely an idea but a reality. Now, it is plain that this realization of the ideal nation is going on under our eyes in the German Nation, which represents the highest created race and which surpasses all other nations in science and in power. It is to her, and to her alone, that the task of accomplishing the will of God upon earth is consigned.

Means of Success.

To succeed in it, what means must she employ?

In the first place she must acquire complete consciousness of her superiority and of her own genius. Nothing German is found in the same degree of excellence in other nations. German women, German fidelity, German wine, the German song, hold the first rank in the world. To combat Satan, that is to say, enemies of Germany, the Germans have at their service the ancient god, the German god, der alte, der deutsche Gott, who identifies His cause with theirs. And as everything which is German is by that very fact unique and inimitable, so it is correspondingly true that everything which the world has of excellence belongs to Germany in fact and in right. Rembrandt, Shakespeare, Ibsen, are Germans. A German brain alone could understand them and has a right to admire them. It is doubtful if even Joan of Arc, that sublime heroine, is French. German savants have maintained her German nationality. If the people of Alsace and Lorraine are faithful to France that only proves that they ought to be German subjects, because fidelity is a German virtue.

As Germany possesses, in principle, all the virtues, all the perfections, she suffices to herself and can learn nothing from other people. By still stronger reason she owes them no duty of respect or good-will. What is called humanity has no meaning for the German. The mot of William II., "Humanity for me stops at the Vosges," is not merely an instance of national egoism. The German Emperor feels that what is for the present beyond his empire can only acquire value when it shall be annexed to it.

How, then, ought Germany to behave to other nations?

There are people who wish to be loved, who believe that among nations as between individuals, courtesy may have a place and that it would be an advance for humanity to admit that justice and equity may rule international relations. But Germany, as regards other nations, makes no account of justice. She has nothing but scorn for that feminine sentiment which particularly characterizes the Latin races. The sentiment of justice and humanity is weakness and Germany is and ought to be force. Wo Preussens Macht in Frage kommt, kenne ich kein Gesetz, said Bismarck—"When the power of Prussia is in question I know no law."

Enemies Most Welcome.

The German does not ask to be loved. He prefers to be hated provided he is feared. Oderint, dum metuant. He does not mind being surrounded by enemies. He knows with satisfaction that in the very heart of the empire certain annexed provinces constantly protest against the violence which has been done to them. The ego cannot work without opposition. The German needs enemies to keep himself in that state of tension and of struggle which is the condition of vigor. He willingly applies to himself what the Lord God said of man in general in the prologue of Goethe's "Faust":


Man's activity has only too great a propensity to relax. Left by himself man seeks repose. That is why I give him a devil for a companion. He will excite him and keep him from getting sleepy.

Germany has a certain satisfaction in recognizing in the neighbors whom she menaces, in the subjects whom she oppresses, these providential devils whose mischief will stimulate her activity and her virtue.

Not that Germany rejects, as regards other nations, every régime except that of hostility. Her aim is domination, the only rôle which suits the people of God. Now, to attain that, two means are offered to her. The first plainly is intimidation which must never flag. The feeble quickly become insolent if their feebleness is not recalled to them. Other nations must feel themselves constantly threatened with the worst catastrophes if they resist Germany. But it being well understood that Germany is the strongest, that she will never give up what she possesses, however unjustly, then bargains advantageous not only for herself but occasionally for the other party, may be the more direct and less onerous means than violence to attain her end. So Germany will be, by turns, or both at once, threatening and amiable. Amiability itself can be effective when it rests on hatred, contempt, and omnipotence.

Now power counts before all. Germany must possess armaments superior to those of all other nations. The reason is plain. The German Empire is a rock of peace, der Hort des Friedens. The force which it accumulates is directed toward imposing upon mankind the German peace, the divine peace. Since Germany represents peace, whoever opposes Germany intends war. Now it is legitimate that Germany should arm to the teeth because she is the incarnation of peace, but the adversaries of Germany, who, in opposing Germany oppose peace, cannot have the same right. It is the duty of Germany to carry her armaments to the maximum; other peoples have the right to arm only as Germany may permit.

Germany does not seek war. On the contrary, she tries by inspiring terror to render it impossible. But if some nation should profit or be capable of profiting by her love of peace to pretend to rights which offend her she will consent to punish that nation. She will be pained by the violence she has to do to that nation and the severity which she has to use toward the guilty. But soldier of God as she is, she cannot fail to her mission. Any nation which refuses to do the will of Germany proves by that very fact its cultural inferiority and becomes guilty. It must be chastised.

The method according to which Germany will make war is determined by these premises. War is a return to the state of nature. Germany yields to this temporary retrogression because she has to do with people of an inferior culture who must be taught a lesson, and must be spoken to in a language which they understand. Now a characteristic of a state of nature is that force reigns undisputed. In this very trait resides the sublime beauty of that state, its grandeur and its fecundity. Don't talk of that romantic chivalry which pretends in time of war to temper the violence of savage instincts by the intervention of feminine sensibility. War is war. Krieg ist Krieg. It isn't child's play, it isn't sport where it is necessary to blend barbarity and humanity so as to conciliate and humanize them. It is barbarity itself let loose as widely and fully as possible. This is not perversity. Man as man suffers in becoming barbarous, but the man who replaces God suppresses the feebleness of the creature. He submits himself to the mysterious and sublime law in virtue of which evil is by so much more beneficent as it is achieved with resolution and completeness. Pecca fortiter.

The Nature of War.

The first article of the code of war is then the suppression of all sensibility, pity, humanity. The nature of war is to kill and destroy. The more it destroys and kills the sooner it comes to its ideal form. Moreover, it is at bottom {167}more humane the more inhuman it is, because the very terrors which its excesses inspire shorten it and make it less murderous.

In the second place, war necessarily ignores moral laws. Respect for laws, treaties, conventions, loyalty, good faith, sentiment and honor, scruples, nobility of soul generosity—these are mere fetters. The God-people do not recognize them. It will then, without hesitation, violate the rights of neutrals if it is to its interest. It will use falsehood, perfidy, treachery. It will justify itself by futile pretexts in committing the most atrocious acts—bombardment of undefended cities, massacre of old men, women and children; barbarous torture, pillage and assassination; bestiality to women; organized incendiarism; methodical destruction of monuments which, by their history and their antiquity and by the admiration of the world, would seem to be inviolable. "I am told: I must avenge myself." This reason suffices. We are told that some inhabitant of one city or another has been wanting in respect toward one of our men. Therefore we must burn the city and show the inhabitants what we have. Definitively, our duty is to let loose the elementary energies of nature as far as possible to attain the maximum force and the maximum of result.

The effect should, moreover, be psychological as well as material. Actions which seem horrible to man and which spread terror are commendable means, because they break the spirit even if they have no value from a military point of view. Moreover, what offends common morality is conformed to transcendent morality. The mission of the Germans at war is to punish. They work Divine vengeance. They compel their enemies to expiate the crime of resisting them. After they have taken a city, if the enemy has the insolence to take it back, it is just that they shall sack that city if possible, killing its inhabitants and burning its finest monuments.

Barbarity Multiplied by Science.

Given this problem, how to let loose most widely the powers of evil, it is clear that a people of superior culture is better equipped than any other to resolve that problem. In fact, science, where it excels, can work destruction and evil with the very forces which nature employs only to create light, heat, life, and beauty. The God-people therefore unites the maximum of science to the maximum of barbarity. The formula of its action may be thus written: "Barbarity multiplied by science."

This is the last word of the famous doctrine of Germanism. Now the identity of the ultimate consequences of the doctrine and the features which the present war presents is evident. The problem which we undertook is, therefore, solved. If, contrary to all likelihood, barbarity co-exists with culture in the Germans; if in the present war it appears to be absolutely bound up in that culture, the reason is that German culture differs profoundly from what humanity understands by culture and civilization. Human civilization tries to humanize war. German culture tends indefinitely to increase its primitive brutality by science.

In everything the Germans must be unique—in their women, their God, their wine, their loyalty. The war which the Germans wage against us strikes the world with horror and terror, because it is in the full force of the term "the German way, die deutsche Art, the German war."

As the world recognizes this astonishing proposition it asks with anxiety, what may be its future relations to Germany? Knowingly and systematically, Germany opposes to all Hellenic, Christian, humane civilizations the devastating theory of the Huns. True, after the war she will claim that she has done nothing but conform, often with pain, to the conditions of ideal and divine war, and she will appear willing to pardon to her enemies the cruelties she has had to inflict upon them. Decidedly, the world will refuse to admire this horrible magnanimity which on the first impulse of resistance becomes savagery. Today the veil is torn away. German culture is shown to be a scientific bar{168}barity. The world, which means in the future to rid itself of all despotism, will not compromise with the despotism of barbarity.

But what a disappointment and what a grief! Formerly, Germany was held to be a great nation. Its praises were sounded in many a land of solid and high culture. The German tradition once held other doctrines than those we have now seen devolop under the hands of Prussia. Germanism, as the Prussians formulate it, consists essentially in contempt for all other nations and in the pretension of domination. But Leibnitz—as highly esteemed in the Latin world as in the German—professed a philosophy which valued unity only under the form of harmony between free and autonomous forces. Leibnitz exalted the multiple, the diverse, the spontaneous. Between rival powers he sought to establish relations which would reconcile them without changing or diminishing the value or independence of any of them. Witness his effort at the reunion of the Catholic and Protestant Churches. After Leibnitz came Kant. He certainly was very much of a German. He owned, nevertheless, that he had learned from Rousseau to honor the common man who, not being a savant, possesses moral value far above the savant, who has no merit but science. And, starting from the principle that every person, so far as he is capable of moral value, is entitled to respect, he urged men to create not a universal and despotic monarchy but a republic of nations in which each should possess a free and independent personality.

This willingness to put liberty before unity, and respect and honor the dignity of other nations while at the same time serving its own, was not extinguished in Germany with Leibnitz and Kant. Permit me, my dear Director, on this subject to indulge in some personal reminiscences.

Treitschke Versus Bluntschli.

In January, 1869, I was sent to Heidelberg by the Minister of Public Instruction, Victor Duruy, to study the organization of German universities. Germany was for me the land of metaphysics, music, and poetry. I was greatly astonished to find that outside of the lecture courses the only thing discussed was the war which Prussia was about to make on France. Invited to a soirée, I heard it whispered behind me, Vielleicht ist er ein französischer Spion—"Perhaps he is a French spy." Such were the words as I caught them. At the beer garden a student seated himself near me. He said to me, "We are going to war with you. We shall take Alsace and Lorraine." That night I could see from my window, looking out on the Neckar, the students clad in their club costumes floating down the river on an illuminated raft singing the famous song in honor of Blücher, who "taught the Welches the way of the Germans." And at the university itself the lectures of Treitschke, attended by excited crowds, were heated harangues against the French, inciting to hatred and to war. Seeing that nothing was thought of but the preparation for war, I came back at the Easter vacation of 1869 convinced that hostilities would ensue. I returned to Heidelberg some time later and became acquainted with other persons, other centres of ideas. I understood then that opinion in Germany was divided between two opposite doctrines. The general aspiration was for the unity of Germany, but there was no agreement as to the way of conceiving and realizing this unity. The thesis of Treitschke was, Freiheit durch Einheit, "liberty through unity," that is to say, unity first, unity before all; liberty later, when circumstances should permit. And to realize at once this unity, which really was the only thing that mattered, the enrollment of all Germany under the command of Prussia for a war against France.

Now the formula of Treitschke was opposed by that of Bluntschli, Einheit durch Freiheit—"Unity through liberty." This doctrine, which counted at that time some eminent advocates, aimed first to safeguard the independence and unity of the German States and then to establish between them on that basis a {169}federated union. And as it contemplated in the heart of Germany a union without hegemony, so it conceived of German unity as something to be realized without harm to other nations, and especially without harm to France. It was to be a free Germany in a free world.

Germany at that epoch was at the parting of the ways. Should she follow a tendency still living in many and noble minds or should she abandon it entirely, to march head down in the ways in which Prussia had entangled her? That was the question. The party of war, the party of unity as a means of attacking and despoiling France, the Prussian party, gained the day. And its success rendered its preponderance definitive. Since then those who have undertaken to remain faithful to an ideal of liberty and humanity have been annihilated.

Is it still possible that Germany may some day regain the parting of the ways where she was before 1870 and this time take the other road, the road of the Leibnitzes, the Kants, the Bluntschlis, which leads first to the liberty of individuals and of peoples and afterward—- and only afterward—a form of harmony where the rights of all are equally respected? A word of the Scotch professor, William Knight, comes back to my memory at this moment: "The best things have to die and be reborn." The Germany which the world respected and admired, the Germany of Leibnitz, appears indeed dead. Can it be reborn?

Accept, I beg, my dear Director, the assurance of my cordial devotion.


{170}The German Religion of Duty

By Gabriele Reuter.[2]

On various occasions in the past I have been reproached by my friends for not showing the proper spirit of patriotism.

I have merely smiled at their criticism, for it was my opinion that true patriotism does not consist of flowery speeches and assertions, but in the effort dutifully to accomplish that for which one is best qualified.

It seemed to me that I was truly showing my love for the Fatherland by writing my books to the best of my ability.

But the source of this reproach was very evident to me. The cause could be traced to a quality which I share with many of my compatriots. It must, in truth, be called a particularly characteristic trait. This is a very earnest desire for and love of justice, which is not satisfied simply to "recognize," but endeavors thoroughly to understand the material and spiritual points of view of the other nations in order to show them the proper appreciation.

It is natural to develop affection for that which one earnestly desires to understand.

Many Germans have had the experience that they have rather overzealously commenced by weighing the good of a foreign people in the balance with the good of their own, and with well-nigh fanatic honesty they have ended by acknowledging their own shortcomings compared to the merits and advantages of the foreign nation. There have been instances when some foreigner has drawn our attention to this or that particular weakness and immediately innumerable of my countrymen assented, saying, "Certainly it is true, the criticism is just, matters are probably even worse than they have been represented."

Many of us, and I acknowledge I am one of the many, have developed a form of ascetic mania for self-abasement, a desire for truth which knows no limits in the dissection of its own condition and the disclosure of social and personal shortcomings and disadvantages. This tendency may be easily discerned in much of the German literature of the past twenty years; also, in my books.

The individual is really always the symbol of the whole, and the thoughts and feelings of one person are but the expression of strong forces in national life and culture. It was not want of patriotism, but an unbounded love for the universality of European culture which drove us, drove many thousand people with German souls, to reach out over the boundaries of our own Fatherland for intellectual conquests, for permeation and coalescence with all the world's riches, goodness, and beauty.

We loved the others; and believing ourselves among friends we were candid and disclosed our weaknesses.

Germans Trusted Too Well.

We permitted criticism and criticised ourselves, because we were convinced that those others had our welfare at heart, and also because we were convinced that only by unsparing self-knowledge can the heights be scaled which lead to superior and more refined development. It is therefore probable that we ourselves have delivered the weapons into our enemies' hands.

Confiding and harmless as children, we were blind to the enigmatical hatred which has to an appalling extent developed all around us. This hate which has been nourished systematically and with satanic cleverness probably originated in a slight feeling of jealousy, and the tendency of my countrymen to criticise each other led our enemies to believe that they might look for internal disc{171}ord in the Fatherland and that our humiliation could therefore be more easily accomplished.

If we had recognized the danger in time, we might have prevented this hatred, to which they at the beginning were hardly prone, from taking root in the souls of nations. But only very few among us were aware of it and they received little credence from the others. There were times when each one of us sensed the antipathy which we encountered beyond the boundary lines of our own country. But we never realized how deeply it had taken root and how widely it had spread. We loved our enemies! We loved this French nation for its high development of etiquette, language, and taste; a culture which seemed well adapted to serve as a complement to our own. How much misery France might have been spared had she but understood this unfortunate love of the German people for the "Hereditary Enemy!"

