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Title: Ten Years Near the German Frontier
       A Retrospect and a Warning

Author: Maurice Francis Egan

Release Date: June 14, 2011 [EBook #36412]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Transcriber's note

Obvious punctuation errors have been repaired silently. Word errors have been corrected and a list of corrections can be found after the book. The author's incorrect spellings of Danish and other foreign names and words have been retained, such as "Holger Dansker" for "Holger Danske", "Amalieborg" for "Amalienborg", "Hvidhöre" for "Hvidöre". An incorrect reference to the Danish King Christian IV. for Christian IX. has been corrected.

The Table of Contents can be found here.

Ten Years Near the
German Frontier

A Retrospect and a Warning


Maurice Francis Egan
Former United States Minister to Denmark

Hodder and Stoughton
London · New York · Toronto

Copyright, 1918,
By George H. Doran Company


The purpose of this book is to show the reflections of Prussian policy and activity in a little country which was indispensable to Prussia in the founding of the German Empire, and which, in spite of its heroic struggle in 1864, was forced to serve as the very foundation of that power; for, if Prussia had not unrighteously seized Slesvig, the Kiel Canal and the formation of the great German fleet would have been almost impossible.

The rape of Slesvig and the acquisition of Heligoland—that despised 'trouser button' which kept up the 'indispensables' of the German Navy—are facts that ought to illuminate, for those who would be wise, the past as a warning to the future. There is no doubt that the assimilation of Slesvig by Prussia led to the Franco-Prussian war, and liberated modern Germany from the difficulties that would have hampered her intention to become the dominant power in the world. The further acquisition of Denmark would have been only a question of time, had not the march of the Despot through Belgium aroused the civilised world to the reality of the German imperial aggression—until then, unhappily, not taken seriously. Had Germany followed the policy which induced her to hold Slesvig, in spite of the promise that the Slesvigers, passionately Danish, might by vote decide their own fate—and seize Denmark, the Virgin Islands, not American, would have been German possessions. The change of policy which sent the German army into Belgium and Northern France, instead of into Denmark, was, in a measure, due to the belief in Germany, that the war would be short; and, with France helpless, Russia terrorised and England torn by political factions, she could control the Danish Belts that lead from the North Sea to the Baltic and treat these waters as German lakes.

She reckoned as erroneously on that as she reckoned on controlling the Mediterranean and on smashing the Monroe Doctrine by practically possessing Argentine and Brazil. She built well, however, when she made Kiel the pride of the Emperor and the Empire. Europe watched the process, and hardly gave a thought to the outrage on humanity and liberty it involved. The world is suffering for this indifference. The retention of Danish Slesvig created the German sea power and the constant threat to Denmark concerns us all. It is a world question; and it must be answered in the interest of Democracy.

Denmark is geographically part of Germany. In normal times you reached Berlin from Copenhagen in a night. In a few short hours you may see German sentinels on the Slesvig frontier, and hear the field practice of German guns. A Zeppelin might have reached Copenhagen from Berlin in eight hours, and an army corps might land in Jutland in about double that time.

Copenhagen is so near what was that centre of world politics—the German court—its royal family is so closely allied with all the reigning and non-reigning royal families of Europe, and its diplomatic life so tense and comprehensive,—that it has been well named the whispering gallery of Europe.

I have not attempted to keep out of this sketch of my diplomatic experiences and deductions all traces of amusement; but, as to the terrible seriousness of the greater part of this record, I may appropriately quote the answer of Bismarck's tailor, when that genius of blood and iron accused him of asking an enormous price for a fur coat, of 'joking.' 'No,' answered the tailor, 'never in business!'

And, in spite of the fact that there are lights and even laughs in the diplomatic career, it is a serious business; and the sooner my fellow countrymen recognise this, the fewer international errors they will have to regret.

Maurice Francis Egan.




    A Scrap of Paper and the Danes 1


    The Menace of 'Our Neighbour to the South' 35


    The Kaiser and the King of England 46


    Some Details the Germans Knew 61


    Glimpses of the German Point of View in Relation to the United States 79


    German Designs in Sweden and Norway 98


    The Religious Propaganda 124


    The Prussian Holy Ghost 154


    1910, 1911, 1912 169


    A Portent in the Air 189


    The Preliminaries to the Purchase of the Danish Antilles 203


    The Beginning of 1917 and the End 259


Let us trace deliberately, with as much calmness as possible, the beginning of that policy, of 'blood and iron' which made the German Empire, as we knew it yesterday, possible. It began with the tearing up of 'a scrap of paper' in 1864. It began in perfidy, treachery, and the forcible suppression of the rights of a free people. It began in Denmark; and nothing could make a normal American more in love with freedom, as we know it, than to live under the shadow of a tyrannical power, cynically opposed to the legitimate desire of a little nation to develop its own capabilities in its own way.

The Hanoverian on the throne of England in '76,—that 'snuffy old drone from a German hive'—never dared to suggest that the colonies should be crushed out of all semblance of freedom; but, suppose our language had been different from that which his environment compelled him to speak, and that he had resolved to force his tongue on our own English-speaking people; suppose that he and his counsellors had resolved that German should be the language spoken in sermons and prayers from Washington's old church in Alexandria to Faneuil Hall; suppose that all the colleges and schools of the country, as well as the law courts, were forced to use this alien tongue; that a German-speaking Empire existed to the south of us, and the minority in this German domain, arrogant, closely connected with the Hanoverian régime, ruled us with the mailed fist, would we submit without constant efforts to obtain justice?

And yet Denmark, in the province of Slesvig, has endured these things since 1864. She alone of all the world resisted the beginning of German tyranny, of German arrogant evolution; and her resistance was useless because the rest of Europe saw in the future neither the German Empire nor the Kiel Canal.

Denmark is, as every schoolboy knows, geographically part of Germany; and the Pan-Germans spoke of it benevolently as 'our Northern province.' It might long ago have been their Northern province if England and Russia had not been powers in the world and if the great Queen Louise of Denmark, a beautiful and fragile little woman, with a heart of gold and a will of steel, had not used all her wits to keep her country free by the only means of diplomacy she knew—the ties of family.

Queen Louise, the wife of Christian IX., new king of an old line, was not born in the purple, though her blood was the bluest in Europe. The beautiful princesses, her three daughters, later the Empress of Russia, Dagmar, the Queen of England, Alexandra, and the Duchess of Cumberland, Thyra, made their frocks and were taught all the household arts—for their father, royal by blood as he was, was a poor officer.

These princesses hold lovingly in remembrance the time of their poverty; these princesses love the old times. There is a villa on the Strandvej (the beach way) called Hvidhöre, white as befits the name, with sculptured sea-nymphs and pretty gardens and a path under the strand to the Sound. Here, until 1914, the Empress Dowager of Russia and the Queen of England regularly spent part of the summer and autumn. The Russian yacht, The Polar Star, and the English Victoria and Albert appeared regularly in the Sound, the officers added to the gaiety of Copenhagen and the royal ladies went to Hvidhöre, 'where,' as the Widow Queen of England said to my wife, smiling, 'we can make our own beds, as we did when we were girls.'

The servants might drop a plate or two during luncheon or stumble over a chair; but the Empresses of Russia and of India made no objections—'the dear old people were a little blind, perhaps, but then they had served our father, King Christian.' And anything that relates to their father is sacred to these ladies; and everything concerning Denmark very dear.

In 1907 the small parties at Hvidhöre went on as usual, though the great royal gatherings at the palace of Fredensborg had ceased. Here, in the time of the old Queen Louise, from sixty to eighty scions of royalty, young and old, had often gathered under the high blue ceiling, from which looked down beautiful white gods and goddesses.

In 1907-8 King Frederick VIII. gave occasionally a dinner on Sunday night at the country house not far from Copenhagen, Charlottenlund, when it was hard to keep from turning one's back to a royalty,—there were so many crowned heads present. There, if Queen Alexandra made it plain that she wanted to speak to you, you, approaching her, found yourself with your back to the King of Greece or to King Haakon of Norway, or to the Queen of Denmark herself!

Times have changed; the circumstances which made the late mother of King Frederick so powerful in keeping 'the family' together can never occur again.

Of the four daughters of the late King Frederick, two married, one in Sweden and the other in Germany. The Danish princess, Louise, who became the wife of His Serene Highness, Prince Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Bruno of Lippe-Schaumbourg, is to the Danes a lovely and pathetic memory. They say that he treated her badly, that the bride fled from him to the protection of her parents, whom they censured for not taking her home before her death. The criticism—which even found expression in public disapproval—was unreasonable, but the mass of the Danes is always more generous than just in the treatment of its children. In 1908-9, to mention the name of Prince Friedrich was to commit a social error; he was taboo; every mother in Denmark was furious at the stories told of his injuries to their dead Princess Louise.

Princess Ingeborg, born in 1878, married the 'blue Prince,' Charles of Sweden, Duke of Westgothia. King Frederick VIII., after the failure of the German marriage, kept his two other daughters, Thyra and Dagmar, in the background. He was a very sympathetic king, and he liked to talk of ordinary affairs; he was truly much interested in the life immediately around him. 'I do not encourage princes in search of wives,' he said; 'I shall keep my daughters with me.' Princess Thyra—one cannot conceal the age of princesses, while there is an Almanach de Gotha—was born on March 14th, 1880, and Princess Dagmar on May 23rd, 1890. The Princess Thyra is of the type of her beautiful aunt, the Queen Mother of England; like her aunt, she looks much younger than her age; the Princess Dagmar has the quality of this royal family, of always seeming to be ten years, in appearance, younger than they are. They were our near neighbours for ten years, and my wife often threatened to marry them to nice 'Americans';—King Frederick, considering this impossible, gave his consent at once! He often brought them in to tea, and they met 'nice Americans,' and seemed to like them very much.

The Emperor William—who wanted to be called the Emperor of Germany rather than the German, or Prussian Emperor, as we always called him—showed no affection for his Danish relatives; but, nevertheless, he did not underrate the value of Denmark as the 'whispering gallery' of Europe.

In the old palace of Rosenborg, in Copenhagen, there is a room so arranged that, by means of a narrow tunnel in the wall, Christian IV., a contemporary of Queen Elizabeth, could hear what his guards said, in their cabinet, at all hours of the day and night. 'There is a similar room at Potsdam,' a Dane said to me; 'William always listens when he is not speaking!' William knew what the Danes said of the German marriage; his plans did not lie in the way of annexing either of the Danish princesses, whose sympathies were not with the despoilers of the country; he had his eyes on the son of their aunt, the Duchess of Cumberland, who was later to marry his daughter. But royal marriages had ceased to strengthen or weaken Denmark; the Archduke Michael of Russia 'hung around' for a time; others came; but King Frederick walked out with his daughter, Princess Thyra, both evidently content. Princesses are expected to make marriages of 'convenience,' but Princess Thyra, like her aunt, Princess Victoria of England, does not seem inclined to make a marriage of that kind. Princess Dagmar was too young to be permitted to expect suitors, when her father lived; and the Princess Margaret, daughter of Prince Valdemar, brother of King Frederick, for whom, it was said, overtures had already been made on behalf of the growing Prince of the House of Saxony, was younger still. Denmark had ceased to be a marriage market of kings; the futility of attempting to cement international relations by royal alliances was becoming only too evident. Prince Valdemar, brother of King Frederick, had refused more than once a Balkan kingdom, and, when consulted by very great personages as to a marriage of his oldest son to the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, had answered, like his brother Frederick, that he preferred 'to keep his children at home.'

Nevertheless, the previous royal marriages and the fact that nearly every diplomat at Copenhagen was a favourite with his sovereign, sent by a relative of the court at home to please the court at Copenhagen, gave the post unusual prestige, and made 'conversations' possible there which could not have taken place elsewhere. The court circle, when one had the entrance, but not until then, was like that of an agreeable family. Nearly every minister at Copenhagen was destined for an embassy. When my predecessor, Mr. O'Brien, was translated to Tokyo, our prestige was enhanced; the Danes believed that our country but followed the usual precedent, according to which their French M. Jusserand had been made ambassador at Washington. Even the United States had begun to understand the importance of the post; and it was in the line of diplomatic usage when it was rumoured that I had been offered Vienna. I met, too, ministers to Copenhagen who considered themselves, because of royal patronage, ambassadors by brevet, and who exacted 'Excellency,' not as a courtesy but a right!

Mr. Whitelaw Reid wrote to me, speaking of my post as a 'delightful, little Dresden china court'; the epithet was pretty, and there were times, when the young princesses and their friends thronged the rococo rooms of the Amalieborg Palace, that it seemed appropriate. When the processions of guests moved up the white stairs between the line of liveried servants, some of them with quaint artificial flowers in their caps, the sight was very like a bit out of Watteau.

Bismarck had not looked on Denmark as a negligible country; he knew its importance; there was a legend that one of the few persons he really respected and feared in Europe was the old Queen Louise. Besides, he knew the history of Denmark so well, that he chose to correct the supposed taint in the blood of the Hohenzollerns by choosing an Empress for William II. of 'the blood of Struense.' This Struense, the German physician who, through the degeneracy of Christian VII., had in 1770 become the guide, the philosopher, and—it was said—the more than friend of his Queen, Caroline Matilda, tried to be the Bismarck of Denmark; but he was of too soft a mould,—the disciple of Rousseau and Voltaire rather than of Machiavelli and Cæsar Borgia. He was drawn and quartered, after having confessed, in the most ungentlemanly way, his relations with the queen, sister of King George III. of England.

It is probable that part of the Emperor's dislike to Bismarck was due to that 'mot' of the Iron Chancellor about the royal marriage he had helped to make. It was the kind of 'mot' that William would not be likely to forget. It is an axiom of courts that the child of a Queen cannot be illegitimate. Even the Duke de Morny, son of Queen Hortense of Holland, bore proudly 'Hortensias' in the panels of his carriage during the Third Empire in France. Nevertheless, though Queen Caroline Matilda had died, in her exile at Celle, protesting her innocence, it was understood that Struense was the father of the supposed daughter of Christian VII., the daughter who married into the House of Slesvig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg. Her descendant, the Princess Augusta Victoria Frederika-Louisa-Feodora-Jenny married the Emperor William II., on February 27th, 1881, at Berlin. It was a love match—at least on the side of the empress. One of the ladies in waiting at the German court once told my wife that the famous Augusta Victoria rose—the magnolia rose of our youth—was always cherished by her imperial majesty because of its association with her courtship—'the emperor knew how to make love!' the empress said.

The appearance of Struense among the ancestors of the empress, to which Bismarck is said to have so brutally alluded, was not agreeable to the proudest monarch in Europe. Queen Caroline Matilda, sister of the second George of England, was only fifteen years of age when she came to Denmark to become the wife of Christian VII. in 1766. And, if anything could have excused her later relations with Struense (her son, Frederick VII., was undoubtedly legitimate)—it was the attitude of her degenerate husband and her mother-in-law, Julianna Maria. Having been dragged one bitter cold morning to the castle of Elsinore, she confessed her guilt; but under such circumstances of cruel oppression that the confession goes for little; circumstances, however, were against her, and the courts of Europe only remember that she was the daughter of a king, of blood sufficiently royal, to make up for her declension.

In Copenhagen, in 1908, the echoes of public opinion in London, among the higher classes at least, showed that the momentary insecurity caused by the reverses in the Boer war had passed. People had forgotten the emperor's telegram to Oom Paul. Nobody wanted war; therefore, there would be no war. 'If we have no property,' St. Francis of Assisi, pleading for his Order to the Pope, said, 'we shall need no soldiers to protect it.' It was forgotten that, reversely, if we have property, we must always have armies and fleets to protect it. It was not war that anybody wanted; but there was property to be had, which could only be had by the use of armies and fleets.

In Paris (for reasons which secret history will one day disclose, and for other reasons only too plain), the German designs were apparently not understood by high officials who directed the course of France. France made the mistake, as we are always likely to do, of reading its own psychology into the minds of its opponents. Paris believed, to use Voltaire's opinion of the prophet Habakkuk, that Germany was capable of everything, except the very thing that Germany was preparing without rest, without haste, and without shame to do—to bleed her white!

From echoes in Copenhagen, we learned, too, that in Petrograd, Germany was better understood because the Russian spies were real spies; they knew what they were about, and, being half oriental, they understood how to use the scimitar of Saladin. There were other spies who knew only the use of the battle-axe of Coeur-de-Lion; but they were often deceived though very well paid; in fact, the ordinary paid spy is a bad investment. In Belgium the Internationals talked universal peace; indeed, among others than the Internationals, the army was disliked. As in Holland, German commercial aggression was feared. The most amazing thing is that Internationalism did not weaken the morale of the heroic Belgians when the test came.

In Copenhagen, the idea of a permanent peace seemed untenable, and war meant ruin to Denmark. This was not a pleasant state of mind; but it did not induce subserviency. In the vaults of Hamlet's castle of Elsinore on the delectable Sound, Holger Dansker sits, waiting to save Denmark from the ruthless invader. There are brave Danes to-day who would follow Holger, the Dane, to the death, who believe that their country never can be enslaved; but, though the conquering Germans spared Denmark, they did not need the knowledge of the fate of Belgium to convince them of what they might expect as soon as it pleased the Kaiser to act against them. The fate of Belgium had confirmed the fears they had inherited. There is no doubt where their hearts were, but a movement—a slight movement—against Germany would have meant for the King of Denmark the fate of the King of Belgium or the King of Serbia. That he is married to a princess half German by blood would not shield him. Belgium was not spared because its queen was of German birth.

Copenhagen, as I have said, was not only a city of rumours, but a city of news. The pulse of Europe could be felt there because Europeans of distinction were passing and repassing continually, and the Danes, like the Athenians of St. Paul's time, love to hear new things. But there was and is one old query which all Denmark never forgets to ask: Will Danish Slesvig come back to its motherland? Slesvig-Holstein is the Alsace-Lorraine question in Denmark. For Slesvig Denmark would dare much. She could not court certain destruction but, in her heart, 'Slesvig' is written as indelibly as 'Calais' was written in the heart of the dying queen, Mary Tudor.

She had forgiven and forgotten the loss of her fleet and the bombardment of Copenhagen by the English in 1807 and 1814. She then stood for France and new ideas, and Tory England made her suffer for it. She lost Norway in 1814; she was reduced almost to bankruptcy; and, until 1880, she could only devote her attention to the revival of her economic life. Holstein was German; Slesvig, Danish. They could not be united unless the language of one was made dominant over the language of the other. The imperial law of Germany governed Holstein; all Slesvig legislation had since 1241 been based upon the laws of the Danish King Valdemar. To force the German law and language on Slesvig was to wipe out all Danish ideas and ideals in the most Danish of the provinces of Denmark. The attempt to Germanise Slesvig took concrete form in 1830. Desiring to bring it under German domination, Uve Lornsen, a Frisian lawyer, proposed to make the Duchies of Slesvig and Holstein self-governing states, separated from Denmark, and entirely under German influence. As, according to him, only royal persons of the male lineage could govern the united Duchies, the King of Denmark might have the title of Duke until the male line should become extinct. Uve Lornsen met remonstrances based on the laws and traditions of the Danes with the arrogant assertion, uttered in German:

'Ancient history is not to be considered; we will have it our own way now.'

Kristian Poulsen, a Dane, who knew both the German and the Danish views, opposed the beginning of a process which meant the imposition of autocratic methods on a people who were resolved to develop their own national spirit in freedom.

In Slesvig there are 3613 square miles. In the greater part of this territory, consisting of 2190 square miles, Danish was the vernacular, while 1423 square miles were populated by speakers of German. German power had secured German teaching for 220,000 people in churches and schools. The injustice of this will be seen when it is understood that only 110,000 were given opportunities, religious and educational, of hearing Danish. Danish could not be used in the courts of law. It was required that the clergy should be educated at the University of Kiel, and other officials of the state could have no chance of advancement unless they used German constantly and fluently. The teachers in the communal schools were all trained in Germany. The Danish speech was not used in a single college. In a word, the German influence, under the eyes of a Danish king and government, was driving out all the safeguards of Danish national life in Slesvig.

King Christian VIII., partly awakened to the wrongs of the Slesvigers, issued in 1840 a rescript insisting on the introduction of Danish into the law courts. The German partisans were outraged by this insult to German Kultur; no tongue but the German should be used even in Danish Slesvig. The king, the Danish court, for over two hundred years had been Germanised; the king did not dare to announce himself as a nationalist; but, against the German partisans, he decided that the Danish kings had always possessed the right of succession in Denmark, that the succession was not confined to the male line in Slesvig.

In Holstein the position was different. If the Danish line should become extinct, the succession might fall to the Russian Emperor; but Slesvig must be Danish. On the death of King Christian VIII. in 1848, feeling ran high in Denmark and in Slesvig-Holstein. In truth, all Europe was in a ferment. The results of the French revolt in 1830 were still leavening Europe. The Assembly of Holstein and Slesvig was divided in opinion. The desire of the Germans in the provinces to control the majority became more and more apparent. Danish interests must disappear, the beginning of the German 'Kultur,' not yet developed by Bismarck, must take its place. Five deputies were sent to Copenhagen, with, among other demands, a demand that the Danish part of the country be incorporated into the German confederation.

The citizens of Copenhagen had reason to believe that the Holstein counts, Moltke and Reventlow-Criminel, potent ministers and men of strong wills, might influence King Frederick VII. to give way to the Germans. The king determined to dismiss these ministers; the demands of the Town Council of Copenhagen and the people of Denmark were answered before they were made. His Majesty had 'neither the will nor the power to allow Slesvig to be incorporated in the German Confederation; Holstein could pursue her own course.'[1]

But the German opposition in the provinces had not been idle. Berlin had shown itself favourable to the Duke of Augustenburg, and the Prince of Noer had headed a band of rebels against Denmark and instigated the garrison of Rendsborg to mutiny on the plea that the Danes had imprisoned their king. A contest of arms took place between the two parties. Prussia interfered; but Prussia was not then what it is now. At the conclusion of a three years' war, the rebels were defeated and the King of Denmark decreed that Slesvig should be a separate duchy, governed by its own assembly. The German party so juggled the election—'Fatherland Over All' governed their point of view, the end justified the means—that the Assembly shamefully misrepresented the Danes. It was Prussianised.

The Danes did not lose heart—Slesvig must be Danish; but if they allowed their language to disappear, there could be no hope for their nationality. On the other hand, the Germans held, as they hold to-day, that all languages must yield to theirs. The German press would have extirpated the Danish language; it was seditious; the Danes were rebels. From the Danish side to Tönder-Flensborg, the official speech and that of the people was Danish. Between the two Belts—the space can easily be traced on the map—Danish was spoken in the churches every second Sunday. In the schools both Danish and German was permitted; in the courts of law both languages were used. You made your choice! The world was deceived by an unscrupulous Assembly and the German press into the belief that Slesvig was German, lovingly German, and that the Danes were merely restless malcontents, hating the beneficent Prussian rule simply from a perverted sense of their own importance.

The crucial moment came in 1864. Denmark had no real friends in Europe. The United States, if her people had understood the matter, would have been sympathetic; but, at the moment, she was fighting for her own existence as a nation. The European powers, in spite of all their statecraft, allowed themselves to be blinded. Austria, apparently proud and noble, allowed herself, as usual, to be made the tool of Prussia. The two powers, on the false pretence that the right of Christian IX. to the succession to the duchies was involved, forced Denmark, which stood alone, to surrender Slesvig-Holstein and Lauenburg. This was the beginning of the mighty German Empire; it made the Kiel Canal possible, and laid the foundation of the German Navy. Slesvig, too, supplied the best sailors in the world. Bismarck, when he cynically treated Slesvig as a pawn in his game, had his eye on a future navy—a navy which would one day force the British from the dominion of the sea.

He had his way. He became master of the Baltic and the North Sea. Prussia, in forcing the Danish king to cede Slesvig, admitted his right to the Duchies; yet the pretext for war on Denmark had been that no such right existed. Prussia soon threw off her ally, Austria. She did not want a half owner in the Holstein Canal or in the coming fleet at Kiel.

It must be remembered that, when Christian IX. had ascended the throne of Denmark, it had been with the consent of all the great European powers. They had practically guaranteed him the right to rule Slesvig-Holstein, and yet England and France and Russia stood by and allowed the outrage to take place. France made an attempt to satisfy her conscience. In the treaty of peace France had this clause inserted:

'H.M. the Emperor of Austria hereby transfers to H.M. the King of Prussia all the right which according to the Treaty of Peace of Vienna of October 30, 1864, he had acquired in respect to the Duchies of Slesvig and Holstein, provided that the northern districts of Slesvig shall be united to Denmark, if the inhabitants by a free vote declare their desire to that effect.'

This was a 'scrap of paper'—nothing more! Nevertheless a scrap of paper may be inconvenient. Austria, never scrupulous when the acquisition of new territory was expedient, was willing to help Prussia to tear it up. Bosnia and Herzogovina raised their heads. Austria wanted help from Prussia. Here was the Prussian chance to induce her to abrogate her part in clause fifty of the peace treaty. What matter? Denmark, in time, must be German, as Slesvig was German, in spite of all right. Austria would play the same game with the Slavs as Prussia had played with the Danes. Individuals might have consciences, but nations had no system of ethics, and therefore no canons (except those of expediency), to rule such consciences as they had. Prussia treated the right of the Danes in Slesvig, guaranteed by a 'scrap of paper,' to a free vote as to their fate, with contempt. It had amused Bismarck to deceive France, the exponent of the new democracy in Europe, but that was all. Slesvig was to be crushed until it became quiescently Prussian. Prussia needed it, therefore it must be Prussian. Fiat!

This is a plain, unvarnished tale. Few of my fellow-countrymen have known it. Some who knew it hazily concluded that Slesvig had become German of its own free will that it might belong to a prosperous and great empire. Others, who remembered that, even in their struggle for freedom in 1864, the Danes paused for a moment to give us their aid at the request of President Lincoln, had a vague idea that wrong had been done somehow; but how great the wrong, and how terrible the effect of the wrong was to be on the history of the world, none of them even dreamed; and yet it was plain enough to those who watched the policy of blood and iron of this, the new Germany.

People who believed that Prussia had any respect for an engagement that might seem to work against her own designs ought to have been warned by the experience of Denmark. But there were those who believed that the acquisition of Heligoland from the British was a mere trifle, in which Germany had the worse of the bargain, as there are people who held that the Danish West Indies were of no manner of importance to us. They classed these acquisitions with that of Alaska—'Seward's folly!'

And, in 1864, the old powers of Europe were so satisfied with their own methods, or so engaged with internal questions, that they let the monstrous tyranny of the conquest of Slesvig pass almost in silence. Prussia alone kept her eyes on one thing—the increase of her military power. In 1878 she induced Austria to abrogate her part in the treaty of Vienna of October 30, 1864. Austria agreed to give up any rights acquired by her in Slesvig-Holstein under the fifth clause of that treaty. This withdrawal (not to be irreverent, it was like the washing of the hands of Pontius Pilate) left Slesvig naked to her enemy. The Prussian autocrats chuckled when they found themselves bound by a 'scrap of paper' to the restoration of the northern districts of Slesvig to Denmark, 'if the inhabitants by a free vote declare their desire to that effect.'

The Imperial German statesmen, astute and unscrupulous, have always taken religion into consideration in making their propaganda. The German Crown Prince's sympathy with the same methods as used by Napoleon Bonaparte was perhaps inherited from his ancestors, as Napoleon, too, knew the political value of religion. The Church, an enslaved Church in a despotic state,—the reverse of Cavour's famous maxim—has always been one of statesmen's tools. They have never hesitated to use religion as the means of accomplishing the ends of the state. In fact, the Catholic Church in Germany was in great danger of being enslaved. The old wars of the popes and the emperors—so little understood in modern times—would be very possible, had the victory of Germany been a probability.

Let us see what happened in Slesvig. Since '64, Prussia has governed Slesvig. This rule has been a prolonged and constant attempt to force the Danes from their homes. A very distinguished and rather liberal German diplomatist, Count Brockdorff-Rantzau, once asked me, 'As an American, tell me frankly what is wrong with our position in Slesvig?'

'Everything,' I said. 'You seem even to assume that the religion of the people should be the religion of the state.'

'The state religion in Slesvig is as the state religion in Denmark, Lutheranism.'

'But not Germanised Lutheranism. I have the testimony of a Lutheran pastor himself, the Reverend D. Troensegaard-Hansen, to the effect that the authorities in Slesvig prefer German materialistic teaching to Danish Christianity, and that all kinds of influence is brought to bear on the clergy to make them German in their point of view. If, in the Philippines, we attempted to do the things you do in Slesvig, there would be no end of trouble.'

He laughed. 'But democrats as you are, you will never keep your promise to grant those people self-government.'

'We will.'

'Your democracy is not statesmanlike. It would be fatal for us to let the Slesvigers defy our power. They must be part of Germany; there is no way out.'

'Either you want difficulties with them or you are worrying them just as a great mastiff worries a small dog.'

'But suddenly a gymnast raises the Danish flag, or somebody utters a seditious speech in Danish, or school books are circulated in which ultra-Danish views of history are given. If a country is to be ruled by us, it must be a German country. We can tolerate no difference that tends to denationalise our population. It is a dream—the Danish idea that we shall give up what we have taken or, rather, what has been ceded to us.'

'Without the consent of the people?'

'Who are the people? When you answer that I will tell what is truth. Come, you are a democrat; by and by, when you Americans are older, you will see democracy from a more practical point of view.'

The practical point of view in Slesvig was squeezing out gradually the independence of the Slesvigers. The Dane loves passionately his home, his language, his literature. He may be sceptical about many things, but it would be difficult to persuade him to deny that the red and white flag, the Danish flag, did not come down from heaven borne by angels! His culture is Danish, and part of his life. He keeps it up wistfully even when he swears allegiance to another nation. The Danes in Denmark will never cease to regard Slesvig as their own. It is one flesh with them; but Prussia has torn this one body asunder. Fancy a 'free election' being permitted in a country ruled by Prussian autocrats or a 'free election' in Alsace-Lorraine under German rule!

The geographical position of Denmark is unfortunate. There are imperialists of all countries who hold that the little countries have no right to live; Junkerism is not confined to Germany. The geographical position of most of the little countries is unfortunate, but none is so unfortunate as that of Denmark. When the war broke out, it seemed to her people that the road to German conquest lay through her borders. The Powers That Were in Germany decided to attack Belgium, and for the moment Denmark escaped.

Do you think that it was an easy thing for a proud people to be in the position of old King Canute before the advancing ocean? The waves came on, but nobody in his wildest imaginings ever dreamed that the modern Danish Canute could stem the tide. The Danes have their army and their navy; officers and men expected to die defending Denmark. What else could they do? Death would be preferable to slavery. The Dane does his best to forget; but always the echo of the words of the sentinel in Hamlet recurs:

''Tis bitter cold, and I am sick at heart.'

No number of royal alliances counts as against a bad geographical place in the world and the evil disposition of a strong neighbour. A change of heart has come over the world since Germany induced Austria to be her catspaw in 1914. The example of a country which deliberately asserted that might makes right, and followed this assertion with deeds that make the angels weep, has shocked the world, and forced other nations to examine their consciences. After all, we are a long time after Machiavelli. After the great breakdown in Russia there was a feeling among some of the conservatives in Denmark that the cousin of the Tsar of Russia, King George of England, might have laid a restraining hand on the Russian parties that forced the Tsar to abdicate. But the very mention of this seemed utterly futile. The King of Spain, though married to an English princess, could expect little help in any difficulty, were the interests of the English Ministry not entirely his. The contemplation of these alliances offers much material for the man who thinks in the terms of history.

When President Fallières visited Copenhagen in 1908, there was a gala concert given at the Palace of Amalieborg in his honour. The President was accompanied by a 'bloc' of black-coated gentlemen, some of them journalists of distinction.

There was no display of gold lace, and the representatives of the French Republic were really republican in their simplicity. The Danish court and the diplomatic corps were splendid, decorations glittered, and the white and gold rococo setting of the concert room was worthy of it all. The Queen of Denmark—now the Dowager Queen—was magnificent, as she always is at gala entertainments, possessing, as she does in her own right, some of the finest jewels in Europe.

Fallières represented the new order. His hostess, the Queen, is the daughter of Charles XV., a descendant of Bernadotte. Representing the lines of both St. Louis and Louis Philippe was the Princess Valdemar, now dead, who, as Marie of Orleans, came of the royal blood of the families of Bourbon and Orleans.

It was interesting to watch this gracious princess, whose father, the Duc de Chartres, had been with General McLellan during our Civil War. She adapted herself to the circumstances, as she always did, and seemed very proud of the honours shown to France. The Countess Moltke-Huitfeldt, Louise Bonaparte, was not in Denmark at the time. It would have added interest to the occasion, had this descendant of the youngest brother of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte been there.

Count Moltke-Huitfeldt, married to Louise Eugénie Bonaparte, is almost as French in his sentiments as his wife, and, for her, when the United States joined hands with France, it was a very happy day. One of the events that made the fine castle of Glorup, the seat of the Moltke-Huitfeldts, interesting was the visit of the ex-Empress Eugénie.

The Empress Eugénie, like all the Bonapartes, acknowledged the validity of the Patterson-Bonaparte marriage. She has always shown a special affection and esteem for the Countess Moltke-Huitfeldt.

The estate of Glorup, with its artificial lake and garden, in which Hans Christian Andersen often walked, was copied by an ancestor of the present count's from a part of Versailles. It was at its best during the visit of the empress, who was the most considerate of guests. The American Bonapartes were not ranked as royal highnesses for fear, on the part of Napoleon III. and Prince Napoleon, 'Plon-plon,' of raising unpleasant questions as to the succession.

Jerome himself, for a short time King of Westphalia, never pretended that his American marriage was not valid. Meeting Madame Patterson-Bonaparte by accident in the Pitti Palace, he whispered to the Princess of Würtemburg—she had then ceased to be Queen of Westphalia—'There is my American wife.' Mr. Jerome Bonaparte was offered the title of 'Duke of Sartine' by Napoleon III. if he would give up the name of his family, which, of course, he declined to do. Under the French laws, as well as the American, he was the legitimate son of Jerome Bonaparte. The presence of the Countess Moltke-Huitfeldt would have added another interesting touch to the assemblage in Amalieborg Palace, a touch which would have served for a footnote to history. In spite of the name 'Moltke,' Count Adam and his wife are as French as the French themselves. Names in Denmark are very deceptive.

The question of war was even then, in 1908, in the air. The German diplomatists were polite to Fallières, but they considered him heavy and bourgeois, and believed that he represented the undying dislike for Germany which the French system of education was inculcating.

'If the French schools teach the rising generation to hate Germany, what is the attitude of the German educators?' I asked.

'We know that we are hated, and we teach our young to be ready for an attack from wherever it comes; but we love peace, of course.'

In 1908, it was generally thought that the Kaiser himself was inclined to keep the peace. Now and then an isolated Englishman would declare that he had his doubts, when a German traveller seemed to know too much about his country, or when amiable German guests asked too many intimate questions.

It was the custom for the older colleagues to offer the newer ones a history of the Slesvig-Holstein dispute, which dated from the fifteenth century. On my arrival, Sir Alan Johnston had presented me with a volume on the subject by Herr Neergaard, considered the 'last word' on the subject. The pages, I noticed, were uncut, so I felt justified in passing it on to the newest colleagues, taking care, in order to give him perfect freedom, not to autograph it!

It was, as a French secretary often said, 'a complication most complicated'; but one fact was clear—the deplorable position of a liberty-loving people, deprived of the essentials that make life worth living!

The great barrier to the entire domination of Prussian ideals in this area between the Baltic and the North Sea is the existence of the Danish national spirit in Slesvig. 'If the other nations of Europe had looked ahead, the power of Prussia might have been held within reasonable bounds; the war in 1870 would have been impossible; this last awful world-conflict would not have occurred. Germany would have been taught her place long ago.' How often was this repeated!

The relations between the Emperor William and the Emperor of Russia were supposed to be unusually friendly then, after the practical defeat of Russia by Japan. In older days, Queen Louise of Denmark thought she had laid the foundation for a certain friendliness; but, nevertheless, the Tsar, though closely related to the Kaiser and dominated largely by his very beautiful German wife, was never free to ignore the Slavic genius of his people. Kings and emperors—all royal folk—made up a family society of their own until this war. We have changed all that, as the man in Molière's comedy said; and yet, as a rule, German royal princesses remained Prussian in spite of all temptation, while other women seemed naturally to adopt the nationalities of their husbands. The princesses connected with the Prussian royal house seem immutably Prussian.

The Tsar, then, like the Kaiser, cousin of the King of England, the son of a mother who remembered Slesvig-Holstein and never liked the Prussians, had second thoughts. (They were nearly always wrong when his wife influenced them.) It was one thing to call the mighty Prussian 'Willie'—all royalties have little domestic names—another to break with France and to bow the Slavic head to German benevolent assimilation. The Tsar might call the Emperor by any endearing epithet, but that did not imply political friendship; King George of Greece and Queen Alexandra were very fond of each other, but the queen would never have attempted to give her brotherly Majesty the Island of Crete which he badly wanted. With the death of the queen of Christian IX., assemblies of royalties ceased in Denmark; the old order had changed.

There was no neutral ground where the royalties and their scions could meet and soften asperities by the simplicity of family contact.

The point of view in Europe had become more democratic and more keen.

Even if there had been a Queen Louise to try to make her family, even to the remotest grandchild, a unit, it could not have been done. Reverence for royalty had passed out with Queen Victoria; the idols were dissolving, and restless ideals became visible in their places.

Prussia had drawn her states into a united empire; tributary kings were at the chariot wheel of the Prussian Emperor, not because the kings so willed, but because the subjects of the kings—the commercial people, the landowners, the military caste, the capitalists, the increasingly prosperous farmers—discovered it to be to their advantage.

Bismarck's policy of blood and iron meant more money and more worldly success for the Germans. Although the smaller Teutonic states had lost their freedom, Bismarck began to pay each of them its price in good gold with the stamp of the empire upon it. To take and to hold was the motto of the empire:—'We take our own wherever we find it!'

The old Germans disappeared; the Germans who were frugal and philosophical, poor and poetical, were emerging from the simplicity of the past to the luxury of the present.

As a rule, I found the Russian diplomatists very well informed and clever. Their foreign office seemed to have no confidants outside the bureaucratic circle. The Russian journalist, like most other journalists, was not better or earlier informed of events than the diplomatists. As Copenhagen was the place where every diplomat in the world went at some time or other, one was sure to discover interesting rumours or real news without much trouble.

While the newspapers or magazines of nearly every other nation gave indications in advance of the public opinion that might govern the cabinets or the foreign offices, the Russian periodicals gave no such clues. There was no use in keeping a Russian translator; real Russian opinion was seldom evident, except when a royalty or a diplomatist might, being bored by his silence, or with a patriotic object, tell the truth.

'What prevents war?' I asked in 1909 of one of my colleagues.

'Lack of money,' he answered promptly, repeating the words of Prince Koudacheff. 'Germany and Russia will fly at each other's throats as soon as the financiers approve of it. You will not report this to your Foreign Office,' he said, laughing, 'because America looks on war, a general European war, as unthinkable. It would seem absurd! Nobody in America and only ten per cent. of the thinking people in England will believe it! As for France, she is wise to make friends with my country, but she would be wiser if she did not believe that Germany will wait until she is ready to make her revanche. There are those in her government who hold that the revanche is a dream—that France would do well to accept solid gains for the national dream. They are fools!'

'Iswolsky is of the same opinion, I hear,' I said, for we had all a great respect for Iswolsky. But when the London National Review repeated the same sentiments over and over again, it seemed unbelievable that the Kaiser's professions of peace were not honest. Yet individual Pan-Germans were extremely frank. 'We must have our place in the East,' they said; 'we must cut the heart out of Slavic ambitions, and deal with English arrogance.' In a general way, we were always waiting for war.

In 1909, Count Aehrenthal, then a very great Austrian, told a celebrated financial promoter who visited our Legation, that war was inevitable. The Austrians and the Russians feared it and believed it—feared it so much that when I was enabled to contradict the rumour, there was a happy sigh as the news was well documented. Austria did not want war; Russia did not want war.

'But the Emperor of Germany?' I asked of one of the most honourable and keenest diplomatists in Berlin.

'He is surrounded by a military clique; he desires to preserve the rights and prerogatives of the German Empire, above all, the hereditary and absolute principle without a long war. A war will do it for him—if it is short. He himself would prefer to avoid it. Yet he must justify the Army and the Navy; but the war must be short.'

'But does he want war?'

'He is not bloodthirsty; he knows what war means, but he will want what his clique wants.'

These two diplomatists are both alive—one in exile—but I shall not mention their names. My colleagues were sometimes very frank. It would not be fair to tell secrets which would embarrass them—for a harmless phrase over a glass of Tokai is a different thing read over a glass of cold water! And, in the old days, before 1914, good dinners and good wines were very useful in diplomatic 'conversations.' Things began to change somewhat when after-dinner bridge came in. But, dinner or no dinner, bridge or no bridge, the diplomatic view was always serious.

In Denmark the thoughtful citizen often said, 'We are doomed; Germany can absorb us.' Count Holstein-Ledreborg once said, 'But Providence may save us yet.'

'By a miracle.'

It seemed absurd in 1908 that any great power should be allowed to think of conquering a smaller nation, simply because it was small. 'You don't reckon with public opinion—in the United States, for instance,—or the view of the Hague Conference,' I said.

'Public opinion in your country or anywhere else will count little against Krupp and his cannon. Public opinion will not save Denmark, for even Russia might have reason to look the other way. That would depend on England.'

It seemed impossible, for, like most Americans, I was almost an idealist. The world was being made a vestibule of heaven, and the pessimist was anathema! Was not science doing wonderful things? It had made life longer; it had put luxuries in the hands of the poor. The bad old days, when Madame du Barry could blind the eyes of Louis XV. to the horrors of the partition of Poland, and when the proud Maria Theresa could, in the same cause, subordinate her private conscience to the temptations of national expediency, were over. No man could be enslaved since Lincoln had lived! The Hague Conference would save Poland in due time, the democratic majority in Great Britain and Ireland was undoing the wrongs of centuries by granting Home Rule for Ireland, and, as for the Little Nations, public opinion would take care of them!

'What beautiful language you use, Mr. Minister,' said Count Holstein-Ledreborg; 'but you Americans live in a world of your own. Nobody knows what the military party in Germany will do. Go to Germany yourself. It is no longer the Germany of Canon Schmid, of Auerbach, of Heyse, of the Lorelei and the simple musical concert and the happy family life. Why, as many cannons as candles are hung on the Christmas trees!'

I repeated this speech to one of the most kindly of my colleagues, Count Henckel-Donnersmarck, who was really a sane human creature, too bored with artificiality to wear his honours with comfort.

'Oh, for your dress coat,' he would say. 'Look at my gold lace; I am loaded down like a camel. The old Germany, cher collègue, it is gone. I long for it; I am not of blood and iron; the old Germany, you will not find it, though you search even Bavaria and Silesia. And I believe, with the great Frederick, that your great country and mine may possess the future, if we are friends; therefore,' he smiled, 'I will not deceive you. The Germany of the American imagination, our old Germany, is gone.' He hated court ceremonies, whereas I rather like them; they were beautiful and stately symbols, sanctified by tradition. He ought to have danced at the court balls, but he never would. He was lazy. He was grateful to my wife, because she ordered me to dance the cotillions with Countess Henckel, who must dance with somebody who 'ranked,' or sit for five or six hours on a crimson bench.

The Danes had no belief that we could or would help them in a conflict for salvation, but they liked us. In 1909, when Dr. Cook suddenly came, they declared that they would take 'the word of an American gentleman' for his story of the North Pole. Sweden accepted him at once, England was divided—King Edward against Cook; Queen Alexandra for him! When Admiral Peary made his claim, the Queen of England said,—'Thank heaven! it is American against American, and not Englishman against American.'

We were all glad of that; and I was very grateful to the Danes for showing respect for the honour of an American, in whom none of us had any reason to disbelieve. There was no warning from the scientists in the United States. The German savants accepted Dr. Cook at once. In fact, until Admiral Peary sent his message, there seemed to be no doubt as to Cook's claims, except on the part of the Royal British Geographical Society. I joined the Danish Royal Geographical Society at his reception; it was not my duty to cast aspersions on the honour of an American, of whom I only knew that he had written The Voyage of the Belgic, had been the associate of Admiral Peary, and was a member of very good clubs. Even if I had been scientific enough to have doubts, I should have been polite to him all the same.

As it was, Denmark was delighted to welcome Cook because he was an American; he had apparently accomplished a great thing, and besides, he directed attention from politics at a tremendous public crisis. The great question for the Danish Government was as usual: Shall we defend ourselves? Shall we build ships and keep a large army and erect fortresses, or simply say 'Kismet' when Germany comes? The Conservatives were for defence; the Radicals and Socialists against it. Mr. J. C. Christensen, one of the most powerful of Danish politicians, of the Moderate School, holding the balance of power, was in a tight place. Alberti, the clever Radical, had been supported by Christensen, who had been innocently involved in his fall. Alberti languished in jail, and Christensen was being horribly assailed when Dr. Cook came and Denmark forgot Christensen and went wild with delight!

In 1907-8, Denmark trembled for fear that she would lose her freedom. When would the Germans attack? The disorder in Slesvig was perennial. A bill for a reasonable defence had been proposed to the Danish Parliament. King Frederick had had great difficulty in forming a ministry. Count Morgen Friis, capable, distinguished, experienced, but with some of the indolence of the old grand seigneur, had refused. Richelieu could not see his way clear; nobody wanted the responsibility. The Socialists and the Radicals, practical, if you like, did not believe in building forts in the hope of saving the national honour.

King Frederick VIII. was at his wit's end for a premier, for, as I have said, even Count Morgen Friis, a man of undoubted ability and great influence, failed him. King Frederick, because of his desire to stand well with his people, was never popular. His glove was too velvety, and he treated his political enemies as well as he did his friends. Count Friis was known to lean towards England, and he was very popular; he would have stood for a strong defence.

Admiral de Richelieu was a man of great influence, a devoted Slesviger, and the greatest 'industrial,' with the exception of State-Councillor Andersen, in Denmark; he was not keen for the premiership, and his friends did not care that he should compromise their business interests; for, in Denmark, business and politics do not mix well.

Finally, King Frederick called on Count Holstein-Ledreborg, without doubt, with perhaps the exception of—but I must not mention living men—the cleverest man in Denmark. Count Holstein-Ledreborg was a recluse; he had been practically exiled by the scornful attitude taken by the aristocracy on account of his Radicalism, but had returned to his Renascence castle near the old dwelling-place of Beowulf. Count Holstein-Ledreborg was the last resource, he had been out of politics for many years. Although he was a pessimist, he was a furious patriot. He had a great respect for the abilities of the Radicals, like Edward Brandès, but very little for those—'if they existed,' he said—of his own class in the aristocracy. He was one of the few Catholics among the aristocracy, and he had a burning grievance against the existing order of churchly things. The State church in Denmark is, like that of Sweden and Norway, Lutheran. Until 1848, except in one or two commercial towns where there was a constant influx of merchants, no Catholic church was permitted. The chapel of Count Holstein in his castle of Ledreborg, was still Lutheran. He was not permitted to have Mass said in it, as it was a church of the commune. This made the Lord of Ledreborg furious. There must be Lutheran worship in his own chapel, or no worship; this was the law!

There was something else that added to his indignation. One day, very silently, he opened the doors that concealed a panel in the wall. There was a very Lutheran picture indeed! It was done in glaring colours, even realistic colours. It represented various devils, horned and tailed and pitch-forked, poking into the fire in the lower regions a pope and several cardinals, who were turning to crimson like lobsters, while some pious Lutheran prelates gave great thanks for this agreeable proceeding. 'In my own chapel,' said Count Holstein, 'almost facing the altar; and the law will not permit me to remove it!'

Being an American, I smiled; thereby, I almost lost a really valued friendship.

'I shall arrange with the king to give a substitute for the chapel to the commune—a school-house or a library—and have the chapel consecrated,' he said. 'I think I see my way.'

'"All things come to him who knows how to wait,"' I quoted.

