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An Analysis of Prussian Culture 


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"A lively, personal, and extremely persuasive indictment of 
modern Prussianism. ... A clever, penetrating, caustic style 
drives home every point, and a sharply whetted memory pro- 
vides him with perpetual materialj which is continually em- 
ployed with great adroitness and resource. . . . Mr. Hueffer 
has done a public service by writing this book. ... It is a 
book of genuine importance and of a wide significance. It is 
to be hoped that it reaches Germany, as well as Great Britain 
and the United Siaies."— Daily Telegraph. 

" No book that I have read — and I have read dozens— shows 
the making of war-mania so clearly as Mr. Ford Madox 
Hueffer's remarkable volume ' When Blood is Their Argument.' 
After reading it one sees that this war will fix, once and for all, 
the fate of mankind. ... I hope Mr. Hueffer's book will be 
read in the United States, for Kultur has yet to be understood 
by the greatest Republic on earth. I hope it will be translated 
into all the neutral tongues, for the neutral nations have yet to 
learn what Kultur means for them and their children. I hope 
it will be digested by the workers of this country and every 
other country, for the workers have still to grasp what Kultur 
means for them and their offspring. Lastly, I hope it will be 
studied by business men, by men of letters, by artists, by the 
learned professions, for they also have yet to lay hold of the 
true meaning of Kultur." — James Douglas in The Star. 

' ' Nobody knows Prussia and its Prussianised dependencies 
better than Mr. Hueffer, and his indictment of the form of 
so-called civilisation which the flesh-and-blood mechanism of 
German militancy is now prepared to force on Europe and 
England is the most effective that has yet appeared. . . . Every 
patriotic Briton should read it to the end that he may be able 
to argue more effectively with the enemy inside the gates — an 
enemy who is often quite unconscious of his hostility to the 
cause of true civilisation." — Morning Post. 







"Shall not thou and I, between St. Denius and St. George compound a 
boy, half-French, half-English, that shall go to Constantinople, and take the 
Turk by the h^axAt"— HENRY V., Act v. Scene 2. 



/ -/ . 

Printed in Great Britain by Haxell, Watson & Viney, Ld., 
London and Aylesbury. 


To Mrs. C. F, G, Masterman 

I AM afraid that this book will present the aspect of 
a number of essays thrown together. That is not 
the case ; it is owing simply to my want of ex- 
perience in the handling of controversial matter. 
What happened was that I set out to confront various 
pacifist writers or other writers who were opposed to 
the Government of this country entering upon a war 
side by side with France — to confront them with 
various facts and with various figures. But I dis- 
like denouncing my fellow-beings, even though they 
be pacifists, and it seemed to me to be only fair to 
present these gentlemen with my own constructive 
view of the state of Europe before the outbreak of 
the present war. Thus it has come about that the 
constructive portion of the work has overshadowed 
the controversial, so that the form of the book re- 
sembles somewhat a small cottage tacked on to a 
large greenhouse. I am sorry. But I hope that the 
uninstructed reader will pay attention specially to 
pages 251-273, which form the real crux of the book, 
and will thus, at least, gather some facts from these 
pages ; and that the reader of goodwill, but of not 


very strong opinions, may have his opinions strength- 
ened and confirmed, since, as Novalis says, "It is 
certain that my conviction gains immensely as soon as 
another soul can be found to share it." 

I have to thank the Editor of the Outlook for per- 
mission to reprint the Epilogue, which appeared serially 
in the columns of that journal, and I have again to 
thank Mr. A. W. G. Randall for extremely valuable — 
and indeed indispensable — assistance in the com- 
pilation and checking of instances. 

F. M. H. 

September 19 15. 















KEEPING fit" 43 ! 


























CORRECTITUDE ...... 182 




* * 












INDEX 287 I 




I ASK myself whether the time be not at hand when 
the historian and the historian's methods may not 
come into their own again. For it is a fact that the 
contemporary chronicle — the newspaper press — is, at 
any rate for the moment, dead, and that gossip sits 
upon a throne that was once occupied by Delane. 
Nothing else stands ; nothing else impresses itself 
upon the mind. If we read the official communiques 
of any of the belligerent Powers published in the daily 
press we may beheve them as far as they go, but we 
certainly suspect them of reservations. If, for in- 
stance, we read that belligerent Power A captured 
the village of Hochsternudel on April 31st, and if, 
afterwards, we hear nothing more about the village 
of Hochsternudel in the communiques of that Power, 
we may well believe that the village was captured, 
but we have absolutely no assurance that it was 
held. Similarly with the writings of the enterprising 
)- and heroic war-correspondents ; we know enough to 
be certain that the gallant officers and splendid 
privates writing from the trenches can give historical 
evidence only of what goes on exactly under their 
noses, and that the official correspondents of journals 
capture merely flying rumours. From the immense 



foam of newspaper pages that covers the land at 
breakfast time and with recurrent up-surgings from 
lunch till bed, we feel in our bones we shall not cap- 
ture even as many facts as the longshoreman watch- 
ing upon the beaches will capture corks and marine 
treasures. Rumour then steps in. 

And we seem to live in an immense cavern, in an 
immense Hall of the Winds, in a vast Whispering 
Gallery — of rumour. When I consider what remains 
in my mind of war-news of the last week, I find, 
prominently, the following items. I remember a 
lady with a deep and earnest voice — a quite serious 
lady, the daughter of a former Prime Minister of 
an allied Power, assuring a small group of people in 
an elegant room that she had it on the authority 
of an English General that the French and Belgian 
troops were behaving very badly. In every treach, 
she said she was assured, it had been found necessary 
to post two British Tommies to prevent the regiments 
of Allies from running away. Or again, at a regi- 
mental ball a young officer who had been invalided 
from the front a month or so ago assured me very 
earnestly that the British troops were fighting very 
badly, and that the Grenadier Guards had been 
weeping in the trenches for the last fortnight. Again, 
another officer assured me that Mr. Bernard Shaw 
had written the only sense that had been written 
about the war and that this country was merely lying 
hypocritically when it announced, through its ofiicial 
mouthpieces, that we had gone to war for the sake of 
Belgium. Again, an elderly Colonel who had seen 
much service in the past and is doing splendid service 
in the present, said that above all things, as chivalrous 
men, we must not, at the end of the war, demand the 


partition of the German Empire or the humiUation of 
the House of Hohenzollern. 

All these things have the appearance of trifles, but 
in the immense number of them, in the never-ceasing 
whisper of this gossip, a considerable and a very 
detrimental work is being achieved. That is a great 
misfortune. And I do not know how it can be well 
remedied unless the immense bulk of the population 
of these islands can be got to cultivate something 
of the historian's faculty. And the historian's faculty 
is nothing more or less than a habit of mind — culti- 
vated or innate — which from the uproar of a thousand 
sentences selects and retains only those things which 
are first-hand evidence. In the anecdote of the 
charming and earnest lady which I have just given 
the historian's mind would perceive at once that the 
lady's authority was a General, but the historian would 
remember that there are Generals and generals, and 
he would either reject the statement altogether as 
evidence as to the morale of the French forces, or, pur- 
suing his investigations still further, would discover 
that the General in question was a retired officer aged 
seventy-three with a deep hatred for the French 
which had persisted ever since Colonel Marchand's 
journey to Fashoda. And, with regard to the young 
officer's statement that the Grenadier Guards had 
been weeping in the trenches for the last fortnight, 
he would remember that the young officer, though 
charming and attractive, and with an excellent 
military record, had been back from the trenches a 
full ten weeks and was not in any case attached to 
the Grenadier Guards. Both these statements, then, 
are absolutely worthless. 

But the hearers of this lady and of this ofiicer, 


not choosing to exercise the historian's faculty which 
is in all men, went away from those social gatherings 
impressed with the fact that the lady was the daughter 
of a Prime Minister and had her information from a 
General, and that the officer was a gallant young 
man who had returned from the trenches. So that, 
at this moment, throughout London and in ever- 
widening rings, those two statements are being set 
about — that the French and Belgians are behaving 
very badly and that the Grenadier Guards are weep- 
ing in their trenches. And, when such members of 
the public as are influenced by these rumours read 
the despatches of General , talking of the ex- 
cellent bearing of such and such a regiment on such 
and such an occasion they will remember the saying of 
the young officer and will have, to a certain extent, 

the conviction that General is lying. 

There remain, then, the case of the officer who stated 
that Mr. Bernard Shaw had written the only sense 
that had been written about the war, and that this 
country was merely lying hypocritically when it 
announced through its official mouthpieces that we 
had gone to war for the sake of Belgium — and the 
case of the Colonel who said that, above all things, 
as chivalrous men we must not, at the end of the 
war, demand the partition of the German Empire or 
the humihation of the House of Hohenzollern. It is 
to the public affected by arguments or by pleas of 
this type that the present work is addressed. To the 
historian certainly, and probably to the mere man 
of the world the arguments of Mr. George Bernard 
Shaw appear simply as the product of an idee fixe 
ending in what I so dislike to call imbecihty that I 
will style it sheer intellectual dishonesty. Cato, we 


are told, appeared day after day in the Roman Senate 
with a bunch of figs, which he assured the Senators 
had been plucked in Carthage, and, pointing to the 
fresh and satisfactory nature of the fruit as a proof 
that the realm of the Hamilcars was dangerously 
close to Rome, exclaimed : '* Delenda est Carthago ! " 
Appearing daily before the British public, with fresh 
arguments plucked from the columns of the daily 
press, from the tree of gossip, or from amongst the 
leaves of Blue-books published during the fortnight 
before or the fortnight after the declaration of war 
of August 1914, Mr. Shaw throws his new fruit into 
the auditorium and exclaims, " Delendus est Sir 
Edward Grey" — "It is necessary that Sir Edward 
Grey should be attaindered." 

I held myself so very lately the view that it would 
be a good thing if any one other than Sir Edward 
Grey could direct the foreign affairs of this country 
that it would ill become me to attribute to Mr. Shaw 
and his colleagues, whom it is convenient to call the 
Intellectuals of this country, any base motives. And 
indeed I have no wish to attribute base motives to 
anybody. The worst that I should wish to say of 
these people at home, who by crying, as the saying 
is, " stinking fish," depreciate the cause of and dis- 
hearten the minds of the inhabitants of this country 
and of France, thus prolonging the duration of the 
war, thus being responsible for the deaths of many 
thousands of poor men — the worst that I should wish 
to say of these people is that they are guilty of in- 
tellectual dishonesty. Mr. Shaw's attacks upon Sir 
Edward Grey, Mr. Brailsford's, Mr. Ponsonby's and 
Mr. Bertrand Russell's attacks upon secret diplomacy, 
British diplomacy, or the motives that have inspired 


the Allies, are intellectually dishonest because they 
perpetually change their grounds. At one moment, 
as I shaU have to show you, secret diplomacy is, 
for the mouthpieces of the Union of Democratic 
Control, a matter of a restricted class entirely deaf 
to the voice of the people that perpetually demands 
peace. At the next moment diplomatists are unable 
to move without the bidding of a public opinion that 
is normally too bellicose. At one moment for Mr. 
Bernard Shaw, Sir Edward Grey is a ferocious chau- 
vinist, and the Emperor William II a gentle monarch 
goaded by the insults of the world into at last assum- 
ing some of the aspects of a sovereign. At the next 
moment, when Mr. Shaw desires to knock Mr. Winston 
Churchill on the head with a shillelagh. Sir Edward 
Grey is represented as being a mild and lachrymose 
pacifist, dragged into war by the exactions of per- 
manent officials at the Foreign Office, whilst the 
Kaiser becomes a blusterous autocrat, with a cool 
and cold, systematic policy. This is intellectual dis- 
honesty, for it is impossible that Sir Edward Grey 
can be both an autocratic chauvinist and a lachry- 
mose lover of peace, just as it is impossible for secret 
diplomacy to be at the same time deaf to the voice 
of the people and dependent upon popular opinion. 
It may, in fact, be moral to use any stick with which 
to beat a dog, but it is dishonest in a world so gravely 
circumstanced as is Europe of to-day to use the 
methods of the farcical dramatist or of the party 
politician when commenting upon affairs that are the 
province of the historian. 

Mr. Shaw, Mr. Brailsford, Mr. Bertrand Russell 
and their confreres employ, in short, in dealing with 
matters of real history, precisely the methods of the 


'* intellectual fictionists." They invent and clothe 
dummy figures with attributes which have some faint 
resemblance to the attributes of the persons or of the 
ideals that they pretend to portray, and then, getting 
these characters into circumstances of their own 
devising, they proceed to foil, confute, and hopelessly 
confuse their puppets according to the traditions of 
Adelphic melodrama. But let me repeat that a time 
Hke the present calls for different methods, and, in- 
deed, for differently disposed hearers. We must get 
down to the facts; we must not listen to ex parte 
statements ; we must insist upon documentation, and 
not the most splendid of oratory must move us or we 
shall be false to our country, to humanity, to those 
who are to-day dying for us, and to those who to- 
morrow shall be our children. If, in short, we are at 
all decent men, we shall either attempt to know some- 
thing of the ground facts of the case or we shall hold 
our tongues. I do not know which is the more difficult 
task. In compiling rather than writing this present 
work I am attempting to put before the reader a 
large body of what I may call ' ' ground facts ' ' or 
what the Germans call Quellen. I have tried to 
show, or, indeed, I will boldly say that here I have 
proved, at least that the German peoples and the 
Prussian State are infinitely more bellicose than any 
other people and any other State of occidental Europe. 
If the reader considers that I have proved this matter 
I presume that he will follow me in these further 
deductions : 

The strength of a civilisation is the strength only 
of its weakest link. If one of a group of nations 
persistently assume and take as a chose donnee the 
necessity for war as a means of ultimate enrichment 


none of the other States of that congeries of nations 
can possibly disarm. It is necessary, it is true, that 
after the conclusion of this war we must go on living 
with Germans. We cannot extirpate sixty-four mil- 
lion human beings, and it would be better for us 
ourselves to die than contemplate such an extirpa- 
tion. But it is not necessary for us to go on living 
with a Germany that is under the hegemony of 
Prussia, or with a Germany whose state-indoctrinated 
ideals are those of territorial aggrandisement and of 
industrial expansion based upon indemnities levied 
upon other States. It is, of course, a strong measure 
to enforce upon another people what shall be its form 
of government or what the ideals enjoined by its 
State. But, in the end, Europe is more important 
than any one State of Europe, and, in the past, in the 
case of the great Napoleon, Europe decreed that the 
Napoleonic Empire should not continue, and Europe 
had its will. So it may well be with the House of 
HohenzoUern and with the ideals of Prussianism. 

In a sense it is a waste of time to argue with men 
like Messrs. Shaw, Brailsford, Ponsonby, and Russell, 
or with organisations like the Union of Democratic 
Control and the Independent Labour Party. But, 
from another point of view, the effort is possibly worth 
while. These gentlemen are sufhciently acquainted 
with the defects of the English governmental system, 
which, being a human organisation, has defects 
enough. But of the working of German organisation 
or of the disadvantages of German life their ignorance 
is as profound as it is avowed. In the course of his 
pamphlet called "Common Sense about the War" 
Mr. Shaw, speaking as an expert, presents the reader 
with ten or fifteen instances of militarist and semi- 


militarist authors and organisations of this country. 
In the course of this work I present Mr. Shaw, 
in return, with one hundred German militarist utter- 
ances. The methods of Mr. Shaw have hitherto 
consisted in saying : * ' The Germans are militarist ; 
true, but we are just as militarist as the Germans ! " 
I doubt whether, in face of the instances that I have 
gathered together, even Mr. Shaw can continue in this 
line of argument. To put Mr. Wells, Mr. Newbolt, and 
Mr. Kipling against Kant, Hegel, Treitschke, Del- 
briick, Mommsen, Ranke, von List, Bassermann, 
M. P., von Billow, D. F. Strauss, and the rest, would, 
I imagine, appear a profitless task even to Mr. 
Shaw and his confreres, and even supposing that 
Mr. Wells and Mr. Newbolt were militarist. And, 
once this is established, all the writings of Messrs. 
Shaw, Brailsford, Russell, and the others, all the 
inquiries into the motives of Sir Edward Grey, into 
the bellicosity of Mr, Winston Churchill, into the 
duplicity of Mr. Asquith, into the duplicity of the 
Opposition Front Bench, into the desirability of 
observing treaties — all these ingenious spinnings of 
words appear, as they really are — as mere cobwebs. 

War is a filthy thing, but war will continue as 
long as a people is to be found who will listen to 
Hegel, Mommsen, Ranke, and von List preaching that 
no sound national life can exist without war. War 
is the destruction of sanity, of decency, of order, and 
of things of the intellect ; but war will continue so 
long as a national organisation can be found which 
unceasingly puts forward the writings of Clausewitz, 
Moltke, von der Goltz, and even von Bernhardi. Of 
war there is no good to be said — it is an anachronism, 
it is a horror ; but war can never cease so long as any 


one national organisation, supported by a national 
opinion, can be found to believe that war is a neces- 
sity. Why, even on July loth, 1914, Count Tisza, 
the Hungarian Premier, speaking in the Hungarian 
Chamber, stated that * ' Every State and nation must 
be able and wilhng to make war if it wishes to exist 
as a State and a nation." ^ 

Militarism is, in short, the greatest foe to humanity ; 
but militarism must be fought in the home of mili- 
tarism. It is no good for Mr. Shaw and his confreres 
to take as an axiom that all peoples are the same ; 
that all peoples have the same virtues, the same vices, 
and the same hypocrisies. They have not. The 
Germans have undoubtedly their virtues, but they 
are not the virtues of the English. The English have 
undoubtedly their vices, but they are not German 
vices. We are at war at the present moment because, 
from the earliest days to the present time, it has 
been the German state-doctrine that war is worth 
while, and the task that is before humanity is to prove 
to the German that peace pays better than war. If 
Mr. Shaw and his colleagues, with their persuasive 
oratory, can do anything to prove this to the inhabi- 
tants of Central Europe they will deserve better of 
humanity than if they demonstrated ten thousand 
times over that Sir Edward Grey is a liar and a hypo- 
crite — facts which they can have no possible means 
of ascertaining. 

But in the meantime the insidious game of attri- 
buting motives and of forming, out of gossip, history 
which can only be founded on documents, goes on. 
There is no department of life which it does not 
attack ; there is no public figure who is not accused 
^See The Times for July 17th, 1914. 


of lying, of reservations — not very often of corruption, 
but almost always of class-prejudice. I do not mean 
to say that it is exclusively the intellectual leg that is 
in this particular boot. The non-intellectuals have 
their hands in the game too ; but the non-intellectuals' 
hands are so clumsy as to defeat themselves. These, 
in short, are the childish people who allege that a 
late Lord Chancellor was in the pay of a hostile 
Power. That is more clumsy, but it is a symptom 
of the same tendency. 

With the disappearance of the Press as an influence 
we have, in short, become what the Germans call 
Klein stddtisch. Village gossip is the dominant note 
of our intellects, and, as regards public matters, we 
are all like so many gossips in the village ale-house, 
like so many women at sewing-meetings, like so many 
housemaids in the servants' hall discussing the doings 
of the upper classes in their manor-houses. That, for 
instance, is pretty exactly the quality of Mr. George 
Bernard Shaw's imaginings when he writes about the 
present war. It is, indeed, the quality of the imagin- 
ings of the whole intellectual class for many years past. 
Partly it is a quality purely detrimental and fre- 
quently disgusting — as it will be found, for instance, 
in the mouth of a park orator who is trying to foment 
class hatred, or in the pages of such journals as print 
salacious gossip about the Court, the Stage, the Bar, 
the Bench. Partly this tendency is a tendency alto- 
gether artistic, and may be used for the highest ser- 
vices of humanity. Tolstoy used it when he gave 
us the picture of Napoleon looking at the portrait of 
the King of Rome and thinking absolutely nothing ; 
Ibsen used it when he invented the gentleman who 
went about saying " People don't do such things," 


when people were doing the things all the time; 
Flaubert used it when at the cattle-show he inter- 
rupted the romantic phrases of Emma Bovary and 
her lover with the voice of the Prefect reading out 
the catalogue of prizes that had been conferred on 
pigs, oxen, and geese. Or again, to return to our 
prevalent school of intellectuals, this is the method 
of, let us say, Mr. John Galsworthy when he gives 
you a picture of some kindly and amiable people, 
sitting upon a lawn and discoursing of Christian 
charity. A lady falls off her horse outside the hedge 
and breaks her leg ; the kindly and Christian people 
with their mouths still full of altruistic sayings, rush 
out to succour her ; on discovering that she is a 
divorced woman they rush away with exclamations of 
horror. And this also is the method of Mr. Granville 
Barker, of the late Mr. St. John Hankin, and, once 
more, of Mr. Bernard Shaw himself. In actual politics, 
whether internal or international, these also are the 
methods of Mr. Arthur Ponsonby, the Hon. Bertrand 
Russell, Mr. Brailsford, and the other supporters of 
that group, partly intellectual, partly socialist, who 
have formed themselves into a body known as the 
Union of Democratic Control. Since the beginning 
of the war this body, together with the Independent 
Labour Party, which is of an exactly similar com- 
plexion, has issued a great number of pamphlets, all 
nearly identical in method and having all, apparently, 
the same aim. 

I hesitate very much to describe exactly what may 
be the aims of opponents to the cause in which I am 
interested. I hope, therefore, that I may be doing 
no injustice to these gentlemen and organisations if 
I say that the object of the Union of Democratic 


Control is to remove diplomacy from diplomatists, 
and the object of the Independent Labour Party to 
stop the war at the earliest possible opportunity 
because we must continue to live with Germany. To 
Mr. Shaw, who stands outside these two groups, I do 
not presume to ascribe any object at all. The result 
of his methods, if we were to believe his statements, 
would be the universal discredit of public characters 
upon both sides of the conflict, the discredit limiting 
itself, however, to the actions of these characters for 
perhaps six weeks before the outbreak of war. 

A fairly close scrutiny of documents will present 
you with various quaint contrasts. Thus we have, 
on the one hand, the purely ex parte and unsupported 
generahsation of Mr. Arthur Ponsonby : 

" The exclusive management of international relations 
rests in the hands of a small number of men in each 
country, whose perspective is restricted, whose vision is 
narrow, and whose sense of proportion is vitiated by the 
very fact that their work is screened from the public eye. 
The people, whose greatest interest is peace, would be 
able to take a broader view on main principles, and their 
influence, were they in a position to exercise it, would, 
undoubtedly be pacific." ^ 

On the other hand, we have the Hon. Bertrand 
Russell, in another publication of the same organisa- 
tion, saying : 

"In modern Europe diplomatists alone cannot make a 
war ; they must have the support of public opinion, and 

^ " Parliament and Foreign Policy," p. 2. By Arthur Pon- 
sonby, M.P. (Union of Democratic Control, Strand, W.C.) 


it is public opinion that must be changed if there is to 
be any hope of secure peace hereafter." ^ 

These two gentlemen, it will be observed, flatly 
contradict each other. Or, again, we have an I.L.P. 
pamphlet talking of " the Tariff Campaign, during 
which commercial rivalries were turned into national 
enmity " ^ ; or again, here is Mr. Brailsford : 

*' The crime against Belgium admits of no palliation 
or excuse. It is not, however, without precedent or 
parallel, and similar cases suggest that it is not so much 
any special obliquity in the German governing caste 
which we must blame for it, as the whole system of miU- 
tarism and secret diplomacy. In 1807, during the Napo- 
leonic Wars, the British Government was guilty of a 
similar outrage on Denmark. Denmark was a neutral 
nation, but she had a considerable fleet. Canning be- 
lieved, or affected to believe, that Napoleon intended by 
pressure on Denmark to acquire the Danish fleet for his 
own use. He resolved, therefore, to do himself the very 
thing that he charged Napoleon with planning. He 
ordered our fleet to attack Denmark, and it blockaded 
Copenhagen, defeated the Danish ships, and captured and 
appropriated them for our own purposes." ^ 

Mr. Brailsford here entirely omits any justification 
of his statement that the bombardment of Copen- 
hagen was due to the ' ' whole system of militarism 

^ " War, the Offspring of Fear," p. 4. By Hon. Bertrand 
Russell (Union of Democratic Control) . 

* " How the War came," p. 4. (Labour and War Pamph- 
lets, No. I, published by Independent Labour Party.) 

3 "Belgium and 'the Scrap of Paper,' " p. 3. By H. N. 
Brailsford. (Independent Labour Party, Salisbury Square, 


and secret diplomacy" ; omits the fact that, by the 
various Reform Bills that have been passed since 1807, 
the entire British governmental machinery has been 
altered, and omits to observe that whereas Germany 
in 1914 had guaranteed the inviolability of Belgium 
as lately as in 1911, Great Britain in 1807 had done 
nothing of the sort for Denmark. Or again, in an 
even more irresponsible vein we have Mr. Shaw's 
statement that — 

" The Kaiser is a Junker, though less true blue than 
the Crown Prince, and much less autocratic than Sir 
Edward Grey, who, without consulting us, sends us to war 
by a word to an Ambassador and pledges all our wealth 
to his foreign AUies by a stroke of his pen." * 

On this sheer imbecility, regarded as Pro-German 
propaganda, it is unnecessary to comment. It is 
choicely paralleled by the statement issued by '* Foreign 
Office, Berlin, August 1914," to the effect that — 

" The investigation of the crime [the murder of the 
Archduke Ferdinand and his Consort] through the Austro- 
Hungarian authorities has yielded the fact that the con- 
spiracy against the life of the Archduke and successor to 
the throne was prepared and abetted in Belgrade with the 
co-operation of Servian officials, and executed with arms 
from the Servian State arsenal." ^ 

^ " Common Sense about the War," p. 2. By George Ber- 
nard Shaw. (Published by The New Statesman.) 

2 " The German White Book," " The only authorised 
translation." " How Russia and her Ruler betrayed Ger- 
many's confidence and thereby made the European War," 
p. 3. (Druck und Verlag Liebheit und Thiesen. BerUn.) The 
singular English of this German official document and the 
use of the word " yielded " imply nothing at all. They omit 


The methods, in short, of this whole school of con- 
troversialists are those of the artist — and of the irre- 
sponsible artist at that. Just as the novelist of a 
certain school will make all landowners appear to be 
oppressive and unimaginative, or just as novelists of 
another school will make all Socialists appear in the 
guise of wife-beaters or usurers, or all Christians 
fornicators and dipsomaniacs, so these writers treat 
of secret diplomacy, British diplomacy. Sir Edward 
Grey, or other prominent figures of the discussions 
which preceded the war. It does not much matter 
whether the artist in question be Mr. Shaw, Henrik 
Ibsen, or the ingenious author of an article in the 
Neues Wiener Journal, a semi-official organ, who 
states that — 

" The Zweibund is now fighting with seven nations. It 
is obvious that some of these do not count from the point 
of view of civilisation. Japan is a plague of moths. 
Menagerie peoples like the Servians and the Montenegrins 
are altogether out of the reckoning. ... As for France 
... a people that never was in earnest, not even for an 
hour ; that never was modest, not even for an hour ; a 
people that has never believed in anything higher than 
sexual love, pleasure, the vanities of dilettantist art and 
the cheaply decked glories of the stage ; . . . a people 
incapable of wisdom, incapable of justice, incapable of 
repentance ; that to every one of its sins super-adds 
the sins of defiance or that of a lying denial ; a people 
that suffers from the worst of all national maladies, 

to point out that even the Austro-Hungarian trial of the 
murder of the Archduke did not take place until September 
and October 191 4, and that therefore these investigations 
had, at the date of the pubhcation of the " German White 
Book," " yielded " nothing at all. 


epidemic falsehood — such a people is lost beyond the 
possibility of rescue." ^ 

But I ask myself the question whether the time for 
the use of the method of this school as an exclusive 
standard for judging life, ethics, carnage, diplomacy, 
economics and religion, has not gone by. It is no 
doubt valuable to point out, as Mr. Shaw does, in the 
opening act of Arms and the Man, that a soldier 
who has fought like the devil may be possessed by a 
passion for chocolate cream and for sleep. But, in 
the end, that is only a picturesque detail — and only a 
detail, however picturesque. And by obscuring the 
fact that the soldier was an efficient soldier Mr. Shaw 
is not giving a true picture of life : he is really obscur- 
ing the issues. It is, in fact, mere " chatter about 
Harriet" all over again. And, by applying this 
method to international politics Mr. Shaw is as much 
obscuring the issue as if he were to insist that the main 
characteristic of Shakespeare was infidelity to Mrs. 

The " Fall Shakespeare," as the Germans call it, is 
a very exact illustration simply because we know just 
as much about Shakespeare as we know of the main 
figures of the diplomatic contest that preceded the 
various declarations of war of August 1914. We 
know, in fact, nothing whatever about Shakespeare ; 
just as we know nothing whatever about Sir Edward 
Grey, M. Sasonoff, Count Tisza, the German Emperor, 
or M. Delcass6. We have, however, a general sense 
of Shakespeare's personality which we gather from his 
published works, including the bequeathing of his 

1 Article by Egon Friedell, quoted in Foreign Opinion, 
March 31st, 1915. 


second-best bed to his wife. But A, reading the works 
and will of Shakespeare, will have a totally different 
view of Shakespeare's character from the view gradually 
impressed upon the minds of B, C, D, and so on ad 
infinitum. We shall, that is to say, be always in 
doubt whether Shakespeare in his proper person 
speaks in the mouth of lago, of Portia, of the melan- 
choly Jaques, of Lear, or of Timon of Athens. 