We loved the deep, mystically religious soul of the Russians in their anguished struggles for freedom! How many Germans have looked upon Tolstoy as a new savior!

Above all, though, the German admired the Englishman, in the rôle of the "royal merchant," the far-seeing colonizer, the master of the seas. Without envy Germany gave England credit for all these qualities. And when during the Boer war voices were raised to warn against the English character, even then to most of us our Anglo-Saxon cousin remained the "Gentleman beyond reproach."

Then there is the great German love for Holland, Switzerland, and the Scandinavian countries; here we may find the Germanic race less adulterated than in our own country. Scandinavian poets have become our poets and we are as proud of the works of the Swedish artist as we are of those of our people.

We gaze with delight upon the proud, blonde grace of the Norse maid; the more gentle and pliant manners of the Swedes and Danes arouse our admiration; and we dearly love their beautiful fjords and forests of beech and birch.

Love Changed to Suspicion.

Many of us wonder today how much of all this love we, in the days to come, will be able to rescue from the debris. "Has the world gone mad that it has ceased to believe in our sincerity?" This at present is the cry of many, many thousand German men and women. Do we deserve to have our love requited with hate? And to find in the countries which declare themselves neutral, distrust, reserve, and, in fact, doubt of our honest intentions? Sad, dull despair has taken possession of the hearts of our best men and women. It is not because they tremble for the fate of the loved ones who have been compelled to go to the front and not because there is any fear as to the outcome of this war. Not one among us doubts the ultimate triumph of Germany. We also know that we must pay a terrible toll for this victory with the blood of our sons, fathers and husbands.

Equally as much as they mourn the loss of our young manhood many of our best citizens deplore the hatred which has spread over the face of the globe, hate which has torn asunder what was believed to have been a firmly woven net of a common European culture. That which we with ardent souls have labored to create is being devastated by ruthless force.

The following story of the non-commissioned German officer is typical or symbolical of many. He, while the bullets of the inhabitants of Louvain fell around him, rescued the priceless old paintings from the burning Church of St. Peter, simply because he was an art-historian and knew and loved each of the masterpieces. And well we all understand the feelings which mastered him during those moments of horror.

He would probably think and say, "I have but done my duty."

And now we have arrived at the point which gives rise to the greatest amount of antipathy. Our opponents declare we are endowed with great ability—they say {172}they must acknowledge that. But how can a race of stiff, dry, duty-performing beings awaken love? The German must lose all claim to individual freedom and independence of thought in consequence of the training which he receives. When he is a child he commences it in a military subordination in the school, he continues it in the barracks, and later, when he enters a vocational life, under the stern leadership of his superiors. He becomes, our critics continue, simply a disagreeable pedantic tool of the all-powerful "drill." This atmosphere of "drill," or in other words this stern hard military spirit, envelops him, accompanies him as guardian from the cradle to the grave, and makes of him an unbearable companion for all the more refined, gentle, and amiable nations. Yes, our opponents often declare that they are waging war not only against Germany, but against this pedantic, military, tyrannical sense of duty, which they call the "Prussian spirit." It shall once and for all, they assert, be eradicated from the world.

A Religious Feeling of Duty.

Far be it from me to deny that my country people, male and female, do indeed possess an unusually strong sense of duty. This is combined with a desire for justice which is so often looked upon by outsiders as a lack of patriotic pride, and with an honesty which easily makes the German appear so clumsy and awkward. These three characteristics belong indissolubly together and one is not to be thought of without the other. The spirit from which the German sense of duty arises is what the foreigner so often misunderstands in us. He generally confuses sense of duty with blind obedience. But this sense of duty does not originate from a need for submission or from a mental dependence. No, it rests on a deep philosophical reason and arises from the mental recognition of ethical and national necessity. That is why it can exist side by side with the most extreme individualism, which also belongs to the peculiarities of the character of our people. The Germans have always been a nation of thinkers. Not only the scholar, also the simple worker, the laborer, the modest mother take a deep pleasure in forming their philosophy of life and the world. Side by side with the loud triumph of our industry goes this quieter existence, which has been rather pushed into the background in the last decades, but has not, therefore, ceased to exist. And the further the belief in miracles stepped into the background, the more the belief in duty acquired a warm religious tinge. The loud complaints about the vanishing of the sense of duty among the young, which has so often been voiced by public opinion, only prove how strongly this ethical force was governing people's minds. Every seeming diminution of it was felt to be a disastrous endangerment of the knowledge of the people. We have perhaps acted childishly and foolishly toward other nations by too great confidence. But in the consciousness of the entire German Nation the ominous feeling was living and working with mighty power, that only if every one of us devotes his entire strength to the post assigned to him, and works until the exhaustion of his last mental and physical power, only then can we as a national whole retain our high level and, surrounded by dangers on all sides, create sufficient room for ourselves to breathe and live.

The Military and the Socialists.

Two mighty organizations exist among us which were opposed to each other until recently—the military and the Social Democratic. The world sees with amazement the perfection which has been reached by the military organization of our army. Its achievements have only become possible through the above-mentioned philosophical conception of the sense of duty which raises it far above any systematic obedience and lets it appear in the light of religious ideal. Duty becomes in these serious and energetic minds a voluntary adaptation to a carefully organized whole with the knowledge that to serve this whole at the same time produces the highest achievement of the individual personality. The Social Democratic or{173}ganization, opposed though it is to the military organization, is also composed of Germans and is, therefore, directed by the same basic principles as the military organization, although for entirely different purposes. For this one reason it was almost a matter of course that the Social Democrats offered their services for the war at the moment when they recognized that it had become of imperious necessity to set aside personal wishes and ideals and to put in the foreground only the duty of the defense of their country. The idea of our opponents, that they would find a support in the Socialists of our country, rested on a complete misunderstanding of the German character.

A foreign woman wrote to me in the days of the mobilization: "I do not understand the German enthusiasm for war—how it is possible that one can become enthusiastic about murder!" The woman only saw the exterior and superficial phase of things.

In its endeavor to unite itself with the world the German soul had suddenly come upon the wildest hatred * * * numerous high ideals of culture fell to ruin within a few hours. Deeply wounded, it was hurled back into its most personal possessions. Here it found itself face to face with tasks which far surpassed anything demanded heretofore of it as fulfillment of duty. And now there came to pass a wonder which will be unforgettable for every one who lived through this period. Everything dry, petty, pedantic, connected with German ways, which had often made many of us impatient with ourselves, was suddenly swept away by the storm of these days.

A gigantic wave of fiery hot feeling passed through our country flaming up like a beautiful sacrificial pyre. It was no longer a duty to offer one's self and one's life—it was supreme bliss. That might easily sound like a hollow phrase. But there is a proof, which is more genuine than words, than songs, and cheers. That is the expression in the faces of the people, their uncontrolled spontaneous movements. I saw the eyes light up of an old woman who had sent four sons into battle and exclaimed: "It is glorious to be allowed to give the Fatherland so much!" I saw the controlled calm in the features of sorrowing mothers who knew that their only sons had fallen. But the expression in the faces of many wounded who were already returning home gripped me the most. They had lived through the horror of the battle, their feet had waded through blood, their young bodies were horribly maimed. I saw this strangely serene, quietly friendly expression in the young faces. They were men who had sacrificed their ego. They were great patient conquerors of selfishness. And with what tenderness, what goodness are they surrounded, to lighten their lot, to give them joy. How the general sentiment is often expressed in the gesture of a single person—you did that for us—how can we sufficiently requite you?

A stream of love is flowing through our Fatherland and is uniting all hearts. The unobtrusive mother "duty" gave birth to the genial child "feeling." She bestowed on it her strong vitality so that it can defy a world of hatred—and conquer it.


[2] Gabriele Reuter is one of the foremost German woman authors.

{174}A Letter to Gerhart Hauptmann

By Romain Rolland.

I am not, Gerhart Hauptmann, of those Frenchmen who call Germany barbarian. I recognize the intellectual and moral grandeur of your mighty race. I realize all that I owe to the thinkers of old Germany; and even at this extreme hour I recall to mind the example and the words of our Goethe—for he belongs to all humanity—repudiating national hatred and preserving his soul serene in those heights "where one feels the joys and sorrows of all peoples as one's own." It has been the labor of my life to bring together the minds of our two nations; and the atrocities of impious war shall never lead me to soil my heart with hatred.

Whatever reason I may have, therefore, to suffer through the deeds of your Germany and to judge as criminal the German policy and the German methods, I do not hold responsible the people who submit thereto and are reduced to mere blind instruments. This does not mean that I regard war as a fatality. A Frenchman knows no such word as fatality. Fatality is the excuse of souls that lack a will.

No. This war is the fruit of the feebleness of peoples and of their stupidity. One can only pity them; one cannot blame them. I do not reproach you for our sorrows. Your mourning will not be less than ours. If France is ruined, so also will be Germany. I did not even raise my voice when I saw your armies violate the neutrality of noble Belgium. This forfeit of honor, which compels the contempt of every right-thinking mind, is too well within the political tradition of Prussian Kings to have surprised me.

But the fury with which you treated that generous land whose one crime was to defend, unto despair, its independence and the idea of justice—that was too much! The world revolts in wrath at this. Reserve for us your violence—for us French, who are your enemies. But to trample upon your victims, upon the little Belgian people, unfortunate and innocent—that is ignominy!

And not content with assaulting the Belgium that lives, you wage war on the dead, on the glory of past centuries. You bombard Malines, you put Rubens to flame, Louvain comes from your hands a heap of ashes—Louvain with its treasures of art and knowledge, the holy city! Who indeed are you and what name do you conjure us to call you, Hauptmann, you who reject the title of barbarian?

Are you the children of Goethe or of Attila? Do you wage war against armies or against the human spirit? Kill men if you must, but respect man's work. For this is the heritage of the human race. And you, like us, are its trustees. In making pillage of it as you have done you prove yourselves unworthy of this great inheritance, unworthy of holding rank in the small European army which is the garde d'honneur of civilization.

It is not to the sense of the rest of the world that I appeal against you. It is to yourself, Hauptmann. In the name of our Europe, of which up to the present you have been one of the noblest champions—in the name of that civilization for which the greatest of men have struggled—in the name of the honor even of your German race, Gerhart Hauptmann, I adjure you, I command you, you and the intellectual élite of Germany, where I have so many friends, to protest with utmost vehemence against this crime which leaps back upon yourselves.

If you fail in this, one of two things will be proved—that you acquiesce, (and then the opinion of the world will crush you,) or that you are powerless to raise {175}your voice against the Huns that now command you. And in that case, with what right will you still pretend, as you have written, that your cause is that of liberty and human progress?

You will be giving to the world a proof that, incapable of defending the liberty of the world, you are helpless even to uphold your own; that the élite of Germany lies subservient to the blackest despotism—to a tyranny which mutilates masterpieces and assassinates the human spirit.

I await your response, Hauptmann—a response which shall be an act. The opinion of Europe awaits it, as do I. Bear this in mind; in a moment like this, even silence is an act.

A Reply to Rolland

By Gerhart Hauptmann.

You address me, Herr Rolland, in public words which breathe the pain over this war, (forced by England, Russia and France,) pain over the endangering of European culture and the destruction of hallowed memorials of ancient art. I share in this general sorrow, but that to which I cannot consent is to give an answer whose spirit you have already prescribed and concerning which you wrongly assert that it is awaited by all Europe. I know that you are of German blood. Your beautiful novel, "Jean-Christophe," will remain immortal among us Germans together with "Wilhelm Meister," and "der grüne Heinrich."

But France became your adopted fatherland; therefore your heart must now be torn and your judgment confused. You have labored zealously for the reconciliation of both peoples. In spite of all this when the present bloody conflict destroys your fair concept of peace, as it has done for so many others, you see our nation and our people through French eyes, and every attempt to make you see clearly and as a German is absolutely sure to be in vain.

Naturally everything which you say of our Government, of our army and our people, is distorted, everything is false, so false that in this respect your open letter to me appears as an empty black surface.

War is war. You may lament war, but you should not wonder at the things that are inseparable from the elementary fact itself. Assuredly it is deplorable that in the conflict an irreplaceable Rubens is destroyed, but—with all honor to Rubens!—I am among those in whom the shattered breast of his fellow-man compels far deeper pain.

And, Herr Rolland, it is not exactly fitting that you should adopt a tone implying that the people of your land, the French, are coming out to meet us with palm branches, when in reality they are plentifully equipped with cannon, with cartridges, yes, even with dumdum bullets. It is apparent that you have grown pretty fearful of our brave troops! That is to the glory of a power which is invincible through the justice of its cause. The German soldier has nothing whatsoever in common with the loathsome and puerile were-wolf tales which your lying French press so zealously publishes abroad, that press which the French and the Belgian people have to thank for their misfortune.

Let the idle Englishmen call us Huns; you may, for all I care, characterize the warriors of our splendid Landwehr as sons of Attila; it is enough for us if this Landwehr can shatter into a thousand pieces the ring of our merciless enemies. Far better that you should call us sons of Attila, cross yourselves in fear and remain outside our borders, than that you should indict tender inscriptions upon the tomb of our German name, call{176}ing us the beloved descendants of Goethe. The epithet Huns is coined by people who, themselves Huns, are experiencing disappointment in their criminal attacks on the life of a sound and valorous race, because it knows the trick of parrying a fearful blow with still more fearful force. In their impotence, they take refuge in curses.

I say nothing against the Belgian people. The peaceful passage of German troops, a question of life for Germany, was refused by Belgium because the Government had made itself a tool of England and France. This same Government then organized an unparalleled guerrilla warfare in order to support a lost cause, and by that act—Herr Rolland, you are a musician!—struck the horrible keynote of conflict. If you are at all in a position to break your way through the giant's wall of anti-German lies, read the message to America, by our Imperial Chancellor, of Sept. 7; read further the telegram which on Sept. 8 the Kaiser himself addressed to President Wilson. You will then discover things which it is necessary to know in order to understand the calamity of Louvain.

Another Reply to Rolland

By Karl Wolfskehl.

To you, Rolland, belonging as a chosen one to the more important Frenchmen who can rise above their race, the German nature has often been revealed. To you, now, we shall make answer, offer frank testimony concerning the spirit of the time, concerning that fate, that very fate in which you, the Frenchman, do not believe. You do not believe in it; what to us is fate, mysterious necessity, to you is fatalité, an unavoidable Alp which threatens the individual in his individual freedom. This fatalité, we, too, do not believe in it, but we do believe in the forces which bring forth the eternal in human will, that these both are one, will and forces, one with necessity, with actuality, with creative, moral power, of which all great ideas are the children, the idea of freedom, the idea of the beautiful, the idea of tragic fidelity, and that these, reaching far above being and passing away, are nevertheless real, life entire, fact entire. All that which is as dear to you as to us, great works and great feelings, resignation and self-restraint, all that is necessity, is fate, that became will—all that a unity out of choice and compulsion. All that is for us eternal, not according to the measure of time, but according to the beginning and the power of its working forces, in so far as it is necessary.

Thus has it become fate, destiny, not fatalité, rather like that fate which in Beethoven's own words in the first movement of his "Eroica" "is the knocking at the gate."

Such a fate is this war. No one wanted it in our Germany, for it was forced upon us with terrible arbitrariness, contrary to all right. Do you not know of the net that has been spun around us and drawn tight for the last half of a generation, to choke us? Do you not know how often this most peaceful of peoples has drawn back, how often the strange powers in the East and in the West have with contemptuous snarls said, "Wilhelm will not make war"? That you ought to know, Rolland, for it is known to the whole world.