In 1909, at the time of the crisis, he accepted the task of forming a cabinet to get the defence bill through Parliament, but he made one condition with the king—that he should have his own chapel to do as he liked with. He carried the defence bill through triumphantly and then, having made his point, and finding Parliament unreasonable, from his point of view, on some question or other, he told its members to go where Orpheus sought Eurydice, and retired! He died too soon; he would have been a great help to us in the troubled days when we were trying to buy the Virgin Islands. He was my mentor in European politics, and a most distinguished man; and what is better, a good friend. At times he was sardonic. 'I would make,' he said, 'if I had the power, Edward Brandès (Brandès is of the famous Brandès family) minister of Public Worship!' (As Brandès is a Jew and a Greek pagan both at once, it would have been one of those ironies of statecraft like that which made the Duke of Norfolk patron of some Anglican livings.) Count Holstein disliked state churches. He was a strange mixture of the wit of Voltaire with the faith of Pascal, and one of the most inflexible of Radicals.

The party for the defence and for the integrity of the army and navy had its way; but, owing to the attitude of the Socialists, a very moderate way. 'If Germany comes, she will take us,' the Radicals said with the Socialists; 'why waste public money on soldiers and military bands and submarines?'

But there are enough stalwarts, including the king, Christian, to believe that a country worth living in is worth fighting for!


In 1907, Russia seemed to me to be, for Americans, the most important country in Europe. Our Department of State was no doubt informed as to what the other countries would do in certain contingencies, for none of our diplomatic representatives, although always working under disadvantages not experienced by their European colleagues, had been idle persons. But all of us who had even cursorily studied European conditions knew that the actions of Germany would depend largely on the attitude of Russia. It was to the interest of Emperor William to keep Nicholas II. and the Romanoffs on the throne. He saw no other way of dividing and conquering a country which he at once hated and longed to control.

The Balkan situation was always burning; it was the Etna and Vesuvius of the diplomatic world; wise men might predict eruptions, but they were always unexpected. To most people in the United States the Balkans seemed very far off; Bulgaria with her eyes on Macedonia, the Tsar Ferdinand and his attempt to put his son, Boris, under the greater Tsar, him of Russia; Rumania and her ambitions for more freedom and more territory; Serbia, with her fears and aspirations, appeared to be of no importance—of less interest, perhaps, than other petty kingdoms. But at one fatal moment Austria refused to allow Serbia to export her pigs, and we came to pay about two million dollars an hour and to sacrifice most precious lives, much greater things, because of the ferocious growth of this little germ of tyranny and avarice.

Most of us have fixed ideas; if they are the result of prejudice, they are generally bad; if they are the result of principle, that is another question. When I went to Denmark at the request of President Roosevelt, I had several fixed ideas, whether of prejudice or principle I could not always distinguish. I had been brought up in a sentiment of gratitude to Russia—she had behaved well to us in the Civil War—and in a firm belief that her people only needed a fair chance to become our firm friends. We must seek European markets for our capital and our investments, and Russia offered us a free way.

Towards the end of the year 1908, the signs in Russia were more ominous than usual. It had always seemed to me—and the impression had come probably from long and intimate association with some very clever diplomatists—that Russian problems, industrially and economically, were very similar to our own, and that, in the future, her interests would be our interests. She was in evil hands—that was evident; Nicholas II., after the peace of Portsmouth, was not so pleased with the action of President Roosevelt as he ought to have been, and the arrogant clique, the bureaucrats who controlled the Tsar, regarded us with suspicion and dislike.

At the same time, it was plain that a great part of the landed nobility looked with hope to the United States as a nation which ought to understand their problems and assist, with technical advice and capital, in the solving of them. The Baltic Barons, many with German names and not of the orthodox faith, preferred that the United States, by the investments of her citizens in Russia, should hold a balance between the French and the German financial influences, for Germany was slowly beginning to control Russia financially, and French capital meant a competition with the German interests which might eventually mean a conflict and war. The well instructed among the Russian people, including the estate owners whose interests were not bureaucratic, feared war above all things. The Japanese war had given them reason for their fears.

To my mind there were three questions of great importance for us: How could we, with self-respect, keep on good terms with Russia? How could we discover what Germany's intentions were? And how could we strengthen the force of the Monroe Doctrine by acquiring, through legitimate means, certain islands on our coasts, especially the Gallapagos, the Danish West Indies and others which, perhaps, it might not be discreet to mention.

While the United States seemed fixed in her policy of keeping out of foreign entanglements, it seemed to me that the rule of conduct of a nation, like that of an individual, cannot always be consistent with its theories, since all intentions put into action by the party of the first part must depend on the action and point of view of the party of the second part. I had been largely influenced in my views of the value of the Monroe Doctrine by the speeches and writings of ex-President Roosevelt and Senator Lodge. It was a self-evident truth, too, that, for the sake of democracy, for the sake of the future of our country, the autonomy of the small nations must be preserved. This attitude I made plain during my ten years in Denmark; perhaps I over-accentuated it, but to this attitude I owe the regard of the majority of the Danish people and of some of the folk of the other Scandinavian nations.

The position taken by Germany, under Prussian influence, in Brazil and Argentine, certain indications in our own country, which I shall emphasise later, the intrigues as to the Bagdad Railway, and the threats as to what Germany might do in Scandinavia in case Russia attempted to interfere with German plans in the East, were alarming. Then again was the hint that Denmark might be seized if Germany found Russia in an alliance against England.

From my earliest youth, I knew many Germans whom I esteemed and admired; but they were generally descendants of the men of 1848, that year which saw the Hungarians defeated and the German lovers of liberty exiled. There were others of a later time who believed, with the Kaiser, that a German emigrant was simply a German colonist—waiting! These people were so naïve in their Prussianism, in their disdain for everything American, that they scarcely seemed real! When a German waiter looked out of the hotel window in Trafalgar Square and said, waving his napkin at the spectacle of the congested traffic, 'When the day comes, we shall change all this,' we Americans laughed. This was in the eighties. Yet he meant it; and 'we' have not changed all this even for the day!

The alarm was sounded in South America, but few North Americans took it seriously, and we knew how the English accepted the German invasions to the very doors of their homes. However, when I went to Denmark in August 1907, deeply honoured by President Roosevelt's outspoken confidence in me, I became aware that Prussianised Germany might at any moment seize that little country, and that, in that case, the Danish West Indies would be German. A pleasant prospect when we knew that Germany regarded the Monroe Doctrine as the silly figment of a democratic brain unversed in the real meaning of world politics.

Again, I saw exemplified the fact that in the eyes of the Kaiser, a German emigrant was a German colonist. Once a German always a German; the ideas of the Fatherland must follow the blood, and these ideas are one and indivisible. Consequently, no place could have been more interesting than the capital of Denmark. Here diplomatists were taught, made, or unmade.

Until we were forced to join in the European concert by the acquirement of the Philippines, the post did not seem to be important. 'You always send your diplomatists here to learn their art,' the clever queen of Christian IX. had said to an American. It may not have been intended as a compliment!

In the second place, Copenhagen was the centre of those new social and political movements that are affecting the world; Denmark was rapidly becoming Socialistic.

She, one of the oldest kingdoms in the world, presented the paradox of being the spot in which all tendencies supposed to be anti-monarchical were working out. She had already solved problems incidental to the evolution of democratic ideals, which in our own country we have only begun timidly to consider.

In the third place, Copenhagen was near the most potent country in the world—Germany under Prussian domination. I make the distinction between 'potency' and 'greatness.'

And, in the fourth place, it gave anybody who wanted to be 'on his job' a good opportunity of studying the effect of German propinquity on a small nation. Unfortunately, in 1907-8-9-10-11, no experience in watching German methods seemed of much value to our own people or to the English. The English who watched them critically, like Maxse, the editor of the National Review of London, were not listened to. Perhaps these persons were too Radical and intemperate. The English Foreign Office had, after the Vatican, the reputation of having the best system for obtaining information in Europe, but both the English Foreign Office and the Vatican Secretariat seemed to have suddenly become deaf. We Americans were too much taken up with the German gemütlichkeit, or scientific efficiency, to treat the Prussian movements with anything but tolerance. The Germans had won the hearts of some of our best men of science, who believed in them until belief was impossible; and, with most of my countrymen, I held that a breach of the peace in Europe seemed improbable. There was always The Hague! The only thing left for me was to let the Germans be as gemütlich as they liked, and to watch their attitude in Denmark, for on this depended the ownership of the West Indies.

My German colleagues, Henckel-Donnersmarck, von Waldhausen, and Brockdorff-Rantzau, were able men; and, I think, they looked on me as a madman with a fixed idea. Count Rantzau, if he lives, will be heard of later; he is one of the well-balanced among diplomatists. I realised early in the game that my work must be limited to watching Germany in her relations with Denmark. I knew what was expected of me. I had no doubt that the United States was the greatest country in the world in its potentialities, but I had no belief, then, in its power to enforce its high ideals on the politics of the European world.

In fact, it never occurred to me that our country would be called upon to enforce them, for, unless the Imperial German Government should take it into its head to lay hands on a country or two in South America, it seemed to me that we might keep entirely out of such foreign entanglements as concerned Western Europe and Constantinople and the Balkans. If, however, there should be such interference by France and England with the interests of Germany as would warrant her and her active ally in attacking these countries, Denmark and, automatically, her islands would be German. Then, we, in self-defence, must have something to say. Secret diplomacy was flourishing in Europe, and nothing was really clear. After the event it is very easy to take up the rôle of the prophet, but that is not in my line. If a man is not a genius, he cannot have the intuition of a genius, and, while I accepted the opinions of my more experienced colleagues, I imagined that their fears of a probable war were exaggerated. Besides, I had been impressed by the constantly emphasised opinion—part of the German propaganda, I now believe—that our great enemy was Japan.

Since the year 1874, when I had been well introduced into diplomatic circles in Washington, I had known many representatives of foreign powers. Since those days, so well described in Madame de Hegermann-Lindencrone's Sunny Side of Diplomatic Life, the German point of view had greatly changed. It was a far cry from the days of the easy-going Herr von Schlözer to Speck von Sternberg and efficient Count Bernstorff, a far cry from the amicable point of view of Mr. Poultney Bigelow taken of the young Kaiser in the eighties, and his revised point of view in 1915. Mr. Poultney Bigelow's change from a certain attitude of admiration, in his case with no taint of snobbishness, was typical of that of many of my own people. I must confess that no instructions from the State Department had prepared me for the German echoes I heard in Denmark; but even if Treitschke had come to the United States to air his views at the University of Chicago, I should probably have considered them merely academic, and have treated them as cavalierly as I had treated the speech of the waiter in the Trafalgar Square hotel about 'changing all that.'

Nietzsche's philosophy seemed so atrocious as to be ineffective. But we Americans, as a rule, take no system of philosophy as having any real connection with the conduct of life, and, except in very learned circles, his was looked on as no more part of the national life of Germany than William James is of ours. In a little while, I discovered that the Kaiser had imposed on the Prussians, at least, a most practical system of philosophy, which our universities had come to admire. I had not been long in Denmark when I realised that Germany, in the three Scandinavian countries, was looked on either as a powerful enemy or as a potential friend, and that she tried, above all, to control the learned classes.

The United States hardly counted; she was too far off and seemed to be hopelessly ignorant of the essential conditions of foreign affairs. Her diplomacy, if it existed at all, was determined by existing political conditions at home.

I visited Holland and Belgium; Germany loomed larger. She was bent on commercial supremacy everywhere. One could not avoid admitting that fact.

As to Denmark, it was piteous to see how the Danes feared the power that never ceased to threaten them. Prussia has made her empire possible by establishing the beginnings, in 1864, of her naval power at the expense of Denmark. The longer I lived in Denmark the more strongly I felt that Germany was getting ready for a short, sharp war in which the United States of America, it seemed to me (as I was no prophet), was not to be a factor, but Russia was.

The members of the German Legation were very sympathetic, especially the Minister, Count Henckel-Donnersmarck. He loved Weimar; he loved the old Germany. It was a delight to hear him talk of the real glories of his country. His family, in the opinion of the Germans, was so great that he could afford to do as he pleased; I rather think he looked on the Hohenzollerns as rather parvenus. He was of the school of Frederick the Noble rather than of William the Conqueror.

'Do you mind talking politics?' I asked him one day.

'It bores me,' he said, 'because there is nothing stable. My country feels that it is being isolated. Since Algeria, in 1906, she stands against Europe, with Austria.'

'Stands against the United States?'

'No, no; we shall always be at peace,' he said. 'Our interests are not dissimilar; our military organisation is almost perfect. Yes, we learned some lessons even from your Civil War, though you are not a military people. Your country is full of our citizens.'

'Your citizens, Count!'

'Ah, yes,—in Brazil and Argentine, everywhere, a German citizen is like a Roman citizen, proud and unchanging, that is the German citizen who understands the aims of modern Germany. Civis Romanus sum! The older ones are different; it is a question of sentiment and memories with them. Your great German population will always keep you out of conflict with us, though even you, who know our literature, are at heart English—I mean politically. You cannot help it. Your Irish blood may count, but the point of view is made by literature. It gets into the blood. See what Homer has done for those old savages of his. Our bankers can always manage the finances of New York, as they manage those of London. It would be a sad day for Germany if we should break with you; some of us know that Frederick the Great saw your future, and believed that we always ought to be friends. But do not imagine that your nation, great as it is, can do anything your people wills to do. Great power, I understand, is hidden in your country; but, as the actors say, you cannot get it across the footlights. It is not, as Gambetta spoke of the Catholic religion in France, a matter for export.'

'Our education,' Count Henckel-Donnersmarck resumed, 'is practical; Goethe and Schiller mean little now to us. Bismarck has made new men of us. I shall not live long, and I cannot say I regret it,' he said; 'and, as the lust of power becomes the rule of the world, my son must be a new German or suffer.'

'Count Henckel,' as he preferred to be called, did not remain long in Copenhagen; he was recalled because, it was reported, he did not provide the Kaiser, who carefully read his ministers' reports, with a sufficient number of details of life in Denmark.

When I took his hint and went to Germany, at Christmas—Christmas was a divine time in the old Germany!—I found that Count Henckel was right. Berlin was hygienic, ugly, and more offensively immoral than Paris was once said to be.

There was an artificial rule of life. Even the lives of the boys and girls seemed to be ordered by some unseen law. You could breathe, but it was necessary not to consume too much oxygen at a time. That was verboten; and there were cannons on the Christmas trees!


It was pleasant to renew old memories among diplomatists and ex-diplomatists in Copenhagen. I remembered the old days in Washington, when Sir Edward Thornton's house was far up-town, when the rows between the Chileans and Peruvians—I forget to which party the amiable Ibañez belonged—convulsed the coteries that gathered at Mrs. Dahlgren's, when Bodisco and Aristarchi Bey and Baron de Santa Ana were more than names, and the Hegermann-Lindencrones[2] were the handsomest couple in Washington. So it was agreeable to find some colleagues with whom one had reminiscences in common. Then there were the Americans married to members of the corps. Lady Johnston, wife of Sir Alan; Madame de Riaño, married to one of the most well-balanced and efficient diplomatists in Europe. These ladies made the way of my wife and my daughters very easy.

An envoy arriving at a new post has one consolation, not an unmitigatedly agreeable one. He is sure of knowing what his colleagues think of him. And for a while they weigh him very carefully. The American can seldom shirk the direct question: 'Is this your first post?' It required great strength of mind not to say: 'I had a special mission to the Indian Reservations, and I have always been, more or less, you know——'

'Ah, I see! Calcutta, Bombay——!'

'Not exactly—Red Lake, you know—the Reservations, wards of our Government.'

'Oh, red Indians! I was not aware that you had diplomatic relations with the old red Indian princes. But this is your first post in Europe?'

You cannot avoid that. However, the longer one is at a post, the more he enjoys it. In the course of nearly eleven years, I never knew one of my colleagues who did not show esprit de corps. They become more and more kindly. You know that they know your faults and your virtues. In the diplomatic service you are like Wolsey, naked, not to your enemies, but to your colleagues. They can help you greatly if they will.

After the peace of Portsmouth, which in the opinion of certain Russians gave all the advantages to Japan, the Emperor of Germany spoke of President Roosevelt with added respect, we were told. The attitude toward Americans on the part of Germans seemed always the reflection of the point of view of the Kaiser. From their point of view, it was only the President who counted; our nation, from the Pan-German point of view seemed not to be of importance.

It was rather hard to find out exactly what the Kaiser's attitude towards us was. Some of the court circle—there were always visitors from Berlin—announced that the Kaiser was greatly pleased by the result of the Portsmouth conference. He knew the weakness of Russia, and though he believed that German interests required that she should not be strong, he feared, above all things, the preponderance of the Yellow Races. I discovered one thing early, that the Pan-German party propagated the idea that the Japanese alliance with England could be used against the United States.

It was vain to argue about this. 'Japan is your enemy; the Philippines will be Japanese, unless you strengthen yourselves by a quasi-alliance with us; then England, tied to Japan, can not oppose you.' One could discover very little from the Kaiser's public utterances; but he indemnified himself for his conventionality in public by his frankness in private.

He described the Danish as the most 'indiscreet of courts.' He forgot that his own indiscretions had become proverbial in Copenhagen. Whether this 'indiscretion' was first submitted to the Foreign Office is a question. His diplomatists were usually miracles of discretion; but the city was full of 'echoes' from Berlin which did not come from the diplomatists or the court. The truth was, the Kaiser looked on the courts of Denmark and Stockholm as dependencies, and he was 'hurt' when any of the court circle seemed to forget this.

In his eyes, a German princess, no matter whom she married, was to remain a German. The present Queen of Denmark, the most discreet of princesses, never forgot that she was a Danish princess and would be in time a Danish queen.

Every German princess was looked upon as a propagator of the views of the Kaiser;—the Queen of the Belgians was a sore disappointment to him; but, then, she was not a Prussian princess. When one of the princesses joined the Catholic Church, there was an explosion of rage on his part.

As far as I could gather, in 1908-9-10, he was chambré, as liberal Germany said, surrounded by people who echoed his opinions, or who, while pretending to accept them, coloured them with their own.

It was surmised that he despised his uncle, King Edward. Evidences of this would leak out.

He admired our material progress, and he was determined to imitate our methods. The loquacity of some of our compatriots amused him.

He understood President Roosevelt so little as to imagine that he could influence him. There was one American he especially disliked, and that was Archbishop Ireland; but the reason for that will form almost a chapter by itself.

As I have said, it seemed to me most important that good feeling in the little countries of Europe should be founded on respect for us.

Somebody, a cynic, once said that the only mortal sin among Americans is to be poor. That may or may not be so. It was, however, the impression in Europe. It was difficult in Denmark to make it understood that we were interested in literature and art, or had any desire to do anything but make money. The attempt to buy the Danish West Indies, made in 1902, was looked on by many of the Danes as the manifestation of a desire on the part of an arrogant and imperial-minded people to take advantage of the poverty of a little country. 'You did not dare to propose to buy an island near your coast from England or France, or even Holland,' they said. This prejudice was encouraged by the German press whenever an opportunity arose. And against this prejudice it was my business to fight.

Until after the war with Spain—unfortunate as it was in some aspects—we were disdained; after that we were supposed to have crude possibilities.

German propagandists took advantage of our seeming 'newness,' forgetting that the new Germany was a parvenu among the nations. Our people en tour in Europe spent money freely and gave opinions with an infallible air almost as freely. They too frequently assumed the air of folk who had 'come abroad' to complete an education never begun at home; or, if they were persons who had 'advantages,' they were too anxious for a court entrée, asking their representative for it as a right, and then acting at court as if it were a divine privilege.

It was necessary in Denmark to accentuate the little things. The Danes love elegant simplicity; they are, above all, aesthetic. My predecessor, who did not remain long enough in Denmark to please his Danish admirers, called the Danes 'the most civilised of peoples.' I found that he was right; but they were full of misconceptions concerning us. We used toothpicks constantly! We did not know how to give a dinner! The values of the wine list (before the war, most important) would always remain a mystery to us. In a word, we were 'Yankees!' To make propaganda—the first duty of a diplomatist—requires thought, time and money. The Germans used all three intelligently.

One cannot travel in the provinces without money. One cannot reach the minds of the people without the distribution of literature. Unhappily, Governments before the war, with the exception of the German Government, took little account of this.

One of the best examples of an effective propaganda, of the most practicable and far-sighted methods, was that of the French Ambassador to the United States, Jusserand. He did not wait to be taught anything by the Germans.

We have two bad habits: we read our psychology as well as our temperament—the result of a unique kind of experience and education—into the minds of other people, and we despise the opinion of nations which are small. The first defect we have suffered from, and the latter we shall suffer from if we are not careful. Who cares whether Bulgaria respects us or not? And yet a diplomatist soon learns that it counts. It is a grave question whether the little countries look with hope towards democracy, or with helpless respect towards autocracy. We see that Bulgaria counted; we shall see that Denmark counted, too, when the moment came for our buying the Virgin Islands.

The German propaganda was incessant. Denmark was in close business relations with England. Denmark furnished the English breakfast table—the inevitable butter, bacon and eggs. But the trade relations between England and Denmark were not cultivated as were those between Denmark and Germany. The German 'drummer' was the rule, the English commercial traveller the exception.

As to the American, he seldom appeared, and when he came he spoke no language but his own. In literature the Germans did all they could to cultivate the interest of the Danish author. He was petted and praised when he went to Berlin—that is, after his books had been translated. Berlin never allowed herself to praise any Scandinavian books in the original. As to music, the best German musicians came to Denmark. Richard Strauss led the Rosenkavalier in person; the Berlin symphony and Rheinhart's plays were announced. Every opportunity was taken to show Denmark Germany's best in music, art and science. 'If you speak the word culture, you must add the word German.' This was a Berlin proverb. 'All good American singers must have my stamp before America will hear them,' the Kaiser said. Danish scientists were always sure of recognition in Germany, but they must be read in German or speak in German when they visited Berlin.

In 1908 King Edward came to Copenhagen. He was regarded principally as the husband of the beloved Princess Alexandra. He did not conceal the fact that Copenhagen bored him, and the Copenhageners knew it. However, they received him with an appearance of amiability they had not shown to the Kaiser on the occasion of his visit.

No Dane who remembered Bismarck and Slesvig and who saw at Kiel the growing German fleet could admire the Emperor William II. Even the most ferocious propagandists demanded too much when they asked that. They looked on the visits of King Frederick VIII. to Germany with suspicion.

When the Crown Prince, the present Christian X., married the daughter of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, they were not altogether pleased. They were reconciled, however, by the fact that the Crown Princess was the daughter of a Russian mother. Besides, the Crown Princess, now Queen Alexandrina, was chosen by Prince Christian because he loved her. 'She is the only woman I will marry,' he had said. And when she married him, she became Danish, unlike her sister-in-law, the Princess Harald, who has always remained German, much to the embarrassment of her husband, and the rumoured annoyance of the present king, who holds that a Danish princess must be a Dane and nothing else.

The Danish queen's mother is the clever Grand Duchess Anastasia Michaelovna,[3] who was Russian and Parisian, who loved the Riviera, above all Cannes, and who was the most brilliant of widows. When the sister of Queen Alexandrina married the German Crown Prince in 1905, the Danes were relieved, but not altogether pleased. Those of them who believed that royal alliance counted, hoped that a future German Empress, so nearly akin to their queen, might ward off the ever-threatening danger of Prussian conquest.

The Crown Princess Cecilia became a favourite in Germany; it was rumoured that she was not sufficient of a German housewife to suit the Kaiser.

'The Crown Princess Cecilia is adorable, but she will not permit her august father-in-law to choose her hats,' said a visiting lady of the German autocratic circle; 'she might, at least, follow the example of her mother-in-law, for the Emperor's taste is unimpeachable!' My wife remembered that this serene, well-born lady wore a hat of mustard yellow, then a favourite colour in Berlin!

In April 1908, King Edward VII. and Queen Alexandra made a visit to Copenhagen. It was the custom in Denmark that, when a reigning sovereign came on a gala visit, the Court and the diplomatists were expected to go to the station to meet him. The waiting-room of the station was decorated with palms which had not felt the patter of rain for years, and with rugs evidently trodden to shabbiness by many royal feet. Amid these splendours a cercle was held.

The visiting monarch, fresh from his journey, spoke to each of the diplomatists in turn. He dropped pearls of thought for which one gave equally valuable gems.

'The American Minister, Your Majesty,' said the Chamberlain. 'Glad to see you; where are you from?' 'Washington, the capital.' 'There are more Washingtons?' 'Many, sir.' 'How do you like Copenhagen?' 'Greatly—almost as well as London' (insert Stockholm, Christiania, The Hague, to suit the occasion).

And then came the voice of the Chamberlain—'The Austrian Minister, Your Majesty.' 'How do you like Copenhagen?' The same formula was used until the chargés d'affaires, who always ended the list, were reached: 'How long have you been in Copenhagen?'

King Edward was accompanied by a staff of the handsomest and most soldierly courtiers imaginable; they were the veritable splendid captains of Kipling's Recessional. Queen Alexandra was attended by the Hon. Charlotte Knollys and Miss Vivian. It was a great pleasure to see Miss Knollys again. To those who knew her all the tiresome waiting was worth while; she seemed like an old friend.

The police surveillance was not so strict when the King and Queen of England were in Copenhagen; but when any of the Russian royalties arrived, the police had a time of anxiety though they were reinforced by hundreds of detectives.

In Copenhagen it was always said that the Empress Dowager, the Grand Duke Michael, the Archduchess Olga, and others of the Romanoff family, were only safe when in the company of some of the English royal people. The Empress Dowager of Russia, formerly the Princess Dagmar of Denmark, never went out without her sister. They were inseparable, devoted to each other, as all the children of King Christian IX. were. It was not the beauty and charm of Queen Alexandra that saved her from attack; it was the fact that England was tolerant of all kinds of political exiles, as a visit to Soho, in London, will show.

At the station, just as the King and Queen of England entered, there was an explosion. 'A bomb,' whispered one of the uninitiated. It happened to be the result of the sudden opening of a Chapeau claque in the unaccustomed hands of a Radical member of the Cabinet who, against his principles, had been obliged to come in evening dress.

We, of the Legation, always wore evening dress in daylight on gala occasions. One soon became used to it. Our American citizens of Danish descent always deplored this, and some of our secretaries would have worn the uniform of a captain of militia or the court dress of the Danish chamberlains, which, they said, under the regulations we were permitted to wear. Not being English, I found evening dress in the morning not more uncomfortable than the regulation frock coat. I permitted a white waistcoat, which the Danes never wore in the morning, but refused to allow a velvet collar and golden buttons because this was too much like the petit uniforme of other Legations.

There was one inconvenience, however—the same as irked James Russell Lowell in Spain—the officers on grand occasions could not recognise a minister without gold lace, and so our country did not get the proper salute. On the occasion of the arrival of the King of England, I remedied this by putting on the coachmen rather large red, white and blue cockades. Arthur and Hans were really resplendent!

Later, when my younger daughter appeared in society after the marriage of the elder, there was no difficulty. All the officers who loved parties recognised the father of the most indefatigable dancer in court circles. A cotillion or two at the Legation amply made up for the absence of uniforms. Our country, in the person of its representative, after that had tremendously resounding salutes.

Prince Hans, the brother of the late King Christian IX., who has since died, was especially friendly with us. He was beloved of the whole royal family. His kindliness and politeness were proverbial. When he was regent in Greece, he had been warned that the Greeks would soon hate him if he continued to be so courteous. His equerry, Chamberlain de Rothe, told me that he answered: 'I cannot change; I must be courteous.' He is the only man on record who seems to have entirely pleased a people who have the reputation of being the most difficult in Europe.

Prince Hans came in to call, at a reasonable time, after the arrival of the King and Queen of England; we were always glad to see him; he was so really kind, so full of pleasant reminiscences; he had had a very long and full life; he was the 'uncle' of all the royalties in Europe. He especially loved the King of England. Having lived through the invasion of Slesvig, he was most patriotically Danish; he looked on the Prussians as an 'uneasy' people.

'The King of England is much interested in the condition of your ex-President, Grover Cleveland,' he said. 'If you will have him, he will come to tea with you; I will bring him. He is engaged to dine with the Count Raben-Levitzau and, I think, to go to the Zoological Gardens and to dine with the Count Friis; but he will make you a visit, to ask personally for ex-President Cleveland and to talk of him after, of course, he has lunched at the British Legation.'

I said that the Legation would be deeply honoured. Informal as the visit would be, it would be a great compliment to my country.

'The German Legation will be surprised; but it can give no offence; I am sure that it can give no offence. King Edward is not pleased altogether with his nephew. When the emperor came to Copenhagen in 1905 he was not so friendly to us as he is now. Poor little Denmark. It has escaped a great danger through Bertie's cleverness,' Prince Hans murmured. From this I gathered that Prince Hans felt that the king's coming to the American Legation would be noticed by all the Legations as unusual, but especially by the German Legation. From this I judged that some danger to Denmark might have been threatening.

'The Kaiser dined in this room,' Prince Hans said, 'when he was here in 1905—no, no, he took coffee in this room, and not in the dining-room. However, as Madame Hegermann-Lindencrone has told, the German Minister, von Schoen, who gave so many parties that all the young Danish people loved him, and his wife could not decide where coffee was to be taken; the Kaiser settled it himself. It is an amusing story; it has made King Frederick laugh. If the King of England comes to tea, you will not be expected to have boiled eggs, as we have for the Empress Dowager of Russia and Queen Alexandra and King George of Greece, some champagne, perhaps, and the big cigars, of course.'

'And, as to guests?'

'Only the Americans of your staff, I think, who have been already presented to the king.'

The announcement that the King of England would take tea with us did not cause a ripple in the household; the servants were used to kings. King Frederick had a pleasant way of dropping in to tea without ceremony, and the princesses liked our cakes. Besides, Hans, the indispensable Hans, had waited on King Edward frequently, so he knew his tastes. But the king did not come; Prince Hans said that he was tired. He sent an equerry, with a most gracious message for Grover Cleveland, and another inquiry as to his health. The royal cigars lasted a long time as few guests were brave enough to smoke them. The king at the Cercle at court was most gracious. 'I hope to see you in London,' he said. My colleagues seemed to think that his word was law, and that I would be the next ambassador at the Court of St. James's. I knew very well that his politeness was only to show that he was in a special mood to manifest his regard for the country I represented.

The King of England was failing at the time as far as his bodily health was concerned, but he had what a German observer called 'a good head' in more senses than one. He still took his favourite champagne; his cigars were too big and strong for most men, but not too big and strong for him. He showed symptoms of asthma, but he was alert, and firmly resolved to keep the peace in Europe, and, it was evident—he made it very evident—he was determined to keep on the best terms with the United States. During the pause between the parts of the performance at the Royal Opera House, where we witnessed Queen Alexandra's favourite ballet, Napoli, and heard excerpts from I Poliacci and Cavalleria, the king renewed the questions about Grover Cleveland's health. Prince Hans suddenly announced that he was dead. As every minister is quite accustomed to having all kinds of news announced before he receives it, I could only conclude that it was true. Several ladies of American birth came and asked me; I could only say, 'Prince Hans says so.' Countess Raben-Levitzau, whose husband was then Minister of Foreign Affairs, seemed to be much amused that I should receive a bit of information of that kind through Prince Hans. Late that night, after the gala was over, a cable came telling me that the ex-President was well. I was glad that I was not obliged to put out the flag at half-mast for the loss of a President whom the whole country honoured, and who had shown great confidence in me at one time.

Prince Hans was full of the sayings and doings of the King of England after his departure. He called him 'Bertie' when absent-minded, recovering to the 'King of England' when he remembered that he was speaking to a stranger. Once, quoting the German Emperor, he said 'Uncle Albert.'

'Denmark will not become part of Germany in the Kaiser's time—"Uncle Albert" will see to that. England will not fight Germany in his time on any question; therefore Russia will not go against us.'

'But the Crown Prince. What of him?'

'"Uncle Albert" will see to that if the Kaiser should die—but life is long. The King of England will cease to smoke so much, and, after that, his health will be good; he has saved us, I will tell you, by defeating at Berlin the designs of the Pan-Germans against Denmark.'

The late King of England had new issues to face, and he knew it. The cause of sane democracy would have been better served had he lived longer. Perhaps he had been, like his brother-in-law, King Frederick of Denmark, crown prince too long. Nevertheless, he had observed, and he was wise. He may have been too tolerant, but he was not weak. In Denmark, one might easily get a fair view of the characters of the royal people. The Danes are keen judges of persons—perhaps too keen, and the members of their aristocracy had been constantly on intimate terms with European kings and princes. 'As for Queen Alexandra,' Miss Knollys once said, 'she will go down in history as the most beautiful of England's queens, but also as the most devoted of wives and mothers. The king makes us all work, but she works most cheerfully and is never bored.'

The visit of the King of England caused more conjectures. What did it mean? A pledge on the part of England that Denmark would be protected both against Germany and Russia? Notwithstanding the opinion that the Foreign Office in England did all the work, the diplomatists held that kings, especially King Edward and the Kaiser, had much to do with it.


I gathered that Germany, in 1908, 1909, 1910, was growing more and more furiously jealous of England. To make a financial wilderness of London and reconstruct the money centre of the world in Berlin was the ambition of some of her great financiers.

Our time had not come yet; we might grow in peace. It depended on our attitude whether we should be plucked when ripe or not. If we could be led, I gathered, into an attitude inimical to England, all would be well; but that might safely be left 'to the Irish and the great German population of the Middle West.' It was 'known that English money prevented the development of our merchant marine'; but this, after all, was not to the disadvantage of Germany since, if we developed our marine, it might mean state subsidies to American ocean steamer lines. This would not have pleased Herr Ballin.

Count Henckel-Donnersmarck held no such opinions, but the members of the Berlin haute bourgeoisie, who occasionally came to Copenhagen, were firmly convinced that English money was largely distributed in the United States to prejudice our people against the beneficent German Kultur, which, as yet, we were too crude to receive. I gathered, too, that many of the important, the rich business representatives of Germany in our country reported that we were 'only fit to be bled.' We were unmusical, unliterary, unintellectual. We knew not what a gentleman should eat or drink. Our cooking was vile, our taste in amusement only a reflection of the English music halls. We bluffed. We were not virile. The aristocrat did not express these opinions; but the middle class, or higher middle class, sojourners in our land did. 'Good Heavens!' exclaimed one American at one of our receptions to a German-American guest; 'you eat that grouse from your fists like an animal.'

'I am a male,' answered Fritz proudly; 'we must devour our food—we of the virile race!'

The pretensions of this kind of German were intolerable. He was the most brutal of snobs. He arrogated to himself a rank, when one met him, that he was not allowed to assume in his own country. It was often amusing to receive a call from a spurious 'von,' representing German interests in Milwaukee, Chicago, or Cincinnati, who patronised us until he discovered that we knew that he would be in the seventh heaven if he could, by any chance, marry his half-American daughter to the most shop-worn little lieutenant in the German army! To see him shrivel when a veritable Junker came in, was humiliating. I often wondered whether the well-to-do German burghers of St. Louis or Cincinnati were really imposed upon by men of this kind.

The Nobles' Club in Copenhagen is not a club as we know clubs. There are chairs, newspapers from all parts of the world, and bridge tables, if you wish to use them. You may even play the honoured game of l'ombre—after the manner of Christian IV., or, perhaps, His Lordship, the High Chamberlain Polonius, of the court of his late Majesty, King Claudius. People seldom go there. It is the one place in Denmark where the members of the club are never found.

The country gentlemen have rooms there when they come to town. It is in an annex of the Hotel Phoenix. A few of the best bridge players in Copenhagen meet there occasionally; the rest is silence; therefore it is a safe place for diplomatic conversations.

A very distinguished German came to me with a letter of introduction from Munich, in 1909—late in the year. His position was settled. He was not in the class of the spurious 'vons.' He was, however, high in the confidence of the Kings of Saxony and Bavaria, both of whom, he confessed, were displeased because the United States had no diplomatic representatives at their courts. He had been persona non grata with Bismarck because of his father's liberalism; he had been friendly with Windthorst, the Centre leader, and he had been in some remote way connected with the German Legation at the Vatican. We talked of Washington in the older days, of Speck von Sternberg[4] and of his charming wife, then a widow in Berlin; of the cleverness of Secretary Radowitz, who had been at the German Embassy at Washington; of the point of view of von Schoen, who had been Minister to Copenhagen. He spoke of the Kaiser's having dined in our apartment, which von Schoen had then occupied; and then he came to the point.

'Is the United States serious about the Monroe Doctrine—really?' he asked.

'It is an integral part of our policy of defence.'

'We, in Germany, do not take it seriously. I understand from my friends you have lived in Washington a long time. We are familiar with your relations with President Cleveland and of your attitude towards President McKinley. We know,' he said, 'that President McKinley offered you a secret mission to Rome. We know other things; therefore, we are inclined to take you more seriously than most of the political appointees who are here to-day and gone to-morrow. Your position in the affair of the Philippines is well known to us. It would be well for you to ask your ambassador at Berlin to introduce you to the Emperor; he was much pleased with your predecessor, Mr. O'Brien. There is, no doubt, some information you could give his Imperial Majesty. You have friends in Munich, too, and in Dresden there is the Count von Seebach whom you admire, I know.'

'I admire Count von Seebach, but I am paid not to talk,' I said; 'but about the secret mission to Rome in the Philippine matter—you knew of that?'

It was more than I knew, though President McKinley, through Senator Carter, had suggested, when the Friars' difficulty had been seething in the Philippines, a solution which had seemed to me out of the question. But how did this man know of it? I had not spoken of it to the Count von Seebach, or to anybody in Germany. No word of politics had ever escaped my lips to the Count von Seebach, who was His Excellency the Director of the Royal Opera at Dresden.

'Yes; we know all the secrets of the Philippine affair, even that Domingo Merry del Val came to Washington to confer with Mr. Taft. I want to know two facts,—facts, not guesses. Your ministers who come from provincial places, after a few months' instruction in Washington, cannot know much except local politics. They are like Pomeranian squires or Jutland farmers. We know that Henckel-Donnersmarck and you are on good terms, and we are prepared to treat you from a confidential point of view.'

This was interesting; it showed how closely even unimportant persons like myself were observed; it was flattering, too; for one grows tired of the foreign assumption that every American envoy has come abroad because, as De Tocqueville says in Democracy in America he has failed at home.

'Mr. Poultney Bigelow, whom you doubtless know, once said in conversation with the Kaiser, that his father would rather see him dead than a member of your diplomatic corps, and he was unusually well equipped for work of that kind. With few exceptions, as I have remarked, your service is pour rire. What can a man from one of your provincial towns know of anything but local politics and business?'

I laughed: 'But you are businesslike, too; I hear that, when the Kaiser speaks to Americans—at least they have told me so—it is generally on commercial subjects. He likes to know even how many vessels pass the locks every year at Sault Sainte Marie, and the amount of grain that can be stored in the Chicago elevators.'

'It is useful to us,' my acquaintance said. 'You would scarcely expect him to talk about things that do not exist in your country—music, art, literature, high diplomacy——'

My reply shall be buried in oblivion; it might sound too much like éloquence de l'escalier.

After an interval, not without words, I said:

'It is not necessary for a man to have lived in Washington or New York in order to have a grasp on American politics in relation to the foreign problem at the moment occupying the attention of the American people or the Department of State. Every country boy at home is a potential statesman and a politician. I recall the impression made on two visiting foreigners some years ago by the interest of our very young folk in politics. "Good heavens!" said the Marquis Moustier de Merinville, "these children of ten and twelve are monsters! They argue about Bryan and free silver! Such will make revolutions." "I cannot understand it," said Prince Adam Saphia. "Children ask one whether one is a Republican or Democrat."'

'That may be so,' he said. 'Your Presidents are not as a rule chosen from men who live in the great cities.'

'You forget that, while Paris is France, Berlin, Germany——'

'No, Berlin is Prussia,' he said, smiling; 'but London is England; Paris, France; and Vienna would be Austria if it were not for Budapest.'

'New York or Washington is not, as you seem to think, the United States.'

'That may be,' he said, 'nevertheless it is difficult for a European to understand. It may be,' he added thoughtfully, 'there are some things about your country we shall never come to understand thoroughly.'

'You will have to die first—like the man of your own country who, crossing a crowded street, was injured mortally and cried: "Now I shall know it all." You will never understand us in this world.'

'That is blague,' he said. 'We Germans know all countries. Besides, you know the German language.'

'Who told you that? It's nonsense!' I asked, aghast.

'The other day, I have heard that the Austrians were talking in German to the First Secretary of the German Legation at the Foreign Office, when you suddenly forgot yourself and asked a question in good German!' he said triumphantly.

This was true. Count Zichy, secretary of the Austrian-Hungarian Legation, had dropped from French into German. Now, I had read Heine and Goethe when I was young, and I had written the German script; but that was long ago. There were great arid spaces in my knowledge of the German language, but something that Count Zichy had said about an arbitration treaty had vaguely caught my attention, and I had blundered out, 'Was ist das, Herr Graf?' or something equally elegant and scholarly. This was really amusing. My friends had always accused me of turning all German conversation toward Wilhelm Meister and Der Erlkönig, since I could quote from both!

'You can finesse,' continued the great nobleman. 'You are not usual. Your Government has sent you here for a special mission; it is well to pose as a poet and a man of letters, but you have been reported to our Government as having a mission secrète. You are allied with the Russians; we know that you are not rich.' This very charming person, who always laid himself at 'the feet of the ladies' and clicked his heels like castanets, did not apologise for discussing my private affairs without permission, and for insinuating that I was paid by the Russian Government.

'Do you mean——?'

'Nothing,' he said hastily, 'nothing; but the Russians use money freely; they would not dare to approach you. Nevertheless, I warn you that their marked regard for you must have some motive, and yours for them may excite suspicions.'

'Surely my friend Henckel-Donnersmarck has not reported me to the Kaiser?'

'Our ministers are expected to report everything to the Kaiser, especially from Copenhagen; but Henckel-Donnersmarck does not report enough. He is either too haughty or too lazy. My master will send him to Weimar, if he is not more alert; but we have others!'

'I like him.'

'It is evident. Why?' asked the Count, with great interest.

'I sent him a case of Lemp's beer. He says it is better than anything of the kind made in Germany—polite but unpatriotic.'

'You jest,' said the Count. 'You have the reputation of being apparently never in earnest, but——'

'You shall have a case too,' I said, 'and then you can judge whether his truthfulness got the better of his politeness, or his politeness of his truthfulness.' He rose and bowed, he seated himself again.

'Remember, we shall always be interested in you,' he said; 'but there is one thing I should like to ask—are you interested in potash?'

'I have no business interests. If you wish to talk business, Count, you must go to the Consul General.'

That was the beginning. Henckel and I continued to be friends. He seldom spoke of diplomatic matters. He assured me (over and over again) that, if the ideas of Frederick the Great were to be followed, Germany and the United States must remain friends. I told him that Count von X. had said that 'if the United States could arrange to oust England from control of the Atlantic and make an alliance with Germany, these two countries would rule the world.'

'You will never do that,' he said. 'You are safer with England on the Atlantic than you would be with any other nation. I am not sure what our ultra Pan-Germans mean by "ruling the world." You may be sure that your Monroe Doctrine would go to splinters if our Pan-Germans ruled the world. As for me, I am sick of diplomacy. Why do you enter it? It either bores or degrades one. I am not curious or unscrupulous enough to be a spy. As to Slesvig, I have little concern with it. If Germany should find it to her interest, she might return Northern Slesvig; but there would be danger in that for Denmark. She must live in peace with us, or take the consequences.'

'The consequences!'

'Dear colleague, you know as well as I do that all the nations of the earth want territory or a new adjustment of territory. In the Middle Ages, nations had many other questions, and there was a universal Christendom; but, since the Renascence, the great questions are land and commerce. Germany must look, in self-defence, on Slesvig and Denmark as pawns in her game. She is not alone in this. You know how tired I am of it all. No man is more loyal to his country than I am; but I should like to see Germany on entirely sympathetic terms with the kingdoms that compose it and reasonably friendly to the rest of the world; but we could not give up Slesvig, even if the Danish Government would take it, except for a quid pro quo.'


'Well, let us say a place in the Pacific, on friendly terms with you. Your country can hardly police the Philippines against Japan. Germany is great in what I fear is the New Materialism. As to Slesvig, in which you seem particularly interested, ask Prince Koudacheff, the Russian Minister; write to Iswolsky, the Russian Minister, or talk to Michel Bibikoff, who is a Russian patriot never bored in the pursuit of information. These Russians may not exaggerate the consequences as they know what absolute power means.

'There is one thing, Germany will not tolerate sedition in any of her provinces, and, since we took Slesvig from Denmark in 1864, she is one of our provinces. The Danes may tolerate a hint of secession on the part of Iceland, which is amusing, but the beginning of sedition in Slesvig would mean an attitude on our part such as you took towards secession in the South. But it is unthinkable. The demonstrations against us in Slesvig have no importance.'

Michel Bibikoff, Secretary of the Russian Legation, was most intelligent and most alert. Wherever he is now, he deserves well of his country. As a diplomatist he had only one fault—he underrated the experience and the knowledge of his opponents; but this was the error of his youth. I say 'opponents,' because at one time or other Bibikoff's opponents were everybody who was not Russian. A truer patriot never lived. He was devoted to my predecessor, Mr. O'Brien, who was, in his opinion, the only American gentleman he had ever met. He compared me very unfavourably with my courteous predecessor, who has filled two embassies with satisfaction to his own country and to those to whom he was accredited.

At first Bibikoff distrusted me; and I was delighted. If he thought that you were concealing things he would tell you something in order to find out what he wanted to know. For me, I was especially interested in discovering what the Tsar's state of mind was concerning the Portsmouth peace arrangements. Bibikoff had means of knowing. Indeed, he found means of knowing much that might have been useful to all of us, his colleagues. A long stay in the United States would have 'made' Bibikoff. He was one of the few men in Europe who understood what Germany was aiming at. He predicted the present war—but of that later. He had been in Washington only a few months. I suffered as to prestige in the beginning only, as every American minister and ambassador suffers from our present system of appointing envoys. No representative of the United States is at first taken seriously by a foreign country. He must earn his spurs, and, by the time he earns them, they are, as a rule, ruthlessly hacked off!

Each ambassador is supposed by the Foreign Offices to be appointed for the same reason that so many peerages have been conferred by the British Government. Every minister, it is presumed, has given a quid pro quo for being distinguished from the millions of his countrymen.

'If you have the price, you can choose your embassy,' is a speech often quoted in Europe. I cannot imagine who made it—possibly the famous Flannigan, of Texas. It is notorious that peerages are sold for contributions to the campaign fund in England; but places in the diplomatic service, though governed sometimes by political influence, cannot be said to be sold.

I had one advantage; nobody suspected me of paying anything for my place; and, then, I had come from Washington, the capital of the country.

As I said, my eyes were fixed on Russia. I found, however, that the main business of my colleagues seemed to be to watch Germany, and that attitude for a time left me cold. Denmark had reason to fear Germany; but then, at that time, every other European nation was on its guard against possible aggressions on the part of its neighbours. I had hope that a Scandinavian Confederacy or the swelling rise of the Social Democracy in Germany would put an end to the fears of all the little countries. There seemed to be no hope that the attitude of the German nation towards the world could change unless the Social Democrats and the Moderate Liberals should gain power.

But why should we watch Germany, the powerful, the self-satisfied, the splendid country whose Kaiser professed the greatest devotion to our President, and had sent his brother, Prince Henry, over to show his regard for our nation? I was most anxious to find the reason.

In my time, good Americans—say in 1880—when they died, went to Paris, never to Berlin. The Emperor of Germany had determined to change this. He tried to make his capital a glittering imitation of Paris; he received Americans with every show of cordiality.

Berlin was to be made a paradise for Americans and for the world; but nearly every American is half French at heart. Nevertheless, I do not think that we took the French attitude of revenge against Germany seriously; we thought that the French were beginning to forget the revanche; their Government had apparently become so 'international.' Many of us had been brought up with the Germans and the sons of Germans. We read German literature; we began with Grimm and went on to Goethe and, to descend somewhat, Heyse and Auerbach. Without asking too many questions, we even accepted Frederick the Great as a hero. He was easier to swallow than Cromwell, and more amusing.

In fact, most of us did not think much of foreign complications, the charm of the Deutscher Club in Milwaukee, the warmth of the singing of German lieder by returned students from Freiburg or Bonn or Heidelberg; the lavish hospitality of the opulent German in this country, the German love for family life, and, for me personally, the survival of the robust virtues, seemingly of German origin, among the descendants of the Germans in Pennsylvania, impressed me.