My private conviction, for instance, may well be 
that the passionate inner ideas of Shakespeare are 
expressed, as regards life, in the worst ravings of 
Timon, and that his ideas as regards art are put down 
in the scene of Hamlet with the players. Shake- 
speare, in fact, according to this theory, would have 
liked to have written plays about " mobled queens" ; 
but he was forced by the demands of the commercial 
enterprise of which he was a director to put into the 
mouth of Lear the words, " And my poor fool is dead." 

This, however, is merely my private conviction, and, 
from an historical point of view, it is valueless. There 
is absolutely no more evidence to support it than 
there is to support Mr. Shaw's statement that Mr. 
Winston Churchill was dying to take off his coat in 
public, while Sir Edward Grey and Mr. Asquith were 
trying to avert war. Nevertheless, a reasonably bril- 
liant writer could make an exceedingly convincing 
picture of Shakespeare as a man unfaithful to Mrs. 
Shakespeare, as a friend passionately decrying friend- 
ship, and as a poet bearing a grudge against the world 
which would not buy passages of loose and violent 
rhetoric couched in windy and incomprehensible lan- 

So our intellectuals have created for us fancy 
pictures of Sir Edward Grey, of Mr. Winston Churchill, 


of the Prime Minister, of Lord Kitchener, of the Ger- 
man Emperor, of the Austrian Emperor, of the Russian 
Tsar, and of Count Berchtold. But these fancy pic- 
tures have absolutely no evidence to support them. 
Gossip in plenty there will be. I remember, for in- 
stance, in the year 1909, being at a function at the 
then German Ambassador's, Count Paul von Wolff- 
Metternich. I met there two people, a man and his 
wife, who asserted that they had just come from 
stopping with Sir Edward Grey at Howick (!), that Sir 
Edward Grey had uttered at the dinner-table senti- 
ments of an extreme fear, personal dishke, and dis- 
belief in the hona-fides of Germany. This, of course, 
is a perfectly absurd anecdote, because the persons 
who told it me, as I discovered afterwards, had never 
seen Sir Edward Grey ; and yet it is a perfectly true 
one, because I have simply recorded what I heard 
at Count Metternich's; nevertheless, it certainly 
coloured my own views of Sir Edward Grey right up 
to August 4th, 1914. Or again, in June 1913 I was 
assured by a certain individual that he had been taken 
round the room of the First Lord of the Admiralty at 
Whitehall, and had been shown by Mr. Winston 
Churchill portrait after portrait of bottle-nosed gentle- 
men in three-cornered hats, all former First Lords of 
the Admiralty. And Mr. Churchill is said, ' ' gloat- 
ingly," to have pointed out First Lord after First 
Lord, such a one having been ruler of the Navy at 
the time of the glorious First of June, such a one in 
the day of Trafalgar, such another at Navarino. The 
implication was, of course, that Mr. Churchill expected 
or desired to see his own portrait take its place on 
those walls as that of the First Lord of the Admiralty 
in the day of Armageddon. That, of course, is again 


a pretty story, but as far as historical evidence goes 
it is the merest nonsense. It has the value of a 
park orator's account of the habits and ideals of 
Dukes, Judges of the High Court, and Archbishops. 

In peace-time it is no doubt a soothing and agree- 
able occupation to take away reputations, to besmirch 
public characters, and to ruin homes, as it were, for 
the love of God, or to get oneself the reputation of a 
brilliant conversationalist. But it seems to me that, 
in a time of war, when, whatever happens, the fate of 
humanity and of civilisation is to be decided for ever, 
somewhat graver methods, in the interest of intellectual 
honesty, should be adopted. 

One's scheme of life may be such that one may not 
care at all which side prevail so that one's reputation 
or one's profits shall be increased ; one may know 
that, by one's writing, one may depress one side and 
hearten up the other so that the war may be extremely 
prolonged, and a million or so of men in consequence 
meet their deaths. One may be cynical enough to 
disregard that fact — and cynicism is a quality of im- 
portance to the world. But few writers, I think, are 
sufficiently cynical to desire to be intellectually dis- 
honest. The intellect is their tool, and the workman 
who defiles his tool is apt to consider himself the 
basest of mankind. 



In the foregoing section I have paid only cursory 
attention to the writings of Mr. Shaw and the other 
gentlemen whom it is convenient to call * ' pro-Prussian 
apologists." But, although my conscience is satisfied 
that my cursory generalisations are a perfectly 
fair diagnosis of these gentlemen's cases, I am aware 
that I may not have succeeded in convincing the 
reader to that effect. I have therefore prepared a 
very elaborate answer to Mr. Shaw, taking sentence 
by sentence a portion of his pamphlet called "Common 
Sense about the War," and making such comments as 
appear to be necessary. I have also prepared moder- 
ately elaborate replies to what appear to me to be the 
main arguments of Mr. Brailsford and his colleagues. 
But, since these compilations may form somewhat heavy 
reading for many readers, and since, in any case, they 
can hardly be called literature, the production of which 
is one of my main interests, I have thought it better 
to print these somewhat elaborate compilations with 
a great number of cited documents, in two Appendices 
which will be found at the end of the volume. 

Let us now seek to define the limits to which honest 
criticism of personalities should be restricted. 



This is perhaps the most important aspect of the 
present day ; perhaps it is the most important aspect 
of all historic times and of all historic judgments. It 
is perhaps a necessity, but in that case it is a lamen- 
table necessity, that popular judgments of history 
should be formed by rule-of-thumb statements, such 
as that King John was a villain, or King Henry VIII 
a Protestant hero. Probably we can know nothing 
at all about the personality of John ; certainly we 
can know so much about the personality of Henry VIII 
as to be utterly befogged. For the fact is that every 
public man has a dual personality ; is, that is to say, 
homo duplex in the strictest scientist's use of that term. 
He exists, on the one hand, with his private dislikes, 
his private passions, with all the incidental private 
relationships of any other man ; and, in addition, the 
most autocratic of public characters is forced to be 
modified by the traditions of the office which he fills. 
For the traditions of the office that one fills may vary 
in power and may vary in effect according to the 
given personality ; but they are always at work. And 
the real difficulty of the historian is to be found in 
the historian's own mind. The popular hatred felt 
in this country for the private personality of the 
Emperor William II is a stupid thing; but it is not 
more stupid than the hatred for Sir Edward Grey 
which is shared and fostered by the German people 
and by Mr. Shaw and his intellectual colleagues. 
For it is fairly safe to say that 90 per cent, of 
the popular hatred of the Emperor William II is 
bestowed upon the empty shell of that potentate's 
official robes, necessities, and traditions. If I were 
writing loosely, or speaking colloquially, I should 
commit myself to uttering the private conviction, 


founded upon a great deal of gossip and upon two short 
personal conversations with the Emperor William II 
— that the man, William II from the very beginning 
hated the present war, desired nothing so much as 
amicable relations with this country, with France, 
and with the Empire of Russia. I have the very 
genuine conviction that in private life William II is a 
kindly, well-meaning, extremely stupid and infinitely 
too impulsive personality. On the two occasions when 
I had the honour of conversing with this sovereign 
he flatly contradicted himself, using on each occasion 
expressions of extreme vigour, though the matter 
itself was of no importance whatever. 

But all this personal information, whether direct 
or whether in the nature of gossip from persons in the 
position to communicate personal information, does 
not amount to a row of pins as far as the serious writ- 
ing of history is concerned. If, as I have been credibly 
informed, the Emperor broke in half the pen with 
which he signed the mobilisation order of July 1914, 
and violently threw the fragments upon the ground, 
it does not really affect the public character of Wil- 
liam II. For William II as an institution is more 
than William II the man. It is two forces, the one 
unknown to us, the other ascertainable enough, func- 
tioning at different angles and producing progress in 
one given direction. A wind blowing from due 
north-east to due south-west, impinging upon the sails 
of a ship may, according as those sails are set, send 
the ship on a due easterly course or a due westerly 
course; but the only thing which the cargo in the 
hold can constater is that it is being carried east or 
west, as the case may be. And the only thing that 
we have a right to consider in writing about the 


origins of the present war is the pubHc actions of the 
characters and their duly authenticated pubHc speeches 
or despatches. Let me labour and relabour this point. ^ 

^ I will add the following further illustrative detail. I 
was, I believe, the first English writer to call the attention of 
this country to the fact that expressions of hostility to Eng- 
land were to be expected from the German Crown Prince. I 
had been informed, as early as 1903, by one of the Prince's 
tutors, a Professor of the University of Bonn, that this was 
certainly to be expected because the Emperor, either from 
genuine predilection or from poUcy, was an avowed friend of 
Great Britain. According to this gentleman the tradition of 
the House of HohenzoUern was always to have a successor 
to the throne in opposition to the reigning sovereign. In 
this way complete loyalty, if not to the reigning sovereign, 
then to the Royal House, was assured, since the supporters 
of the reigning sovereign would be satisfied because they were 
in the ascendency, whilst those opposing the sovereign would 
be more patient because they would have the expectation of 
coming into power with the ascent to the throne of the Heir- 
apparent. In 1909, in a leader to The English Review, I 
called attention to this fact in an article which — or, at least I 
was so informed by the proprietor who succeeded me in the 
possession of that organ — caused a great deal of annoyance 
at the German Embassy in London. Nor, indeed, did we 
have long to wait for the Crown Prince's public announcement 
that this was his policy, since, in 191 1, from a box in the 
Reichstag, the Crown Prince applauded words of violent 
hostility to England which were being uttered by Herr von 
Heydebrand. This speech will be found in Appendix A 
amongst the selection of one hundred German militarist 
utterances. I may add that the Professor who made this 
prophecy, and who was intimately acquainted with the Crown 
Prince personally, since he was the Prince's tutor, informed 
me that this hostility to England, when it came, would be 
purely platonic and dictated by reasons of State, the Crown 
Prince having quite cordial feeUngs towards at any rate those 
Enghsh whom he had met in England. I do not wish the 
reader, however, to draw any deduction from these statements, 


I have said that we can know so much about the 
personaHty of Henry VIII as to become hopelessly 
befogged as to what was the real character of that 
potentate. In 1539 Henry VIII built castles at 
Deal, Walmer, Sandgate, and Winchelsea. The ac- 
counts of these castles he scrutinised apparently with 
jealous care, and thus we have him writing with his 
own hand upon the equivalent of an ironmonger's 
bill from Sandgate : ' ' 2^d. the dozen is too dear for 
flesh -hooks/' ^ Nevertheless, the public records of 
Henry VIII show that person — in his public capacity 
— to have been of a prodigality so enormous and so 
reckless that although, when he came to the throne, 
he was by far the most wealthy monarch of Christen- 
dom, in a comparatively short space of time he was 
reduced to the expedient of selling leaden roofs off 
churches in order to keep going. 

I am not saying that researches into the private 
character of that first Defender of the Faith are not 
an agreeable form of occupation for the constructive 
artist or the analytical psychologist, or that the retail- 
ing of gossip about Sir Edward Grey and the German 
Emperor is not an agreeable pastime for those who 
care to engage in it. But the essential thing, the 
absolutely necessary thing for the historian, as for the 

which may be true or may be false. I simply wish to point 
out that all that, authentically and historically, we know is 
that the Crown Prince applauded Herr von Heydebrand, and 
that the Conservative Party to which Herr Heydebrand be- 
longed was at that time in opposition to the policy of the 
Imperial Government, the policy of the Imperial Government 
making at any rate ostensibly for reconciliation with Great 
Britain and with France. 

^ Catalogue of State Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the 
Reign of Henry VIII, vol. xv., p. 393. 


decent controversialist, is to cleanse all these matters 
out of his mind as carefully as he would cleanse a 
saucepan of onions before setting to work to boil 
milk in it. For him there should exist nothing but, 
at worst, the printed document, and, at best, the actual 
manuscript in the handwriting of the character to be 
analysed. And the public should place no credence 
whatever in a writer writing controversially upon such 
matters as the origins of a war unless either in foot- 
notes or in the text the exact references are given for 
the authority for statements of fact and the exact 
quotations of speeches or of written documents, with, 
again, exact references to the pages of the books, 
pamphlets, or official printed documents in which 
these things may be found by the reader himself if 
he care to take the trouble. All controversial 
writings that are not so documented are absolutely 

At the same time, the public should carefully guard 
its mind from the fallacy, purely German in origin, that 
the province of the historian is simply the amassing 
of documentations, or of what the Germans call 
Quellen. In another work I have pointed out that 
the great defect of German education has been that 
its energies were entirely devoted to researches, and 
that it entirely neglected constructive work. Let me 
then say boldly that the only cause for the existence 
of the historian is that he should be an artist — that 
he should re-create past times, even if that past be 
only distant by the space of ten minutes. My quarrel 
with Mr. Shaw, in fact, is not that he has written bril- 
liantly about facts, but that he has invented facts and 
has then written brilliantly about them. Without 
giving us any Quellen at all — any documents by 


which we may check his utterances — he has written 
many brilliant sentences with the object of inducing 
the reader to believe that the German national psy- 
chology is exactly the same as the British national 
psychology. That might form very fittingly the thesis 
for an amusing play like, say, John Bull's Other 
Island] but, regarded as matter of constructive 
historic art, it is sheer dishonesty. I am at least 
driven to this conclusion by the fact that Mr. Shaw 
claims no acquaintanceship with German life and 
exhibits no familiarity whatever with German docu- 
ments. In writing the pages that follow I am at- 
tempting to reconstruct from my own consciousness 
the psychologies of the three Western Powers chiefly 
engaged in the present contest. I am attempting, 
that is to say, to remedy some of the mischief that 
has been done in the world by these lazy and loose- 
thinking analogists who assert that German, British, 
and French are alike governed by flagitious and 
hereditary ruling classes, are alike inspired by in- 
sidious and concealed sentiments of militarism — are 
alike, in reahty, bulldogs whilst desiring to present the 
aspect of gazelles. 

The service that I am about to try to do the reader 
is precisely this : I am about to give very exactly 
phrased first-hand evidence, not of the Englishman as 
he is or was, not of the Englishman as I have found 
him to be, but of that individual as I have found 
myself to be. And I am about to give exactly phrased 
first-hand evidence of the German as I have found 
him to be, and of the Frenchman. If the reader have 
ever been present in a British court of law he or she 
will have heard the Judge directing the jury as to what 
evidence they must keep in mind, and what, sup- 


posing it to have crept in, they must omit altogether 
from their considerations. 

I will ask the reader, therefore, to bear in mind that 
I am about, as conscientiously as if I had been put 
upon my oath, to give evidence as to the relative 
civilisations of these three peoples. Let me here 
dwell for a moment upon the nature — and of course 
upon the limitations — of my experience as to, say, the 
relative bellicosities of the British and of the Germans. 

I am ready, then, to swear with the utmost solemnity, 
and in any form that is prescribed to me, to the fol- 
lowing facts : I have never in my life heard an Eing- 
lishman say that war, academically regarded, could be 
beneficial either to the British State or to the private 
individual. I have never in my life heard an English- 
man advocate war with any European nation, and I 
have never in my life read one word, sufficiently strongly 
put to remain in my mind, written by any modern 
English writer, responsible or irresponsible, that advo- 
cated either war as a panacea for humanity or the de- 
claration of war upon any European State or Great 
Power. Let me be explicit with the reader as to what 
this means, regarded as evidence. I do not wish to 
allege that no Englishman in modern times ever ad- 
vocated war or threats of war. Indeed, I will point to 
what is for me a very striking exception — to myself. 
For, in 1909, I expressed, as rousingly as I could, my 
conviction that an invulnerable British Fleet was a 
sole guarantee of the peace of the world, and that it 
was the duty of the British Government to threaten 
to declare war on Germany if Germany laid down so 
much as one single new battleship. Nevertheless, 
with the deepest emotion of conscientiousness, I can 
assertjjthat those words were dictated by a sincere 


love of peace. I was convinced that such a declara- 
tion by the British Government would ensure that 
Germany would abandon her shipbuilding programme. 
Again, I do not wish to assert that, merely because 
I have never in my life come across English militarist 
speeches or writings, that such speeches or writings 
were absolutely non-existent. I have mixed in 
general conversation with almost every class of 
English society, but I do not claim to have mixed 
with every class, and I may confess to having been aU 
my life impatient of the conversation of persons 
whom I have considered to be fools. And, until 
August 1914, I should have considered that sort of 
person to be a fool who advocated war as a remedy 
for the iUs of humanity, or who desired a British 
declaration of war, in furtherance of British interests, 
against any one of the European States or Great 
Powers. I should have considered that person to be a 
fool, and I should have avoided his society, or I should 
not have listened whilst he was talking. But I do 
not remember ever having been under that necessity. 
Similarly, I have passed a large portion of my life in 
reading and in hearing about books, and, had any 
work of authority or any speaker of influence advo- 
cated war with any of the Great Powers or war as 
a remedy for human diseases, it is unlikely that it 
would have escaped my, at least, cursory attention. 
Indeed, the very fact that I myself should have written 
anything so apparently bellicose as the passage about 
the German Navy to which I have just referred, is 
evidence that I found the world of men in which I 
lived and the books which I read insufficiently aware 
of what to me was a patent fact — that an invulner- 
able British Navy was the chief guarantee of the 


peace of the world. As a writer I have always bothered 
my head so little about politics that I have very 
rarely written about public matters. When I have 
so written I have always tried to say something that 
I did not know was being said elsewhere. Moreover, 
the journal in question was in opposition to the 
Government of that day, and, as far as I have been 
able to discover, the article attracted not the slightest 
attention in any quarter. 

For as much, then, as it is worth, I offer this nega- 
tive evidence. I will add to it the positive evidence 
that I have never met a German — with one exception, 
that of Professor Walther Schiicking, of Marburg — 
who did not, if the subject of war came up in general 
conversation, allege it as his opinion that war had 
very great advantages as a panacea for human and 
national diseases. A great many Germans also have 
in my hearing advocated the thorough beating down 
and humbling of the French nation and the complete 
extirpation of the British Navy. In addition, so great 
is the bulk of German militarist literature that I have 
read, before the war and without much interest, that 
the impression remains with me that, whereas every 
German serious writer takes the possibility of war as 
one of the resources of the German Empire, I have 
never read one single word in German which advo- 
cated peace as a constant and indestructible factor of 
the world. The philosophy of the State, whether the 
State be regarded merely as an ideal or whether that 
ideal be the present German Empire — philosophising, 
then, about the State is an occupation to which every 
German writer devotes a large portion of his energies. 
Whether it be historians like Ranke, Mommsen, and 
Treitschke, or whether it be eminent investigators into 


every other branch of human material or mental 
activity such as Professors Eucken, Oncken, von 
Wagner, von List, or whether it be the great who are 
great for quite other reasons — whether it be Wagner, 
Nietzsche, Kant, or Hegel — every one of these Teu- 
tonically eminent has accepted war as part of a theory 
of State about which they find it necessary to write. And 
it is impossible to have gone through life without having 
had some acquaintance with the writings of Ranke, 
Mommsen, Treitschke, Oncken, Fontane, von Wagner, 
von List, Richard Wagner, Nietzsche, Kant, and Hegel, 
since these have formed, at any rate until August 1914, 
the ordinary reading of a normally cultured man. 

I will put the matter in another way. Having, then, 
this normal acquaintance with German serious litera- 
ture I set myself to work to compile the one hundred 
militarist utterances from German serious literature 
that will be found in Appendix A. These were got 
together without any particular trouble. Having at 
the same time a naturally deeper acquaintance with 
English works of what is called serious literature, I 
attempted, for my own satisfaction, to collect a 
number of passages of a militarist tendency from 
English writers of my everyday acquaintance. And, 
using as much industry and a certainly greater in- 
timacy, I was utterly unable to collect any instances 
at all from writers of anything like the weight of those 
Germans whose names I have just mentioned. Neither 
Darwin nor Huxley, neither Spencer nor Mill, neither 
Lord Acton nor Professor Gardiner, neither Pater 
nor D. G. Rossetti have yielded me any passages 
whatever which would go to prove that the basis of 
the State was the waging of war, or that war in itself 
is a sublime occupation without which nations suffer 


intellectual and material decay. On the other hand, 
every one of the German writers whom I have just 
mentioned have yielded such passages. 

If I were asked, then, to give my relative impres- 
sions of England or of Germany with regard to belli- 
cosity of attitude I should have no doubt whatever 
in saying that the English were unmartial to a degree 
that rendered them a danger to peace, whilst the 
Germans were martial to a degree that rendered them 
absolutely ridiculous. And I do not think that I can 
be accused, as an observer, of any partiality to this 
country. On the contrary, the normal German's ap- 
parent love of literature, the pursuit of which is my 
profession in life, and the normal Englishman's in- 
capacity to have any sense of the relative values of 
literature, predisposed me to take favourable views of 
many German manifestations. These last I can now 
perceive to have been symptoms of a disease which 
has caused the German nation to be the greatest 
menace to humanity that the world has ever seen, or 
that has, at least, been chronicled in recorded history. 

Such, then, is my very exactly recorded impression 
of the relative bellicosities of these two peoples. And, 
whilst warning the reader that they are only im- 
pressions and as such not as direct evidence as might 
be given in a murder case by a man who had seen a 
revolver fired off, I must at the same time remind 
him that the impressions of a man who has spent 
the great part of his life in recording impressions with 
an extreme exactitude are, say, of as much value, 
supposing him to have had sufficient opportunities to 
form conclusions, as the evidence, in a case of murder 
by poison, of the analytical chemist who finds traces 
in the body of a victim of a poison difficult of analysis. 




Let us attempt to recapture, in as precise a phrase- 
ology as we may, what was the British psychology 
immediately prior to the outbreak of the present war, 
and what was the state of affairs in England then. 
So remote does that period seem that the task is one 
of some difficulty, and the field is singularly open to 
those who are anxious to prove that Great Britain 
at that date was a militarist menace to the rest of 
Europe. So absolutely are our minds now fixed upon 
the affairs of the present, so bellicose in consequence 
has every proper man become, that, if Mr. Bernard 
Shaw or Herr Dernburg choose to assert that before 
July 1914 every Englishman was a raging fire-eater, 
there are few of us with our minds sufficiently con- 
centrated upon the immediate past to be able to ques- 
tion, much less to confute, those generalisations. And 
that is partly a matter of shame. Because the neces- 
sities of the day are so essentially martial we are 
ashamed to think that we were ever pacifist ; because 
Germany — the German peoples as well as the Prussian 
State — have now put into practice precepts which 
they have been enjoining for the last century and a 
decade, I am ashamed to think that less than a year 
ago I had, for the German peoples, if not for the 
Prussian State, a considerable affection and some 



esteem. By a coincidence, then, which I must regard 
as the most curious of my Hf e — though, indeed, in these 
kaleidoscopic days something similar may well have 
been the fate of many inhabitants of these islands — in 
the middle of July, 1914, I was in Berwickshire en- 
gaged in nothing less than tentative machinations 
against the seat in Parliament of — Sir Edward Grey ! 
In the retrospect this may well appear to have been 
a fantastic occupation, but how fantastic do not all 
our occupations of those days now appear! On the 
morning of July 20th, 1914, I stood upon the platform 
of Berwick-on-Tweed station reading the London 
papers. The London papers were exceedingly excited, 
and I cannot say that I myself was other than pessi- 
mistic — as to the imbecility of human nature, and, 
more particularly, as to the imbecility of the Liberal 
Party, and, more particularly again, as to that of the 

editors of the and the , which are Liberal 

party organs. These organs at that date were, in 
veiled language, calling for the abdication of the King 
of England. That, again, sounds fantastic. But 
there it is ; the files of the newspapers are there to 
testify to it. 

Those organs, then, reminded the world, the sove- 
reign, or what it is convenient to call the Court Party, 
that the day for the intervention of monarchs in 
public affairs was past ; that an immense and pas- 
sionate democracy, international in its functions and 
one-minded in its aspirations, had taken control of 
the world, and that the past, with its absolutisms, its 
oligarchisms, its so very limited monarchies, its 
dictatorships, and its wars was over and done with. 
We had had a very tiring London season ; I seem to 
recapture still very well the feelings of lassitude which 


made me dislike having to turn my mind again to 
excited political matters. By the middle of July in 
a properly constituted world the Eton and Harrow 
match and the Universities' match at Lord's have 
brought the interests of the world to an end. We 
seek brighter skies than those of London ; the Houses 
of Parliament may be expected to slumber for a few 
days more upon their benches and the Press devotes 
itself to the activities of the sea-serpent or to specula- 
tion as to ideal matrimonial states. We do not, as a 
rule, look for newspapers during August. 

Besides, I had got myself into a frame of mind for 
occupying my thoughts with past things — polished 
armour, shining swords, fortresses, conflagrations, the 
driving off of cattle, the burning of inhabitants within 
their dwellings — all those impossible things of the 
past which assuredly would never come again. For, 
on July 20th, 1914, it was impossible to think of war, 
though it might be desirable to eject Sir Edward Grey 
from the parliamentary representation of the town 
of Berwick-on-Tweed. Sir Edward Grey was un- 
doubtedly a nuisance. My own chief objection to 
him was that in 1909 he had not sufficiently backed 
up Russia when Austria annexed Bosnia and Herze- 
govina. I said to myself, and I said frequently to 
other people, that Great Britain had gained a lasting 
discredit from this instance of the pusillanimity of its 
rulers. What credit, indeed, I asked, could ever 
attach to Great Britain again in the councils of the 
nations ? As it appeared to me. Sir Edward Grey 
had not backed up Russia, but had ever since been 
attempting to propitiate that Empire by presenting 
her with little spiced cakes in the form of valuable 
spheres of influence — now it was bits of Persia, now 


Mongolia, now it was some other pin-prick to Ger- 
many which Russia asked for. I regarded Sir Edward 
Grey's chief occupation, since he had lately announced 
that he never read the newspapers, as being that of 
delivering ceaseless pin-pricks to Germany. This 
roused Germany, which had always seemed to me a 
rather childish Power, to slightly absurd foamings at 
the mouth and threats of a war that was obviously 
impossible. People would not go to war ; public 
opinion was against it. Democracy, though it might 
be a nuisance as a too facile instrument in the hands 
of party politicians, and even a menace when voiced 

by the and the , would at least have the virtue 

of its defects, and, with no uncertain voice, would 
prohibit the firing of a single shot. War, anyhow, was 

I am, perhaps, attaching too much importance to 
my speculations as to war. For the fact is that I 
did not speculate as to war at all. It was one of the 
impossible things that we left out of our calculations 
altogether. It was like the idea of one's personal 
death which one dislikes contemplating and puts out 
of the mind ; but it had — the idea of war — none of 
the inevitability that attaches to the idea of death. 

Nevertheless, Sir Edward Grey was a nuisance. By 
his pin-pricks he fomented the absurd rages of Ger- 
many and thus brought Germany into the foreground 
of things. And, whatever the world needed, it par- 
ticularly did not need attention drawn to Germany. 
Germany, at that date, I hoped, was well on the road 
to national bankruptcy, and going faster and faster in 
that direction. And the sooner Germany was done 
for by those pacific means the better I should be 
pleased, since one might hope that the Germans would 


then return to their simple pastoral pursuits, leave 
off sitting in overheated red-plush restaurants, reading 
offensive and gross journals, and drinking chemical 
drinks that were not good for them. But, indeed, 
except for thinking that Sir Edward Grey paid a great 
deal too much attention to Germany, I bothered my 
head about that Power very little. It may even be 
possible that I am giving you too elaborate a picture 
of my frame of mind as I stood upon the platform of 
Berwick-on-Tweed station reading the daily papers on 
July 20th, 1914. And yet I do not think that I am 
over- exaggerating what passed through my mind. It 
is true that I had wanted to think about the Border 
warfare ; about Rokehope, which would have been a 
pleasant place if the false thieves would let it be ; 
about Edom o' Gordon ; about the Widdringtons, 
and about the little old bridge that goes across the 
Tweed into England from Berwick which is neither 
England nor Scotland, but just Berwick. And the 
quaint reflection crossed my mind that, if ever Eng- 
land went to war with Russia as her ally, we might 
well attainder Sir Edward Grey, since Sir Edward Grey 
sits for Berwick, and Berwick is still at war with Russia, 
the proclamation of peace after the Crimea having 
been omitted in the town of Berwick-on-Tweed, which 
is neither England nor Scotland. 

At any rate, there I was upon the long, narrow, 
crowded platform of the station, and I had an hour 
and a half to wait for the train that was to convey me 
to the town of Duns, in Berwickshire. I was sur- 
rounded and a good deal jostled by an alien, dark, 
foreign-spoken population ; mariners all, all loud- 
voiced, all discoursing rather incomprehensibly of the 
doings of the Ann and Nellie, of the Peter Smith and 


of the Last Hope. They talked, these dusky people, 
in the gloom of the covered platform, of singular feats 
of sailing, of nets, of rock-salt, and of the gutting of 
herrings. The situation, and the hour, were all the 
more proper for introspection and for taking stock of 
oneself, not only because of the intense solitude amongst 
that populace from whom I was certainly descended, 
as because of the fact that an immense public 
convulsion was about to overwhelm the people of at 
least one of these islands, and because, amidst threats 
of revolution in the other islands, a definite step had 
been taken. On July 19th, 1914, in fact. His Majesty 
the King had summoned a Conference to discuss the 
Home Rule problem. I was going, however, to have 
a good deal of golf, some billiards, some auction, and, 
I hoped, some riding amongst the Cheviots, and I 
am bound to confess that, if the golf and the auction 
were not the chief interests in my existence, for the 
moment, at any rate, the topography of that Border 
country was really the major interest of a period in 
which I was inclined mostly for what is known as 
" slacking." One doesn't know what one will find in 
a country-house to which one is going for the first time, 
so that, during such waitings at junctions, a certain 
amount of mental drifting is perhaps pardonable. 