The War "Came from God."

But I will betray something to you that you cannot know, because you are a stranger; and this will probably show you where we see fate. I will betray to you the fact that there is still another Germany behind the exterior in which great politics and great finance meet {177}with the literary champions of Europe. That Germany tells you in this heavy hour of Europe:

This undesired war that has been forced upon us is nevertheless a necessity; it had to come to pass for the sake of Germany and the world of European humanity, for the sake of the world. We did not want it, but it came from God. Our poet knew of it. He saw this war and its necessity and its virtues, and heralded it, long before an ugly suspicion of it flew through the year—before the leaves began to turn. The "Stern des Bundes" ["Star of the Federation"] is this book of prophecy, this book of necessity and of triumph.

The present need and the present triumph are quite human and quite inexorable. They have a part in all that has taken place, and they are unprecedented and new. None of us—do you hear, Rolland?—none of us Germans today would hesitate to help destroy every monument of our holy German past, if necessity made it a matter of the last ditch, for that from which alone all monuments of all times draw their right of existence and their worth unless they are empty husks, skeletons, and framework; even so, we alone may ask what shall come to pass, not what shall cease. Which ruins are ravings, and which are the pains of childbirth, we do not presume to decide; but you, too, who are so pained by ruins, even as we are pained by them, you, too, do not know it.

Today it is a question of the life or death of the European soul. Do you not believe that this soul is more endangered at the hands of the hordes of stub-nosed Slavs than of the phalanx of those whom you, Rolland, call Huns? Your sense must give you the right to answer. Recall the terrible story of Russian incendiarism for the last hundred years, which has torn to pieces in ever-increasing lust for murder bodies and souls; recall the eternally perjured and law-defying regiment of grave diggers; and then blush that you have characterized as a heavy crime a manfully confessed act of self-defense on the part of the Germans, the temporary occupation of Belgium! Blush that you have forgotten the Russian Moloch now loosed upon us, drunk with the blood and tears of alien peoples as well as of its own children! That you have forgotten all that, in order to lament over buildings which we have been forced in self-defense—again in self-defense—to sacrifice! And blush for those of your people who have become accomplices of that Moloch! Those who are sinning against the Holy Ghost of Europe, in order to attempt belated vengeance against Germany! Do you know what the ancients, the very Greeks and Romans from whom you have drawn your blood and temperament, called that sin? Blood-guiltiness is the name of that horror. And do you know how it is atoned for? I shrink to ask further, yea, even to think further; for horror falls upon me, and I see the unspeakable.

Today, battling against you allies of the swarms of Muscovites, we Europeans are battling also for that France which you are threatening—you, not we!

German Intellectuals "All Afire."

Yes, Romain Rolland, try, Frenchman that you are, to look into the mysteries of the time. Ask yourself, marvel, how it comes to pass that we, the intellectuals among the Germans, take part without exception in this dreadful war; take part with body and soul. None of us ambitious, none of us a politician, not one of us who, till this war, busied himself about anything except his idea, the Palladium of his life! And now we are all afire, with all our hearts, with our whole people, all full of determination and prepared for the last. All our youth in the field, every man among us thrilled with faith in our God and this battle of our God, every man among us conscious of the sacred necessity that has driven us, every man among us consecrated for timely death! Are these incendiaries? Are these slaves, whom a despot points the way to the rolling dead? Every one knows it is our all that is at stake; it is a matter of the divine in humanity, a matter of our preservation and that of Europe.

{178}And so we stand amid death and ruins under the star—one federation, one single union. This I have had to tell you, whether you will listen to it, whether Europe has ears to hear it, or not. From now on, may our deeds be our words!

Are We Barbarians?

By Gerhart Hauptmann.

The idea of cosmopolitanism has never taken deeper root anywhere than in Germany. Let any person reflect about our literary translations and then name a nation that has tried so honestly as we to do justice to the spirit and the feelings of other races, to understand their inmost soul in all good-will.

I must out with it: We had and have no hatred against France: we have idolized the fine arts, the sculpture and painting and the literature of that country. The worldwide appreciation of Rodin had its origin in Germany—we esteem Anatole France, Maupassant, Flaubert, Balzac, as if they were German authors. We have a deep affection for the people of South France. We find passionate admirers of Mistral in small German towns, in alleys, in attics. It was deeply to be regretted that Germany and France could not be friends politically. They ought to have been, because they were joint trustees of the intellectual treasures of the Continent, because they are two of the great cultivated nations of Europe. But fate has willed it otherwise.

In the year 1870 the German races fought for the union of the Germans and the German Empire. Owing to the success of this struggle Germany has enjoyed an era of peace for more than forty years. A time of budding, growing, becoming strong, flowering, and bearing fruit, without parallel in history. Out of a population, growing more and more numerous, an ever-increasing number of individuals have been formed. Individual energy and a general tendency to expand led to the great achievements of our industry, our commerce, and our trade. I do not think that any American, Englishman, Frenchman, or Italian when in a German family, in German towns, in German hotels, on German ships, in German concerts, in German theatres, at Baireuth, in German libraries, or in German museums, ever felt as if he were among "barbarians." We visited other countries and kept an open door for every stranger.

English Relations.

It is with pain and with bitterness that I speak the word England. I am one of those barbarians on whom the English University of Oxford conferred the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa. I have friends in England who stand with one foot on the intellectual soil of Germany. Haldane, formerly English Minister of War, and with him countless other Englishmen, made regular pilgrimages to the little barbarous town of Weimar, where the barbarians Goethe, Schiller, Herder, Wieland, and others, have created another world for humanity. We have a poet, whose plays, more than those of any other German poet, have become national property; his name is Shakespeare. This Shakespeare is, at the same time, the prince of English poets. The mother of our Emperor is an English woman, the wife of the King of England a German, and yet this nation, so closely related by blood and choice, has declared war against us. Why? Heaven only knows. This much, however, is certain, that the now beginning European concert, saturated with blood, as it is, has an English statesman for its impresario and its conductor. It is doubtful, however, whether the finale of this terrible music will find the same conductor at {179}the stand. "My cousin, you did not mean well either with yourselves or with us when your tools threw the fire-brand into our dwellings!"

If heaven wills that we should issue regenerated from this terrible trial, we shall have the sacred duty of showing ourselves worthy of our regeneration. By the complete victory of German arms the independence of Europe would be secured. It would be necessary to make it clear to the different nations of Europe that this war must be the last between themselves. They must see at last that their sanguinary duels only bring a shameful advantage to the one who, without taking part in them, is their originator. Then they must devote themselves mutually to the work of civilization and peace, which will then make misunderstandings impossible.

In this direction much had already been done before the war began. The dfferent nations had already met in peaceful emulation and were to meet again at Berlin for the Olympian games. It is only necessary to recall the aeronautic races, the boat races, the horse races, and the beneficial international influence of the arts and sciences, and the great super-national Nobel Prizes. The barbarian Germany has, as is well known, led the way among the other nations with her great institutions for social reform. A victory would oblige us to go forward on this path and to make the blessings of such institutions general. Our victory would, furthermore, secure the future existence of the Teutonic race for the welfare of the world. During the last decade, for example, how fruitful has the Scandinavian literature been for the German, and vice versa, the German for the Scandinavian. How many Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes have lately, without feeling conscious of a drop of foreign blood, shaken hands with German brothers in Stockholm, Christiania, Copenhagen, Munich, Vienna, and Berlin. How much homely good-fellowship has grown up around the noble names of Ibsen, Björnsen, and Strindberg.

Faust and Rifles.

I hear that abroad an enormous number of lying tales are being fabricated to the detriment of our honor, our culture, and our strength. Well, those who create these idle tales should reflect that the momentous hour is not favorable for fiction. On three frontiers our own blood bears witness. I myself have sent out two of my sons. All our intrepid German soldiers know why they are going to war. There are no analphabets to be found among them; all the more, however, of those who, besides their rifle, have their Goethe's "Faust," their "Zarathustra," a work of Schopenhauer's, the Bible, or their Homer in their knapsacks. And even those who have no book in the knapsack know that they are fighting for a hearth at which every guest is welcome.

On the frontier stands our blood testimony; the Socialist side by side with the bourgeois, the peasant beside the man of learning, the Prince beside the workman; and they all fight for German freedom, for German domestic life, for German art, German science, German progress; they fight with the full, clear consciousness of a noble and rich national possession, for internal and external goods, all of which serve for the general progress and development of mankind.

{180}To Americans From a German Friend

By Ludwig Fulda.

Like most of the champions of Germany in the literary field, Ludwig Fulda is a Doctor of Philosophy. He is also author of many famous poetical and prose works of fiction.

Many things have been revealed to us by this war that even the keenest-minded among us would have declared immediately before its outbreak to be impossibilities. Nothing, however, has been a greater and more painful surprise to Germans than the position taken by a great part of the American press. There is nothing that we would have suspected less than that within the one neutral nation with which we felt ourselves most closely connected, both by common interests and by common ideals, voices would be raised that in the hour of our greatest danger would deny us their sympathy, yes, even their comprehension of our course.

To me, personally—I cannot avoid saying it—this was a very bitter disappointment. A year has hardly passed since I was over there the second time as a guest and returned strengthened in my admiration for that great, upward striving community. In my book, "Amerikanische Eindrucke," ("American Impressions,") a new edition of which has just appeared in a considerably supplemented form, comprising the fruits of that trip, I have made every effort to place before my countrymen in the brightest light the advantages and superiorities of Americans, and especially to convince them that the so-called land of the dollar was not only economically but also mentally and spiritually striding upward irresistibly; that also in the longing and effort to obtain education and knowledge and in the valuation of all the higher things in life, it was not surpassed by any other country in the world. In the entire book there is not a page that is not filled with the confidence that for these very reasons America and Germany were called upon to march hand in hand at the head of cultured humanity. Is this belief now to be contradicted? Shall I as a German no longer be permitted to call myself a friend of America because over there they think the worst of us for the reason that we, attacked in dastardly wise by a world of foes, are struggling with unanimous determination for our existence?

Guillotining German Honor.

Of course I know very well that public opinion over there has largely been misled by our opponents and is continuously being misled. Did not the English at the very beginning of the war cut our cable, in order to be able to guillotine our honor without the least interference? For this reason I cannot blame the masses if they took for truth the absurd fables dished out to them, when no contradicting voice could reach them. Less than that, however, can I understand how educated beings, even men who, thanks to their gifts and their standing, play the part of responsible leaders, not only accepted believingly these prevarications and distortions, but, with them as a basis, immediately rendered a verdict against us. For he who publicly judges must be expected to have heard first both parties; and whoever is not in a position to do this must in decency be expected to postpone his verdict. Yes, even more than that, one should think that the sense of justice of every non-partisan must be violated if the one party is absolutely muzzled by the other, and even for this one reason the cause of the latter must be considered as not being free from reason for doubt. Furthermore, one should assume that he who once has been unmasked as a liar therewith should have lost the blind confidence of the impartial in his future assertions. In spite of this, although the first ridiculous news {181}of German defeats and internal dissent could not withstand the far-sounding echo of facts, there still seems to be no twisting of the truth, no defamation, which over there is considered as too thin and too ridiculous by the press and as too shameless by the public.

Should the Germans, who, since the time when they fought for and attained their national unity, have exclusively devoted themselves to works of peace and culture, suddenly have been transformed into an adventurous, booty-hungry horde which from mere lust challenged a tremendously superior force to do battle? Should they suddenly have sacrificed to their so-called militarism all their other efforts in commerce, industry, art, and science, in order to risk their very existence for the love of this Moloch? Do you believe that, Americans?

Question of Militarism.

Our militarism! What does this expression, quoted until it is sickening, mean in the mouth of enemies who in respect of the energy and extent of their armaments were not behind us? Is there no such thing as militarism in France and in Russia? Is the English giant fleet an instrument of peace? Was the Triple Entente founded in order to bring about the millennium on earth? Would the Entente, if we had been foolish enough to disarm, have guaranteed our possessions as a reward for being good? Do you believe that, Americans?

It certainly may be difficult for the citizens of the Union—happy beings they are for it—to put themselves in the place of a nation that knows it is surrounded on its open borders by jealous, hateful, and greedy neighbors; of a country that for centuries has been the battlefield of all European wars, the place of strife of all the European peoples. They, the members of a nation which for itself occupies a space nearly as large as Europe, almost half of a continent, protected on both sides by the ocean and on the other borders not seriously threatened for as long a time to come as may be anticipated, have no people's army because they do not need any; and yet they would—their history proves it—give their blood and that of their sons for the cause of their nation just as gladly as we, if the necessity for doing so came to them. Will they, therefore, reproach us for loving our country not less than they do theirs, only for the reason that we have a thousand times more difficulty in protecting it?

Our general military service, which today is being defamed by the word "militarism," is born of the iron commandment of self-preservation. Without it the German Empire and the German Nation long ago would have been struck out of the list of the living. Only lack of knowledge or intentional misconception of our character could accuse us of having an aggressive motive back of it. On earth there is no more peaceful nation than Germany, providing she be left in peace and her room to breathe be not lessened. Germany never has had the least thought of assuming for herself the European hegemony, much less the rulership of the world. She has never greedily eyed colonial possessions of other great powers. On the contrary, in the acquisition of her colonies she was satisfied with whatever the others had left for her. And least of all did she carry up her sleeve a desire of extending the frontiers of the empire. The famous word of Bismarck, that Germany was "saturated" with acquired territory, is still accepted as fully in force to such an extent that even in case of her victory the question as to which parts of the enemies' territory we should claim for our own would cause us a great deal of perplexity. The German Empire could only lose as the national State she is in strength and unity by acquiring new and strange elements.

Otherwise would the empire, from the day of its founding until now, for nearly half a century, actually have avoided every war, often enough under the most difficult circumstances? Would it have quietly suffered the open or hidden challenges, the machinations of its enemies constantly appearing more plainly? Yes, would it have tried again and again to improve its relations with these very same enemies by the greatest ad{182}vances? As opposed to the ill-concealed hostility of the French, would it not have been shaken in its steadfast policy of conciliation by the fact that this policy with them only made the impression of weakness and fear? Would it have permitted France to reconstruct her power which was destroyed in 1870 to a greater extent than before, and, in addition, allowed her to conquer a new and gigantic colonial empire? Would it have permitted prostrate Russia to recuperate undisturbed from the almost annihilating blows of the revolution and the Japanese war? Would it, in the countless threatening conflicts of the last decades, have on every occasion thrown the entire weight of its sword into the scales for the preservation of peace?

The Kaiser's Responsibility.

Then, too, many Americans emphasize the fact that they are making not the German people but the Emperor alone responsible for this war. It is hardly conceivable how serious-minded people can lend themselves to the spreading of a fable so childish. When William II., 29 years old, mounted the throne, the entire world said of him that his aim was the acquirement of the laurels of war. In spite of this for twenty-six years he has shown that this accusation was absurd and has proved himself to be the most honest and most dependable protector of European peace. In fact, the very circle of enemies which now dares to call him a military despot thirsting for glory, has year in and year out ridiculed him as a ruler, whose provocation to the very limit was an amusement absolutely fraught with no danger. He who has never been misled by the fiery enthusiasm of youth nor by the full strength of ripe manhood to adorn his brow with the bloody halo of glory, should he suddenly, when his hair is turned gray, have turned into a Caesar, an Attila? Do you believe that, Americans?