As far as education was concerned, I had hated to see the German methods and ideas servilely applied. I belonged to the Alliance Française and preferred the French system as more efficient in the training of the mind than the German. Besides, the importation of the German basis for the doctorate of philosophy into our universities seemed to me to be dangerous. It led young men to waste time, since there was no governmental stamp on their work and no concrete recognition of the results of their studies as there was in Germany; and, this being so, it meant that the dignified degree, from the old-fashioned point of view, would become degraded, or, at its best, merely a degree for the decoration of teachers. It would be sought for only as a means of earning a living, not as a preparation for research.

'Of course I know Spain,' said a flippant attaché in Copenhagen. 'I have seen Carmen, eaten olla podrida, and adored the Russian ballet in the cachuca!' None of my friends who thought they knew Germany was as bad as this. Some of the professors of my acquaintance, who had seen only one side of German life, loved the Fatherland for its support to civilisation. Nous avons changé—tout cela!

Other gentlemen, who had started out to love Germany, hated everything German because they had been compelled to stand up in an exclusive club when anybody of superior rank entered its sacred precincts or when something of the kind happened. The man with whom I had read Heine and worked out jokes in Kladdertasch was devoted to everything German because he had once lived in a small German town where there was good opera! Personally, I had hated Bismarck and all his works and pomps for several reasons:—one was because of Busch's glorifying book about him; another for the Kulturkampf; another for his attitude toward Hanover, and because one of my closest German friends was a Hanoverian.

Brought up, as most Philadelphians of my generation were, in admiration for Karl Schurz and the men of '48, I could not tolerate anything that was Prussian or Bismarckian; but, as Windthorst, the creator of the Centrum party in the Reichstag, was one of my heroes, I counted myself as the admirer of the best in Germany.

The position of the great power, evident by its attitude to us in the beginning of the Spanish-American war, was disquieting; but Germany had shown a similar sensitiveness under similar circumstances many times without affecting international relations. And German world dominion? What, in the Twentieth Century?—the best of all possible centuries? Civilised public opinion would not tolerate it!

In the Balkans, of course, there would always be rows. The German propaganda? It existed everywhere, naturally. One could see signs of that; these signs were not even concealed. It seemed to be reasonable enough that any country should not depend entirely on the press or diplomatic notes to avoid misunderstanding; and a certain attention to propaganda was the duty of all diplomatists. Still, my observations in my own country, even before the Chicago Exposition—when the Kaiser had done his best to impress us with the mental and material value of everything German—had made me more than suspicious. I had reason to be suspicious, as you will presently see. But war? Never!

It was Cardinal Falconio who, I think, made me feel a little chilly, when he wrote: 'War is not improbable in Europe; you are too optimistic. Let us pray that it may not come; but, as a diplomatist you must not be misled into believing it impossible.' It seemed to me that such talk was pessimistic. Other voices, from the diplomatists of the Vatican—even the ex-diplomatists—confirmed this. 'If the Kaiser says he wants peace, it is true—but only on his own terms. Believe me, if the Kaiser can control Russia, and draw a straight line to the Persian Gulf, he will close his fist on England.'

The people at the Vatican, if you can get them to talk, are more valuable to an inquiring mind than any other class of men; but they are so wretchedly discreet just when their indiscretions might be most useful. Some of them are like King James I., who 'never said a foolish thing and never did a wise one.' Those who helped me with counsel were both wise in speech and prudent action but, unhappily, hampered by circumstances. Among the wise and the prudent I do not include the diplomatic representative of the Vatican in Paris just before the break with Rome!

The Russians in Copenhagen kept their eyes well on Germany; and it was evident that, while the position of France gave the Germans no uneasiness—they seemed to look on France with a certain contempt—any move of Russia was regarded as important. Prince Koudacheff, late the Russian Ambassador at Madrid, in 1907 Minister at Copenhagen, who seldom talked politics, again returned to the great question.

'My brother, who is in Washington, and an admirer of your country, says that you Americans believe that war is unthinkable. Is this your opinion?'

'It is—almost.'

'Well, I will say that as soon as the bankers feel that there is enough money, there will be a war in Europe.'

'I wonder if your husband meant that?' I asked the Princess Koudacheff; it was well to have corroboration occasionally, and she was a sister-in-law of Iswolsky's; Iswolsky was a synonym for diplomatic knowledge.

'If he did not mean it he would not have said it. When he does not mean to say a thing he remains silent. As soon as there is money enough, there will be war. Germany will go into no war that will impoverish her,' she said. Her opinion was worth much; she was a woman who knew well the inside of European politics.

'And who will fight, the Slavs and Teutons?'

'You have said it! It will come.'

I knew a Russian who, while a nobleman, was not an official. In fact, he hated bureaucrats. He could endure no one in the Russian court circle except the Empress Dowager, Marie, because she was sympathetic, and the late Grand Duke Constantine, because he had translated Shakespeare.

'If Prince Valdemar of Denmark had been the son instead of the brother of the Dowager Empress, Russia would have a future. As it is, I will quote from Father Gapon for you. You know his Life?'

'No,' I said.

'Well, he has attempted to give the working-men in Russia a chance; he has tried to gain for them one-tenth of the place which working-men in your country have, and, in 1905, he was answered by the massacre of the Narva gate. The Tsar is a fool, with an imperialistic hausfrau for a wife. If you will read the last words of Father Gapon's Life, you will find these words:

'"I may say, with certainty, that the struggle is quickly approaching its inevitable climax: that Nicholas II. is preparing for himself the fate which befell a certain English King and a certain French King long ago, and that such members of his dynasty as escape unhurt from the throes of the Revolution, will some day, in a not very distant future, find themselves exiles upon some Western shore." I may live to see this; but I hope that the Empress Marie may not. She knows where the policy of her daughter-in-law, who has all the stupidity of Marie Antoinette, without her charm, would lead; she says of her son,—"he was on the right road before he married that narrow-minded woman!"'

This, remember, was in 1908. It was whispered even then in Copenhagen that Russia was beginning to break up. The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps was Count Calvi di Bergolo, honest, brave, opinionated, who would teach you everything, from how to jump a hurdle to the gaseous compositions in the moon. He was of the haute école at the riding school and of the vielle école of diplomacy. He was very frank. He had a great social vogue because of a charming wife and a most exquisite daughter, now the Princess Aage. He would never speak English; French was the diplomatic language; it gave a diplomatist too much of an advantage, if one spoke in his native tongue. He believed in the protocol to the letter; he was a martinet of a Dean.

'Public opinion,' he said scornfully, 'public opinion in the United States is for peace. In Europe, if we could all have what we want, we should all keep the peace; but what chance of peace can there be until Italy has the Trentino or France Alsace-Lorraine, or until Germany gets to her place by controlling the Slavs. You are of a new country, where they believe things because they are impossible.'

He was a wise gentleman and he, too, watched Germany. It was plain that he disliked the Triple Alliance. Suddenly it dawned on me 'like thunder' that we had an interest in watching Germany, too.

It seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Germany would one day absorb Denmark. 'And then the Danish West Indies would automatically become German!' This was my one thought. The 'fixed idea'!

It is pleasanter to be Dean of the Diplomatic Corps than a new-comer. It must be extremely difficult for a diplomatic representative to be comfortable at once, coming from American localities where etiquette is a matter of gentlemanly feeling only, and where artificial conventionalities hardly count. In a monarchical country, the outward relations are changed. Socially, rank counts for much, and the rules of precedence are as necessary as the use of a napkin. To have lived in Washington—not the changed Washington of 1918-19—was a great help. After long observation of the niceties of official etiquette in the official society of our own Capital, Copenhagen had no terrors.


Time passed. There were alarms, and rumours that German money was corrupting France, that the distrust aroused by the Morocco incident was growing, that the French patriot believed that his opponent, the French pacifist, was using religious differences to weaken the morale of the French army and navy, to convince Germany that the 'revenge' for 1870 was forgotten.

One day, a very clever English attaché came to luncheon; he always kept his eyes open, and he was allowed by me to take liberties in conversation which his chief would never have permitted; it is a great mistake to bottle up the young, or to try to do it.

'You are determined to be friends with Germany,' he said, 'and Germany seems to be determined to be friends with you. Your Foreign Office has evidently instructed you to be very sympathetic with the German minister. He seldom sees anybody but you; but, at the same time you have recalled Mr. Tower, whom the Kaiser likes, to give him Mr. Hill, whom he seems not to want.'

'It is not a question as to whom the Kaiser wants exactly; we ostensibly sent an ambassador to the German Emperor, but really to the German people. Mr. Hill is one of the most experienced of our diplomatists.'

'The Kaiser does not want that. Mr. Tower habituated him to splendour, and he likes Americans to be splendid. Rich people ought to spend their money in Berlin. Besides, he had been accustomed to Mr. Tower, who, he thinks, will oil the wheels of diplomatic intercourse. Just at this moment, when the Kaiser has lost prestige because of his double-dealing with the Boers and his apparent deceit on the Morocco question, he does not want a man of such devotion to the principles of The Hague convention and so constitutional as Mr. Hill, who may acknowledge the charm of the emperor, but who, even in spite of himself, will not be influenced by it.'

'How do you know this?'

'Everybody about the court in Berlin knows it, but I hear it from Munich. But Speck von Sternberg would have balanced Hill, if he had lived. They think he would have influenced President Roosevelt. Tell us the secrets of the White House—you ought to know—it was an awful competition between Speck and Jusserand, I hear.'

'President Roosevelt is not easily influenced,' I said.

Persons whom I knew in Berlin wrote to me, informing me how charmed the Kaiser was with the new ambassador; but, in Copenhagen, we learned that what the Kaiser wanted was not a great international lawyer, but a rich American of less intensity.

It was worth while to get Russian opinions.

'The Kaiser is having a bad time,' I remarked to a Russian of my acquaintance—a most brilliant man, now almost, as he said himself, homme sans patrie.

'Temporarily,' he answered; 'those indiscreet pronouncements of his on the Boers and the reversion of his attitude against England in the affair of Morocco have shown him that he cannot clothe inconsistency in the robes of infallibility. He is a personal monarch and he sinks all his personality in his character as a monarch. He is made to the likeness of God, and there is an almost hypostatic union between God and him! Our Tsar is by no means so absolute, though you Americans all persist in thinking so. I have given you some documents on that point; I trust that you have sent them to your President. I am sure, however, that he knew that. Do not imagine that the emperor will be deposed, because he has made a row in Germany. He has only discovered how far he can go by personal methods, that is all; he has learned his lesson—reculer pour mieux sauter. He has played a clever game with you. Bernstorff, his new ambassador, will offset Hill. Your investments in Russia will now come through German hands, and you will get a bad blow in the matter of potash.'

'What do you mean?' I asked. I had regarded Count Bernstorff as a Liberal. His English experience seemed to have singled him out as one of the diplomatists of the Central Powers—there were several—inclined to admit that other nations had rights which Germany was bound to respect. In private conversations, he had shown himself very favourable to the United States, and had even disapproved of German attacks on the Monroe Doctrine in Brazil. 'Count Bernstorff is not likely to offend Washington, or to reopen the wound that was made at Manila.'

'You talk as if diplomatists were not, first of all, instructed to look after the business interests of their countries. Do you think Bernstorff has been chosen to dance cotillions with your 'cave dwellers' in Washington or to compliment Senators' wives? First, his appointment is meant to flatter you. Second, he will easily flatter you because he really likes America and it is his business to flatter you. Third, he will do his best to induce you to assist England in strangling Russia in favour of Turkey. Fourth, he will grip hard, without offending you, the German monopoly of potash. He doesn't want trouble between the United States and Germany. He knows that any difficulty of that kind would be disastrous; he is as anxious to avoid that as is Ballin. Under the glimmer of rank, of which you think so much in America, commercialism is the secret of Germany's spirit to-day. In Berlin, I heard an American, one of your denaturalised, trying to curry favour with Prince von Bülow by saying that the national genius of Germany demanded that Alsace-Lorraine should be kept by Germany to avenge the insolence of Louis XIV. and Napoleon. Prince von Bülow smiled. He knew that your compatriot was working for an invitation to an exclusive something or other for his wife. Bernstorff is just the man to neutralise Hill. It's iron ore and potash in Alsace-Lorraine that the emperor cares about.'

'And yet I know, at first hand, that the Pan-German hates Bernstorff. If anything approaching to a Liberal Government came in Germany, Bernstorff will be Minister of Foreign Affairs.'

My Russian friend smiled sardonically. 'We Russians feel that our one salvation is to oust the Turk and get to the Mediterranean. My party would provoke a war with Germany to-morrow, if we could afford it, and Germany knows it. Count Bernstorff, the most sympathetic of all German diplomatists, knows this, too, and you may be sure that he will persuade your Government that he loves you, give the Russian programme a nasty stroke when he can, and keep the price of potash high. I, desirous as I am of being an Excellency, would refuse to go to Berlin to-morrow, if I had Bernstorff against me on the other side. See what will happen to Hill! Germany may offend you, but Bernstorff will persuade you that it is the simple gaucherie of a rustic youth who assumes the antics of a playful bear[5]—a hug or two; it may hurt, but the jovial bear means well! If Hill should leave Berlin, you will need a clever man who has political power with your Government. Bernstorff will contrive to put any other kind of man in the wrong—I tell you that.'

The Russian who predicted this is in exile, penniless, a man sans patrie, as he says himself. When I took these notes he seemed to be above the blows of fate!

If the hand of Germany was everywhere, everybody was watching the movements of the fingers. Among the English there were two parties: One that could tolerate nothing German, the other that hated everything Russian, but both united in one belief, that the alliance with Japan would not hold under the influence of German intrigue and that Italy could not long remain a member of the Triple Alliance.

The gossip from Berlin was always full of pleasant things for an American to hear. The Kaiser treated our compatriots with unusual courtesy.

In Copenhagen we were deluged with letters announcing that Count Bernstorff's coming meant a new era; he even excelled 'Speck' in his charm, sympathy, and everything that ought to endear him to us; in him showed that true desire for peace of which his august master was, of all the world, the best representative. It was even rumoured that the German Foreign Office had begun to coquette with the Danish Social Democrats.

The exchange of professors between the United States and Germany was becoming an institution. Sometimes the American professors found themselves in awkward positions; they did not 'rank'; they had no fixed position from the German point of view. As mere American commoners, unrecognised by their Government, undecorated, they could not expect attentions from the court as a right. However, the Germans studied them and rather liked some of them, but, not being raths, they were poor creatures without standing. Even if they should make reputations approved by the great German universities, they had no future. How green were the lawns and how pleasant the sweet waters in the enclosed gardens of autocracy, of which the Emperor, Fountain of Honours, kept the key!

It was amusing to note the German attitude toward democracy, in spite of all the pleasant things said by the High, Well-Born citizens of the Fatherland in favour of the American brand. At the same time, one could not help seeing that the children of the Kaiser were wiser than the children of—let us say modestly—Light. 'If the President asked me,' said one of the most distinguished of lawyers and the most loyal of Philadelphians to me, 'I should be willing to live all my life in Germany.' This was the result of the impression the charm of the Kaiser made on the best of us.

He has changed his opinion now; he swears by the works of his compatriot, Mr. Beck. Even then, in 1908-9, my distinguished Philadelphia friend could not have endured life in Germany. He forgot that even the emperor could not give him rank, and that no matter how cosmopolitan, how learned, how tactful he was, he would at once be a commoner, and very much of a commoner on the day he settled there as a resident.

A Prussian Serene Highness, who came with letters from an Irish relative in Hungary dropped in; he was mostly Bavarian in blood; he had cousins in England and Italy. He liked a good luncheon, and, as Miss Knollys always said (I quote this without shame), 'The best food in Europe is at the American Legation!' He smoked, too, and Rafael Estrada, of Havana, had chosen the cigars.

'France is difficult,' said my acquaintance, His Serene Highness. 'It is not really democratic; and England will go to pieces before it becomes democratic.

'You Americans have freedom with order, and you respect rank and titles, though you do not covet them. That is why the Kaiser would not send any ambassador not of a great family to you. All Americans who come to Berlin desire to be presented at court. It is a sign that you will come to our way of thinking some day. We are not so far apart. You who write must tell your people that we are calumniated, we are not despots. That woman, the author of Elizabeth and Her German Garden, married to a friend of mine, does us harm. But most Americans see Germany in a mellow light. We are akin in our aspirations—Frederick the Great understood that.

'Bismarck, great as he was, became ambitious only for his family. His son, the coming chancellor, would have used our young emperor as a puppet, if our emperor had not put him into his place. This is the truth, and I am telling it to you confidentially. The British Government will come to anarchy if it weakens the House of Lords. The House of Commons is already weak. There is no barrier between honest rule and the demagogues. With your magnificent Senate there will always be a wall between the will of the canaille and good government. We Germans understand you!'

'But suppose,' it was Mr. Alexander Weddell, then connected with the Legation, now Consul General at Athens, who broke in, 'you should differ from us on the Monroe Doctrine. I have recently read an article by Mr. Frederick Wile in an English magazine on your management of your people in Brazil.'

'"Our people!" The Serene Highness seemed startled. 'A German is always a German. It is the call of the blood.'

'And something more,' Mr. Weddell said, 'a German citizen is always a German citizen; you never admit that a German can become a Brazilian. Suppose you should want to join your Germans in Brazil with your Germans at home. What would become of our Monroe Doctrine?'

'There are Germans in your country who have ceased to be Germans, and your upper classes are Anglicised, except when they marry into one of our great families; nevertheless, our own people would still see that you don't go too far with your Monroe Doctrine. It has not yet been drastically interpreted. The Monroe Doctrine is a method of defence. To interfere with the call of the German blood from one country to another would be offensive to us, and I cannot conceive of your country so far forgetting itself!'

His Serene Highness was of a mediatised house—a gentleman who had much experience in diplomacy. He had, I think, visited Newport, and been almost engaged to an American girl. The legend ran that, when this lady saw him without his uniform, she broke the engagement. He was splendid in his uniform. He thought he knew the United States; he even quoted Bryce and De Tocqueville; he had the impression that the Kaiser's propaganda of education was Germanising us for our good. 'The most eminent professors at your most important universities are Germans. Your newest university, that of Chicago, would have no reputation in Europe if it were not for the Germans. Wundt has revolutionised your conception of psychology; your scientific and historical methods are borrowed from us. Even your orthodox Protestants quote Harnack. Virchow long ago put out the lights of Huxley and Spencer. And the Catholic German in America, whom Bismarck almost alienated from us, revolts against the false Americanism of Cardinal Gibbons and Archbishop Ireland, whom the Kaiser rates as a son of the Revolution. Your Catholic University has begun to be moulded in the German way. Mgr. Schroeder, highly considered, was one of the most energetic of the professors——'

'Was,' I said. 'I happen to know that he was relieved of his professorship because of those very dominating qualities you value so much.'

'That is regrettable; but, you see, in Germany we follow the train of events in your country. Who has a larger audience than Münsterberg? In the things of the mind we Germans must lead.'

In my opinion, it is best for a diplomatist—at least for a man who is in the avocation of diplomacy—to be satisfied with l'éloquence de l'escalier. If he writes memoirs he can always put in the repartee he intended to make; and, if he does not, he can always think, too, with satisfaction of what he was almost clever enough to say! It was enough to have discovered one thing—that, with a large number of the ruling classes in the Fatherland, the Monroe Doctrine was looked on as an iridescent bubble. Many times afterwards this fact was emphasised.

The Austrians were not always so careful as the Germans to save, when it came to democracy, American susceptibilities. They were always easy to get on with, provided one remembered that even to the most discerning among them, the United States, 'America' as they always called it, was an unknown land.

As for Count Dionys Szechenyi, the Minister of Austria-Hungary, he was the most genial of colleagues, and he had no sympathy with tyranny of any kind; he had no illusions as to America.

His wife is a Belgian born, Countess Madeleine Chimay de Caraman. He was always careful not to touch on 'Prussianism,' as the Danes called the principle of German domination. He had many subjects of conversation, from portrait buying to transactions in American steel and, what had its importance in those days, a good dinner. At his house one met occasionally men who liked to be frank, and then these Austro-Hungarians were a delightful group. 'If we should be involved in a war with England—which is unthinkable, since King Edward and our Ambassador, Count Mensdorff would never allow it—I could not buy my clothes in London,' said one very regretfully.

This Austrian magnate heard with unconcealed amusement the German talk of 'democracy.' 'Max Harden is sincere, but a puppet; he helps the malcontents to let off steam; the German Government will never allow another émeute like that of 1848. Bismarck taught the Government how to be really imperial. In Austria we are frankly autocratic, but not so new as the Prussian. We wear feudalism like an old glove. There are holes in it, of course, and Hungary is making the holes larger. If the Hungarians should have their way, there would be no more majorats, no more estates that can be kept in families; and that will be the end of our feudalism.

'As it is, things are uncomfortable enough, but a war would mean a break-up. What do you Americans expect for Max Harden and his Zukunft—exile and suppression as soon as he reaches the limit. All the influences of the Centre could not keep the Jesuits from being exiled! Why? They would not admit the superiority of the state. Harden will never have the real power of the Jesuits, for the reason that he founds his appeal on principles that vary with the occasion. But he will go! As for the Social Democrats, they can be played with as a cat plays with a mouse. Democracy! If the Kaiser gets into a tight place he can always declare war!

'Is the Imperial Chancellor responsible to the German people? No. He is imperial because he wears the imperial livery. Can the Reichstag appoint a chancellor? The idea is pour rire! My dear Mr. Minister, you and your countrymen do not understand Prussian rule in Germany! And the Federal Council, what chance has it against the will of our emperor? And what have the people to do with the Federal Council? The members are appointed by the rulers by right divine. There is the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He rules his little duchy with a firm hand. There is the Duke of Brunswick, the Prince of Lippe-Schaumbourg—not to speak of the Grand Duke of Baden and a whole nest of rulers responsible only to the Head of the House.'

'But the people must count,' I said. 'Prince von Bülow has shown himself to be nervous about the growing power of the Social Democrats.'

'Oh, yes, they are very amusing. They may caterwaul in the Reichstag; they may wrangle over the credits and the budget; but the emperor can prorogue them at any time. The Pan-Germans could easily, if the Reichstag were too independent, counsel the Kaiser to prorogue that debating club altogether.

'Who can prevent his forcing despotic military rule on the nation, for the nation's good, of course? Everything in Germany must come from the top—you know that. Again, the power of the rich, as far as suffrage is concerned, is unlimited. The members of the Reichstag are elected by open ballot. Woe be to the working man who defies his emperor. Fortunately the rich German is not socially powerful until he ranks. You may be as rich as Krupp, but if the Fountain of Honour has not dashed a spray of the sacred water on you, you are as nobody.

'The greatest American plutocrat may visit Germany and spend money like water, and he remains a mere commoner. The Kaiser may invite him on his yacht and say polite things, but, until he ranks, he is nobody. His wife may manage to be presented at court under the wing of the American ambassadress, but that is nothing! The poorest and most unimportant of the little provincial baronesses outranks her. She will always be an outsider, no matter how long she may live in Germany.

'With us, in Austria, an American woman, no matter whom she marries, is never received at court. She is never "born,"' and he laughed. 'Americans can have no heraldic quarterings; but, then, we do not pretend to be democratic. If I loved an American girl, I would marry her, of course; but if I went to court, I should go alone. It is the rule, and going to court is not such a rare treat to people who are used to it. It becomes a bore.'

To do my German diplomatic colleagues justice, they never attempted masquerades in the guise of democrats. There were other Germans, whom one met in society. These people were always loyal to the Fatherland. Their attitude was that the German world was the best of all possible worlds.

If my own countrymen and countrywomen abroad were as solidly American as these people were German, our politeness would not be so frequently stretched to the breaking point. The most loyal of Germans were American people of leisure who had lived long in Germany with titled relatives. They enjoyed themselves; they lived for a time in the glory of rank.

With those who had to earn their own living in Germany, it was another story. They did not 'rank'; they were ordinary mortals; they had not the entrée to some little provincial court, and so they saw the Prussian point of view as it really was. The American women, strangely enough, who had married ranking Germans loved everything German. 'But how do you endure the interference with your daily life?' my wife asked an American girl married to a Baron.

'I like it; it makes one so safe, so protected; your servants are under the law, and give you no trouble. Order is not an idea, but a method. I know just how my children shall be educated. That is the province of my husband. I have no fault to find.' She laughed. 'I do not have to explain myself; I do not have to say, "I am a Daughter of the Revolution, my uncle was Senator so-and-so"—my place is fixed, and I like it!'

It was a distinguished German professor who assumed the task of convincing American University men that the German Army was democratic, and the conclusion of his syllogism was: 'No officer is ever admitted to a club of officers who has not been voted for by the members.' Would you believe it? It seems incredible that democracy should seem to depend on the votes of an aristocracy and not on principles. But later, just at the beginning of the war, this professor and a half dozen others signed a circular in which the same argument was used. In 1907-8-9-10, the propaganda for convincing Americans that Germany—that is that the Kaiser—loved us was part of the daily life in the best society in the neutral countries.

The Norwegians openly laughed at it. They knew only too well what the Kaiser's opinion of them and their king, Haakon, was. Amazed by the frequent allusions of the admirers of the Kaiser to his love for democracy, especially the American kind, I had a talk one day with one of the most frank and sincere of Germans, the late Baron von der Quettenburg, the father of the present vicar of the Church of St. Ansgar's in Copenhagen. He was a Hanoverian. He was at least seventy years of age when I knew him, but he walked miles; he rode; he liked a good dinner; he enjoyed life in a reasonable way; but he was frequently depressed. Hanover, his proud, his noble, his beautiful Hanover, was a vassal to the arrogant Prussian!

'But, if there were a war you would fight for the Kaiser?' I asked, after a little dinner of which any man might be proud.

'Fight? Naturally. (I did not know that you knew so well how to eat in America.) Fight! Yes! It would be our duty. Russia or France or the Yellow Nations might threaten us;—yes, all my family, except the priest, would fight. But, because one is loyal to the Kaiser through duty, it does not mean that we Hanoverians are Prussians through pleasure. We shall never be content until we are Hanoverians again—nor will Bavaria.'

'A break up of the empire by force?'

'Oh, no!' he said. 'Not by force; but if the Government does not distract public attention, Hanover will demand more freedom; so will Bavaria. None of us would embarrass the Kaiser by raising the question of—let us say—greater autonomy for our countries, if there were question of a foreign war; but we must raise them soon.'

'Do you think the emperor would make war to avoid the raising of these questions, which might mean a tendency toward the disintegration of the German monarchy?'

'The emperor would be incapable of that; he is for peace, but the raising of the question of a certain independence among the states that form the German Empire can only be prevented now by a war or some affliction equally great. Hanover can never remain the abject vassal of Prussia.'

'You would, then, like to see the German Emperor more democratic—a President, like ours, only hereditary, governing quasi-independent States?'

'That would not suit us at all,' he laughed. 'We are quite willing that the Reichstag should be in the power of the emperor, as it is a mere association for talk; but we want the tributary kings to have more power in their own states. Hanover a republic! How absurd! Republics may be good on your continent, but, then, you know no better; you began that way. Whoever tells us that we are democratic in Germany, deceives you. We Hanoverians want more power for Hanover, all the reasonable rights of our kings restored and less power for Prussia; but that we want republicanism, oh, no! A liberal constitution—yes; but no republic!'

An old friend, a Swedish Social Democrat, brought in to tea a German Social Democrat; they came to meet an Icelandic composer, in whom I was interested. The Icelander was a good composer, but filled with curious ideas about Icelandic independence. He was not content that Iceland should have the power of a State in the Federal Union. A separate flag meant to him complete independence of Denmark. He wanted to know the German Social Democrat's opinion of government.

'It is,' said the German, 'that Hohenzollerns shall go, and people have equality.'

'With us it is,' said the Swede, 'that the King of Sweden shall go, and the people have equality.'

'But, if Germany goes to war?' I asked.

'For a short war, we will be as one people; but after——' and he shook his head gravely.

In the meantime, we were told constantly of the Kaiser's charm. 'You once said,' remarked a débutante at the German court, who had been presented under the wing of our ambassadress, 'that if one wanted to dislike Mr. Roosevelt, one must keep away from him! I assure you, it is the same with the Kaiser. He is charming. For instance, notice this: he presented a lovely cigarette case, with imperial monogram in diamonds or something of that kind, to Madame Hegermann-Lindencrone, the wife of the Danish Minister, when her husband was leaving. "But my husband does not smoke," said Madame Hegermann-Lindencrone, later in the day. "That is the reason I gave it to him," said the Kaiser; "I knew that you like a cigarette, Madame!" Isn't he charming?'

We were told that the Kaiser loved Mark Twain. To love Mark Twain was to be American. To be sure he turned his back very pointedly on Mark on one occasion because Mark had dared to criticise the pension system of the United States. Pensions for the army should not be criticised, even if their administration were defective. All soldiers must be taken care of. This was the first duty of a nation, and Mark Twain forgot himself when he censured any system that put money into the pockets of the old soldiers, even of the wives of the soldiers of 1812! And this to the War Lord, the emperor of more than a Prætorian Guard! And as for President Roosevelt, if the Kaiser could only see this first of republicans! This meeting had been the great joy of his brother Prince Henry of Prussia's life.

The Kaiser had learned much from Americans—our great capitalists, for example. No American who was doing things was alien to him. Other monarchs might pretend to have an interest in the United States; his was genuine, for Germany, youngest among the nations, had so much to learn from the giant Republic of the West which possessed everything, except potash, the science of making use of by-products, and German Kultur!

President Roosevelt had just gone out of office, and President Taft was in. He wrote to me: 'You shall remain in your post as long as I remain in mine.'

I was pleased and grateful. The chance that President Roosevelt had given me, President Taft continued to give me. I was the slave of a fixed idea, that the validity not the legality, of the Monroe Doctrine was somewhat dependent on our acquiring by fair bargains all the territory we needed to interpret it!

As to Denmark in 1910, it was much more French than anything else. And, whatever might be done in the way of propaganda by Germany, France always remained beloved; while the English way of living might be imitated, nobody ever thought of imitating Germany's ways. Besides, the Danes are not good at keeping secrets, and the whisperings of German intentions, desires, likes, and dislikes disseminated in that city were generally supposed to be heart-to-heart talks with the world and received by the Danes with shrewd annotations. This the Kaiser did not approve of. It was curious that neither he nor his uncle, the King of England, liked Copenhagen—for different reasons!

It was understood that the King of England disliked it because he found it dull—the simplicity of Hvidhöre had no charms for him. He could not join in the liking of his Queen for everything Danish, from the ballets of De Bournonville to the red-coloured herring salad. Napoli, a ballet which Queen Alexandra especially recommended to my wife and myself, frankly bored him, and the mise-en-scène of the Royal Theatre was not equal to Covent Garden.

The Kaiser disliked Copenhagen because he had no regard for his Danish relatives, who took no trouble to bring out those charming boyish qualities he could display at times: the influence of the Princess Valdemar in Denmark displeased him; she was too French, too democratic, and too popular, and she had something of the quality for command of her late mother-in-law, Queen Louise. Altogether, the Danes were not amenable to German Kultur, or subservient to the continual threat of being absorbed in it, as the good Buddhist is absorbed in the golden lotus!


As far as insinuating, mental propaganda was concerned, Germany, as I have said, had the advantage over 'Die dumme Schweden,' as the Prussians always called them. 'The stupid Swedes' were the easiest pupils of German world politics, but even the most German of the Swedes never realised, until lately, what the Prussian dream of world politics meant.

Before 1914, the Swedes had been led to believe that any general European difficulty would throw them into the hands of Russia. The constantly recurring difficulty of the Aaland Islands was before their eyes. Look at the map of Northern Europe and observe what the fortifying of the Aaland Islands by a foreign power means to Sweden. We Americans do not realise that the small nations of Europe have neither a Monroe Doctrine nor the power of enforcing one. And, so far as Sweden was concerned, her only refuge against the power of Russia seemed to be Germany.

When Austria made her ultimatum to Serbia, Sweden believed that her moment for sacrifice or triumph had come. In August 1914, all Scandinavia felt that the fate of the northern nations was at stake. For Sweden the defeat of Germany meant the conquest of Sweden by the Russians, for, sad to say, no little nation believed absolutely in the good faith of a great one.

The United States, where so many Scandinavians had found a home, what of her? Too far off, and the Swedish leaders of public opinion knew too well what had been the fate of the attempts at the Hague conference to abrogate the Machiavellian doctrines that have been the basis of diplomacy almost since diplomacy became a recognised science and art.

As for diplomacy, what had it to do with the fate of the little nations? Scandinavia, among the rest of Europe, looked on it as a purely commercial machine dominated essentially by local political issues. Our State Department had a few fixed principles, but all Europe believed that we were too ignorant of European conditions and, more than that, too indifferent to them to be effective. The slightest political whisper in Russia or the smallest hint from court circles in Germany was enough to upset the equilibrium of Scandinavian statesmen. American opinion really never counted, because American opinion was looked on as insular. A diplomacy labelled as 'shirt sleeve' or 'dollar' might delight those members of Congress who had come to Washington to complete an education not yet begun at home, but, from the European point of view, it was beneath notice. It cannot be said that the United States was not looked on, because of her riches and her size, with respect; but her apparent indifference to the problem on which the peace of the world seemed, to Europe, to depend, and her policy of changing her diplomatic ministers or keeping them in such a condition of doubt that they kept their eyes on home political conditions, had combined to deprive her of importance in matters most vital to every European. This is not written in the spirit of censure, but simply as a statement of fact.

The Swedes, the Norwegians, the Danes had flocked to our country. In parts of the West, during some of the political campaigns, my old and witty friend, Senator Carter, chuckling, used to quote:

'The Irish and the Dutch,
They don't amount to much,
But give me the Scan-di-na-vi-an.'

These people are a power in our political life; but they knew in Minnesota, in Nebraska, wherever they lived in the United States, that our country would not forcibly interfere with the designs either of Russia or of Germany. And, in Sweden, while King Gustav and the Conservatives saw with alarm the constant depletion of the agricultural element in the nation by emigration to the United States, their feeling towards our country was one of amiable indulgence for the follies of youth. King Oscar showed this constantly, and King Gustav went out of his way to show attentions to our present minister, Mr. Ira Nelson Morris. Nevertheless, until lately, American diplomacy was not taken seriously, and, when the war opened, it was taken less seriously than ever.

Sweden, then, fearing Russia, doubtful of England, full of German propagandists, her ruling classes looking on France as an unhappy country governed by roturiers and pedagogues, and, except in a commercial way, where we never made the most of our opportunities, regarding our country as negligible, Sweden, divided violently between almost autocratic ideas and exceedingly radical ones, was in a perilous position from 1914 to 1918. Frankly, there are no people more delightful than the Swedes of the upper classes whom one meets at their country houses. Kronoval, the seat of the Count and Countess Sparre, is one of the places where the voices of both parties may be heard. And, when one thinks of the Swedish aristocrat, one almost says, as Talleyrand said of the talons rouges, 'when the old order changes, much of the charm of life will disappear.' Under a monarchy, life is very delightful—for the upper classes. It is no wonder that they do not want to let go of it. It must be remembered, in dealing with European questions, that the Swede and the Spaniard are probably the proudest people on the earth. Another thing must not be forgotten: the educated classes are imperial-minded. And of this quality German intrigue makes the most.

A Scandinavian Confederacy, like the Grecian one, of which King George of Greece dreamed, was not looked on with yearning by the Pan-Germans. It must be remembered to the credit of King Gustav, that, overcoming the rancour born of the separation, he made the first move towards the meeting of the three kings at Malmö,[6] in the beginning of the war.

When Finland was annexed by Germany, the terror of Russia in Sweden became less intense. Before that Sven Hedin, suspected of being a tool of Germany, did his best to raise the threatening phantom of the Russian terror whenever he could. The hatred and fear of Russia revived. It was not in vain that sane-minded persons urged that Russia would have enough to do to manage the Eastern question, to watch Japan, to keep her designs fixed on Constantinople. The German propaganda constantly raised the question of the fortification of the Aaland Islands. Denmark and Norway were intensely interested in it; it gave Count Raben-Levitzau much thought when he was Minister of Foreign Affairs in Denmark, especially after the separation of Norway from Sweden; and since then, it has been a burning question, and the Foreign Office in Christiania was not untroubled. On the question of the Aaland Islands neither the Russian nor the Swedish diplomatists would ever speak except in conventional terms; but, when I wanted light, I went to the cleverest man in Denmark, Count Holstein-Ledreborg.

'De l'esprit?' he said, laughing, 'mais oui, j'ai de l'esprit. Tout le monde le dit; but other things are said, too. Fortunately, a bad temper does not drive out l'esprit. You are wrong; the cleverest man in Denmark is Edward Brandès.' But this is a digression.

'The Swedes,' Count Holstein-Ledreborg said, 'are at heart individualists. They would no more bear the German rule of living than they would commit national suicide by throwing themselves into the arms of Germany. England met with no success in Sweden in spite of the tact of her envoys, because her ideas of Sweden are insular. She scorns effective propaganda; she has never even attempted to understand the Swedes. The bulk of the Swedes do not vote (1909). The destinies of Sweden are in the hands of the Court. A king is still a king in Sweden; but that will pass, and the movement of the Swedish nation will be further and further away from the political ideas of Germany.'

In 1911 modified liberal suffrage became a Swedish institution. Still, the State and Church remain united. Religion is not free; nobody can hold office but a Lutheran. The 'Young Sweden' party is governed very largely by the ideas of the German historian, Treitschke. The philosophy of his history is reflected in the pages of Harald von Hjarne. He is patriotic to the core, but, whether consciously or not, he played into the hands of the Prussian propagandist. His history, a chronicle of the lives of Kings Charles XII. and Gustavus Adolphus, displayed in apotheosis; and the imperialistic idea, which carries with it militarist tendencies, is illuminated with all the radiance of Hjarne's magic pen. Sweden must have an adequate army.

When Norway threatened to secede, its attitude very largely due to the bad management of the very charming and indolent King Oscar, the Swedish army began to mobilise. The Swedes—that is the minority of Swedes, the governing body—would not brook the thought that Norway might become a real nation. 'We must fight!' Young Sweden said. The Young Sweden, intolerant and imperious, did not realise that it had Old and Young Norwegians to contend with. Now, if the Spaniard and the Swede are the proudest folk in Europe, the Norwegian and the Icelandic are the most stiff-necked. The Swedish pride and the Norwegian firmness, which contains a great proportion of obstinacy, met, and Norway became a separate monarchy with such democratic tendencies as make American democracy seem almost despotism.

After the success of the Liberals in 1911, there was a reaction. The German propaganda fanned the excited patriotism of the Swedish people; 'their army was too small, their navy inefficient'; the force of arms must be used against Russia. In fact, Russia had her Eastern problems; the best-informed of the Swedish diplomatists admitted this; but the propaganda was successful; the people were tricked; nearly forty thousand farming folk and labourers marched to the palace of King Gustav. They had made great contributions in money for the increase of the fleet. 'That cruiser,' said a cynical naval attaché, 'will one day fight for Germany—when the Yellow Peoples attack us,' he added to ward off further questions.

Nevertheless the German influence made no points against the 'yellow peoples.' It was against Russia all their bullets were aimed. The Russians understood secret diplomacy well; but, either because they despised the common people too much or because the writers on Russia were too self-centred, nothing was done to meet this propaganda effectively. The Swede was taught to believe that Germany was the best-governed nation on the face of the earth, and Russia the worst; that Germany would benevolently protect, while Russia was ready to pounce malignantly. Russian literature gave no glimpse of light. It was grey or black, and the language in which the Russian papers were printed was an effectual barrier to the understanding of the Swedes, who, as a matter of course, nearly all read German.

Young Sweden believed that the first step on the road to greatness was a declaration of war with Russia. Nothing could have suited the plans of the Pan-Germans better than this, for it meant for Sweden an alliance with Germany. The Swedish literary man and university professors voiced, as a rule, the pro-German opinions of Young Sweden. There were some exceptions; but there were not many. And the worst of all this was that these men were sincere. They were not bribed with money. They were flattered, if you like, by German commendations. Every historical work, every scientific treatise, every volume of poetry of any value, found publishers and even kindly critics in Germany. Russia was the enemy, and, from the point of view of the intellectual Swede, illiterate.

Russia had nothing to offer except commercial opportunities at great risks. Swedish capital might easily be invested at home or, if necessary, there was the United States or Germany for their surplus. The pictures of Russian life given out by the great writers who ought to know it, were not inspiring of hope in the future of Russia. There was no special need for the Swedish scholar to complain of the German influence in his country since it was all in his favour. The Government honoured him—following the German examples—and made him part of the State. Even the English intellectuals, who, as every Scandinavian knew, ought to have distrusted Germany, acknowledged the superiority of German 'Kultur' without understanding that it meant, not culture, but the worship of a Prussian apotheosis.

One of the most agreeable of Swedish professors whom I met in Christiania at the centennial of the Christiania University, went over the situation with me. I had come in contact with him especially as I had been honoured by being asked to represent Georgetown University and further honoured by being elected dean of all the American representatives, including the Mexican and South American. This was in 1911.

'Frankly,' I said, 'are not you Swedes putting all your eggs into one basket? What have you to do with the Teuton and Slavic quarrel? Do you believe for a moment that the ultra-Bismarckian policy which controls Germany will consider you anything but a pawn in the diplomatic game? I think that, as Swedes, you ought to help to consolidate Scandinavia, and your diplomatists, instead of playing into Germany's hands, ought to make it worth her while to support her, as far as you choose. You are selling yourself too cheap.'

His eyes flashed. 'You do not talk like an American,' he said. Then he remembered himself and became polite, even 'mannered.' 'I mean that you talk too much like diplomatists of the old school of secret diplomacy.'

'I believe that there are secrets in diplomacy which no diplomatist ever tells.'

'But you would have us attempt to disintegrate Russia, and, at the same time, play with Germany in order to make ourselves stronger.'

'I did not say so. For some reason or other, the Germans call you "stupid Swedes."'

'Not now. That has passed. The Germans recognise our qualities,' he added proudly. 'The English do not. The Russians look on us only as their prey. You, being an American, are pro-Russian. I have heard that you were particularly pro-Russian. Not,' he added hastily, 'that you are anti-German. The German vote counts greatly in the United States, and you could not afford to be; you might lose your "job," as one of your ministers at Stockholm called it; but you, confess it!—have a regard for the Russians.'

'They are interesting. We of the North owe them gratitude for their conduct during our Civil War. Anti-German? I love the old Germany; I love Weimar and the Tyrol; but, speaking personally, I do not love the Prussianisation of Germany. I have written against the Kulturkampf. I dislike the "Prussian Holy Ghost" who tried to rule us back in the '80's, but my German colleagues recognise the fact that I see good in the German people, and love many of their qualities.'

'Still,' laughed the professor, who knows one of my best friends in Rome, 'they say that you came abroad to live down your attacks in the Freeman's Journal on the German Holy Ghost.'

I changed the subject; that was not one of the things I had to live down.

'Germany is our only friend, our only equal intellectually, our only sympathetic relative by blood. The Norwegians hate us, the Danes dislike us. We have the same ideas as the Germans, namely, that the elect, not the merely elected, must govern. It was Martin Luther's idea, and his idea has made Germany great.'

'But there is nothing contrary to that idea in the Northern League, which Count Carl Carlson Bonde and other Swedes dreamed about, is there? You Swedes seem to believe that Martin Luther was infallible in everything but religion. He would probably like to see most of you burned, although you are all "confirmed."'

The Professor laughed: 'Paris vaut une messe,' he quoted. 'I admit that Luther would not approve of the religious point of view of our educated classes; but, at least, we have a semblance of unity, while you, like the English, have a hundred religions and only one sauce. Our Lutheranism is a great bond with Germany, as well as our love of science and our belief in authority. As to the Northern League, Count Bonde was a dreamer.'

'Everybody is a dreamer in Sweden who is not affected by the Pan-German idea. Is that it?'

'You are badly informed,' he said. 'Your Danish environment has affected you. As long as we can control our people, we shall be great. We have only to fear the Socialist. The decision in essential matters must always rest with the king and the governing classes. Our army and navy will be supported by popular vote, as in Germany; they are the guarantees of our greatness.'

This was the opinion of most of the autocratic and military—and to be military was to be autocratic—classes in 1911.

Later I spoke with one of the most distinguished of the Norwegians, Professor Morgenstjern. He seemed to be an exception to the general idolatry of German Kultur.

It was impossible to get the Swede of traditions to see that Germany's policy was to keep the three Northern nations apart—not only the Northern nations but the other small nations. When, just before the war, Christian X. and Queen Alexandrina visited Belgium on their accession the German propagandists in Scandinavia were shocked; it was infra dig. It was 'French.' 'The King and Queen of Denmark will be visiting Alsace-Lorraine and wearing the tricolour!' a disappointed hanger-on in the German Legation said.

It was my business to find out what various Foreign Offices meant, not what they said they meant. 'Of open diplomacy in the full sun, there are few modern examples. Secrecy in diplomacy has become gradually greater than it was a quarter of a century ago, not from mere reticence on the part of ministers, but to a large extent from the decline of interest in foreign affairs.'

The writer of this sentence in the Contemporary Review alluded to England. This lack of interest existed even more in the United States. And then as militarism grew in Europe, one's business was to discover what the Admiralty thought, for in Germany and Austria, even in France, after the Dreyfus scandal, one must be able to know what the military dictators were about. The newspapers had a way of discovering certain facts that Foreign Offices preferred to hide. But the most astute newspaper owing to the necessity of having a fixed political policy and the difficulty of finding men foolish enough or courageous enough to risk life for money, could rarely predict with certainty what Foreign Offices really intended to do. Besides Foreign Offices, outside of Germany, were generally 'opportunists.'

Few diplomatists of my acquaintance were deceived by the Kaiser's professions of peace. That he wanted war seemed incredible, for he had the reputation of counting the cost. He was indiscreet at times, but his 'indiscretions' never led him to the extent of giving away the intentions of the General Staff. That he wanted to turn the Baltic into a German sea was evident. The Swedish 'activist' would calmly inform you that, if this were true, Germany would treat Sweden, and perhaps the other Scandinavian countries, as Great Britain treated the United States—the Atlantic, as everybody knew, being a 'British lake' and yet free to the United States!

There was no missing link in the German propaganda in Sweden. Prussia used the Lutheran Church as she had tried to use the German Jesuits and failed. The good commonsense of the Swedish common people alone saved them from making German Kultur an integral part of their religion. When it filtered out that, notwithstanding the close relationship of the Tsaritza of Russia with the German Emperor, the Prussian Camorra had determined to control Russia, to humiliate her, to control her, there were those among the leaders who saw what this meant. They saw Finland and the Aaland Islands Germanised, and their resources, the product of their mines and of their factories, as much Germany's as Krupp's output. The bourgeoisie and the common people saw no future glory or profit in this.

The knowledge of it filtered through; the Lutheran pastor, with his dislike of democracy, his love for the autocratic monarchy, 'all power comes from God,' I heard him quote, without adding that St. Paul did not say that 'All rulers come from God,'—could not convince the hard-thinking, hard-working Swede that religion meant subjugation to a foreign power. The Lutheran Church, which, like all national churches, was hampered by the State, could give no intelligent answer to his doubts, so he turned to the Social Democrats. The governing class in Sweden seemed to take no cognisance of the growth of democracy in the hearts of the people. Germany was alive to it and feared it; but, in Sweden, rather than admit it and its practical effects, the rulers ignored it, were shocked by the great tide of emigration to the United States, yet careless of its effects on Swedish popular opinion.

On one occasion in Copenhagen, King Gustav asked me why so many of his people emigrated to my country. The King of Sweden is a very serious man, not easily influenced or distracted from any subject that interests him, and the good of his people interested him very much. It was a difficult question to answer, for comparisons were always odious.

'I can better tell you, sir, why your subjects prefer to remain at home:—when they get good land cheap, and when they see the chance of rising beyond their fathers' position in the social scale.'

He began to speak, but etiquette demanded a move. When I met him again he returned to the subject. It was better that he should talk, and he talked well. It became evident to me that there was little good agricultural land in Sweden to give away, and the division between the classes was not so impassable as I had believed. He made that clear.