*' KEEPING fit" 

The reader will by this time be aware that I am 
describing truthfully and as carefully as possible the 
frame of mind of the average Englishman of July 1914. 
I am attempting, therefore, to provide as exact an 
historical document as if I were reporting the proces 
verbal of the trial of Joan of Arc or the speeches and 
votes during a sitting of Parliament. I am presenting, 
perfectly accurately, the workings of a compara- 
tively normal English mind on an occasion which, 
for personal reasons, remains singularly clearly with 
me. This seems to me to be a method of controversy 
much more fair than that which would consist in 
saying, " The Englishman is a militarist," or " The 
Englishman is a flannelled fool too indifferent to public 
matters to think of anything other than the problem 
of getting past 'silly point.'" And, indeed, repre- 
hensible as it may appear in that time of public 
tumult, this particular Anglo-Saxon did certainly 
meditate upon the fact that, the turf of Scottish greens 
being very velvety, and, as it were, sticky, it would 
probably be necessary, in making approaches, to use a 
clean niblick shot rather than that sort of half-topped 
mashie effect which results in ' ' running-up ' ' to the 
hole. That, as I say, may appear reprehensible. 
There were the North and the South ready to be at 



each other's throats ; we were, very likely, on the 
verge of a disastrous civil and religious war ; the 
portentous incident of the Curragh might bode any- 
thing for the constitutional development of these 
islands — and there I was, thinking about how to hole 
out at Kelso or at North Berwick. 

I must plead, as an excuse, our national sense that it 
is a duty to keep " fit." Since my very earliest days, 
at school, at home, in the society of friends, and wher- 
ever I went, I had had enjoined upon me that par- 
ticular maxim. It was my duty to keep " fit " ; it 
was my duty to society, to the State, to my relatives, 
to my dependents, and to those to whom ultimately 
I should be the ancestor. From the earliest times 
that I can remember the first maxim that was im- 
pressed upon was that of Mens sana in corpore sano. 
My second maxim was Fiat justitia, ruat ccelum. 
Armed, in fact, with these two guides to life, as if the 
one had been a shining spear and the other an impene- 
trable buckler, I was prepared to face journeys into 
an unknown Berwickshire and explorations of the 
precipitous Cheviots. On the one hand, as long as I 
got myself into condition, neither the steepest crags 
nor the longest rides need have any perils for me ; on 
the other hand, as long as my attitude to every human 
vicissitude that could arise was that of an absolute 
"correctness," I had nothing to fear from life. As 
regarded the State, its existence was hardly manifest 
to me ; as long as I kept myself fit, thus ultimately 
providing the State with healthy children, and as long 
as I did my duty, thus setting a good example in that 
state of life to which it has pleased God to call me, I 
was doing all that the State could expect of me — as 
long, that is to say, as I made correct returns of 


income-tax. I had possessed four votes in various 
constituencies, but I had only once recorded a vote. 
This was partly because, I being a pronounced Tory, 
no Conservative organisation had ever taken the 
trouble to canvass me ; partly it was because I had 
always felt a profound conviction that I did not know 
enough about public affairs to meddle in them. I had 
also a profound distrust of all legislation ; I thought 
that what the country needed was a rest from all 
Acts of Parliament for as long a period as possible. 

When it came to the Irish question, which on that 
day was immediately under my nose, on the one hand 
I could see no issue of any sort, on the other I was in 
profound disagreement with both parties in the State. 
I had never voted Tory because, as long as I can 
remember, I have been a passionate upholder of the 
right of the South of Ireland to govern itself. At the 
same time I was an equally passionate upholder of the 
right of the North to remain part of the English 
governmental machine, if the North so desired. Inas- 
much, in short, as I should passionately resent the 
right of any man to interfere with my personal actions 
or to give me any orders, so I passionately disliked 
the idea of any man giving orders to any other man 
unless, indeed, that man should be a member of a 
Church and thus voluntarily subject to a priest ; 
voluntarily enlisted in an army and thus subject to his 
officers ; or the member of the crew of a ship, whether 
naval or mercantile. 

With that review of the situation my mind aban- 
doned the subject, and I began to pay attention to 
what was being said by the crews of the fishing smacks 
around me. I remember wondering whether it would 
not be possible to make a short story out of an anec- 


dote that was being retailed to unlistening ears by an 
exceedingly drunken old man with white hair and one 
bloodshot eye. I did not, you will understand, in the 
least contemplate making a story out of that now- 
forgotten anecdote. I could not contemplate setting 
a story in any atmosphere with which I was not 
intimately acquainted. This old man came from Eye- 
mouth, and I had not at that date done more than 
see the name of that beautifully situated fishing 
hamlet upon a sign-post. No, I was considering the 
matter purely platonically — considering, in fact, how 
the little affair would have been handled by such a 
genius as Guy de Maupassant, who could handle any 
subject or any theme in such a way as to render it 
not only absolutely convincing, but indeed a part of 
the life that oneself had lived. 

Let us now ascertain how this Englishman would 
have directly considered war if he had given the sub- 
ject prolonged consideration. 

Just before entering the train which was to take 
me one stage farther towards the township of Duns in 
Berwickshire, I noticed in the inconspicuous centre of 
a page of a newspaper an announcement in about nine 
lines to the effect that Austria-Hungary was going to 
do something in regard to the crime of Serajevo. 
That is precisely how the matter presented itself to 
my mind. I should say that, upon the whole, my 
sympathies at that date were with Austria ; at the 
same time, I think I must have considered that the 
Austrian parade of grief at the murder of the Arch- 
duke Franz Ferdinand and his consort was probably 
merely diplomatic, or, at the very most, official. I 
had the vague idea — largely owing to a conversation 


with a member of the British Embassy Staff at Vienna 
whom I met by chance in a diUgence going from Saint 
Remy in Provence to Avignon — that the Archduke 
Franz Ferdinand was personally disliked by the 
Austrian Emperor and was regarded with aversion by 
the blacker Catholic members of the Viennese Court 
as well as by the ruling classes of Hungary. At that 
date I was at liberty to dislike Serbians and to feel 
sympathy for the Viennese. The main point, how- 
ever, is, as far as I was concerned, that I did not 
imagine there were any passions, whether national or 
tragic, engaged in the matter. I thought that the 
Austrians would use the murder as a convenient pawn 
in a long diplomatic game that would continue for the 
next fourteen or fifteen years. (You are to remember 
that it was a part of my absolute conviction that the 
German Empire would be bankrupt in about fourteen 
years. Indeed, I can quite well remember having 
assured a number of people that the dismemberment 
of Turkey in Europe and the arising of a new and 
formidable Slav force irremediably blocking the way 
on the strip of territory between the Black Sea and 
the Adriatic, meant the extinction of Germany. And 
I remember that, though I felt no personal grief at 
the thought of the disappearance of Germany, I 
nevertheless added platonically to that pronounce- 
ment something to the effect that Germany had con- 
tributed a little to civilisation and that Europe would 
probably be the poorer without some organised 
Teutonic leavening in the lump. I did not, you 
understand, believe this last statement with my 
heart, but I felt that a sense of aloof impartiality 
demanded it of me. It was part of a correctness of 
attitude !) 


In somewhat the same way, at the moment of 
entering the train for Duns, it occurred to me to think 
that Austria might go to war with Serbia, and that in 
that case we might well have an international " con- 
flagration," and "Armageddon," or whatever cliche 
phrase it was that came into a mind much more 
occupied with golf -clubs and suit-cases than with the 
state of Europe. My mind, indeed, was singularly 
virgin as to any idea of war. Whenever I had dis- 
cussed war theoretically — and mostly I had always 
dismissed the subject with something like the French 
expression, Tout ca, cest des blagues — I had abso- 
lutely denied that any good could come from war. 
Physical fitness, it had always seemed to me, could be 
procured by playing the game of cricket ; and, from 
the same game, taken up early enough and pursued 
with keenness, there could be enjoined upon the 
human mind all the self-sacrifice, loyalty, and devo- 
tion to the interests of a team, or of a whole, that could 
be demanded of the human race. As for such ex- 
tensions of territory, or such exchange of territorial 
jurisdiction, as the world might seem to need, these, I 
imagined, would be arranged by diplomatic action. 
The only thing which made me regret that war had 
disappeared for ever from the earth — except in such 
remote places as Mexico or the Balkans — was the fact 
that France would never get Alsace-Lorraine. I hated 
the thought that France would never get Alsace- 

I hated also the thought that Poland would, very 
likely, not be an independent nation for many decades 
to come ; I hated also the thought of the unwilling 
subjection of any one race to any other race. Being, 
as I was, a Roman Catholic in a country where my 


co-religionists had been subject to very atrocious 
oppressions ; descended, as I was, from other Roman 
Cathohcs in two other countries — Russia and con- 
quered Prussian territory — where my ancestors of those 
nationahties had been subject to very bitter oppres- 
sions; imagining myself to be — or being — a member 
of the ruling class of a country that still interfered 
unimaginatively and stupidly with the affairs of a 
subject race (I am still thinking of Ireland), I was 
then, and am still, subject to moods of passionate 
resentment at the thought of racial or religious oppres- 
sions. These things appeal to me more really, per- 
sonally, and violently because I have in some chamber 
of my mind deep personal emotions and pictures of 
the results of these wants of imaginativeness. And it 
is the stupidities, rather than the cruelties, of these 
oppressions that enraged me — and that still enrage 
me. That Catholics should have burned and murdered 
Protestants in large numbers ; or that Protestants 
should have hanged, racked, and murdered Catholics 
in numbers probably larger, has never much troubled 
my imagination, perhaps because it is an imagination 
entirely unfamiliar with the idea of physical violence. 
But that one race or creed should interfere by peaceful 
means with the languages spoken by children, or 
should prevent the adults of another race or creed 
from performing public functions, filling public offices, 
possessing this or that object of worship or of neces- 
sity, building houses upon their own land or that 
one race should expropriate the lands of another race 
— those thoughts rouse me to a temper in which I lose 
all control of my ideas and of my words. To kill a 
man appeared to me to be relatively little at that 
date ; it was only closing one chapter of a book, which, 


I considered, would be continued in a heaven that was 
beyond the control of armed police. But to deprive 
a race of the right to public employment and activities 
was, as far as my experience goes, to drive the adults 
of that race into madness and decay — into a madness 
and a decay that would descend upon the children 
and the children's children of that race until the last 
of them died out. This point of view may be very 
unfamiliar to my readers, but I would ask them to 
believe that the emotion is a very real one, and that 
this emotion will make me approach the question of 
subject races, when it becomes my business to deal 
with that subject, with at least as much genuineness 
of motive as can be felt by any human being in the 

This brings me a little nearer to the subject of war 
considered in the abstract — and the consideration of 
war in the abstract is impossible without the considera- 
tion of the German Army. At that date I considered 
the German Army as an institution of absurdity and 
deception as far as it concerned international matters. 
I was obstinately and doggedly convinced that Ger- 
many would never go to war with any nation larger 
than one of the tribes of Damaraland. As it pre- 
sented itself to me, this army was a matter of internal 
police. It was there to prevent the Social Revolution 
and to aid in the oppression of the Prussian Poles, 
the Danes of Schleswig-Holstein, and possibly the 
Catholic South Germans and the French of Alsace- 
Lorraine. That it would ever come into contact or 
was ever intended to come into contact with men of 
equal armament seemed to me an absurd thought. I 
regarded it as a purely Jingo device, obsolete and 
gross, without any of the sacred traditions of the 


Army of France, or the generous tradition of scramble, 
push, and irresponsibility which have caused to be 
inscribed upon the standards of British regiments the 
names of Minden, Talavera, and Waterloo. The 
German Government, as I saw it then, was an institu- 
tion quite remarkably between the devil and the deep 
sea — the devil being the Socialist, Constitutionalist, 
and allied parties, and the deep sea national bank- 
ruptcy. By getting up war-scares such as that which 
occurred during the Agadir incident, I imagined that 
the German Government was merely trying to influ- 
ence the General Election that invariably followed 
such war-scares. It is true that such war- scares and 
such increases of armament would bring the German 
nation nearer to bankruptcy, and I did not well see 
how the German rulers proposed to escape from that 
inevitably approaching disaster. I attributed to them 
some plan ; what the plan might be I did not think. 
You are to remember that I was acquainted with 
certain details of German inter-State administration 
which were not usually considered by the public of 
those days. Thus, the finances of Saxony were in so 
bad a condition in 191 1 that the Saxon Finance Minis- 
ter called in the Saxon Socialist leaders to help him 
in framing a Budget ; thus the financial condition of 
the Kingdom of Bavaria was very bad ; the Grand 
Duchy of Oldenburg was precariously situated ; the 
Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt was not in a posi- 
tion to pay its state officials their full salaries, and the 
German Empire was so short of money that it had 
to violate one of the provisions of the Imperial Con- 
stitution in order to raise a few millions. ^ It had, that 

^ I refrain from giving references for these statements at 
this point because they are part of an account of a frame of 


is to say, forced through the Bundesrat or Supreme 
Council of the Empire a provision giving the Govern- 
ment the right to raise tolls upon the Rhine shipping. 
English readers can hardly understand how amazing 
and how arbitrary an act this was on the part of 
Prussia. It was as if the English section of the British 
Ministry should have modified the Act of Succession, 
in spite of the desperate opposition of Scotland, 
Wales, Ireland, and the overseas Dominions, in order 
to raise sufficient money to build five new Dread- 
noughts. For that the Rhine should be free was 
nearly as much an article of German faith as that 
the occupant of the British throne should be Pro- 

As to what expedient the German Government 
would devise for raising sufficient money to carry on, 
I puzzled my head frequently. I imagined that it 
might take the form of mortgaging the immense forests 
and coal-fields that are the property of the German 
State. That the expedient would be war never 
entered my head. I do not mean to say that I 
thought the German Army would never be employed. 
There is a piece of gossip that was current enough in 
Germany in anti-Imperial and anti-Prussian circles to 
the effect that the real reason for Prince Bismarck's 
retirement was that Prince Bismarck had found the 
Reichstag an inefiicient instrument of the governing 
party, and that he desired to close that body and to 
govern without it. The Emperor was reported to 
have said that that would cause a revolution ; that 
he would have to wade over his ankles in blood before 

mind. I do not, that is to say, ask the reader to beUeve these 
statements of fact as statements of fact, but only to believe 
that, in 191 4, I believed them. 


it was successfully accomplished, and that he did not 
intend thus to soil the opening years of his reign. 
Prince Bismarck is reported to have answered : " Very 
well, then ; in twenty-five years you will have to close 
the Reichstag, and then you will have to wade over 
your hips in the blood of your subjects." I do not 
know whether this anecdote is true or false ; it is very 
likely untrue. But hearing it had made a great im- 
pression on my mind, and, when I thought of Prussian 
troops in action, I thought of them as shooting down 
Germans by the ten thousand. 

Blood was a thing of which in English life one had 
seen so little and of which one had hardly thought at 
all. It was much the same with death. At that date 
I might have seen eight or nine dead human beings all 
of whom had died peacefully in their beds ; but that 
is a small matter compared with the deaths of tens of 
thousands. Even of dead animals one sees very few, 
at any rate in London and the great towns. They 
are displayed in butchers' shops, but nowhere else do 
they intrude upon the attention. So that the image 
of the German Emperor wading up to his hips in 
blood was peculiarly vivid to me because it was so 
unfamiUar. That blood would be shed by the animally 
splendid persons in blue and silver that one had seen 
striding through the German streets seemed to me to 
be inevitable ; but the blood that they would shed 
would be German blood, and it would be shed in 
Germany. That ever a German rifle would be aimed 
against a non-German breast appeared to me to be 
impossible. I had so firmly in my mind the idea 
that a war for Germany would mean national bank- 
ruptcy, that, when I considered or talked about the 
possibility, I was accustomed to say or to think : 


" The German rulers may be reactionary, may be 
brutal, may have carried the idea of organisation to 
the pitch of madness ; but they are not absolute fools. 
They are not such absolute fools as to enter upon a 
war which, whether the issue be successful or un- 
successful, would mean their inevitable downfall and 

I was, I suppose, indulging in false psychology. I 
dare say I was much too English in my way of looking 
at things. For I am not, even at this moment, sure 
that my premisses of that day were wrong. I dare 
say that the Prussian rulers really knew that a war, 
whether successful or unsuccessful, would mean the 
ruin of their State and their downfall from power. 
Very likely they may have known this. But English 
political values are so different from German ; in the 
one case tendencies have the aspect of being con- 
tinuous, in the other the machinery is cataclysmic. 
The English Liberal Party may in 1886 ride for such 
a fall that its disappearance from power may appear 
final ; nevertheless, by 1906 the Liberal Party may be 
back again so firmly in the saddle that the Tories may 
appear to have gone out for ever. But, all the same, 
the sagacious party-leaders know very well that in 
these matters there is no finality. The pendulum will 
swing ; the comparatively indifferent electors who 
sway the fate of General Elections will, in a sheep- 
like body, move over from one side to the other. 
There is, therefore, no need for desperate steps ; 
irrevocability is a thing to be avoided, and English 
politics wear a sempiternal mask of dilettantism and 
of unreality. The German, on the other hand, sees 
these things in terms of blood, cataclysm, and irre- 
mediable disappearance. If Mr. Asquith had fallen 


Tn 1913 there would have been no particular reason 
why he should not be back again in power, or at any 
rate leading the party in the House of Lords, in 1920. 
And, even if he never came back to power, his dis- 
ciples and descendants would carry on the Whig tradi- 
tion, and, through the resounding halls of centuries, 
Mr. Asquith would remain the late revered leader. 
But if William II had fallen in 1913, the House of 
Hohenzollern, the whole HohenzoUern tradition, the 
whole Hohenzollern race, might well be expected to 
disappear for ever in a cloud of obloquy that would 
be enhanced by the writings of State-paid professors 
to all eternity. Seeing things in images rather than 
in the varying figures of the caucus and of the poll, it 
may well be that the leaders of the German Imperial 
and of the Prussian Royal State said : " Very well, 
we may be doomed to disappearance either by national 
bankruptcy or by social revolution. Then let us at 
least go down amidst such waves of blood and such 
soundings of iron that future historians may at the 
least say we died splendidly true to our traditions. If 
we cannot keep the iron sceptre for ever in our grasp, 
let us at least imprint upon the page of history such 
gory finger-marks of our Mailed Fist as the tides of 
oblivion shall never wash out. If we cannot reign in 
the memory along with Marcus Aurelius and Con- 
stantine let us at least be remembered as are Attila 
and Genghis Khan." 

I will, however, confess to having been so English 
in my normal psychology that such a view of the 
values of life never so much as occurred to me. I 
have in my composition no heroics whatever ; I 
should rather dislike being a reigning sovereign be- 
cause of the necessity I should then be utnder of putting 


on so much " side." I should disHke being even a 
Minister of the Crown because it would carry with it 
the title of Right Honourable, and I should feel myself 
rather ridiculous if I had to live up to such a title. 
And I should hate to die ; give me bankruptcy, dis- 
honour, calumny, the loss of office, and an eternally 
besmirched fame — but, oh, not death. Not even for 
the sake of that heaven which I hope to enter could 
I contemplate with equanimity the idea of an even 
temporary dissolution. And, indeed, even to die 
heroically, amidst clouds of glory, would at that date 
have savoured to me too much of what is known as 
" swank." Germans I know to be different; or, at 
least, I have met many Germans who thought of life 
in different values. I have met bespectacled, myopic, 
and unreasonably hirsute Professors, carrying in front 
of them considerable protuberances. Nevertheless, 
these amiable persons spoke of buckling on the shining 
armour and had visions of themselves in states of 
semi-nudity with bronze greaves, bronze shields, and 
nodding casques, casting whistling brazen spears 
against potential Agamemnons, or Hectors of Troy, 
according as they considered themselves Greeks or 
Trojans, Latins or Hellenes. 

English life, as I knew it then, was a matter of 
keying things down ; German, of tightening things up. 
The merit of the Englishman — my own merits as far 
as they went — consisted in concealing as far as pos- 
sible one's qualities. I might be an authority on Aryan 
dialects, or I might be plus one at golf ; but at dinner 
I should never mention the one fact to the aspiring 
lady seated next to me, or, when challenged to take 
a turn over the links, I should say that I was pretty 
rotten and hadn't had a club in my hands for six 


months. That these things are irrevocably demanded 
of us by EngUsh society few people, I think — and not 
even Mr. Bernard Shaw — will be set to deny. That, 
on the other hand, German society demands of the 
Professor of Aryan dialects that he shall talk for ever 
about his special Fach so as to lend distinction to 
Society, and that the Amateur Association footballer, 
the skilful duellist, or even the colossal drinker shall 
bear the visible marks of his prowess and his suffer- 
ings, thus enhancing the masculine and physical tone 
of gatherings at which he may be present, I, at least, 
was fairly convinced. An Oxford Rowing Blue of my 
acquaintance kept his oar in a cupboard under the 
stairs ; such members of the Mainzer Ruderklub — 
and a very fine set of oarsmen they are ! — as I have 
known, had each a room consecrated to the oar which 
was the souvenir of the day when the club beat Jesus 
College, and these rooms were full of aquatic emblems, 
of pictures of every kind of German boat, from a light 
rowing skiff to a flagship of the North Sea Squadron ; 
photographs of the club oarsmen, of the individual 
oarsman himself, and so on ; and round each of the 
rooms in large, red, Gothic letters ran the inscription : 
" Unsere Zukunft liegt auf dem Wasser ! " 

I will leave for the moment the reader to draw 
what conclusions he likes from these phenomena, 
hoping only that his conclusions may not be too 
hastily and rashly unfavourable to the German 
sportsman. What I am trying to get at is that these 
national tendencies led on the one hand, in Germany, 
to a thoroughness of psychology of which the English- 
man — and I do not myself claim any exception from 
this general obtuseness — was remarkably unaware ; 
and, on the other hand, in these islands, to an appear- 


ance of slackness which is remarkably deceptive and 
which may even be distinctly deleterious. Two 
Englishmen with whom I have been on terms of some 
intimacy for many years are, the one, the best revolver 
shot in England and possibly in the world, and the 
other one of the most famous of international lawn- 
tennis players. Till six months ago, I was absolutely 
unaware that either of these gentlemen had any such 
kind of distinction. This, in a sense, was no little 
misfortune, since the one of them might well have 
been an active propagandist in favour of lawn-tennis, 
which is an excellent pursuit for one's leisure hours, 
and the other might have made many people take up 
revolver-shooting, which is fine training for the hand 
and eye. Their value to the State, however, from 
this point of view, was not only absolutely nil ; they 
might even have been called positively deleterious, 
since their instincts or their training led them to adopt 
all the outward airs of what is called a " slacker," and 
thus such persons as they found to imitate them would 
imitate their slackness without knowing anything 
about their proficiencies. In Germany both would 
have been much-advertised men ; they would have 
been Presidents of Turnvereins; would have made 
grandiloquent speeches as to the national values of 
their pursuits, and so would have contributed to the 
keying-up of the nation. And, indeed, the gentleman 
who was proficient with the revolver might well, with 
State connivance and with the encouragement of 
Society, have developed into a braggart, a bully, and, 
from the English point of view, a murderer. On 
every occasion he might be found giving the counter- 
check quarrelsome and exclaiming that, to back up his 
opinion, he had his trusty sword upon his thigh ; by 

** KEEPING FIT'' 59 

which he would mean that his well-oiled revolver 
reposed at home in its case and that any morning he 
was prepared to drill through whichever lobe of your 
heart his fancy might choose to suggest the small, 
neat hole of a duellist's pistol-bullet. And, in speak- 
ing thus, he would have the approval of all his hearers. 
I do not mean to say that every German approves of 
duelling, of a masculine attitude, or of the man who 
is a bully. But in Germany there is no mixed society. 
Those who disapprove of duelling keep to them- 
selves ; those who approve meet only approvers ; 
Catholics do not mix with Protestants, anti-Semites 
with members of the Chosen People, or members of 
the Agrarian Party with supporters of the Extreme 
Left. Black there is black, and may never be seen, 
except on the national colours, in company with white 
or scarlet. 

In England, on the other hand, we can seldom ex- 
press our opinions at all because in one corner of the 
room there may be a Jew, in another an American, in 
another an advocate of Divorce Law reform, and, 
beneath the chandelier in the centre of the room, an 
Anglican Bishop. We do not talk, therefore, of 
blood, of adultery, of God, or even of the British 
Empire, because we might offend some one born be- 
neath the folds of Old Glory. And, what is infinitely 
more important — infinitely and absolutely infinitely, 
what is absolutely the difference between the two 
races and what severs them as acid is severed from 
alkali — is the fact that in these islands duelling is 
murder, any kind of physical violence a matter of 
the police-courts, and any appearance in the police- 
courts is social death. 

I have never, since I was twelve, struck a created 


human being, and, until August 4th, 1914, the idea 
of striking a created human being was as abhorrent 
to me as the idea of committing the sin against the 
Holy Ghost. Or rather, it was more abhorrent, since 
I did not know what the latter crime might be. But I 
certainly think I would almost rather have stolen or 
committed forgery. From English life, as I have 
experienced it, the idea of physical violence has 
almost vanished except from amongst the lower 
classes. And indeed, as far as my sense of phrase- 
ology goes, I should be inclined, if I were trying to 
define to a foreigner or to an American what we 
English consider as the lower classes, to say that those 
alone were the lower classes who would use physical 
violence as a means for the relief of anger or to attain 
some private end. Even the physical violence upon 
which the criminal law must, in the end, I suppose, 
rest, is repugnant in idea, and I have felt as much 
disgust at seeing a policeman manhandle a recalci- 
trant and very troublesome drunkard as at seeing a 
brute kick a horse in the stomach. Indeed, I have felt 
disgusted to see a policeman with the collar of a pick- 
pocket in his grasp. The idea of the law as a moral 
force is so strong within me that, absurd as it may 
seem, I fancy I would rather see the criminal escape 
than an officer of the law use physical force to pre- 
vent that escape. 

That being so — and I imagine that the rudiments of 
these feelings distinguish almost every educated in- 
habitant of these islands — it must, I think, be obvious 
that any conception of war as a physical contact 
between large numbers of individual men is — or, at 
any rate, was until August 1914 — abhorrent to the 
English mind. 



Let me now apply to my knowledges of French and 
German life exactly the same methods of analysis as 
I have applied to my knowledge of myself qua English- 

The most sinister manifestation of German national 
psychology that I ever came across during my resi- 
dences in or visits to the German Empire always struck 
me as being the fact that what in England we should 
call an Italian warehouseman is in Germany styled 
a Kolonialwarenhdndler. This is a very minute 
matter, but there it is as a psychological fact. I never 
saw that word on the facia of a shop, or in the adver- 
tisements of a newspaper — and one sees the word 
frequently enough, heaven knows, in Germany ! — 
without feeling a minute sentiment of dismay. I 
used at one time to go frequently enough into the 
shop of such a dealer. I purchased there French 
claret, British blacking, English cigarettes, Spanish 
olives, Italian tunny-fish, and Brazilian coffee. And, 
although these things were always sold to me 
as " echt englisch," " echt franzosisch," or " echt 
spanisch" — ''genuine English, French, or Spanish," 
or as the case might be — nevertheless, as I bore them 
out of the shop, over my head appeared the gilt letters 
of the word Kolonialwaren. And, I repeat, these 
words were always a worry to me. They were more 



of a worry to me than absolutely any other militarist 
sentiment. I could, possibly, place two other pheno- 
mena beside them. One of these was seeing a Ger- 
man Army Corps march past the German Emperor, 
who took the salute not very far from where I was 
standing. It was not the panoply of war that worried 
me ; the golden Prussian standards, with their golden 
horns and golden eagles, appeared to me merely pic- 
turesque, since I thought, rightly or wrongly, that 
they were imitated from Roman models. The artillery 
looked to me sinister enough, but not more sinister 
than the one or two British guns that one used occa- 
sionally to see going about, unmilitarily enough, along 
dusty roads, say in the neighbourhood of Chiswick or 
of Isleworth. But, when the infantry marched past, 
the effect of all the feet, extended to the extreme 
length of the leg, and sharply striking, not merely 
reaching the ground, was really and actually to make 
the earth tremble. That is not a mere figure of 
speech ; I could feel the tremulousness of that dry, 
gravel soil in my heels and in my ankles. Now, 
nothing in the world is so striking or so astonishing as 
to find a figure of speech come really true — and find- 
ing that one, which one has seen used so often, becom- 
ing a physical symptom beneath one's boots, caused 
suddenly to flash into my mind the exact words : 
" Suppose those chaps really meant business ! " For 
you are to understand that, at that date, I was abso- 
lutely convinced that the German Army never could 
" mean business." I had the following things to go 
upon, to back me up in that positive preconception. 
I had just lately read an article by the sapient mili- 
tary correspondent of The Times to the eifect that 
the personnel of the German Army was exceedingly 


deteriorated ; that their route-marching was ex- 
tremely poor, and that, in everything save the 
organisation of the commissariat, of pontoons, and 
the Hke, the German Army was extremely inferior to 
the French, more particularly in the departments of 
morale and of artillery. 