It is a fact in times of peace there have been certain differences of opinion between the Emperor and his people. Although at all times the honesty of his intentions was elevated above every doubt, the one or other impulsive moves he took to obtain their realization exposed him to criticism at home. Today one may safely admit that—today, when of these trifling disputes not even a breath, not even a shadow, remains. Never before has his whole people, his whole nation, in every grade of education, in all classes, in all parties, stood behind him so absolutely without reserve as now, when in the last, the very last hour, and driven by direst need, he finally drew the sword to ward off an attack from three sides, long ago prepared.

Our nation and our Emperor have not wanted this war and are not to be blamed for it. Even the "White Book" of the German Government, by the very uncontrovertible language of its documents, must convince every impartial being of this fact. And day by day the overwhelming evidence of the plot systematically hatched and systematically carried out under the guidance of England, which put before us the alternative of cutting our way through or being annihilated, is increasing.

No Treason to Austria Considered.

It may be that the catastrophe, so far as we are concerned, might have been staved off once more if we would have disregarded the obligation of our alliance and would have left Austria in the lurch—the Austria which did not want anything else than to put a stop to the nasty work of a band of assassins organized by a neighboring State. But it requires an extreme degree of political blindness for the assumption that by such cowardly treason we should have been able to purchase a change of mind or a lasting peace from our enemies. On the contrary, they would soon enough have used a suitable opportunity to fall upon Germany, which then would have been completely isolated, and the struggle for our national existence would have had to be fought under conditions very much more favorable to our enemies.

According to a newspaper report, the esteemed President Eliot of Harvard has written that the fear of the Muscovites could not explain our action, and that an alliance with the Western powers would {183}have offered better protection against a Russian attack. Yes; if such a thing had been possible! As a matter of fact, however, the Western powers did not ally themselves with us against Russia, but with Russia against us; and not the fear of the Muscovites, but their mobilization, encouraged and aided by the very same Western powers, drove us to war. I wonder what President Eliot himself would have done under these circumstances had he been the guardian responsible for Germany's fate?

Belgium's Alleged Neutrality.

But then the violation of Belgian neutrality! How with the aid of this bugaboo the entire neutral world has been stirred up against us, after England made it the hypocritical excuse for her declaration of war! We knew very well that England and France were determined to violate this neutrality; but, then, we ought to have been very good; we ought to have waited until they did so. Waited until their armies would break into our country across our unprotected Belgian frontier! In other words, we ought to have committed national suicide. Whoever, even up until now, has doubted the German assertion that Belgium was under one roof with England and France, and had herself thrown away her neutrality, must have his eyes opened by the latest official developments. The documents of the Belgian General Staff which have fallen into our hands contain an agreement according to which the march through Belgium of British troops in the case of a Franco-German war was provided for in every detail. Whosoever in the face of these documents repeats the assertion that we have committed a violation of innocent Belgium gives aid to a historical forgery.

We have violated the alleged neutrality of Belgium in self-defense. On the other hand, the Japanese, egged on and supported by England, have violated the real neutrality of China from pure lust for robbery. For the three great powers allied against Germany and Austria have not been satisfied with their own nominal superiority of 220 millions against 110 millions! In addition to this they have urged on into war against us a Mongolian people, the most dangerous enemy of the white race and its culture. They have supplemented their armies by a motley collection of all the African negro tribes. They lead into battle against us Indian troops, and the Christian Germanic King of England prays to God for the victory of the heathen Hindus over his coreligionists and blood relatives. Americans, does your racial feeling, at other times so sensitive, remain silent in view of this unexampled shame? Do you accord to the English and the French, who are attacking us in co-operation with the Russians, the Servians, and the Montenegrins, who are dirtying themselves with a brotherhood in arms with the yellow skins, the brown skins, and the blacks, the right to declare themselves the representatives of civilization and us to be barbarians?

In order to drive home such evident absurdities, they were, of course, obliged to carry on the poisoning of the spring of information to the utmost, they had to suppress the news of the vile deeds of guerrillas and "snipers" in Belgium and of the Russian ghouls in East Prussia, that were crying to heaven, and to send out into the world instead fables of German brutality. Our national army, permeated with ethical seriousness and iron discipline, the scientist standing beside the farmer, the workman beside the artist, should be guilty of unnecessary severity, uncontrollable brutality, brutality against people unable to defend themselves? Do you believe that, Americans?

The Charge of Vandalism.

The climax of absurdity, however, is reached when the Germans, who in their love and appreciation of art are not surpassed by any people in the world, are accused of having raged as vandals against works of art. Even now these accusations, which the French Government itself had the pitiful courage to support, have proved totally groundless. The City Hall at Louvain stands uninjured; while the populace fired at them, our soldiers had, risking their own lives, {184}saved it from the flames. An imperial art commission followed at the heels of our victorious troops in Belgium, in order to take charge of the guarding and administration of the treasures of art. The cathedral at Rheims has received but slight damage, and would not have been damaged at all had its tower not been misused by the French as an observation station. I should like to see the commander of an army who, for the sake of the safety of a historical monument, would forget the safety of the troops intrusted into his care!

Enough of it! What I have stated is sufficient to show what low weapons our enemies are using behind the battlefield to sully Germany's shield of honor. It is enough for those who care to listen at all. But, also, wherever the weak voice of one rebounds from ears stubbornly closed, the more powerful voice of truth eventually will force a more just verdict.

Justice—that is all that we expect from America. We respect its neutrality; we do not ask from it an ideal partisanship for our benefit. If it does not have for us the sympathy which we have already extended to it and, after a century and a half of unclouded intercourse between the two nations, have anticipated there, then we cannot imbue it with that spirit by reasoning. Furthermore, in the existence of nations sympathy is not the deciding factor, and every nation should be rebuked which out of regard for sympathy would in decisive matters act against its own interests. But just for that very reason one more question must be raised. In the present conflict, which momentarily almost splits the entire world into two camps, where do the interests of America lie?

That they are not lying on the side of Russia probably is self-evident. No free American can find desirable a further extension of the Russian world empire and of Russian despotism at the expense of Germany. But how about a country from which once America had to wrest its own liberty in bloody battle? How about England? Where, if England should succeed in downing Germany, would her eyes next be pointed? Has she not herself admitted that she is making war on us principally because she sees in us an uncomfortable competitor in trade? And which competitor would be the next one after us that would become awkward to the trust on the Thames? Yes, have they not already hauled off for the smash against America, when Japan is given opportunity to increase her power—the same Japan with whom America sooner or later will be bound to have an accounting and whose victory over us would make that accounting a great deal more difficult for the United States?

Germany's fate certainly does not depend upon the friendly or unfriendly feeling of America. It will be decided solely upon the European battlefields. But because we are looking out from the night to a future dawn, because in the midst of our national need the cause of humanity is close to our heart, for these reasons it is not immaterial to us how the greatest neutral nation of culture thinks of us. Americans, the cable between us has been cut. It is our wish and our hope that the stronger band that unites American ideals with German ideals shall not also be cut.

{185}To the Civilized World

By Professors of Germany.

As representatives of German science and art, we hereby protest to the civilized world against the lies and calumnies with which our enemies are endeavoring to stain the honor of Germany in her hard struggle for existence—in a struggle which has been forced upon her.

The iron mouth of events has proved the untruth of the fictitious German defeats, consequently misrepresentation and calumny are all the more eagerly at work. As heralds of truth we raise our voices against these.

It is not true that Germany is guilty of having caused this war. Neither the people, the Government, nor the Kaiser wanted war. Germany did her utmost to prevent it; for this assertion the world has documental proof. Often enough during the twenty-six years of his reign has Wilhelm II. shown himself to be the upholder of peace, and often enough has this fact been acknowledged by our opponents. Nay, even the Kaiser they now dare to call an Attila has been ridiculed by them for years, because of his steadfast endeavors to maintain universal peace. Not till a numerical superiority which had been lying in wait on the frontiers assailed us did the whole nation rise to a man.

It is not true that we trespassed in neutral Belgium. It has been proved that France and England had resolved on such a trespass, and it has likewise been proved that Belgium had agreed to their doing so. It would have been suicide on our part not to have been beforehand.

It is not true that the life and property of a single Belgian citizen was injured by our soldiers without the bitterest self-defense having made it necessary; for again and again, notwithstanding repeated threats, the citizens lay in ambush, shooting at the troops out of the houses, mutilating the wounded, and murdering in cold blood the medical men while they were doing their Samaritan work. There can be no baser abuse than the suppression of these crimes with the view of letting the Germans appear to be criminals, only for having justly punished these assassins for their wicked deeds.

It is not true that our troops treated Louvain brutally. Furious inhabitants having treacherously fallen upon them in their quarters, our troops with aching hearts were obliged to fire a part of the town as a punishment. The greatest part of Louvain has been preserved. The famous Town Hall stands quite intact; for at great self-sacrifice our soldiers saved it from destruction by the flames. Every German would of course greatly regret if in the course of this terrible war any works of art should already have been destroyed or be destroyed at some future time, but inasmuch as in our great love for art we cannot be surpassed by any other nation, in the same degree we must decidedly refuse to buy a German defeat at the cost of saving a work of art.

It is not true that our warfare pays no respect to international laws. It knows no indisciplined cruelty. But in the east the earth is saturated with the blood of women and children unmercifully butchered by the wild Russian troops, and in the west dumdum bullets mutilate the breasts of our soldiers. Those who have allied themselves with Russians and Servians, and present such a shameful scene to the world as that of inciting Mongolians and negroes against the white race, have no right whatever to call themselves upholders of civilization.

It is not true that the combat against our so-called militarism is not a combat against our civilization, as our enemies hypocritically pretend it is. Were it not {186}for German militarism German civilization would long since have been extirpated. For its protection it arose in a land which for centuries had been plagued by bands of robbers as no other land had been. The German Army and the German people are one and today this consciousness fraternizes 70,000,000 of Germans, all ranks, positions, and parties being one.

We cannot wrest the poisonous weapon—the lie—out of the hands of our enemies. All we can do is to proclaim to all the world that our enemies are giving false witness against us. You, who know us, who with us have protected the most holy possessions of man, we call to you:

Have faith in us! Believe that we shall carry on this war to the end as a civilized nation, to whom the legacy of a Goethe, a Beethoven, and a Kant is just as sacred as its own hearths and homes.

For this we pledge you our names and our honor:

ADOLF VON BAEYER, Professor of Chemistry, Munich.

Prof. PETER BEHRENS, Berlin.

EMIL VON BEHRING, Professor of Medicine, Marburg.

WILHELM VON BODE, General Director of the Royal Museums, Berlin.

ALOIS BRANDL, Professor, President of the Shakespeare Society, Berlin.

LUJU BRENTANO, Professor of National Economy, Munich.

Prof. JUSTUS BRINKMANN, Museum Director, Hamburg.

JOHANNES CONRAD, Professor of National Economy, Halle.



ADOLF DEITZMANN, Professor of Theology, Berlin.


FRIEDRICH VON DUHN, Professor of Archaeology, Heidelberg.

Prof. PAUL EHRLICH, Frankfort on the Main.

ALBERT EHRHARD, Professor of Roman Catholic Theology, Strassburg.

KARL ENGLER, Professor of Chemistry, Karlsruhe.

GERHARD ESSER, Professor of Roman Catholic Theology, Bonn.

RUDOLF EUCKEN, Professor of Philosophy, Jena.


HEINRICH FINKE, Professor of History, Freiburg.

EMIL FISCHER, Professor of Chemistry, Berlin.

WILHELM FOERSTER, Professor of Astronomy, Berlin.



J.J. DE GROOT, Professor of Ethnography, Berlin.

FRITZ HABER, Professor of Chemistry, Berlin.

ERNST HAECKEL, Professor of Zoology, Jena.

MAX HALBE, Munich.

Prof. ADOLF VON HARNACK, General Director of the Royal Library, Berlin.


KARL, HAUPTMANN, Schreiberhau.

GUSTAV HELLMANN, Professor of Meteorology, Berlin.

WILHELM HERRMANN, Professor of Protestant Theology, Marburg.

ANDREAS HEUSLER, Professor of Northern Philology, Berlin.


LUDWIG HOFFMANN, City Architect. Berlin.


LEOPOLD GRAF KALCKREUTH, President of the German Confederation of Artists, Eddelsen.



THEODOR KIPP, Professor of Jurisprudence, Berlin.

FELIX KLEIN, Professor of Mathematics, Goettingen.


ALOIS KNOEPFLER, Professor of History of Art, Munich.

ANTON KOCH, Professor of Roman Catholic Theology, Münster.

PAUL LABAND, Professor of Jurisprudence, Strassburg.

KARL LEMPRECHT, Professor of History, Leipsic.

PHILIPP LENARD, Professor of Physics, Heidelberg.

MAX LENZ, Professor of History, Hamburg.


FRANZ VON LISZT, Professor of Jurisprudence, Berlin.

LUDWIG MANZEL, President of the Academy of Arts, Berlin.

JOSEF MAUSBACH, Professor of Roman Catholic Theology, Münster.

GEORG VON MAYR, Professor of Political Sciences, Munich.

SEBASTIAN MERKLE, Professor of Roman Catholic Theology, Wurzburg.

EDUARD MEYER, Professor of History, Berlin.

HEINRICH MORF, Professor of Roman Philology, Berlin.


ALBERT NEISSER, Professor of Medicine, Breslau.


WALTER NERNST, Professor of Physics, Berlin.

WILHELM OSTWALD, Professor of Chemistry, Leipsic.

BRUNO PAUL, Director of School for Applied Arts, Berlin.

MAX PLANCK, Professor of Physics, Berlin.

ALBERT PLEHN, Professor of Medicine, Berlin.


Prof. MAX REINHARDT, Director of the German Theatre, Berlin.

ALOIS RIEHL, Professor of Philosophy, Berlin.

KARL ROBERT, Professor of Archaeology, Halle.

WILHELM ROENTGEN, Professor of Physics, Munich.

MAX RUBNER, Professor of Medicine, Berlin.


ADOLF VON SCHLATTER, Professor of Protestant Theology, Tubingen.

AUGUST SCHMIDLIN, Professor of Sacred History, Münster.

GUSTAV VON SCHMOLLER, Professor of National Economy, Berlin.


REINHOLD SEEBERG, Professor of Protestant Theology, Berlin.

MARTIN SPAHN, Professor of History, Strassburg.


HANS THOMA, Karlsruhe.



RICHARD VOTZ, Berchtesgaden.

KARL VOTZLER, Professor of Roman Philology, Munich.


WILHELM WALDEYER, Professor of Anatomy, Berlin.

AUGUST VON WASSERMANN, Professor of Medicine, Berlin.


THEODOR WIEGAND, Museum Director, Berlin.

WILHELM WIEN, Professor of Physics, Wurzburg.

ULRICH VON WILAMOWITZ-MOELLEN-DORFF, Professor of Philology, Berlin.

RICHARD WILLSTAETTER, Professor of Chemistry, Berlin.

WILHELM WINDELBAND, Professor of Philosophy, Heidelberg.