The Social Democrat in Sweden wants an equal opportunity, no wars to be declared by the governing classes, and the abolition of the monarchy. He is not concerned greatly with the Central Powers or the Entente. He was glad to see the Hohenzollerns displaced, but he is German in the sense that he is affiliated with the German Social Democrats who, he believes, were forced to deny their principles temporarily or they would have been thrown to the lions; and as, above all things, he prizes a moderate amount of material comfort for himself and his family, he will not go out of his way to be martyred; but even he was the victim of modified German propaganda; he was too patriotic to accept it all.

Of late, as we know, the Liberal Party has gained strength, and the designs of a small activist military coterie were frustrated by a series of circumstances, of which the Luxburg revelations were not the least; but the main reason was the coquetting of the Government with Germany, one of the signs of which was that the Allied blockade was not treated as a fact, while the mythical blockade by Germany was accepted as really existing.

Personally, I had respect for Dr. Hammarskjold, the Premier of the conservative cabinet that ruled Sweden in the beginning of the war. He was formerly a colleague in Copenhagen, and, with the exception of Francis Hagerup, now Norwegian Minister at Stockholm, he is the greatest jurist in Northern Europe. He is a Swede of Swedes, with all the traditions of the over-educated Swede. Neutrality he desired above all things—that is, as long as it could be preserved with honour; but he evidently believed that, for the preservation of this neutrality, it was most necessary to keep on very good terms with Germany. Hammarskjold's point of view was more complicated, more technical than that of Herr Branting, and it is to Herr Branting's raising of the voice of the Swedish nation that a serious difficulty with the Entente was avoided. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to put down Hammarskjold as pro-German, for he is, first of all, pro-Swedish.

Edwin Bjorkman, an expert in Swedish affairs, says, after he has paid the compliments of an honest man to the wretched Prussian conspiracies in Sweden:—

'For this German intriguing against supposedly friendly nations there can be no defence. For the more constructive side of Germany's effort to win Sweden, there is a good deal to be said, not only in defence, but in praise. It was not wholly selfish or hypocritical, and it was directed with an intelligence worthy of emulation. All the best German qualities played a conspicuous and successful part in that effort,—enthusiasm, thoroughness, systematic thinking and acting, intellectual curiosity, adaptability, and a constant linking of national and personal interests.'[7]

Men, like Hammarskjold, were naturally affected by an influence which no other nation condescended to counteract. Besides, as a good Swede, Hammarskjold knew that, in a possible conflict with Germany, Sweden had nothing to expect, in the way of help, from the Allies. The German propaganda had convinced many Swedes that it was England that deprived King Oscar of Norway with the view of isolating Sweden and assisting Russia's move to the sea.

The late Minister of Foreign Affairs, Herr Wallenberg, was regarded as a friend of the Entente, and was less criticised than any other member of the Government. Many of his financial interests were supposed to be in France, and he has many warm friends in all social circles in that country. He is a man of cosmopolitan experience. He has the reputation of being the best-informed man in Europe on European affairs.

Dr. E. F. Dillon, in one of his very valuable articles said: 'As far back as March 1914, he gave it as his opinion that the friction in the Near East would in a brief space of time culminate in a European war.' To Dr. Dillon the English-speaking world owes the knowledge of the points of view of certain activists, entirely under German influence, as expressed in Schwedische Stimmen zum WeltkriegUebersetzt mit einem Vorwart verschen von Dr. Friedrich Steve. The real title is best translated Sweden's Foreign Policy in the Light of the World War. It was a plea for war in the interests of Germany, representing those of Germany and Sweden as one. They were anonymous—now that some of them have had a change of mind it is well that their names were withheld. They were evidently pro-Germans of all Swedish political parties. It may not be out of place to say that the papers of Dr. Dillon, such as those printed in the Contemporary Review, are documents of inestimable diplomatic-social value.

It was the leader of the Socialists, Herr Branting, who helped to make evident that a change had been slowly taking place among the Swedish people. Herr Branting is of a very different type from the generally received idea of what a Socialist is. He would not do on the stage. In fact, like many of the constructive Socialists in Scandinavia, he is rather more like a modern disciple of Thomas Jefferson than of Marx or Bakounine. He knows Europe, and he brings to the cause of democracy in Europe great power, well-digested knowledge, and a tolerance not common in Sweden, where religious sectarianism among the bulk of the people was as great an enemy to political progress as the Prussian propaganda.

The most influential man in Sweden, Herr Branting, was obliged to renew his formal adhesion to the Lutheran Church, which he had renounced, to hold office. The strength of Herr Branting's position, which has lately immensely increased, may be surmised from the fact that, in 1914, the Radicals gave 462,621 votes as against 268,631. The Government would have been wise to have heeded this warning in time; but the men who had engineered the Activist movement, who had worked the Swedish folk up to their demand for stronger defences and a greater army and navy, seemed to think that Sweden was still to be governed from the top.

The Swedes are not the kind of people who can be led hither and thither by bread and the circus. They know how to amuse themselves without the assistance of their Government and to earn their bread, too; but when the Government, through its presumably pro-German policy, seemed to be responsible for the curtailment of the necessities of life, they turned on their leaders and read the riot act to them. Sweden boldly defied Pan-Germanism.

A great day in Sweden was April 21st, 1917. It was a turning point in the nation's destiny. The people took matters in their own hands. Hjalmar Branting had forced the Swartz-Lindman Cabinet into a corner; no more secret understandings, no more disregard of the feelings of the voters who felt that, to help their nation intelligently, they must know what was going on. Appeals to Charles XII. or the shade of Gustavus Adolphus no longer counted. What Germany liked or disliked was of no moment to Branting.

On the first of May we were all anxious in Denmark. Our Minister at Stockholm, Mr. Ira Nelson Morris, understood the situation; he expected no great outbreak as a result of Branting's action in the Rigstag, revealing the existence of a secret intrigue to raise, on the part of the Government, a guard of civilians to protect the 'privileged classes,' as the Socialists called them, against disturbances on the part of the proletariat. Branting gave a guarantee that no tumult among the people should take place. Nevertheless, the German propaganda kept at work; the people were not to be trusted. On May 1st, the party in power protected the palace with machine guns and packed its environs with troops. It was a rather indiscreet thing to do, since Branting had given his word for peace, providing that the pro-German protectorate did not make war. On May 1st at least fifty thousand of the working classes, 'the unprivileged classes,' made their demonstration in procession quietly and solemnly. In the provinces, on the same day, half a million Swedes sympathetically joined in this protest against the pro-German attitude of the Government.

When we entered the war the ruling classes declared, either privately or publicly, that we had made a 'mistake'; they hinted that Germany would make us see this mistake—this out of no malevolence to America as America, but simply from a complete lack of sympathy with our ideals. It must be remembered that an aristocracy, a bureaucracy without privileges is as anomalous as a British Duke without estate. The French Revolution was a protest, as we all know, against vested privileges. When Madame Roland, the intellectual representative of a great class, was expected to dine with the servants at a noble woman's house, a long nail was driven into the coffin of privilege.

In Sweden the fight is on against the privileges which the higher classes in Sweden have expected Germany to help them conserve.

On October 19th a new cabinet was formed; the people demanded a Government which would be neutral. This was the result of the election in September. On this result—the first real step in the Swedish nation toward political democracy—they stand to-day. Unrestrained or uninfluenced by Prussia, the classes of Sweden who love their privileges, will accept the situation. The death-blow to the landed aristocracy will doubtless be the suppression of the majorats and the conversion of the entailed estates into cash. This seems to be one of the fundamental intentions of the new order. The classes who look to Germany as their model and mentor are now non-existent—naturally!

Germany allowed to the upper classes in Sweden no intellectual contact with the democracies of the world. The world news dripped into Sweden carefully expurgated. Her suspicions of Russia were kept alive as we have seen; the good feeling which existed in Denmark towards Sweden (due to the help the Swedish troops had given when they were quartered at Glorup, near Odense, in readiness to meet the Prussian attack in 1848) had been gradually undermined. While Sweden owed much of her suspicions of the other two countries to German influence as well as her fears of Russia, Denmark was confronted with a real danger.

Whatever progress Sweden has made towards democracy is not due to intelligent propaganda on the part of America or England. It needed a war to teach the Foreign Offices that diplomatic representatives have greater duties than to be merely 'correct' and obey technical orders.

German propaganda had little influence in Norway, but German methods have been used to an almost unbelievable extent in the attempt to lower the morale of this self-respecting and independent people. The German propaganda could get little hold on a nation that cared only to be sufficient for itself in an entirely legitimate way. The Norwegian can neither be laughed, argued, nor coerced out of an opinion that he believes to be founded on a principle, and he looks on all questions from the point of view of a free man thinking his own thoughts.

German propaganda, during the war, took the form of coercion. The ordinary influences brought to bear on Sweden would not be effective in Norway. Socialism seemed to be less destructive to the existing order of things in Norway than it was in Sweden, because it had fewer obstacles to overcome. It was against the Pan-German idea that the three Scandinavian countries should form the Northern Confederation dreamed of by Baron Carlson Bonde and others. When the late King Oscar of Sweden came under German influence—through all the traditions of his family he should have been French—he began to give the Norwegian causes of offence, and his attitude intensified their growing hatred of all privileges founded on birth, hereditary office, or assumption of superiority founded on extraneous circumstances. As we know, the form of Lutheranism accepted in Norway has little effect on the political life of the people, who, as a rule, are attached to their special form of Protestantism because of traditions (part of this tradition is hatred of Rome, as it is supposed to represent imperial principles) and because it leaves them free to choose from the Bible what suits them best. It is a mistake to imagine, as some sociologists have, that the Lutheran Church in Norway inclined the Norwegians to sympathy with German ideas. I have never, as yet, met a Norwegian who seemed to associate his religion with Germany or to imagine that he owed any regard to that country because 'the light,' as he sometimes calls it, came to him through that German of Germans, Martin Luther. In his mind, as far as I could see, there seemed to be two kinds of Lutheranism—the German kind and the Norwegian kind. I am speaking now of the people of average education—who would dare to use the phrase 'lower classes' in speaking of the Norwegians as we use it of the Swedes or the English? An 'average education' means in Norway a high degree of knowledge of what the Norwegian considers essential.

This shows that racial differences are much more potent than religious beliefs; and yet, in considering the problems of the world to-day, it would be vain to leave religious affairs out of the question, worse than vain—foolish. The Crown Prince of Germany, having studied the Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, knew this; the Kaiser, knowing Machiavelli, understood it too well. Lutheranism in Norway is not a political factor owing to the peculiar temperament of the people; therefore, Germany could not make use of it. With the intellectual classes, the independent thinkers, it has ceased to be a factor at all. Ibsen, who was in soul a mystic, is accused of leaning towards German philosophies even by some of his own countrymen; but there was never a more individualistic man than he.

In my conversation with learned and intellectual Norwegians, I discovered no leaning whatever to autocratic ideals. They were only aristocrats in the intellectual sense.

'Even our upper classes,' said a Swede, an ardent admirer of the ideas of the Liberal Swede, Count Hamilton, 'are changing. You ought to know our people as you know the Danes. A nation as plastic as ours, capable of breaking its traditions by making a king of Marshal Bernadotte, a person not "born" has great capacities for adaptation; and this is the reason why my country will not be divided between Germanised aristocrats and a Socialistic proletariat.'

This, after all, represents the essential attitude of the best in Sweden. That German ideals were propagated and well received by the ruling classes is true, but, to generalise about any country, simply because of the attitude of the persons one meets in society, is a mistake that would lead a diplomatic representative into all manner of difficulties.

To assume that Sweden could have been governed as Germany was governed, because German is the fashionable language among the aristocracy and the intellectuals, or because Sweden is Lutheran, or because the university and military education is founded on German methods, is too misleading. The Swedish folk are not the kind that would tamely submit to the drastic rule of the autocratic Hohenzollern.

The German attitude toward Norway was frankly antagonistic. There was no power there to persuade the citizens of that country that all kultur should come from above. The Norwegian is a democrat at heart. He believes, with reason, in the industrial future of his country; he understands what may be done with his inexhaustible supply of 'white coal'; he knows the value of the process for seizing the nitrates from the air. When he heard that supplies of potash had been discovered in Spain, a distinguished Norwegian said: 'Poor Spain! The Prussians will seize it now; but we should be willing to meet all the Prussian fury if we could discover potash in Norway!'

It is an open secret that Norway, at the time of her separation from Sweden, would have preferred a republican form of government. The Powers, England and Russia and Germany, would not hear of this, and the Norwegians consented to a very limited monarchy. German or Russian princes were out of the question, and Prince Charles of Denmark, now King Haakon, who had married the Princess Maud of Great Britain and Ireland, was chosen. King Edward VII. was pleased with this arrangement; he had no special objection to the cutting down of monarchical prerogatives, provided the hereditary principle was maintained, and the marriage strengthened the English influence in Norway. As King Haakon and Queen Maud have a son—Prince Olav—the Norwegians are content, especially as King Haakon knows well how to hold his place with tact, sympathy, and discretion.

Norway is naturally friendly to the United States and England, and, in spite of the Kaiser's regular summer visits, it was never at all friendly to him. The treatment of Norway, when the Germans found that the Norwegians were openly against their methods, was ruthless. The plot of the German military party against the capital of Norway, which meant the blowing up of a part of the city, has been hinted at, but not yet fully revealed. The reports of the attempt to introduce bombs in the shape of coals into the holds of Norwegian ships bound to America were well founded, and the misery and wretchedness inflicted on the families of Norwegian sailors by the U-boat 'horribleness' has made the German name detested in Norway. After the crime of the Lusitania, the German Minister was publicly hissed in Christiania.

Remaining neutral, Norwegian business men kept up such trade with the belligerents as the U-boat on one side and the embargo on the other permitted. War and business seem to have no scruples, and the Norwegian merchant, like most of ours, before we joined the Allies, felt it his duty to try to send what he could into Germany. The British Minister at Christiania, the British Admiralty, and a patriotic group of Norwegians did their utmost in limiting this, and, when the United States entered the war, they were ably seconded by the American Minister, Mr. Schmedeman. The Norwegians, in spite of all dangers, kept their boats running, and they were shocked when the United States tightened the embargo, with a strangle grip.

The Norwegian press openly said that we, the friend of the little nations, had proved faithless, and pointed to their record as friends of democracy. The American Minister, in the midst of the storm, did an unusual thing; he published the text of the prepared agreement, which Nansen had sent to Washington to negotiate. There was a time, before this, when the name of our country, formerly so beloved and revered, was execrated among the Norwegians. Mr. Schmedeman's quick insight calmed a storm which arose from disappointment at the stringent demands of a nation they had hitherto considered as their best friend. This constant friendship for us was shown on all occasions in Copenhagen by Dr. Francis Hagerup and Dr. John Irgens, two of the most respected diplomatists in Europe. Dr. Hagerup's reputation is widely spread in this country.

No human being could be imagined as a greater antithesis to the Prussians than the Norwegians; the Norwegian is in love with liberty; he is an idealistic individual; it is difficult, too, to believe that the Norwegian, the Swede and the Dane are of the same race. The Norwegian is as obstinate as a Lowland Scot and as practical; he is a born politician; he calls a spade a spade, and he is not noted for that great exterior polish which distinguishes the Swede and the Dane of the educated classes. A Norwegian gentleman will have good manners, but he is never 'mannered.' For frankness, which sometimes passes for honesty, the Norwegian of the lower classes is unequalled. This has given the Norwegian a reputation for rudeness which he really does not deserve. He is no more rude than a child who looks you in the eye and gives his opinion of your personal appearance without fear or favour; it does not imply that he is unkind. There is a story of a Norwegian shipowner, who, asked to dine with King Haakon, found that a business engagement was more attractive, so he telephoned: 'Hello, Mr. King, I can't come to dinner!'

A Norwegian told me, with withering scorn, the 'stupid comment' of an 'ignorant Swede' on the Norwegian character: 'You have no Niagara Falls in Sweden, no great city like Chicago, no Red Indians!' He had said, 'We have finer cataracts than your Niagara Falls, a magnificent city, Stockholm, the Paris of Scandinavia, and many Red Indians, but we call them Norwegians!'

One summer day, two well-mounted German officers, probably attending the Kaiser or making arrangements for his usual yachting trip to Norway, came along a country road. They were splendid looking creatures, voluminously cloaked—a wind was blowing—helmets glittering. Our car had stopped on a side road; something was wrong. A peasant, manipulating two great pine stems on a low, two-wheeled cart, had barred the main road, and, as the noontide had come, sat down to eat his breakfast. One of the officers haughtily commanded him to clear the way, expecting evidently a frightened obedience. The peasant put his hands in his pockets and said,—'Mr. Man, I will move my logs when I can. First, I must eat my breakfast, you can jump your horses over my logs; why not? Jump!'

The officer made a movement to draw his revolver; the Norwegian only laughed.

'Besides,' he said, 'there is a wheel half off my cart; I cannot move it quickly.'

The language of the officers was terrifying. Finally, they were compelled to jump. Neither the sun glittering on the fierce eagles nor the curses of the officers moved this amiable man; he drank peacefully from his bottle of schnapps and munched his black bread and sausage as if their great persons had never crossed his path, or, rather, he theirs.

Neither art, literature nor music has been Germanised in Norway. Art, of later years, has been touched by the French ultra-impressionists. There is no humble home in the mountains that does not know Grieg. And why? When you know Grieg and know Norway, you know that Grieg is Norway.

Norway is the land of the free and the home of the brave. There was no fear that German ideas would control it, and the Prussians knew this. What is good in German methods of education the Norwegians adopt, but they first make them Norwegian.


Machiavelli, in The Prince, instructs rulers in the use of religion as a means of obtaining absolute power; and from the point of view of monarchs of the Renaissance and after, he would have been a fool, if he had neglected this important bond in uniting the nations he governed. It was not a question as to the internal faith of the ruler; that was a personal matter; but outwardly he must conform to the creed which gave him the greatest political advantages. There is a pretty picture of Napoleon's teaching the rudiments of Christianity to a little child at Saint Helena; but who imagines that he would have hesitated to make the sacred pilgrimage to Mecca or to prostrate himself before the idols of any powerful Pagan nation, if he could have fulfilled his plans in the East? 'Paris vaut une Messe,' said Henry IV. of Navarre and France with the cynicism of his tribe. Queen Catherine di Medici and Queen Elizabeth had their superstitions. They probably believed that all clever people have the same religion, but never tell what it is—the religion to which Lord Beaconsfield thought he belonged. It is against the subversion of religion, of spirituality, to the State that democracy protests. Frankly, it is as much against the despotism of Socialism as it is against the Machiavellianism of His late Imperial Majesty, the German Emperor. He hoped to become Emperor of Germany and the world, and to speak from Berlin urbi et ubi. To be German Emperor did not content him.

The Kaiser's use of religion as an adjunct to the possession of absolute power began very early in his reign. Bismarck could teach him nothing, though Bismarck was as decided a Hegelian as he was a Prussian in his idea of the function of the ruler.

Hegel, the learned author of the Philosophy of Right, was Prussian to the core. He was on the side of the rulers, and he hated reforms, or rather, feared reformers, because they might disturb the divinely ordered authority. There must be a dot to the 'i' or it meant nothing in the alphabet. This dot was the King. He was the darling of the Prussian Government and the spokesman of Frederick William III. He loathed the movement in Germany towards democratic reforms, and watched England with distrustful eyes. The teaching of most Hegelians in the Universities of the United States—and the Hegelian idea of the State had made much progress here—was to minimise somewhat the arbitrary and despotic ideas of their favourite Prussian philosopher. No man living has yet understood the full meaning of all parts of his philosophical teachings, but one thing was clear to all men who, like myself, watched the application of Hegelianism to Prussia and to Germany. The State must be supreme.

The Catholics in Germany saw the errors of Hegelianism as applied to the State, but they were not sufficiently enlightened or clever, and they neglected to oppose its progress efficiently. There are various opinions about the activities of the Fathers of the Congregation of Jesus (founded by Saint Ignatius Loyola as a corps d'élite of the counter-reformation) in Germany and in the world in general. Bismarck heartily disapproved of them for the same reasons as Hegel disapproved of them. They taught that Cæsar is not omnipotent, that the human creature has rights which must be respected, and are above the claims of the State. In a word, in Germany, they stood for the one thing that the Prussian monarchs detested—dissent on the part of any subject to their growing assertion of the divine right of kings.

Windthorst formed the Centrum, and opposed Bismarck valiantly, but political considerations Prussianised the Centre, or Catholic party, as they moved 'the enemies of Prussianism,' the Socialists, when the crucial moment arrived, and burned incense to absolute Cæsar. It was not a question of Lutheranism against Catholicism in Germany in 1872, not a question of an enlightened philosophy, founded on modern research against obscurantism, as most of my compatriots have until lately thought, but a clean-cut issue between the doctrine of the entire supremacy of the State and the inherent rights of the citizen to the pursuit of happiness, provided he rendered what he owed to Cæsar legitimately. That the victims of the oppression were Jesuits blinded many of us to the motive of the attack. The educational system of the Jesuits had enemies among the Catholics of Germany, too, so that they lost sight of the principle underneath the Falk laws, so dear to Bismarck. Frederick the Great and Catherine of Russia protected the Jesuits, it is true, but they were too absolute to fear them. Besides, as Intellectuals, they were bound to approve of a society, which in the eighteenth century had not lost its reputation for being the most scientific of religious bodies.

The Falk laws were, in the opinion of Bismarck and the disciples of the Kulturkampf, the beginning of the moulding of the Catholic Church in Germany as a subordinate part of the autocratic scheme of government. They had nothing to fear from the Lutherans—they were already under control—and nothing to fear from the unbelieving Intellectuals, of the Universities, for they had already accepted Hegel and his corollaries. The main enemies of the ultra-Kaiserism were the Catholic Church and Socialism—Socialism gradually drawing within its circle those men who, under the name of Social Democrats, believed that the Hohenzollern rule meant obscurantist autocracy.

The Socialists, pure and simple, are as great an enemy to democracy as the Pan-Germans. The varying shades of opinion among the Social Democrats,—there are liberals among them of the school of Asquith, and even of the school of Lloyd George, constitutional monarchists with Jeffersonian leanings, Lutherans, Catholics, non-believers, men of various shades of religious opinion are all bent on one thing,—the destruction of the ideals of Government advocated by Hegel and put into practice by the Emperor and his coterie.

Both the Socialist and the Social Democrat came to Copenhagen. They talked; they argued. They were on neutral soil. It was impossible to believe, on their own evidence, that the Socialism of Marx, of Bebel, of the real Socialists in Germany, could remedy any of the evils which existed under imperialistic régime in that country.

The Socialist or the Social Democrat was feared in Germany, until he applied the razor to his throat, or, rather, attempted hari-kari when he voted for war. The Socialists can never explain this away. His prestige, as the apostle of peace and good-will, is gone; he is no longer international; he is out of count as an altruist. The Social Democrat is in a better position; he never claimed all the attributes of universal benignity; he was still feared in Germany, but in that harmless debating society, the Reichstag, with the flower of the German manhood made dumb in the trenches, he could only threaten in vain.

In our country, pure Socialism is misunderstood. It is either cursed with ignorant fury or looked on as merely democracy, a little advanced, and perhaps too individualistic. It ought to be better understood. Socialism means the negation of the individual will; the deprivations of the individual of all the rights our countrymen are fighting for. It is a false Christianity with Christian precepts of good-will, of love of the poor, of equality, fraternity, liberty,—phrases which have, on the lips of the pure Socialist, the value of the same phrases uttered by Robespierre and Marat.

'I find,' said a Berlin Socialist, whom I had invited to meet Ben Tillett, the English Labour Agitator, 'that Danish Socialism is merely Social Democracy. Given a fair amount of good food and comfort, schools, and cheap admittance to the theatres, the Copenhagen Socialists seem to be contented. You may call it "constructive Socialism," but I call it Social Degeneracy. We, following the sacred principles of Marx and Bakounine, different as they were, must destroy before we can construct. In the future, every honest man will drive in his own car, and the best hospitals will not be for those that pay, but for those who cannot pay. Cagliostro said we must crush the lily, meaning the Bourbons; we must crush all that stands in the way of the perfect rule which will make all men equal. We must destroy all governments as they are conducted at present; we have suffered; all restrictive laws must go!'

Ben Tillett could not come to luncheon that day, so we missed a tilt and much instruction. The European Socialist's only excuse for existence is that he has suffered, and he has suffered so much that his sufferings must cry to God for justice. As to his methods, they are not detestable. They are so reasonable, so Christian, that some of us lose sight of his principles in admiring them. The Kaiser has borrowed some of the best of the Socialistic methods in the organisation of his superbly organised Empire, and that makes Germany strong. But sympathy with the Socialists anywhere is misplaced. Their principles are as destructive as their methods are admirable. Their essential article of faith is that the State, named the Socialistic aggregation, shall be supreme and absolute.

As to the other enemies of despotism in Germany, the Jesuits, they were downed simply because Bismarck and the Hegelian Ideal would not tolerate them. They exalted, as Hegel said, the virtue of resignation, of continency, of obedience, above the great old Pagan virtues, which ought to distinguish a Teuton. The Jesuits, German citizens, few in number, apparently having no powerful friends in Europe or the world, were cast out, as the War Lord would have cast out the Socialist if he had dared. But the Socialists were a growing power; they had shown that they, like the unjust steward in the parable, know how to make friends of the Mammon of unrighteousness.

The Jesuits went; the Catholic party, the Centre was placated by the request of Germany to have the Pope arbitrate the affair of the Caroline Islands and by the colonial policy of Bismarck in 1888 in supporting the work of Cardinal Lavigerie in Africa. The Catholic population of Germany, more than one-third of the whole, accepted the dictum that the State had the right to exile German citizens because they disagreed with the Government as to the freedom of the human conscience. However, as the Catholic Germans were divided in sentiment as to the value of the Jesuit system of education, which in this country seems to be very plastic, they were at last fooled by the Centrum, their party, into the acceptance of a compromise.

To Copenhagen, there came, after the opening of the war, an old priest, who had been caught in the net in Belgium; 'That Christians should forgive such horrors as the Germans commit! Why do not the Christian Germans protest? I confessed a German Colonel, a Catholic, who had lain a day and a night in a field outside a Belgian town. He was dying when some of your Americans found him, and brought him to me. "I suffered horrors during the night," he said, "horrors almost unbearable. I groaned many times; I heard the voices of men passing; these men heard me." "There is a wounded man," one said, and they came to me. "He's a German," the other said, "qu'il crève" (let him die). And they passed on. "This," I thought, in my agony, "this, in a Christian land where the story of the Good Samaritan is read from the pulpits; yet they leave me to die. But when I remembered, Father, the atrocities for which I had been obliged to shoot ten of my own soldiers, I understood why they had passed me by."' The good priest, who had many friends in Germany, repeated over and over again: 'Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad; the Catholics in Germany must be mad!'

Bismarck had used Falk and the Liberals to divide and control. He later found it necessary to placate Windthorst and the Centrum, then a 'confessional,' or religious party. It has changed since that time; it is now, like the Social Democratic block, made up of persons of various shades of religious opinion, but having similar political ideas. It represents a determination not to allow the State to be absolute, and, no doubt, if the United States had realised its position, it might have been strengthened by intelligent propaganda to be of use in breaking the Prussian autocracy. But hitherto even travelled Americans have regarded it as a remnant of the Middle Ages, and hopelessly reactionary. It was part of the Kaiser's policy to make the rest of the world think so, for he had adopted and adapted this Bismarckian chart while throwing the pilot of many stormy seas overboard. Bismarck lived to see the heritage of despotism, which he had destined for his oldest son, seized by a young monarch, whose capabilities he had underrated. Then, the Danes say, he uttered the sneer, 'I will freshen the Hohenzollern blood with that of Struense!'

The German propaganda for controlling the Church in the United States had been well thought out in 1866. The emigrants from Germany, just after 1848, were not open to the influence of Prussian ideas; they had had more than sufficient of them, but when the great crowd of Germans came in later, it was time to inject the proper spirit of Prussianism into their veins.

It is well known that the Emperor William had his eyes on the Vatican. He was wise enough to see that if the Catholic Church lost in one place, she was certain to gain in another; it was not necessary for him to read Macaulay's eloquent passage on the Papacy, as most statesmen who speak English do. But his indiscretions in speech and writing, whether premeditated or not, for the Zeitgeist and the orthodox Lutherans must be propitiated—were constantly nullifying his plans.

As to the spiritual essence of the Catholic Church, the emperor did not recognise it. Papal Rome was dangerous to him as long as it remained independent; he coquetted with Harnack and with the most advanced of the higher critics who whittled the Bible into a pipestem. How he squared himself with the orthodox Lutherans, apparently nearly two-thirds of the population, can only be shown by his constant allusions to the Prussian God. As a State Church, yielding obedience almost entirely to the governing power of the country, he had little fear of Lutheranism in its varying shades of opinion. The Jews he evidently always distrusted. He regarded them as Internationalists and not to be recognised until they became of the State Church; then they might aspire, for certain considerations, to be rath and even to wear the precious von.

The emperor wanted control of the Vatican. He knows history (at least we thought so in Copenhagen), and he was sympathetic with his ancestors in all their quarrels with the Holy See on the subject of the investitures; the emperor had wisely foreseen that difficulties of the same kind between the Vatican and himself might easily break out, were not the Vatican modernised or controlled. He knew that the claims of the Popes to dethrone rulers could never be revived since they were not inherent in the Papacy, but only admitted by the consent of Christendom, which had ceased to exist as a political entity; but the question of the right of a lay emperor to control the policy of the Holy Father in matters of the religious education, marriage, church discipline of Catholics might at any time arise. He knew the non possumus of Rome too well to believe that in a spiritual crisis she could be moved by the threats of any ruler. If His Imperial Majesty could have forced the principle of some of his ancestors that the religion of a sovereign must be that of his subjects, the question might be settled. If he could have arranged the religion of his subjects as easily as he settled the question as to the authenticity of the Flora of Lucas in Berlin in favour of Director Bode, how clear the way would have been! As it was, he knew too well what he might expect from Rome in a crisis where he, following the Prussian Zeitgeist, might wish to infringe on the spiritual prerogatives. To understand the world every European diplomatist of experience knows the Vatican must not be ignored, and, while the War Lord, the future emperor of the world, hated to acknowledge this, he was compelled to do it. The Vatican, that had nullified the May laws and defeated Falk, their sponsor, might give the emperor trouble at any time. Catholics of the higher classes all over Europe were ceasing to be Royalists. The Pope, Leo XIII., had even accepted the French Republic, and for the part of Cardinal Rampolla and of Archbishop Ireland in this the Kaiser hid his rancour. He must be absolute as far as the right of his family and those of the hereditary succession went, and quite as absolute in his control over such laws as were for the increase of the Kultur of his people.

At one time, since the present war opened, it was rumoured at Copenhagen that plural marriages were to be allowed, to increase the population of a nation so rapidly being depleted. I was astonished to hear a German Lutheran pastor—he was speaking personally, and not for his church—say that there was nothing against this in the teachings of Luther or Melanchthon. He quoted the affair of a Landgraf of Hesse in the sixteenth century.

'But the Kaiser would not consent to this,' I said. 'Why not?' responded the pastor. 'He knows his Old Testament; he has the right of private interpretation especially when the good of the State is to be considered.'

'Over a third of the Germans are Catholics; the Pope would never consent to that.'

'There would be an obstacle,' he admitted; 'but the Kaiser, in the interests of the nation, would have his way. Our nation must have soldiers. You Americans,' he added, bitterly, 'are killing our prospective fathers in the name of Bethlehem. We must make up the deficit by turning to the Hebraic practice.'

'You cannot bring the Catholics to that, and I doubt whether any decent people would consent to it, in spite of your quotation from Luther's precedent. No Pope could allow it.'

'A Pope can do anything—whom you shall forgive,' he laughed, 'is forgiven.'

'A Pope cannot do anything; the moment he approved of plural marriages in the interest of any nation, he would cease to be Pope. He cannot abrogate a law both divine and natural, and I doubt——'

'Do not doubt the power of the head of the German people, the Shepherd of his Church. The German people are the religious, the spiritual counterparts of the true Israelites, were begotten by the spirit, mystical Jehovah who made Israel the prophet-nation; mystically He has designated the German tribes as their successors. He lives in us. This war is His doing; our Kultur, which is saturated with our religion, is inspired by Him. He must destroy that the elect may live.'

'Again, I repeat, Germany can no more accept such debasing of the moral currency than she can encourage the production of illegitimate children at the present moment. I do not believe that there is a hospital in Berlin, especially arranged for the caring for the offspring of army nurses and soldiers. It is a calumny.'

'We must have boy children,' said the pastor, 'but that is going too far. Still, Deutschland über alles. We may one day have a German Pope with modern ideas.'

My friend of St. Peter's Lutheran German Church was out of town. I asked another friend to report the conversation to him. Our mutual friend said that Pastor Lampe smiled and said, 'There are extremists in every country. Tell the American Minister to read Dr. Preuss in the Allgemeine Evangelische, Lutherische Kirchenzeitung.'

But I am out of due time; Dr. Preuss's famous Passion of Germany, in full, appeared later, in 1915.

It is true that Austria's vote at the Conclave had defeated Cardinal Rampolla as a candidate for the Papacy. The Emperor of Austria had permitted himself to be used as a tool of the German Emperor, not willingly, perhaps, for Rampolla stood for many things political which the Absolutists hated. Nevertheless, he had done it, to the disgust of the College of Cardinals, who thus saw a forgotten weapon of the lay power used against themselves. They abolished the right of veto, which Austria as a Catholic Power had retained. But the Conclave elected a Pope who did not please the Kaiser. He was a kindly man of great religious fervour, impossible to be moved by German cajoling or threats. The knowledge of the crime of Germany killed him. Nevertheless, the Emperor William had curbed the power of Rampolla, as he hoped to destroy that of Archbishop Ireland in the Great Republic of the West. A powerful Church with a tendency to democracy was what he feared, and Archbishop Ireland, a frankly democratic prelate, the friend of France, the admirer of Lafayette, had dared to raise his powerful hand against the religious propaganda of the All Highest in the United States of America, where one day German Kultur was to have a home. The great Napoleon had thought of his sister, the Princess Pauline, as Empress of the Western hemisphere. Why not one of our imperial sons for the crude Republic which had helped Mexico in the old, blind days to eject Maximilian? Napoleon had made his son, later the Duke of Reichstadt, King of Rome. Why should not one of the sons of our Napoleonic Crown Prince be even greater, a German Pope—at least a German Prince of the Church expounding Harnack with references to Strauss's Life of Jesus? Why not? The vicegerent of the Teutonic God?

From many sources it leaked out that the Kaiser looked on the Most Reverend John Ireland as an enemy of his projects both in Europe and the United States. The Archbishop of St. Paul was known to be the friend of Cardinal Rampolla. All who knew the inside of recent history were aware that he had been consulted by Leo XIII. on vital matters pertaining to France, in which country the ultra-Royalists, who had managed to wrap a large part of the mantle of the Church around them, were making every possible mistake and opposing the Pope's determination to recognise the Republic. Archbishop Ireland had been educated in France; he had served in the Civil War as chaplain; he knew his own country as few ecclesiastics knew it. He, growing up with the West, in the most American part of the West, had brought all the resources of European culture, of an unusual experience in world affairs, to a country at that time not rich in men of his type. In the East, the Catholic Church had had prelates like Cardinal Cheverus, Archbishop of Boston, a number of them, but St. Paul was little better than a trading station when John Ireland finished the first part of his education in France. The tide of emigration had not yet begun to raise questions on the answers to which the future of the country depended. It required far-sighted men to consider them sanely. From the beginning Archbishop Ireland reflected on them. He saw the danger of rooting in new soil the bad, old weeds, the seeds of which were poisoning Europe. He was familiar with the coulisses du Vatican, knew that Rome ecclesiastically would try to do the right thing. But Rome ecclesiastically depends very largely on the information it receives from the countries under consideration.

The attitude of the opponents of the Catholic Church is due, as a rule, to their ignorance of anything worth knowing about the Church and their utter disregard of its real history. Their narrow attitude is illustrated by the story that President Roosevelt, in a Cabinet Meeting was once considering the form of a document which official etiquette required, should be addressed to the Pope. 'Your Holiness,' said the President. A member of the Cabinet objected. This title from a Protestant President! 'Do you want me to call the Pope the Son of the Scarlet Lady?' asked the President. The objection was as valid as that of the Puritan who objected to sign a letter 'Yours faithfully' because he was not his faithfully!

In the celebrated Century article of 1908, the handling of which showed that the editors of the Century held their honour higher than any other possession, an allusion to Archbishop Ireland appeared. I have been informed that it showed the animus of the Kaiser against the Archbishop, who with Cardinal Gibbons, the Bishops Keane, Spalding, O'Gorman, and Archbishop Riordan seconded by the present Bishop of Richmond, Denis O'Connell, had defeated, after a frightful struggle, the attempt of Kaiserism to govern the Catholic Church in this country. Its beginnings seemed harmless enough.

A merchant named Peter Paul Cahensly of Limburg, Prussia, suggested at the Catholic Congress of Trier, the establishment of a society for protecting German emigrants to the United States, both at the port of leaving and the port of arriving. Another Catholic Congress met in Bamburg, Bavaria, three years later. Connection was made with the Central Verein, which at its convention took up the matter zealously. But the zeal waned, and in 1888, Herr Cahensly came to New York in the steerage so that he could know how the German emigrant lived at sea. He arranged that the German emigrants should be looked after in New York and then left for home. It was reasonable enough that Cahensly should interest himself in the welfare of the Germans at the point of departure, but entirely out of order that he should attempt any control of the methods for taking care of the emigrants on this side.

It was suspected that Cahensly had talked over a plan for retaining the Catholic Germans, especially in the West, where they formed large groups, as still part of their native country. This had already been tried among the Lutherans, and had for a time succeeded. The Swedish Lutherans, segregated under the direction of German-educated pastors, were considered to have been well taken care of. The war has shown that the Americans of Swedish birth in the West showed independence.

The suspicions entertained by the watchful were corroborated when, in 1891, Cahensly presented a memorial to the Papal Secretary of State, Cardinal Rampolla, making the plea that the 'losses' to the Church were so great, owing to the lack of teaching and preaching in German, that a measure ought to be taken to remedy this evil by appointing foreign Bishops and priests, imported naturally, so that each nationality would use the language of its own country.

The object aimed at was to put the English language in the background, to have the most tender relations, those between God and little children, between the growing youths and Christianity, dominated by a mode of thought and expression which would alienate them from their fellows. In business, a man might speak such English as he could; but English was not good enough for him in the higher relations of life. He might earn money in 'this crude America,' but all the finenesses of life must be German. I think I pointed out in the New York Freeman's Journal at the time, that, if there were a special German Holy Ghost, as some of these Germanophiles seemed to believe, he had failed to observe that there was little in the 'heretical' English language so devoid of all morality as the dogmas proposed to govern the conduct of life in some of the Wisconsin papers, printed in German.

Some clear-sighted Americans, Cardinal Gibbons and Archbishop Ireland at their head, saw what this meant. Kaiserism was concealed in the glow of piety. The proceedings of the Priester Verein Convention, in Newark, September 26, 1892, is on record. The Ordinary of the Diocese, Bishop Wigger, had protested against the stand the German Priests' Society proposed to take; he had announced his disapproval in advance of 'Cahenslyism'; he was stolidly against the appointment of 'national,' that is, trans-Atlantic Bishops selected because they spoke no language but their own.

The choice of the 'Germanisers' was the Reverend Dr. P. J. Schroeder—Monseigneur Schroeder, rather; he had been imported by Bishop Keane, afterwards Archbishop, to lecture at the Catholic University. Bishop Keane, like most Americans before the war, believed that Germany held many persons of genius who honoured us by coming over. When Dr. Schroeder's name was mentioned, a caustic English prelate had remarked: 'I thought the Americans had enough mediocrities in their own country without going abroad for them.' But Mgr. Schroeder had a very high opinion of himself. American Catholics were heretical persons, of no metaphysical knowledge; they could not count accurately the number of angels who could dance on the point of a needle! He arrogantly upheld the German idea. English-speaking priests were neither willing nor capable. The emigrants in the United States would be Germans or nothing—aut Kaiser aut nullus.

The German priests in the West claimed the right to exclude from the Sacraments all children and their parents who did not attend their schools, no matter how inefficient they were. The controversy became international.

In Germany, to deny the premises of Mgr. Schroeder was to be heretical, worthy of excommunication; in this country there was a camp of Kaiserites who held the same opinion. It is true that Bismarck had opened the Kulturkampf in the name of the unity of the Fatherland. It is true that the Kaiser would gladly have claimed the right his ancestors had struggled for—of investing Bishops with the badges of authority—and that he gave his hearty approbation to the exile of the Jesuits. Nevertheless, he was the Kaiser! Compared with him, the President of the United States was an upstart, and Cardinal Gibbons was to the ultra-Germans almost an anathema as Cardinal Mercier is! There was a fierce struggle for several years. Bombs, more or less ecclesiastical, were dropped on Archbishop Ireland's diocese.

To hear some of these bigots talk, we would have thought that this brave American was Talleyrand, Bishop of Autun. But the right won. Cahenslyism was stamped out, and here was another reason why the Kaiser did not love Archbishop Ireland, and another reason why Bavaria and Austria, backed up by Prussia, protested against every attempt on the part of Rome to give him the Cardinal's hat. This would have meant the highest approval of a prelate who stood for everything the Kaiser and the Bavarian and Austrian courts detested.

The curia is made up of the councillors of the Pope; a layman might be created Cardinal—it is not a sacerdotal office in itself—and while the Pope would reject with scorn the request that a temporal Government should nominate a bishop, he might accept graciously a request that a certain prelate be made a cardinal from the ruler of any nation.

If President Roosevelt had been willing to make such a request to Leo XIII.—he was urged to do it by many influential Protestants who saw what Archbishop Ireland had done in the interest of this country—there is no doubt that his request would have been granted. The Cardinals are 'created' for distinguished learning. One might quote the comparatively modern example of Cardinals Newman and Gasquet; for traditional reasons, because of the importance of their countries in the life of the Church; and they might be created, in older days, for political reasons. But the wide-spread belief that a Cardinal was necessarily a priest leads to misconceptions of the quality of the office.

If the French Republic were to follow the example of England and China, send an envoy to the Holy See, and make a 'diplomatic' rapprochement, neither Rome nor any nation in Europe would be shocked if His Holiness should consent to a suggestion from the President of the French Republic and 'create,' let us say, Abbé Klein a Cardinal.

Archbishop Ireland with his group of Americans saved us from the insults of the propaganda of Kaiserism. This name was synonymous with all things political and much that is social, loathed by the absolutes in Austria, Bavaria and, of course, Germany. The creation of Archbishop Ireland as a Cardinal would have been looked on by these powers as a deadly insult to them, on the part of the Pope. They made this plain.

The failure of the Cahensly plan caused much disappointment in Germany. The Kaiser, in spite of his flings at the Catholic Church—witness a part of the suppressed Century article and the letter to an aunt 'who went over to Rome'—was quite willing to appear as her benefactor. Much has been made of his interest in the restoration of the Cathedral of Cologne. This, after all, was simply a national duty. A monarch with over one-third of his subjects Catholics, taking his revenues from the taxes levied on them, could scarcely do less than assist in the preservation of this most precious historical monument.

He seemed to have become regardless of the opinion of his subjects. He had heart-to-heart talks with the world; one of these talks was with Mr. William Bayard Hale; the Century Magazine bought it for $1,000.00. It was to appear in December 1908. That its value as a 'sensation' was not its main value may be inferred from the character of the editors, Richard Watson Gilder, Robert Underwood Johnson and Clarence Clough Buel—a group of scrupulously honourable gentlemen. This conversation with Mr. Hale took place on the Kaiser's yacht. It was evidently intended for publication, for the most indiscreet of sovereigns do not talk to professional writers without one eye on the public.

Speaking of his Impressions of the Kaiser, the Hon. David Jayne Hill says: 'It seemed like a real personal contact, frank, sincere, earnest and honest. One could not question that, and it was the beginning of other contacts more intimate and prolonged; especially at Kiel, where the sportsman put aside all forms of court etiquette, lying flat on the deck of the Meteor as she scudded under heavy sail with one rail under water; at Eckernforde, where the old tars came into the ancient inn in the evening to meet their Kaiser and drink to his Majesty's health a glass of beer.'

'Did you ever see anything more democratic in America?' the Kaiser asked, gleefully, one time. 'What would Roosevelt think of this?' he inquired at another.

'Hating him, as many millions no doubt do,' Mr. Hill continues, 'it would soften their hearts to hear him laugh like a child at a good story, or tell one himself. Can it be? Yes, it can be. There is such a wide difference between the gentler impulses of a man and the rude part ambition causes him to play in life! A rôle partly self-chosen, it is true, and not wholly thrust upon him. A soul accursed by one, great, wrong idea, and the purposes, passions, and resolutions generated by it. A mind distorted, led into captivity, and condemned to crime by the obsession that God has but one people, and they are his people; that the people have but one will, and that is his will; that God has but one purpose, and that is his purpose; and being responsible only to the God of his own imagination, a purely tribal divinity, the reflection of his own power-loving nature, that he has no definite responsibility to men.'

Nevertheless, in Copenhagen, we understood from those who knew him well that he was a capital actor, that he never forgot the footlights except in the bosom of his family, and even there, as the young princes grew older, there were times when he had to hide his real feelings and assume a part. In 1908, he was determined that the United States should be with him; he never lost an opportunity of praising President Roosevelt or of expressing his pleasure in the conversation of Americans. I think I have said that he boasted that he knew Russia better than any other man in Germany, and it seemed as if he wanted to know the United States to the minutest particular.

It is a maxim among diplomatists that kings have no friends, and that the only safe rule in conducting one's self towards them are the rules prescribed by court etiquette. It is likewise a rule that politeness and all social courtesies shall be the more regarded by their representatives as relations are on the point of becoming strained between two countries. How little the Kaiser regarded this rule is obvious in the case of Judge Gerard, who however frank he was at the Foreign Office—and the outspoken methods he used in treating with the German Bureaucrats were the despair of the lovers of protocol—was always most discreet in meetings with the Kaiser. I was asked quietly from Berlin to interpret some of his American 'parables,' which were supposed to have an occult meaning. There was a tale of a one-armed man, with an inimitable Broadway flavour, that 'intrigued' a high German official. I did my best to interpret it diplomatically. But, though our Ambassador, the most 'American' of Ambassadors, as my German friends called him, gave out stories at the Foreign Office that seemed irreverent to the Great, there was no assertion that he was not most correct in his relations with the German Emperor. Yet, one had only to hear the rumours current in Copenhagen from the Berlin Court just after the war began, to know that the emperor had dared to show his claws in a manner that revealed his real character. Judge Gerard's book has corroborated these rumours.

The fact that I had served under three administrations gave me an unusual position in the diplomatic corps, irrespective entirely of any personal qualities, and—this is a digression—I was supposed to be able to find in Ambassador Gerard's parables in slang their real menace. A very severe Bavarian count, who deplored the war principally because it prevented him from writing to his relations in France, from paying his tailor's bill in London, and from going for the winter to Rome, where he had once been Chamberlain at the Vatican, said that he had heard a story repeated by an attaché of the Foreign Office and attributed to Ambassador Gerard, a story which contained a disparaging allusion to the Holy Father. As a Catholic, I would perhaps protest to Ambassador Gerard against this irreverence which he understood had given the Foreign Minister great pain, as, I must know, the German Government is most desirous of respecting the feelings of Catholics.

'Impossible,' I said. 'Our Ambassador is a special friend of Cardinal Farley's and he has just sent several thousand prayer-books to the English Catholic prisoners in Germany.' Thus the story was told.[8]

It seemed that among the evil New Yorkers with whom the Ambassador consorted, there was an American, named Michael, whose wife went to the priest and complained that Michael had acquired the habits of drinking and paying attention to other ladies. 'Very well,' said the priest, 'I will call on Thursday night, if he is at home, and I'll take the first chance of remonstrating with him.'

The evening came; the priest presented himself, and entered into a learned conversation on the topics of the hour, while Michael hid himself behind his paper, giving no opportunity for the pastor to address him. However, he knew that his time would come if he did not make a move into the enemy's country.