One looks, I suppose, for signs of what one desires 
to see, and I added my personal observations to those 
of this distinguished military critic, whose opinions, 
anyhow, at that date, I was ready to take, as the 
saying is, " lying down." I had seen the men of those 
very regiments shuffling dispiritedly along the roads 
with a peculiar dragging of the foot-sole. It was 
impossible for me to escape from observing this every 
day and almost every hour of every day. In their 
dirty linen fatigue-uniforms, with their ignoble little 
round hats, these depressed men appeared to me to 
slouch over the ground with all the aspect of convicts 
being marched to perform so many weary evolutions 
of the crank. They never laughed ; they never joked 
or nudged one another ; they went about their work 
with fixed faces as if the drilling threw them mani- 
acally in upon themselves ; and when they sang they 
produced what seemed dull, uninspired, and gloomy 
sounds as if at the bidding of their officers, for no 
pleasure of their own. I had, moreover, seen a 
sergeant take a recumbent recruit by the ear, pull 
him right up to his legs by that member, throw 
him down some yards away and then kick him 
because he blubbered with pain. I had therefore 
got into my head that, with the exception of several 
crack regiments, the German soldier was a dispirited 
machine whom the great General Staff would never 
feel justified in sending into action. 


Nevertheless, on tb-t day I saw that immense 
body of men, full of a taut, physical vigour, the heads 
raking back as if the glance was literally glued to the 
eyes of the sovereign beside the saluting-stand. And 
I felt the earth tremble. And, for a moment, I asked 
myself whether, if these beings and this organisation 
had brought about what I had always regarded as a 
physical impossibility, somewhere, hidden away in 
their obscure group-psychology, there might not be 
that other impossibility, that other reversion to bar- 
barism — the belief in the possibility of war, in its 
being practicable, in its being the thing that might 
almost be desired. 

The third fact that remains strongly in my mind 
dates back to the year 1900, which, you will remember, 
fell well in the middle of the period of the South 
African War. I was walking with an invalid in the 
public gardens of a German Kaltwasserheilanstalt. 
It was a very decorous and decorated spot ; there 
were oleander trees, cypresses, and smooth lawns, and 
classical statues in plaster. On the meticulously tidy 
gravel- walk we sat down upon a bench that was 
labelled " Nur fiir Kurgaste" ; just ahead of us was 
a bench labelled " Nur fiir Kinder," and just behind 
us was another bench labelled " Schulkinder verboten." 
In front of us was the round concrete basin of a foun- 
tain — a pool of water about twenty yards across in 
which it was rather a relief to observe that there was 
only one concrete dolphin disporting itself. Round 
this basin there were several children playing. They 
had a long strip of calico and they had paint-boxes 
and brushes and in the basin there were several clumsy 
toy-boats. It struck me as so remarkable to see 
children playing upon green turf in Germany that I 


remarked upon it to my companion. Indeed, right 
in front of us upon the edge of the grass, there rose 
up a painted placard to the effect that walking on the 
lawns was most strictly forbidden. The invalid re- 
plied that the children were probably there for some 
privileged purpose. I dozed in the sunlight, and, 
perhaps ten minutes later, looked up again. Con- 
fronting me, in red letters, upon a long strip of white 
that went right across the dolphin, the water, and 
the toy boats, was the inscription, **Unser Zukunft 
ist auf dem Wasser ! " The children had been paint- 
ing this patriotic aspiration upon the broad strip of 
white calico, and they had stretched it between two 
poles stuck into sockets one on each side of the con- 
crete basin. That is fifteen years ago now, but I still 
remember with exactitude the three thoughts that 
passed immediately through my mind : the one that 
the authorities must be extravagantly imbecile to 
permit the violation of the sanctity of their precious 
' * Rasen ' ' for such a ridiculous purpose ; the other 
that it was odd that children not old enough to write 
German correctly should yet not be sufficiently young 
not to ignore jingoism ; and the third, that, thank 
goodness, the German Navy consisted, figuratively 
speaking, of the sailing cock boat of the East Asian 
Station of 1897. 

But, as to why these things stick in my mind 
whilst, if I make an intellectual effort to remember I 
could draw up thousands of instances of vastly more 
sinister import ; or, if I prefer to leave it as a matter 
of impressions, I can have the very definite picture of 
Germany as a wearisome cavern in which under-officers 
are perpetually howling military commands and fat 
men seated at restaurant-tables perpetually bawling 


obscene abuse of their international neighbours — why 
these things only remain I do not know. Perhaps 
I was merely mad ; perhaps I am too much under 
the obsession of the eye, which, upon its retina, is 
inclined to find impressed only bright objects in the 
sunlight — the gilded word Kolonialwaren, the golden 
standards at the heads of the earth-shaking regiments, 
and the red letters of " Unser Zukunft ist auf dem 
Wasser," upon the white calico. I am very tired of 
Germany. I am tired of Germany with the intense 
weariness of a person who has been deceived and has 
willingly let himself be deceived. I feel as if the 
whole German nation had played upon me, personally, 
the shabbiest form of confidence-trick, and as if it 
were still going on howling about its virtue, its probity, 
and its love of honour. I wish Germany did not 
exist, and I hope it will not exist much longer. 
Burke said that you cannot indict a whole nation. 
But you can. 
Let us now consider France. 



In the end, the relative values of civilisations come 
down always to being matters of scrupulosity of lan- 
guage. It is unnecessary to go back to the ancient 
Hellenes, to the classical Latins, to the troubadours of 
Provence, or the Minnesingers of mediaeval Germany, 
though, by remembering the achievements of these 
races, the truth of the immense importance of handling 
language exactly will be immensely emphasised. For 
language, since it is the very soul of the man, is almost 
always a very indifferent servant. It is the worst 
of masters. And it is probably not too much to say 
that if a man or a race do not exercise themselves as 
carefully in the use of phrases as in the use of their 
limbs, that man and that nation will go to the devil in 
a greater or a lesser degree. For the worst of the 
spoken or the written word is, that once spoken or once 
written, that word is a challenge to the world. It is 
this in the minutest particulars as in matters the most 
colossal. When Henry IV of France uttered the his- 
toric sentence : " Je veux que chaque paysan ait une 
poule au pot le dimanche," he probably contributed 
more to the downfall of the French monarchy than 
did all the Encyclopaedists writing together, for he 
set such a standard to French kings as no wearer of 
the lilies ever came or could come up to. The English 
genius who evolved the maxim that " Honesty is the 



best policy" probably did more material service to 
Great Britain than all the inventors of all the spinning- 
jennies that ever were invented — and he probably did 
more than any other man to earn for us the wide- 
flung epithet of "hypocrites." And the French 
peasant who evolved the maxim that life never turns 
out to be as fortunate or as unfortunate as one ex- 
pects of it probably did more for France on the battle- 
fields of to-day than all the inventors of the Creusot 
firm working together. For it is because the French 
peasant, the French farmer, the French small handi- 
craftsman, and the French small trader do not expect 
vast things of life, do not strive after the immense 
fortunes of the modern industrial system, that they 
remain so much more largely than any other race, 
patiently and efficiently working on the acres that saw 
their births. And it is because these patient, efficient, 
sober, industrious, and splendid populations remain 
upon their acres that France will have saved Europe, 
if Europe is to be saved. 

By the madness of phrase-making, by the madness 
of the inexact and aspiring phrase-makings of the 
industrial system, of materialism, of false Napoleonism 
and the rest of the paraphernalia of life as we live it 
to-day, Europe, if it be lost, will have been lost. And 
it will have been lost very largely on account of 
German inexactitude. The worst that is to be alleged 
against this country is a certain clumsiness of lan- 
guage, a certain clinging to obsolescences of phrase, 
and a certain resultant stupidity and want of imagina- 
tion. The English are generally pretty right, though 
they blunder into Tightness even more often than 
they achieve it by any self-consciousness of aim. 
But France is always exactly right according to her 


aspirations as she is true in her phraseology. It is 
always only Germany that is absolutely wrong; it 
is always only Germany that accepts with inevitable 
voracity every phrase that is bombastic and imbecile. 
The stupid English movement of last century for 
purging the Enghsh language of Latin-derived words, 
when, if the EngHsh language have a merit it is 
its fusion of many phraseologies — this indescribably 
stupid English movement of last century had abso- 
lutely no influence upon society, upon life, or upon 
government. In Parliament the phraseology re- 
mained '*le Roy remercie ses bons sujets et ainsi le 
veult " ; at restaurants we still spoke of clear soup 
as consomme ; our leader-writers, our public speakers, 
our poets, and our preachers, if they wanted to pro- 
duce sonorous effects, still gave us sentences in which 
the assonance -ation appeared sixteen times to the 
sentence ; we continued to speak of mutton, of pork, 
of beef, of medicine, and of religion, whilst continuing 
also to talk of sheep, swine, oxen, heaHng, and the 
Godhead. But, crossing over to Germany, this 
movement became a formidable affair, expressing 
itself in Sprachvereins, with thousands of uproarious 
and militant supporters. When I first visited Ger- 
many the guards, swinging themselves along the foot- 
boards of trains, would open the doors and ask very 
civilly for our " Billetten " or '* Coupons." If it was 
on the Rhine or in South Germany they would add 
" S'il vous plait." In Germany of to-day a not 
invariably civil official marches along the corridors 
exclaiming '' Fahrkarten heraus ! " which is a mili- 
tary order to ' * have out your fare-cards ' ' ; and a 
little later he introduces himself to your carriage 
saying as often as not only " Fahrkarten," but adding 


sometimes " Bitte." This is entirely due to the 
Sprachverein, since ** billets" and "coupons'* are 
French words; but it will be observed that the 
poor dears have not got altogether away from the 
Latin influence, since one-half of the compound word 
*' fare-cards" is derived from the Latin word carta. 
Similarly, the word changieren, meaning " to change 
carriages," has become umsteigen, which means " climb 
round." This tendency, with its self-conscious aim 
of making breaches between nations, is bad enough, 
but the influence of such comparative neologisms as 
my old friend the compound word Kolonialwaren is 
infinitely worse. 

In England we say "Italian warehouse" because 
in the eighteenth century olive-oil, flowering-shrubs, 
anchovies, sardines, capers and the like used to come 
from Sardinia and were imported by firms having 
traffic in those waters. And, although to-day all the 
methods of all those traders have altered, we still 
speak of an Italian warehouseman. This is obviously 
an inexactitude ; but it is an inexactitude of a mildly 
poetic description. It prompts no international rifts 
or self-consciousnesses. Our salad-oil to-day grows 
in the cottonfields of Louisiana, is exported in bulk to 
Genoa, where it is pumped into barrels bearing the 
word Lucca and so reaches the London market. But 
still, when over a shop-window in the November fogs 
of London, we just make out the words " Italian ware- 
houseman," we are reminded — though our anchovies 
come from Norway and from Sweden our sardines, and 
our oranges from California, and our macaroni from 
Islington — we are reminded for a moment of the purple 
seas, of the stone pines, and of the skies of Sappho. 

Kolonialwaren is quite another matter. In 191 1 


the German Empire had 1,000,000 square miles of 
colonies. The total population of these 1,000,000 
square miles was 25,000 human beings, of whom 21,000 
were Germans. Of these 21,000 about 9,000 were 
officials, missionaries, and wives of officials and mis- 
sionaries, and about 3,500 were children. The remain- 
ing 8,500 productive German souls spread over this 
territory of 1,000,000 square miles produced as com- 
modity the following objects and raw materials : uncut 
jewels, agave fibre, coffee, cocoa-beans, indiarubber, 
copra, palm-kernels, and phosphate of lime. The 
value of the annual produce of these 1,000,000 square 
miles imported into Germany was £4,281,000. The 
cost of the German colonies for administration, for 
war-loans, and for subsidies to balance deficits was, in 
1908, £56,990,000. Nevertheless, the patient German 
mind, deluded by the idea that colonies could be made 
to pay in the hands of the German Imperial Govern- 
ment, idealistically invented for the type of shop 
that we call a general store the word Kolonialwaren- 
handlung (" Colonial- wares- trading-place"). In that 
way the good German, when purchasing his groceries, 
which he purchases just as freely as we purchase 
ours, was to be led to imagine that, although he 
purchased margarine, candles, soap, sultanas, and 
sauerkraut, he was aiding in the commerce of a vast 
overseas colonial trade, and that that vast overseas 
colonial trade already existed. Actually the only 
German colonial products which he could buy from 
the ' ' colonial- ware- trader ' ' were coffee, cocoa-beans, 
and palm-oil margarine. The amount of coffee pro- 
duced by the 1,000,000 square miles of territory had, 
according to the German Imperial Statistical Jahr- 
buck for 1910, the value of £26,000, whereas nearly 


£9,000,000 worth of coffee was drunk in Germany in 
that year. Of cocoa-beans the German colonies in 
that year produced £50,000 worth, whereas the total 
amount of cocoa imported into Germany in that year 
was of the value of £2,270,000. Palm-kernels we may 
take to be largely used in the preparation of palm-oil 
butter. The total value of the imports of palm- 
kernels into Germany in 1910 was £4,420,000 ; the 
share of the German colonial import of this trade was 
£119,000. It will thus be seen that Germany imported 
about three hundred and thirty times as much coffee 
from the rest of the world as from her own colonies, 
about forty times as much cocoa, and about forty 
times as many palm-kernels. Nevertheless, by the 
lying inscription over his grocer's shop the good Ger- 
man was led implicitly to believe that all this immense 
trade came from the German colonies. He was also 
commanded to beheve that an immense navy was 
necessary for the preservation of this immense trade. 
There is no department of German life into which 
this fallacious use of language has not penetrated ; 
there is no range of human thought in which it has 
not been self-consciously employed to dig gulfs be- 
tween the German nation and the rest of the world, 
or to make fallacious and mischievous distinctions. 
Is it a question of race — the good German is taught 
that, because a certain percentage of Enghsh words 
are of Anglo-Saxon origin, therefore the British race 
is of pure Teutonic descent ; is it a question of great 
poets — the German nation is instructed that Dante 
Alighieri was a pure German because the syllable " ger " 
is a word of Teutonic origin, and signifies a spear ^ ; 

1 See *' The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century," by 
Houston Stewart Chamberlain ; vol. i., pp. 538-541 and 544. 


or they are told that Shakespeare was also a pure 
German because the spear was a typically German 
arm ; Pan-German professors also declare that the 
real name of Boccaccio is Buchatz, and that Voltaire 
was a German because his eyes were blue.^ 

The most militant concrete phenomenon that has 
ever moved me in France was the brown, faded, and 
rustling wreaths of immortelles, crepitating in a chilly 
wind round the base of the statue of Strasbourg in 
the Place de la Concorde in Paris. There are, of 
course, other atmospheres of other militarisms that 
one may recapture from place to place all over France. 
There is the Chateau Gaillard, there is the Citadelle at 
Carcassone, there is Mont St. Michel itself, there are 
the castle of Aigues Mortes, the harbours of Brest 
and Cherbourg. The standards droop over the tomb 
of Napoleon ; the equestrian statues of the Maid of 
Domremy shine in many places in the sun, and here 
and there between the dunes of the Pas de Calais and 
the Crau there are trophies set up and inscribed ' ' Aux 
gloires de la France." And, if martial glories are to 
be commemorated and not buried, as it would be 
well if they could be, in oblivion, the French have 
gloriously enough, from their warlike coffers, given 
alms to the arts. And the arts have given such 
splendour back to the memory of French arms that, 
in incautious moments, one might say that war had 
been justified of her products. To look from one of 
the central windows of the Palace of the Louvre 
right over the emplacement of the vanished Tuileries ; 
right along the Champs Elys^es ; right beneath 
the Arc de Triomphe de I'Etoile, and feel the glance 

^ See " Die Germanen in Frankreich," by Ludwig Wolt- 
mann, pp. 102-107. 


descending the air along the great Avenue of the 
Grande Armee — right to Versailles ! To look from 
Versailles along the Avenue of the Grande Armee in 
under the Arc de Triomphe de I'Etoile, and so back 
down the Champs Elys6es to the Palace of the Louvre ; 
to traverse this great vista, these grey, arid, and swept 
splendours going from Palace of the Administration 
to Palace of the Administration ; to feel sinking into 
you the consciousness of this tremendousness of 
elegance and elegance of tremendousness; to think 
that these great spaces of the earth were devoted to 
the outgoing aspirations for glory, to the incoming 
triumphs, decorated with laurels, of those men with 
long, scarlet coats, tri-cornered hats, steenkirks, hal- 
berds and grenades, whose semi-deified commander 
was le Roi Soleil in his long curled wig, with his 
greaves, his thong-bound, besandalled feet, his cuirass 
embossed to present you with images of the wars 
of Troy and his truncheon tipped with the lilies ; to 
think that these great spaces of the earth were devoted 
to the incoming triumphs, headed with eagles, of 
dense masses in the blue coats, of dense masses of the 
splendid chargers with the brass helmets and the 
horsehair tails dependent behind ; to be for a moment 
at the Louvre or at Versailles and to have these 
images rise in your mind or to let this atmosphere 
creep like a gas all over your being, — that is, for the 
moment, to let war itself become as nearly deified as 
was le Roi Soleil by his painters, his sculptors, his 
abb6s, his fiddlers, and himself. And I suppose that 
to be inspired by the glories of France, to dare, with 
a fine gesture, final dissolution for the sake of the 
traditions of France — that is to come as near making 
war a fine thing as war ever came near it from the 


days of Marathon and of Thermopylae until the day, 
so different, of the defence of the forts round Liege. 
To have died for France is very nearly to have secured 
eternal life — but not quite. 

And those glories are so absolutely and so inexor- 
ably things of the past. The rustling of the immor- 
telles as I first saw them, when a boy, in the icy 
December wind, in that most wind-swept of all open 
spaces — the rusthng of those immortelles round the 
base of that crowned, enthroned stone figure seemed 
to commemorate a death as absolute and as irrevocable 
as that commemorated by the immortelles rustling 
over the grave of a dead and forgotten ploughman. 
That past, that glory, those splendours were things 
that, if one wished to realise them, one had, difficultly, 
to reconstruct as, in " Salammbo,'' Flaubert recon- 
structed the vanished immensities of the glory which 
was Carthage. There was the Paris that I knew as 
a boy ; a Paris of winter after winter spent in an 
immensely luxurious, gilded and absolutely tranquil 
appartement of a millionaire's house ; a Paris where 
life was the quietest thing in the world ; where ancient 
ladies and very old men spoke always in apparently 
saddened whispers; a Paris where the most modern 
figure that one met was that of Emile OUivier, the 
last Liberal Prime Minister of Napoleon III. There 
were the extremely decorous, quiet promenades in the 
broad, gravel spaces of the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne 
just before one drank the tea from the immensely 
heavy silver equipage — the slow walks with an im- 
mense red sun just touching the low trees of the Bois 
— those trees that were not yet twenty years old, 
because, in '70, the sapeurs-pompiers had burned 
down all that boscage by means of streams of petroleum 


blazing from the hose-mouths. On the Arc de Tri- 
omphe there were the shell-marks ; on the statue of 
Strasbourg immortelles ; the Palace of the Tuileries 
had vanished and, in the last sunlight of the winter 
day we made our half-hour promenade — millionaires, 
rasiaquoueres, marquises of the Third Empire, old 
Brazilian duchesses and purveyors of lapdogs leading by 
six or seven strings six or seven tiny objects as large 
as rats. Against the sun all these beings were clear- 
cut silhouettes with long shadows ; with one's back 
to that copper-coloured orb they appeared indistinct, 
misty, fused. 

That was a Paris that I once knew very well. And 
I am bound to say that that France and that Paris, 
saddened, disillusioned, with fragments of the Third 
Empire like M. OUivier or echoes of the Franco-Prus- 
sian War such as one discovered them in the stories 
of Uhlans and bloodshedding peasants of the pages of 
Guy de Maupassant ; with the inhabitants of the 
Faubourg St. Germain shut behind their high walls; 
with the sham bull-fighting ring on the opposite side 
of the avenue — that Paris and that France singularly 
coloured my imagination and my ideas of what France 
was — until very lately. 

For all these people were extraordinarily aloof from 
questions of government, of administration, or of 
international relationships. I have never, even in the 
United States, met people so aloof from the public 
affairs of that day as were the French that then, 
every winter, I used to meet. Except where the 
Government incommoded them in some measure of 
taxation ; or except when a millionaire contractor 
mentioned that it had been necessary to pay a large 
bribe to secure a Government contract — the Third 


Republic might never have existed, and the politics 
that were discussed were the politics of the closing 
years of the Third Empire. And, even later, the 
heroines of this class as I knew it were the upper-class 
women who threw pepper in the eyes of gendarmes 
and troops coming to dispossess the nuns of such and 
such a convent. 

It was at the Dreyfus trial at Rennes that I first 
had a glimpse of the fact that the Army might still be 
a sacred thing to France. A thing still sacred ! For 
it is a difficult thing for an Englishman who reveres 
very few traditions and seldom comes in contact with 
any sacred thing, to realise that, in a country visible 
from his own shore there should still exist an army 
that is sacred. Nevertheless, in the changing lights 
and shadows, and amongst the perpetually swaying 
emotions in the court-room in the Palace of Justice at 
Rennes one had suddenly the glimpse of extraordinary 
possibilities of psychology. One had suddenly re- 
vealed to one the fact that, if one were a Frenchman, 
one might take up a position which, to an Englishman, 
with his love of justice as such, with his reverence for 
a decorously and silently moving law, would be 
monstrous and horrible. We say so often ' ' let the 
skies fall in so but justice prevail " that, after a time, 
we really begin to feel that aspiration. We should 
many of us, I fancy, have welcomed, in those days, the 
absolute collapse, disgrace, and discredit of the British 
Army, supposing that that collapse were necessary to 
secure a pedantic justice for any one individual officer 
or for any one individual private of a British regi- 
ment. In those days, I fancy, we should have pro- 
tested only platonically if ParUament had refused to 
vote the annual Army Bill. But Rennes was an 


entirely different matter. One felt that the prisoner 
on trial had a certain radiance of tears and suffering. 
That not very prepossessing figure had, nevertheless, 
endured, with the extreme toughness of a low vitality, 
tortures that would have crushed out of existence the 
lives of every one of us, his auditors. But I began to 
see a frame of mind in which it was possible to imagine 
that, from that figure, a radiance greater, softer, and 
more nearly divine might have proceeded had he 
endured those tortures in silence and had he taken, 
from the Heavenly Powers alone, his crown of martyr- 
dom. For, for a Frenchman, from within the Army, 
publicly to dishonour that sacred body by insisting on 
his own individual rehabilitation appeared, at least at 
Rennes, as a questionable proceeding. In that ancient 
part of the world one was too much surrounded by 
evidences of " les gloires de la France" to let any- 
thing that could even by implication besmirch those 
glories seem other than questionable. But it seemed 
as if abstract justice prevailed ; the Army appeared, 
as the phrase is, to go out. The Church, which sup- 
ported the Army, was beaten to its knees ; and the 
inscriptions of CoUectivists, of Syndicalists, of sup- 
porters of the greve generale, of referendists seemed, on 
the walls of public buildings, to obliterate even the 
splendid words " Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite," and the 
letters R.F., which to even the most reactionary of us 
are still beautiful and significant. It was in other 
fields than in those of military glory that France 
seemed to be about to cull the laurels that will be 
always hers. It was in motor industries, in aviation, 
in field sports, and even in the breeding of horses that 
France was to find new glories, not so much as remotely 
connected with militarism, with religion, or even with 


the arts. What exactly we expected of this new 
France that fairly buzzed from the Garonne to the 
Oise with tidings of regeneration, I do not know. Cer- 
tainly the last thing that we awaited was the long and 
breathless struggle of trenches. Even the immortelles 
round the statue of Strasbourg were no longer there. 
They had disappeared from the calculations of all 
of us who loved France better than any other thing 
in the world. 

And even when, in the refectory of a regiment within 
the crumbling walls of an ancient fortress I caught 
sight of the inscription : ' * Soldats, deux etendards 
du — me Regiment sont dans le musee de Potsdam — 
n'oubliez jamais!" I did not imagine that a re- 
captured Alsace-Lorraine had figured in the mind of 
whoever it was that had caused that inscription to 
be set there. It seemed to me no more than a part 
of the general aspiration towards keeping oneself fit 
that pervaded the whole of my world as I knew it. 



There, then, for the moment, I will leave the case of 

Let me sum up once more my impressions of the 
relative militarisms of the three countries which most 
interest us in the enormous struggle. If I had to 
state precisely — and as conscientiously as I should 
have to do it if I were before the bar of Heaven — I 
should say that the Englishman ignored war, did not 
give a thought to its existence or to what it would 
mean if it came into existence ; I should say that the 
German desired war whilst paying a lip-service to 
peace, or at least whilst considering that peace might 
possibly pay better ; and I should say that the French- 
man dreaded and detested war whilst acknowledging 
it to be a sad necessity so long as Central Europe 
remained in the hands of its present rulers. Let me 
now subdivide these statements and analyse them 
with greater particularity. 

In arriving at such impressions as these the writer 
or the observer makes use of a method that, in photo- 
graphy, used to be popular in the nineties of the last 
century. This was called making a composite photo- 
graph. Supposing that the photographer desired to 
get at a rendering of A Poet rather than of any one 
poet, he took upon the same plate photographs of 



profile portraits of Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, Burns, 
Goethe, Wordsworth, and Tennyson. The result was 
a queer, blurred image, but the result was none the 
less striking, and the individual arrived at by this 
composite process had an odd but quite strong in- 
dividuality. In exposing, then, his more or less sensi- 
tised mind to life in this or that country the observer 
is subjecting his mind to precisely the same process 
as that to which the photographer in the iSgo's used 
to subject his plates when he was making a composite 
photograph. And the figures that I have analysed 
and am about to analyse for you are the results of 
such a process so far as my individual mental camera 
is concerned. There are, of course, extremes, but the 
resultant is the mean. There are, that is to say, in 
England eccentric types ; there are members of the 
Fabian Society as there are members of the White 
Rose League ; but the one and the other, though 
they may make their impression upon the plate, yet 
make impressions very faintly. I have, for instance, 
met a seaside rural policeman who remarked : ' * The 
Garman Navy ! I don't take much stock of the Gar- 
man Navy. Reckon Hunnisett's shrimp-drifter would 
sink all the Garman Navy there is." Such an indi- 
vidual might make very little imprint on the sensitised 
plate ; nevertheless, such a remark might be sympto- 
matic of a very widespread national frame of mind. 
Indeed, if once more I had to sum up the most marked 
EngHsh characteristics with regard to the English- 
man's attitude towards international relationships I 
should say that he didn't "take much stock" of 
continental military forces or preparations before 
August 4th, 1914. The clarion voices of Mr. Bernard 
Shaw, of the more excitable daily papers, failed to 



rouse the great body of the nation to any sense of i 

national danger, or to any desire for plucking the i 

laurels of Mars in the fields of Bellona. Lord Roberts ; 

remained inefficient and unheard by comparison with I 

the genius who fomented the agitation about the , 

White Slave Traffic or the other gentleman who tried ■ 

to increase the consumption in this country of stone- \ 

milled flour or to induce us to eat our meats out of ; 

paper-bags. ! 

I am not claiming that this indifference to national 

defence or to international relationships is any credit J 

to the British nation ; but, if we acknowledge that the ! 

British nation is incomparably stupid in matters of ■ 

defence, aggression, or diplomacy, we cannot at the ' 

same time allege that the British nation is incompar- j 

ably belhcose. You cannot put two pints of differ- \ 

ently compounded liquors into one pint pot.^ < 

Nor, looking at the matter from the point of view j 

of results, can we arrive at any different conclusion, j 

The German Empire has a very formidable Navy, and j 

an army that is a menace to the entire world, whereas ' 

it is only in late years that the English Navy put itself j 

on anything like a basis of efficiency and the British i 

Army remained until August 1914 numerically con- 'i 

temptible. j 

Judged by similar standards the German comes out ^ 

infinitely more bellicose. I have heard that there j 

^ Compare " Common Sense about the War," p. 5 : " Now \ 
please observe that I do not say that the agitation was un- 
reasonable. I myself steadily advocated the formation of a 
formidable armament, and ridiculed the notion that we, who 
are wasting hundreds of millions annually on idlers and 
wasters could not easily afford double, treble, quadruple our 
military and naval expenditure. I advocated the compulsion 
of every man to serve his country, both in war and peace." 




exist, and, indeed, I have seen in the distance, vege- 
tarians and wearers of " Ref orm-Kleider, " which are 
clothes simply cut out of sage-green material, and 
other individuals who, during certain months of the 
year, wore no clothes at all. And these individuals, 
inspired by an intense earnestness, were most obstin- 
ately opposed to war. And to parallel my case of 
the Sussex policeman I can present you with the image 
of an ancient German farmer in a three-cornered hat 
and knee-breeches, who, having taken part in the 
Franco-Prussian War, was yet of opinion that England 
could never go to war with Germany because in 1870 
the Emperor of Germany had gone to war with the 
Emperor of France in order to rescue Queen Victoria, 
who was a prisoner in the Louvre. And I have met 
many Germans who considered that the English could 
never go to war with Germany because we were the 
cousins of those who inhabit the German Empire. 
The crime of making war upon a cousin they seemed 
to think uncompassable even by a nation of hypo- 
crites. They shuddered at the mere idea of Great 
Britain's committing such an outrage, as if it had 
been a sort of inverted incest. But, whilst for the 
old German peasant, England's hands would be tied 
by gratitude, and whilst for the German race-scientists 
even a decadent race like the British must shrink from 
committing an unnatural crime, for the old peasant 
as for the more highly educated personages there re- 
mained the agreeable thought that, the hands of 
Great Britain being tied, they themselves were envi- 
ably free to smash France out of existence. Great 
Britain would then sink into her proper place as a 
Power that had once been great. We might even, like 
Holland, keep some rich colonies, but not many. 