WILHELM WUNDT, Professor of Philosophy, Leipsic,

Appeal of the German Universities

The campaign of systematic lies and slander which has been carried on against the German people and empire for years has since the outbreak of the war surpassed everything with which one might have credited even the most unscrupulous press. To repudiate any charges raised against our Kaiser and his Government rests with the authorities in question. They have done so, and their defense is substantiated by striking proofs. He who wants to know the truth can learn it, and we trust that truth will prevail. But if we are to look on, when our enemies, guided by envy and malice, are shameless enough to charge our army and with it our whole nation with barbarous atrocities and senseless vandalism, and when their statements appear to be believed, to a certain extent, among neutrals and in places which, at other times, were well disposed toward us; if we are quietly to look on when all this happens, we, the appointed trustees of culture and education in our Fatherland, feel in duty bound to break the reserve which our calling and position impose on us with a strong expression of protest. Hence we now appeal to the learned bodies with whom we hitherto worked in common in the interests of the highest ideals of the human race and with whom, even at this time, when hatred and passion rule the world and confuse the minds of men, we hope to remain of the same mind, in the same service of truth. We appeal to them in the confident belief that our voice will find hearing, and that the expression of our honest indignation will meet with credence. Moreover, we appeal to the love of truth and to the sense of justice of the many thousands all over the world who, being welcome guests in our educational institutions, have taken part in the inheritance of German culture, and who thus have had an opportunity of watching and appreciating the German people in peaceful labor, their industry and uprightness, their sense of order and discipline, their reverence for intellectual work of every kind, {188}and their profound love for sciences and arts. All of you who know that our army is no mercenary host but embraces the entire nation from first to last, that it is led by the country's best sons, and that, at this very hour, thousands from our midst, teachers as well as students, are shedding their life's blood as officers and soldiers on the battlefields of Russia and France; you who have seen and heard for yourselves in what spirit and with what success our youths are treated and taught, and that nothing is stamped upon their minds more deeply than reverence and admiration for artistic, scientific and technical creations of the human mind, no matter what country and nation brought them forth; we call upon you who know all this as witnesses, whether it can be true what our enemies report that the German Army is a horde of barbarians and a band of incendiaries who take pleasure in leveling defenseless cities to the ground and in destroying venerable monuments of history and art. If you wish to pay honor to the cause of truth you will be as firmly convinced as we are that German troops, wherever they had to do destructive work, could only have done so in the bitterness of defensive warfare. But we appeal to all those whom the slanderous reports of our enemies reach and who are not yet altogether blinded by passion, in the name of truth and justice, to shut their ears to such insults to the German people, and not allow themselves to be prejudiced by those who prove ever anew that they hope to be victorious by the instrumentality of lies. Now, if in this fearful war, in which our nation is compelled to fight not only for its power, but for its very existence and its entire civilization, the work of destruction should be greater than in former wars, and if many a precious achievement of culture falls to ruin, the responsibility for all this entirely rests with those who were not content with letting loose this ruthless war, nay, who did not even shrink from pressing murderous weapons upon a peaceful population for them to fall surreptitiously upon our troops who trusted in the observance of the military usages of all civilized peoples. They alone are the guilty authors of everything which happens here. Upon their heads the verdict of history will fall for the lasting injury which culture suffers.

September, 1914.


Tuebingen, Berlin, Bonn, Breslau, Erlangen, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Giessen, Goettingen, Greifswald, Halle, Heidelberg, Jena, Kiel, Königsberg, Leipzig, Marburg, Muenchen, Münster, Rostock, Strassburg, Wuerzburg.

Reply to the German Professors

By British Scholars.

We see with regret the names of many German professors and men of science, whom we regard with respect and, in some cases, with personal friendship, appended to a denunciation of Great Britain so utterly baseless that we can hardly believe that it expresses their spontaneous or considered opinion. We do not question for a moment their personal sincerity when they express their horror of war and their zeal for "the achievements of culture." Yet we are bound to point out that a very different view of war, and of national aggrandizement based on the threat of war, has been advocated by such influential writers as Nietzsche, von Treitschke, von Bülow, and von Bernhardi, and has received widespread support from the press and from public opinion in Germany. This has not occurred, and in our judgment would scarcely be possible, in any other civilized country. We must also remark that it is German armies alone which {189}have, at the present time, deliberately destroyed or bombarded such monuments of human culture as the Library at Louvain and the Cathedrals at Rheims and Malines.

The Diplomatic Papers.

No doubt it is hard for human beings to weigh justly their country's quarrels; perhaps particularly hard for Germans, who have been reared in an atmosphere of devotion to their Kaiser and his army; who are feeling acutely at the present hour, and who live under a Government which, we believe, does not allow them to know the truth. Yet it is the duty of learned men to make sure of their facts. The German "White Book" contains only some scanty and carefully explained selections from the diplomatic correspondence which preceded this war. And we venture to hope that our German colleagues will sooner or later do their best to get access to the full correspondence, and will form therefrom an independent judgment.

They will then see that, from the issue of the Austrian note to Servia onward, Great Britain, whom they accuse of causing this war, strove incessantly for peace, Her successive proposals were supported by France, Russia, and Italy, but, unfortunately, not by the one power which could by a single word at Vienna have made peace certain. Germany, in her own official defense—incomplete as that document is—does not pretend that she strove for peace; she only strove for "the localization of the conflict." She claimed that Austria should be left free to "chastise" Servia in whatever way she chose. At most she proposed that Austria should not annex a portion of Servian territory—a futile provision, since the execution of Austria's demand would have made the whole of Servia subject to her will.

Great Britain, like the rest of Europe, recognized that, whatever just grounds of complaint Austria may have had, the unprecedented terms of her note to Servia constituted a challenge to Russia and a provocation to war. The Austrian Emperor in his proclamation admitted that war was likely to ensue. The German "White Book" states in so many words: "We were perfectly aware that a possible warlike attitude of Austria-Hungary against Servia might bring Russia upon the field and therefore involve us in war. * * * We could not, however, * * * advise our ally to take a yielding attitude not compatible with his dignity." The German Government admits having known the tenor of the Austrian note beforehand, when it was concealed from all the other powers; admits backing it up after it was issued; admits that it knew the note was likely to precipitate war; and admits that, whatever professions it made to the other powers, in private it did not advise Austria to abate one jot of her demands. This, to our minds, is tantamount to admitting that Germany has, together with her unfortunate ally, deliberately provoked the present war.

One point we freely admit. Germany would very likely have preferred not to fight Great Britain at this moment. She would have preferred to weaken and humiliate Russia; to make Servia a dependent of Austria; to render France innocuous and Belgium subservient; and then, having established an overwhelming advantage, to settle accounts with Great Britain. Her grievance against us is that we did not allow her to do this.

Britain's Love of Peace.

So deeply rooted is Great Britain's love of peace, so influential among us are those who have labored through many difficult years to promote good feeling between this country and Germany, that, in spite of our ties of friendship with France, in spite of the manifest danger threatening ourselves, there was still, up to the last moment, a strong desire to preserve British neutrality, if it could be preserved without dishonor. But Germany herself made this impossible.

Great Britain, together with France, Russia, Prussia, and Austria, had solemnly guaranteed the neutrality of Belgium. In the preservation of this neutrality our deepest sentiments and our most vital interests are alike involved. Its violation would not only shatter the {190}independence of Belgium itself: it would undermine the whole basis which renders possible the neutrality of any State and the very existence of such States as are much weaker than their neighbors. We acted in 1914 just as we acted in 1870. We sought from both France and Germany assurances that they would respect Belgian neutrality. In 1870 both powers assured us of their good intentions, and both kept their promises. In 1914 France gave immediately, on July 31, the required assurance; Germany refused to answer. When, after this sinister silence, Germany proceeded to break under our eyes the treaty which we and she had both signed, evidently expecting Great Britain to be her timid accomplice, then even to the most peace-loving Englishman hesitation became impossible. Belgium had appealed to Great Britain to keep her word, and she kept it.

The German professors appear to think that Germany has in this matter some considerable body of sympathizers in the universities of Great Britain. They are gravely mistaken. Never within our lifetime has this country been so united on any great political issue. We ourselves have a real and deep admiration for German scholarship and science. We have many ties with Germany, ties of comradeship, of respect, and of affection. We grieve profoundly that, under the baleful influence of a military system and its lawless dreams of conquest, she whom we once honored now stands revealed as the common enemy of Europe and of all peoples which respect the law of nations. We must carry on the war on which we have entered. For us, as for Belgium, it is a war of defense, waged for liberty and peace.

Sir CLIFFORD ALLBUTT, Regius Professor of Physics, Cambridge.

T.W. ALLEN, Reader in Greek, Oxford.

E. ARMSTRONG, Pro-Provost of Queen's College, Oxford.

E.V. ARNOLD, Professor of Latin, University College of North Wales.

Sir C.B. BALL, Regius Professor of Surgery, Dublin.

Sir THOMAS BARLOW, President of the Royal College of Physicians, London.

BERNARD BOSANQUET, formerly Professor of Moral Philosophy, St. Andrews.

A.C. BRADLEY, formerly Professor of Poetry, Oxford.

W.H. BRAGG, Cavendish Professor of Physics, Leeds.

Sir THOMAS BROCK, Membre d'honneur de la Société des Artistes Francais.

A.J. BROWN, Professor of Biology and Chemistry of Fermentation, University of Birmingham.

JOHN BURNET, Professor of Greek, St. Andrews.

J.B. BURY, Regius Professor of Modern History, Cambridge.

Sir W.W. CHEYNE, Professor of Clinical Surgery, King's College, London, President of the Royal College of Surgeons.

J. NORMAN COLLIE, Professor of Organic Chemistry and Director of the Chemical Laboratories, University College, London.

F.C. CONYBEARE, Honorary Fellow of University College, Oxford.

Sir HENRY CRAIK, M.P. for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities.

Sir JAMES CRICHTON-BROWNE, Vice President and Treasurer, Royal Institution.

Sir WILLIAM CROOKES, President of the Royal Society.

Sir FOSTER CUNLIFFE, Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

Sir FRANCIS DARWIN, late Reader in Botany, Cambridge.

A.V. DICEY, Fellow of All Souls College and formerly Vinerian Professor of English Law, Oxford.

Sir S. DILL, Hon. Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

Sir JAMES DONALDSON, Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of St. Andrews.

F.W. DYSON, Astronomer Royal.


Sir ARTHUR EVANS, Extraordinary Professor of Prehistoric Archæology, Oxford.

L.R. FARNELL, Rector of Exeter College, Oxford.

C.H. FIRTH, Regius Professor of Modern History, Oxford.

H.A.L. FISHER, Vice Chancellor of Sheffield University.

J.A. FLEMING, Professor of Electrical Engineering in the University of London.

H.S. FOXWELL, Professor of Political Economy in the University of London.

Sir EDWARD FRY, Ambassador Extraordinary and First British Plenipotentiary to The Hague Peace Conference in 1907.

Sir ARCHIBALD GEIKIE, Past President of the Royal Society.

{191}W.M. GELDART, Fellow of All Souls and Vinerian Professor of English Law, Oxford.

Sir RICKMAN GODLEE, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Surgery, University College, London.

B.P. GRENFELL, late Professor of Papyrology, Oxford.

E.H. GRIFFITHS, Principal of the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire.

W.H. HADOW, Principal of Armstrong College, Newcastle.

J.S. HALDANE, late Reader in Physiology, Oxford.

MARCUS HARTOG, Professor of Zoology in University College, Cork.

F.J. HAVERFIELD, Camden Professor of Ancient History, Oxford.

W.A. HERDMAN, Professor of Zoology at Liverpool, General Secretary of the British Association.

Sir W.P. HERRINGHAM, Vice Chancellor of the University of London.

E.W. HOBSON, Sadleirian Professor of Pure Mathematics, Cambridge.

D.G. HOGARTH, Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Sir ALFRED HOPKINSON, late Vice Chancellor of Manchester University.

A.S. HUNT, Professor of Papyrology, Oxford.

HENRY JACKSON, Regius Professor of Greek, Cambridge.


F.B. JEVONS, Professor of Philosophy, Durham.

H.H. JOACHIM, Fellow of Merton College, Oxford.

J. JOLLY, Professor of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Dublin.

COURTNEY KENNY, Downing Professor of the Laws of England, Cambridge.

Sir F.G. KENYON, Director and Principal Librarian, British Museum.

HORACE LAMB, Professor of Mathematics, Manchester University.

J.N. LANGLEY, Professor of Physiology, Cambridge.

WALTER LEAF, Fellow of London University, President of the Hellenic Society.

Sir SIDNEY LEE, Editor of the Dictionary of National Biography, Professor of the English Language and Literature in the University of London.

Sir OLIVER LODGE, Principal of Birmingham University.

Sir DONALD MACALISTER, Principal and Vice Chancellor, Glasgow.

R.W. MACAN, Master of University College, Oxford.

Sir WILLIAM MACEWEN, Professor of Surgery, Glasgow.

J.W. MACKAIL, formerly Professor of Poetry, Oxford.


R.R. MARETT, Reader in Social Anthropology, Oxford.

D.S. MARGOLIOUTH, Laudian Professor of Arabic, Oxford.

Sir H.A. MIERS, Principal of the University of London.

FREDERICK W. MOTT, Fullerian Professor of Physiology, Royal Institution.

LORD MOULTON OF BANK, Lord of Appeal in Ordinary.

J.E.H. MURPHY, Professor of Irish, Dublin.

GILBERT MURRAY, Regius Professor of Greek, Oxford.

J.L. MYRES, Wykeham Professor of Ancient History, Oxford.

G.H.F. NUTTALL, Quick Professor of Biology, Cambridge.

Sir W. OSLER, Regius Professor of Medicine, Oxford.

Sir ISAMBARD OWEN, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bristol.

Sir WALTER PARRATT, Professor of Music, Oxford.

Sir HUBERT PARRY, Director of Royal College of Music.

W.H. PERKIN, Waynflete Professor of Chemistry, Oxford.

W.M. FLINDERS PETRIE EDWARDS, Professor of Egyptology, University College, London.

A.F. POLLARD, Professor of English History, London.

Sir F. POLLOCK, formerly Corpus Professor of Jurisprudence, Oxford.

EDWARD B. POULTON, Hope Professor of Zoology, Oxford.

Sir E.J. POYNTER, President of the Royal Academy of Arts.

Sir A. QUILLER-COUCH, King Edward VII. Professor of English Literature, Cambridge.

Sir WALTER RALEIGH, Professor of English Literature, Oxford.

Sir W. RAMSAY, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, London.

Lord RAYLEIGH, Past President Royal Society, Nobel Laureate, Chancellor of Cambridge University.

Lord REAY, First President British Academy.

JAMES REID, Professor of Ancient History, Cambridge.

WILLIAM RIDGEWAY, Disney Professor of Archaeology, Cambridge.

T.F. ROBERTS, Principal of the University College of Wales, Aberystwith.

J. HOLLAND ROSE, Reader in Modern History, Cambridge.

Sir RONALD ROSS, formerly Professor of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, Nobel Laureate.

M.E. SADLER, Vice Chancellor of Leeds.

W. SANDAY, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, Oxford.

Sir J.E. SANDYS, Public Orator, Cambridge.

{192}Sir ERNEST SATOW, Second British Delegate to The Hague Peace Conference in 1907.

A.H. SAYCE, Professor of Assyriology, Oxford.

ARTHUR SCHUSTER, late Professor of Physics, Manchester.

D.H. SCOTT, Foreign Secretary, Royal Society.

C.S. SHERRINGTON, Waynflete Professor of Physiology, Oxford.

GEORGE ADAM SMITH, Principal and Vice Chancellor, Aberdeen.

G.C. MOORE SMITH, Professor of English Language and Literature, Sheffield.

E.A. SONNENSCHEIN, Professor of Latin and Greek, Birmingham.

W.R. SORLEY, Professor of Moral Philosophy, Cambridge.

Sir C.V. STANFORD, Profesor of Music, Cambridge.

V.H. STANTON, Ely Professor of Divinity, Cambridge.

J. ARTHUR THOMSON, Regius Professor of Natural History, Aberdeen.

Sir J.J. THOMSON, Professor of Experimental Physics, Cambridge.

T.F. TOUT, Professor of Mediæval and Modern History, Manchester.

Sir W. TURNER, Principal and Vice Chancellor, Edinburgh.