'Father,' he said, lowering his paper, 'you seem to know the reason for everything that's goin' on to-day; maybe you'll tell me the meanin' of the word "diabetes"?'

'It is the name of a frightful disease that attacks men who beat their wives and spend their money on other women, Mike.'

'I'm surprised, Father,' said Michael, 'because I'm readin' here that the Pope has it.'

It was necessary for me to explain that this was one of our folklore stories, and could be traced back to Gesta Romanorum—merely one of the merry jests of which the German literature itself of the Middle Ages was so full, of the character, perhaps, of Rheinhard the Fox! This is an example of the way our Ambassador played on the Germans' sense of humour, as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern tried to play on Hamlet's pipe!

The German propaganda went on in the United States. Look at France, look at Italy, in comparison with Germany's respect for religion! The Falk laws were no longer of importance; Catholics were to be encouraged to go into the political service, having hitherto been 'rather discouraged' and even under suspicion, as von Bülow admitted.

The German was obsessed by the one idea—the preponderance of the Fatherland.[9] He was conscientious, he had for years cultivated a false conscience which judged everything by one standard: Is this good for the spread of German Kultur?

'What do you think of all this?' I asked one of the most distinguished diplomatists in Europe, now resident in Berlin, the representative of a neutral country. 'There will be no peace in Europe until Germany gets what she wants. She knows what she wants, and since 1870 she has used every possible method to attain it.'

To return to the indiscretions of the Kaiser—indiscretions that were not always uncalculated. Mr. Clarence Clough Buel, one of the editors of The Century, felt obliged, in justice, to give an authoritative explanation of Dr. Hale's suppressed 'interview.' His account was printed in The New York World for December 26, 1917: 'The proof of this interview had been passed by the German Foreign Office, with not more than half a dozen simple verbal changes. They were made in a bold, ready hand, but as there was no letter, we could not be sure that the proofs had been revised by the Emperor. The usual hair-splitting of great men and officialdom had been anticipated, so with considerable glee, the trifling plate changes were rushed, and the big "sixty-four" press was started to toss off 100,000 copies.'

The London Daily Telegraph 'interview' of October 28, 1908, was a thunderbolt, and the editors of The Century, at the urgent request of the German Government, suppressed the edition. I had been informed by Mr. Gilder of the facts. I was very glad of it, as I was enabled to explain this very interesting episode at the Danish Foreign Office. Mr. Clarence Buel writes (it was his duty to read the last galley proofs):—'But in the last cold reading I had grave suspicion that the Kaiser's reference to the Virgin Mary might be construed by devout Catholics as a slur on an important tenet of their faith. So the sacred name was deleted, and the Kaiser's diction slightly assisted in the kindly spirit for which editors are not so often thanked by the writing fraternity as they should be. This incident is mentioned to show the protective attitude of the magazine, and also to indicate that the original "leak" as to the contents of the interview came from an employee of the printing office. Only some one familiar with the galley proofs could have known that the Virgin Mary had figured in the manuscript, for the name did not appear in the printed pages and consequently could not have reached the public except for the killing of the interview. Let it be said, with emphasis, that there was nothing in the Kaiser's references to the part taken by the Vatican in looking out for the interests of the Church in world politics which could have caused serious irritation in any part of Europe. As a student at the Berlin University, I had attended some of the debates in the Landtag during the famous Kulturkampf over the clerical laws devised by bold Bismarck to loosen the Catholic grip on the cultural life of Prussian Poland. Knowing the nature of that controversy, and the usual, familiar attitude of (Protestant) Europeans toward religious topics, I could believe that everything in the article bearing on Church and State, from the over-lord of most Lutherans, was offered in a respectful spirit, and would hardly make a ripple across the sea.'

Mr. Buel admits that the Kaiser criticised the action of the Pope and spoke slurringly of the Virgin Mary. Mr. Buel evidently means that the Foreign Offices of the world would not have been stirred by the censure of the Kaiser or by even some frivolous comments on the Blessed Virgin. Mr. Buel, who is discretion itself, having been one of those who practically gave his word of honour that the 'interview' should be suppressed, was evidently desirous that public curiosity should not be too greatly excited as to its tenor. He does not excuse the Kaiser, but as he is a very liberal Protestant himself, speeches coming from a ruler, that would excite indignation even among Catholics in Europe, naturally do not strike him as insulting. It leaked out long ago that in the 'interview' His Imperial Majesty alluded to Archbishop Ireland in rather disrespectful terms.

Only the staunch Americanism of the Catholics of this country saved them from this insidious propaganda. If this spirit did not exist among them, they would have been led to believe that the Central Powers were the only European countries in the world where a Catholic was free to practise his religion.

We know what the German propaganda working on politicians did in Canada among the French-speaking population. We saw, in the beginning of the war, how the Protestants of Ulster were used. There is a passage in Mr. Wells's Mr. Britling Sees It Through which illuminates this.

'England will grant Home Rule,' said a Prussian closely connected with the Berlin Foreign Office, 'and then Sir Edward Carson and his Ulsterites will, with his mutineering British army, keep England too busy to fight us.' They believed this in very high quarters in Germany.

But when the British Government did not put the Home Rule Bill in force, the propagandists turned to certain Irish Intellectuals. 'You had better be governed by Germany than England,' said the followers of Sir Roger Casement, and the sentiment, whether uttered academically or not, found a hundred echoes.

But first had been heard the German-inspired cry of the Ulsterites, 'We had rather be governed by Germany than the Irish, by the Kaiser rather than the Irish Roman Catholic Bishops.' Most of us knew that there was no such danger, for Home Rule would have naturally cut into the political power of the Irish Bishops by strengthening the secular element forced into the background by the unfortunate conditions in Ireland, which had prevented the Catholic laymen from acquiring higher education, and obliging the clergy to become political leaders. It made no difference. The fermenters of religious dissension in Ireland played into the hands of the Prussians; there was laughter in Hell.

We knew that the slogan, 'Better be governed by Germany than by Ulster,' was not echoed in our own country among men of Irish blood. But when Germany, through her agents, began to suggest an Irish Republic, protected by the Imperial Eagle, a small party formed in the United States, not pro-German, but anti-English. This was before we went into the war. 'Every defeat of the English is a gain for Ireland,' the German propagandist repeated over and over again. It sank in; the Ulsterites thundered, and Sinn Fein, which had been non-political, became suddenly revolutionary.

In our country the effect of all this was marked. Every sentiment of religion and patriotism was played upon. Only those who received the confidences of some of those deceived Revolutionists of the unhappy Easter Day know how bitter was the feeling against England generated by the conspiracies in the interest of Prussian domination. Then we gloriously took our stand and went in. The practical answer came. The Swedish Lutherans and the Sinn Fein Catholics took up their arms without waiting to be drafted; Ireland must look after herself until the invaders were driven out of France and Belgium!

If the Secret Service is ever permitted to take the American public and the world into its confidence, the strength, the cleverness, and the permeativeness of the propaganda, especially religious, in the United States, will be shown to be astounding. 'What, son of Luther, strikes at the German breast of your forefathers!' To use a phrase that would not be understood at the Berlin Foreign Office, the Prussian propagandist had us 'coming and going.'

One could not help admiring the skill of these people. We, in our honest shirt sleeves were left gaping. Shirt sleeves and dollar diplomacy were beautiful things in the opinion of people who believed that the little red schoolhouse and the international Hague Conference were all that were needed to keep us free and make the world safe for democracy! There are no such beautiful things now. If we are to fight the devil with fire, we ought to know previously what kind of fire the devil uses. That requires the use of chemical experts, and the German experts, before this war, were not employed on the side of the angels. We have won; but do not let us imagine that we have killed the devil.

The propaganda still went on, and honest people were influenced by it. 'The Pope belongs to us,' the German propagandists said. 'He has not reprimanded Cardinal Mercier,' replies some logical person, 'and Cardinal Mercier has done more harm to German claims even in Germany than any other living man.' 'The Pope sympathises with our claims; he is the friend of law and order, consequently, he is with us.' Easily impressed folk among the Allies accepted this. They believed the tale that the Italian rout in the autumn of 1917 was due to Catholic officers, who were paraded through every city in Europe with 'traitor' placarded on each back! A foolish story to direct attention from the efforts of the paid conspirators who did the mischief. They saw only the surface of things. They seemed to think that the theorem of Euclid that a straight line is the shortest distance from one point to another holds in the political underworld. The Pope was attacked, which pleased the propagandists. 'O Holy Father, see how I, Head of the German Lutheran Church, love you, and see! your wicked enemies are my enemies.' And so the German propagandist divided and discouraged!


The Prussic acid had permeated every vein and artery of the Lutheran Church in Germany. Whatever religious influence that could be brought to bear on the Danes was used; but they look with suspicion on any mixture of religion and politics. Besides, their kind of Lutheranism is more liberal than the German. With the proper apologies I must admit that they are not, at present, easily accessible to any religious considerations that will interfere with their individual comfort. The union between the Lutherans in Denmark and the Lutherans in Germany is not close. The Danes will not accept the doctrine, preached in Germany, that Martin Luther was the glorious author of the war, and that victory for Germany must be in his name! I had many friends in Germany. One, a Lutheran pastor, wrote in 1914:

'Your country, though pretending to be neutral, is against us, and you, once dear friend, are against us. You are no longer a child of light.'

The effect of the religious propaganda has been too greatly underrated for the simple and illogical reason that religion, in the opinion of the people of the outside world, moulded for long years by the German school of philosophy, had concluded that religion had ceased to be an influence in men's lives.

The Pope, because he had lost his temporal power, was effete, reduced to the position of John Bunyan's impotent giant! Lutheranism, in fact, all Protestant sects, were giving up the ghost, under the blows of Hæckel, Virchow, Rudolf Harnack and the rest of the school of higher critics! These men laid the foundation stones for the acceptance of Nietzsche—Schopenhauer being outworn—and the learned as well as the more ignorant of the cultured seemed to think that, as German scholars had settled the matter, faith in Christianity was only the prejudice of the weak.

The Kaiser knew human nature better than this. While he believed in his Prussian Holy Ghost—Napoleon had his star—he was not averse to seeing the spiritual foundations of the world, especially the dogmatic part, which supported Christianity, disintegrated. Discussing the effect of this, I was forced, in March of 1918, to say publicly, 'The Kaiser is the greatest enemy to Christianity in Europe.' The reception of many protests from apparently sincere persons confirmed me in my belief that the propaganda had been more insidious than most of us believed. Let us turn now to the effect of the ruthless propaganda in Germany itself. Note this letter:

'You, I can almost forgive, because, as I have told you often, you dwell religiously in darkness; but your Protestant country, which owes its best to us, I cannot forgive. In the name of Bethlehem, you kill our sons, and corrupt our cousins, Karl and Bernhard, whom you know in America. Karl, when he was in my house last week, was insolent; he dared to say that the Germans in America were Americans, that, if Martin Luther sympathised with our glorious struggle, he was in hell! This is wild American talk; but I fear that too many of our good people in America have been "Yankeefied" and lost their religion. However, our glorious Kaiser has not been idle all these years; the good Germans in your misled country, not bought by English gold, will arise shortly and demand that no more ammunition shall be sent to be used against their relatives. I saw your relation, Lagos, in Fiume; he cares nothing for Luther or the Prussian cause, but he is only a Hungarian, with Irish blood, and he will only speak of his Emperor respectfully, and say nothing against our enemies in America; his son has been killed in Russia; it is a judgment upon a man who is so lukewarm. The Austrian Emperor is forced to help us; he, too, is tainted with the blood of anti-Christ. I have heard that, when the war broke out, and they told him, he said: "I suppose we shall fight those damned Prussians again!" Was this jocose? Lagos laughed; it is no time to laugh; Karl and Bernhard will go back to where they belong, in Pennsylvania, accursed for their treachery,—vipers we have cherished, false to the principles of Luther.'

An honest man, sincere enough, with no sense of humour, and a very good friend until one contradicted his Pan-Germanism. One might differ from him, with impunity, on any other question! 'Our pulpits are thundering for the Lord, Luther, and a German victory!'

There had been a movement in England for a union of the Anglican Church with the Lutheran branch of Protestantism in Denmark. It may have been extended to Norway and Sweden as well, but I do not know. There was much opposition on the part of the Germanised Lutherans: 'It would be giving up the central principle of Lutheranism to submit to re-consecration and reordination by the Anglican Bishops. It would be as bad as going to Rome or Russia or Abyssinia for Holy Orders. In Denmark, especially, Luther, through Bergenhagen, had cut off the falsely-claimed Apostolical succession. How could a national Church remain national and become English?'

If I remember rightly, Pastor Storm, a clergyman greatly distinguished for his character, learning, and breadth of view, was in favour of such a union; he did not think it meant the Anglicanising of the Lutheran Church. Men like Pastor Storm were placed in the minority. The Germans were against it. Bishop Rördam, the primate, Bishop of Zeeland, told me that German influence could have had nothing to do with the decision; he said, 'It is true that, if we wanted the Apostolical succession we could go either to Rome or Russia. We are well enough as we are.'

When the attempt at the union failed, those pastors in Germany who had watched the progress of the undertaking, rejoiced greatly. My former friend, the Lutheran pastor, wrote:

'The Anglican Church is a great enemy to our German Kultur, though German influence among its divines is becoming greater and greater. I am obliged to you for the American books on St. Paul. I read them slowly. I observe with joy that all the authorities quoted are from German sources; surely such good men as the authors of these books must see that your country is recreant to the memories of the great Liberator, Martin Luther, in not preaching against the export of arms from your country to the Entente and the starving of our children! I thank you for the books, and also for the one by the French priest, which is, of course, worthless, as he sneers at Harnack. Later, these French will know our Kultur with a vengeance! I gather from the volumes of Canon Sheehan, as you call him, that the influence on clerical education in Ireland is German. We have driven the French influence from your universities, too, and the theological schools of Harvard and Yale, thanks to the great Dr. Münsterberg, who is opposed by a creature called Schofield, are German. The power of our cultural Lutheranism is spreading against the errors of Calvin in the College of Princeton, and the Roman Catholic colleges in the States are becoming more enlightened by the presence of men like the late Magistrate Schroeder, who may be tolerated by us as the entering wedge of our Kultur. You have been frank; I am frank with you. I have received your translation of Goethe's Knowest Thou the Land and The Parish Priest's Work. As your ancient preceptor, I will say that both are bad.'

He is, after all, an honest man. Of course, I do not hear from him. His two sons are dead, in Russia; he probably talks less of 'judgments' now, poor soul! He was only part of the machine of which the Kaiser was the god!

The perverted state of mind of these honest men in whom a false conscience has been carefully cultivated was amazing. On December 23rd, 1915, a Danish Bishop wrote a letter of good-will to a colleague of his in Germany, saying, among other things, 'Even the victor must now bear so many burdens that for a generation he must lament and sigh under them.' The German pastor answered on December 27th:

'Do you remember, at the beginning of the war, you answered, to my well-grounded words, "We must, we will, and we shall win," "How can that ever be?" The question has been answered; from Vilna to Salonica, from Antwerp to the Euphrates, in Courland and Poland, our armies are triumphant; we take our own wherever we find it, and we hold it! I pity you,' the amiable pastor continued; 'I have the deepest commiseration for you neutrals, that you should remain outside of this wonderfully great experience of God's glory, you, above all, who call yourselves Scandinavians and are of the stock of the German Martin Luther. You hold nought of the mighty things that God has now for a year and a half been bestowing on the Fatherland. He who has little, from him shall be taken away what he has. This war is not a kaffeeklarch, and the work of a soldier is not embroidery. Our Lord God, who let His son die on the Cross is not the Chairman of a tea party, and He who came to bring, not peace, but a sword, is not a town messenger. He lives, He reigns, He triumphs! The chant of the Bethlehem angels, "peace on earth" is as veritable as when it was for the first time heard. There lay on the manger the Infant who as a Man was to conquer, that He might give peace to earth. Our Germans, who in 1870 bled, died and conquered, won for their own country and Scandinavia and Central Europe forty-four years of peace. For these nations and for a more permanent peace in this world our country is battling to-day. Gloria! Victoria! We will throw down our arms only when we have conquered, that this peace may reign.'

Bishop Koch, of Ribe—Jacob Riis's old town in Denmark—was the writer of the first letter. It is not necessary to name the writer of the second; his name is legion! It is not for the right, for the defence of the poor, the helpless, the forsaken, for the old woman, pitifully weeping, in the hands of the bloody supermen, to whom, according to this pious pastor, Christ sent the sword, that Germany may rule, and force her dyes, and her 'by-products,' and her ruthless, selfish brutality on the world. If John the Baptist lived to-day, and had asked these good pastors to follow him in the real spirit of Christianity, one may be sure that they would have found some excuses for the energetic Salome, who gloated over the precursor's head.

Frequently the German pastors made flying visits to Copenhagen—after the war began—not in the old way, when in the summer they came, with hundreds of their countrymen, bearing frugal meals, and wearing long cloaks and cocks' feathers in their hats. The day of the very cheap excursion had passed. Now, they came to 'talk over' things, to assure their Danish brethren of the stock 'of Luther' that it was a crime to be neutral.

I had gone to the house of a very distinguished Lutheran clergyman, Professor Valdemar Ammundsen, to listen to a 'talk' by Pasteur Soulnier, of the Lutheran Church in Paris: Mr. Cyril Brown, the keen observer and clever writer, accompanied me. We were struck with the evidences of Christian charity and breadth of kindness shown by Pasteur Soulnier. He had only words of praise for his Catholic brethren in France; there was no word of bitterness or hatred in his discourse; but his voice broke a little when he spoke of Rheims, and he seemed like old Canon Luçon, the guardian of that beloved cathedral, who cannot understand that men can be such demons as the destroyers have shown themselves to be. We were late for dinner, and Mr. Brown and I stepped into a restaurant of a position sufficiently proper for diplomatic patronage, to dine.

The day after, as I was taking my walk, accompanied by my private secretary, a man took off his hat and addressed me. He spoke English with an accent.

'Pardon me; I do not know your name; but I know your friend, Pastor Lampe, one of the most learned of our young divines; I have seen you talking to him; I likewise recognised your companion at dinner last night, Mr. Cyril Brown; he is an American well known in Berlin. My name is Pastor X. I was formerly of Bremen. May I have a few words with you?'

'Certainly,' I said, interested, 'if you will walk to Friedericksberg.'

'Part of the way, sir,' he said.

My secretary whispered,—'Another spy? Shall I pump him?'

We had been frequently followed. Only a short time before, when I had escorted my wife and Frau Frederika Hagerup, lady-in-waiting to Queen Maud of Norway, for a short walk, we had been closely followed, by eavesdroppers. At the corner of the Amaliegade and Saint Anna's place, just opposite the Hotel King of Denmark, men had crawled up within earshot, and one had accompanied us the whole distance. Was this a similar case?

'Spy?' I said in French. 'Well let him talk!'

My young secretary shook his head; his way of dealing with suspected spies was to wring their necks, if possible. From a long experience with spies, it is my conclusion that much money is wasted on them. Some are very agreeable, and give the party of the second part much amusement. The German pastor, in his rusty black, looked so respectable, too! He took the right, which showed that he did not understand that I was a Minister. A well brought up German, who knew my rank, would have taken my left side even if he were about to strangle me!

'Bitte,' I said, 'but speak English!'

'I must beg pardon,' he answered; 'I could not forbear to tell you what I thought of your conversation at the restaurant last night. I should have interrupted you, but I was in the middle of my dinner.'

His sacred dinner; ours did not count.

'I heard you say to Mr. Cyril Brown that the German nation at present is the greatest enemy to Christianity in the world.'

'No, no, Herr Pastor,' I interrupted; 'I said that the Emperor William is the worst enemy of Christianity in the world.'

'Ah, it is the same thing. You Americans call yourselves Christians,' he broke out, 'and yet your bombs from Bethlehem have shattered my son's leg and they killed thousands of our children. Your nation is Protestant. You ought to be with us against impious France and idolatrous Italy—I spit on Italy—the cocotte of the nations, the handmaid of the Papish prostitute of Rome! And yet you say that our most Christian nation is not Christian! How can you say it? We are not at war, yet you treat us as enemies!'

'We shall soon be at war. The Ambassador of the United States at Berlin is sending Americans out of that city. He feels, evidently, that, in spite of his influence with the Chancellor, you will begin your U-boat outrages, and then we must be at war! That is plain. But I think you have said enough. Herr Pastor, good-bye!'

'No, no,' he said. 'Answer me one question: why do you say that we Germans are un-Christian? Our Christianity is the most beautiful, the most learned, the most cultured!'

The young are relentless critics; I knew that my secretary was calling me names for 'picking up' this strange German clergyman in the street. Moreover, the secretary was beautifully attired; his morning coat was perfect; his tall hat tilted back at the right degree, and the triple white carnation in his buttonhole was a sight to see. (Dear chap! he is in the greasy automobile service in Flanders now!) And his cane! (If you walk out without a cane in polite Copenhagen, you are looked on as worse than nude.) Fancy! To be seen walking with a threadbare German pastor with a bulbous umbrella! He groaned; he knew that I would pause on the brink of an abyss for a little refreshing theological conversation!

'You cannot deny, Herr Pastor,' I said, 'that you people in Germany swear by Harnack, that Strauss's Life of Jesus is a book that you look on with great admiration, that much of the foolish "higher criticism" like the attacks on Saint Luke,[10] which Sir William Ramsay has so carefully refuted, and all the sneering at the fundamentals of Christianity have come from Germany, with the approval of the Emperor.'

'There are no English scientific theologians. I do not know your Ramsay. We are learned; we study; we see many of the Christian myths in an allegorical sense, but yet we adore the German God, who is with us, and we believe in Christ, though our learned ones may dissipate much that the populace hold. There must be a broad law for the Christian divine; a narrow one for the humble believer. We may not accept miracles, we of the learned, but we may not disturb the belief of the people in them. Culture must come from the top. The Catholics among us still accept the miracles, but they are most retrograde of the Germans. We are gaining upon them. It is the Zeitgeist; when we have conquered, with their help, we shall teach them the real lesson of Christianity! The German God will not brook idolatry. Our scientists disprove myths, but we work in the line of Luther still. He disproved myths!'

'I do not hold a brief for Martin Luther,' I said, 'but I think that he would have cursed any man who denied the divinity of Christ. You talk of a German God. He is not a Christian God, and I repeat to you what you heard me say to my friend in the restaurant.'

'It is well, sir,' he said, 'to hear this coming from an American who defends the starving of our children and the supplying of arms to slaughter us. We have God on our side—the German God. We only!'

'Good day, sir,' I said; 'you corroborate my impression about your Christianity!'

I took off my hat, and crossed the street. He stood still; 'These Americans are rude!' my secretary heard him say.

This would seem impossible to me—if I had not been a part of the episode; if it seems impossible to you—the result probably of some misunderstanding on my part—let me quote a few examples of the result of the Prussian propaganda among a people whom we considered, at least, honest and not un-Christian. But, first: on the Long Line for my usual walk with Mr. Myron Hofer, one of the first Americans to rush from his post at the Legation and join the Aviation Corps, I saw the pastor again. Mr. Hofer saw him coming towards us, and said:

'You ought not to stand in the wind, if that man speaks to you; let us go on.'

'Go on,' I said, 'but come back to rescue me in a minute or two.'

'Excellency,' the pastor said, 'I have heard from Pastor Lampe who you are. Forgive me for addressing you!' And he passed on, hat in hand.

What can one make of this bigotry and Phariseeism? Have these qualities developed only since the war? Will they disappear after the war? 'And the devils besought him, saying: If thou cast us out hence, send us unto the herd of swine. And he said to them: Go. But they going out went into the swine, and behold the whole herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea: and they perished in the waters.'

We all know that London was an unfortified city. Read this, from the Evangelische-lutherische Kirchenzeitung, written in 1915. It is an answer to the truthful charge that children, helpless women, old men, civilians going quietly about their business, had been slaughtered by the pitiless rain of death from the skies. The Danish Lutherans, among whom this pious sheet had been circulated with a view to exciting their sympathies, did not accept this.

'London has ceased to be a city without the defence of fortifications; it is filled with such numbers of aeroplanes and anti-aircraft guns, that, as we are all aware, the Zeppelins can attack it at night only. To attack London is to make an offensive on a den of murderers.'

'If you ask me,' says the Protestenblatt, Number 18, 'how shall I build up the kingdom of God,' my answer is: 'Be a good German! Stand fast by the Fatherland. Do your duty and fill your mission. Seek to submerge yourself in German spirit, in German mind. Be German in piety and will, which simply means, be true, faithful, and valiant. Help as best you can towards our victory; help to make our Fatherland grow and wax mighty.'[11]

It is true that there are Protestants in Germany who will not accept the 'Fatherland' as God and eternal life or as a life continued in the memories of later generations, as a Hessian peasant put it in a letter written from the Front. His attitude shows how barren all this rhetoric seems to the unhappy soldier who must obey. Those who knew the lives of truly religious Germans before the war must believe that these arrogant, feverish, diabolical utterances do not represent them. The Lutheran households where the fear of God and the love of one's neighbour reigned cannot have entirely disappeared; the old Christian spirit must fill some hearts. But here is a man, a Lutheran divine, whose pious books have 'circulated in the Army in millions of copies.' He is a very great clergyman; if you saw him in the streets of Lübeck, or Hamburg, or Berlin, many hats would be raised; even officers in the Army would greet him with respect. He is Geheimkonsistorialrath! 'Likewise,' he writes, in his book, Strong in the Lord—'the blessings of the Reformation are at stake. Shall French ungodliness, shall Russian superstition, shall English hypocrisy rule the world? Never! For the blessing of our faith, for the freedom of our conscience, for our Germanism and for our Gospel, we shall fight and struggle and make every sacrifice. Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott. And, if the world were full of devils, we shall maintain our Empire!'

According to Dr. Conrad, Germany is a great surgeon. She must cut; she must even kill, if necessary, the nation that stands in the way of her beneficient Kultur!

So strenuously has the name of Martin Luther been made use of by these fanatics, that the fact is lost sight of in Germany, that the question is not one of religion. There is scarcely a war even in modern times with which religion had so little to do as this; but to hear these shriekers from the pulpit, one would think that Martin Luther was the instigator of the war and that the Kaiser is his prophet! What the Catholic population in Germany—in Bavaria, in Silesia—what the Jews in Berlin and Munich think of all this, we have not yet discovered. A Cardinal holding the standard of Luther, with two Rabbis gracefully toying with its gilded tassels is a sight the preachers offer to us when they appeal to Luther as the representative of Germany. Luther was no democrat; he would scarcely have approved of President Wilson's speeches; but yet he would not have worshipped the trinity of the Kaiser, the Crown Prince and the Prussian Holy Ghost as the Godhead!

Think of the tremendous force that must have perverted these 'men of God!' Who can help believing in the miracle of the swine driven into the sea after this, or in the old Latin adage, 'Whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad,' or in Shakespeare's 'Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds?' Religion is made a mark to cover avarice and arrogant ambition, Christianity, to veil a god more material than the Golden Calf.

The learned Danes answered the shrieks of the preachers, and the specious reasonings of such scientists as Wilhelm von Bode, Wundt, Richard Dehmel, Wilhelm Röntgen, Ernest Haeckel, Sudermann, etc., with dead silence, erudition and art had been corrupted. 'In Italy,' Christopher Nyrop,[12] the Dane, says, 'which, when the manifesto of the German learned appeared, was not among the belligerent States, the amazement and the disappointment were so great that the ninety-three signers, "representatives of German Kultur," were named Verräter der deutschen Kultur, traitors to German Kultur.' It was only necessary to change 'Vertreter' to 'Verräter.' And among them were Max Reinhart, Harnack, Gerhard Hauptmann, Siegfried Wagner!

The wonder and amazement were even greater when there was no protest from the Catholics or the Lutherans of Germany against the inexcusable outrage on Louvain or Rheims. The remonstrances of the Pope were unheeded. It was the policy of the German Government to suppress them as far as possible. It wanted to give the impression that the Holy Father was theirs, and too many thoughtless persons fell in with this idea. That the German Catholics were misinformed by Bethmann-Hollweg and the War Office makes their position worse.

The proofs offered by the Dean of the Cathedral of Rheims proved that this horror, the destruction of the sacred symbol of the French nation, was not 'a military necessity.'


The visits of Mr. John R. Mott to the Scandinavian countries were events; his was a name to conjure with. When an intimation of his coming appeared in the papers, our Legation was bombarded with requests for the opportunity of meeting him. 'We must,' my wife often said, 'make it understood that every American of good repute shall be welcome in our house; and it is our mission to give our Danish friends an opportunity to meet him.'

The Danes came to know this and, whenever there was an American in Copenhagen worth while—I do not mean merely having what is called 'social position'—we were always glad to arrange that the right persons should meet. We were not socially indiscriminate, but we were certainly eclectic. We wanted Mr. Mott for three meals a day, but he was always, like Martha, so busy about many things, that we could only secure him for a short breakfast or something like that, with one of his warmest admirers, Count Joachim Moltke, who is devoted to the moral improvement of young men, and Chamberlain and Madame Oscar O'Neill Oxholm. The only rift in the lute of the affection of certain Danish ladies for my wife was that she allowed Mr. Mott to leave Copenhagen on various occasions without 'making an occasion' for them to meet him. Among these ladies were Mademoiselle Wedel-Hainan, one of the ladies in-waiting to the Queen Dowager, and others interested in the cultivation of reverence for Christianity among their compatriots. The result of Mr. Mott's masterly work was shown when the war broke out. The 'red-blooded' who formerly looked at the Young Men's Christian Association as rather effeminate and effete must, in view of what it has done in Europe, forever close their lips.

At this time, in 1909, we had expectations of another visitor. Cardinal Gibbons almost promised to make the Northern trip; he would come to Copenhagen, it was intimated in a Baltimore newspaper. Great interest was shown among these agreeable Athenians, the cosmopolitan Danes. The question of etiquette bothered me; Sweden had still remote relations with the Holy See, though the Catholic religion is still practically proscribed in that country. At least, the King of Sweden writes, I think, a letter once a year to his 'cousin,' the Pope, or is it to his 'cousins,' the Cardinals; but Denmark, though very liberal since 1848 in its religious attitude, has not such vaguely official relations. I was informed that no Cardinal had visited Denmark since the Reformation. I made inquiries in the proper quarters at once. Of course, I might give Cardinal Gibbons his rank as a Prince of the Church, and even the most exalted who should go in after him at our dinner would be pleased. He could not come. His one hasty trip to Europe, after his friends had raised my hopes of his visiting us, was to be present at the Conclave that elected Benedict XV. Pius X. had died of a broken heart, and the heart of the Cardinal was sore and troubled at the horrors thrust upon the world. What he has done to fill our army and navy with courageous men contemporaneous history shows.

But the great visit, the epoch, which dulled even the glories of the coming of the Atlantic Squadron, was that of ex-President Roosevelt. To the Danes it was almost as if Holger Dansker, who, as everybody knows, is waiting in the vaults of Hamlet's castle at Elsinore to protect Denmark, had burst into the light.

From the European point of view, which took no account of our home politics, ex-President Roosevelt was not only the most important figure in America, but in the world, and the most picturesque. Even under the New Democracy, men will probably count more than nations in the minds of our brethren across the sea. However large collectiveness may loom in the future, there will be some man or other who will show above it, who will be a part greater than the whole. Mr. Roosevelt had made the Panama Canal possible; he had succeeded when De Lesseps had failed; he had forced, more than any other President before him, the respect of Europe; the Radicals wanted to greet him because he had curbed the power of the capitalists; kings and prime ministers welcomed him because they—even the Kaiser—feared his potentialities. That he would be the next President of the United States nobody in Europe doubted. These people were not welcoming, as they thought, a man like General Grant, who had merely done a great thing. The American who was coming was not only a man of splendid past, but one with a future that was rising up like thunder. You can imagine the excitement in Copenhagen when it was announced that he would pay that city a short visit. From Copenhagen he was to go to Christiania to make a Nobel Prize speech. The death of Björnson occurred just at this time; it was mourned in both Norway and Denmark as a national loss; but even this did not affect the reception of the ex-President.

'We would have rejoiced in our sorrow for nobody else,' the Norwegian Minister said.

King Frederick VIII. had made all his arrangements to go to the Riviera; his health was not good. He sent for me; he was doubtful whether the rumours of Mr. Roosevelt's visit were well founded or not.

'If he comes, this most distinguished citizen of yours, I will see that he is received with the greatest courtesy; I will do as much for him as if he were an Emperor. He and his family shall be given the Palace of Christian VII. during their stay. My son, the Crown Prince, will go to greet him; I regret, above all things, that I cannot be here.'

Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt came; he saw; he conquered, but Mrs. Roosevelt won all hearts. The young folks, Kermit and Ethel, fled from all gaieties and ceremonies and explored the town; if I remember they courted not the smiles of kings and princes; but they searched intensively for specimens of old pewter.

Mr. Roosevelt's trunks did not arrive in time; he and Mrs. Roosevelt were obliged to wear their travelling clothes. In the long history of court life in Denmark this had occurred only once on a gala occasion, and the guest had been Her Majesty the Queen of England, when she was Princess of Wales. She had accepted the result with the utmost simplicity. Mrs. Roosevelt, the ladies of the court said, was 'royal' in the charming way in which she accepted this unpleasant accident; she has contradicted practically the stories that American ladies have the plebeian habit of 'fussiness.' The Crown Princess declared that Mrs. Roosevelt was 'adorable,' and the Crown Prince referred to the pleasure of this visit nearly every time, during the last eight years, I met him. 'He is a Man,' he said.

The Marshal of the Court arranged the etiquette admirably, and there was not the slightest hitch. Some of my colleagues who knew that Mr. Roosevelt, as an ex-President, had no official rank, wondered how the technical details of the reception of a 'commoner' had been arranged. The Court and the Foreign Office offered all the courtesies usually bestowed on royal highnesses. The Legation and the Consulate were particularly proud of the decorations of the railway station, and grateful to the Minister of Commerce who was responsible for them.

As usual, Admiral de Richelieu was both thoughtful and generous. The best part of the programme, the voyage and breakfast on the Queen Maud—we went to Elsinore—and a hundred other agreeable details were arranged perfectly by him and Commander Cold, director of the Scandinavian-American Line.

A great dinner, such as only Danes can manage to perfect at short notice, was offered to him by the Mayor and the Municipality of Copenhagen. His speech was eagerly looked for. It charmed the Moderates; the extreme Socialists, who had claimed him for their own, were disappointed. 'Your Radicalism is our Conservatism,' said Chamberlain Carl O'Neill Oxholm.

Later, we heard that the Kaiser was disappointed in Mr. Roosevelt. This was from one of the Berlin court circles. Mr. Roosevelt (this was said sub rosa) had not been too Radical, but too frank. After all, there was no reason why a man who had represented the people of one of the greatest nations on earth should be too reverential to the All Highest!

When Mr. Roosevelt left Denmark, he left an impression of force, of virility, of dignity, of honesty that became part of the history of the country.

In 1911 Loubet, the French ex-President, came with his son Paul and a staff of delegates to the International Congress of Public and Private Charities. He was very genial and frank—qualities inherited by his son. His conversation was directed to the rapid reconstruction of France after 1870. 'A country that can do that has little to fear,' he said, 'if we can avoid the pitfalls of professional politicians. That may be our difficulty. Our enemies are glad that there should be dissensions among us, vital dissensions, not the healthy differences of opinion you have in your country.'

'Et "la revanche?"'

'Ah, Monsieur le Ministre,' answered one of his staff, 'how can he speak of that, with the German Minister, Mr. Waldhausen, so near us? He is beckoning to you now. It is not "revanche" we want, but the return of our territory. If that could be done without war! Paul, his son, will talk international politics with you, if you like. As to local politics, the Royalists do wrong in mixing religion and politics; it forces the hand of the Opposition, and makes the attitude of us Republicans misunderstood. In spite of all dissensions, France is one at heart; but the voice of the country is not for war. Of course, we may have to fight in our colonies.'

'Tripoli?' I asked.

'No,' he answered smiling. 'That's the leading question. We must fight as you fought the Red Indians. We have no fear of war at present—our ways are the ways of peace.'

'Naturally,' I answered, 'since the German Minister tells me that Germany will never fight France unless attacked, and he sees no signs of that.'

'The Belgians are growing restless because Hamburg is taking all the Brazilian coffee trade,' he said, absent-mindedly.

'Which means, interpreted,' I answered, 'that we might well look after our interests in Brazil.'

'Like all Frenchmen,' he said, 'I am ignorant of foreign geography, but our Ambassador in Washington is different; he knows the world, and the United States.'

I thanked him; I was always glad to hear Frenchmen speak well of Mr. Jusserand. He deserved all the praise they could give him.

'My friend,' said Paul Loubet, 'says the world and the United States, which means, I suppose, that Europe is one world and the United States another.' 'It almost seems so in Europe; but your acquisition of the Philippines will probably make you more and more a part of the European world.' 'I am afraid that George Washington and Lafayette would not have liked this,' said the ex-President.

One of the French delegates asked me whether it was true that the Germans would try to make terms with us for a cession of some foreign territory for one of the Philippine Islands. Waldhausen was at my elbow; I, smiling, put the question to him.

'It is Arcadian,' he said.

'Germany never gives up what she holds,' said the Frenchman, also smiling. 'Otherwise, you might induce her to surrender Heligoland to England, for a consideration, with the understanding that England should give it back to Denmark.'

Waldhausen laughed.

'Such generosity is too far in advance of our time. I am afraid Admiral von Tirpitz might object.'

Von Tirpitz, for those behind the scenes in German politics, was much in the public eye. It was well understood that as far as the naval programme was concerned, he was Germany. If the seizing of Slesvig and the completion of the Kiel canal made the German Fleet possible, with the acquiring of Heligoland, the efforts of Admiral von Tirpitz had made it a Navy. Through all the financial difficulties of the German Government, difficulties that alone prevented it from attacking France, von Tirpitz had held fast to the axiom that Germany's future was on the ocean. He was not the kind of marine minister who sticks fast to his desk and 'never goes to sea.' He had become the 'captain of the King's navee' by knowing his business, and, more than that, by studying the caprices of his Imperial Master's mind, as well as its fixed determination. Many times I had been told by candid friends in the diplomatic corps that the German Emperor had no respect for our navy, that he knew every ship by heart, that nevertheless, he examined as far as possible any new inventions adopted by our naval experts who were most kind in permitting German naval attachés and experts to examine them. In 1911 the coming of the Atlantic Squadron had excited interest in the naval position of our country. One scarcely ever saw an American flag on the ocean. Whatever Columbia did or wanted to do, she did not rule the seas; so our flag on the ships of the Atlantic Squadron was a delight to all Americans and somewhat of a surprise to foreigners.

At Kiel the general impression seemed to be that the Atlantic Squadron represented our whole navy! The Kaiser and von Tirpitz knew better, of course. Privately the Kaiser expressed his amusement at our attempt to build warships—he and von Tirpitz had secrets of their own. However, America was important enough to be given a sedative until his designs on France and Russia were completed. One might suspect this, then; but who could believe it!

My correspondents in Germany—people who know are wonderful helps to a man in the diplomatic service—concerned themselves largely with von Tirpitz and General von Freytag-Loringhoven. Von Tirpitz was the German Navy and the very intelligent writings of General the Baron von Freytag-Loringhoven made us almost think that he was the Army.

'Is he related to Freytag?' I had asked.

'What, the novelist?'

'The author of Debit and Credit?' I added.

'Certainly not; he is one of the greatest of the Baltic baronial families.'

If I had asked a Bourbon, in the reign of Louis XIV., whether he was related to Crébillon, he could not have been more shocked. Von Freytag-Loringhoven cut a great figure in Berlin. He had Russian affiliations, being of a Baltic family; his father had been well known in diplomacy. He knew Russia as well as he knew Germany; he was technical and experienced, and his writings were supposed to give indications of the ideas of the General Staff. The Russians in Copenhagen talked much of von Freytag-Loringhoven. I must repeat that, in interesting myself in German personalities, I was not considering them in relation to the future of my own country. There were some among my friends, like James Brown Scott—men of foresight—who seemed to have a wider vision. I was interested because I feared that the autonomy of a little nation was at stake, and because the absorption of that little nation would mean the assumption of the Danish Antilles.

That Germany had consulted Russia about a question to make war with England a pretext for seizing Denmark, we suspected. The end of the Japanese War had curbed Russia's eastern ambition for a time. How were we to be sure that the Baltic and the North Sea might not, under German tutelage, attract her?

If von Freytag-Loringhoven's utterances were to be taken seriously, it was evident that war was in the air; and why was von Tirpitz building up the German Navy? The distributors of rumours in Denmark said that all hopes of a Scandinavian confederacy were to be ended by a quarrel with England, a move on France, and the division of Scandinavia into two parts, one nominally Russian, the other, Denmark, to be actually German, while Norway should gradually be terrorised into submission. This shows how excited public opinion was. The German propaganda spread pleasant reports of the peaceful intentions of the Kaiser, the Crown Prince, and the personages in power in Germany. Above all, we were told how charming the Crown Princess Cecilia was, and how potent her influence would be in warding off any attempts of the Pan-Germans on Denmark, even if Germany and England should fly at each other's throats.

People in the court circle, who knew how little royal family alliances count to-day in actual politics, admitted that the Crown Princess was most charming and sympathetic; she is the sister of the Queen of Denmark, and she had become as German as it was possible for the daughter of a Russian mother to be. Her sister, Queen Alexandrina, had become thoroughly Danish, but then her tendencies had always been towards democracy and the simplicities of life.

The German news vendors alternately praised the Crown Prince and depreciated him. If he were violent, it was against the wishes of his father—he was a second Prince Hal trying on the imperial crown. As a rule, however, he was brought out of the background to show his virtues. On several occasions he had evinced more knowledge of what was going on than his father. This was notable in the Eulenberg scandal, when he fearlessly laid bare a horrible ulcer which was beginning to eat into the heart of the army. On this subject he and Max Harden, of the Zukunft, were in amazing alliance. Whatever may be said of the Crown Prince's political ambitions—and we believed and do believe that they meant world conquest—he is very much of a man. In 1911, it was understood that he would not condescend to wear the peace-mask that seemed to conceal his father's face. Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg, the Chancellor, was temporising as usual. The Moroccan affair led to nothing because Germany's financial backers were not ready for war. The Chancellor was attacked by von Heydebrand; the Danish press gave graphic accounts of the scene when the Crown Prince, from the royal box, applauded every insult that the powerful Junker heaped on the Chancellor, who was merely the tool of the Kaiser. It was the time of the Emperor to temporise; the time had not come to strike; Germany was not rich enough. Russia was still doubtful. France, in the imperial opinion, was not sufficiently corrupted, and the dissensions between Ulster and the rest of Ireland had not yet reached that poisonous growth which, in that opinion, would force mutiny and sedition to poison the English. The Crown Prince probably, in his frankness, voiced more than his own inner sentiments. At any rate, to us near the frontier, it seemed so. However, the incident was used to the credit of the Crown Prince. Fair and open dealing for him! England might interfere in Morocco and other places to prevent his country from taking a place 'in the sun'; but let us have it out!

In the secret councils of the Social Democrats was the hope that, if a Hohenzollern must succeed the Kaiser, it would not be the Crown Prince. In spite of his amiabilities and his apparently youthful point of view of life—though there were fewer indiscretions to his credit than are generally attributed to Crown Princes—it was known that he was military to the core, and that in his time the soldier of the world would never lack employment. While the Kaiser was constantly insisting that more soldiers and more sailors and Krupp von Bohlen's newest instruments of destruction were pawns in the game of peace, his son made no pretence of agreeing with him. Clever or not, he had held that a straight line was the shortest way from one given point to another. And the Zabern incident and several others showed that the Crown Prince meant, when his chance came, to make war after the Napoleonic method and to exalt the sword above the pen and the ploughshare.

The Social Democrats in Denmark were not flattered when he said that 'one day the Social Democrats would go to court!' But he was right; they went to court as their old Emperor went to Carrossa, when they accepted the war! The German writers said, too, that in France his admiration for Napoleon endeared him to the French. If he appeared in Paris, he would be as popular as King Edward of England was when he was Prince of Wales! 'Who knows,' one of their writers said, 'he may make the hopes of the Duke de Reichstadt his own, and live to see them fulfilled'? I called the attention of an Austrian friend to this. This gentleman, high in favour in 1909, but somewhat gloomed in 1914, owing to a bon mot, said: 'But the French remember that the heir of Napoleon, who might have completed his father's conquests, was the son of an Austrian mother.' He was gemütlich, like his grandfather, they said, and how sweetly amiable to the American ladies who had married into the superior race! More than one titled American hoped to be saved from the position of morganaticism in the future through the kindness of His Imperial Highness. But the fixity of will has been underrated. Napoleon tried to conquer Europe; his eyes were on the kingdoms of Solomon and of the jewelled monarchs of the East. Why he failed, the Crown Prince believed he had discovered. There was no reason, therefore, why a Prussian Napoleon might not succeed, and no necessity to repeat the defeats of Moscow and Waterloo. The Prince would begin by fighting Waterloo first and then putting Russia out of commission!

In 1913 Mr. Frederick Wile, then correspondent of the London Daily Mail, wrote: 'He is the idol of the German Army almost to a greater degree than his father. His Hunting Diary is amusing. He writes of his sympathy with his 'sainted' ancestor Frederick the Great, in the dictum that everybody should be allowed to pursue happiness and salvation in his own sweet way.' Holy Moses!

It was not difficult to get near to the characters of the important men in power in Germany. A night's run took one to Berlin, and at Flensberg, a few hours from our Legation, one could see the German war vessels. There were constant visits of Germans of distinction; Prince Eitel Friedrich often came in his yacht, and the Waldhausens—Madame Waldhausen was a Belgian—were constantly entertaining guests of all countries. Princess Harald, the wife of Prince Harold, brother of the King of Denmark, attracted many Germans, with whom she was in sympathy.

At court very few Germans appeared, unless they were of high official rank. Both King Christian X. and the Queen seemed to prefer to speak English, and nothing irritated the King, who speaks English and French and German well, more than any attempt on the part of a diplomatist to speak to him in Danish. It is best, I think, for diplomatists at court to use French. One is always more guarded in speaking a foreign language, but every member of the Danish Court spoke English and seemed to like it. Prince Valdemar and the Princess Marie always spoke English in their family. Prince Valdemar's French was not so good as his English, and, in the beginning, the Princess Marie found the learning of Danish slow work, and she had, during the exile of her family in England, become entirely at home in the English language. Prince Axel, their son, who recently visited America as the guest of the American Navy, spoke English admirably. Like all his family, he is in love with freedom.

Nevertheless, German was much spoken in Denmark, and the intercourse between the two countries close. The point of view of Germany, or, rather, the Germans, was better understood in Denmark than perhaps in any other country, the more so because the Danes, naturally satirical and entirely disillusioned as to the altruism of great European nations, looked with clear eyes at the progress, or, rather, the evolution of Germany. Whatever progress Germany had made, many of them, like the learned Dr. Gudmund Schütte, who reluctantly agreed that the reconquest of Slesvig would be 'to commit suicide in order to escape death,' never seemed to utter a word of German without remembering the loss of their provinces.

The most astonishing things were the intellectual greatness and exact training of the German thinkers and doers, and, at the same time, their lack of independence. With the outside world, as far as one could gather from the press and conversations with the English, French and Americans—though my fellow countrymen, as a rule, showed little interest in foreign affairs—it was plain that the German political parties were supposed to be static: the Conservatives Junkerish, the Centrists intensely Catholic, following the slightest signal of the Pope, the Socialists devoted to the ideas of Bebel, and the Liberal-Nationalists fixed in their opinion that a moderate constitutional monarchy was to be, in Germany, the solution of all problems.

We knew better than that in Denmark. Through the whole Catholic world the German propagandists spread the opinion that the Centre party was strictly 'denominational.' Nothing could be more untrue. The traditions of Windthorst, who had boldly defined to Bismarck the difference between what was due to Christ and what to Cæsar, were rapidly disappearing. The fiction remained that the Centre was constantly opposing the policy of the emperor, when at every session of the Reichstag, the Centre became more and more 'political' and more subservient to the designs of the Government. One could see the changing policy in the pages of the Social Democrat, the Socialist organ in Denmark. The Danish Socialists were always influenced by their German brethren; but destructive Socialism finds, up to the present time, no place in the Social Democratic scheme, and this is due, not only to the Danish temperament, but to the dislike on the part of Social Democrats to the growing power of Syndicalism.