That it was the effect of this psychology making 
itself felt from across the Rhine as far as the very 
mouths of the Rhone, that kept alive in French hearts 
the passionate but depressed belief in the sacredness 
of the French Army, I have no doubt whatever.^ What 
it is exactly that one populace should fear from a 
threatened domination by another race I do not 
know. In England we have had so little cause to fear 
it that, as a bogey, its outlines and its atmosphere are 
alike almost impossible to capture. But that France 
dreaded being overwhelmed by the legions of Wil- 
liam II and that France has dreaded this, year in 
year out, day in and through every night ever since 
1870, is absolutely certain. And, in speaking of 
France, I am speaking not so much of M. Delcasse, who 
so long and so manfully wrestled with the threatening 
and objurgating heads of departments in Unter den 
Linden ; and not so much of M. Briand, who almost 
concluded a treaty of lasting peace with William II ; 
and not even of M. Caillaux, who denounced that 
treaty because he did not wish to wear M. Briand' s 
policy like a scarf-pin in his neckerchief ; it was not 
so much that France with its changing ideals, its 
exciting daily occupations, its engrossing weekly tasks, 
its rumours and its outcries along the boulevards. It 
is rather of the other France with its long labours 
beneath the sun and the rain, the secretive, not very 
vocal France of the vineyards, the wheat-fields, the 
olive-hills, and the great plains. And perhaps it is 
also the France of the barrack-yards to which, yearly, 
the little recruits go weeping, and no doubt it is also 
that other France of Zabern, of Metz, and of Miil- 
hausen. For these people the French Army was no 
1 See French quotations in Appendix B. 


longer a thing of laurels, of brazen helmets, of cuirasses 
and of glory. It was a thing of red worsted trousers, 
of dusty and ill-fitting blue-cloth coats, of little kepis 
with red knobs, of long absences from homes that are 
loved as no other homes are loved. It was this sacred 
army, a thing of effort, of patience, of fears, and of 
endurance. It was, above all else, a thing for de- 
fence, for defence against a power that, unless the 
intolerable strain were endured, would press down the 
very roof-trees of the long wine-barns, would take tolls 
in every vineyard, and forbid every ancient custom. 

And here again the question of exact and not merely 
figurative language would come in. For the English- 
man war was not a thing that we figured to ourselves 
at all. One said " Spion Kop," and one imagined an 
elderly gentleman in a top hat comfortably ensconced 
amongst rocks, and taking pot-shots at whatever 
figure in khaki appeared against a whitewashed rock 
to which the old gentleman had carefully measured 
the distance. Or one thought of war as a matter of 
innumerable gramophones, brass-bands, barrel-organs, 
and public performers braying out the melodies of 
" The Absent-minded Beggar" and " The Soldiers of 
the Queen." Or one had a faint glimpse of the 
realities when one said that the percentage of nervous 
breakdowns during the South African campaign had 
been very high, and that many of the poor fellows 
who had been engaged upon it would never be any 
good again. 

But, for the German with his heated imagination 
and his heated imagery, war remained something 
mediaeval or classical — a matter of cleanness, of sharp 
spears, of nudity, of shining swords, of shining armour, 
of shining and mailed fists, of heroisms and of all the 


desirables such as they were known to Bertrand du 
Guesdin, to Hector of Troy, to Horatius Codes, or to 
Prince Eugen der edle Ritter. 

It was probably only in France that anything ap- 
proaching psychological realism was applied to war. 
In France at least they had realised that the days 
of individual glory were over ; that long strains and 
never-ceasing vigilancies might lead, with luck, to a 
promotion one-third as valuable as that which could 
be earned by a sleepy clerk going day in day out 
slackly through his office-work in the Customs House 
at Bordeaux. I never heard a French officer speak 
of any chance of glory in war. It would just be 
bureaucratic promotion, ceaseless patience, and end- 
less strain on the nerves. 

Let me add as a pendant the memorable words of 
the German Crown Prince : ' ' For him who has once 
ridden in a charge in peace, there is nothing better 
except another ride, ending in a clash with the foe. 
How often in the midst of a charge have I caught the 
yearning cry of a comrade : ' Donnerwetter ! If it 
were only in earnest ! ' " ^ 

^ See "The Kaiser's Heir" (1913), pages 116-117, for quota- 
tions, induding this passage from the Crown Prince's book, 
pubHshed in 191 3, " Deutschland in Waff en." 






I HAVE attempted to give you as scrupulously and as 
exactly as I could my personal observations of the 
three most prominent participants in the present 
struggle on land. Let me attempt to do as much for 
the same peoples upon the great waters. As to mili- 
tarism one may speak with no uncertain voice ; it is 
branded with the mark of Cain and it is original sin. 
But as to navalism one must keep a more open mind. 
Militarism is purely destructive and accursed. The 
preoccupations of the world at this date should ex- 
clusively confine themselves to social and domestic 
rearrangements, to the readjustment of wages, the 
reconsideration of all forms of teaching, and to the 
other primary necessities of life. To all these things 
Prussianism is the enemy, and the consideration of 
these things cannot peacefully be carried forward 
whilst Prussian state-methods continue to impress 
upon the German peoples the idea of war as a means 
to the increase of wealth and the idea of threats of 
war as a means to obtaining territorial expansions. It 
is mathematically demonstrable that war is always 
wasteful. Blocking of roads and their destruction 
hinders the transport from place to place not only of 
merchandise, but of all mental food. The burning of 
libraries, whether of Alexandria or of Louvain, inflicts 



incalculable losses upon humanity, and in no way 
benefits those committing that arson ; the sacking or 
the bombardment of towns ruins many poor people 
and benefits little those who enrich themselves by the 
spoils. But the sea is an indestructible highway ; 
not all the shells of all the great guns of Krupp thun- 
dering at once upon one spot of the sea could for 
more than a few seconds prevent its surface from 
aiding in the passage of commodity or of civilisation. 
For passage upon land, highway rules can be observed 
and can be easily framed ; passage upon the waters 
is always opportunist, dangerous, uncertain, and de- 
pendent for its efficiency upon traditions. It must 
therefore be obvious that, whilst the consideration and 
appraisement of militarism is very easy, it is difiicult 
to be certain that one is in possession of any true 
touchstone with which to test relative navalisms. It 
may be possible to write the history of the influence 
of sea-power upon the bare bones of history, but to 
write of the influence of maritime civilisation upon 
that terrestrial civilisation which you might call the 
filling-in between the bare ribs of historic events — 
that is one of the most difficult things in the world. 
Let me therefore search my conscience as closely as 
I may to discover exactly how life in this maritime 
nation has affected my views of navalism. 

The earliest anecdotes that I can remember were 
connected with the frigate-warfare of Napoleonic days. 
The first of them I cannot well correlate with any 
ethical cosmogony. It showed how my great-grand- 
father, Ford Brown, who was a naval officer, being 
prematurely grey and anxious to court my great- 
grandmother, dyed his hair with some patent prepara- 
tion, and, being rowed ashore from his ship in the 


bright sunlight, arrived in my great-grandmother's 
parents' respectable parlour, with his head the colour 
of the green grass in spring. This story, along with 
another, was related to me in my earliest years by my 
grandfather. Along with it went the other celebrated 
anecdote which caused me a good deal of amazement, 
and, I hope, made a better man of me. In fact, I am 
sure it did. My grandfather's father, then, was aboard 
the Arethusa when she fought her celebrated action 
with the Belle Poule. After the Belle Poule had sur- 
rendered, the French captain demanded a court-martial 
on the officers of the Arethusa on the grounds that 
they had fired pieces of glass from their guns. He 
alleged that fragments of this substance would be 
found sticking all over the timbers and in the very 
yards, shrouds, and cordage of the Belle Poule, the use 
of such missiles being forbidden by the laws of inter- 
national warfare and the dictates of common humanity. 
But, when the timbers, the yards, the shrouds, and 
the cordage of the Belle Poule were examined there 
were found sticking in them, not fragments of glass, 
but crown-pieces, guineas, half-guineas, and doub- 
loons. The crew of the Arethusa, in short, running 
out of chain, grape, and round shot, in the excite- 
ment of the action had crammed their guns full to the 
muzzle with the only objects which the laws of war- 
fare and the dictates of common humanity permitted 
them to employ. Thus were their reputations tri- 
umphantly and splendidly cleared. 

I am certain that, if I have ever since then refrained 
from striking, as the phrase is, an enemy beneath the 
belt, if I have ever thought what weapons it is fair 
and which unfair to employ against an opponent, the 
consideration of that anecdote counted for much in 


causing me to arrive at a conclusion. From that 
anecdote, and from the fact that after the bloody 
wars, after that period when, as Lord Nelson had 
said, it was the duty of every Englishman to hate 
a Frenchman as he would the devil, my great- 
grandfather could live peaceable years in the city of 
Calais, where indeed my grandfather was born — from 
that anecdote and from the other fact I learned 
many things as to correctitude of conduct in at least 
naval warfare and many things as to the recon- 
cilability of decently acting humanity outside periods 
of actual strife. 

My boyhood, and, I think, the boyhood of every 
man who was a boy along with me, was extraordinarily 
influenced by the traditions and the atmosphere of 
the frigate-warfare of the Napoleonic struggles. I, 
and the boys with whom I grew up, thought almost 
exclusively in terms of dashing frigates, corvettes, 
sending away the boats for cutting-out expeditions, 
and the highest dignity at which we could hope to 
arrive was that of a post-captain ; though to com- 
mand a seventy-four or to arrive at the degree of 
Rear-Admiral seemed almost like retiring from active 
life, and going, as it were, into the decorous atmosphere 
of the Upper House. Marryat, the Cooper of the 
"Two Admirals," the autobiography of Lord Dun- 
donald — these made up the greater part of our psy- 
chologies, and, certainly, the greater part of my own 
ethics. And I do not know that a better ethical 
schooling could be found for a nation whose chief 
business is, and must always remain, upon the great 

One lost, in later days, a considerable part of the 
clarity of this view, as, in the cosmopolitan life of 


great cities, one loses sight of the ground-facts of 
existence. Where, that is to say, one is hourly lifted 
from story to story, or down to or up from great 
depths in the earth, one is apt to have the facts of the 
inexorable laws of gravity more obscured from one 
than if one lived always with, and had no experience 
of anything save, flights of stairs. And, when one 
receives one's spice in enamelled air-tight tins one is 
more apt to forget the bronzed mariner than if the 
same spices had reached one in bales w^oven out of 
esparto grass. But still the fact remains that the 
Port and City of London are very essentially the Port 
only secondarily the city, since the miles and miles of 
streets, the immense administrative buildings, and 
the millions of humanity are merely parasitic and 
dependent upon the Docks. 

It is difficult fully to realise to oneself what the 
Docks really are. One's view is so very much limited 
that one is apt to think of them as the one small por- 
tion of harbourage that one knows, by accident fairly 
well — a portion of harbourage that would be suffi- 
cient for a small seaside town. One man knowsTilbury 
for this or that reason — because he has gone to see 
off a friend there, or because there he has landed, 
coming from New York by the Minnetonka or the 
Minnehaha. Another may know the Victoria and 
Albert Docks for the same accidental reasons ; in the 
mind of a third the name of Galleons' Reach may 
stick because of the picturesqueness of the name or 
because he will have seen that great stretch of waters 
where the barges, like swift shuttles, thread the straight 
routes of the great liners. In the mind of a fourth 
man there may be vivid the term " Pool of London." 
Most of us have some such little coup d'ceil that we 


carry about with us — an expanse of quayside and 
water more or less enclosed which can be literally 
scanned and taken in one glance of the eye. But 
actually, really to mark all the evidences of life, all 
the contrivances from the immense four-legged cranes 
down to the little bits of gilded woodwork, from the 
great steel hausers down to the delicate hempen 
cordage of the small sailing boats; the immense 
stretches of arid quays ; the intercrossing lines — 
rightly to know and to appreciate the minutiae of all 
these miles and miles on the right bank and of all 
these miles and miles on the left — that would be a 
task for ten life-times, and you and I and the cabman 
at the corner and the Lord Mayor and the County 
Council and the Poet Laureate and the Prime Minister 
and your green-grocer are all alike dependent for our 
fame, for our wealth, for our sheets, and for our 
ultimate resting-places in suburban cemeteries, upon, 
not the City, but the Port of London. That is the 
ground-fact of our existence. 

We may ignore, and we do in fact ignore it pretty 
completely ; but still, implanted deep and ruling over 
the psychologies certainly of my own generation there 
remain those maritime similes, and, imbedded deeply 
in the very roots of our language which are the main- 
springs of our action, there remain the maritime words 
which are always words of a high standard of efficiency 
when it is a matter of work and of a high and not 
ignoble carelessness when it is one's turn ashore. If, 
in any of the common matters of life, I wish to exhort 
the gardener or the carpenter who are working for 
me, or any other man, young or old, who comes under 
my influence, I should beg them to " make a good 
job" of things. But if I wish to exhort myself or 


some one else to adopt a really high standard, keying 
the " good job " to something nearly within the realm 
of art, I should say : " Do it ship-shape." For, off the 
sea, you may be careless ; you may be, in fact, " half 
seas over " or " several sheets in the wind " ; but, once 
aboard, all the implements of your craft must be in 
their exact place ; every stanchion, every bolt, every 
lifebelt, and even every holystone must be just there 
and just exactly there. It must be all ship-shape to 
a degree such as is unknown in any other trade, pro- 
fession, craft, calling, or pursuit of fame in these 

And, for me at least, that all comes back to Percival 
Keene, to Midshipman Easy, to the black cook, Mesty, 
to Tom Cringle, to Southey's Nelson, to the old lieu- 
tenant, plastered with tallow, who welcomed Lord 
Cochrane as a midshipman aboard his craft, and, to a 
great, but still to a lesser degree, it comes back to the 
sinking of the Birkenhead, to the ballad of the ' ' Battle 
of the Baltic," to the sinking of the Royal George, and 
to " Black- eyed Susan." I don't know whether the 
" Battle of the Baltic " is fine poetry ; but I know it 
is an immense influence, and, like most immense in- 
fluences, has a fine cadence. I find myself now and 
then repeating its stanzas just for the pleasure of the 
sound : 

" ' Hearts of oak ! ' our captains cried, when each gun 
From its adamantine Ups 
Spread a death-shade round the ships 
Like a hurricane ecUpse 
Of the sun." 

But these ballads, along with such more grandilo- 
quent matters as the end of Kingsley's " Westward 


Ho" with the Spaniard who was, after all, quite 
efficiently drowned being chivalrously forgiven by 
Amyas Leigh who was still alive and in the bright 
sunlight — these more grandiloquent matters were, as 
far as I can remember the psychology of a boyhood — 
a little bit above our heads. What " Piggy " Pearson 
and myself, playing truant from fagging at cricket on 
a hot afternoon and hidden away up in the top of one 
of the old trees in Epping Forest, used to imagine 
was rather the rough-and-tumble life of frigate-fighting. 
I don't think we were remarkably heroic, but we did 
grind our cutlasses to a sharp edge upon the grindstones, 
saw to it that the boarding-pikes were handy to come 
to, hated a Frenchman like the devil, and yet were 
sure that at the end of every engagement we should 
hand the French captain back his sword because, 
although he had had overwhelming odds on his side, 
against such dashing devils as myself and "Piggy" 
Pearson, whose English determination in some way 
positively forced the solid cannon-balls faster through 
the air, his gallantry had availed little. So we took 
him prisoner, returned him his sword, and packed him 
off to Edinburgh Castle, from which, in our heart of 
hearts, we hoped he would escape. Indeed, if, being 
off duty, we had met him, suspicious enough in aspect, 
at a hedge alehouse on the Great North Road, we 
should certainly have looked the other way. That, I 
think, was invariably the mixed way in which our 
combats were conducted. The foe was craven as long 
as he fought, and one of us was a match for any three 
of him. But the moment he struck his gallantry 
became evident ; we returned him his sword and we 
hoped he might escape from prison so that we might 
have another slap at his craven crew. 


It was, if you like, a muddled psychology, and, just 
where the standard of right and wrong came in is a 
little hard to distinguish. But I cannot discern much 
active badness about it, though it may have been high 
treason to have connived at the escape of our captive. 
When the war was over, being on half-pay, we should 
have had to settle down in one of the queer old streets 
of Calais or of Brussels ; we should go out daily to 
buy our provisions in the Rue du Pot d'Etain or the 
Rue Marche au Lait ; and, over our afternoon cordial, 
we should discover a certain faded majesty, a certain 
atmosphere of now impotent heroism about the scare- 
crow-like figures in blue coats and with deteriorated 
shakos — the officers of the Grande Armee, and of 
Villeneuve's squadron. And, tottering back over the 
rough cobbles, we should thank God that we, and they, 
had been enabled to do our duty — though how exactly 
those other officers had been able to do their duty when 
it was common sense that Napoleon was a tyrant to 
whom no one owed duty — that was a question that 
we left to the winds and waves encircling the rock of 
St. Helena. 

The empire of the sea must always be a matter of 
traditions, since it is only by means of the experience 
of ages that we may counteract the contrivances of 
tides, of waves and of winds, which are the constant 
factors of that element. In one sense the immense 
liners, which with their whole town's populations and 
their macadamised streets seem safer than towns, since 
they have no chimney-pots to blow about your ears, 
have changed some of the aspect of seafaring. If the 
majority of us contemplated a voyage we should 
expect to set out in such a collection of whitened 
packing-cases crammed down on an unbreakable steel 


soup-dish. We should expect to be rammed through 
the water along known routes as definite as that from 
Hyde Park Corner to Charing Cross ; charts would be 
things outside our psychology, and we should grumble 
if the conveyance were an hour late. But in the im- 
mense scale of sea-faring these apparitions have as 
little to do as have Pullman Cars and trains de luxe 
with all the land-borne commodities of the earth. 
The sea is the property of, the sea exists for, the tramp- 
steamer, and 80 per cent, of the tramp- steamers of 
the world fly the British flag. These tramp-steamers 
are buffeted by the winds ; are at the mercy of pro- 
montories and headlands, pursue painful courses in 
dangerous tideways, are warped into nooks and corners, 
and, by means of charts, logs, and compasses, diffi- 
cultly make sedulously tended lights in Malaysia, in 
County Galway, or in the islands where Sappho sang. 
The lighting of these seas is British in devising ; so 
is the charting of them, and, down the ages, so is the 
clearing of them from pirates and the tradition that 
gives them their laws. If yesterday the drowned 
Admiral von Spee of the sunken German battleship 
off the Falkland Islands touched his cap on coming on 
to the quarter-deck before sailing on his last fatal 
cruise, that was because on the mainmast of the Harry 
Grace de Dieu there once hung the crucifix and to that, 
little as he may have known it, that Admiral was still 
touching his cap. That tradition is ancient, is quaint, 
and is possibly unnecessary, and yet probably it does 
none of us, admirals or others, any harm from time to 
time to be reminded that " the sea is His, and He 
made it" — even though we may question the state- 



On May 7th, 1915, the German submarine U 39 
sank by means of a torpedo and without warning the 
Cunard Hner Lusitania, thus sending to the bottom 
1,134 souls, all non-combatant. I hope to be able to 
persuade the reader that this action was also due to 
the atmosphere engendered in England by the reading 
in the eighties of last century of works written by 
Captain Marryat and descriptions of commerce-de- 
stroying byfrigates and privateers during theNapoleonic 
Wars — the reader of these works and the person im- 
pressed by this atmosphere being, not an English 
public school-boy, but a German Emperor. 

The circumstances attendant upon death by sea 
have always created singular sentiments of horror in 
the human breast, and those sentiments of horror have 
had, as corollary, singular manifestations of humaneness. 
There can, in the whole of history, have been few in- 
stances of more callous indifference to suffering, and 
no instances of greater suffering than that exemplified 
by the lot of the galley-slave, whether the period of 
that galley-slave were that of the battle of Actium or 
the battle of Lepanto. These unfortunate beings were 
chained to immense oars, far away from the light of 
the sun, which, according to the ordinary vicissitudes 



of such human Hfe, they would never see again. One ■ 

only exception was made in these circumstances, and | 

for one alleviation alone could they hope. If their | 

galley, struck in the ribs by another, were upon the | 

point of foundering, the foreman slave-master and 5 

his assistants would undo such of the padlocks as were \ 

conveniently within their reach and would cast the v 

keys down into the lower galleys, so that the slaves, « 

passing the keys from bank to bank, might release | 

themselves. They were to be given their chance of | 

sinking or swimming. And this tradition existed upon j| 

galleys, whether in the days of Actium, of Lepanto, | 

or as late as the last galleys rowed by slaves that f 

existed in the Spanish Navy or in those of the Deys j 

of Algiers, and the Sultans of Morocco. The same J 

practice prevailed even in times of storm — the slaves j 

were unchained and given their chance. This is an s 

instance of a tradition of greater than terrestrial > 

humanity existent upon the seas from the earliest :j 

times and persistent until the special circumstances j 

became non-existent. J 

That galley-slaves, stokers, non-combatants, women I 

and children should be "given their chance" when | 

they are upon the great waters is a very ancient ^ 

tradition and one that has been observed by all i 

maritime nations. In the direct hour of death most ■ 

human factors fade into unimportance, and the sea j 

is an ever-present symbol of death, thus imparting to \ 

such peoples as are familiar with it some of the frame j 

of mind that attaches to watchers by a death-bed. On t 

land, if we were present at the death-bed of our bitter- | 

est enemy, we should say almost inevitably " Vex not i 

his ghost.'* At sea, watching the death-struggles of | 

his bitterest enemy, a man who has followed the sea j 


will almost inevitably attempt to save that enemy. 
This circumstance has given to the occupation of 
following the sea a certain sacredness that does not 
attach to any other calling pursued by humanity. 
Humanity, in fact, is not a very pleasant animal, and 
we should by so much the more treasure the tradi- 
tions of a craft whose circumstances lead to an almost 
universal fineness. We are most of us tender of old 
traditions, but almost all old traditions upon the land 
have about them something of evil. The traditions 
of nobility connote oppressions ; the tradition of paying 
your first footing in the hopping-field promotes un- 
necessary drinking. This tradition of saving life at 
sea alone is absolutely stainless and absolutely desir- 
able. We carry it even to extravagant lengths ; for, 
if any man of these islands were asked : ' ' Supposing 
Shakespeare had been upon the Titanic and could 
have given his place in a boat to save the life of a 
three-days '-old baby, should he have given it ? " there 
is hardly a man who would not answer : "It would 
be quite irrational ; the loss to the world would be 
very great; but he should give it." For certain 
actions are as poetic and certain traditions as neces- 
sary, value poetry how highly we will — as poetry. 

Commerce upon land is only commerce ; commerce 
upon the sea is commerce plus a very beautiful chivalry 
and a very real braveness — or so it was until May 7th. 
And this commerce of the great waters has reflected 
a certain mercy and decency even upon terrestrial 
commerce. You, being a city merchant, will ask me 
how you have benefited by this high tradition of the 
sea. I will answer: "Did you ever know a man 
engaged in commerce, who, being in some straits to 
tide over a difficult period, was not saved because one 


of his creditors or several of his creditors said : * We 
do not wish to overburden a sinking ship ' — or, if you 
Hke, ' to throw stones at a drowning man ' ? " If those 
similes, taken from the traffic of the deep water, had 
not been universally in our minds, many of us who 
are now prosperous citizens would be broken creatures 
upon the workhouse bench and many of us who still 
walk the earth would have sought refuge beneath the 
waters. I have stuck to several friends in distress 
because I did not like the idea of being the rat that 
deserted the sinking ship. These statements are not 
merely fanciful, simply because these images are for 
ever present in our minds. From the sea, as from a 
well, we draw an infinite supply of examples and of 
similes enjoining pity, rectitude, order, and Christian 
kindness. For who of us could get through life with- 
out the help of some of its images ; who of us at given 
junctures could have got along much further without 
the hope that at the last the Lord should bring us into 
the haven that we had desired ? It is because of this 
that May 7th, 191 5, is a very bad date for humanity. 
The husbandman has his virtues, but in the kindly 
comities of mankind he has none of the virtues or of 
the kindlinesses of the men that go down into deep 
waters. He has none of those necessities. The great 
winds will lay his grain and shake his fruit to the 
ground ; the hard frosts will nip his seedlings ; long 
drought will send the turnip-flea skipping among his 
roots with that little crepitating sound that may well 
turn the farmer's cheek pale. But these things must 
be endured in solitude. No man can help you against 
the sun, the wind, the frost, or murrains. You grow 
rich on your own luck, or you starve on your own 
misfortune ; in either case you brood over your own 



urrows and are turned inwards. You have neither 
the tradition of helping any man nor can you expect 
help from any. That is why the German papers, 
when they commented upon the sinking of the Lusi- 
tania, spoke of the dash and heroism of the submarine's 
crew. For the German, in the great historical millions 
of him, is a peasant, and is, in his modern develop- 
ment, a merchant who has never followed the seas 
nor had any traffic with those who have followed the 
seas. This holds true in minute particulars as in 
historic generalisations. What Germany, as a mari- 
time power, has chiefly distinguished itself by giving 
to the world is the subsidised liner. If, in short, you 
asked a German what the German Empire had given 
to the world of the sea, he would answer the Hamburg- 
Amerika Line, the Hamburg-South American Line, the 
North German Lloyd Line, the Pester Lloyd Line, 
and the Woermann Line. Without these great lines 
German mercantile marine would be a negligible matter 
and German overseas trade a thing to be reckoned 
on the fingers of a few hands. Without its great 
lines the British mercantile marine would hardly be 
affected in its world-pre-eminence. Created within the 
memory of man, without traditions, fostered by an 
impassionedly commercial State, the German mer- 
cantile marine has done nothing to give to the German 
nation anything of the feeling of the sea. German 
merchandising has no savour at all of sea-life about 
it. German synthetic jam is manufactured in Mann- 
heim, goes on time by rail to Hamburg put up in tin 
pails. It reaches Hamburg on the Wednesday, and, 
at a given hour on some subsequent Friday, reaches 
Buenos Ayres, part of the cost of the transit having 
been borne by the State, and the whole of it effected 


in despite of waves by means of pistons, cylinders, and 
steam-gauges. And that process began within the 
life-times of most of us. I can remember seeing two 
East Indiamen with the great spars and the black- 
and-white sides, painted to look like the gun-decks of 
a seventy-four, piled up by a south-wester upon the 
shores of Sandgate Bay. The Plassey and the Ben- 
venue they were called. I can remember seeing a 
full-rigged ship, four schooners, three brigs, and several 
smaller sailing craft piled up in the same place. I 
can remember also, within two miles of that place, the 
sinking of the Grosser Kurfurst and the funerals of the 
German sailors who were brought ashore and buried 
in the little cemetery behind Shorncliffe Station, where 
their monument may still be seen. The sinking of 
that great cruiser seemed to put an end for ever to 
Germany's hopes of a navy. 

German maritime and naval history, indeed, though 
it goes back some distance, has never been a matter 
of a particular distinction, and in modern historical 
times has been a matter almost invariably distinguished 
by disaster, by political acrimony, and by dispiritude. 
It is true that the Navy of the Hanse towns preceded 
and rivalled for a time the navy of the Cinque Ports ; 
but, whereas the records of the Cinque Ports are full 
of action and daring and of order kept upon the seas, 
the records of the Hanse Towns' fleets are purely 
matters of commercial rings, trusts, and actions such 
as those which are popularly alleged against the 
Standard Oil Company of America. The merchants 
of the Hanse Towns, in fact, looked after themselves 
remarkably well, and are no doubt not to be blamed 
for it. But the proprietors of the Cog Christopher, 
flying the Red Cross of St. George, had accorded to 


them internationally the task of keeping the seas clear 
of corsairs like the celebrated " Nequissimus pirata 
Eustachio" who, in the thirteenth century was much 
accursed by the Governments of France, Burgundy, 
Scotland, and England, and who had his home in the 
Channel Islands. From there he was eventually burnt 
out, the Cinque Ports having received a charter for 
that purpose from all the four Governments. I am 
not of course saying that the men of the Cinque Ports 
were not rewarded for their public services. They 
had the privileges of infangthef, utfangthef. Court 
Baron, soccage, saccage, tunnage, lastage, and pound- 
age. They had the right to water their boats at any 
spring on the French coast before the ships of any 
other nation, and the ships of any other nation backed 
their topsails in salute whenever the red cross upon a 
white ground came in sight upon the narrow seas — 
until, at any rate, late into the seventeenth century. 
But these privileges, if frequently of monetary value, 
were frequently also purely honorary and the honours 
were as jealously stood out for as the privileges of 
value. Thus, because they had rid the sea of Eustace, 
the unspeakable pirate, the Barons of the Cinque 
Ports in the twentieth century brought their chancery 
suit against the Earl Marshal for the right to sit at 
the right hand of the King at the Coronation banquet 
— and won it. 