Sir C. WALDSTEIN, late Reader in Classical Archæology and Slade Professor of Fine Art, Cambridge.


Sir ALMROTH WRIGHT, formerly Professor of Pathology, Netley.

C.T. HAGBERG WRIGHT, Librarian, London Library.

JOSEPH WRIGHT, Professor of Comparative Philology, Oxford.

Concerning the German Professors

By Frederic Harrison.

To the Editor of the London Morning Post:

Sir: I was not invited to join the reply of our distinguished scholars and professors, perhaps because it is so many years since I was the colleague of James Bryce as Professor of Jurisprudence to the Inns of Court. And, indeed, I do not care to bandy recriminations with these German defenders of the attack on civilization by the whole imperial, military, and bureaucratic order. It seems to me waste of time and loss of self-respect to notice these pedants.

The whole German press and the entire academic class seem to be banded together as an official bureau in order to spread mendacious insults and spiteful slanders. Not a word comes from them to excuse or deny the defiance of public law and the mockery of public faith by the German Emperor, his Ministers, and his armies. These professors seem to exult in serving the new Attila—rather let us say the new Caligula, for Attila at least was an open soldier and did not skulk under the Red Cross behind barbed wire fences.

We have long known that all German academic and scholastic officials are the creatures of the Government, as obedient to orders as any Drill Sergeant. They seem to have sold their consciences for place. Not a word comes from them even of regret for the massacre of civilians on false charges, for the wanton murder of children, for the wholesale rape of women, the showering of bombs upon sleeping towns in sheer cruelty of destruction. The intellectual energies of Kultur seem concentrated on distorting the meaning of our dispatches and the speeches of our statesmen, and in manufacturing for their people and neutrals venomous falsehoods. German Geist today is a huge machine to cram lies upon their own people, and to insinuate lies to the world around. Their system of war is based upon lying at home and abroad, on treachery and terrorism. They think that murdering a few civilians would terrify France into surrender, and will drive England to betray the Allies. Their poor conscripts are told that we kill and torture prisoners; their monuments at home are bedizened with mock laurels; and neutrals are poisoned with wild inventions.




For years past their public men, have {193}been tricking our politicians, journalists, and professors to accept them as peaceful leaders of a higher civilization—- while all the while their soldiers, diplomats, and spies (the three are really but one class) were secretly courting our own royalties and society, studying our naval and military defenses, filling our homes with tens of thousands of reservists having secret orders to spy, to destroy our arsenals and roads, and even planting out bogus industries and laying concrete bases for cannon, to bombard the open towns of friendly nations. We have been living unsuspectingly with a nation of assassins plotting to destroy us. Did these professors of Kultur not know of this elaborate conspiracy of Kaisertum, which unites the stealthy treachery of a Mohawk or a thug to the miracles of modern science? For years past the ideal of Kultur has been to lay down secret mines to destroy their peaceful neighbors. Did these professors of the Fatheland not know this? Then they are unable to grasp the most obvious facts—the life work of their own masters under their own eyes. And, if they did know it, and must at least know it now, and yet approve and glory in it, they must be beneath contempt. Why argue with such hypocrites?

Not a few of us have known and watched this conspiracy for years. I have preached this ever since the advent of Bismarckism and the new Europe that was formed forty years ago. Not a few of us have foretold not only the tremendous attack on the British Empire designed by German sea power but the precise steps of the war upon France, through Belgium, and to be executed by an overwhelming force of sudden shock in the midst of peace. For my part, nothing in this war since July 30 has at all surprised me, unless it be the foul cruelty with which Belgian civilians have been treated. Indeed, in January, 1913, I wrote a warning which reads now like a summary of events that have since happened. I was denounced as a senile alarmist by some who are now the loudest in calling to arms. Alas! too late is their repentance.

May I ask why our eminent academicians and scholars who still profess "friendship and admiration" for their German confrères never even suspected the huge conspiracy of which civilization has been the victim? Why did they accept the stars and crosses of Caligula-Attila? Why hob-nob with the docile creatures of his chancery, and spread at home and abroad the worship of Geist and Kultur? Are they fit to instruct us about politics, public law, and international relations, when they were so egregiously mistaken, so blind, so befooled, with regard to the most portentous catastrophe in the memory of living men? I am glad that they see their blindness now—but why this sentimental friendliness for those who hoodwinked them?

Surely this should open their eyes to the mountains of pretentious clouds on which the claims of Kultur rest. I am myself a student of German learning, and quite aware of the enormous industry, subtlety, and ingenuity of German scholarship. We owe deep gratitude to the older race of the Savignys, Rankes, Mommsens. Since 1851 I have been five times in Germany on different occasions down to 1900. I read and speak the language, and twice I lived in Germany for months together, even in the house of a distinguished man of science. I study their theology, their sociology, economics, history, and their classics. I am quite aware of the supremacy of German scholars in ancient literature, in many branches of science, in the record of the past in art, manners, and civilization. But to have edited a Greek play or to have discovered a new explosive, a new comet, another microbe, does not qualify a savant to dogmatize on international morals and the hegemony of the world. Sixty years ago in Leipzig the editor of a famous journal undertook to prove to me that Shakespeare was a German. Our poet, he said, was the grandest output of the Teutonic mind; nine-tenths of the Teutonic mind was German-argal, Shakespeare was a German, Q.E.D.

With the vast accumulation of solid {194}knowledge of provable facts there is too often in the German mind a sudden bounding up into a cloudland of crude and unproved guesswork. In the logic of Kultur there seems to be a huge gap in the reasoning of the middle terms. A savant unearths a manuscript in Syria, which he deciphers with marvelous industry, learning, and ingenuity. Straightway he cries, "Eureka, behold the original Gospel—the true Gospel!" and he proceeds to turn Christianity upside down. He may have experimented on cultures of microbes for a generation; and then he calls on earth and heaven to acknowledge the mystery of the self-creation of the universe. We hear much of Treitschke today—no doubt a man of genius with a gift for research—but what ferocious pyrotechnics were poured forth by this apostle of mendacious swagger. And as to Nietzsche, he was anticipated by Shakespeare in Timon—a diseased cynic—

henceforth hated be
Of Timon, man and all humanity.

They seem to think that to have put the critics right about a few lines in Sophocles, or to have discovered a new chemical dye, dispenses the German Superman from being bound to humanity, truthfulness, and honor. Charge them with the mutilation of little girls and the violation of nuns in Belgium, and they reply: Yes! but think of Kant and Hegel! It is treason to philosophy, they say, that a man who has translated Schopenhauer should condemn Germans for burning Malines and making captive women a screen for troops in battle. Kultur, it seems, has its own "higher law," which its professors expound to the decadent nations of Europe.

Let us hold no parley with these arrogant sophists. Let all intellectual commerce be suspended until these official professors have unlearned the infernal code of "military necessity" and "world policy" which, to the indignation of the civilized world, they are ordered by the Vicegerent of God at Potsdam to teach to the great Teutonic Super-race. Yours, &c.,


Bath, Oct. 29.

The Reply From France

By M. Yves Guyot and Prof. Bellet.

The following is the text of an open lettert addressed by M. Yves Guyot, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal des Economistes, and M. Bellet, Professor at the Schools of Political Science and Commercial Studies, to Prof. Brentano of the University of Munich, the communication being a reply to the recent German Appeal to Civilized Nations on the subject of the war:

PARIS, Oct. 15, 1914.

To Prof. Brentano of the University of Munich:

Very Learned Professor and Colleague: On reading the Appeal to Civilized Nations, (among which France is evidently not included,) which has just been sent forth by ninety-three persons declaring themselves to be representatives of German science and art, we were not surprised to find Prof. Schmoller's signature. He had already shown his hatred for France by refusing to assist at the gatherings organized, a little more than two years ago, to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Paris Society of Political Economy, (gatherings at which we were happy to enjoy your presence and that of your colleague, Mr. Lotz.) In his Rector's speech at the Berlin University, in 1897, he declared that German science had no other object than to celebrate the imperial messages of 1880 and 1890; and he pointed out that every disciple of Adam Smith who was not willing to make it a servant of that policy "should resign his seat." But we {195}felt painful surprise when, at the foot of the said factum, we found your name side by side with his.

You and the other representatives of German science and art accuse France, Great Britain, Belgium, and Russia of falsehood. Would you have submitted, on the part of one of your pupils, to so grave an imputation, so lightly bandied? Admitting you to be in absolute ignorance of the documents published since the war declaration, you have certainly been acquainted with the ultimatum pronounced by Austria to Servia. It must have struck you with surprise; for it stands as a unique diplomatic document in all history. Did you not ask yourselves whether the demands of Austria did not go beyond all bounds, seeing that they insisted on the abdication of an independent State? You learned that, in spite of Servia's humble reply, because it contained a reservation, immediately, without discussion, the Ambassador of Austria-Hungary left Belgrade, and that the following day Austria declared war. You do not ignore the steps taken by Great Britain and France, the demand for delay made by Russia, and the reply of the German Chancellor "that none should intervene between Austria and Servia." He elegantly qualified the attitude thus adopted as "localizing the conflict."

Is there a single member among those who signed the document of Intellectuals who has been able to believe—have you been able to believe, Mr. Brentano, with your quick and perspicacious mind?—that this reply from Berlin did not imply war as a fatal consequence; for any nation accepting it was certain to be treated in future, by Germany, as the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy treated Servia? How, then, knowing the initial pretext of the war, are you able to realize that there was no other relation between this cause and the effect produced than the will of those who made use of it to provoke either a dishonoring humiliation for the countries accepting such a situation, or a general conflagration? How, then, do you, and the signatories of your appeal, dare to state: "It is not true that Germany provoked the war"? You dare to speak of proofs taken from authentic documents. Those published by Great Britain, Russia, and Belgium are known. All agree; and they give clear proof that the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum was pronounced with full complicity of the Berlin Chancellery. They prove, moreover, that the German Ambassador at Petrograd, fearing a withdrawal on the part of Hungary, precipitated events while your Emperor kept himself out of the way. Meanwhile, your General Staff had, in underhanded manner, mobilized a portion of its troops, by individual call, while in France we waited, unable to imagine that the German Government had resolved to engage in European war without motives. In the pocketbooks of your reservists have been found forms calling them to the army long before the end of July. Our friend and colleague, Courcelle-Seneuil, has seen the military book of a German living in Switzerland, at Bex, containing this call.

Bismarckian Loyalty.

Correspondence of official nature has been stopped at the Cape, which should have reached in full time officers of the German Navy, warning them to prepare for mid-July. Such advance taken by your troops has rendered the task the more difficult for ours. We were very simple, for we believed in the affirmations of your statesmen. You state that these are loyal war methods; so be it. That belongs to the diplomatic rules of loyalty bequeathed by Bismarck to his successors. But to attempt to carry on this falsehood, you have no longer the excuse of its utility. It is clear to all, except, it seems, the representatives of science and art in Germany, who are sufficiently devoid of perspicacity to ignore it.

They affirm, moreover, that Germany has not violated the neutrality of Belgium; she merely contented herself with "taking the first step." Beyond the authentic proofs which have been published, we would draw your attention to an undeniable fact. Trusting in the {196}treaty which guaranteed Belgium neutrality—and at the foot of which figured Germany's signature—in the promise made a short while ago to the King of the Belgians by your Emperor, we unfortunately left our northern frontier unguarded. You must be aware, professor, that the English did not move until Belgian soil had been effectively violated. It is true that we knew the plan of campaign set forth by Gen. Bernhardi, but we naïvely believed that, whatever might be the opinion of a General, the Chancellor of the Empire would consider a treaty bearing the imperial signature as something more than a mere "bit of paper." Germany has also been untrue to her signature by violating the treaty of neutrality of Luxembourg. You forgot to state that there also you only "took the first step." Your appeal echoes the German papers, which declare that it was the Belgians, and particularly the women, who "began against your troops." An American paper replied by stating that if it was the Belgian women who attacked German soldiers on Belgian soil, what were the soldiers doing there? The truth is that your troops, obeying their officers, as is proved by papers which have been seized and which you would find quoted in the report presented by the Belgian Commission to President Wilson, have executed orders which seem inspired by the ferocious inscriptions of Assyrian Kings, no doubt exhumed on the Bagdad railway line; and you think it quite natural that massacre and arson should have been perpetrated at Louvain because the civil population fired on your soldiers; but an inquiry made together with the representatives of the United States (whom you deign to consider sufficiently to ask them to represent your defenses) proved that the civil population was unarmed. If you today approve of the burning of the Louvain Library, have you until now approved of the destruction of the library at Alexandria? It is true there was no Deutsch Kultur there. The result of German culture as regards military matters is to place your soldiers on a stratum of civilization anterior to that of the Vandals, who, when taking Hippone, spared the library.

In Paris, if one of us passing, on Friday, Oct. 9, in the Rue d'Edimbourg, to an office of the Societe d'Economie Politique, situated at No. 14, had passed near to that address, he might have been murdered by a bomb thrown from one of your Taubes on the civil population of a town whose bombarding had not been notified. Another Taube caused, through the throwing of a bomb, a fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. You cannot, to excuse such an assault, invoke the pretext put forward to excuse the destruction of the Cathedral of Rheims. No observer could have caught sight of a German soldier from the top of the towers.

Barbarian Soldiery.

Your co-signatories and you express indignation because the civilized world describes your soldiers as barbarians. Do you therefore consider such deeds as those specified to be a high expression of civilization? And here is the dilemma: either you are in ignorance of these deeds, then you are indeed very careless, or you approve of them, in which case you must make the defense of them enter into your works on right and ethics. In doing so you would only be following the theories of your military authors who have insisted on the necessity of striking terror into the hearts of the civil population, in order that it may weigh on its Government and its army so strongly that they may be forced to ask for peace. But those of your colleagues who profess psychology must, if they have approved such a theory, confess today that they made a great mistake; for such deeds, far from forcing the people to cowardly action, awaken indignation in all hearts and fire the courage of our soldiers. Nevertheless, your military authors have not stated that theft was a means of assuring victory. And yet the Crown Prince, your Emperor of tomorrow, gathered together at the castle of the Count of Baye articles in precious metals, belonging to a collection, which he had carefully packed up and sent off. Some of your officers' trunks have been found stuffed with {197}goods which would constitute the stock of a second-hand clothes seller. Do you and your co-signatories include in German science and art the science and art of housebreaking? Are the law professors and the economists willing to defend such a manner of acquiring property? And, if so, what becomes of your penal code?

You and your co-signatories affirm that the present struggle is directed against "German culture." If such culture teaches that the rights of men include contempt of treaties, contempt of private property, contempt of the lives of non-combatants, you cannot be surprised that the other nations show no desire to preserve it for your benefit and their detriment.

It is not by arms but by arguments and facts that economists like us, faithful to the teachings of the physiocrats and of Adam Smith, have sought to protect ourselves against it. On the eve of the war, at the inauguration of Turgot's Monument, we set forth his ideas of liberty and humanity in opposition to the German realpolitik. We hope that the present events will cure those among our professors whom it had contaminated, and that they will cease to constitute themselves accomplices of that, form of Pan-Germanism which they introduced to public opinion and to our legislation. The acts of your diplomatists and of your Generals, and the approbation given them by you and other representatives of German science, are a terrible demonstration, but conclusive, of the dangers and vanity of German culture. You are its true destroyers.

Militarism and Civilization.