The leaders of the Socialists and of the Centrists are not great men. Of the Centre, which had rightfully boasted of Windthorst and Mallinkrot as the opponents of ultra-Imperialism, Hertling and Erzberger were the most important. All Germany recognised the intellectual ability of Hertling. Baron von Hertling, Professor of the University of Munich, represented apparently everything that the fashionable Prussian philosophical system did not. 'Glory is the only religion of great men' is a doctrine he abhors; philosophically, he is the direct enemy of Kant and Hegel, above all, of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. Nobody denies those qualities of mind that had made his name as well known philosophically in learned circles as that of Cardinal Mercier. He had been prime minister of Bavaria, and he, of all men, might have been expected to see the abyss to which Imperialism was tending. It was easy, in Denmark, to perceive that, in the Reichstag, all parties—there were some individual exceptions, like Liebknecht—had begun to be slaves of the emperor as represented by his subservient grand-viziers, the Chancellors. Both the Centre, from which much was expected, and the mixed party, called the Social Democrats, from which stronger resistance to Imperialism had been hoped, gradually became the upholders of the doctrine of conquest.

Erzberger, of the Centre, is a later development of the change that took place in the attitude of Hertling. With Lieber and Spahn, veteran politicians, the Centre position became one of compromise.

The Centre had managed to grow stronger and stronger after the Kulturkampf, against which it had started as a party of defence. Matthias Erzberger, who had begun as a school teacher, wisely chose the Centre Party as a road to power. He has gained step by step by his unconquerable audacity. In 1911 even the Chancellor seemed to fear him. He is a bold speculator, and his rivals, even in his own party, predicted that he would come to grief through his Napoleonic idea of finance. From 1911 the parties in the Reichstag became more and more Imperialistic, the Prussian tone more and more insolent as regards foreign countries. The cameraderie of the Kaiser at times, his fits of arrogant indiscretion—checked suddenly after the 'interviews' of 1908—continued to give us 'lookers-on in Vienna' grave concern. In spite of the encomiums made by nearly all my best European friends—many of them English—and all my compatriots who had been received at court, we in Denmark distrusted the Kaiser. I must say that my Danish friends, except the Chamberlain and Madame de Hegermann-Lindencrone, seldom praised him. To them he had been most courteous. I remembered that the most chivalrous of men, Hegermann-Lindencrone, never would speak ill of a sovereign to whose court he had been accredited. Count Carl Moltke, a good Dane, never, even in confidence, allowed a word of censure to pass his lips when the Kaiser was mentioned by his critics; I often wondered what he thought!

As to the Emperor Francis Joseph, I had reason to have a great respect and affection for him—even of gratitude. It is the fashion to tear his reputation to pieces now, a fashion that will pass.

At any rate, even his detractors will be glad to hear the story that, when the war broke out and he was ill and very drowsy, one of his Chamberlains said, 'Our army is in the field, sire!' 'Fighting those damned Prussians again!' he said, contentedly; and went to sleep again! He liked France, but he disliked the French Government. 'Your President,' he said to a distinguished French sailor, with a touch of contempt, 'is a bourgeois!' He did not mean a 'commoner'—with him 'bourgeois' implied a man who was not a soldier; and the emperor could not understand that a European country should be well ruled by a man who could not himself take the field; at any time, the Emperor would have gladly taken it against these 'Prussian parvenus,' I am sure.

More and more, the representatives of the stolen provinces, like Slesvig and Alsace-Lorraine, became disheartened by their weakness in the Reichstag. The representatives of Poland received no political support from the Centre; yet these Poles were ardent Catholics, and their representative, Prince Radziwell, made eloquent speeches. The delegates from Alsace-Lorraine, the Abbé Wetterlé being the most audacious, were as little regarded as 'Hans Peter,' H. P. Hanssen, the one Danish representative in the Reichstag. If the Centre had not posed as Catholic, which implied, if not an unusual regard for the liberties of the oppressed, at least a certain Christian charity for the persecuted, censure might have been silent. If the Socialists had not been the open and apparently unrelenting opponents of political oppression, the good Samaritan might have tried to succour their victims, while reflecting that the robbers who had inflicted the wound were at least not hypocrites; but here were von Hertling and Martin Spahn and Groeber and the rest of the Centre, who knew what the tyranny of Bismarck had meant; here were the followers of the later Bebel—willing to join the Centrists on many political questions, the friends of the Imperial autocracy! Here were two groups, antagonistic and irreconcilable in principle, but both united when it was expedient to support plans of world conquest!

The Centre still used religion as a tool to uphold the Government. The Pope and the Kaiser were as antagonistic on many questions as Popes and Kaisers have ever been since Christianity was imperfectly accepted by the Teutons. Windthorst, a great man of the type of O'Connell, but greater, had forced Bismarck to revoke some of the infamous May laws in 1888. Still, certain German citizens, the members of the congregation of the Redemptionists, were exiled. The Centre protested—for effect. The Jesuits were at last admitted on condition that they were not allowed to speak in the churches, and that under no circumstances should they be permitted to speak in public on religious subjects. Prince von Bülow publicly admitted that there was a lack of toleration shown to Catholics, and there were certain parts of Germany in which professors of the Catholic faith were still under disabilities. The question of the admission of the Jesuits and the other religious congregations ought to have been considered as justly as it would have been in the United States. The Centrists' representatives gave the impression of being violently interested in the preservation of the rights of German citizens to preach and teach any doctrines that were not immoral or seditious, and then, at a breath from the Government, allowed these priests to be treated as the Danish Lutheran pastors were treated in Slesvig.[13]

I am not writing from the point of view of any creed at this moment, but only from that of a democracy which encourages reasonable freedom of speech, the use of equal opportunities, and preserves to everybody alike the free exercise of his religion. The Centre has shown as little sympathy with democracy of this kind as the Socialists. The latter party deserve no sympathy from any class of Americans. Their methods are, as worked out in Denmark and Germany, admirable. Religious bodies, interested in actively loving their neighbours as themselves, have much to learn from them, but the German Socialists played a worse part during the war than Benedict Arnold in our Revolution. They did not act the part of Judas only because they never acknowledged Christ.

The bane of every civilised country seems to be party politics. After theological hatreds, the ordinary variety of political hatreds and compromises is the worst. The Centre has become corrupt and time-serving, the Socialists expedient and slavish, all because the Imperial Head, the Chancellor, could scatter the spoils!


'This is the first page of my diary and the last,' wrote William H. Seward. 'One day's record satisfies me that, if I should every day set down my hasty impressions, based on half information, I should do injustice to everybody around me and to none more than my intimate friends.'

This is true; and, when suspicion seemed to reign everywhere, after August 1914, and one's private papers were never safe, in spite of the fidelity of our servants—and no strangers were ever blessed with better servants than my wife and I—it became all the more necessary not to put down explicitly the day's talk. And the colleagues were very frank—except when their Foreign Officers instructed them to say something for export. If we were at the end of the world, I might give daily conversations that would have a certain interest, but probably some persons whom I have the honour to call friends, and even intimate friends, might be misunderstood. A diplomatic corps in a city like Copenhagen is one large family, and in Copenhagen the court treats its members, who are sympathetic, with unusual courtesy, and, at every fitting opportunity, makes them of the royal circle, which is a very cosy and cheerful one.

The years 1910, 1911, and 1912 were eventful ones, not because things happened, but because things were about to happen. It was a period of unrest. The diplomatic conversations at this time occupied themselves with the position of Germany.

Henckel-Donnersmarck had gone to Weimar, much to my regret. He was supposed to have retired to private life because the Kaiser did not find his reports minute enough, but, knowing him, it seemed to me that he was glad to be out of a position which bored him thoroughly, and which exacted of him duties that he did not care to fulfil. Denmark was becoming more and more Socialistic, and even the Conservatives were so extremely 'advanced,' that Count Henckel found himself rather out of place. He made no country-house visits in the summer, and gave dinners in the winter only when he could not help it. Beyond certain conversations with me on political subjects already mentioned, he did not go. Literature and the simpler aspects of life interested him—children especially. We amused ourselves by mapping out the career of his son, Leo, a very young person of marked individualistic qualities.

For impressions of Germany and Austria, one had to go to other sources. The upheaval in Germany caused by the Kaiser's disregard of public opinion in 1908 had caused most of my colleagues some concern. Nobody wanted war. The Austrians and the Russians alike were horrified at the thought of it.

In 1909 there had been rumours of grave events; Count Ehrenthal had announced privately to some bankers that 'war was evitable.' Count Szechenyi, the Austrian-Hungarian, a lover of peace, if there ever was one, met me one day on the steps of the Foreign Office, in a state of trepidation. Mr. Michel Bibikoff, of the Russian Legation, had seen me several times on the subject of the possible conflict, academically and personally, of course, as our Government was supposed to have no great interest in war in Europe. A speech made by Mr. Alexander Konta, whose son, Geoffrey, was one of the best private secretaries I ever had, put me on the track (Mr. Konta, an American of Hungarian birth, had been conducting some financial affairs in his native country). I suspected there would be no war since Count Ehrenthal had announced to the financiers that there would be war. In my opinion, it was a question of the fall or rise of stocks. Count de Beaucaire, the French Minister, was intensely interested; a flame lit in the Balkans might involve France. The English Minister, Sir Alan Johnstone, seemed to take matters more calmly; we all expected his Foreign Office to send him to Vienna, and his calmness was a sedative. He, a prospective ambassador, was supposed to know something of conditions, but Count Szechenyi discovered that he was nervous, too. It struck me that it was rather absurd for me not to know something definite.

There was an old friend, deep in the diplomatic secrets of the Vatican, who knew the Balkans well, who disliked Russia as much as he suspected Germany. It was easy to get an opinion from him because he knew I would use it with discretion. There was a clever old Hanoverian noble, much in the secrets of the court at Berlin, and there was Frederick Wile in Berlin, who knew many things. When Count Szechenyi, rather pale, came up the stairs of the Foreign Office, and said, 'My God! There will be war!'

'No,' I answered, 'it is settled—there will be no war. I give you my word of honour.'

'You are sure?'

'I have just told Bibikoff, and he is delighted.'

I have been grateful many times to Frederick Wile, who was once a student of mine, but that day I was more grateful than ever, for war is hell and I was glad to relieve my friends' minds.

That night there was a cercle at court. King Frederick VIII., the most affable of kings, greatly interested in the Danes in America, had been praising Count Carl Moltke, who had shown a great interest in the Americans of Danish blood; it was an interesting subject. To speak well of Count Moltke, who had the good taste to marry an American, is always a genuine pleasure, though, I believe, he would have left Washington if the sale of the Danish West Indies had been mooted in his time. Then the king said, 'Your country is fortunate not to be entangled in European affairs. There is talk of war. As the American Minister, you have no interest, except a humanitarian one, in a European war; you do not trouble yourself about the question seriously.' I bowed, being discreet, I hope. Suddenly a deep voice, audible everywhere, called out: 'But Egan told Szechenyi that the propositions had been accepted, and there will be no war.' The king turned to me; I was not especially desirous of admitting that I had been making investigations, and still less desirous of revealing my sources of information.

Before the king could ask a question, Sir Alan Johnstone cut in, just behind me, 'From whom did you hear it?'

'From a journalist,' I answered, remembering Frederick Wile.

'It will be in the papers to-morrow, then,' said the king.

I was relieved. I should have hesitated to appear to have shown such interest to the king as my mention of the other authorities might have revealed.

It was announced later, but not in the next day's papers. However, the apprehension still remained. The Kaiser was for peace—yes!—but on his own terms.

The one objection to Mr. Seward's dictum on the exact keeping of journals is that the writer, after the facts—unrelated and distorted as they are each day—are seen in the light of experience, the diarist finds it only too easy to prophesy for the public, because now he knows. This is a temptation; but, as I look back, I must confess that in 1910, in spite of the anxiety of my colleagues, Germany seemed mainly important as regards her attitude to the sale of the Danish East Indies to us. Lord Salisbury's trade of Zanzibar for Heligoland was always in my mind. The correspondence of Mr. John Hay and other investigations had led me to believe that the failure of the proposed sale in 1901-1902 had been caused by German opposition. I was, I must confess, glad to see the friendliness between Germany and the United States. I knew rather well that it could never grow very deep; the German point of view of the Monroe Doctrine was too fixed for that. I knew, too, that if the very Radical and Socialistic parties in Denmark continued to grow, the island must be sold, and likewise that, if the United States and Germany were unfriendly, the Social Democrats, who were too near their German brethren not to be in sympathy with their brethren, might turn the scale in favour of retaining the Islands. The eyes of my colleagues were on Germany; mine were also, but for different reasons. While they feared that Germany might want some of their territory—we knew that, in spite of the Triple Alliance Germany and Austria were one, Italy always being an 'outsider'—I was anxious to save from Germany islands that might be hers if she should absorb Denmark. I confess, with repentant tears, if you will, I had not the slightest belief in the disinterestedness, when it came to a question of territory, of any nation, except our own—and that might have its limitations!

In August 1910, I was very glad to go to visit the Raben-Levitzaus. One reason was that the Count and Countess Raben-Levitzau are among the most cosmopolitan and interesting people in Europe; another was, that Chamberlain and Madame Hegermann-Lindencrone were to be at the castle of Aalholm. Raben-Levitzau had been Minister of Foreign Affairs. He had married Miss Moulton, one of the most beautiful ladies in Europe and the daughter of Madame Hegermann-Lindencrone by her first marriage. Hegermann-Lindencrone had been minister to Washington when I was at Georgetown College doing some philosophical work under Father Guida and Father Carroll; but I had been permitted to go into society occasionally and the fame of Hegermann-Lindencrone was just beginning. Mutual acquaintances and memories established a friendship, and I came to know him as one of the cleverest, most farseeing and kind of diplomatists. If he has an enemy in the world, that enemy must be one of the few human beings worthy of eternal damnation!

The conversation is always good at Aalholm. Raben-Levitzau was rather depressed; he was out of public life, which he loved. He had gone out in 1908 with the J. C. Christensen ministry, owing to the fact that Alberti, the Minister of Justice, had been found guilty of some inexcusable manipulation of the public money. Alberti, with the rest of the reigning ministry had been invited to the wedding of my daughter Patricia, in September 1908. He very courteously declined, giving as a reason that he was 'engaged'; he went to jail on that day. He was a polite man. Raben-Levitzau resigned through the most delicate sentiment of honour, in spite of the remonstrances of his friends.

I found him not against the sale, though he seemed to regards it as very improbable. He felt that the Danes had ceased to practise the art—if they ever had it—of ruling colonies, and, I think, that the tremendous expenses of the Socialistic régime in Denmark, where the poor are practically supported in all difficulties by State funds, would render improvements in distant possessions almost impossible. Sentimentally he would hate to see the red and the white of the Donnebrog cease to fly amid the flags of Holland, of England, of France, on the other side of the Atlantic. Hegermann-Lindencrone was frankly for the sale, though it was not then in question. I asked about Germany's design on Denmark, rumours of which were in everybody's mouth. He—he was still Danish Minister in Berlin—said that, since the completion of the Kiel Canal, Germany had no reason for assuming Denmark. This was reassuring.

Nevertheless, when one caught the reflections of German opinion in Denmark, one became surer than ever that the new Empire was not inclined to accept the isolation which European politicians were apparently forcing on her. Hegermann-Lindencrone and his wife were favourites at the German Court; the Kaiser made a point of signalising his regard for them. Madame Hegermann was by birth an American, a Greenough of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and never for a moment does she forget it, though she has borrowed from the best European society all the cultivation it could give her, in addition to her natural talent and charm. The Kaiser showed his best side to the Hegermann-Lindencrones, and they believed that personally he had no evil designs on the peace of the world.

As a Dane, Hegermann-Lindencrone's task at Berlin had not been easy, with discontent in Slesvig always threatening to break out, although for a time he had, as secretary of Legation, Eric de Scavenius, who knew Germany as well as Denmark, who was as patriotically firm as he was humanly genial. He seemed to think that the sale of the Islands in 1902 had failed because the sum offered was comparatively small, others because of the governmental scandals, and of the opposition of the Princess Marie and the East Asiatic Company.

This was interesting; he did not believe that either the German Government of that time or the industrials, like Herr Ballin, were against it—in fact, German interests on the Islands, especially those of the Hamburg-American Line, were deemed as safe in the hands of the Americans as those of the Danes. The time was, however, not ripe for taking up the question; national opinion was against it, and the great Danish industrials, like Etatsraad Andersen, Admiral de Richelieu, Commander Cold, Holger Petersen and others had not yet had their opportunity of testing the national feeling. As far as I could see in 1910, England and France gave the matter no consideration, though, to his horror, I occasionally informed the Count de Beaucaire that an attempt on our part might be made to buy Martinique and Jamaica and Curaçoa, unless the Danish Islands could be linked into our belt. 'If I thought you were serious, I should oppose you with all my might!' he said.

The South American representatives showed indifference when I mentioned the Gallapagos Islands. The buying of islands was a fixed idea with me, and I liked to talk about it. Diplomatic opinion was inclined to treat the prospect as chimerical, but it was evident that neither Sweden nor Norway liked it. However, as I have said, the time had not come.

I discovered that, when it came to the matter of patent laws, etc., Denmark could not act without the example of Germany, and I gathered from this, that, when the time should come, Germany might expect to have something to say. In the meantime, there were other questions to study, but somehow or other all of them seemed to hinge on Germany's attitude. She was the sphinx of Europe.

It was in June, 1911, that the Atlantic Squadron stopped at Denmark on its way to Germany. Admiral Badger, suave and sympathetic, was in command. The four war vessels made a great effect, but the officers and sailors a greater. Before they left for Kiel—it was a visit of courtesy to the German Navy—the officers gave various dances on board, and the decorum, the elegance, and, above all, the good manners and good dancing of these gentlemen were praised even by those who had been led to believe that most 'Yankees' were crude and unpolished.

King Frederick expressed to me most cordially the honour done his nation by the visit, and was very much amused by the flattering attentions paid by the American sailors at Tivoli to the Danish girls. 'I saw them myself!' he said. He was delighted by the 'tenue' of the officers, and complimented by the enthusiasm of the sailors, who had apparently taken a great fancy to him.

After one of the receptions given by the American officers, the equerry who had been appointed to look after the Admiral and his immediate suite, came to me in great perplexity. He held in his hand a little box. 'I am in difficulty,' he said, 'and I have come to ask you to help me out of it. His Majesty has received several letters from the American sailors, and there is one which especially amused him. It seems that he pleased the men by asking for the Scandinavians in your navy. A sailor thanks him for this, addressing him as 'dear King,' declaring that the men like Copenhagen so much that they beg His Majesty to induce the Admiral to stay a few days longer. Of course, His Majesty cannot do that, but he has asked me to give the little medal in this box to the sailor. I am told that is against the rules, which seem to be very strict. I really cannot tell the King that I have not given the medal to the worthy sailor; you know the King's kindness of heart. I am at my wit's end, so I appeal to you. It seems so difficult to arrange without infringing upon the discipline.'

'It is easy enough,' I said. 'When in a quandary of this kind, call in the Church.'

We found the chaplain, and the amiable Frederick VIII. received a note of gratitude, addressed 'Dear King.'

The French and the Russians were especially interested in the coming of the squadron, but it was made rather evident that the Germans would have preferred that the warships might have gone directly to Kiel. To stop at Copenhagen and Stockholm was looked on as rather tarnishing the compliment to the Imperial Master. There were several private intimations that I had arranged it with a view to making the Danes feel that the United States admired their qualities and desired to stimulate their national ambition. 'It was as if the Magi had concluded to visit a lesser monarch on their way to Bethlehem,' said a sarcastic Dane I met at Oxholm's château of Rosenfeldt; 'the ultra-Imperialists hold you responsible for it.' I replied that it was a great honour to be mistaken for Providence!

The few pro-German writers on the Danish press rejoiced at the compliment the United States was showing Germany; the press itself was delighted. There were always some sarcastic paragraphs in the Danish papers, the result of a German propaganda which allowed nothing good in any other nation. These took the form of slight sneers at the gaiety of our sailors and their open-handedness. The response was indignantly made that American sailors were the only sailors in the world who had too much to spend—and they spent this largely in racing about in taxi-cabs, the cheapness of which amazed them. There were rumours of depredation made by our men among the beautiful flower beds in the Kongens Nytor. I investigated them. There was not one valid case.

What did the visit of the squadron to Kiel mean? Germany again! Were we afraid of the Kaiser? Was an alliance to be made between the two great nations? Where did England come in? It was an arrangement, offensive and defensive, against Japan? The United States would cede the Philippines to Germany, to save those islands from the Yellow Peril? 'Germany and the United States would drive the English from the Atlantic, control the Pacific, and rule the world'—this was part of a toast drunk by some enthusiastic German-Americans at a dinner in the Hotel Bristol, which, fortunately, I had refused to attend. From a diplomatic point of view, when in doubt, one always ought to refuse a public dinner. Dinners are more dangerous to diplomatists than bombs!

My son, Gerald, now in France, arranged a glorious game of baseball between two of the crews of the squadron. Some of the American Colony said it was 'educational.' The Danes, although Mr. Cavling, editor of Politiken, gave a valuable silver vase to the winner, seemed to look on it that way rather than as an amusement. The visit of the North Carolina, the Louisiana, the Kansas and the New Hampshire made an epoch, to which Americans could always allude with justifiable pride.

Prince Hans, the 'uncle of Europe,' the elder brother of Frederick VIII., our neighbour, was very ill at the time of the visit. The dances put on the programme of a cotillion, to be directed by Mr. William Kay Wallace, then Secretary of Legation, were, of course, cancelled. Prince Hans, dying as he was, sent an attendant to the Legation, to thank my wife for her courtesy. There was great fear that His Highness would die, and thus force us to cancel our own gala dinner, and naturally put an end to all festivities on the part of the court and the navy. 'My uncle will not die until everything is over,' said Prince Gustav; 'he is too polite!' He was. He died just before the dinner given by King Frederick and Queen Louise, but the news of his death was kept back by his own request, until the dinner was over and the 'cercle' had begun; then the sad news began to be whispered.

In 1912 the English and Russian squadrons appeared in the Sound. This occasioned uneasiness. Some of the Danes asked 'did it mean a protest against the presumed alliance between the United States and Germany? Or was it an intimation to Germany that England and Russia had their eyes on Germany? As to the second question, I had no answer; as to the first, I laughed, and translated into my best Danish that such an alliance would come when 'the sea gives up its dead.' It was a curious allusion to make, in the light of horrible events that had not yet occurred; I think I got it out of one of Jean Ingelow's poems. By comparison with the glitter and gaiety of the Americans, both the English and Russians seemed sad, and their officers rather bored, too. Tea and cakes and conversation were no compensation in the eyes of the Danes, who love to dance, for the American naval bands and the claret punch of Admiral Badger's men—the navy was 'wet' then! I have no doubt, however, that the English chargé d'affaires and the Russian Minister, were not obliged to see so many lovelorn damsels, asking for the addresses or for news of various sailor men, to whom they were engaged or expected to be. Calypso ne pouvait pas consoler—for a time; but one or two marriages did actually occur! The dancing of the American officers, and the weather had been so 'marvellous'! How these enterprising sailor men managed to engage themselves to young persons who spoke no English and understood no language but Danish it was difficult to understand. They had lost no time, however, but I left the problem to the Consulate. The officers had been more discreet.

Many times before the English and Russian ships left the Sound, the question, What will the Germans do now? was asked. The Copenhageners, as I have said, like the old Athenians, are much given to the repeating of new things. 'Now all the Athenians and strangers that were there' (the Danes call diplomatists 'strangers') 'employed themselves in nothing else but either in telling or in hearing some new things,' says St. Luke. This makes Copenhagen a most amusing place, though, unlike the Athenians, the Danes only talk of new things in their moments of leisure.

One day just before the English and Russian vessels left, the question as to what Germany would do was answered. A Zeppelin from Berlin sailed over the masts of the English and Russian ships. Copenhagen was indignant, but amused. We were invited to take the trip back to Berlin in the Zeppelin—the fare was one hundred kroner, or rather marks. What could be more pacific? But the Zeppelin continued to float majestically, by preference over that space in the Sound occupied by the English and Russians. Was it a threat? Was it a notice served to these possible enemies that Germany had more powerful instruments, more insidious, more deadly, than even the great gun of the Lion which we had admired so much?

It was a portent in the sky! I reported it to my Government. It seemed significant enough.


The more I studied the relations of Germany to Denmark, the more important it seemed to me that a great nation like ours, bound by the most solemn oaths to the vindication of the cause of liberty and even to the protection of the little nations, should have a special interest in a country which deserved our respect and sympathy.

As I have said, the Danes never for a moment forgot the loss of Slesvig, and never ceased to fear the mightily growing power of which that loss had been the foundation. If Germany, whose future was on the sea, had not acquired Slesvig, would Kiel and the good Danish sailors she acquired with Slesvig, have been possible as a means of her aggrandisement?

Danish diplomatists seemed to think that Germany, now that she had created the Kiel Canal, had no further designs on Denmark, whom the Pan-Germans continued, however, to call, 'our Northern province.' This was the opinion of Hegermann-Lindencrone, of Raben-Levitzau, and I have heard a similar opinion credited to the present Danish Minister at Berlin, Count Carl Moltke, though he did not express it to me. My old friend, Count Holstein-Ledreborg, was not altogether of that opinion. 'In case of war with England, Denmark would be seized by our neighbour, naturally,' he said; 'unless we go carefully we are doomed to absorption.' Count Holstein-Ledreborg knew Germany well. He had lived in that country for many years, having shaken the dust of his native land from his soles because many of his friends and relatives—in fact, nearly all the aristocratic class in Denmark—had practically turned their backs on him on account of his political Liberalism. This he told me. He had returned, with his family, to his beautiful estate at Ledreborg, and, for a short time, became prime minister, in order to do what seemed impossible—to unite the factions in Parliament in favour of a bill for the defence of the kingdom. Against England? England had no designs. Against Russia? Russia was allied to France, and she could hardly join hands with Germany. The intentions of the Kaiser? But the Kaiser seemed to be a peaceful opportunist. Even the acute Lord Morley had more than once, in conversation, put him down as a lover of peace; but—There was always a 'but' and the General Staff of the German Army!

Study the personality of the important personages as one might, there were always these things to be considered as obstacles to clear vision:—the growing corruption of principle in the Reichstag and among the German people, if Hamburg represented them, and the point of view of the military caste. In 1911 the increasing riches—the thirst for money had become a veritable passion—of the German people seemed to indicate that one of the principal obstacles to aggression which would involve war was being rapidly removed. The difference between the American desire for money and the German was, as I was often compelled to point out, that, while the German desired great possessions to have and to hold, the American wanted them in order to use them; and, in spite of the industrious 'muck rakers,' it was evident that our enormously rich men were not hoarding their wealth for the sake of greed and selfish power as the German rich were doing. Possibly, as our Government does nothing for art or for music or for the people in need, there is a greater necessity for private benevolence than in countries where the Government subsidises even the opera. Nevertheless, the fact remains; the European rich man hoarded more than the American. And Germany, in spite of the extravagance of Berlin and the great cities, was hoarding. It was a bad sign for the world.

Of Slesvig, Prince Bismarck said in 1864, 'Dat möt wi hebben.' He was terribly in earnest, and he spoke in his own Low German. At any moment, the Kaiser might say of Denmark, 'Her must we have.' But how foolish this statement must seem to the Pacifists and all the more foolish in the mind of a Minister who ought not to be carried away by rumour or guesses or to be determined by anything but the exact truth!

It would have been foolish if, in 1911, a serious man behind the scenes could have trusted any country in the European concert to act in any way that was not for its own national ends. A damaging confession this, but the truth is the truth. We all know how amazed some statesmen were when President Roosevelt refused the Chinese spoil, when Cuba was restored, and promises to the Filipinos began to be kept. If Denmark should be 'assumed,' the Danish Antilles would be the property of the nation that 'assumed' it. As it was apparently to the interest of the Pan-Germans to keep the Danes in suspense, and, as most of the Danes distrusted the intentions of their neighbours, it was not well to assume that there was smoke and no fire.

Besides, were there not other powers who might find it to their advantage to prevent the Danish West Indies from falling into our hands? We were not, from 1907 to 1914, in such a state of security as we imagined, in spite of our system of peace treaties. Dans les coulisses of all countries, there was a certain amount of cynicism as to the effect of these peace treaties, and very little belief, except among the international lawyers, that anything binding or serious had been accomplished by them. After all, my business was to hoe my own row, but I listened with great respect to such men as my colleague, now the Norwegian Minister at Stockholm, Mr. Francis Hagerup, and other legal-minded men. However, I determined to make the task of saving the Islands from 'assimilation' as easy as possible for my successor or his successor. I hoped, of course, for the chance of doing something worth while for the country seemed to be mine, and President Wilson—I shall always be most grateful to him—gave me the happiness of doing humbly what I could.

In 1907 I found that the irritation caused by the attitude of our Government in the matter of the Islands had not worn away. The majority of the Danes had really never wanted to sell the Islands. 'Why should a great country like yours want to force us to sell the Danish Antilles? You pretend to be democratic, but you are really imperialists. It is not a question of money with us; it is a question of honour. Your country has approached us only on the side of money—and when you knew that our poverty consented.'

This was the substance of conservative opinion. There was a widespread distrust, especially among the upper classes in Denmark, as to our intentions. The title of a brochure written by James Parton in 1869 was often quoted against us, for the Danes have long memories. It was entitled The Danish West Indies: Are we Bound in Honour to pay for Them? 'An arrogant nation, no longer democratic' because we had seized the Philippines! It must be said that a minister desiring to make a good impression on the people had little help from the press at home. Foreign affairs were treated as of no real importance in the organs of what is called our popular opinion. The American point of view, as so well understood over all the world now, was not explained; but sensational stories describing the exaggerated splendours of our millionaires, frightful tales of lynching in the South, the creation of an American Versailles on Staten Island, which would make the Sun King in the Shades grow pale with envy, the luxuries of American ladies, were invariably reproduced in the Danish papers. President Roosevelt was looked upon as the one idealist in a nation mad for money, and even he had a tremendous fall in the estimation of the Radicals when he spoke of a Conservative democracy in Copenhagen. It was necessary to overcome a number of prejudices which were constantly being fostered, partly by our own estimate of ourselves as presented by the Scandinavian papers in extracts from our own.

Then, again, the real wealth of our people, our art and literature—which count greatly in Denmark—were practically unknown. Everything seemed to be against us. The press was either contemptuous or condescending; we were not understood.

It is true that nearly every family in Denmark had some representative in the United States, but their representatives were, as a rule, hard-working people, who had no time to give to the study of the things of the mind among us. In spite of all their misconceptions, which I proposed to dissipate to the best of my ability, I found the Danes the most interesting people I had ever come in contact with, except the French, and, I think the most civilised. There was one thing certain:—if the Danish West India Islands were so dear to Denmark that it would be a wound to her national pride to suggest the sale of them to us, no such suggestion ought to be made by an American Minister. First, national pride is a precious thing to a nation, and the more precious when that nation has been great in power, and remains great in heart in spite of its apparently dwindling importance. It was necessary, then, to discover whether the Danes could, in deference to their natural desire to see their flag still floating in the Atlantic Ocean, retain the Islands, and rule them in accordance with their ideals. Their ideals were very high. They hoped that they could so govern them that the inhabitants of the Islands might be fairly prosperous and happy under their rule. They were not averse to expending large sums annually to make up the deficit occasioned by the possession of them. The Colonial Lottery was depended upon to assist in making up this budget. The Danes have no moral objections to lotteries, and the most important have governmental sanction.

Under the administrations of Presidents Roosevelt and Taft it was useless to attempt to reopen the question. All negotiations, since the first in 1865, had failed. That of 1902, and the accompanying scandals, the Danes preferred to forget. President Roosevelt's opinion as to the necessity of our possessing the Islands was well known. In 1902 the project for the sale had been defeated in the Danish Upper House by one vote. Mr. John Hay attributed this to German influence, though the Princess Marie, wife of Prince Valdemar, a remarkably clever woman, had much to do with it, and she could not be reasonably accused of being under German domination. The East-Asiatic Company was against the sale and likewise a great number of Danes whose association with the Islands had been traditional. Herr Ballin denied that the German opposition existed; he seemed to think that both France and England looked on the proposition coldly. At any rate, he said that Denmark gave no concessions to German maritime trade that the United States would not give, and that the property of the Hamburg-American Line would be quite as safe in the hands of the United States as in those of Denmark. In 1867 Denmark had declined to sell the Islands for $5,000,000, but offered to accept $10,000,000 for St. John and St. Thomas, or $15,000,000 for the three. Secretary Seward raised the price to $7,500,000 in gold for St. Thomas, St. John and Santa Cruz. Denmark was willing to accept $7,500,000 for St. Thomas and St. John; Santa Cruz, in which the French had some rights, might be had for $3,750,000 additional. Secretary Seward, after some delay, agreed to give $7,500,000 for the two islands, St. Thomas and St. John. The people of St. John and St. Thomas voted in favour of the cession. In 1902 $5,000,000 was offered by the United States. Diligent inquiries into the failure of the sale, although the Hon. Henry White, well and favourably known in Denmark, was sent over in its interest, received the answer from those who had been behind the scenes, '$5,000,000 was not enough, unaccompanied by a concession that might have deprived the transaction of a merely mercenary character.'

At that time Germany might have preferred to see the Islands in the hands of the United States rather than in those of any other European power. It was apparently to the interest of the United States to encourage the activities of that great artery of emigration, the Hamburg-American Line. She did not believe that the United States would fail to raise the spectre of the Monroe Doctrine against either of the nations who owned Bermuda or Mauritius, if one of them proposed to place her flag over St. Thomas.

In 1892 the question of Spain's buying St. Thomas, in order to defend Puerto Rico, thrown out by an obscure journalist, was a theory to laugh at. Germany was practically indifferent to our acquisition of islands on the Atlantic coast that might possibly bring us one day in collision with either England or France. As to the Pacific, her point of view was different.

Her politicians even then cherished the sweet hope that the Irish in the United States and Canada might force the hand of our Government against 'perfidious Albion' if the slightest provocation was given. Besides, in 1868, Germany had done her worst to the Danes. She had taken Slesvig, and had ruined Denmark financially; she had made Kiel the centre of her naval hopes; she could neither assume Denmark nor borrow the $7,500,000—then a much greater sum than now—for her own purposes. I have never had reason to believe that Germany prevented the sale of the Danish Antilles in 1902.

The Congressional Examination of the scandalous rumours that might have reflected on the honour of certain Danish gentlemen and of some of our own Congressmen are a matter of record, and show no traces of any such domination. Curiously enough, there was a persistent rumour of a secret treaty with Denmark which gave the United States an option on the Islands. No such treaty existed, and no Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs of my acquaintance would have dreamed of proposing such an arrangement.

It is hardly necessary to dwell here on the value of these Islands to the United States. President Roosevelt, President Wilson, Senator Lodge, most persistently, made the necessity of possessing these islands, through legitimate purchase, very plain.

The completion of the Panama Canal increased their already great importance. If such men as Seward, Foster, Olney, Root, Hay, and our foremost naval experts considered them worth buying before the issues raised by the creation of the Panama Canal were practical, how much more valuable had they become when that marvellous work was completed! Many interests contributed to the desirability of our acquiring islands in the West Indies—every additional island being of value to us—but the great public seemed to see this as through a glass—darkly.

Puerto Rico was of little value in a strategic way without the Danish Antilles. A cursory examination of the map will show that Puerto Rico, with no harbours for large vessels and its long coast line, would offer no defences against alien forces. Naval experts had clearly seen the hopelessness of defending San Juan. Major Glassford, of the Signal Corps, in a report often quoted and carefully studied by people intelligently interested in the active enforcement of the Monroe Doctrine rather than its mere statement as a method of defence on paper, said that 'St. Thomas might be converted into a second Gibraltar.' He was right. The frightful menace of the cession of Heligoland to Germany was an example of what might happen if we failed to look carefully to the future. Besides, even those advocates of peace, right or wrong, who infested our country before the war, who were not sympathetic with the acquisition of territory, ought to have remembered that one of the best guarantees of peace was to leave nothing to fight about as far as these islands of value in our relations 'to the region of the Orinoco and the Amazon' and the Windward Passages were concerned. The German occupation of Brazil—increasing so greatly that the Brazilians were alarmed, the European prejudices, made evident during the Spanish-American War as existing in South and Central America—were all occasions for thought.

'The harbour of Charlotte Amalie,' wrote Major Glassford, writing of St. Thomas, 'and the numerous sheltered places about the island offer six and seven fathoms of water. Besides, this harbour and the roadsteads are on the southern side of the island, completely protected from the prevailing strong winds. If this place were strongly fortified and provisioned'—the number of inhabitants are small compared with Puerto Rico—'it would be necessary for an enemy contemplating a descent upon Puerto Rico to take it into account first. The location on the north-east side of the Antilles is in close proximity to many of the passages into the Caribbean Sea, and affords an excellent point of observation near the European possessions in the archipelago. It is also a centre of the West Indian submarine cable systems, being about midway between the Windward Passage and the Trinidad entrance into the Caribbean Sea.'

Other interests distracted attention from the essential value of these islands for local reasons, party reasons, which are the curse of all modern systems of government. The failure to purchase the Islands in 1892 did not discourage Senator Lodge. On March 31st, 1898, the Committee on Foreign Affairs reported a bill authorising the President to buy the Danish West India Islands for a naval and coal station. On this bill, Senator Lodge made a most interesting and valuable report, in which he said, after stating that the fine harbour of St. Thomas possessed all the required naval and military conditions—'It has been pointed out by Captain Mahan, as one of the great strategic points in the West Indies.' 'The Danish Islands,' he concluded, 'could easily be governed as a territory, could be readily defended from attack, occupy a commanding strategic position, and are of incalculable value to the United States, not only as part of the national defences, but as removing by their possession a very probable cause of foreign complications.'

My predecessors in Denmark, Messrs. Risley, Carr, Svendsen, were of this opinion. The arguments of Mr. Carr, expressed in his despatches, are invincible. Mr. O'Brien, who was minister plenipotentiary to Denmark until he was sent as ambassador to Japan, saw, as I did, in 1907, that the Danes and their Government were in no mood to accept any suggestions on the subject. However, I discussed the matter academically with each minister of Foreign Affairs, saying that the United States would make no proposition at any time which might offend the national self-respect of the Danes, that in fact, as valuable as the Islands would be to us and as expedient as it might be for the Danes to sell them to us, their Government must give some unequivocal sign that it was willing to part with them before we should seriously take up the question again. Neither Count Raben-Levitzau nor Count William Ahlefeldt-Laurvig gave me any official encouragement, though I hardly expected it as I had taken means to sound public opinion on my own account. Both Count Raben-Levitzau and Count Ahlefeldt were Liberal Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and I knew that, if there was any hope that a sale might be made, they would give me reasonable encouragement. Besides, I was doubtful whether the price—which might probably be asked—reasonable enough in my eyes and in the eyes of those European diplomatists who knew what Heligoland and Gibraltar meant to Germany and to England—would not have raised such an outcry among voters at home, who had not yet learned to weigh any transaction with a foreign Government—except commercially, in terms of dollars and cents, that another failure might have followed. It was out of the question to risk that.

Many of my friends among the more conservative of the Danes scorned the idea of the sale on any terms. Among these was Admiral de Richelieu, whose father is buried in St. Thomas, and who is the most intense of Danish patriots. If objections to the sale on the part of my best friends in Denmark had governed me, I should have despaired of it. However, my friends, like de Richelieu, felt that our Government would be glad to see the Danish West India Islands improved as far as the Danes could improve them. De Richelieu, Etatsraad Andersen—Etatsraad meaning Councillor of State—Holger Petersen, Director Cold, formerly Governor of the Islands, Hegemann, who bore the high title of Geheimekonferensraad, were among those most interested in the Islands.

Hegemann, since dead, was the only one of the group who thought that the Danish Government could never either improve the Islands socially or make them pay commercially. 'The Danes are bad colonisers,' he said. He was a man of great common-sense, of wide experience, and a philanthropist who never let his head run away with his heart. He did a great deal for technical education in Denmark. In fact, there was scarcely any movement for the betterment of the country economically in which he was not interested. He had great properties in the island of Santa Cruz; but he looked on the Danish possession of the Islands as bad for the reputation of his native country and worse for the progress of the Islands and the Islanders. 'The present Government is too mild in its treatment of the blacks,' he said; 'equality, liberty and fraternity, the motto of the ruling party, is excellent, but it will not work in the Islands.' Besides, the construction of the Panama Canal was drawing the best labourers from them. He was interested in sugar and even in sea cotton; he thought that, the tariff restrictions being removed and a market for labour made, something might be done by us towards making the Islands a profitable investment. I was entirely indifferent as to that—our great need of the Islands was not for commercial uses.

The prevailing opinion in Court circles was against the sale, based on no antagonism to the United States, but on the desire that Denmark should not lose more of its territory. The Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland were still appendages; but Iceland was always restive, and Greenland seemed, in the eyes of the Danes, to have only the value of remotely useful territory. They had been shorn of territory by England, by Sweden, and, last of all, by Germany.

Our Government, knowing well how strong the national pride was, and how reasonable, permitted me to show it the greatest consideration. When the East-Asiatic Company, which had important holdings in St. Thomas, proposed that the national sentiment should be tested, and each Danish citizen asked to make a pecuniary sacrifice for the retention of the Islands, I was permitted to express sympathy with the movement, and to assist it in every way compatible with my position.

The attempt failed. It was evident that the majority of the people, whatever were their sentiments, knew that it was impracticable to attempt to govern the Islands from such a distance. If it had been possible to retain them with honour, with justice to the inhabitants, who for a long time had been desirous of union with the United States, no amount of money would have induced Denmark to part with the last of her colonial possessions. As it was, the prospect was not at all clear.

In modern times, a man who aspires to do his duty in diplomacy must be honest and reasonably frank. To pretend to admire the institutions of a nation, to affect a sympathy one does not feel, with a view to obtaining something of advantage to one's own country, was no doubt possible when foxes were preternaturally cunning and crows unbelievingly vain, but not now. The whole question of the Islands was a matter which must be settled by the commonsense of the Danes at the expense of their sentiment; no pressure on our part could be used, short of such arguments as might point to the forcible possession of the Islands temporarily in case of war; but the fact that the United States preferred to give what seemed to be an enormous sum—(though $25,000,000 have to-day scarcely the purchasing power of the $15,000,000 demanded for the three Islands from Secretary Seward in 1867)—rather than run the risk of future unpleasant complications with a small and friendly State, showed that the intentions of our Government were on a par with its professions.

When the proposed sale of the Islands stopped, largely because Senator Sumner disliked President Johnson, and the treaty lapsed in 1870 in spite of the support of Secretary Fish, King Christian IX. wrote, in a proclamation to the people of the Danish Islands—a majority of whom had consented to the proposed sale,—'The American Senate has not shown itself willing to maintain the treaty made, although the initiative came from the United States themselves.' The king had only consented to the sale to lighten the terrible financial burdens imposed on his country by the unjust war which Germany and Austria had forced upon Denmark with a view to the theft of Slesvig; and his consent would never have been given had not Secretary Seward, the predecessor of Secretary Fish, reluctantly agreed that the vote of the inhabitants should be taken. He was more democratic than Mr. Seward.

King Christian would not sign the treaty, which gave $7,500,000 to Denmark for the two Islands of St. Thomas and St. John, until Mr. Seward consented to 'concede the vote.' The Danes were frank in admitting that their 'poverty, but not their will,' consented. 'Ready as We were to subdue the feelings of Our heart, when We thought that duty bade Us so to do,' continued the king in his proclamation, 'yet We cannot otherwise than feel a satisfaction that circumstances have relieved Us from making a sacrifice which, notwithstanding the advantages held out, would always have been painful to Us. We are convinced that You share these sentiments, and that it is with a lightened heart You are relieved from the consent which only at Our request You gave for a separation from the Danish crown.'

The king added that he entertained the firm belief that his Government, supported by the Islanders, would succeed in making real progress, and end by effacing all remembrances of the disasters that had come upon them, his overseas dominions. Affairs in the mother country did look up; the Danes developed their country, in spite of the worst climatic conditions, into a land famous for its scientific farming. A wit has said that Denmark, after the loss of Slesvig, was divided like old Gaul, itself, into three parts,—butter, eggs and bacon. The Danes, cast into a condition of moral despondency and temporal poverty, with their national pride stricken, and their soil outworn, seized the things of the spirit and made material things subservient. Religion and patriotism, developed by Bishop Grundtvig, saved the mother country; but the Islands continued to go through various stages of hope and fear. The United States was too near and Denmark too far off. Home politics were generally paramount, and each new governor was always obliged to consider the sensitiveness of his Government to the amount of expenditure allowed. There were persons in power at home who seemed to see the Islands from the point of view of Bernardin de Saint Pierre—sentimentally. The happy black men were to dance under spreading palms, gently guided by Danish Pauls and Virginias! The black men were only too willing to dance under palms, whether spreading or not, and to be guided by any idyllic persons who, leaving them the pleasures of existence, would take the trials. All the governors suffered more or less from the Rousseau-like point of view taken by the Government. Mr. Helvig Larsen was the last who was expected to be 'idyllic.' One of the fears often expressed to me was that 'the Americans would treat the blacks badly—we have all read Uncle Tom's Cabin, you know.'

Even Her Majesty, the Dowager Queen Louise, one of the best-informed women in Europe, had her doubts about our attitude to the negroes. 'You have black nurses,' Her Majesty said to me; 'why are your people, especially in the South, not more kind to their race?' Queen Louise, who was sincerely interested in the welfare of her coloured subjects, would listen to reason. I sent her the Soul of the Black, which shows unconsciously why social equality in this case would be undesirable, but not until Booker Washington's visit did Her Majesty understand the attitude that sensible Americans, who know the South, take on the subject of the social equality of our coloured fellow-citizens. During my stay in Europe this matter was frequently discussed.

Some of my German colleagues politely insinuated that 'democracy' was little practised in a country where a President could be severely censured for inviting a coloured man of distinction to lunch. And nearly all the Danes of the modern school took this point of view. The naval officers, who are always better informed as to foreign conditions than most other men, readily understood that social equality assumes a meaning in the United States which would imply the probability of what is known as 'amalgamation.' While the German critic of our conditions might very well understand the impossible barrier of caste in his own country and object to 'permanent marriages' with women of the inferior 'yellow' races, he seemed to think that the laws in some of the United States against the marriages of blacks and whites were un-Christian and illogical.

'But you would not encourage such marriages?' I asked of one of the most distinguished Danes at the Copenhagen University.

'Why not?' he asked.

From my point of view, the case was hopeless. And every now and then an extract from an American paper, containing the account of a lynching with all the gruesome details described, would be translated into Danish. I never believed in censoring the press until I came to occupy a responsible position in Denmark. I confess, mea culpa!—that I wanted many times to have the right to say what should or should not be reprinted for foreign consumption! The newspapers seemed to have no regard for the plans of the diplomatists, believing news is news! There will always be the irrepressible conflict!

One of my wife's friends in Denmark, the late Countess Rantzau, born of the famous theatrical family of the Poulsens, who was well-read, and who knew her Europe well, produced one day an old embroidered screen for my benefit. There were the palms; there was an ancient African with a turban on his very woolly head; there was a complacent young person in stiff skirts seated at his feet, looking up to him with adoring eyes. 'Antique?' I asked, preparing to admire the work of art; the tropical foliage of acanthus leaves was so flourishing in the tapestry, and the luncheon had been so good!

'It is not as a work of art that I show it to the American Minister, but to let him know that we Danes love the virtues of the blacks. This is Uncle Tom and Little Eva!'

It was intended to soften a hard heart!

In October 1910 Mr. Andrew Carnegie telegraphed that Mr. Booker Washington would pay a visit to Denmark. I had met Mr. Booker Washington with Mr. Richard Watson Gilder in New York, and I admired him very greatly. However, I felt that I should be embarrassed by his visit, as I knew both King Frederick and Queen Louise were interested in him and would not only expect me to present him, but likewise—they were the fine flowers of courtesy—wish my wife and myself to dine at Amalieborg Palace with him. When Admiral Bardenfleth, the queen's chamberlain, came to inquire as to when Mr. Booker Washington should arrive, I suggested that Her Majesty, who had often shown her high appreciation of Mr. Washington's work, might like to talk with him informally, as I knew that she had many questions to ask, and that he himself would be more at his ease if I were not present. The Admiral thanked me. I said the same thing to the Master of Ceremonies of the Court when he came on behalf of the king.