The Corporation of the Cinque Ports, in fact, entered 
deeply into the fabric of the constitution of these 
realms. The Hanse Towns jealously excluded them- 
selves from duties and services to, or from influence 
upon, the German nation. Indeed, such of them as 
remain still jealously exclude themselves from the 
German Customs Union, and remain not only free but 


even free trading cities. The presence of the Barons 
of the Cinque Ports at the Coronation of to-day 
sanctions the choice of sovereign that is then made. 
But, whereas to-day that sanction is only historic, in 
the Middle Ages it was a practical safeguard for the 
liberties of the subject. Without the presence of those 
barons the selection of the King was not valid ; and 
their sanction was regarded as a necessary safeguard 
for the laws and liberties of the realm because of the 
powers they had upon the sea, those powers having 
been granted to them because of their policing and 
keeping order upon the narrow seas. The three 
leopards, or, if you like, the three young lions of the 
coat-armour of the crown of England were dimidiated 
with ships not solely as an assertion of the naval 
strength of the British Crown, but also as an assertion 
of the rights and duties of the maritime populations of 
England, France, and Ireland, whereas the standard 
of the Great Cross of Liibeck, a great ship in her day, 
was a standard solely of exclusion and flew over many 
acts of barratry, if not of piracy itself. 

Similarly, when the King himself began to build 
great ships like the Harry Grace de Dieu he was found- 
ing a royal and a public Navy ; when, a hundred and 
fifty years later, Frederick, the Great Elector, attempted 
to found a navy and colonies, this navy and those 
colonies were farmed out to a Dutch mercenary and 
to a commercial company in which the Elector took 
a few shares. And the successor of the Great Elector 
was so parsimonious and so intolerant of naval trans- 
actions that he refused to continue subscribing to the 
commercial company, which fell into bankruptcy, 
whilst the German East African colonies, their popula- 
tion reduced to less than a score of Germans, fell into 


the hands of a native chief who governed them under 
the Prussian flag for some decades. That story of 
humihation is the maritime record of Germany during 
the eighteenth century. During the nineteenth it was 
no less a record of humiliation. We may indeed say 
that the German peoples, under their separate rulers, 
showed, until 1848, or indeed until 1878, some desire 
for a national German Navy. Indeed, in the forties 
of last century, this idea was almost an idealism. 
During the sitting of the national German Confedera- 
tion at Frankfort relatively great sums were sub- 
scribed by the German peoples for the purchase of a 
war-navy ; these sums were placed in the hands of 
delegates, who by purchase acquired a certain number 
of ships of war. But, when Lord Palmerston, speak- 
ing possibly more caustically than considerately, 
pointed out that the delegates of an unauthorised 
convention had no rights to float a flag of war 
upon the sea, and that the subscribed-for German 
warships were, in fact, pirates — this infant German 
Navy was taken off the sea and finally sold by 
auction. The echo of this humiliation remained bitter 
in Germany for thirty years, Lord Palmerston and 
the British nation coming in for their share of the 

And, after the Franco-Prussian War, when Ger- 
many at last presented the aspect of a nation, some of 
the aspirations for a national battle-fleet revived in 
the German breast. But, after 1870, as I have else- 
where pointed out, much of the idealism of the German 
national spirit died out and that decade — that of the 
seventies — was one of slackness, of discouragement, 
and disillusionment. The sinking of the battleship 
Der Grosse Kurfiirst by collision with another German 


warship off Folkestone in 1878 seemed to extinguish 
finally, in Germany, all naval aspirations. I can still 
remember the extreme bitterness with which elderly 
Germans spoke of the German Navy. They said : 
*' We have talked for half a century about this institu- 
tion. But, no sooner do we get together a couple of 
miserable ships than one, in perfectly calm weather, 
must needs run into the other and sink it. Let us 
hear no more of the Deutsche KriegsfloUe. Our future, 
wherever it may be, is certainly not upon the water." 
The Admiral in command of the squadron was given 
six months in a fortress and the Grosser Kurfurst was 
not replaced in the German Navy, which continued 
to languish for nearly another quarter of a century — 
until the year 1900. 

This is a perfectly true history of German naval 
affairs until the beginning of the present century. It 
is as impartial as I have been able to make it and it 
will be observed that the whole affair is dismissable in 
a very few lines. And, if we compare it with the 
immense and encyclopaedic volume that would be 
necessary for the treatment of the maritime history 
of Great Britain during five hundred years, even 
though the subject were dismissed in a summary scale, 
we can see how, of necessity, if not by any special 
virtues, British sea life must have evolved a tradition 
and a standard. For, when there are many and 
complicated trafhckings of men, traditions must of 
absolute necessity arise, along with conventions of 
right and wrong, rules of the road, and the other things 
which are necessary to correlated travelling from 
place to place. Leaving virtue entirely out of the 
matter, it stands to reason that a man much of whose 
life is passed on the sea will be anxious to save from 


drowning those whom he observes to be in a less 
favourable position than himself — if only because he 
himself may very shortly come into such a position of 
danger, and he will therefore be anxious to do all he 
can to further the tradition of saving life at sea so 
that many men may desire to save his life in turn. 
But, though this tradition be founded on the veriest 
selfishness, none the less, because of the countless 
aspirations of the countless thousands who have 
journeyed from China to Peru and from Palembang 
to Pimlico ; who, since the days of Henry the Navigator, 
have rounded the one cape of the world and doubled 
the other ; because of the hopes and chances of life of 
so many thousands of men and so many deeds of self- 
sacrifice, of discipline, and of courage in the face of 
immediate and most awful death — though the deed 
on May 7th, 1915, may root its practice out from 
the face of the waters — this tradition remains and 
will always remain one of the most beautiful things 
in the world. It has arisen, this beautiful tradition, 
principally because Great Britain is an island with 
a long and indented coastline ; in the German Empire 
it has not arisen principally because Bohemia has 
no seaboard. The statement that " Britannia rules 
the waves " is a stupid statement ; but such ruling 
as Great Britain has applied to those restless and 
undisciplined things is in a certain sense beautiful. 
Even the blockade of towns by ships' crews in the 
distant offing is a feat intellectual when compared 
with the burning of Louvain. It is watchfulness and 
the power to keep the seas set against patience and 
the power to endure the lack of commodity ; it is the 
measurement of psychological strain against psycho- 
logical strain. 


That Germany may resent this faculty of watch- 
fulness and this power to endure in silence great 
psychological strain is natural, and no doubt excus- 
able. The possibility of Great Britain's exercising 
this vigilance against the German seaboard may well 
have been naturally and excusably galling to a Ger- 
many whose power to acquire further seaboard de- 
pended upon its power to threaten with terrestrial 
invasion those nations whose lands lie south and west 
of the German Empire. The threat of the one possi- 
bility counterbalanced the threat of the other possi- 
bility, and was, for long, sufficient to maintain the 
peace of the world. At a given period the one pos- 
sibility seemed no longer to outweigh the other, and 
war came into existence. This is the saddest story 
in the chronicles of the world. 

For I do not think any one will deny that, for long 
centuries, the peace administration of the great 
waters by Great Britain has been efficient and has 
been honourable. It has been a record of free harbours 
and of seas free to the peaceful fleets of the world, of 
lighthouses set up on dangerous promontories, of 
rocks removed from dangerous tide-ways, of the 
compilation of charts for use in dangerous seas. Of 
these traditions Germany has of necessity none at all. 
Between the sailor and the sailor of every other 
country there has always been a second nationality ; 
when it has come to a matter of shipwrecks and 
drownings, between English and French, between 
Genoese and Venetian, between Castilian and North 
American there has always extended that nationality 
which extinguishes all terrestrial boundaries whether 
in peace or in war. The German has given you great 
subsidised lines ; and he has given you boats which, 


rising from the depths of the waters, carry upon them 
cinematograph machines so that the actual struggles 
of drowning humanity may be spread and witnessed 
in the furthest confines and the smallest villages of 
Pomerania. That is the future that Germany offers 
to humanity upon the waters. 



The history of the rise of the German Navy encloses 
one of the great tragi-comedies of the world, and, as 
far as I can understand it, it arose because of the 
extremely subtle interplay of human weaknesses. It 
is, this history, a matter of extreme complications, 
and, being a novelist, I approach it with all the 
caution I should apply to a subtle and tragic affair 
in private human life. I will put it in the first place 
in several apparently paradoxical and startling lights 
so as most immediately to strike the imagination of 
the reader and the better to awaken his attention. 
In the first place, then, if St. Ignatius had never 
founded the Society of Jesus, the German Navy would 
never have been founded by its present founders. Or, 
again, if Captain Marryat had never written " Mid- 
shipman Easy ' ' the Lusitania would never have been 
sunk by a German submarine. And it might be 
added that if the German Emperor had not been 
inspired by a genuine admiration for Nelson, for 
Blake, and, let us say, for Frobisher and the men of 
the Birkenhead, he would not in May 1915 have made 
himself responsible for what I will call simply the un- 
imaginative murder of many hundreds of descendants 
and inheritors of the tradition of Nelson, of Blake, of 



Frobisher, and of the men who went down at their 
stations, standing at attention and with drums beating. 
The first of these paradoxes has its origin in the 
confused nature of German poUtics — and in the fact 
that after the sinking of the Grosser Kurfiirst prac- 
tically no one in Germany could be found to take any 
interest at all in the subject of the German Navy. 
On the other hand the Upper Power of the German 
State can generally smash any single political group, 
by accusing it, just before a General Election, of want 
of patriotism. Let us take the extreme Conservative 
Party — the party that is indifferently known as the 
Agrarian, the Junker, or the Imperial Party ("Reichs- 
partei "). For various reasons, which I will afterwards 
explain, this Junker Party dislikes the idea of a large 
Navy or even of an extended Colonial Empire. It 
votes generally, but not invariably, for any measures 
introduced in the Reichstag or in either of the 
Prussian Houses, by the Ministers of the Crown. 
It prefers that the Emperor should be extremely 
strong when he is functioning as King of Prussia 
and dislikes any strengthening of his hands as 
German Emperor. It is rather important, for any 
comprehension of the Emperor's figure, that this dis- 
tinction should be firmly marked in the English mind. 
Roughly speaking, then, the German Emperor is a 
constitutional monarch very much in the hands of 
his Ministers, who might conceivably, though of course 
not very thinkably, be Socialists. The German 
Emperor approaches in position the English fiction of 
the Sovereign as the Crown. But the King of Prussia 
is a nearly absolute monarch relying for his authority 
upon and completely united in interest with this same 
Reichspartei, who would resemble in complexion the 



English High Tory Party, if the EngHsh High Tory ) 

Party still existed.^ ■ 

This state of things presents the Imperial Admin- i 

istration with an excellent stick by which they can { 

bring the Junkers to heel. They have only, in fact, j 

to accuse the extreme Conservatives of disloyalty, not .; 

to the Prussian Throne, but to the German Empire, i 

regarded as a colonial affair — of disloyalty to the ' 

immense number of Kolonialwarenhdndler and the i 

trade that these "colonial shops" are supposed to \ 

represent — and immediately Count Yorck von Warten- ! 

burg and his followers will lose a certain number of ' 

votes either to nearly allied groups or to direct j 

opponents. '; 

Let me now put another startling fact before the \ 

reader. The membership of the Reichstag, or Ger- ] 

man Imperial Parliament, is 397. Of these members ^ 

only about sixty, the representatives of the Free i 

Conservatives (fifteen in number) and of the National I 

Liberal Party (forty-five in number), have been official ; 

supporters of the Government's naval proposals. The \ 

official programmes of every other party have all ; 

contained clauses of more or less direct opposition to ,-: 

naval expansion and the interests of the constituents \ 

represented by those parties have all been in opposi- j 

tion to naval, and in many cases even to colonial, \ 

expansion. The parties in the Reichstag are as j 

^ This point is very fully brought out in the debates in the ^ 

Prussian House of Representatives after the Zabern affair. ] 

I do not wish at this moment to refresh my memory with ; 

quotations from the speeches in this debate, because I am t 

trying, as far as possible, to limit myself to my personal im- ■ 
pression of affairs as they occurred at the time. The speech, 
upon this occasion, of Graf Yorck von Wartenburg I will, 

however, present to the reader in Appendix B. ^ 


follows, beginning with the Extreme Right: (i) the 
Conservative, Agrarian, or Junker, a small but dis- 
proportionately powerful party whose characteristics 
I have just roughly described ; (2) the Free Conserva- 
tives, or Reichspartei,^ a very small group which 
has almost divested itself of any little power that it 
might have had by its consistent, unreasoning, and 
absolutely devoted support of any measures intro- 
duced by the Administration ; (3) the Centre, or 
Catholic Party, who are the real rulers of the German 
Empire in the sense that in England the Irish Party 
have been the rulers of the British Empire for many 
years past. The Centre Party is numerically the most 
powerful in the Chamber, its representatives fluctuat- 
ing in number between about 120 and go ; (4) the 
National Liberals, who might be described as Whig 
manufacturers. This party is perhaps the most 
voluble in the Reichstag, its tenets being officially 
somewhat like those of the Manchester School in 
England. Its criticism of the Government is fre- 
quently resonant, almost always rhetorical, and never 
dangerous, and it has always, in the end, come to heel 
in matters to which the authorities attached any 
importance. With this body, which, officially belong- 
ing to the Opposition, is nevertheless a faithful sup- 
porter of the authorities, we come definitely to the 
real Opposition. This consists of: (i) the " Frei- 
sinnige Volkspartei " or " Free- thinking People's 
Party," a numerically unimportant group of what in 
England we should call Radical complexion, differing 
from the National Liberals in that it is anti-ecclesias- 

1 "Free Conservatives" is the name of this party in the 
Prussian Landtag. See Dr. H. Rehm : " Deutschlands 
Politische Parteien." 


tical, whether CathoHc or Protestant, avowedly 
pacifist, and definitely in favour of absolute Free 
Trade. This party represents the financially very 
powerful Jewish interests of the country. It votes 
nearly always, but not invariably, against Govern- 
ment proposals. The main body of the Opposition 
is, of course, formed by (2) the powerful and growing 
Socialist Party. Of assorted, eccentric, and not very 
powerful bodies there are the anti-Semites, who are 
chiefly distinguished by the eccentricities and violences 
of language, much as if they were supporters of the 
White Rose League in this country or the " Camelots 
du Roi ' ' in France. There are also the Guelphs, the 
Poles, the Danes of Schleswig-Holstein, and the Lor- 
rainers of the Reichsland. All these vote, as a rule, 
with the Centre Party, and number together from 
fifteen to twenty-five. 

The Reichstag, of course, differs slightly in com- 
plexion from year to year, but, as a fair average state- 
ment, we may give to the Right, or supporters of 
the Administration, the Conservatives with about 40 
votes, the Reichspartei with about 15, the Centre and 
allied parties with about 135, and the National 
Liberals with 45. To the Opposition we may give 
about 40 for the Freisinnige Volkspartei, and about 
120 for the Socialists. This gives you about 375 
seats ; and the remaining 22 we may leave as affected 
at bye-elections by the swing of the pendulum. Still, 
whatever the state of the polls, the Imperial authorities 
could not count upon more than 60 supporters, either 
officially or by interest, for their programme of naval 

Let us now consider the reasons — the reasons of 
interest and of bread and butter — that bring about 


this sto^e of things. The Conservatives, or Junkers, 
object to a large Colonial Empire because they are 
chiefly interested in maintaining a high price for 
agricultural produce ; a large Colonial Empire would 
mean, since within that Empire there must be Free 
Trade, very considerable competition in agricultural 
produce coming from within the Empire. On much 
the same grounds the almost all-powerful Centre Party 
objects to the founding of a large Colonial Empire or 
even to the promotion of great industrial expansion. 
For the Centre Party is faced with the fact that, 
whereas the agricultural populations of East Prussia, 
of Silesia, of Bavaria, of the Rhineland and of West- 
phalia are Black Catholic in complexion, and vote 
absolutely for the Centre Party candidates, the 
Catholic populations of the large new industrial towns 
are by no means so easily controlled. The only party 
in Germany that ever wins a considerable number of 
votes from the Centre is the Socialist Party, and these 
gains, when they do take place, are found in towns 
like Munich and Cologne, never in the country districts. 
To keep the country districts therefore rich, well- 
populated, and relatively powerful in the State is one 
of the main motives of the Centre Party ; moreover, 
the nature of the constituents of this party is such as 
to make them naturally and professionally indifferent, 
if not hostile, to any naval policy. To the rich, pros- 
perous, and contented peasant of Bavaria who has 
never seen a ship; to the rich, prosperous, and con- 
tented wine-grower of the Moselle who has never seen 
any waters save those of that river and of the Rhine, 
the idea of a great Navy or of great colonies presents 
neither romance nor financial attractiveness. It has, 
moreover, the definite objection that it exposes 


them not only to immediate burdens of taxation, but 
to potential and very costly wars. The population 
statistics of the German Empire reveal the following 
facts : there are in Germany 27,000,000 Roman 
Catholics, a body of an intense solidarity, set against 
37,000,000 supporters of divers creeds and interests ; 
or, again, 6 per cent, of the population inhabits terri- 
tory of the German seaboard or is interested in marine 
pursuits, whilst 94 per cent, are agricultural or not 
much interested either in the sea or in ideas of 
oversea expansion. How, then, did the Govern- 
ment achieve the apparent miracle of forcing through 
an immense naval programme against this uninterested 
or this hostilely interested population ? The factors 
working on their side are various and complicated. 
During the first eight years in which the present 
Emperor enjoyed autocratic power he made impas- 
sioned struggles on behalf of what is called the " Blue 
Water School," without achieving any results what- 
ever. His methods ranged from those of rhetoric to 
those of political wire-pulling: the rhetoric inspired 
no one ; the wire-pulling was absolutely without 
political effect. In the Reichstag the measures intro- 
duced by the Secretary for Marine were not so much 
contemptuously as negligently rejected, as if the naval 
policy were an amiable but unimportant personal tic 
in the sovereign. In, I think, 1897, the picture ap- 
peared in an English illustrated paper, showing the 
naval vessels of the Great Powers in Asiatic waters. 
In this picture, though the other Great Powers were 
all represented by warships varying in weight and in 
number, the German naval banner was carried by an 
auxiliary-sailing gunboat alone. Before then, in the 
great hurricane in Samoan waters, H.M.S. Calliope 


steamed out against the full force of the hurricane, the 
German war-vessels there present being lost with all 
hands. To these facts the Emperor was never tired 
of passionately alluding, more particularly when Samoa 
fell within the scope of German interest. The draw- 
ing from the English illustrated paper the Emperor 
caused to be reproduced and scattered broadcast 
through Germany, bearing, with a facsimile of his 
own sign-manual, the words: "How pitiful!" In 
the same decade the Emperor contributed to the 
equivalent of the exhibition of the Royal Academy 
a picture by his own hand showing light cruisers in 
action, exterminating an enemy's commerce. 

Let us attempt to be as just as possible to William II. 
It is open to us to contend — and we may weU contend 
— that a picture such as that contributed by His 
Majesty to a public exhibition might be calculated 
to excite the cupidity of that ruler's subjects. I have 
myself, often enough in Germany, heard rather violent 
individuals, in private life, say that German light 
cruisers would make short work of British trading- 
vessels, and that the streets of Hamburg and Kiel 
would flow with prize-money, the proceeds of these 
raids. And, in the summer of 1900, it was familiar 
enough to me to hear school-children singing along 
the banks of the Rhine a song that might be roughly 
translated : 

" Wait till we have got our ships ; 
You shall see, old England skips." 

But we may well give the Emperor personally the 
credit, in so far as it is credit, of having motives more 
dashing and less purely financial. Prize-money, ex- 
cept in so far as it was a somewhat romantic com- 


modity freely dispersed by Jack Tars in ale-houses, 
was probably less in his mind than the taking over 
of the glory of the English frigate tradition. The 
Emperor has himself recorded in many speeches and 
upon many occasions how he was brought up upon 
the writings of Marryat in his youth ; how one of his 
first toys was a model of an English frigate, in which 
he spent many hours sailing about upon artificial 
waters, and how much of his time as a boy was spent 
in watching the great battleships of England progress- 
ing up and down the Solent, near Hamoaze, or upon 
Portsmouth Hard. That his acquaintance, not only 
with the traditions of Nelson and the British Navy, 
but even with British naval slang, was very intimate 
the celebrated anecdote of the ' ' long ' ' ship may be 
taken to prove. At a momentous point in his career 
the Emperor was created a British Admiral, being the 
first foreigner ever granted that privilege. Being in 
the Mediterranean, he seized the opportunity of a 
British squadron's cruising in the neighbourhood of 
his yacht to hoist his flag upon the flagship, thus being 
the first foreigner to display his pennant above a 
British ship. The captain in command of the vessel 
had prepared what is usually called a sumptuous 
collation, expecting that the Emperor would sit down 
to a state meal and then depart. Instead, the Emperor 
took off his coat and asked to be conducted over every 
part of the ship, visiting even the stokeholes, the men's 
quarters, and the coal-bunkers. In the consequent 
excitement the flag-captain forgot his collation. The 
Emperor finished inspecting and resumed his coat. 
Upon the point of leaving, he remarked to the captain 
that his vessel must be the longest ship in the British 
Navy. The captain replied that His Majesty was 


mistaken ; the So-and-so was 140 feet longer. The 
Emperor repUed nevertheless that this vessel must be 
the longest ship in the British Navy, and was then 
rowed to his own yacht. It was only some time later 
that the captain remembered that, in British naval 
slang, a '*long" ship is a ship that is niggardly in 
offering hospitality — a ship on which the intervals 
between drinks are long. He then wrote and apologised 
to the Emperor for not having given him drink, and 
the incident closed with various politenesses and with 
a banquet to commemorate the Emperor's birthday. 
That was in the nineties. 

This upbringing, these politenesses, this promotion, 
these hoistings of Admiral's pennants, and this quasi- 
naval heartiness, which are all authentic enough, may 
well strike one as being strong factors of an imperial 
tendency. And it is possible to disinter innumerable 
similar ana. The owner, for instance, of the yacht 
which the Emperor used to hire for his cruises be- 
fore he had a yacht of his own has told me what 
a nuisance the Imperial tenant was. It was his 
practice when coming on board to shake hands not 
only with the captain but with all the officers and 
any members of the crew that happened to be stand- 
ing about. In the early mornings he would sit in his 
pyjamas and with bare feet on the cabin skylight and 
chaff the crew as they washed down the decks. The 
Empress and two of the Princes slept upon the cabin 
floor, and so on — all things which, if hearty and 
amiable in themselves, were extremely inconvenient 
to the owners of the yacht when they resumed their 
occupancy. The crew, having been chaffed and 
shaken hands with by an Emperor in his pyjamas, 
were absolutely insubordinate when it came to taking 


orders from mere civilian owners ; the yacht itself 
would be in an extremely dirty condition, whilst the 
Emperor bribed the chef and Herr Krupp, the chief 
steward, to leave the vessel and to enter their respective 

These anecdotes, I may state, are absolutely 
authentic and exactly reported. And, indeed, they are 
ominous enough. They show in the chief actor and 
his subordinates a plentiful appreciation of that 
breezy and rather lawless spirit which reasonably 
distinguishes the uncabined sailor ashore. They show, 
on the other hand, little enough appreciation of the 
traditions of that which is at sea most necessary — the 
ship-shape. You may take them, if you like, as symbols 
of what afterwards happened. That which gives you, 
metaphorically speaking, the right to be, ashore, three 
sheets in the wind, is the having seen for many months 
that your crew had every rope coiled down in its 
proper place. This, on the White Heather, the Em- 
peror neglected. That which gives you the right to 
destroy commerce is the control of the seas, since the 
right to destroy commerce carries with it the duty of 
saving the lives of non-combatants, and this can only 
be done when your depredations can be committed at 
leisure. This control of the seas the German Emperor 
not only never possessed but never much tried to 
obtain. His ideal of naval warfare was always that 
exhibited in his picture of cruiser-warfare — that of 
swift predatory vessels dashing out of harbours and 
committing acts of piracy. For it is an act of piracy 
to gut and to sink, or to sink without gutting, a mer- 
chant vessel when you are not in a position to secure 
the safety of the non-combatant crew. 
And the long struggle for the establishment of a 


great Navy in Germany was distinguished by two 
main tides which were struggles within that struggle 
itself. These two main tides were represented by what 
in England we call the doctrine of the " Blue Water 
School ' ' and by what I will call the vain illusion of 
commerce-destroying. The one doctrine desires to 
promote the efficient control of the sea, thus securing 
that long, almost silent, and almost bloodless contest 
of endurances to which I have already referred. 
Those of the other school desire to promote dashing 
and impracticable cutting-out expeditions. By these 
cutting-out expeditions you are to spread dismay 
amongst your opponents by the fame of sinking 
merchant-ships and by depriving the community of 
occasional cargoes of cotton-wool, typewriters, oranges, 
or saffron. In the German agitation for a great Navy 
the one tendency, that of cutting-out expeditions, was 
represented by William II ; the other policy was 
brought somewhere near achievement by the chief, 
by the permanent officials, by the innumerable em- 
ployees, and by the Press Bureau of the German 
Admiralty, all working in comparative silence under 
the direction of Admiral von Tirpitz. 

I am under the impression — but no man can dogma- 
tise about the vast matter of populaces — that the 
efforts of William II counted for nothing at all. His 
manifestations, when they were not picturesque, were 
futile, and, when they were at their most picturesque, 
were not infrequently at their most futile. We may 
possibly say that the aspiration to the effect that 
Germany's future was upon the waters — " Unsere 
Zukunft liegt auf dem Wasser" — was largely spread 
through Germany by the influence of William II. 
And it may have counted for something. But I do 


not think that it really counted for very much. We 
have, I imagine, paid more attention to it in this 
country than was practically paid to it in the greater 
part of Germany itself, since to this country it was 
an actual and tangible threat, whereas, in Bavaria, in 
the Rhineland, in East Prussia, in Saxony, and in the 
Grand Duchy of Lippe-Detmold the announcement 
was merely a windy aspiration. Of course we must 
set against this statement the undoubted fact that 
windy aspirations have more power over the populaces 
of the German States than over those of civilised 
countries. So let us, whilst postulating that in utter- 
ing that aspiration the Emperor was the saviour of 
Great Britain, score to his account the fact that he 
may have influenced some hundreds of thousands of 
voters at the next election to the Imperial Parliament. 
His other contributions to the founding of German 
sea-power may be variously viewed by various minds. 
I have already mentioned the painting of cruisers in 
action and the spreading broadcast of the English 
illustration with the imperial holograph note. There 
remains, prominently, the '* Song to Aegir" — a song 
poetically and musically inspired by the Imperial 
Muses — much as if the late Queen Victoria had written 
and composed an invocation to whoever may be the 
Anglo-Saxon equivalent of Father Neptune. I have 
heard all these things laughed at in Germany, and 
laughed at immoderately ; but of course the Germans 
that I have known best were of the type who would 
laugh at such productions, and I ought to add that 
shortly after the production of the ' ' Song to Aegir ' * 
German manufacturers produced innumerable 
* * notions ' ' labelled with the name of that mythical 
personage. Thus one might buy "Aegir" collars. 


*'Aegir*' studs, "Aegir" underwear, and, particu- 
larly, " Aegir'' lavatory fittings, much as if in Eng- 
land, on various occasions, we had had * ' Standard 
Bread" golf skirts, "Paper Bag" hats, or "White 
Slave " corsets. But the means by which the German 
Navy really was produced, in spite of the hostility of 
the Reichstag and of the indifference of the peoples, 
in spite of such ridicule as was excited by the Imperial 
proceedings, and in spite of the weariness which came 
over all Germans at the thought of the sale by auction 
of the first German national fleet, of the sinking of the 
Grosser Kurfurst and the loss of German vessels and 
lives in Apia Harbour — the means by which the 
German Navy really was produced were matters cer- 
tainly of a greater dignity and equally certainly of a 
greater comprehension of the political subtleties of 
the German situation. The Emperor's methods in 
dealing with the Reichstag were as childish as his 
methods in dealing with his people. There is, for 
instance, the occasion of his famous reception to 
the members of that body. He invited the entire 
membership to a stand-up collation, and then kept 
the poor people waiting whilst he delivered a naval 
oration lasting two hours and a half before letting 
them have anything to eat, thus multiplying by nine 
times the proverbial mauvais quart d'heure. Nor 
did he neglect the members of the Imperial Diet or 
Bundesrat. Thus, in 1900, he sent a torpedo-boat 
division up the Rhine. And I can still remember that 
the various German rulers whose territory these vessels 
passed through sent numerous telegrams to the 
Emperor and to other high functionaries, expressive 
of the manner in which their bosoms swelled with 
patriotic feeling, when, for the first time, they stood 


upon a German warship in German waters. For, 
to celebrate this considerable German victory — 
which might indeed have been achieved at any time 
since the Rhine flowed or torpedo-boats could make 
progress along it — each ruler awaited the ship of war 
as it approached the territory on his bank and walked 
its deck until it had left his sphere of influence.^ 

^ I find, on referring to the Deutscher Geschichtskalender 
for 1900, that : 

" On May 14th the Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hessen- 
Darmstadt sends from Darmstadt the following telegram 
to the Emperor : ' I announce to Your Majesty that I have 
to-day received Your Majesty's Rhine Torpedo-boots-division 
at my boundary in Bingen, and have fared with the same to 
Mayence. For the first time united with German ships of 
war in my land I am forced to express to your Majesty what 
joy fills myself and my Hessenland at the sight of a part of 
our armed power which therewith [dazu] is called upon to 
maintain the greatness of Germany — Ernst Ludwig.' On 
May 2ist the Grand Duke of Baden receives the of&cers of 
the Torpedo-boats-division in Karlsruhe and sends the Em- 
peror a telegram. The Emperor replied with another tele- 
gram over two hundred words in length, which concludes: 
* The joyful reception which the Torpedo-boots-division has 
everywhere found on its Rhine voyage strengthens me in the 
joyous confidence that my exertions to create for Germany 
also a strong war-fleet will be led to a consummation full of 
blessings [zu einem segensreichen Ziele fiihren werde\ thanks 
to the friendly co-operation of the German people under the 
leadership of its enlightened princes ' {Deutscher Geschichts- 
kalender, 1900, Part I., pp. 30-31). Nor were the Princes 
of the Hohenzollern family neglected. On the return of 
Prince Henry of Prussia on February 13th, 1900, at the 
end of a voyage from Kiel to Kiaou-Chou on board the 
cruiser Deutschland, the Emperor gave the Prince a banquet, 
during which, in the words of the Geschichtskalender , the 
Emperor brings out the following drinking-speech {bringt der 
Kaiser den folgenden Trinkspriich aus) ; this Trinkspruch 
ends : ' As the Emperor WiUiam the Great created for us 


the weapon with whose help we have again become black, 
white, and red, so the German people addresses itself to the 
task of forging for itself the instrument by which, by the will 
of God, to all eternity, both at home and abroad, it may 
remain black, white, and red. At your return you find a 
blooming Httle boy in the arms of your spouse. May you, as 
godfather to this increase in our young fleet, see the same 
under God's protection develop in full strength. Hurrali ! " 
{DG., 1900, Part I., p. 15). 