"Without our miltarism," say you, "our civilization would have been annihilated long ago." And you invoke the inheritance of Goethe, Beethoven, Kant. But Goethe, born in the free city of Frankfort, lived at the Court of Charles Augustus, which was a liberal and artistic centre ever threatened by Prussia. But Beethoven was of Flemish origin, and lived in Holland until the age of twenty-four, spending the rest of his life in Vienna, and he has nothing in common with Prussian militarism, so redoubtable for Austria. But Kant, if he was born and lived at Könisberg, the true capital of the Prussian Kingdom, welcomed the French Revolution, and when he died in 1804 it was not Prussian militarism which had recommended his writings to the world.

But the solidarity which you establish between German militarism and German culture, of which you and your colleagues claim to be the representatives, is a proof of the confusion of German conceptions.

To present Goethe, Beethoven, and Kant to the world you surround them with bayonets. In the same manner every tradesman and every merchant throughout Germany has got into the habit of saying: "I have four million bayonets behind me!" Your Emperor said to some tradesmen who complained of bad business: "I must travel!" And he went to Constantinople; he went to Tangier, after the speech at Bremen. In every one of his words, in each of his gestures, he affirmed the subordination of economic civilization to military civilization. He considered that it was his duty to open up markets and assert the value of German products with cannon and sword. Hence his formidable armaments, his perpetual threats which held all nations in a constant state of anxiety.

There is the deep and true cause of the war. And it is due entirely to your Emperor and his environment. We readily understand that the greater number of "representatives of German science and art" who signed the appeal are incapable of fathoming this fact; but this is not your case, you who denounced the abuses and consequences of German protectionism, and we remember that at the Antwerp Congress you agreed with us in recognizing its aggressive nature.

In conclusion, we beg to express the deep consideration which we feel for your science, hitherto so unerring.

{198}To Americans In Germany

By Prof. Adolf von Harnack.

Citizens of the United States, ladies and gentlemen: It is my pleasure and my privilege to address to you today a few words.

Let me begin with a personal recollection. Ten years ago I was in the United States and I came away with some unforgettable memories. What impression was the strongest? Not the thundering fall of Niagara, not the wonderful entrance into New York Harbor with its skyscrapers, not the tremendous World's Fair of St. Louis in all its proud grandeur, not the splendid universities of Harvard and Columbia or the Congressional Library in Washington—these are all works of technique or of nature and cannot arouse our deepest admiration and make the deepest impression. What was the deepest impression? It was two-fold: first, the great work of the American Nation, and next, American hospitality.

The great work of the American Nation, that is, the nation itself! From the smallest beginning the American Nation has in 200 years developed itself to a world power of more than 100,000,000 souls, and has not only settled but civilized the whole section of the world from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the great lakes to the West Indies. And not only civilized: everything which has drifted to it has been welded together by this nation with an indescribable power, welded together to the unity of a great, noble nation of educated men—such a thing as has never before happened in all history. After two or at the most, three generations, all are welded together in the American body and the American spirit, and this without petty rules, without political pressure. In the definite frame of this people every individual character fits in without coercion, becomes American and yet retains its own quality. The world has never witnessed such a spectacle but it is witnessing it continually now. On the one side it hears and sees the fact that every alien after a short time announces, "America is now my Fatherland!" and on the other hand the old country still continues undisturbed the bond between them. Yes, here is at once a national strength and freedom which another could not copy from you very easily.

The Spirit of America.

But, further: Among those who have wandered to your shores are millions of Germans—several millions! For more than two years—where shall I begin to relate—since the days of Steuben and of Carl Schurz—but how can I name names?—they have been all received as brothers, bringing their best; and their best was not lost. More I cannot say.

Furthermore, what sort was the spirit which received them? Upon each one, without and within, that spirit has imprinted its seal. Concerning this spirit I shall speak later, but for the present I will only say, it is the spirit of common courage and common freedom! And from this unity I saw had developed a tremendous contribution as the work of this nation, a contribution to agriculture, to technology, and, as we of the German universities have known for several decades, an extraordinary contribution to science. And this contribution has been derived from a combination such as we in Europe cannot effect, of the good old traditional wisdom which has been brought down out of the history of Europe and a youthful courage, I might almost say, a childlike spirit. These two combined, this circumspection and at the same time this courage of youth, which I met everywhere and which has stamped itself upon all American work, is what I have admired.

{199}And the second was the American hospitality!

Like a warm breeze, this hospitality surrounded me and my friends. Wherever we went we breathed the air of this friendship, indeed, it almost took away our powers of will, so thoroughly did it anticipate every plan and every need. Like parcels of friendship, we were sent from place to place, always the feeling that we had all known each other forever. That was an experience for which all of us—for who of us Germans who have come over here has not experienced it?—will be perpetually thankful. That will never be forgotten.

Friendship for Germany.

But beautiful and noble as that was, your nation has furnished ours with something still more unforgettable. In those horrible days of 1870, when a great number of Germans were shut up in unfortunate Paris, the American Ambassador assumed the care of them, and what America did at that time she is again doing for all of our country—men who, surprised in the enemy's country by the war, have been detained there. They are intrusted to the special care of the American Ambassador, and we know with as much certainty as though it were an actual fact already that that care will be the best and the most loyal. That, my friends, is true service of friendship, which is not mere convention but such as it is in the Catechism: "Give us our daily bread and good friends." They belong together.

But to answer the question why you are our good friends we must reflect a little for the answer which we might have given a few days ago—"You are our good friends as our blood relations"—alas! that answer no longer holds. That is over! God grant that in later days we may again be able to say it, but by a circumstance which has torn our very heartstrings it has been proved that blood is not thicker than water. But where then is the deep-lying reason for this friendship? Does it rest in the fact that we have so many Germans over there; that they have been received so cordially; that they have done so much for the building up of America, soul and body, or that we find friends in so many Americans on this side of the water? This is an important consideration, but it is not the ultimate cause we are seeking.

My friends, when it is a powerful relationship, imbedded in rock as it were, which is under consideration, then the matter is more than superficial, and that which is at the bottom of this deeper fact, history is at this very moment showing us as she writes in characters of bronze before our eyes; because we have a common spirit which springs from the very depths of our hearts, for that reason are we friends!

And what is that spirit? It is the spirit of the deep religious and moral culture which has possessed us through a succession of centuries and out of which this powerful American offshoot has sprung. To this culture belong three things, or, rather, it rests upon three pillars. The first pillar is the recognition of the eternal value of every human soul, consequently the recognition of personality and individuality. These are respected, nourished, striven for. Second is the recognition of the duty at any time to risk this human soul, which is to each one of us so dear, for that great ideal—"God, freedom, and the Fatherland." The dearer that human soul, that life, is prized by us, Germans and Americans, the more surely do we give it up willingly and joyously when a high cause demands it. And the third pillar is respect for law and therewith the capability for powerful organization in all lines and in all manner of communities.

A Different Culture.

But now before my eyes I see rising up against the culture which rests upon these three pillars—personality, duty to sacrifice all for ideals, law and organization—another culture, a culture of the horde whose Government is patriarchal, a civilization of the mob which is brought together and held together by despots, the Byzantine—I must extend it further—Mongolian-Muscovite culture.

My friends, this was once a true cul{200}ture, but it is no longer. This culture was not able to bear the light of the eighteenth century, still less that of the nineteenth, and now, in this twentieth century, it breaks out and threatens us—this unorganized mob, this mob of Asia; like the sands of the desert it would sweep down over our harvest fields. That we already know; we are already experiencing it. That, too, the Americans know, for every one who has stood upon the ground of our civilization and who with a keen glance regards the present situation knows that the word must be: "Peoples of Europe, save your most hallowed possessions!"

"I Cover My Head!"

This, our culture, the chief treasure of mankind, was in large part, yes, almost wholly, intrusted to three peoples: to us, to the Americans, and—to the English. I will say no more! I cover my head! Two still remain, and must stand all the more firmly together where this culture is menaced. It is a question of our spiritual existence, and Americans will realize that it is also their existence. We have a common culture, and a common duty to protect it!

To you, American citizens, we give the holy pledge that we shall offer our last drop of blood in the cause of this culture. May I in addition say to you, since I have made this pledge, that we shall as a matter of course protect those of you here in our land and care for you and do everything for you? If we have made the greater pledge, surely we can manage these trifles.

But you, my dear fellow-countrymen, we are all thinking with one mind on what is now going on about us. It is a very grave but a splendid time. Whatever in the last analysis we shall go through, at present there is no longer any one of us who any longer regards life in the rôle of a blasé or critical spectator, but each one of us stands in the very midst of life, and, indeed, in the very midst of a higher life. God has of a sudden brought us out of the wretchedness of the day to a high place to which we have never before spiritually attained. But always where life emerges, a higher life or merely life itself, wherever there is a thirst for life, there is it set close around by death, as at every birth when something new comes to the light of day, and so if the most precious thing is to be gained, then death will stand close by life. But this we also know, that when death and life intertwine in this fashion, the fear of death vanishes away; in the intertwining, life only appears and full of life man goes through death and into death. It brings to my mind an old song, the powerful song of victory of our fathers:

It was a famous battle,
Fought 'twixt Life and Death;
Life came out the victor,
Triumphant over Death;
Already it was written
How one Death killed the other,
So making mock of Death!

Death which is willingly met kills the great death and secures the higher life. Death makes us free. Thus spake Luther.

Let me say a few words in closing. Before all of us there stands in time of crisis an image under which are the plain words: "He was faithful unto death, yea, even to death on the cross." Now the time for great faithfulness has come for us, for this obedience for which our neighbors in former times have ridiculed us, saying: "See, these are the faithful Germans, the men who do all on command and are so obedient!" Now they shall see that this great obedience was not mere discipline, but a matter of will. It was and still is discipline, but it is also will. They shall see that this great obedience is not pettiness and death, but power and life.

From the east—I say it once more—the desert sands are sweeping down upon us; on the west we are opposed by old enemies and treacherous friends. When will the German be able to pray again, confessing:

God is the Orient,
God is the Occident;
Northernmost and Southern lands
Rest in peace beneath His hands.

{201}We shall hope that God may give us strength to make this true, not only for us but for all Europe.

Until then, since we see the very springs of our higher life and our existence threatened, we shout: "Father, protect our springs of life and save us from the Huns."

A Reply to Prof. Harnack

By Some British Theologians.

Prof. Harnack.

Honored Sir: We, the undersigned, a group of theologians who owe more than we can express to you personally and to the great host of German teachers and leaders of thought, have noticed with pain a report of a speech recently delivered by you, in which you are said to have described the conduct of Great Britain in the present war as that of a traitor to civilization.

We are quite sure that you could never have been betrayed into such a statement if you had been acquainted with the real motives which actuate the British Nation in the present crisis.

Permit us, in the interests of a better understanding now and subsequently, to state to you the grounds on which we, whose obligations to Germany, personal and professional, are simply incalculable, have felt it our duty to support the British Government in its declaration of war against the land and people we love so well.

We are not actuated by any preference for France over Germany—still less by any preference for Russia over Germany. The preference lies entirely the other way. Next to the peoples that speak the English tongue, there is no people in the world that stands so high in our affection and admiration as the people of Germany. Several of us have studied in German universities. Many of us have enjoyed warm personal friendship with your fellow-countrymen. All of us owe an immeasurable debt to German theology, philosophy, and literature. Our sympathies are in matters of the spirit so largely German that nothing but the very strongest reasons could ever lead us to contemplate the possibility of hostile relations between Great Britain and Germany.

Nor have we the remotest sympathy with any desire to isolate Germany, or to restrict her legitimate expansion, commercial and colonial. We have borne resolute witness against the endeavor made by foes of Germany to foment anti-German suspicion and ill-will in the minds of our fellow-countrymen.

The Sanctity of Treaties.

But we recognize that all hopes of settled peace between the nations, and indeed of any civilized relations between the nations, rest on the maintenance inviolate of the sanctity of treaty obligations. We can never hope to put law for war if solemn international compacts can be torn up at the will of any power involved. These obligations are felt by us to be the more stringently binding in the case of guaranteed neutrality. For the steady extension of neutralization appears to us to be one of the surest ways of the progressive elimination of war from the face of the earth. All these considerations take on a more imperative cogency when the treaty rights of a small people are threatened by a great world power. We therefore believe that when Germany refused to respect the neutrality of Belgium, which she herself had guaranteed, Great Britain had no option, either in international law or in Christian ethics, but to defend the people of Belgium. The Imperial Chancellor of Germany has himself admitted, on Aug. 4, that the protest of the Luxembourg and Belgian Governments was "just," and that Germany was doing "wrong" and acting "contrary to the dictates of international law." His only {202}excuse was "necessity"—which recalls our Milton's phrase, "necessity, the tyrant's plea." It has cost us all the deepest pain to find the Germany which we love so intensely committing this act of lawless aggression on a weak people, and a Christian nation becoming a mere army with army ethics. We loathe war of any kind. A war with Germany cuts us to the very quick. But we sincerely believe that Great Britain in this conflict is fighting for conscience, justice, Europe, humanity, and lasting peace.

Dictated Terms.

This conviction is deepened by the antecedents of the present unhappy war. In allowing her ally Austria to dictate terms to Servia which were quite incompatible with the independence of that little State, Germany gave proof of her disregard for the rights of smaller States. A similar disregard for the sovereign rights of greater States was shown in the demand that Russia should demobilize her forces. It was quite open to Germany to have answered Russia's mobilization with a counter-mobilization without resorting to war. Many other nations have mobilized to defend their frontiers without declaring war. Alike indirectly in regard to Servia and directly in regard to Russia, Germany was indisputably the aggressor. And this policy of lawless aggression became more nakedly manifest in the invasion of Belgium. Great Britain is not bound by any treaty rights to defend either Servia or Russia. But she is bound by the most sacred obligations to defend Belgium, obligations which France undertook to observe. We have been grieved to the heart to see in the successive acts of German policy a disregard of the liberties of States, small or great, which is the very negation of civilization. It is not our country that has incurred the odium of being a traitor to civilization or to the conscience of humanity.

Doubtless you read the facts of the situation quite differently. You may think us entirely mistaken. But we desire to assure you, as fellow-Christians and fellow-theologians, that our motives are not open to the charge which has been made.

We have been moved to approach you on this matter by our deep reverence for you and our high appreciation of the great services you have rendered to Christendom in general. We trust that you will receive what we have said in the spirit in which it was sent.

We have the honor to be,

Yours very sincerely,

P.J. FORSYTH, M.A., D.D., Aberdeen University. Principal of Hackney College (Divinity School: University of London).

HERBERT T. ANDREWS, B.A. Oxon. Professor of New Testament, Exegesis, Introduction and Criticism. New College, London (Divinity School: University of London).

J. HERBERT DARLOW, M.A. Cambridge. Literary Superintendent of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

JAMES R. GILLIES, M.A. Edinburgh, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of England. Pastor of Hampstead Presbyterian Church, London.

R. MACLEOD, Pastor of Frognal Presbyterian Church, London.

W.M. MACPHAIL, M.A. Glasgow. General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of England.

RICHARD ROBERTS, Pastor of Crouch Hill Presbyterian Church, London.

H.H. SCULLARD, M.A. Cambridge, M.A., D.D. London. Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Christian Ethics, and the History of Religions in New College (Divinity School: University of London).

ALEX RAMSAY, M.A., B.D. Pastor of the Highgate Presbyterian Church, London.

W.B. SELBIE, M.A., D.D. Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford. Chairman of the Congregational Union of England and Wales.

J. HERBERT STEAD, M.A. Glasgow. Warden of the Robert Browning Settlement, London.

{203}Prof. Harnack in Rebuttal

BERLIN, Sept. 10, 1914.