For charm of manner, ease, the simplicity that conceals the perfection of social art, and at least apparent sympathy with one's difficulties, let the high officials of the Court of Denmark be commended! The Master of Ceremonies was delighted. Their Majesties would miss me from the introduction and regret that Mrs. Egan and I would not be present at the dinner, which, however, would be earlier than usual, as I had said that Mr. Booker Washington must catch a train; it would also be very unceremonious. His Majesty would ask only his immediate entourage.

I was pleased with myself (a fatal sign by the way!); Mr. Washington would have all the honour due him. I arranged to attend his lecture, with all the Americans I could collect. I sent the landau with two men on the box, including the magnificent Arthur and the largest cockades, to meet Mr. Washington. In 1910, King Frederick used only carriages and the diplomatists followed his example, though some of a more advanced temperament had taken to motor cars. Mr. Washington was pleased. He loved the landau and the cockades, and Arthur, our first man, who had been 'in diplomacy twenty-five years,' treated him with distinction.

'You have honoured my people and my work most delicately,' he said to me. 'I thank you for sending me the king's invitation to dinner to the Hôtel d'Angleterre. Too much public talk of this honour in the United States would do my people and myself much harm. I will make, in print, an acknowledgment of your courtesy, so effective and so agreeable. To have my work recognised in this manner by the most advanced Court in Europe is indeed worth while, and to have this honour without too much publicity is indeed agreeable.'

Mr. Washington's lecture had been a great success. It had helped, too, to do away with the impression that lynching is to the Americans of North America what bull fights are to those of South America. The most awkward question constantly put to me at Court and in society was, 'But why do you lynch the black men?'

Filled with satisfaction at the result of my machinations (a bad state of mind, as I have said), I was bending over my desk one morning when two correspondents of American newspapers were announced. They came from London; I had met them both before.


'Yes. We do not want to give you trouble, Mr. Minister; you were very decent to us all in the Cook affair, but we shall make a good story out of this Booker Washington visit, and we think it is only fair to say that we are going to 'feature' you. There is nothing much doing now, and we've been asked to work this thing up. We know on the best authority that the king will give a dinner to Booker Washington; you will respond with a reception; Mrs. Egan will be taken in to dinner by Mr. Washington; there will be lots of ladies there—in a word, we'll get as big a sensation out of it as the newspapers did out of the Roosevelt-Booker Washington incident. It will do you good in the North, and, as you're a Philadelphian, you need not care what the South thinks.'

These gentlemen meant to be kind; they were dropping me into a hole kindly, but they were letting me into a hole!

'It is not a question as to how I feel,' I said; 'it is a question of raising unpleasant discussions, of injuring the coloured people by holding out false hopes, which, hurried into action, excite new prejudices against them. President Roosevelt, when he invited Booker Washington to lunch, acted as I should like to act now, but I would regret the ill-feeling raised by discussions of such an incident as greatly as he regretted it; but,' I added, 'you have your duty to your papers, which must have news, although the heavens fall. If my wife is taken in to dinner by Mr. Booker Washington at Court, if I give the reception you speak of——'

'You will,' said the elder newspaper man, joyously; 'it is a matter of rigid etiquette. We have a private tip!'

'Very well, when I do these things, I shall not complain if you headline them.'

'Sensation in Denmark,' he read, from a slip. 'Wife of American Minister is taken in to Dinner by Representative Coloured Man. Perfect Social Equality Exemplified by Reception to Mr. Booker Washington at American Legation! London will like you all the better for that,' he said, laughing.

'As "tout Paris" liked President Roosevelt,' I answered.

I shivered a little. 'Come to lunch to-morrow, but do not let us talk on this subject. If I am compelled by etiquette, as you insist I shall, I'll swallow the headlines. I shall ask Mr. Hartvig of some London papers and the New York World to meet you.' And off they went!

If I were a Spartan person and really loved to perform my duties in the most idealistic way, I should have treated the situation greatly, nobly, and unselfishly; I should not have been pleased at the prospect of cheating my journalistic friends out of a good story; but, not being Spartan and really not loving difficult duties, I felt that I had done enough in giving them a luncheon worthy of the reputation of our Legation, with sole à la Bernaise and the best Sauterne.

Mr. Washington called before he went to the king's dinner; he was all smiles, and his evening suit was perfect. He said 'good-bye,' and I was thankful that the event of his visit was over; he was not only satisfied, but radiant and grateful.

Consul-General Bond and his wife, Dr. Brochardt, of the Library of Congress, and several other interesting people were to come in, to dine and to play bridge this evening. I fancied the disappointment of the newspaper men when they should arrive, to find no reception in progress and no Booker Washington. I think I told my guests of the remarkably clever way—I hope I did not use that phrase—by which they had been outwitted.

We were about to go into the drawing-room for coffee when a card was brought in. 'Mr. Booker Washington.' Some of the guests, those from the South especially, wanted to see him; but I trembled when I imagined the scene that would meet the reporters, who were, I knew, sure to come about nine o'clock. The drawing-room would be brilliantly lighted, half a dozen charming ladies in evening gowns would be there, surrounding the eminent apostle! Enter the writers, and then would follow an elaborate sketch of the social function to be described as a New Step in Social Evolution, the Dawn of a New Day, a Symbol of Entire Social Equality. I knew that the elder newspaper man, a friend of Stead's, was quite capable of all this!

'Coffee will be served in my study,' I said, not waiting to consult my wife. 'I will see Mr. Washington, at least for a moment, alone.'

The group of guests moved off reluctantly. Mr. Washington waited in the back drawing-room, where both the Kaiser and Colonel Roosevelt had once stood, though at different times. His train would be late; he came in the fulness of his heart, to tell me that King Frederick and Queen Louise had been most sympathetic. He was enthusiastic about the discernment and commonsense of Queen Louise, who had read his book and followed every step of his work with great interest. 'I was glad to have Her Majesty know that the best men of my race are with me, that the opposition to me comes, not from the whites, but from that element in my own race which wants to enjoy the luxuries of life and its leisure without working! I thank you again, Mr. Minister, for arranging this affair in such a way as to preserve my dignity and to prevent me from appearing as if I were vain; yet I am legitimately proud of the great honour I have received. I shall now go to my hotel, and arrange for my departure.'

'I have ordered the carriage,' I said.

Just then, the footman threw the doors open, and in came the two newspaper men, resplendent as a starry night, one wearing a Russian decoration.

'Alone?' he said.

'With Dr. Booker Washington.'

'The reception?'

'Dr. Booker Washington has just come to describe his dinner at the Court. Let me present you two gentlemen. Dr. Washington has little time; if you will accompany him to the hotel, he will, I am sure, give you an interview. Mr. Hartvig of the New York World will be present, too.'

'Stung!' said the younger newspaper man.

'Lunch with me to-morrow,' I said; 'I have some white Bordeaux.'

Dr. Washington gave a prudent interview and the incident was closed. May he rest in peace. He was a great man, a modest, intelligent and humble man, and no calumny can lessen his greatness.

This is a digression to show that the social question in the United States, much as it might have seemed to people who looked on Denmark as entirely out of our orbit, had its importance in the affair of the purchase of the Islands, which then interested me more than anything else in the world.

Pastor Bast was the only Methodist clergyman in Copenhagen. His good works are proverbial and not confined to his own denomination. The Methodists were few; indeed, I think that even Pastor Bast's children were Lutherans. Having recommended one of his charities, I was asked by a very benevolent Dane:

'Are the Methodists really Christians in America?'

'Why do you ask that question?'

'I have read that there is a division in their ranks because most of them refuse to admit black people on equal terms. If that is so, I cannot help Pastor Bast's project, although I can see that it has value.'

It was in vain to explain the difference of opinion on the 'Afro-American question' which separated the Northern and Southern Methodists; he could not understand it. I hope, however, that Pastor Bast received his donation.

In August 1910, the unrest in Europe, reflected in Denmark, was becoming more and more evident. The diplomatic correspondents during the succeeding years—some of it has been made public—showed this.

Japan, it was understood, would, with the Mexican difficulty, keep the United States out of any entanglements in Europe. So sure were some of the distinguished Danes of our neutrality in case of war—a contingency in which nobody in the United States seemed to believe—that I was asked to submit to my Government, not officially, a proposal to Denmark for the surrender of Greenland to us, we to give, in return, the most important island in the Philippines—Mindanao. Denmark was to have the right to transfer to Germany this island for Northern Slesvig. The Danish Government had no knowledge of this plan, which was, however, presented in detail to me.

Against it was urged the necessity of Denmark's remaining on good terms with Germany. 'We could never be on good terms with our Southern Neighbour, if we possessed Slesvig; besides, the younger Danes in Slesvig are so tied up with Germany economically that their position would be more complicated. 'In fact,' this Slesviger said, 'though I hate the Prussian tyranny, I fear that our last state would be worse than our first. Germany might accept the Philippine Island, and retake Slesvig afterwards. Unless we could be protected by the Powers, we should regard the bargain as a bad one. Besides, England would never allow you to take Greenland.' It was an interesting discussion in camera.

These discussions were always informal—generally after luncheon—and very enlightening. Admiral de Richelieu, who will never die content until Slesvig is returned to Denmark, looked on the arrangement as possible.

'Germany wants peace with you; she could help you to police the Philippines; Greenland would be more valuable to you than to us,—and Slesvig would be again Danish.'

'But suppose we should propose to take the Danish Antilles for Mindanao?' I asked.

'Out of the question,' he said, firmly. 'You will never induce us to part with the West Indies. We can make them an honourable appendage to our nation; but Greenland, with your resources, might become another Alaska.'

De Richelieu is one of the best friends I have in the world; but, when it came to the sale of the Islands, he saw, not only red, but scarlet, vermilion, crimson and all the tints and shades of red!

In 1915, it seemed to me that my time had come to make an attempt to do what nearly every American statesman of discernment had, since Seward's time, wanted done. It must be remembered that, if I seem egoistical, I am telling the story from the point of view of a minister who had no arbitrary instructions from his Government, and very little information as to what was going on in the minds of his countrymen as to the expediency of the purchase. It is seldom possible to explain exactly the daily varying aspect of foreign politics in a European country to the State Department; if one keeps one's ear to the ground, one often discovers the beginning of social and political vibrations in the evening which have quite vanished when one makes a report to one's Government in the morning. Again, mails are slow; we had no pouch; any document, even when closed by the august seal of the United States might be opened 'by mistake.' Long cables, filled with minutiæ, were too expensive to be encouraged. Besides, they might be deciphered and filed by under-clerks, who probably thought that 'Dr. Cook had put Denmark on the Map,'—only that, and nothing more! I knew one thing—that my colleague, Constantin Brun, was for the sale; another, that Erik de Scavenius, the youngest Minister of Foreign Affairs in Europe, was as clever as he was patriotic and honourable, and as resourceful as audacious. He had an Irish grandfather. That explained much. Another thing I assumed—that my Government trusted me, and had given me, without explicitly stating the fact, carte blanche. However, I prepared myself to be disavowed by the State Department if I went too far. I knew that, provided I was strictly honourable, such a disavowal would mean a promotion on the part of the President. I had done my best to accentuate the good reasons given by my predecessors, especially Carr and Risley, for they were beyond denial, for our buying the Islands. One despatch I had sent off in May or June 1915, almost in despair, a despatch in which I repeated the fear of German aggression and quoted Heligoland, which had become as much a part of my thoughts and talk in private as the appearance of the head of Charles I. in that of Dickens's eccentric character.

In June 1915, no nation had the time or the leisure or the means of interfering with the project, for war means concentration, and I had found means of knowing that Germany would not coerce Denmark in the matter. I hoped and prayed that our Government would take action. I knew, not directly, but through trusted friends like Robert Underwood Johnson, lately Editor of The Century Magazine, what point of view nearly every important journal in the United States would take. Senator Lodge's views were well known; in fact, he had first inflamed my zeal. President Wilson had put himself on record in this momentous matter. Unless public opinion should balk at the price—$50,000,000 would not have been too much—the purchase would be approved of by the Senate and the House. This seemed sure.

Against these arguments was the insinuation made and widely but insidiously spread, that Germany approved the sale because she expected to borrow the amount of money paid! In June 1915, it was plain to all who read the signs of the times, that we could not long keep out of the war. 'I did not raise my boy to be a soldier' was neither really popular in the United States nor convincing, for, sad as it may seem, disheartening as it is to those who believe in that universal peace which Christ never promised, the American of the United States is a born fighter!

If the Islands were to be ours, now was the acceptable time. In Denmark, the prospect looked like a landscape set for a forlorn hope. Erik de Scavenius, democrat, even radical, though of one of the most aristocratic families in Denmark, would consider only the good of his own country. He was neither pro-German, pro-English nor pro-American. Young as he was, his diplomatic experience had led him to look with a certain cynicism on the altruistic professions of any great European nation. He relied, I think, as little as I did on the academic results of the Hague conferences.

Denmark needed money; the Government, pledged to the betterment of the poor, to the advancement of funds to small farmers, to the support of a co-operative banking system in the interest of the agriculturists, to old-age pensions, to the insurance of the working man and his support when involuntarily idle, to all those Socialistic plans that aim at the material benefit of the proletariat,[14] and in addition to this, to the keeping up of a standing army as large as our regular army before the war, now 'quasi-mobilised,'—could ill afford to sink the State's income in making up the deficit caused by the expenses of the Islands.

The Radicals, like Edward Brandès, despaired of righteously ruling their Islands on the broad, humanitarian principles they had established in Denmark. The position of the Government was so precarious that to raise the question might have serious consequences. This we all knew, and none better than Erik de Scavenius. It will be seen that the difficulties on the Danish side were greater than on ours. The price, which, reasonably enough, would be greater than that offered in previous times, would hardly be a very grave objection from the American point of view, since the war had made us more clear-minded, for our people are most generous in spending money when they see good reasons for it.

It would take much time to unravel the intricacies of Danish politics. 'Happy,' said my friend, Mr. Thomas P. Gill,[15] visiting Denmark in 1908, 'is that land which is ruled by farmers!' I have sometimes doubted this. The Conservatives naturally hated the Social Democrats, and the Government was kept in power by the help of the Social Democrats. The Conservatives would have gladly pitched the Government to Hades, if they had not had a great fear that Erik de Scavenius and perhaps Edward Brandès, the Minister of Justice, were too useful to lose during the war when the position of Denmark was so delicate. The recent elections have shown how weak the present Government is.

The Danes, as I have said, are probably the most civilised people in Europe, but an average American high school boy thinks more logically on political questions. A union of such intellectual clearness with such a paralysis of the logical, political qualities of the mind as one finds in Denmark, is almost incredible. They seem to feel in matters of politics but not to think. After a large acquaintance among the best of the young minds in Denmark, I could only conclude that this was the result of unhappy circumstances: the pessimism engendered by the nearness to Germany, the fact that the Dane was not allowed to vote until he became almost middle-aged, and the absence, in the higher schools, of any education that would cultivate self-analysis, and which would force the production of mental initiative. Sentiment was against the sale of the Islands,—therefore, the cause already seemed lost!

The press, as a rule, would be against it, but the press in Denmark, though everybody reads, has not a very potent influence. I was sure of Politiken, a journal which most persons said was 'yellow,' but which appealed to people who liked cleverness. The press, I was sure, would be against the sale largely for reasons of internal politics. The farmers would not oppose the sale as a sale—in itself—the possession of a great sum of money, even while it remained in the United States, meant increased facilities for the import of fodder, etc., but J. C. Christensen, their leader, must be reckoned with. There were local questions. Politics is everywhere a slippery game, but in Denmark it is more slippery than anywhere else in the world, not even excepting in, let us say, Kansas.

J. C. Christensen had stubbed his toe over Alberti, who had, until 1908, been a power in Denmark, and who, in 1915, was still in the Copenhagen jail. He had been prime minister from 1905 until Alberti's manipulation of funds had been discovered in 1908. Under the short administration of Holstein-Ledreborg, he had been Minister of Worship, but he smarted over the accident which had driven him undeservedly out of office. Socialism, curious as it may seem to Americans, is not confined to the cities in Denmark. It thrives in the farmlands. In the country, the Socialists are more moderate than in the cities. In the country, Socialism is a method of securing to the peasant population the privileges which it thinks it ought to have. It is a pale pink compared with the intense red of the extreme urban Internationalists. J. C. Christensen represented the Moderates as against the various shades of Left, Radical and Socialistic opinions. Besides J. C. Christensen, though his reputation was beyond reproach, needed, perhaps, a certain rehabilitation, and he had a great following. A further complication was the sudden rise of violent opposition to the Government because of the decision made by the secular authorities in favour of retaining in his pulpit Arboe Rasmussen, a clergyman who had gone even further towards Modernism in his preaching than Harnack. However, as the Bishops of the Danish Lutheran Church had accepted this decision, it seemed remarkable that an opposition of this kind should have developed so unexpectedly.

In June 1915, my wife and I were at Aalholm, the principal castle of Count Raben-Levitzau. I was hoping for a favourable answer to my latest despatch as to the purchase of the Islands. A visit to Aalholm was an event. The Count and Countess Raben-Levitzau know how to make their house thoroughly agreeable. Talleyrand said that 'no one knew the real delights of social intercourse who had not lived before the French Revolution.' One might easily imitate this, and say, that if one has never paid a visit to Aalholm, one knows little of the delights of good conversation. Count Raben's guests were always chosen for their special qualities. With Mr. and Mrs. Francis Hagerup, Señor and Señora de Riaño, Count and Countess Szchenyi,[16] Chamberlain and Madame Hegermann-Lindencrone, Mrs. Ripka, and the necessary additional element of young folk, one must forget the cares of life. During this visit, there was one care that rode behind me in all the pleasant exclusions about the estate. It constantly asked me: What is your Government thinking about? Will the President's preoccupations prevent him from considering the question of the purchase? Does Mr. Brun, the Danish Minister, fear a political crisis in his own country? It is difficult to an American at home to realise how much in the dark a man feels away from the centre of diplomacy, Washington, especially when he has once lived there for years and been in touch with all the tremulous movements of the wires.

One day at Aalholm, the telephone rang; it was a message from the Clerk of the Legation, Mr. Joseph G. Groeninger of Baltimore. I put Clerk with a capital letter because Mr. Groeninger deserved diplomatically a much higher title. During all my anxieties on the question of the purchase, he had been my confidant and encourager; the secretaries had other things to do. The message, discreetly voiced in symbols we had agreed upon, told me that the way was clear. Our Government was willing,—secrecy and discretion were paramount necessities in the transaction.

Returning to Copenhagen, I saw the Foreign Minister. The most direct way was the best. I said, 'Excellency, will you sell your West Indian Islands?'

'You know I am for the sale, Mr. Minister,' he said, 'but—' he paused, 'it will require some courage.'

'Nobody doubts your courage.'

'The susceptibilities of our neighbour to the South——'

'Let us risk offending any susceptibilities. France had rights.'

'France gave up her rights in Santa Cruz long ago; but I was not thinking of France. Besides the price would have to be dazzling. Otherwise the project could never be carried.'

'Not only dazzling,' I said, 'but you should have more than money—our rights in Greenland; His Majesty might hesitate if it were made a mere question of money. He is like his grandfather, Christian IX. You know how he hated, crippled as Denmark was in 1864, to sell the Islands.'

'You would never pay the price.'

'Excellency,' I said, 'this is not a commercial transaction. If it were a commercial transaction, a matter of material profit, my Government would not have entrusted the matter to me, nor would I have accepted the task, without the counsel of men of business. Besides, commercially, at present, the Islands are of comparatively small value. I know that my country is as rich as it is generous. It is dealing with a small nation of similar principles to its own, and with an equal pride. Unless the price is preposterous, as there is no ordinary way of gauging the military value of these Islands to us, I shall not object. My Government does not wish me to haggle. And I am sure that you will not force me to do so by demanding an absurd price. You would not wish to shock a people prepared to be generous.'

He will ask $50,000,000, I thought; he knows better than anybody that we shall be at war with Germany in less than a year. I felt dizzy at the thought of losing the Gibraltar of the Caribbean! However, I consoled myself, while Mr. de Scavenius looked thoughtfully, pencil in hand, at a slip of paper. After all, I thought, the President, knowing what the Islands mean to us, will not balk at even $50,000,000. While Mr. de Scavenius wrote, I tried to feel like a man to whom a billion was of no importance.

He pushed the slip towards me, and I read:

'$30,000,000 dollars, expressed in Danish crowns.'

The crown was then equal to about twenty-six cents.

I said, 'There will be little difficulty about that; I consider it not unreasonable; but naturally, it may frighten some of my compatriots, who have not felt the necessity of considering international questions. You will give me a day or two?'

'The price is dazzling, I know,' he said.

'My country is more generous even than she is rich. The transaction must be completed before——'

Mr. de Scavenius understood. My country was neutral then; it was never necessary to over-explain to him; he knew that I understood the difficulties in the way.

It was agreed that there should be no intermediaries; Denmark had learned the necessity of dealing without them by the experience in 1902. I was doubtful as to the possibility of complete secrecy. What the newspapers cannot find out does not exist. 'There are very many persons connected with the Foreign Office,' he said thoughtfully.

'I may say a similar thing of our State Department. I wish the necessity for complete secrecy did not exist,' I said. 'The press will have news.'

A short time after this I was empowered to offer $25,000,000 with our rights in Greenland. As far as the Foreign Office and our Legation were concerned, the utmost secrecy was preserved. There were no formal calls; after dinners, a word or two, an apparently chance meeting on the promenade (the Long Line) by the Sound. Rumours, however, leaked out on the Bourse. The newspapers became alert. Politiken, the Government organ, was bound to be discreet, even if its editor had his suspicions. There were no evidences from the United States that the secret was out. In fact, the growing war excitement left what in ordinary times would have been an event for the 'spot' light in a secondary place.

In Denmark, as the whispers of a possible 'deal' increased in number, the opponents of the Government were principally occupied in thinking out a way by which it could be used for the extinction of the Council—President (Prime Minister) Zahle, the utter crushing of the Minister of War, Peter Munch, who hated war and looked on the army as an unnecessary excrescence, and the driving out of the whole ministry, with the exception of Erik de Scavenius and, perhaps, Edward Brandès, the Minister of Finance, into a sea worthy to engulf the devil-possessed swine of the New Testament. There are, by the way, two Zahles—one the Minister, Theodore, a bluff and robust man of the people, and Herluf Zahle, of the Foreign Office, chamberlain, and a diplomatist of great tact, polish and experience.

Mr. Edward Brandès and Mr. Erik de Scavenius, interviewed, denied that there was any question of the sale. 'Had I ever spoken to Edward Brandès on the subject of the sale?' I was asked point-blank. As I had while in Copenhagen, only formal relations with the members of the Government, except those connected with the Foreign Office, I was enabled to say No quite honestly. It was unnecessary for me to deny the possession of a secret not my own, too, because, when asked if I had spoken to the Foreign Minister on the subject of the sale, I always said that I was always hoping for such an event, I had spoken on the subject to Count Raben-Levitzau, Count Ahlefeldt-Laurvig and Erik de Scavenius whenever I had a chance. I felt like the boy who avoided Sunday School because his father was a Presbyterian and his mother a Jewess; this left me out. I trembled for the fate of Mr. de Scavenius and Mr. Edward Brandès when their political opponents (some of them the most imaginative folk in Denmark) should learn the facts. A lie, in my opinion, is the denying of the truth to those who have a moral right to know it. The press had no right whatever to know the truth, but even the direct diplomatic denial of a fact to persons who have no right to know it is bound to be—uncomfortable! I was astonished that both Mr. Brandès and Mr. Scavenius had been so direct; political opponents are so easily shocked and so loud in their pious appeals to Providence! For myself, I was sorry that I could not give Mr. Albert Thorup, of the Associated Press, a 'tip.' He is such a decent man, and I shall always be grateful to him, but I was forced to connive at his losing a great 'scoop.'

The breakers began to roar; anybody but the Foreign Minister would have lost his nerve. Two visiting American journalists, who had an inkling of possibilities of the truth, behaved like gentlemen and patriots, as they are, and agreed to keep silent until the State Department should give them permission to release it. These were Mr. William C. Bullitt, of the Philadelphia Ledger, and Mr. Montgomery Schuyler, of the New York Times. The newspaper, Copenhagen, was the first to hint at the secret, which, by this time, had become a secret de Polichinelle. Various persons were blamed; the Parliament afterwards appointed a committee of examination. On August 1st, 1916, I find in my diary,—'Thank heaven! the secret is out in the United States, but not through us.' 'Secret diplomacy' is difficult in this era of newspapers. If we are to have a Secretary of Education in the cabinet of the future, why not a Secretary of the Press?

A happy interlude in the summer of 1916 was the visit of Henry Van Dyke and his wife and daughter. It was a red letter night when he came to dinner. We forgot politics, and talked of Stedman, Gilder and the elder days.

The first inkling that the secret de Polichinelle was out came from a cable in Le Temps of Paris. Mr. Bapst, the French Minister, who had very unjustly been accused of being against the sale, came to tell me he knew that the Treaty had been signed by Secretary Lansing and Mr. Brun in Washington. I was not at liberty to commit myself yet, so I denied that the Treaty had been signed in Washington. Mr. Bapst sighed; I knew what he thought of me; but I had told the truth; the Treaty had been signed in New York.

Sir Henry Lowther, the British Minister, was frankly delighted that the question of the Islands was about to be opened. Irgens, formerly Minister of Foreign Affairs in Norway, and a good friend to the United States, shook his head. 'If Norway owned islands, we would never give them up,' he said; but he was glad that they were going to us. The other colleagues, including Count Brockdorff-Rantzau, the German Minister, were occupied with other things. Count Rantzau was desirous of keeping peace with the United States. I think that he regarded war with us as so dangerous as to be almost unthinkable. I found Count Rantzau a very clever man; he played his game fairly. It was a game, and he was a colleague worth any man's respect. He is one of the most cynical, brilliant, forcible diplomatists in Europe, with liberal tendencies in politics. If he lives, he ought to go far, as he is plastic and sees the signs of the times. I found him delightful; but he infuriated other people. One day, when he is utterly tired of life, he will consciously exasperate somebody to fury, in order to escape the trouble of committing suicide himself.

The plot thickened. The ideas of the Foreign Office were, as a rule, mine—but here there was sometimes an honest difference. I was willing to work with the Foreign Office, but not under it. De Scavenius never expected this, but I think it was sometimes hard for him to see that I could not, in all details, follow his plans. Nothing is so agreeable as to have men of talent to deal with; and I never came from an interview with de Scavenius or Chamberlain Clan, even when, perhaps, de Scavenius did not see my difficulties clearly, without an added respect for these gentlemen.

The air was full of a rumour that the United States, suspected in Europe, in spite of the fair treatment of Cuba and the Philippines, of imperialism, had made threats against Denmark, involving what was called 'pressure.' Whether it was due to enemy propaganda or not, the insinuation that the Danish West Indies would be taken by force, because Denmark was helpless, underlay many polite conversations.

'The United States would not dare to oblige France or England or a South American Republic to give up an island. She does not attempt to coerce Holland; but in spite of the pretensions to altruism, she threatens Denmark.'

This was an assertion constantly heard. The charges of imperialism made in our newspapers against some of the 'stalwart' politicians who were supposed to have influenced President McKinley in older days, were not forgotten. Letters poured in, asking if it were possible that I had used threats to the Danish Government.

The Danish politicians were turning their ploughshares into swords. On August 4th the Rigstag went into 'executive session.' Chamberlain Hegermann-Lindencrone still heartily approved of the sale. He had, he said, tried to arrange it, under President McKinley's administration, through a hint from Major Cortelyon when he was in Paris. The attitude of the press became more and more evident. Mr. Holger Angelo, one of the best 'interviewers' in the Danish press, and very loyal to his paper, the National News (National Tidende), came to see me. Personally, he was desirous not to wound me or to criticise the conduct of my Government; but he was strongly against the sale, yet he could find no valid arguments against it. He was obliged to admit reluctantly that the only ground on which his paper could make an attack was the denial of the Cabinet Ministers that any negotiations had existed. This was the line all the opposition papers would follow.

Nobody would say that the purchase had been negotiated on any grounds unfavourable to the national sensibilities of the Danes. Even Admiral de Richelieu admitted that neither my Government nor myself had failed to give what help could be given to his plans for improving the economic conditions of the Islands.

On August 10th the debate in the Rigstag showed, as had been expected, that Mr. J. C. Christensen, who held the balance of power, would demand a new election under the New Constitution. A furious attack was made on Messrs. Brandès and de Scavenius for having denied the existence of negotiations. All this was expected. Nobody really wanted a new election. It was too risky under war conditions.

Suddenly the rumour was revived that the British Fleet would break the neutrality of Denmark by moving through the Great Belt, and that the United States was secretly preparing to send its fleet through the Belt to help the British. The reason of this was apparent: every rumour that corroborated the impression that the United States would become a belligerent injured the chances of the sale. Such delay, to my knowledge, was an evil, since the continued U-boat horror made a war imminent. In spite of all optimism, advice from the American Embassy at Berlin, direct and indirect, pointed that way. The crisis would no doubt be delayed—this was our impression—but it must come. Count Brockdorff-Rantzau hoped to the last that it might be avoided, and Prince Wittgenstein of his Legation, who knew all sides, seemed to believe that a conflict with the United States might yet be avoided. And there was still a dim hope, but it became dimmer every day, so that my desire to expedite matters became an obsession.

On August 12th, J. C. Christensen seemed to hold the Folkerting (the Lower House) in the hollow of his hand. He moved to appeal to the country, and to leave the question of a sale to a new Rigstag. This meant more complications, more delay, and perhaps defeat through the threatening of the war clouds. J. C. Christensen's motion was defeated by eleven votes.

On August 14th it was concluded that the quickest and least dangerous way of securing assent to the sale was by an appeal to the people, not through a general election, but through a plebiscite, in which every man and woman of twenty-nine would vote, under the provisions of the New Constitution.

The Landsting (the Upper House) held a secret meeting. If a coalition ministry should not be arranged and the motion for a plebiscite should fail, there would certainly be a general election. This would, I thought, be fatal, as it would probably mean a postponement of the sale until after the close of the war. In the meantime, we heard the German representatives of the Hamburg-American Line at St. Thomas were carrying on 'some unusual improvements.' These activities, begun without the knowledge of the Governor, who was then in Denmark, were stopped by the Minister of Justice, Mr. Edward Brandès, when the knowledge of them was brought to the Danish Government. On August 15th I was convinced that one of the most important men in Denmark, indeed in Europe, Etatsraad H. N. Andersen, of the East Asiatic Company, approved of the sale. This I had believed, but I was delighted to hear it from his own lips.

Political confusion became worse. In some circumstances the Danes are as excitable as the French used to be. It looked, towards the end of August, as if the project of the sale was to be a means of making of Denmark, then placid and smiling under a summer sun, a veritable seething cauldron. The gentlemen of the press enjoyed themselves. I, who had the reputation of having on all occasions a bonne presse, fell from grace. I had not, it is true, concealed the truth by diplomatic means, as had Mr. Edward Brandès and Mr. Erik de Scavenius, but I had talked 'so much and so ingenuously' to the newspaper men, as one of them angrily remarked, that they were sure a man, hitherto so frank, had nothing to conceal; and yet there had been much concealed.

The Opposition, which would have been pleasantly horrified to discover any evidence of bribery, or, indeed, any evidence of the methods by which our Legation had managed its side of the affair (they hoped for the worst), could discover very little; when they called on de Scavenius to show all the incriminating documents in the case, they found there was nothing incriminating, and the documents were the slightest scraps of paper.

Knowing how far away our Department of State was, how busy and how undermanned, owing to the attitude which Congress has hitherto assumed towards it, I acted as I thought best as each delicate situation arose, always arranging as well as I could not to compromise my Government, and to give it a chance to disavow any action of mine should it be necessary. I had found this a wise course in the Cook affair. I had resolved to take no notice of Dr. Cook, until the Royal Danish Geographical Society determined to recognise him as a scientist of reputation.

When Commander Hovgaard, who had been captain of the king's yacht, asked me to go with the Crown Prince, President of the Geographical Society, to meet the American explorer, I went; but my Government was in no way committed. In fact, President Taft understood the situation well; receiving no approval of Dr. Cook from me, he merely answered Dr. Cook's telegram, congratulating him on 'his statement.' I must say that, when the Royal Geographical Society received Cook, no word of disapproval from any American expert had reached our Legation or the Geographical Society itself. The Society, with no knowledge of the Mount McKinley incident, behaved most courteously to an American citizen who appeared to have accomplished a great thing. The only indication that made me suspect that Dr. Cook was not scientific was that he spoke most kindly of all his—may I say it?—step-brother scientists! But, as I had accompanied the Crown Prince, in gratitude for his kind attention to a compatriot, I felt sure that a wise Department would only, at the most, reprimand me for exceeding the bounds of courtesy.

Suddenly a crashing blow struck us; Edward Brandès, in the midst of a hot debate, in which he and de Scavenius were fiercely attacked, announced that the United States was prepared to exert 'friendly pressure.' Brandès is too clever a man to be driven into such a statement through inadvertence; he must have had some object in making it. What the object was I did not know—nobody seemed to know. Even de Scavenius seemed to think he had gone too far, for whatever were the contents of Minister Brun's despatches, it was quite certain that neither he nor our Government would have allowed a threat made to Denmark involving the possession of her legitimately held territory to become public.

Something had to be done to avoid the assumption that we were no more democratic than Germany. 'We wanted the territory from a weaker nation; we were prepared to seize it, if we could not buy it! We Americans were all talking of the rights of the little nations. Germany wanted to bleed France, and she took Belgium after having insolently demanded that she should give up her freedom. We, the most democratic of nations, prepared to pay for certain Islands; but if it was not convenient for a friendly power to sell her territory, we would take it.' This was the inference drawn from Mr. Edward Brandès' words in Parliament. I could not contradict a member of the Government, and yet I was called on, especially by Danes who had lived in the United States, to explain what this 'pressure' meant.

Many Danish women who approved of the social freedom of American women, but mistrusted our Government's refusing them the suffrage, took the question up with me. 'Pressure et tu Brute!' The women were to vote in the plebiscite. Some of their leaders balked at the word 'pressure,' but a country which had hitherto refused the suffrage to American women was capable of anything. Mr. Edward Brandès had performed a great service to his country in letting out some of the horrors of our secret diplomacy. Mr. Constantin Brun, whose loyalty to his own country I invoked in these interviews, was, they said, 'corrupted' in the United States; he was more American than the Americans! I should have much preferred to be put in the 'Ananias Society' so suddenly formed of Mr. Brandès and Mr. de Scavenius than to have myself set down as an imperialist of a country as arrogant as it was grasping, which not only threatened to seize Danish territory, but which, while pretending to hold the banner of democracy in the war of nations, deprived the best educated women in the world (Mrs. Chapman Catt had said so) of their inalienable right to vote!

Fortunately, I had once lectured at the request of some of the leading suffragists. Bread cast upon the waters is often returned, toasted and buttered, by grateful hands. Madame de Münter—wife of the Chamberlain—and Madame Gad, wife of the Admiral, were great lights in the Feminist movement.

Madame Gad is a most active, distinguished and benevolent woman of letters. There were others, too, who felt that there must be some redeeming features in a condition of society which produced a Minister who was so devoted to woman suffrage as I was (as my wife gave some of the best dinners in Denmark, nobody expected her to go beyond that!). To Madame de Münter I owed much good counsel and a circle of defenders; to Madame Gad (if we had an Order of Valiant Women, I should ask that she be decorated), I am told I owe the chance that helped to turn the women's vote in our favour, and induced many ladies, who were patriotic traditionalists, to abstain from voting. The general opinion, as far as I could gauge it—and I tried to get expert testimony—was that the women's vote would be against us.

The National News (National Tidende) had never been favourable to the United States, though personally I had no reason to complain of it. It was moderate in politics, not brilliant, but very well written. The virtue of its editor was outraged by the denial of the two Ministers that negotiations for the sale of the Islands had been in process. This position in defence of the truth edified the community. 'Truth, though the heavens fall!' was his motto; he kept up a fusillade against the sale. Except that one of my interviews had been unintentionally misquoted, I had hitherto been out of the newspapers—though I was no longer, in the opinion of the whole press, the sweet and promising young poet of sixty-five who had written sonnets—now I was forced in.

An interview appeared triumphantly in the National News. It was attributed to one of the most discreet officials of the State Department. It denied 'pressure,' which would have pleased me, if it had not also contradicted my repeated statement that the Senate of the United States would not adjourn without ratifying the treaty. It was a blow. I questioned at once the authenticity of the interview. The Senate, I had said, would ratify the treaty before the end of the session. The Danish Foreign Office and the public took my word for it. Unless I could get a disavowal of the interview by cable, it would seem that the Department of State was not supporting me. The Foreign Office itself, with the problem of our entering the war before it, was beginning to be disheartened. The authenticity of the interview meant failure, the triumph of the enemies of the sale! After a brief interval, a denial of the interview, which had been fabricated in London, came to our Legation. There was joy in Nazareth, but it did not last long.

With the permission of the Foreign Office, I prepared to give this very definite denial from our State Department to the press. It was a busy evening. The staff of the Legation was small, and the necessity of sending men to the Rigstag to watch the debate in the Landsting, where the treaty was being considered, of gathering information, and of translating and copying important documents relating to the Islands for transmission to the United States, strained our energies. Moreover, the Secretary of Legation, Mr. Alexander Richardson Magruder, had just been transferred to Stockholm. Mr. Joseph G. Groeninger, the Clerk, who knew all the details relating to the affair of the Islands, was up to his eyes in work. Mr. Cleveland Perkins, the honorary attaché, was struggling heroically with Danish reports, and I was at the telephone receiving information, seeing people, and endeavouring to discover just where we stood. A most trustworthy—but inexperienced—young man was in charge of the downstairs office, where Mr. Groeninger, the omniscient, usually reigned. I telephoned to him a memorandum on the subject of 'pressure' which the bogus interview had denied. It was a quotation from the 'interview,' to be made the subject of comment, and then the denial. Both of these were sent up on the same piece of typewritten paper, and O.K.ed by me, as a matter of routine. It was not until late in the night that the young man discovered that a mistake had been made. He was most contrite, though the mistake was my fault and due to thoughtlessly following the usual routine. He telephoned at once to the National News and to the other newspapers explaining that he had made a mistake. The National News preferred to ignore his explanation. The opportunity of accusing the Ministry of further duplicity was too tempting. De Scavenius had lied again, and I had connived at it. The denial of the Washington telegram was 'faked' by the American Minister in collusion with the Minister of Foreign Affairs! It must be admitted that Politiken, edited by the terribly clever Cavling, had driven the slower-witted National Tidende to desperation. I had a bad morning; then I resolved to draw the full fire of the National News on myself. I owed it to de Scavenius, who had become rather tired of being called a liar in all the varieties of rhetoric of which Copenhagen slang is capable. From the American point of view, after I had made my plan, it was amusing—all the more amusing, since, after the first regret that I had unwittingly added to the opera bouffe colour of the occasion, I saw that the National Tidende would become so abusive against me, that I should soon be an interesting victim of vituperative persecution. I repeated calmly the truth that the 'interview' was a fabrication, adding that I had no intention to attack the honour of the National Tidende; it had been deceived; I merely wanted it understood that my Government was not in the habit of contradicting its responsible representatives (Politiken kindly added that the National Tidende had received its information from the 'coloured door-keeper at the White House'). More fire and fury signifying nothing! The most elaborate frightfulness in print missed its mark, as nobody at the Legation had time to translate the rhetoric of the Furies, and besides, the National Tidende had no case. As I hoped, the diplomatic sins of the Foreign Office in keeping the secret were forgotten in the flood of invective directed against me. The result was expressed in my diary:—'The row has proved a help to the treaty; I did not know I had so many friends in Denmark. My hour of desolation was when I feared that somebody in the State Department had permitted himself to be interviewed. It was a dark hour!' After this tempest in a tea-pot, all talk about 'pressure' ceased; the air was, at least, clear of that—and I thanked heaven.

September came in; the debates in the Rigstag continued. Various papers were accused of having prematurely divulged the secret—especially Copenhagen. It was amusing—the secret among business men had long before the revelation of Copenhagen become an open secret. In fact, one of these gentlemen had come to me and informed me of the various attitudes of people on the Bourse; at the Legation, we never lacked secret information. The debate, as everybody knew, and the threat of an investigation of the responsibility for letting out the secret was a bit of comedy, probably invented for the provinces, for a Copenhagener is about as easily fooled as a Parisian.

On September 9th, I had one of the greatest pleasures I have ever experienced. I announced to the Foreign Office that the treaty had been ratified, without change, by the Senate. Still the Opposition made delays. The Foreign Minister did all in his power to expedite matters. It was hoped that charges of 'graft' could be developed against the Ministers. 'If you had had a bonne presse, as usual,' a candid friend said to me, 'you might have been accused of bribing. As it is, the National Tidende attitude showed that you never offered that paper any money!'

'As much as I regret the attitude of the National Tidende,' I said, 'I could as soon imagine myself taking a bribe as of the editor's accepting one. The attack was a great advantage to me.'

'You Yankees turn everything to your advantage,' the candid friend said.

On September 27th, Ambassador and Mrs. Gerard arrived. It was a red letter day. Mr. Gerard showed the strain of his work, but, like all good New Yorkers, was disposed 'to take the goods the gods provided' him—one of them was a dinner at the Legation of which he approved. Praise from Brillat-Savarin would not have delighted us more than this. The Legation, to use the diplomatic phrase, threw themselves at the feet of Mrs. Gerard. Gerard deserved the title, given him by the Germans, of 'the most American of American Ambassadors.' Mrs. Gerard was cosmopolitan, with an American charm, but also with a touch of the older world that always adds to the social value of an ambassadress. I had arranged, in advance of Judge Gerard's coming, a luncheon with my colleague across the street, Count Brockdorff-Rantzau. It was interesting. Mr. and Mrs. Swope were present, Their Serene Highnesses the Prince and Princess Sayn Wittgenstein-Sayn, Count Wedel, and, I think, Dr. Toepffer. Judge Gerard told me that he spoke little French, but he got on immensely well with Count Rantzau, who spoke no English. Count Wedel, with his love for Old Germany, of the Weimar of Goethe, of the best in literature, will, I trust, live to see a happier new order of things in his native country. The Wittgensteins were charming young people. The Prince was connected with almost every great Russian, French and Italian family. If ambassadors are not put out of fashion by the new order of things, the Princess, closely connected with important families of England, would be a fortunate ambassadress to an English-speaking country. Peace ought to come to men of good-will, and I am persuaded that there are men of good-will in Germany.

September, October, even December came in, and the political factions still fought, ostensibly about the sale, but really for control, Copenhageners said, of the $25,000,000! Every chance was taken to delay the matter until after the war. German propaganda and bribing was talked of, but there was no evidence of it. In my opinion, it was largely a question as to who should spend the $25,000,000. In a Monarchy such a horror was to be expected naturally! In a Republic like ours, the patriotic Republicans would cheerfully see the equally patriotic Democrats control the funds, but, then, Republics are all Utopias, the lands of the Hope fulfilled! All this was amusing to many observers—embarrassing and humiliating to Danes who respected reasonable public opinion and the dignity of their country. It was terrible to me who saw the war coming, for Mr. Gerard and my private informants in Germany left me in no doubt about that. Even Count Szchenyi, always for peace, and with us in sympathy, declared that 'the U-boat war would go on, not to crush England, but as part of the Germanic League to enforce Peace.' And the use of the U-boat meant war for us!

On all sides, I was told that the women's votes would be against the sale. It was not unreasonable to believe that ladies, just emancipated, would vote against their late lords and masters, at least for the first time. Besides, as Mrs. Chapman Catt had made very clear during her fateful visit to Denmark, the liveliest, the most reasonable, the most intellectual women in the world were deprived by the unjust laws of the country that wanted the Islands of the right to vote. Even the fact that Mr. Edward Brandès, a noted ladies' man, was on the side of the angels, might have no effect. He began to be tired of the whole thing. He hoped, I really believe, that the Islands would settle the question and sink into the sea! We must have the women's vote. Madame Gad helped to save the day.

'You will, in your annual conférence,' she said to me, 'explain the position of the American women, and your words will be reprinted, not only all over Denmark, but throughout Sweden and Norway. The editor of Politiken will give you his famous "Politiken Hus," and your words will make good feeling.'

'I can honestly say,' I answered, 'that I want the women to vote. In fact, in my country, they have only to want the suffrage badly enough to have it! It is the fault of their own sex, not of ours, if they do not get it!'

It was agreed that I should speak on 'The American Woman and her Aspirations,' at Politiken Hus, on the evening of December 5th. The proceeds were to go to charity. And I never knew, until I began to prepare my lecture, how firmly I believed that Woman Suffrage was to be the salvation of the world. Without exaggeration, I believe it will be, since men have made such an almost irremediable mess of worldly affairs. My friend, the late Archbishop Spalding, once said that women had, since the deluge, been engaged in spoiling the stomach of man, and now they prepared to spoil his politics! I have some reason to believe that a report of my lecture might have converted him to higher ideals. I was told by some ladies that it had a great effect on their husbands.

In the meantime, the tardy delegates, summoned from St. Thomas and Santa Cruz, arrived. They were called simply to delay action. The Foreign Minister was heartily ashamed of the transaction on the part of his opponents; it was palpably childish. The plebiscite must be delayed as long as possible. The United States had done its part in a most prompt and generous manner. The press could give only sentimental reasons against the sale; Denmark found the Islands a burden; she wanted our rights in Greenland; she needed the $25,000,000, but her politicians were willing to risk anything rather than give the control of the money to a Ministry they were afraid to turn out. A coalition Ministry, that is, the addition of new members without portfolios to the present Ministry, was agreed to, J. C. Christensen representing the Moderate Left, Theodore Stauning, a Socialist, and two others. Nobody really wanted a general election until after the war.

On the evening of December 5th, I drove to Politiken Hus. There was a red light over the door. This meant alt udsolgt, 'standing room only.' What balm for long anxieties this! Mr. William Jennings Bryan looking at the crowded seats of a Chautauqua Meeting could not have felt prouder.

I recalled the night on which King Christian X. had asked me if I always delivered the same lecture during a season's tour in the provinces. I said, 'Yes, sir.' 'But if people come a second time?' 'Oh, they never come a second time, sir.' At least, for the first time, the red light was lit,—who cared for a second time?

The hall was crowded. Sir Ralph Paget, who seldom went out, had come, and, at some distance—Sir Ralph was of all men the most anti-Prussian—were the Prince and Princess Wittgenstein. 'All Copenhagen,' Madame Gad said, which was equivalent to 'Tout Paris.' I did my best.

At the reception afterwards at Admiral Urban Gad's, the ladies—some of them of great influence in politics—told me I had said the right things. I had the next day a bonne presse. The provincial papers all over Scandinavia reprinted the most important parts of the discourse with approval, and letters of commendation from all parts of Denmark—from ladies—came pouring in. One from a constant correspondent in Falster, a 'demoiselle,' which is a much better word than 'old maid,' who was sometimes in very bad humour with 'America,' wrote that, after what I said of the American women's position, she would like to marry an American, and that, though opposed to the sale, she and her club would refrain from voting. Her offer to marry an American has not been withdrawn. A few days after this, an American paper containing an account of a lynching in the South, with the most terrible details graphically described, reached Copenhagen. The newspaper man who brought it to me consented, after some argument, for old friendship's sake, not to release it at this inauspicious moment.

Time dragged; but the news from the provinces was consoling. The Foreign Office seemed still to be discouraged, and I am sure that Edward Brandès again wished that the Danish Antilles had suffered extinction. Even the enamelled surface of de Scavenius began to crack a little. Dilatory motions of all kinds were in order. The examination by the Parliamentary committees at which the delegates from the West Indies were present, had ceased to be even amusing. It was a farce without fun. The plebiscite could be put off no longer; on December 15th, the vote was taken. For the sale, 283,694; against the sale, 157,596. A comparatively small vote was cast. Many voters abstained. These were mostly Conservatives and Moderates. At last, it had come, but after what anxiety, doubts, fears, efforts,—but always hopes!