In the meantime, working like an army of moles be- 
neath the soil, the Prussian Admiralty was preparing 
the way for the real and practical establishment of a 
fighting fleet. The predecessor of Admiral von Tir- 
pitz. Admiral von HoUmann, had been a Prussian 
officer with military rather than naval characteristics, 
whose method of dealing with the Reichstag had 
been, to use a cant phrase, of the ''Big Bow-wow" 
order. He commanded the Reichstag to provide him 
with cruisers, and the Reichstag threw out his bills 
with little comment and by large majorities. And it 
is possibly significant that the series of naval disasters 
which had always characterised, at any rate in the 
minds of the German people, the German Navy, con- 
tinued right up to the appointment of Admiral von 
Hollmann's successor; there was an explosion on the 
Baden warship in the Baltic ; by the bursting of 
steam-pipes on board the Brandenburg, a first-class 
battle-ship, one hundred and forty- two men were killed ; 
the litis, a gun-boat, foundered off the Shantung 
Peninsula, with the loss of nearly all hands, shortly 
before the retirement of Von Hollmann. Von Tirpitz 
succeeded him in 1897, and on June 12th, 1900, the 
Reichstag passed the vague and elastic Naval Bill which 
has resulted in the establishment of the German Navy 



as we know, or don't know, it. Perhaps the most 
definite thing about this Bill is the statement in the 
preamble to the effect that Germany must have a 
Navy capable of crippling, in the eventuality of war, 
the Navy of the most powerful maritime power. The 
provisions of the Bill, though apparently definite 
enough, are actually elastic in the extreme. They are 
this because of the indefiniteness of the German naval 
language which von Tirpitz, in some cases, invented, 
and of which, in other instances, he took very full 
advantage. For von Tirpitz' s problem was to de- 
ceive, not so much the British or any other people, as 
the German Imperial Parliament and the German 
peoples. It is very likely that public attention in this 
country might never have been attracted to the 
growth of the German Navy at all without the bom- 
bastic utterances of the Emperor ; it is, at any rate, 
certain that few people, either in this country or in 
Germany, could ever have, at any given moment, any 
precise view of the exact state of the German Navy. 
It might be too much to say that Admiral von Tirpitz 
ever laid down fifty Dreadnoughts whilst giving the 
impression that he was laying down merely forty 
second-class cruisers with ten auxiliaries. Neverthe- 
less, this could have been effected by the use of the 
singular word " Ersatzschiff," or " replacing-ship." 
In England a First Lord of the Admiralty must budget 
for a ship of such and such a class, of such and such a 
tonnage, of such and such a weight of gun-metal, and 
of such and such a cost. In Germany the Marine 
Minister has only to state that he desires an ' ' Ersatz- 
schiff "— a " replacing-ship " — a ship, that is to say, 
to replace any other ship that has been sunken or that 
has become obsolete. And, amazing as it may seem, 


the first German Dreadnought was the ' ' replacing- 
ship " of the Grosser Kurfurst that was sunk in 1878. 
The Grosser Kurfurst was a half-armoured battleship 
of 6,600 tons ; the Goehen which ' ' replaced ' ' her was 
a Dreadnought of 23,000. Yet, for all that was said 
by Admiral von Tirpitz in securing the warrant to 
build her, the Goehen might well have been only of the 
size of the Grosser Kurfurst, or she might have been a 

For the German vagueness of phraseology extends 
to every class of naval shipping. A British First 
Lord of the Admiralty, let me repeat, if he budgets for 
a torpedo-boat, gets a torpedo-boat, if for a destroyer, 
a destroyer. If Admiral von Tirpitz, on the other 
hand, requires a torpedo-boat, it is true that he gets 
no more. But if, in a semi-clandestine manner, he 
desires something larger, no matter what, he asks for 
one or two or three " Grosse Torpedo-boot e," or " great 
torpedo-boats." This term, then, covers every vessel, 
of whatever size, that is capable of firing a torpedo. 
It might certainly imply a torpedo-destroyer ; but, 
since most Dreadnoughts carry torpedoes and are 
armed with torpedo-tubes, it might equally well imply 
a Dreadnought. 

The Naval Bill of igoo placed, therefore, in the 
hands of this great and astute organiser what was, to 
all intents and purposes, a blank cheque. How, then, 
was the passing of the Naval Bill secured since, in a 
House radically opposed to naval extension, 201 
members voted for it and only 103 for its rejection ? 
The answer is that its passage was entirely due to the 
underground spade-work of Admiral von Tirpitz and 
his many bureaus. With the Reichstag itself von 
Tirpitz adopted none of the methods of Admiral von 


HoUmann. He did not attempt to browbeat that 
assembly in the name of his august master ; his 
answers to interpellations, if they were usually evasive, 
were always absolutely polite. He inherited none of 
the gifts of rhetoric or of homely eloquence that dis- 
tinguished Bismarck, but he inherited and immensely 
enlarged upon Bismarck's tradition of employing the 
Press. Attached to his office he had a Bureau employ- 
ing over a hundred able writers whose province was 
to send out, on a given day in the week, articles all 
in the note required at the moment, to every German 
newspaper, of whatever complexion. Germany is a 
land bristling with local papers; there is hardly a 
town of the size of an English market borough that 
has not its Zeitung, its Blatter, or its weekly journal. 
And, since most of these local papers are not vastly 
profitable affairs, their proprietors welcome anything 
in the nature of free " copy." The uninstructed reader 
might be astonished to find in the Miinsterische 
Anzeiger an article exactly echoing the naval views of 
another article in the Miinsterische Zeitung, another in 
the Kolnische Zeitung, and another in the Kolnische 
Volkszeitung. Each of these articles would comment 
from exactly the same standpoint, though in different 
phraseology, upon a naval event of the week, and such 
an article would appear in each of those papers once 
a week. Yet the Miinster Announcer is an organ of 
the Vatican ; the Miinster News is Protestant Demo- 
cratic ; the Cologne Gazette is official ; the Cologne 
People's Newspaper is Catholic Democratic. And, 
at special times, special attempts were made by 
the Press Bureau. Thus, just before the introduction 
of the Naval Bill of 1900, a great number of general 
writers, poets, novelists, and critics of one or other 


of the arts were approached in extremely cautious 
terms by the Admiral's Bureau ; were informed that 
such and such a piece of writing of theirs had attracted 
the favourable attention of the authorities, and it was 
suggested to them that if they would turn their 
powerful pens in favour of a policy of naval extension 
or in favour of the particular measure about to be 
introduced, they would deserve the gratitude of the 
country, or the approval of the authorities, or sub- 
stantial rewards. In any case they would be provided 
with documents or with arguments if these were 
needed. Nor was this proceeding confined to German 
writers alone. Many foreign journalists were ap- 
proached and provided with materials going to prove 
that the German Navy was an innocuous affair in- 
tended solely for the protection of the German 
Mercantile Marine against the Chilian, Colombian, or 
the Serbian Navies. ^ 

How precisely such long and careful preparation of 
the public mind works upon the public mind I am not 
set dogmatically to define. Probably its action is 
somewhat as follows. For many months during igoo 
there appeared in almost every one of the German 
provincial papers a statement to the effect that none 
of the inhabitants of Borkum, of Nordeney, or of any 
of the coast-towns and villages between the Jade and 
Schiermonrikoog had been able to sleep soundly of 
nights for many years past because of their fear of 

^ Readers interested in the methods by which German 
organisations and the German Government disseminate pro- 
paganda might purchase for the price of ^d. No. 9 of Mis- 
cellaneous Foreign Office Papers, which is entitled "Des- 
patches from His Majesty's Ambassador at Berlin respecting 
an Official German Organisation for influencing the Press of 
other Countries." 


being awakened by the thunder of British naval guns. 
I am bound to say that none of the inhabitants of 
Borkum and the neighbourhood whom I have come 
across presented any appearance of having suffered 
from chronic sleeplessness. Nevertheless, on the 
Rhine, in that and succeeding years, I have met old 
ladies and peasants who expressed a certain fear that 
British torpedo-boats, following the example of the 
Emperor's "Torpedo-boots division," might steam up 
the Rhine and bombard the Lorelei rocks, Ehrenbreit- 
stein, and the large hotels on the Drachenfels. Simi- 
larly, at odd times, a flood of articles would be let loose 
upon Germany stating that the German breakfast- 
table might at any moment by the British fleet be 
deprived of its indispensable coffee, which, by implica- 
tion, was stated to have come from the million square 
miles of German colonial territory. These statements, 
silly in their way, bore, in times of tranquillity, no 
particular fruit. Nevertheless, they would be suffi- 
cient to leave, dormant at the bottom of the German 
mind, the suspicion that the British Navy was a 
serious menace to the homes and to the meal-tables of 
the German Empire. And the German, it must be 
remembered, pays a much more vivid, though I am 
not saying that it is a more reasonable, attention to 
foreign politics than do we. We have, of course, the 
advantage of being an island, and we can therefore 
afford to be insular. The German has not that good 
fortune. That is, no doubt, not his fault, but it 
cannot be helped. It is, at any rate, no fault of the 
British Empire that Brandenburg is not entirely sur- 
rounded by water. Nevertheless, it is the fault of 
some tendencies in Germany that all public con- 
troversies are, in that country, carried on with a 


violence and an indulgence in personalities that are 
always verging on the obscene. The German gets, if 
not his ideas, then, at least, his impressions of foreign 
politics very largely from the caricatures in his weekly 
journals. And, in these, caricatures of the President 
of the French Republic or of such French Foreign 
Ministers as M. Delcasse, dressed in ballet-dancer's 
skirts and in attitudes of indecency, go side by side 
with caricatures of the Kings of Italy, Montenegro, 
and Serbia, with ragged seats to their trousers and 
uniforms hanging in patches, carrying bags labelled 
*' 50,000,000 Marks" which, by implication, they had 
received as bribes from wealthy Germany, whilst they 
cast into the straw large bones for which their famished 
courtiers, with their own bones sticking out of their 
clothes, fight in attitudes of exaggerated voracity. 
And side by side with these, in the department of 
home politics, will go hideous and obscene pictures of 
the leader of the Centre Party or the leader of the 
National Liberals, or, upon occasion, the German 
Emperor, or, when necessary, the Pope of Rome, 
having violent attacks of diarrhoea in the presence of 
God Almighty. These images impart a very consider- 
able violence to all German public utterances. They 
are characterised by an extreme technical skill, which 
none the less leaves them extremely ugly. The Presi- 
dent of the French Republic, M. Delcasse, the Kings 
of Italy and the Balkans, the German Emperor, the 
Pope, and the Almighty Himself, are all represented 
as beings of a hideousness that few human beings have 
yet compassed. And the average, non-thinking Ger- 
man really and naively imagines that the world outside 
his country, and, for the matter of that, the world 
outside his particular party or religion within the 


Empire, is made up of these hideous, venial, and 
obscure beings whom it is the task of the august 
Germanic destiny, functioning solely in favour of 
himself and his own particular party, to wipe off 
the face of the earth in the fulness of time. The 
earth will then be left to be populated by the pro- 
geny of himself and of his party, whom, in his inner 
and romantic mind, he figures as so many Greek 
heroes, with nude torsi, in greaves and helmets of 
bronze, with brazen shields and swords of shining steel. 
Beneath this perpetual welter, ever since 1897, 
Admiral von Tirpitz and his bureaux have worked. 
Above it the Emperor William has attitudinised. 
And, on rare, but just sufficient occasions, the activities 
of the Emperor and of the Admiral have met. These 
rare but sufficient occasions have occurred when some 
public event has united all German parties and creeds 
in a common hatred for some one outside Germany. 
At these times, as, for instance, during the South 
African War, Admiral von Tirpitz has introduced a 
blank-cheque Bill into the Imperial Parliament. The 
Emperor has thundered about love of the country, 
and very few of the political parties have dared to 
resist the torrent of jingoism. That is how the Bill 
of 1900 was put through ; that is how the Bill of 
1905 was put through ; that is how it has always been 
done. There remain, nevertheless, the two very 
powerful parties in the Reichstag — the Centre, and the 
Socialists. The Centre can nearly always afford to 
disregard Imperial utterances. The Socialists are not 
quite so immune. Thus, in such Socialist organs 
as the Sozialistische Monatshefte, at such times of 
violent patriotic excitement, there have always ap- 
peared articles announcing that the Socialist Party 


yields to no other in its devotion to the Germanic ideal 
of a free people ; or such utterances as the attack upon 
M. Jaures by Herr Bebel at The Hague have pointed 
the same moral. Socialism in Germany, in fact, has 
never yet felt itself strong enough to stand out abso- 
lutely against a wave of patriotism, since the Emperor, 
by ordering a dissolution in the middle of such a 
wave-period, can bring on a General Election that 
might result in the Socialists losing hundreds of thou- 
sands of votes which, in ordinary times, would be 
absolutely cast for them. 

To some, but to a lesser degree, the same fears beset 
the Centre Party. Nevertheless, this party has always 
remained fairly indifferent to threats since, even if 
it lost 25 per cent, of its membership, it would still be 
in a position to dominate the Reichstag. It has, 
therefore, usually employed its strength at such 
moments in forcing the Government to pay a consider- 
able price for its support. Thus, in 1900, a large part 
of the oppressive laws against the Society of Jesus 
were relaxed in return for the Centre Party's support 
of the Naval Bill ; and, in 1905, in return for the 
same support, nearly all the remaining restrictions 
against the Jesuits in the German Empire, were taken 
off. That is why I said, at the beginning of the fore- 
going section, that, if St. Ignatius had never founded 
the Company of Jesus, the German Navy could not 
have been secured by the means that were employed 
for that purpose. 



That the German Navy — the engine slowly and care- 
fully brought together by Admiral von Tirpitz — was 
intended directly and solely against this country, few 
people would deny. It was aimed against this country 
without much secrecy. Itwas founded and went through 
its various stages of evolution during periods of popular 
agitation against this country. And, since the begin- 
ning of the war, no German sentiment has been more 
frequently uttered than the statement that the pur- 
pose of the German Navy is to shake from off a 
shackled world the fetters of British control of the 
seas. I may have — and indeed I do have — some 
doubts as to the Emperor William's motives in his 
attempt to found a Navy consisting exclusively of 
commerce-destroyers. That Navy never came into 
existence ; its place was slowly taken by Admiral von 
Tirpitz' s slowly evolved and immense machine. I 
dare say that the Emperor, who is a very stupid 
visionary, really and sincerely imagined that his 
cruisers could be directed against some imaginary 
Power of an imaginary and unthinkable villainy. His 
ships, possibly even in collaboration with the battle- 
fleet of Great Britain, might, in some silly fairyland of 
his creation, be employed against the unspeakable 



pirates, the nequissimi piratce of some Yellow Peril 
that was yet to come. Nevertheless, I think we may- 
still discern, in the sinking of the Lusitania, the last 
evil dregs of that Imperial romance. The Emperor, 
in the course of his career, has given many evidences 
— and I dare say they were sincere evidences — of 
friendship for Great Britain. I have little doubt that 
when, as he frequently did, and most particularly in 
the interview that he accorded to the Daily Telegraph 
in 1908, the Emperor expressed his aspirations to see 
Great Britain and the German Empire united in the 
rule of a peaceful world, he was sincere. Nevertheless, 
his post-war psychology may well have led, as it led 
in the case of poor Belgium, to a policy of probably 
uncalculated cruelty such as the world has seldom 
seen since the days of the Noyades de Nantes. Hell, 
according to the poet, has no fury like a woman 
scorned. Neither hell, heaven, nor yet Purgatory 
may provide a parallel for an always impulsive Em- 
peror whose visionary alliance has been rejected. 

The von Tirpitz policy of naval competition with 
this country had, however, quite another and a much 
more reasonable basis. I think we may find it suffi- 
ciently defined in the utterances of Prince Billow, who 
was for so many years Imperial Chancellor. I think 
— and I must beg the reader to observe, once more, 
that I only say I think and that I am not setting out 
to dogmatise — that the policy of the serious German 
naval school which included the Minister of Marine, 
the Imperial Chancellor, the successive Foreign Minis- 
ters, and the successive Ministers of Finance — was 
that the German Fleet was a factor rather political 
than military. As I see it, the purpose of this organisa- 
tion was not so much in time of war to strike at Great 


Britain or even to convoy an expeditionary force to 
these shores. Its existence was simply to be used as 
an argument against Great Britain's entering into an 
aUiance with, or embarking upon a war in company 
with, any European Power save Germany. German 
naval theorists may conceivably have thought other- 
wise, but practical German naval men, as far as I have 
come across them, have never been under any delu- 
sions as to the relative values of the two fleets. 
Shortly after the heart of the crisis during the Agadir 
affair I met, upon a social occasion, at a German 
watering-place, the nephew of Admiral von Tirpitz 
himself, himself a naval officer, now, I believe, a 
prisoner in Edinburgh Castle. I asked this gentleman 
what was the reason of the Panther being sent to 
Agadir. Did Germany desire to establish a coaling- 
station in East Africa ? His answer, in his exact 
words, was : ' ' What for ? That Great Britain should 
have a coaling-station more within twenty-four hours 
of an outbreak of war ? ' ' His views, in fact, of the 
possibilities of the German Navy were gloomy in the 
extreme. In personnel he was of the opinion that 
German crews, consisting almost entirely of short 
service recruits, would not have the beginnings of a 
chance against English seamen, who were all long- 
service men, and whose nerves were attuned to service 
conditions. In warrant oflicers the German Navy was 
infinitely below the British, because the conditions of 
service on a German warship were so bad that the 
warrant-ofiicers, when their time is expired, always 
took service with the Hamburg-America Company or 
with other of the great transatlantic lines. British 
naval gunnery, in spite of published statistics, was 
much better than German naval gunnery, because 


British naval gunnery tests took place on calendar days 
and German on selected days. This meant to say 
that the British ships fired at their targets in any kind 
of weather and German ships only when the sea was 
smooth. The only thing, in the opinion of this gentle- 
man, in which the German Navy might be expected 
to be superior to the British was in the quality of 
'* dash '' in the officers. A German lieutenant, he said, 
in command of a torpedo-boat at manoeuvres, would 
be possibly rewarded and would certainly not lose a 
step if he piled up his ship whilst performing some 
unusually risky evolution. An English post-captain, 
on the other hand, was likely to be dismissed his ship 
if he scratched a little gold paint off the poop-railings. 
Apart from that, according to this depressed gentle- 
man, the German Navy, in the slang phrase, wouldn't 
have an " earthly." And he recommended me to 
study the official navy lists of the two countries from 
which I should discover that every British ship of the 
same class was just a little larger, just a little more 
swift, and just a little more heavily gunned than its 
German contemporary. And, whereas the British 
heavy guns were equally distributed, pointing fore and 
aft, the greater proportion of German heavy guns 
upon battleships pointed permanently aft, this show- 
ing that the Germans never expected to fight except 
in retreat. These last facts will, I believe, be found 
to be correct on comparing the navy fists. As to the 
gentleman's other views I do not know whether he 
was sincere or whether he was anxious to delude me 
in my capacity, such as it was, of publicist, with the 
idea that German intentions were pacific. 

These, then, are my carefully recorded and con- 


scientious personal impressions of naval matters, 
whether British or German, as they have come under 
my immediate observation or within my personal ex- 
perience. Let me, before passing to other matters, 
and before documenting them, as I propose to do, 
sum up the several points that I have made. Again, I 
wish to disclaim any possible aspect of dogmatising. 
What I have here set down are opinions, and opinions 
perfectly open to correction from any one who will 
take the trouble, who possesses greater knowledge of 
the subject or greater insight. What the reader may 
take as being absolutely correct are the statements 
that I will summarise as follows : (a) the German 
Emperor has always advocated cruiser-warfare ; (b) 
Admiral von Tirpitz and the German Admiralty have 
secured a powerful High Seas Fleet ; (c) cruisers, 
however numerous, could hardly challenge British 
naval supremacy on the high seas, though they might 
menace harbours and marine inlets ; (d) a powerful 
High Seas Fleet could be used as a strong political 
argument ; (e) the Emperor's direct and rhetorical 
methods effected nothing towards influencing the 
Reichstag to provide him with cruisers ; (/) Admiral 
von Tirpitz' s gerrymandering of the Reichstag and of 
the constituencies resulted in that statesman's being 
given what I have called a blank cheque for the con- 
struction of a High Seas Fleet ; (g) the policy of all 
but sixty members of a Reichstag numbering 397 was 
directly opposed to a policy of naval expansion ; (h) 
the interests and the sentiments of the immense 
majority of the German nation were directly opposed 
to the creation of a great Navy ; (i) Naval Bills were 
only passed in the Reichstag during periods of in- 
tense patriotic excitement ; (k) this patriotic excite- 


ment, if it were not directly caused by, at least stirred 
up in the minds of the German peoples the allegations 
against foreign nations that had been spread for many 
years past by writers for the Press in the employment 
of the German Admiralty. 

It is the last three headings that, to me, seem the 
most worthy of attention. Whether or no the Em- 
peror is directly responsible for the murder of the 
passengers of the Lusitania ; whether or no von Tir- 
pitz and the German Admiralty opposed, faintly or 
with resolution, this abominable crime — these things 
are relatively unimportant, or are important only as 
sidelights upon the psychology of criminals. But the 
fact that a nation doggedly opposed to a policy of 
aggression can be gerrymandered at the polls and 
that its representatives can be blackmailed into sup- 
porting a policy of aggression to which, like their 
constituents, they, too, are doggedly opposed — this 
seems to me to be the most important fact in the 
world, in so far as the world is affected by political 
institutions. I dislike very much committing myself 
to extreme statements, and I dislike very much in- 
dicting my fellow-beings. But, try as I may, I cannot 
get away from the conclusion that the German political 
machine must be abolished by the force of arms of 
united Europe. It is no good saying that we have 
got to go on living with Germany after the war, 
because, if Germany exists after the war, she will not 
let us go on living. It would be preferable if the 
present German regime could be dissolved by action 
from within, but the German peoples are so absolutely 
incapable of, are so absolutely unprepared for, self- 
government that this desirable consummation is hardly 
to be expected. The German voter is a madman with 


an obscene mind, and this obscene mind is perpetually 
lashed into maniacal fury by journalists of an un- 
speakable corruption. And over this unspeakable 
corruption and this turmoil of obscenity there 
watches for ever a band of cool and cynical beings 
who are the officers of State and the Princes. They 
have, of course, to wait for their opportunities, but 
their opportunities always come, and they do not have 
to wait very long. German public life is a sea of 
scandals, of corruption, and of affairs incredibly filthy. 
No sooner does one scandal cease to occupy the 
papers than another fills them.^ 

^ Here, for instance, are the cases which immensely occupied 
the German mind from October 1900 to September 1903 : 

On October 8th, 1900, Maximihan Harden sentenced to six 
months' imprisonment for lese-majeste ; four other trials at 
the same date. 

On December 21st, the Sternberg Case. Sternberg, a 
Berlin banker, was sentenced to two and a half years' im- 
prisonment for offences against the law for the protection of 
girls, and widespread corruption in the police force was re- 
vealed during the trial. 

On the same day four directors of the Spielhagen banks were 
arrested on charges of fraud. 

February 15 th, 1901 Police Commissary Thiel was sen- 
tenced to three years' imprisonment for taking bribes in con- 
nection with the Sternberg case. 

During January 1901 the Reichstag was almost exclu- 
sively occupied with the discussion of duelling. 

On June 25th, 1901, there was a universal stoppage of banks 
at Leipsic and Dresden. 

In July 1 90 1 industrial crisis through speculation and 

On August 2oth, 1901, a non-commissioned officer named 
Martin was sentenced to death by court-martial for the 
murder of Captain von Krosigk. The evidence was very 
inconclusive, and universal indignation at the sentence was 
expressed by the papers of all parties. 


Such being the preoccupations of its people, and 
such the preoccupations of the miUtary ruHng class, 
and such the political organisation, I do not think 

In November 1901 Lieutenant Blaskowitz was killed by- 
Lieutenant Hildebrand in a duel forced on him by a court of 
honour. Lieutenant Hildebrand was sentenced to two years' 
imprisonment, but was released within six months. 

The whole of 1901 was characterised by violent anti-British 
agitations, culminating in January 1902 by a speech against 
Great Britain by Count Biilow. 

On February 7th, 1902, the Navy Estimates were adopted. 

On May 7th commercial losses in consequence of Anglo- 
phobia in Germany being reported to have become excessive, 
Count von Biilow made a speech in favour of Great Britain. 

On April 30th Sergeant Martin, the supposititious murderer 
of Captain von Krosigk, was tried for the third time and 

On July 23rd the directors of the Spielhagen bank, who 
had been arrested in 1900, were tried and sentenced to im- 

In April 1903 a general order on the subject of the mal- 
treatment of private soldiers by their superiors was issued. 

On May 26th Naval Lieutenant Hussner was degraded 
and sentenced to four years' imprisonment for fatally stab- 
bing a marine. 

On September 20th the Army scandal came to a head. 
Fifty ofi&cers, 525 non-commissioned officers, and 52 others 
were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for ill-treat- 
ment of soldiers. 

On the 25th Karl Leid and Julius Kaliski were sentenced 
to imprisonment for lese-majeste. 

On October 9th Dippold, a schoolmaster, was sentenced 
to eight years' imprisonment for torturing and causing the 
death of a pupil by excessive flogging. 

On November nth Lieutenant Bilse was sentenced to 
six months' imprisonment for hbelling officers in his novel 
" Aus einem kleinen Garnison." 

On December 15th Lieutenant Schilling was sentenced to 
fifteen months' imprisonment for 600 cases of maltreatment 


that the world could be much the gainer if the lord- 
ship of the sea passed from the hands of Great Britain 
into those of Germany. 

of soldiers, and Franzky, a non-commissioned of&cer, for 1,520 
similar cases. 

I may add, as a comic footnote, that Lieutenant Withe, who 
figured as the villain in Bilse's novel, was sentenced to one 
year's penal servitude, dismissal from the army, and loss of 
civil rights for maltreating soldiers in seventeen cases, and 
for perjury. 






" English civilisation, the Eng- 
lish language, English manu- 
factures, would still exist, and 
as a matter of practical poHtics 
it would be impossible for Ger- 
many to establish a tyranny in 
this country, 

" If the Germans, instead of 
being resisted by force of arms, 
had been permitted to estab- 
lish themselves wherever they 
pleased, the halo of glory and 
courage surrounding the bru- 
tality of military success would 
have been absent, and public 
opinion in Germany would have 
rendered any oppression im- 

" The history of our own deal- 
ings with our colonies affords 
abundant examples to show 
that, under such circumstances, 
the refusal of self-government 
is not possible, 

" In a word, it is the means of 
repelling hostile aggression which 
makes hostile aggression dis- 
astrous, and which generates the 
fear by which hostile nations 
come to think aggression justi- 

" As between civilised nations. 

Fritz Hollmann 

" I. Escadron 2. Westph. 
Husaren Regiment, No. 11, 
9 Kaval, Division, 7. Armee 
Korps : — 

" Frankreich, d, 11, 10. 13. 
[meaning, of course, 11. 10, 14. 
written from near Lille] Das 
einzig gute man braucht nicht 
zu dursten. 5-6 Flaschen Sekt 
nehmen wir jeden Tag zu uns 
und Wasche nur Seiden. Hat 
man keine Wasche mehr, so 
geht in ein Haus rein und wird 
sicherst umgekleidet. Meistens 
zind ja keine Leute da sind aber 
welche da dann sagen Sie, Mosjo 
Laplii (sic) aber bei uns giebts 
kein Laplii. J a wirklich die 
armen Leute sind zu bedauera 
aber es ist eben Krieg. . . ," 

Jdger Hans Georg Harwart 
"Aug. 24, — Eine Frau sagte 
mir dieBesitzerin des Geschaftes, 
eine Wittwe, habe gestern den 
Ort verlassen aus Furcht vor 
den Englandern, Eh Men ! Ich 
machte mich nun mit Hinrichs 
daran, eine Fenster der Hinter- 
front einzuschlagen. Wir ge- 
langten in die Kiiche und fanden 




therefore, non-resistance would 
seem not only a distant religious 
ideal, but the course of prac- 
tical wisdom." 