Gentlemen: The words, "The conduct of Great Britain is that of a traitor to civilization," were not used by me, but you have expressed my general judgment of this conduct correctly. The sentence in question in my speech reads: "This, our culture, the chief treasure of mankind, was in large part, yes, almost wholly, intrusted to three peoples: To us, to the Americans, and—to the English, I will say no more. I cover my head." To my deep sorrow I must, even after your communication, maintain this judgment.

You claim that England has drawn and must draw the sword purely for the protection of the small nations of Servia and Belgium and for the sake of an international treaty. In this claim I see at the very least a fearful self-delusion.

It is an actual fact that what Servia desired was that her Government should in no wise be mixed up with the shameful crime of Serajevo, and it is also an established fact that for years Servia, with the support of Russia, has attempted by the most despicable means to incite to rebellion the Austrian South Slavs. When Austria finally issued to her a decided ultimatum without making any actual attack on her territory, it was the duty of every civilized land—England as well—to keep hands off, for Austria's royal house, Austria's honor, and Austria's existence were attacked. Austria's yielding to Servia would mean the sovereignty of Russia in the eastern half of the Balkans, for Servia is nothing more than a Russian satrapy, and the Balkan federation brought about by Russia had for its ultimate purpose opposition to Austria. This is as well known in England as in Germany. If, gentlemen, in spite of this, you can presume to judge that in this circumstance it was purely a case of protecting the right of a small nation against a large one, I shall find great difficulty in believing in your good faith.

Against Pan-Slavism.

It was not a question of little Servia but of Austria's battle for life and the struggle of Western culture against Pan-Slavism. Servia is, after all, only an outpost of Russia and as opposed to this nation, Servia's "sovereignty" is less than a mere shadow; in fact it can hardly be protected by England, for in reality it does not exist. For in addition Servia, through the most dastardly murder known to history, struck her name from the list of the nations with which one does business as equals. What would England have done had the Prince of Wales been assassinated by the emissary of a little nation which had continually been inciting the Irish to revolt? Would it have issued a milder ultimatum than Austria's? But of all this you say not a word in your communication, but instead persist on seeing in the situation into which Servia and Russia have brought Austria, only the necessity of an oppressed little country to whose help haste must be made! Thus to judge would be more than blindness, indeed, it would be a crime that cries unto heaven, were it not known that the life problems of other great powers do not exist for Great Britain, because she is only concerned about her own life problems and those of little nations whose support can be useful to her.

At bottom Servia is of as little consequence to you as to us. Austria, too, is of no consequence to you; and you realize that Austria had the right to punish Servia. But because Germany, who stands behind Austria, is to be struck; therefore Servia is the guiltless little State which must be spared! What is the result? Great Britain sides with Russia against Germany. What does that mean? That means that Great {204}Britain has torn down the dike which has protected West Europe and its culture from the desert sands of the Asiatic barbarism of Russia and of Pan-Slavism. Now we Germans are forced to stop up the breach with our bodies. We shall do it amid streams of blood, and we shall hold out there. We must hold out, for we are protecting the labor of thousands of years for all of Europe, and for Great Britain! But that day when Great Britain tore down the dam will never be forgotten in the history of the world, and history's judgment shall read: On that day when Russian-Asiatic power rushed down upon the culture of Europe Great Britain declared that she must side with Russia because "the sovereignty of the murderer-nation Servia had been violated!"

As to Neutrality.

But no, the maintenance of Servians sovereignty is not according to your communication the first, but only the second reason for Great Britain's declaration of war against us. The first reason is our violation of Belgian neutrality; "Germany broke a treaty which she herself had guaranteed." Shall I remind you how Great Britain has disported herself in the matter of treaties and pleasant promises? How about Egypt for example? But I do not need to go into these flagrant and repeated violations of treaty rights, for a still more serious violation of the rights of a people stands today on your books against you; it has been proved that your army is making use of dumdum bullets and thereby turning a decent war into the most bloody butchery. In this Great Britain has severed herself from every right to complain about the violation of the rights of a people.

But aside from that—in your communication you have again emphasized the main point. We did not declare war against Belgium, but we declared that since Russia and France compelled us to wage a war with two fronts (190,000,000 against 68,000,000) we had then to suffer defeat if we could not march through Belgium; that we should do that but that we should carefully keep from harming Belgium in any way and would indemnify all damage incurred—our hand upon it! Would Great Britain, had she been in our position, have hesitated a moment to do likewise? And would Great Britain have drawn the sword for us if France had violated the neutrality of Belgium by marching through it? You know well enough that both these questions must be answered in the negative.

Our Imperial Chancellor has with his characteristic conscientiousness declared that we have on our side committed a certain wrong. I cannot agree with him in this judgment, and I cannot even recognize the commission of a formal wrong, for we were in a situation where formalities no longer obtain, and where moral duties only prevail. When David, in the extremity of his need, took the show-bread from the Table of the Lord, he was in every sense of the word justified, for the letter of the law ceased at that moment to exist. It is as well known to you as to me that there is a law of necessity which breaks iron asunder, to say nothing of treaties.

Appreciate our position! Prove to me that Germany has flippantly constructed a law of necessity; prove it to me in this hour, when your country has gone over to our enemies, and we have half the world to fight. You cannot do that; you could not do it on the 4th of August, and consequently you have assumed the most miserable of pretexts, because you wished to destroy us. From your letter, gentlemen, I must believe that you are far from holding this view; but do you believe, and would you really try to make me believe, that your statesmen would have declared war against us only because we were determined to march through Belgium? You could not consider them so foolish and so flippant.

An Earlier Treachery.

But I am not yet at an end. It is not we who have first violated the neutrality of Belgium. Belgium, as we feared and as we now, informed by the actual facts, see still more clearly, was for a long time in alliance with France and—with you. France's airmen were flying over {205}Belgium before we marched in; negotiations with France had already taken place, and in Maubeuge there was found an arsenal full of English munitions which had been stationed there before the declaration of war. This arsenal—you know where Maubeuge is situated!—points to agreements which Great Britain had made with France, and to which Belgium was also party. These agreements are before the whole world today, for the chain of evidence is complete and the treacherous plot of Great Britain is revealed. She has encouraged and pledged the Belgians against us, and therefore it is she who must answer for all the misery which has been visited upon that poor country. Had it been our responsibility, not a single hair of a Belgian's head should have been harmed. If, then, the Belgian wrongs like those of Servia are only the flimsiest pretexts for Great Britain's declaration of war against us, there remains, unfortunately, no other reason for this declaration of war save the intention of your statesmen either to destroy us or so to weaken us that Great Britain will rule supreme on the seas and in all distant parts of the world. This intention you personally deny and thus far I must take your word for it. But do you deny it also for your Government? That you cannot do, for the facts have been brought to light; when Great Britain determined to join the coalition of Russia with France, which is ruled by Russia, when it put aside all the differences that stood between her and Russia, when it set upon us not only the hordes of Russia but the scrupulous Japanese, "the yellow peril," and called upon all Europe, when it also sunk in the ocean its duties to European culture—for all of that there is but one explanation: England believes that the hour for our destruction has struck. Why does she wish to destroy us? Because she will not endure our power, our zeal, our perfection of growth! There is no other explanation!

Lifting Humanity.

We and Great Britain in alliance with America were able in peaceful co-operation to lift humanity to a higher plane, and to lead the world in peace, allowing to each his rights. We Germans, now know no, and have never known any, higher ideal than this. In order to realize this ideal the German Kaiser and the German people have made many sacrifices in the past 43 years. In proportion to the development of our strength, we should be able to lay claim to more territory than we now possess in the world. But we have never attempted to force this claim. We held that the strength of our nation should be in its zeal and in the peaceful fruits of that zeal. Great Britain has begrudged us that; she has been jealous of our powers, jealous of our fleet, jealous of our industries and our commerce, and jealousy is the root of all evil. Jealousy it is which has driven Great Britain into the most fearful war which history knows and the end of which is unforseen.

What course is open to you, gentlemen, once you are enlightened as to the policy of your country? In the name of our Christian culture, which your Government has frivolously placed in jeopardy, I can offer you but one counsel: To burden your consciences no longer with Servia and Belgium, which you must protect, but to face about and stop your Government in its headlong course; it may not be too late. As far as we Germans are concerned, our way is clearly indicated, though not so our fate. Should we fall, which God and our strong arm prevent, then there sinks with us to its grave all the higher culture of our part of the world, whose defenders we were called to be; for neither with Russia nor against Russia will Great Britain be able longer to maintain that culture in Europe. Should we conquer—and victory is for us something more than mere hope—then shall we feel ourselves responsible, as formerly, for this culture, for the learning and the peace of Europe, and shall put from us any idea of setting up a hegemony in Europe. We shall stand by the one who, together in fraternal union with us, will create and maintain such a peaceful Europe.

For the continuation of your cordial {206}attitude toward me I am personally grateful. I would not unnecessarily sever the bond which holds me to the upright Christians and the learning of your country, but at the present moment this bond has no value for me.


P.S.—It is in your power now to wage a battle which would be of honor to you. As a fourth great power arrayed against Germany, the lying international press has raised itself up, flooded the world with lies about our splendid and upright army, and slandered everything that is German. We have been almost entirely cut off from any possibility of protecting ourselves against this "beast of the pit." Do not believe the lies, and spread abroad the truth about us. We are today no different than Carlyle pictured us to you. HARNACK.

The Causes of the War

By Theodore Niemeyer

Theodore Niemeyer, Kaiser Wilhelm Exchange Professor at Columbia University for 1914-15, and well-known Professor of Kiel University, has addressed the following letter to the editor of The New Yorker Staats-Zeitung.

KIEL, 14th August, 1914.

To the Editor of the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung:

Dear Sir: English papers publish a telegram from Mr. Andrew Carnegie, in which the view is expressed that the German Emperor, "in declining to take part In the peace conference proposed by Sir Edward Grey, an advocate of peace," proved unfaithful to that love of peace which he has shown during the past twenty-five years—that he, on the contrary, has taken up the rôle of a disturber of the peace of Europe.

To the best of my knowledge, the German press has only referred to this telegram with the simple remark that intelligence of the real state of affairs has evidently not yet reached the ears of the sender of the telegram.

This attitude of the German press is in conformity with its firm consciousness of the justice of its cause and its confidence in the ultimate triumph of truth. Both in this consciousness and in this confidence I will not be surpassed by any one, but to observe silence in the face of such accusations is beyond my power. To allow such a misconstruction to pass unchallenged through the world seems to me (and doubtless to many thousands besides me) unbearable.

The misunderstanding about the Peace Conference is easily put right. Sir Edward Grey did not propose any peace conference at all, but a conference of the Ambassadors of those four powers which were at that time not directly concerned, namely Germany, England, France, and Italy. These powers were to attempt to exert their influence on Austria-Hungary and Russia in the same way as the Ambassador's Conference (or rather Ambassadorial Reunion) in London had done, in 1912 and 1913, on the Balkan States and Turkey. What the united six powers at that time undertook toward the Balkan States was now to be done by four—discordant—powers upon two others who are in a state of highest political tension. To this proposal Germany replied that the apparatus of an Ambassadorial Conference does not work quickly or effectually enough for the emergency of the moment, or to be able to ease the tense political situation.

The Kaiser's Efforts.

In place of this, however, the German Emperor undertook to negotiate in person with the Russian and Austrian monarch and was overwhelmed with grief when the leaders of Muscovite policy frustrated all his exertions by completely ignoring his efforts for peace, (made at the express desire of the Czar,) and then in {207}real earnest amassing Russian forces on the German frontier, evidently resolved to force on a war under any circumstances—even against the will of the Czar.

It is here that the clue to all the terrible events of the present day is to be found.

The incessant intriguing of the Russian military party for many years past has at last succeeded in drawing first France and then England to their cause, by turning the mistrust, the dread of competition, the hopes of revenge, and the ever-increasing armaments to their use with incomparable skill. The task was facilitated by Germany's industrial up-growth, which—in willful misconstruction of the truths of the laws of international communities—has been represented as a calamity for other States.

England's Growing Friendship.

In quite recent times people in England began to recognize this misconstruction of facts as such. They began to understand that friendship with Germany might be a blessing and that in this way peace would be possible. This, however, meant the possibility of the Muscovite policy being completely frustrated. An Anglo-German understanding seemed already to be shaking the very foundations of the Triple Entente. Russia had been obliged during the two Balkan wars (the London Ambassadorial Conference was in fact the clearing house for this) to make important concessions to the detriment of her protégés, Servia and Montenegro, in order to retain the friendship of England, which ardently strove for peace. Now, however, it was highest time for Russia to pocket her gains; for the English people were slowly beginning to realize that in St. Petersburg they were trying to engage England in the cause of Pan-Slavism. The unnatural alliance was becoming more and more unpopular from day to day. How long would it be before Russia lost England's help forever?

Before this took place Russia must bring about a European war. The iron, which had been prepared with the help of the English military party, had to be forged, for never again would there be a moment so favorable for the complete destruction of Austria and the humiliation of Germany. Servia was thrust to the front. Russia's Ambassador managed that wonderfully. The fire was set in so skillful a manner that the incendiaries knew in advance there was no possibility of extinguishing it. The conflagration must spread and soon blaze in all corners of Europe.

What was the use of a Peace Conference in such circumstances? Conscious of the irresistible consequences of their action the real rulers of Russia sent forward their armies; it was now or never, if the work was to be done with the help of England. And without England perhaps even France would not consent to join.

Thus it came about, and thus we have seen the peaceful policy of the German Emperor, which he has upheld for twenty-five years, completely wrecked.

We are now fighting not only for our Fatherland, but also for the emancipation of our culture from a menace that has become insupportable.

Yours faithfully,


Kaiser Wilhelm Professor, Columbia University.

{208}Comment by Dr. Max Walter

To the letter addressed by Prof. Th. Niemeyer to the editor of The New Yorker Staats-Zeitung (see No. 237, 3, 2, of Frankfurter Zeitung) I should like to add the following remarks: During my activity as Professor of the Methodics of Foreign Language Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, (January-June, 1911,) I was introduced to Mr. Andrew Carnegie, with whom I had a long interview. He expressed his views upon the peace question and arbitration, and spoke for a long time about the German Emperor who had repeatedly received him during his visits to Germany. He expressed his great appreciation of the important services rendered by our Emperor for the maintenance of peace, and declared that he, above all others, deserved the title of the Peace-loving Monarch, (Friedensfürst.) To him it was chiefly due that, during the various crises which had repeatedly brought Europe to the brink of war, the disaster had again and again been averted. The German Emperor, he considered, looked upon it as his chief pride that no war should take place during his reign, that Germany should develop and prosper in peaceful emulation with other countries, and his greatest desire was that other nations should recognize ungrudgingly that all Germany did to raise the moral and ethical standard of mankind was for the benefit of all.

If now Carnegie has really declared, as this letter maintains, that he considers the German Emperor the "Disturber of Peace," it shows clearly how baleful the influence of the English press has been—that it could shake such a firm conviction in our Emperor's love of peace. Let us hope that this letter of Prof. Niemeyer's and other explanations to the same effect will induce him to recognize the horrible misrepresentations of English papers and to return to his former conviction.

It was on this occasion, too, that Andrew Carnegie indorsed Prof. Burgess's view, that the three nations—America, Germany, and England—should unite, and then they would be able to keep the peace of the world. When I expressed my doubts in the real friendship of England, he replied, then America and Germany, at least, must hold together to secure universal peace. Hitherto I have refrained from publishing this interview, but now I consider it my duty to make known the views that Carnegie once held, and to which, if he has really changed them, we may hope he, who has done so much in his noble striving after peace, will return right away.

If there should remain the least doubt in Mr. Andrew Carnegie's mind, he has only to read the telegrams exchanged between the Emperor William and the Czar on the one hand, and King George and the Emperor on the other.

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