The Opposition proposed to continue objections to the sale of all the Islands. This would mean more appalling delays, and, with the U-boat menace increasing, failure. On December 16th, I entered the Foreign Office just as Djeved Bey, the Turkish Minister, was taking his leave; he had not been very sympathetic with the Turkish-German alliance; he was very French. After a few minutes' talk, I saw the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He looked unhappy and harassed, which was unusual. In the midst of alarms, he had always retained a certain calm, which gave everybody confidence. When the petrels flew about his head and the storms dashed, he was astonishingly courageous. To-day, he sighed. In spite of the plebiscite, he seemed to think that we were beaten. I was astonished. I had always thought that we had one quality, at least, in common—we liked embarrassing situations. I soon discovered the reason for this apparent loss of nerve.

'Would our Government agree to take less than the three Islands?'

It was plain that the Opposition, not always fair, was tiring him and Brandès out; I could understand their position, and sympathise with their discouragement, but not feel it.

'To admit a new proposition on our part would be to interfere in the interior politics of Denmark,' I said. 'The plebiscite was arranged on the question of the treaty; it meant the cession of all the Danish Islands or nothing.' The Rigstag should not prepare such a change without making a new appeal to the country. I knew it was in the power of the Rigstag to refuse to ratify the vote of the people. It would simply mean a delay of the decision if it did so. I would make no proposition to my Government for a change in the treaty; if such a proposition was seriously made, I must step down and out at once.

De Scavenius approved of what I said. I believed that we would win, in spite of dire prophecies. On Wednesday, December 20th, 1916, the vote in the Folkstag was taken; it stood,—90 for the sale; 19 against it. On December 21st, it stood, in the Landstag, 40 votes for the sale, and 19 against it.

Ambassador Gerard who had come to Copenhagen again, was among the first to offer his congratulations. He was most cordial. The sale was a fact. 'Just in time,' de Scavenius said. Just in time! The War Cloud was about to burst, and the Legation must prepare for it. The Islands had hitherto cut off my view; I now saw a New World.


At the end of 1916, the affair of the Islands was practically settled. Every now and then a newspaper put forth a rumour that brought up the question again. Copenhagen, a journal which was very well written, announced as a secret just discovered, that the United States, even after Congress had appropriated the $25,000,000 for the sale of the Islands, would not agree to accept them at once. This excited much discussion which, however, was soon stopped. It was remarkable how the fury and fire of the controversy disappeared. People seemed to forget all the hard names they had called one another. I forgave the National News, and later even attempted to get printing material for the paper from the United States. The need of printing material had become so great, that an attempt was made to print one edition in coal tar! The embargo was drastic. If the National News had had a good case against me and interfered with the sale, perhaps I might not have been so forgiving; one's motives are always mixed.

New difficulties were coming upon us, and I think that most of our diplomatic representatives knew that we were unprepared for them. Since the opening of the war, we had been adjured to be neutral. That was sometimes hard enough. But, as it seemed inevitable that our country must be drawn into the war (though we were told that the popular air at home was 'I Did not Raise My Boy to be a Soldier') it seemed necessary to be prepared. Captain Totten—now Colonel—our military attaché, urged 'preparedness' in season and out of season. The position of a Minister who wants to be prepared for a coming conflict, but is obliged to act as if no contest were possible, is not an easy one. Besides, through the departure of Mr. Francis Hagerup, the Norwegian Minister, to Stockholm, I had become Dean of the Diplomatic Corps. I represented, when I went to Court officially, the Central Powers as well as their enemies. 'You are Atlas,' the king said, when I presented myself as Dean for the first time; 'you bear all the Powers of the world on your shoulders!'

He regretted that the Foreign Ministers could not meet at a neutral Court on occasions of ceremony. I think His Majesty believed that the members of the diplomatic corps were in the position of the heralds of the elder time—exempt, at least outwardly, from all the hatreds developed by the war, and ready to look on the enemy of to-day as their friend of to-morrow. This is good diplomacy; I agreed with His Majesty, but wondered whether, if His Majesty's country was in the position of Belgium, he would have instructed his Minister to be polite to the representative of the invader. I had my doubts, for if there were ever a king passionately devoted to his country, it is King Christian X. After the sinking of the Lusitania, my position would have been terribly difficult, if my German and Austrian colleagues had not acted in a way that made it possible for me to forget that I had said, on hearing of Bernstorff's warning, 'The day after an American is killed without warning at sea, we will declare war!' It was undiplomatic; but I had said it to Count Rantzau, to Prince Wittgenstein, to Count Raben-Levitzau, to Prince Waldemar, to the Princes, to other persons, and, I think, at the Foreign Office. A very distinguished German had replied, in the true Junker spirit, 'But your great Government would not bring a war on itself for the sake of the lives of a few hundred bourgeoisie.' And, when I stood, foolish and confounded, recognising that the time had not come for our Government to act, he said: 'You see you were wrong. Your Government is not so altruistic as you thought, nor so ready to bring new disasters on the world.'

Count Rantzau always took a moderate tone. When in difficulty he could switch the conversation to a passage in the Memoirs of St. Simon, or some other chronicle—a little frivolous—of the past. Count Szchenyi was hard hit—his brother-in-law, Mr. Vanderbilt, had perished among the bourgeoisie on the Lusitania; it was a subject to be avoided. Prince von Wittgenstein simply said that it was a pity that the Lusitania carried munitions of war, though they were not high explosives, but he made no excuses. It was evident that these gentlemen regretted the horrible crime.

The few Germans one met in society were inclined to blame what they called the stupidity of the captain of the steamship; they had the testimony of the hearing taken from the London Times, at their finger ends, and they knew 'the name of the firm in Lowell, Massachusetts, whose ammunition had been exported on the Lusitania.' Their opinions I always heard at second-hand. A great Danish lady, whose family the King of Prussia and the present Emperor had honoured, sent me from the country all the signed portraits of the Kaiser, torn to pieces. 'I could not write,' she said afterwards at dinner, 'I could not say what I thought,—I had promised my husband to be silent,—but you know what I meant,' and she added in Danish, 'damn little Willie!'

The only place in which representatives of the warring nations saw one another was in church, that is, in the church of St. Ansgar; but Count Szchenyi and Prince von Wittgenstein were always so deeply engaged in prayer that they could not see the French Minister or the Belgian. The English church—one of the most beautiful in Copenhagen—was frequented only by the English and a few Americans, so the Rector, the Rev. Dr. Kennedy, was never troubled about the position of his pews, nor was the Russian pope across the street from St. Ansgar's.

Mr. Francis Hagerup had been a model Dean. Everybody trusted and respected him; it seemed a pity that he should go away from Copenhagen, after such good service, without the usual testimonial from the diplomatic corps; but there were difficulties in the way. Would Sir Henry Lowther, the English, and Baron de Buxhoevenden, the Russian Minister, permit their names to go on a piece of plate with those of Count Brockdorff-Rantzau and Count Szchenyi? Count Szchenyi, always kindness itself, had his eye on two silver vegetable dishes of the true Danish-Rosenborg type. He consulted me as the Dean. I wanted Mr. Hagerup to have these beautiful things, and Szchenyi seemed to think that the matter could be arranged. I agreed to get the signatures to the proposition, expressed in French, that the dishes should be bought from the court jeweller, the famous Carl Michelsen, who had designed them. I doubt whether any of the Tiffanys have more foreign decorations than Michelsen; it is worth while being a jeweller and an artist in Denmark.

The gift was to show the unusual honour to an unusual Dean, offered by all the diplomatic corps in time of war. I had the opinion of the ladies sounded; they were all against it, especially one of the most intellectual ladies of the diplomatic corps, Madame de Buxhoevenden. She warned me that my attempt would be a failure. However, I sent the paper out, done in the most diplomatic French. Hans, our messenger, asked for the ladies first. If they were at home, he waited for another day. After I had all the signatures and they were engraved on the dishes, the Baroness de Buxhoevenden bore down on me, warlike.

'Quelle horreur,' she said. 'How did you get my husband's name?'

'When you were out!' I said.

'I think it disgraceful all the same, that my husband's name should appear on the same plate with those of the enemies of my country.'

'On the second plate, Madame, the enemies' appear,' I answered,—'there are two!'

Hagerup was so touched when I took the plates to him that I saw tears in his eyes. The Baroness de Buxhoevenden remained very friendly to me, 'because,' she said, 'she loved my wife so much.' Not long after, she died in Russia, heartbroken. She had faced the inclemencies of the weather and the first outbreak of the Revolution (she was a sane woman, an imperialist, but one who would have had imperialism reform itself, well-read and deeply religious) to see her daughter, the young Baroness Sophie, who was one of the maids of honour to the late Czarina. This young lady was ill and imprisoned with the imperial family. She was the only child of the Buxhoevendens—their son, a brave soldier, having died some years before. You can imagine the anxiety of the Buxhoevendens when the unrestrained ferocity of the mob in Petrograd broke out. Madame de Buxhoevenden could not see her daughter, though, thanks to the American Ambassador, who never failed to do a kind thing for us in Copenhagen, she managed to have a message from her. A lover of Russia, like her husband, of order, of reason in Government, she died.

With all the Russians I knew, love of country was a passion. They might differ among themselves. Meyendorff might look on Bibikoff as a 'clever boy' and smile amicably at his vagaries; Bibikoff might declare that 'Baron Meyendorff had, as St. Simon said of the Regent d'Orleans, all the talents, but the talent of using them'; but they were fervently devoted to Russia. They were in a labyrinth, and, as at the time of the French Revolution, everybody differed in opinion as to the best way out. It was from the Russians I first heard of Prince Karl Lichnowsky. I think it was Meyendorff, who once said: 'The Austrian Ambassador to London and Prince Lichnowsky are such honest men that the Prussians find it easy to deceive them into deceiving the English as to the designs of Germany!'

One great difficulty would have stood in the way, had I, as Dean, been willing to accept the kindly hint of the king and attempt to arrange that all the corps should go as usual together at New Years and on birthdays to Court. There was the conduct of the German Government to the French Ambassador at the opening of the war. It was frightfully rude, even savage, and unprecedented. It shocked everybody. It will be difficult to explain it when relations between the belligerents are resumed again. It seems to be a minor matter, but it corroborated the variation of the old proverb,—'Scratch a Prussian and you find a Hun.' The tale of the insults heaped on the French Ambassador is a matter of record for all time.

Judge Gerard has told his own story.

The Russian ladies coming out of Berlin were treated no better than a group of cocottes driven from a city might have been. The condition of the Russian ladies when they reached Copenhagen was deplorable. They all possessed the inevitable string of pearls, which every Russian young girl of the higher class receives before her marriage. These and the clothes they wore were all they were allowed to bring out of the super-civilised city of Berlin. It did not prevent them from smiling a little at the plight of the old Princess de ——, one of the haughtiest and richest of the noble ladies, who loved the baths of Germany more than her compatriots approved of. Her carefully dressed wig—never touched before except by the tender fingers of her two maids—was lifted off her head, while the German soldiers looked underneath it for secret documents!

From all this it will be seen that, notwithstanding the politeness of the representatives of the Central Powers in Copenhagen, it would have been impossible for the diplomatic corps to unite itself in the same room, even for a moment.

Everybody went to see Mr. Francis Hagerup off; but this was at the railway station, where people were not obliged to seem conscious of one another's presence. This would have been impossible at Court.

Social life in Copenhagen has fixed traditions (very fixed, in spite of the democracy of the people); they make it delightful. Society is all the better for fixed, artificial rules. They enable everybody to know his place and produce that ease that cannot exist where there is a constant expectancy of the unexpected; but they were not proof against the savagery which Germany's action had indicated.

When Count Szchenyi's mother died, his colleagues, disliking the action of his country as they did, sent messages of condolence privately, through me, then a 'neutral.' When Madame de Buxhoevenden died, deep sympathy was expressed by the diplomatists on the other side, but the utter disregard, on the part of the Germans in Berlin for the ordinary decencies of social life caused society in Copenhagen to become resentful and cold and suspicious whenever a German appeared in a 'neutral' house. It seemed incredible that hatred should have so carried away those around the German Emperor, who had formerly seemed only too anxious to observe the smallest social decencies, that the civilised world was willing to retort in kind.

Even in the convents, the German Sisters were 'suspect,' and it took all the tact of the Superiors to emphasise the fact that these ladies by their vows were bound to look on all with the eyes of Christ. 'Yes,' a Belgian Sister had answered, 'with the eyes He turned to the impenitent thief!'

However, religious discipline is strong, and it is the business of those set apart from the world to overcome even their righteous anger. Still, when I saw the expression on the face of the Abbé de Noë, who had been a Papal Zouave and was still at heart a French soldier, on a great festival, as he gave the kiss of peace to two German priests on the altar steps, I felt that the grace of God is compelled sometimes to run uphill!

Commercial transactions formed a great part of the work of the Legation when Great Britain began seriously to restrain alien foreign trade and to put a firm hand on such neutrals as adopted the motto of some of the English merchants, before they were awakened, 'Business as usual.' I am afraid that I gave little satisfaction; our instructions were not precise. That some of our great business people should have fallen into a panic after August 1914,—men of the highest ability, of the most scientific imagination, who foresaw contingencies to the verge of the impossible—seemed amazing. In conversation with some of these gentlemen as late as the spring of 1914, when I had come home to deliver some lectures at Harvard University, I was convinced that they knew what Germany's aims were in the East. They were aware of the negotiations regarding the Bagdad Railway and the opposition which existed between German and Russian claims. How long would Germany be satisfied with the English and Russian predominance?

They discussed this. Some of them had travelled much in Germany; they were willing to admit that the Balkan question could be settled only by war. In 1914, Secretary Bryan seemed to be sure that no war cloud threatened. When I saw him early in that year, he was entirely absorbed in the Mexican question and in extending the knowledge of the minutiæ of the Sacred Scriptures among American travellers in Palestine. I had just opened my lips (having silently listened to the most delectable eloquence I have ever heard) to say that Russia had begun to mobilise and that Germany would be ready to pounce by September, when Mr. John Lind came in, and the Secretary had attention for no other man. The affairs of Europe faded.

The Germans, as far as I could see, had great hopes of a breakdown of the Allies through treachery in the French Government itself. From such private information as we could get, it seemed that they relied on treachery among the Italians—especially among the 'Reds.' There is a French lady who wore the pearls of the Deutsche Bank, whose husband they had bought, and there were others it was said.

Our means of getting private information was not great. We had no money for secret service or for organisation. When we went into the war, our Legation had neither the offices nor the staff to meet the event. This was not the fault of the State Department, but of the system on which it rests. It was necessary to have a decent official place in which to receive people, a place which was elegant and simple at the same time. This we had, but barely room enough for ordinary work.

If a distinguished visitor came, he was ushered into the salon or the dining-room. If Sir Ralph Paget, the British Minister, came hurriedly on business a moment after Count Szchenyi arrived, he was shown into the dining-room, as the three offices were always full of people. After the war opened, the Legation—a very elegant apartment, which I secured through the foresight of my predecessor, Mr. T. I. O'Brien—was often like a bit of scenery in a modern French farce, where people disappear behind all kinds of screens and curtains in order to avoid embarrassments. Mr. Allard, the Belgian, to whom we were devoted, came one day by appointment, and almost met Prince Wittgenstein in the salon, while the Turkish Minister held the dining-room, confronted by Lady Paget, who was led off to Mrs. Egan's rooms on pretence of hearing a Victrola which happened to have been lent to somebody a few days before.

The State Department would have permitted me to rent, on urgent request, a satisfactory place, but the coal bill would have amounted to three thousand dollars a year. As I had not recovered from the expenses of the entertainment of the Atlantic Squadron (they were small enough considering the pleasure the gentlemen of that squadron gave us) and other outlays, I felt that the coal bill would be too great, and even with the war cloud on the horizon, the State Department was not in a position to give us a reasonable amount of money or the necessary rooms for a staff such as the British had been obliged to collect. The British Government owned its own house, which answered the demands made on it. The fiery Captain Totten gave the Legation no peace. We were not prepared; we knew it. It would have absorbed twenty thousand dollars to put us on an efficient basis. And our staff for the very delicate work must be specialists; one cannot pick up specialists for the salary paid to a secretary of Legation or even to a Minister.

It is different to-day; the old system has broken down now. Money is supplied, even to that most starved of all the branches of the service, the State Department, where men, like ten I could name, work for salaries which a third rate bank clerk in New York would refuse—and poor men too! As things were, the Legation did the best it could.

The greatest difficulty was to get trustworthy information. What were the German military plans? What were the social conditions in Germany? As to financial conditions, it was comparatively easy to secure information. The German financiers would never have consented to the war had they not scientifically analysed the situation. Industrials, like Herr Ballin, counted on a short war; they had provided. We knew, too, that the military authorities, which overrode the civil, believed that the Foreign Office could manage to ameliorate the consequences of their insolence and arrogance. It was strange that these very military authorities thought that the United States would not fight under any circumstances, for they had voluminous reports in their archives on the details of our military position. Our Government had always been generous in giving information to foreign military attachés. In fact, a German officer once boasted to me that his war office had filed the secrets of every military establishment in the world, except the Japanese.

That we were despised for our inaction was plain; Americans were treated with contempt by certain Austrian officials, until some enterprising newspaper announced that a great army of American students had made a hostile demonstration in New York against Germany! A change took place at once; even in France, it was believed that the United States would make only a commercial war. I remember that the Vicomte de Faramond, who deserves the credit of having unveiled Prussian schemes before many of his brother diplomatists even guessed at them, asked me anxiously, 'You must fight, but is it true that it will be only a commercial war? I think, if I know America, that you will fight with bayonets.' He has an American wife.

Ambassador Gerard was quietly warning Americans to leave Berlin; and yet we were 'neutral,' and the German Government believed that we would remain neutral at least in appearance. No German seemed to believe that we were neutral at heart, though there were those among the expatriated who held that we ought to be, in spite of the Lusitania and our traditions. One of the puzzles of this was (every American in Copenhagen tried to solve it) the effect that a long residence in Germany had on Americans. 'I sometimes read the English papers,' said one of these; 'I try to be fair, but I am shocked by their calumnies. The Kaiser loves the United States; he has said it over and over again to Americans, and yet you will not believe it.'


'Oh, the Germans have made a fruitful and orderly country out of Belgium.'

This kind of American helped to deceive the Germans into the belief that our patience would endure all the insults of Cataline. There was very little opportunity to compare notes with my colleagues in Sweden and Norway. They were busy men. I fancy Mr. Morris's real martyrdom did not begin in Sweden until after Easter Sunday, 1917. Mr. Schmedeman doubtless had his when the rigours of the embargo struck Norway; but for me, the worst time was when we were 'neutral'!

As to the German Foreign Office, why should it listen to the warnings of our Ambassador, in November, who might be recalled by a change of administration in March?

Six months before election, no American envoy has any real influence at the Foreign Office with which he deals. The chances are that the policy of the last four years will be reversed by the election in November. Up to the last moment, as far as I could see, the Foreign Office in Berlin believed that the growing warlike democratic attitude would be softened by the new Administration, which, it was informed, would not dare to make Colonel Roosevelt Secretary of State.

'Secretary of State,' an Austrian said, 'how could an ex-President condescend to become Secretary of State. One might as well expect a deposed Pope to become Grand Electeur!'

Previous to November 7th, 1916, the day of the Presidential election, our situation was looked on by all the diplomatists and all the Foreign Offices as fluid. It might run one way or the other. There was a widely diffused opinion in Denmark that, as President Wilson had been elected on a peace platform for his first term, Germany might go as far as she liked without drawing the United States into the conflict.

In Berlin, in high circles, the election of Mr. Hughes was considered certain. He was supposed to represent capital, and capital would think twice before burning up values. The Kaiser had given Colonel Roosevelt up; 'Sa conduite est une grande illusion pour notre Empereur,' Count Brockdorff-Rantzau had said. I learned from Berlin that the ex-President had been approached by a representative of the Kaiser of sufficient rank, who had reminded Colonel Roosevelt of the honours the Kaiser had showered upon him during his European tour. 'I was also well received by the King of the Belgians,' Colonel Roosevelt answered. 'C'est une grande illusion,' Count Brockdorff-Rantzau repeated, more in sorrow than in anger. 'The Emperor did not think that the ex-President would turn against him!'

Until election day, every American diplomatist in Europe merely marked time. He represented a Government which was without power for the time being.

An expatriated Irish-American came in to sound us as to the prospects. 'President Wilson will have a second term,' I said; 'the West is with him, and Mr. Hughes's speeches are not striking at the heart of the people.'

'He is pro-English, God forbid!' he said. 'Wilson means war!'

'We may have, on the other hand, Colonel Roosevelt as Secretary of State for War.'

'God forbid!' he said. He had stepped between two stools; he still lives in Germany—a man without a country.

We were still 'neutral,' and the election was some months off. Count Rantzau saw the danger which the military party was courting. He was too discreet to make confidential remarks which I would at once repeat to my Government; he knew, of course, that I would not repeat them to my colleagues, who never, however, asked me what he said to me. He was equally tactful, but we saw that he was exceedingly nervous about the outcome of the U-boat aggression. It was worth while to know his attitude, for he represented much that was really important in Germany. He began to be more nervous, and many things he said, which I cannot repeat, indicated that the military party was running amuck. He was always decent to Americans, and he was shocked when he found that his laissez passer, which I obtained from him for the Hon. D. I. Murphy and his wife to pursue their journey to Holland, was treated as 'a scrap of paper.' Mr. Murphy had not received the corroborative military pass, which one of my secretaries had obtained at the proper office, consequently Mrs. Murphy was treated shamefully at the German frontier. I remonstrated, of course, but it was evident that the military authorities had orders to treat all civil officials as inferiors.

Miss Boyle O'Reilly had a much worse experience at the frontier. Her papers had been taken from her boxes at a hotel in Copenhagen, carefully examined, and put back. Miss O'Reilly had had many thrilling experiences (people imitated Desdemona—and loved her for the dangers she had passed through) but like most of her compatriots she could not be induced to disguise her opinions or to really believe that there were spies everywhere. Being a Bostonian, she could not say 'damn,' but she never used the name of the Kaiser without attaching to it, with an air of perfect neutrality, the Back Bay equivalent for that dreadful adjective. She made a great success in Copenhagen. Her magnificent lace, presented to her by an uncle who had been a chamberlain to Cardinal Rampolla, was extravagantly admired at the dinner Mrs. Egan gave for her. Miss O'Reilly, according to some of the experts present, had reason to be proud of it. After the adventure of the note books at the hotel, it was almost hopeless to imagine that Miss Boyle O'Reilly would be allowed to cross the frontier, in spite of her passport and the courtesy of the German Legation. She was undaunted as any other daughter of the gods. She tried it, and came back, not very gently propelled, but with the calm contentment of one who had said what she thought to various official persons on the frontier. We were glad to get her back on any terms. People asked for invitations to meet her; we were compelled to adopt her as a daughter of the house to retain her. The experts in lace were horrified to find that the vulgar creatures at the frontier—smelling of sausage and beer—had injured the precious texture. They seemed to have thought that its threads were barbed wire. We protested; Miss Boyle O'Reilly demanded damages. Ambassador Gerard seemed to be impressed by the fact that the lace had been part of a surplice of the late Cardinal Rampolla's. We made this very plain, but the German authorities took it very lightly; they were so frivolous, so lacking in tact and justice, that Miss Boyle O'Reilly became more 'neutral' than ever.

In spite of Count Rantzau's courtesy, we were having constant trouble at the frontier. Every Dane who had relatives in the United States expected us to protest against the rigidity of the search. 'I did not mind when they took all my letters; but when they rubbed me with lemon juice to bring out secret writing, I said it was too much'; said one of these ladies, who had to be escorted to her own Foreign Office.

Mrs. William C. Bullitt, just married, had to be coached into 'neutrality.' 'Good gracious! I always say what I think,' she remarked, declaring that, of course, the German, His Serene Highness she was to go into dinner with, must see how wrong the Belgian business was! Mr. and Mrs. Bullitt had some trouble at the frontier, but her diary, uncensored, came over safe for our delight.

The Spanish Minister, Aguera, who had lately been superseded by his brother, had his own troubles, which, however, he wore very lightly. He was as neutral as his temperament, which was rather positive, allowed him to be. When he left to be promoted, the pro-Germans enthusiastically announced that the German Government had complained of him to Madrid.

The cause of the war, it was generally conceded, was the question of the way to the Near East and the control of the East. Now that Germany had practically all of the Bagdad Railway and more than that, a clear way to the Persian Gulf, would she cut short the war, if she could? Count Rantzau, without explicitly admitting that his country's chief aim had been accomplished, said Yes. The great desire of his nation was for peace. The U-boat war was only a means of forcing peace. 'We do not want to crush England! Heaven forbid!' said Count Szchenyi, 'but we tolerate the U-boat war only as an instrument for obliging England to make peace. Peace,' he said, 'we must have peace or all the world will be in anarchy,' I do not think he 'accepted' the U-boat war, except diplomatically. Another distinguished representative of one of the Central Powers, making a flying visit, said, first assuming that the 'North American' and English interests were identical—'Peace may bring Germany and England close together. We are too powerful to be kept apart. With Germany ruler of the land of the world, and England of the sea,—what glory might we not expect!'

'If the Allies do not accept the Chancellor's peace note, I give them up!' cried Szchenyi. 'People talk democracy and the need of it among us! Why, Hungary is verging on a democracy of which you Americans, with your growing social distinctions, have no conception of. What we want is peace, to save the world!'

When the new Emperor Karl ascended the Austro-Hungarian throne, Szchenyi, whose ideas were more liberal than some of the old régime liked, became a prime favourite at court, and was removed to the Foreign Office.

Before the fall of Russia, it was generally conceded that Germany, in holding Turkey and Bulgaria, had gained her main purpose. Both of these countries hated her in their hearts. We had proof of this. What more did she want? Only peace on her own terms, perhaps slightly modified, owing to the hardness of the hearts of the English; if she could gain England, she could deal with France and easily with Russia. Before the Czar abdicated, it was understood in diplomatic circles that Germany believed it was time to stop. While there was no immediate danger of starvation in Germany, there was great inconvenience. Moreover, the great commercial position of Germany was each day that prolonged the war melting like ice on summer seas; and a short war had been promised to the German nation. Parties in Germany were divided as to indemnities and the retention of Belgium. Antwerp was as a cannon levelled at the breast of England (Hamburg had good reason for not wanting Antwerp retained as a rival city in German territory); but the way to the Persian Gulf, the submission of Bulgaria and Turkey, the possession of the key to the Balkans, the Near East, meant the confusion of the English in India. The Germans were ready to oust the English from their place in the sun! It was plain that the diplomatists, at least, looked on the Alsace-Lorraine question as of small importance in comparison. Alsace-Lorraine, as Bismarck admitted, had nothing to do with national glory. It was a proposition of iron and potash. As to Italy, 'We must always live on good terms with such a dangerous neighbour,' said the Austrians. 'Prussia would throw us over to-morrow for any advantage in the East. If she could hamstring the Slavs, we might appeal in vain against her destroying our scraps of paper!'

We knew that the Austrian distrust of Prussia never slept. But Austria and Germany were absolute monarchies—against the world.

It was the general belief that Rumania would not be drawn into the war. The Swedish Legation at Rome seemed to be of a different opinion. It was noted for the accuracy of its information, but this time we doubted. As observers, it seemed incredible to us in Copenhagen, that she should be allowed to sacrifice herself; but the rumours from Rome persisted. One well-known British diplomatist, Sir Henry Lowther, formerly the British Minister at Copenhagen, had never wavered in his doubts as to the solidarity of Russia. At the beginning of the war, he had said, to my astonishment, 'Our great weakness is Russia; if you do not come in and offset it, I fear greatly.' Events proved that he was right.

For those of the diplomatic corps who came in contact with people from the Near East, or with the Turkish diplomatists, the great question was—the designs of Germany in the East. One of the advantages of diplomatic life is that one comes in contact with the most interesting people. In spite of a determination to follow all the rules of the protocol as closely as possible Terence's announcement, through the lips of Chremes, was good enough for me,—'Homo sum; humani nil a me alienum puto,' and consequently, I made profit out of good talk wherever I found it. I saw too little of Dr. Morris Jastrow, of the University of Pennsylvania, in 1908, when he came to Copenhagen with a group of distinguished orientalists; but one of his sentences remained in my mind (I quote from memory), 'The crucial question, and a terrible answer it may be when Germany gives it to the world, is, Who shall control Bulgaria and Serbia and Constantinople. Settle the matter of the road to the East, so that Germany and Austria may not join in monopolising it, and then, we can begin to talk of a tranquil Europe.'

Much later, I had a long talk with Rudolph Slatin, who had been a close friend of King Edward's, and who knew the East. He had had too many favours from England to be willing to take arms against her; he was Austrian, but not pro-Prussian. His views were not exactly those of Dr. Jastrow's, as Dr. Jastrow afterwards expressed them,[17] but one could read between the lines. The Eastern route was the real core of the war. Russia knew this when she began to make preparations for mobilisation in the early spring of 1914. All the Turks I met, including the two ministers, confirmed this.

Lady Paget, the wife of the British Minister, who came to Copenhagen in 1916, knew more of the inside history of the war in the Balkans than the soi-disant experts who talked. She seldom talked; but the Serbians, who adored her, did not hesitate to sing the praises of her knowledge and of her efforts to save them. To her very few intimates it was plain that she, as well as her husband, looked on the Balkans as the key to the cause of the war. The Serbians that I knew, men of all classes, said that, if Lady Paget had been listened to, Serbia would have been saved to herself and the Allies. Whether this was true or not, the Serbians believed it.

The missionaries driven out of Turkey who came to the Legation were full of the Eastern situation, and the wrongs of the Armenians. The stories of the missionaries, driven out, made one feel that Germany was paying—even from the point of view of her longed-for conquest—too high a price for the possession of Turkey. The Turkish Ministers were more French than German in their sympathies, but to them the Armenians were deadly parasites. They looked on them as the Russian Yunker looked on the lower class of Jews.

Miss Patrick of Roberts College, passed our way. She was ardent, sincere, naturally diplomatic,—discreet is a better word. But one could see that the Turks and the Balkan peoples, whatever might be their difference of opinion, or their own desire for territory, felt that the German control meant the closing of the steel fist upon them. The young Turks believed that they could hold the Dardanelles, when they once turned the Germans out, and that Turkey might be the land of the Turks. To attain this, they did not fail to appeal to all the bigotry of the Moslem. One could see that Serbia despaired of the Allies, that the Bulgarians believed that their untenable position was due to the intrigues of Czar Ferdinand and to the blundering of these same Allies. America was a land of promise, the hope of freedom; but America seemed too far off. The Balkans peoples felt that even America, had, while conserving her democracy at home, cared little for the rights of the people abroad. This feeling existed in all the neutral nations. A graduate of Roberts College with whom I had talked of our interest in the small nations, smiled. 'The attitude of your country to the smaller nations reminds me of a famous speech of the author of Utopia when one of his household congratulated him on Henry VIII.'s putting his arms about the Chancellor's neck. 'If the King's Grace could gain a castle in France by giving up my head, off it would go.' I did not dream, in January 1916, how soon we should begin to 'make the world safe for democracy.' Mr. Vopika, our Minister to Rumania, came on the way home from Bucharest about this time. He was full of interesting information, and very cheerful, though practically imprisoned in Copenhagen, as no boats were running. More and more it became plain that Russia was breaking, and that Germany would soon be lifted from that doubt which had begun to worry her statesmen. There was talk of the Grand Rabbi going to Washington as Ambassador, which seemed to infuriate the young Turkish Party.

Aaronshon, the expert for the Jewish Agricultural Society in Palestine, came; a wonderful man, capable of great things, and shrewd beyond the power of words to express. He did not deny that the Turkish Crown Prince had been shot, having first fired at Enver Pasha. Harold al Raschid is a novice to him in his knowledge of Eastern things that Western diplomatists ought to know. From all sources came the corroboration of the fact that, once sure of Russia, with the Slavs in her grasp, Germany held, in her own opinion, the keys to the world.

Opinions differed as to whether she was starving or not. Rumania had helped her with oil and perhaps coal. The Chinese Minister at Berlin said that she could hold out longer than China could in similar circumstances, as his citizens would be compelled to reduce themselves to less than two meals, and the Germans were coming down from four! We know on the authority of the actor in the episode that he had paid twenty marks in a restaurant in Berlin for a portion of roast fowl; it was tough, and he laid down his knife and fork in despair, when two ladies, at a table near him, politely asked if they might take it!

Rumours, very disturbing, as to the conditions of Russia, came to us from all sides. Our neighbour, Prince Valdemar, looked disturbed when one asked as to the health of the Empress Dowager, who had been most kind to my daughter, Carmel. He seemed to think that she would be safe, though I heard him say that a revolution seemed inevitable. The forcible and insolent 'conversations' on the part of Germany with Norway—shortly before October 16th, 1916, she had actually threatened war—had ceased for the moment.

Mr. Angel Carot, the French journalist, who was correspondent of the Petrograd press, had reported on good authority that the Germans were preparing a descent on Jutland. Vicomte de Faramond seemed to think that the rumour was well founded. 'We know the point of view that the Berlin Foreign Office has; Count Rantzau represents it,' said Mr. de Scavenius, 'but who can not tell from day to day what the General Staff will do?' The General Staff kept its secrets.

Poland was in a frightful condition. The Germans were not only impoverishing the landed proprietors, but seizing their cattle and forcing their farm people into the army. A Pole fighting for German autocracy was in as pitiable position as a Slesviger fighting for the enslaving of his own land. The Poles were not inclined toward a republic, but there was not one of their noble families from whom they would draw a constitutional king. A son of the Austrian Grand Duke Stefan, who was popular in Poland, was much spoken of. I felt that I ought to be flattered when a Polish prince and princess came, well introduced, to lay the plan before me, as a diplomatist who might assist in making a royal marriage! I concealed my surprise; but it was delightful to hear of my 'relations avec des grandes personnes dans toutes les chancelleries du monde.' And what a pleasure to hear, 'we know that even the Quirinal and the Vatican, etc. You who are three times minister of the United States.' The 'three times minister of the United States' puzzled me at first; then I remembered that one of the German papers, I think it was Die Woche, had said the same thing, meaning that I had served under three Presidents.

Our Polish guests were willing, under the circumstances, to approve of the marriage with Archduke Stefan's son, provided a Catholic princess, of liberal political views, could be found. To have a German princess forced on them would mean new disturbances,—revolts, dissatisfaction. There was perhaps the Princess Margaret of Denmark, who had every quality, they understood, to make an ideal Queen of Poland. 'Every quality,' I agreed, 'to make a man happy—but it must be the right man.' I knew that Prince Valdemar, who had refused Balkan thrones, was not desirous of marrying his daughter to a prince 'simply because he was a prince.' Would I sound His Royal Highness? 'I know,' I answered, 'that Prince Valdemar believes in happy marriages, not in brilliant ones. In fact, I had heard him say that he did not want Denmark to be looked on only as an arsenal for the making of crowns.'

The prince and princess went on their way, to consult more influential persons. They would not have welcomed a republic; in February 1916 the German grip was strong in Poland, and a Danish princess, the daughter of a French mother, seemed to offer them hope in the gloom.

The fears of the Austrians, of the Russians, of the Poles, of the Bulgarians that, if the war continued, anarchy must ensue, were not concealed. The Polish prince and princess believed that Russia would have a change of Government, but this change, they thought, would be brought about by a 'palace revolution,' for Petrograd was the centre of intrigues. The British Minister was accused of working in the interests of the Grand Duke Nicholas; the German propaganda, as far as we could discover, was for the practical application of 'divide and conquer.' Baron de Meyendorff, whose cheerfulness was as proverbial as his discretion, was uneasy; but as, unlike his chief, Baron de Buxhoevenden, he belonged to the more liberal party, this was taken as a sign that he was uncertain whether the new elements in Russian political life would develop in an orderly way or not.

Baron de Buxhoevenden, the most calm, the most self-controlled of all my colleagues, was unusually silent; his wife, than whom Russia had no more intelligent and patriotic woman in her borders, had said that the war would either break or make Russia. 'The Russian people,' she said, 'since the beginning of the war, are better fed than they ever were. The suppression of vodka has enabled them to pay their taxes and to begin to get rid of the parasites who prey on thoughtless drunkards. Their prosperity will either induce them to rebel against their rulers, or to accept the government because of their improved conditions.'

'But why are they better fed?' I had asked.

'We are exporting nothing. The Russian peasant eats the food he raises. Butter is no longer a luxury. I have hopes for Russia—and fears.'

Her fears were justified. The murder of Rasputin called attention to the dissensions in the Russian court. Admiring the Empress Dowager, as everybody in the court circle did, it seemed amazing that her son, of whom we knew little, should have permitted this peasant to acquire such influence over his wife. There were fashionable ladies who knelt to this strange apostle of the occult, who kissed his hands with fervour. But murder was murder, and coming not so long after the killing of the Crown Prince of Turkey, it gave the impression that the oriental point of view as to the value of human life existed in both countries. As time went on, Russia occupied our vision more and more.

In spite of the revelations that have been made, revelations which show that the only secrets are those buried with men who have found it to their honour or interest to keep them—the details of the reasons which caused Russia to mobilise in July are not fully known. How the Russians gained their information of the intentions of Germany in their regard is very well known. The most clever of Russian spies was always in the confidence of the Kaiser; he paid for his knowledge with his life.

As days passed, it became evident that the Royal Couple in Russia were being gradually isolated. Calumnies almost as evil and quite as baseless against the Tsarina as those published about Marie Antoinette were freely circulated. To review here this campaign of malice is not necessary. There were no chivalrous swords ready to leap from the scabbards for her. The age of chivalry seemed indeed dead. The poor lady was not even picturesque, whereas her brilliant mother-in-law, Dagmar of Denmark, was still beautiful and picturesque; she was imperial, but then she understood what democracy meant. It is said that she believed that, if her son had appeared in his uniform on horseback, surrounded by a staff of men who represented traditions, the revolution would not have begun. Neither the Tsar not the Tsarina understood what tradition meant to the Russian mind. The empress was a German at heart,—an overfond and superstitious mother. Good women have never made successful rulers, as a rather cynical Russian said to me, à propos of the Empress Catherine. The nobility disliked her because she kept aloof from them. The glitter and the pomp of court life which the Russian aristocracy loved, the consideration which monarchs are expected to show for the social predilections of their subjects were disregarded by her. Living in perpetual fear, her nerves were shattered. All her interests centred in her family and in the unbending conviction of a German princess that the divine right of kings is a dogma. She was as incapable of understanding that there were powers in the nation which could destroy as was Marie Antoinette before she met destruction. We understood at Copenhagen that she looked on all the acts of the emperor that were not autocratic as weak; members of the Duma must be subservient and grateful; otherwise, it was the duty of the Tsar to treat them with the severity they deserved. The concessions, which, if granted earlier would have saved the emperor, were very moderate—merely a responsible ministry and a constitution. The Tsar, under the influence of the empress, the reactionary Protopopoff and the little clique of exclusives, who had forgotten everything valuable and learned nothing new, refused to grasp these ropes of salvation. The strength of the Grand Duke Nicholas-Michailovitch amazed and disconcerted this clique. 'If,' said one of the elderly Russian gentlemen we knew, 'he is not exiled, he will try to be President of all the Russias one day!' The emperess dowager was distrusted by the party around the empress. The empress dowager believed in prosecuting the war, for she knew that Russia could only follow her destiny happily freed from German control.

From February until March, 1917, Russia continued to be the one subject of discussion in diplomatic circles. It was the general opinion that the empress was the great obstacle to the emperor's giving a liberal constitution to his people. The Danish court, though the Emperor William had accused it of indiscretion, was silent. Prince Valdemar, who was, like all the sons and daughters of King Christian IX., devoted to the dowager empress, was plainly uneasy. We all knew that his sympathies were with the Liberal Party and against the pro-German and absolutist clique. 'The Russian people have endured much,' he said on March 10th, the day on which the news of the Tsar's abdication arrived; and, afterwards,—'Thank God—so far it has been almost a bloodless Revolution.'

'Why,' asked the devout Danish Conservative, who believed that kings were still all-powerful, 'why does not King George of England help his cousin?'

It was only too plain that in spite of all warnings, 'his cousin' had put himself beyond all human help.

The Russian soldiers calmly doffed their caps and said 'I will go home for my part of the land!' The condition of Petrograd was such that chaos had come again. To save the lives of the Tsar and Tsarina, Kerensky insisted that capital punishment should be abolished. Count Christian Holstein-Ledreborg, fresh from Russia, reported that at the soldiers' meeting in the banquet room of the Winter Palace, speakers imposed silence by shooting at the ceiling! There was an attempt on the part of the new democrats to have prostitution, hitherto the luxury of the rich, put within the reach of all.

Russia had gone out of the war; it was surely time for us to go in. On April 7, 1917, I informed the Foreign Office that the President at Congress had declared us in a state of war with Germany. Further patience would have been a crime.

From that day the Legation took on a new aspect. Our decks were cleared for observation and action. Mr. Cleveland Perkins, who had courageously assumed the duties of the Secretary of Legation although relieved by a secretary, had new and difficult duties thrust upon him, to which he was fully equal. Mr. Seymour Beach Conger and Mr. John Covington Knapp were invaluable. No words of mine can express my sense of their self-sacrificing patriotism. Mr. Groeninger did three men's work and Captain Totten kept us all up to the mark by his fiery and persistent enthusiasm. No great dinners now! Even if we had been in the mood, fire and food had become too scarce. Mr. Conger did a most important service; he looked after the crowds of late comers from Germany, and discovered what light they could throw on German conditions. The State Department came to the rescue of our staff, which was few but fit; Mr. Grant-Smith was sent from Washington, with instructions to spend all the money that was necessary. He made a complete organisation, and I, struck heavily in health, laid down my task regretfully, leaving it in hands more competent under the changed circumstances.

There is no use in hiding the fact that, even before Russia broke, we who feared the triumph of Germany had many dark days; but there was never a time when my colleagues of the Allies despaired. How Mr. Allart, our Belgian colleague, lived through it, I do not know! The Danes stood by him manfully, and he never lacked the sympathy of his colleagues; but he suffered.

'The moment that England is seriously inconvenienced,' a German Professor of Psychology had said, 'she will give in.' We know how false this was. The race, pronounced degenerate, whose fibre was supposed to be eaten up with an inordinate love of sport, showed bravery to the backbone when it awakened to the real issues of the war. The upper classes of the English were splendid beyond words. Their sacrifices were terrible in the beginning, but their example told; and long before the crash of Russia came, there was no question of 'business as usual.' The British nation had realised that it was fighting, not only for its life, but for the principle on which its life is based. Yet the victory was by no means sure. 'The Empire may go down under the assaults of the Huns—let it go rather than that we should make a single compromise,' said Sir Ralph Paget. Mr. Gurney, Colonel Wade, and all the staunch men connected with his Legation, echoed his words.

Mr. Wells, the novelist preacher, may say what he will of the failure of English education, but it has produced men of a quality which all the men can understand and admire.[18] As to the French, they, too, had their sober hours, and the saddest was caused, perhaps, by the dread that we had forgotten what the war was for; such soldiers as they were!—Captain de Courcel and Baron Taylor, suffering from wounds, and yet counting every hour with pain that kept them from their duty. But we came in none too soon; from my point of view, it is unreasonable to believe that the apparent disintegration of Germany and Austria was the cause of our victory. The cause of it was the increase of man power on the Western Front. In Copenhagen, our best military experts said, 'If the United States can be ready in time to supply the losses of the French and English; if your aviators can get to work, victory is assured.' These experts feared that we would be too slow, and there were dark, very dark, days in 1916 and 1917.

President Wilson's ideals were, in the beginning, looked on as doctrinaire—breezes from the groves of the Academies. Some of the elders and scribes of Europe, adept in the methods that nullified the good intentions of the Hague conferences, looked on his explanation of the aims of the conflict as the courtiers of Louis XIV. might have contemplated the pages of Chateaubriand's Genius of Christianity, if Chateaubriand had lived at Port Royal in the time of those cynics; but the people in all the Scandinavian countries took to them as the expression of their aspirations. The chancelleries of Europe heard a new voice with a new note, but the people did not find it new. President Wilson found himself, when he gave the reasons of our country for entering the war, interpreting the meaning of the people. Until he spoke the war seemed to mean the saving of the territory of one nation, or the regaining it for another, or the existence of a nation's life. Standing out of the European miasma, with nothing to gain except the fulfilment of our ideals, and all to lose if there were to be losses of life and material, we gave a meaning to the war,—a new meaning which had been obscured.

Nevertheless, let us not forget that Germany has not changed her ideals; all the forces of the civilised world have not succeeded in changing them. Of democracy, in the American sense of the word, she has no more understanding than Russia—nor at present does she really want to have.

To a certain extent she conquered us. She obliged us to adopt her methods of warfare; to imitate her system of espionage; to co-ordinate, for the moment at least, all the functions of national life under a system as centralised as her own. If she gave temperance to Russia, an army to England, religion to France, she almost succeeded in depriving our Western hemisphere of its faith in God.

Her efficiency was so expensive that it was making her bankrupt; she was paying too much for her perfection of method. To justify it in the eyes of her own people she went to war. France was to pay her debts and Russia to be the way of an inexpensive road to the East. Her methods in peace cost her too much; a short war would save her credit. To our regret, perhaps remorse, we have been forced by her to fight her Devil with his own fire; and now we hope for a process of reconstruction in this great and populous country based on our own ideals; but we cannot change the aspirations or the hearts of the Germans. We can only take care that they keep the laws made by nations who have well-directed consciences,—this lesson I have learned near to their border.


Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty at the Edinburgh University Press


[1] H. Rosendal, The Problem of Danish Slesvig.

[2] Madame Hegermann-Lindencrone is the author of In the Court of Memory and The Sunny Side of Diplomacy.

[3] On the outbreak of the war, the Grand Duchess threw off her allegiance to Germany, and resumed her Russian citizenship.

[4] Baron Speck von Sternberg died on May 23rd, 1908.

[5] 'We can say without hesitation that during the last century the United States have nowhere found better understanding or juster recognition than in this country. More than any one else the Emperor William II. manifested this understanding and appreciation of the United States of America.'—Von Bülow's Imperial Germany, p. 51.

[6] Malmö is a town on the Swedish side of the Sound, an hour and a half by steamboat from Copenhagen. Lord Bothwell was imprisoned there.

[7] Scribner's Magazine.

[8] I regret that I cannot give the story in the rhyme, which was Bavarian French.

[9] The Army Bill of 1913 'met with such a willing reception from all parties as has never before been accorded to any requisition for armaments on land or at sea.'—Von Bülow's Imperial Germany, p. 201.

[10] The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, by Sir William M. Ramsay. Hodder and Stoughton.

[11] Dr. J. P. Bang's translation. Doctor Bang deserves well of all lovers of freedom for his translation into Danish of typical sermons from German pastors possessed of the spirit of hatred. Dr. Bang is a professor of theology in the University of Copenhagen. It ought to be remembered that the University of Copenhagen, in a neutral country geographically part of Germany, made no protest against the audacious volume.

[12] Devoted to France, the friend of M. Jusserand; a great romance philologer.

[13] 'My old commander, the late General Field-Marshal Freiheer von Loë, a good Prussian and a good Catholic, once said to me that, in this respect, matters would not improve until the well-known principle of French law "que la recherche de la paternité était interdite" is changed to "la recherche du confessional était interdite."'—Von Bülow: Imperial Germany, p. 185.

[14] In Rome, 'the proletariat' meant the people who had children.

[15] Mr. Thomas P. Gill is the permanent Secretary of the Irish Agricultural and Technical Board.

[16] Dr. Francis Hagerup, Norwegian Minister to Copenhagen, now at Stockholm. Count Szchenyi, Austro-Hungarian Minister, Señor de Riaño, now Spanish Minister at Washington.

[17] In The War and the Bagdad Railway. J. B. Lippincott & Co.

[18] Of all the many young men I knew in England and Ireland, most of them the sons or grandsons of old friends, there are only three alive; two of them, the sons of Mr. Thomas P. Gill, of the Irish Technical and Agricultural Board, have been made invalids in the war.

Transcriber's corrections

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