(Hon. Bertrand Russell : Arti- 
cle in " International Journal 
of Ethics," January 191 5. 

hier ein rundes Brot. Von hier 
ging in den Keller wo wir 5 
Flaschen Wein und 4 Flaschen 
Bier mitgehen hiessen. Dann 
schlugen wir oben, da alle Ver- 
bindungstiiren verschlossen 
waren, eine Tiirfiillung nach 
der andern ein. So gelangten 
wir in den Laden. Wir fanden 
hier nun so ziemleich alles. was 
wir suchten. Striimpfe, Hem- 
den, Hos, Cigarren und so weiter. 
Mindestens 12 Pfund Bonbons 
und 20 Pfund Apfelschnitte, ein 
sehr schones Zeug brachten wir 
zur Kompagnie. 

" AVESNES, den 21s/ At{g. 
19 14 — . . . In Blamont pliin- 
derten wir (Hinrichs und ich) 
eine Villa, wobei uns allerdings 
ausser Briefpapier und Marken 
nichts Brauchbares in die Hande 

1 " Committee's Report on Alleged German Outrages," 
pp. 251, 247, and 248. 

The translations of these passages from the diaries of German 
soldiers in Belgium and France are as follows : 

•' The only good thing is that one does not need to go thirsty. 
5-6 bottles of champagne we take for ourselves every day and 
only silk under-things. If one has no more under-things one goes 
into a house and gets oneself changed at once. Mostly there are 
no people there at all ; but if some are there then they say, Monsieur 
il n'y a plus, but with us there is no such thing as il n'y a plus. 
Yes, really, the poor people are to be pitied, but it is just war. . ." 

"Aug. 24. — A woman said to me, the owner of the shop, a 
widow, has left the place yesterday from fear of the English. Eh 
bien ! I set to work with Hinrichs to smash a window at the back 
of the shop. We got into the kitchen and found here a round 
loaf. From here it went into the cellar, where we commandeered 
five bottles of wine and four bottles of beer. Then we broke our 
way upstairs, since all passage doors were locked, one door after 
another. So we got into the shop. We found here pretty well 
everything that we were looking for. Stockings, shirts, trousers 


To resume, then, the story of the adventure which was 
begun in Part II, Chapter I of this work : 

On arriving at the town of Duns in Berwickshire I 
discovered that the main cause for the promotion of 
opposition to the British Foreign Minister that was 
there going on was not so much personal antipathy to 
Sir Edward Grey as deep disHke for the French people. 
The French people I found to be considered as a 
dangerous race of cats and monkeys ; and I found 
that, in that spot at least, the world-ideal was that of 
a union between this country and Germany so as to 
secure the peace of the world. To these doctrines I 
could not well subscribe, and, even at that date, the 
idea of stumping the country in opposition to Sir 
Edward Grey deserted me. For, at any rate, as I 
saw it, the one satisfactory point in an otherwise un- 
satisfactory world was the union of the peoples of 
France and of Great Britain. I say, very expressly, 
the " peoples." The French Government, as it then 
existed, I could not call very satisfactory. Still 
thinking war to be an impossibility, I certainly con- 
sidered, until at least the passing of the French Three 
Years' Service Act, that the French Government was 
too pacifist in a doctrinaire sense. As it appeared 
to me, the whole military parade of the world was 
a monstrous nonsense and a monstrous nuisance. 
Nevertheless, it was one of the rules of the game ; it 
was part of the possibly precarious balance of things. 
War, as I saw it, was impossible, rebus sic stantibus — 

cigars, and so on. At least twelve pounds of bonbons and twenty- 
pounds of apple-rings, a very jolly sort of stuff, we took to the Com- 

" AsVESNES, 215^ Aug. 1914. — In Blamont we plundered (Hin- 
richs and I) a villa, where nothing any good except writing-paper 
and stamps came into our hands." 


but only rebus sic stantibus. The unthinkable and 
impossible event of a European war would, as I saw 
it, destroy the gradual evolution of a state of peace 
that appeared to me to be then approaching — a state 
of peace in which the absurd setting up of army, 
which was never intended to be used, against army, 
which was never intended to be used, would be for 
ever unnecessary. But, in order to keep going that 
temporary and unsatisfactory state of peace until 
it should merge itself into a peace absolutely per- 
manent, it was necessary that France should bear her 
burden of self-sacrifice to the imbecile rules of the 

I have said in the opening chapter of this work that 
I did not in the least suspect Germany of any belli- 
cose intentions. I must add now that I did not 
suspect Germany of any bellicose intentions so long 
as France maintained an efficient army. That Ger- 
many would lay hands upon and annex the ten 
northern departments of France the moment France 
showed any slackness of military preparations, I took 
for granted. I was therefore dissatisfied with the French 
Government, for it seemed to me that the French 
Government did not represent the stable heart of 
France ; French Ministries were very unstable affairs, 
and, although the Three Years' Act had been ratified 
both by the Chamber and the Senate, some party 
intrigue, though assuredly no change in the psychology 
of the French people might put into power a Ministry 
of a slightly changed personnel, and this Ministry 
might immediately reverse or modify that enactment. 

Of France herself I had no doubt ; of France I have 
never had any doubt. No form of French government 
that I have ever historically considered has ever 


seemed to me to be satisfactory as an expression of 
the French people, except perhaps the form of govern- 
ment of the First Empire, which was pecuHarly 
adapted to letting the great men of France have some 
influence upon public actions. 

I am ready to admit that I was prejudiced against 
the Third Republic, at any rate in its later develop- 
ments. For I consider that one of the most necessary 
ingredients for a rational and satisfactory state of 
society is one form or other of dogmatic and altruist 
religious instruction for children. This had disap- 
peared from France by political evolution. 

But, on finding that my friends the opponents of 
Sir Edward Grey based their opposition to that 
statesman mainly on their antipathy to the French 
people, I began even then to revise my views of the 
English Minister for Foreign Affairs. The exact 
nature of the revision that my views have undergone 
since a fortnight later than July 20th, 1914, I can best 
illustrate by the following anecdote. I was once at 
an auction dinner, after a sale of underwood in the 

" Walnut Tree " at A . At this dinner, which was 

of a purely rustic complexion, there was present, 
amongst other workmen, a workman called Rangsley. 
Rangsley was a turbulent individual at times, and 
was always very morose and very brooding. When 
he was turbulent he would say that he would cut the 

b y throat of any one who happened to be within 

hearing. He had been threatening to cut the b y 

throats of people for the last twenty-five years, and 
his language, when he was irritated, was usually so 
violent that all his hearers laughed at him, more par- 
ticularly since his threats had never found issue in 
action. At the same dinner — it was, of course, a 


farmers* ordinary at midday — there was also present 
a little anxious man who spent a good deal of his time 
in telling the rest of the company that Rangsley 
would do something one of these days. Indeed, Mr. 
Davis had spent a good deal of time during the last 
twenty-five years in saying that Rangsley would one 
day do something and that we ought to take care of 
ourselves. Rangsley was a great, formidable-looking 
brute, very dark, very large-boned, and with blood- 
shot eyes. Still, most of the inhabitants of the village, 
myself included, thought it very wrong of Mr. Davis 
to warn people against Mr. Rangsley. It did no good 
that we could see, since, in our properly policed and 
peaceful village, Mr. Rangsley certainly never would 
"do something" — and Mr. Davis^s warnings would 
only irritate Mr. Rangsley if they came to his ears. 
That, you understand, was the settled view of the 

Well, at the wood-auction sale dinner, Rangsley ran 
a carving-knife into the eye of the man sitting next 
him, broke the back of Mr. Davis across a chair, and, 
before he could be pulled down, throttled the auc- 
tioneer. He was then removed to Chartham, and never 
came to trial because the rest of his life was spent in 
a padded cell. After that we agreed that Mr. Davis 
had been right, but that did not do Mr. Davis much 
good, because he was dead, and so was the gentleman 
who had sat next at table to Mr. Rangsley. The 
auctioneer recovered. 

That, it seems to me, is pretty much the case of 
Germany, of Sir Edward Grey, and of persons like 
myself who imagined that Mr. Davis, in begging us to 
keep an eye upon Rangsley, was pursuing a policy of 
pinpricks towards that person. And I do not see 


that much further comment is called for. It is pos- 
sible to put the case for Prussia, but always only along 
one line — the line of sad necessity. Prussia is a poor 
and a barbarous country, cursed with poor soil and 
an unpropitious climate ; therefore it can only live 
by plunder. Plunder is, therefore, a necessity for 
Prussia. Or again, Prussia has no sea-board ; Prussia 
might grow much richer if it had a sea-board ; there- 
fore it is a necessity for Prussia to take some one else's 
sea-board. Or again, it would be of great advantage 
to Prussia to have the entire control of the seas. 
Prussia cannot well have control of the seas because 
of the Navies of Great Britain, France, Italy, and the 
United States. It becomes, therefore, a necessity for 
Prussia to frighten these Navies off the seas by the 
murder of thousands of non-combatants. Or again, 
Prussia would benefit very largely if she could have 
control of the ten northern departments of France. 
It becomes necessary, therefore, for Prussia to strike 
at the heart of France by passing through Belgium. 
Or again, 'in order that Prussia may continue her pre- 
parations for world-dominion, unobserved, it is neces- 
sary that no one shall observe her making those pre- 
parations. It becomes, therefore, necessary for Prussia 
and for those who are friends of Prussia to call Sir 
Edward Grey a villain. 

All these things are necessities for the existence of 
Prussia, and there are people who hold that the 
necessity for national existence outpasses the necessity 
for observing the ordinary laws or the common dic- 
tates of humanity. These things, then, are necessities 
for the existence of Prussia ; but what necessity is 
there for that existence ? No one outside Prussia 
desires that Prussia shall exist ; no human being out- 


side Prussia has ever had anything but misery from 
that country. The existence of Prussia has helped 
no great or generous cause ; the existence of Prussia 
has lowered human standards through this wide and 
unhappy world. The only person outside Prussia 
who, so far as I know, has ever taken up the cause of 
that ugly and ungracious State, is Mr. Bernard Shaw, 
who, in his Preface to John Bull's Other Island, says 
that it would be a good thing for England if she 
were governed by Prussia. And Mr. Shaw is the chief 
indicter of Sir Edward Grey. 

I hope we are nearing the end of Germany, and I 
bitterly regret that our minds were ever burdened by 
the existence of that miserable Power. For our minds, 
for a generation past, have been burdened by the 
grossnesses, the imbecilities, and the materialisms of 
German minds to an extent that few of us realise. We 
have been browbeaten by the intolerable professors ; 
we have been hoodwinked by the perishing statesmen 
who represent a phase of humanity that was rotten 
already in the Middle Ages. Walter von cfer Vogel- 
weide and Wolfram von Eschenbach, who never heard 
of radio-telegraphy and deemed that flying would be 
accomplished by means of eagles' wings attached with 
wax to their ankles, were beautiful and enlightened 
gentlemen compared with Professors Haeckel and 
Harnack, and were splendid and immortal statesmen 
compared with Chancellors Biilow, Hollweg, and 
Bismarck. By heavens ! when I remember that, low 
as I have always estimated the professional mind, I 
once thought that there was in the intolerable volumes 
of these pedagogues with the minds and morals of the 
worst type of schoolboy — when I remember that I 
once attributed to these intolerable volumes some 


sort of subtle super-empiricism of statecraft that I was 
too dense to grasp, I wish I could cut out the whole 
third of my brain that has concerned itself with these 
affairs. If the reader will consider the extracts from 
the writings of these people which I am about to 
present to him, he will understand a little better what 
I mean. Here the paraphernaHa of useless documenta- 
tion dragged from obscure and frivolous sources has 
disappeared, and these people appear as the un- 
educated peasant-pedants that they really are. In a 
dark cavern Robinson Crusoe was once horrified by 
the sight of two blazing orbs ; when the owner of 
them came out into the daylight it appeared as a 
dying goat. Germany's professors should have re- 
mained in the cavernous recesses of the university 

Dealing with these particular controversialists is 
like striking at a crowd of moths in the dusk with a 
duelling-sword. The controversialists divide them- 
selves into two bodies — the German pamphleteers 
and the English. And of these, one may be patrio- 
tically elated to observe, the English put up infinitely 
a better case. The poor Germans have absolutely 
nothing to say — nothing in the world. I have read 
with great attention the fifteen German pamphlets 
whose names are given below, ^ and I find myself un- 

^ "Die weltgeschichtliche Bedeutung des deutschen Geistes ' ' 
(The Universal Historical Significance of the German Mind). 
By Prof. Rudolf Eucken. 

" Gegen England" (Against England). By Prof. Adolf 

" Ein Mitteleuropaischer Staatenverband " (A Central 
European State Union). By Franz von Liszt. 

" Warum es der deutsche Krieg ist ! " (Why it is the Ger- 
man war). By Paul Rohrbach. 


able to discover any single argument which calls for 
an answer. One common line is pursued by all these 
gentlemen : German culture, German friendliness, 
German sentimentality, German kinship with the 
child-soul, and a Deity created in Germany are postu- 
lated as being desirable things. Anything which 
militates against these things is postulated as being 
evil ; Und dann geht's los. Then they start in. Such 
a method of controversy is unanswerable. If you like 
the whole catalogue of things from German culture to 
the German Deity, Germany will then be justified in 
aspiring to world-dominion. If you dislike them you 
will try to prevent Jager Hans Georg Harwart, of the 
Jager Guard Battalion, Fourth Company, and Fritz 
HoUmann, of the First Squadron of the Second West- 
phalian Hussar Regiment from getting into your cellar 
or changing into your silken underlinen. And, inas- 

" Vom Geist des Krieges und des deutschen Volkes Bar- 
berei." (On the Spirit of the War and the German People's 
Barbarism). By Georg Misch. 

"England und Wir " (England and We). By Prof. W. 

" Der deutsche Militarism us " (German Militarism). By 
Prof. W. von Blume. 

" Der Weltkrieg " (The World- War). By Paul Heinsick. 

** Unsere Kulturellen Verantwortungen nach dem Kriege " 
(Our Cultural Responsibilities after the War). By Gustav 

" Der Deutsche und dieser Krieg " (The German and this 
War). By Kurt Engelbrecht. 

" Was bedeutet das deutsche Kaisertum ? " (What is the 
Significance of the German Imperial Monarchy ?) By Prof. 
J. Classen. 

"England und Wir" (England and We). By Jacob 

" Was uns der Krieg bringen muss" (What the War must 
bring us). By a German. 


much as these poor German professors and learned 
men are utterly unable to understand that there can 
be in this world created beings without horns and 
tails who will not love these things the main note of 
these effusions is one of pure pathos. It is as if a 
gentleman who had kicked you downstairs, gouged 
out your eyes, and bitten off your nose because you 
thought it was twenty-five past twelve when he said 
it was twenty to one should burst into tears because 
you said that he was unamiable. Perhaps the most 
intelligent of these pamphlets is that of my friend, 
Herr Georg Misch, of the University of Marburg. Yet, 
even this comparatively clear-sighted gentleman pre- 
sents his programme for a world reformed after the 
war in the following words : 

** In no single formula can the sense of the whole great 
uplifting be embraced; that uplifting itself, coming to 
life, wiU develop into clearness by its fulfilment. ' The 
struggle for our existence.' * The lasting security of our 
Kultur.' ' Once, after liberation, came the struggle for 
unity, now, after unity, the struggle for world-power.* 
* To give the German at last in his international relation- 
ships a free and sure demeanour which shall be as far from 
self- depreciation as from arrogance.' * To achieve and to 
ensure for the industrial communities of civilised nations 
peace through the might and pure will of Germany.' No 
formula is sufficient to express what, clearly felt but dimly 
realised, grows towards accomplishment. . . . Victory is 
the only word that to-day must lighten our forward path. 
Exalted above the empty phraseology of the diplomatic 
comprehension of right and wrong the war, from the 
hour of its birth — since with us it has become an event of 
moral significance — preserves its inner truth, a higher 
truth of life, which, according to the very nature of its 
being, is necessarily victorious." 


And after this programme — which must, I imagine, 
be read with mixed f eeUngs by the * ' industrial com- 
munities ' ' of Holland, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway 
— poor Mr. Misch continues in virtuous indignation : 

" And in this holy endeavour, in which no discordant 
note is to be discovered, bursts, shrill like a devil's pipe, a 
war-cry against us, which stirs us to the marrow — or, since 
that is to do it too much honour — makes us angry." 

And Mr. Misch proceeds to give instances of how 
the representatives of the industrial communities of 
the civilised nations have received his programme, as 
follows : 

" * Die Hunnen stehen vor der Tiir ' (The Hun is at 
the gate). — KipUng. ' Our Academy, which devotes itself 
to the constatation of psychological questions, fulfils a 
simple duty in pointing out that in the brutahty and 
cynicism of Germany Hes a return to barbarism.' — Bergson. 
* German mihtarism, like a poisonous toadstool which for 
half a century has disquieted humanity, must be rooted 
out.' — MaeterHnck. ' The eUte of Germany is subservient 
to the worst despotism, to the despotism which destroys 
masterpieces and murders the human soul.' — Romain Rol- 
land. * The German name has to all eternity become an 
abomination. Who can any longer doubt that the Ger- 
mans are barbarians ? ' — Anatole France." 

Contemplating this enormous kick in the face. Pro- 
fessor Misch finds nothing to answer controversially ; 
all that he can write — and, indeed, what more could 
the poor man write ? — is : 

" The men who here cry out are not men harnessed to 
dull, daily tasks, but men who call upon the Eternal that 


lies in humanity, poets and thinkers. We considered our- 
selves bound to them in aspiration after truth and human 
ideals ; they have cut the bond that united them to us." * 

And that, indeed, is the root of the whole matter. 
Germany, as I have elsewhere pointed out, cut itself 
off, once for all, long, long before the opening of the 
present war, from the international poets and thinkers 
of the world. And indeed, in his pamphlet called 
"Die weltgeschichtliche Bedeutung des deutschen 
Geistes " (The Universal Historical Significance of the 
German Mind), the great and usually amiable Professor 
Eucken strikes this very note for himself. He elabor- 
ates the theory that the period during which the 
Germans were a nation of poets and thinkers was a 
period during which Germany was turning aside from 
her real road, which was that of materialism, and he 
emphasises the fact that the Germans were always 
really materialists. He is not very happy in either the 
nature or the number of his historic instances. In- 
deed, what follows is practically all that he can find 
to say : 

" We used to be a people of inventors ; we invented 
printing — at least for Europe ; we led the way in the 
industry of modern artillery, that now, with its immense 
developments, has become a foundation for our national 
hope. In the beginning of modern times the rhyme could 
run : 

" Nuremberg wit, 
Ulm shooting-implements, 
Augsburg money. 
Rule the world. 

* " Vom Geist des Krieges." By Georg Misch, pp, 5-6. 


"To us must be credited the discovery of the modern 
spinning-wheel, of the pocket-watch, etc. As late as the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, the Frenchman 
Beyle, the great critic, celebrated us Germans for our 
numerous discoveries ; only in the eighteenth century did 
the leadership in this department fall into the hands of 
the Enghsh. Further, we were not lacking in organising 
capacity. Let us think only of the Order of Teutonic 
Knights, of that land which it won for German Kultur, 
and that to-day has so courageously fought for the Ger- 
man cause ! Let us also think of the Hanseatic League, 
and its ruling of the sea ! The Eagle of Lubeck, that was 
the name of the largest ship of war of the eleventh century. 
So, during a long period, we were strong and successful 
in the visible world. And if we again address ourselves 
in this direction that is only a taking up again of our old 
fashion ; we have found the way back to ourselves, not 
faUen off." ^ 

It will be observed that poor Professor Eucken, to 
whom this is a new manner, is vastly poor in illustra- 
tions of German invention or of German organising 
faculty. In the words " the invention of the modern 
spinning-wheel, of the pocket- watch, etc.," an im- 
mense burden is left to be borne by the " etc." As for 
the Hanseatic League, I have already dealt with that 
organisation ; as to the Teutonic Order of Knight- 
hood I have no space here to go into its history. I 
can only say that yesterday I was rather soundly 
rated, in a letter from Professor Cook, the distinguished 
American Anglo-Saxon scholar, for not having else- 
where pointed out the brutal type of despotism that 
this organisation set up, and that still exists in the 
Slavonic territory of Prussia. 

^ ' ' Die weltgeschichtliche Bedeutung des deutschen Geistes, " 
pp. 9-IO. 


I have carefully guarded myself from quoting the 
more comic passages from the writings of these pro- 
fessors, though passages comic enough abound, how- 
ever great the names that sign the pronouncements. 
But I am trying to be moderate simply because I 
cannot help feeling that these are deeply unfortunate 
people. And these misfortunes arise from an obliquity 
of the senses that is shared, alas ! by most individuals. 
When, in the course of a plea that to himself appears 
sweetly reasonable, Professor Eucken states, as a 
ground for the world-dominion of Germany, the fact 
that Germany already possesses the whole toy- 
making trade of the world, or the fact that some 
Danish critic has stated that the Mass as celebrated 
in Notre Dame at Paris is not so emotionally stirring 
as the Mass as celebrated in Cologne Cathedral — these 
allegations, considered as reasons for world-domin- 
ance, are merely comic. But, since their comicality 
does not appear to a man so distinguished as Pro- 
fessor Eucken, they become, in very truth, pathetic. 
Here, then, is Professor Eucken on the subject of 

'* No people, not even the ancient Greeks, have so 
understood childhood as the Germans. It is we who have 
elevated children's literature by means of Campe, and 
who are still leaders in this department ; we provide chil- 
dren's toys for the whole world. That is only possible 
because we have the power to identify ourselves with the 
child- soul, and this we could not do if we did not in our 
own innermost souls have something childlike, simple, and 
aboriginal." ^ 

Or here, again, is Professor Eucken on the subject 
of religion : 

1 Ibid., p. 13. 


** Once a prominent Danish theologian painted for me 
with hvely colours the difference between a religious ser- 
vice in Notre Dame de Paris and in the Cathedral of 
Cologne. There much ostentation without any participa- 
tion by the heart ; here a deep conviction on the part of 
the worshippers. And we may add the fact that German 
inwardness shows itself also in Judaism. For it is the 
German thinker Mendelssohn who brought this rehgion 
into close relationship with modern civihsation and thereby 
really helped it forward. This inner necessity, to base the 
exterior expression of religion on something within our- 
selves, has made us the people of reHgious pliilosophers." ^ 

This theory of religion is expressed in one stage 
further by Herr Kurt Engelbrecht in a pamphlet 
entitled '* Der Deutsche und dieser Krieg " (The Ger- 
man and this War). Here, also, we find a further 
exposition of the child-soul theory. 

" There is inherent in our people some of that God- 
consciousness that inspired the prophets of the Old Testa- 
ment ; how child- hke, it is true, but with what a deep 
inner sense did that little boy express himself, when, at 
the outbreak of this war, he could say to his playmates : 
' I have no fear ! The dear God will help us, for he is a 
German ! ' For sure, all those who beyond the bounds 
of the country are confronting the enemy, and of whose 
courage in the face of death and passion for self-sacrifice 
we receive daily information have this proud conscious- 
ness : ' God must adopt the German cause for which we 
fight as His own.* Alongside with this the rare courage of 
self-sacrifice which fills our warriors, and which is almost 
without example in history, takes on the radiance of a 
sacrament. It is no longer a matter of putting worldly 

^ Ibid., p. 12. 


advantage first or of averting the economic disaster which 
the enemy has conspired to inflict upon us. . . ." ^ 

Let us contrast this with : 

" 24th Aug. — Before the village of Ermeton we took a 
thousand ; at least, 500 prisoners shot. . . . Whilst search- 
ing a house for beds we ate ourselves full to our heart's 
desire, bread, wine, butter, preserved fruits, and much 
more were the booty of our mouths. We washed the 
blood off ourselves and cleaned our side-arms. In the 
evening we got into quarters, the best up till now. Any 
amount of clean underclothing, pickles, wine, salt meat, 
and cigars." ^ 

The writer of this diary was in the First Battalion 
of the First Guard Regiment. The officers of this 
battalion were Lieutenant von Oppen, Count Eulen- 
burg, Captain von Roeder, First-Lieutenant von Boch 
und Pollack, and First Lieutenant Engelbrecht. I am 
not of course suggesting that First-Lieutenant Engel- 
brecht is the eloquent Mr. Kurt Engelbrecht whose 
glowing words formed the last quotation but one; 
but, with those words said, I may leave any further 
comment to the reader. 

It seems to me that there you have the whole matter 
in a nutshell. The three pamphleteers from whom I 
have quoted are not obscure and eccentric people 
such as in England might write letters to the less 
desirable Press or advertise their opinions at con- 
siderable expense in the "agony columns" of The 

1 "Der Deutsche und dieser Krieg." By Kurt Engel- 
brecht, p. 45. 

2 " Committee's Report on Alleged German Outrages," 
pp. 261-2, 


Times. No, the speech which, when printed, becomes 
the pamphlet of my acquaintance Professor Georg 
Misch, was dehvered in the Aula of the illustrious 
University of Marburg, and is, in consequence, the 
official pronouncement of that ancient home of learn- 
ing. Professor Eucken is a great official of the Prus- 
sian State ; Mr. Kurt Engelbrecht is one of the rising 
school of art-critics and of what are called " novelists 
of atmosphere." His essays in art-criticism have been 
praised by Professor Wolfstieg in the Liter aturherichte 
der Comenius-Gesellschaft, and his novel, " Wege und 
Umwege," has received the applause of cultured 
Germany. From these writers, then, one might expect 
perhaps not much balance, since their emotions might 
well be stirred. It is no pleasant thing to find your 
cause assailed by the whole of Europe and damned by 
men of great name like Anatole France, Bergson, 
and Maeterlinck, whom hitherto you had cited as gods 
upon the earth. It is, in fact, no pleasant thing to 
have to cut yourself adrift from all culture, from all 
light and all fineness. The want of balance may 
therefore be pardoned. But such a want of balance 
as deprives a man not only of the power to put his 
case, but of the power to avoid putting the case of his 
opponents — such a want of balance argues an absolute 
want of mental development in the controversialist. 
And indeed I am tempted to go so far as to say that 
these eminent personages have never got beyond the 
mental development of schoolboys, having left behind 
them that clarity of vision, that power to put at least 
one side of a case with clarity, which is the power of 
the child. For the stupidity of German argumenta- 
tion, the curious inability in moments of emotion to 
arrange facts so as to make any sort of a show, is not 


childish ; it is schoolboy-Hke. The child is cruel and 
is remorseless, but does at least perceive one aspect 
or another. A child will tell a soldier whose jaw has 
been shot away that he is hideous, or a woman whose 
face is drawn with the pains of cancer that she looks 
bad-tempered ; and both statements will be true. 
The German Professor, the German man of letters, 
and the German schoolboy alike do not get beyond 
saying : " God is a German ; He is on our side. Yah, 
ugly people ! ' ' 

And indeed, these German protagonists sweep away 
altogether the carefully built up structures of the 
Enghsh pro-Prussian apologists. These are an alto- 
gether different proposition. They have little sense 
of proportion, and no knowledge whatever of the 
Germany they defend ; but they do at least keep cool 
enough to forge facts and to document their arguments 
with references to publications that few people will 
take the trouble to read. One common thesis unites 
all the British pro-Prussian pamphleteers — the thesis 
that the German peoples and the peoples of Great 
Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, Serbia, Japan, and 
the United States are exactly the same, with the same 
ruling doctrines, ruling passions, ruling classes. With 
this thesis once established they can start in to say 
what they like. But this thesis is in itself an absurdity. 
The British ruling class in no way resembles the Ger- 
man ruling class, any more than what was called the 
" Marconi scandal " in England resembled the " Eulen- 
burg scandal ' ' in Germany, or any more than the 
affair of the Curragh Camp resembled the Zabern 
affair. The purchase of the shares of an American 
company kindred to a company that was about to 
make an advantageous contract with the British 


Cabinet was regrettable. From my own point of view 
it was regrettable in the extreme ; from still more 
hostile points of view, it might be styled criminal. 
But the Eulenburg affair, which was a matter exciting 
about as much public attention and lasting for con- 
siderably longer, was a matter of nepotism, bribery of 
the police, rigging the market, brutality to private 
soldiers. Imperial favouritism and general sodomy, 
each of these charges being proved in courts of law and 
involving sovereign princes. Court Chamberlains, and 
members of the hereditary ruling class who really 
ruled Germany. 

For in Germany the ruling classes really rule and 
really are a class. This is one of the main facts which 
differentiates between Great Britain and Germany. 
From this, to a very large extent, arises the filth and 
obscenity that distinguish German political comments. 
The German, as a rule, may or may not object to being 
ruled. Germans are represented as being a docile 
people, and I will let it go at that. But, from time 
to time, during and after the trial of such cases as the 
Eulenburg case, the Wolff-Metternich case, or the 
matrimonial market scandals in which, during 1912, 
so many officers of the noble (adelige) regiments were 
involved — at such periods violent panics of rage and 
indignation sweep across these docilities. " These," 
the German, from the Roman Catholic peasant to the 
commercial National Liberal readers of the Frank- 
furter Zeitung, exclaims: "These are our rulers!" 
And, in the frantic realisation that this yoke is unshak- 
able, they seek relief in the hideous articles in the 
Press, in the hideous caricatures, and in the hideous 
speeches in the red plush restaurants. 

This is a state of things that Mr. Shaw and his col- 


leagues entirely fail to realise. There are, no doubt, 
abuses in the English administrative system, but they 
are abuses inherent in democracy. Wire-pulling may, 
for all I know, go on between the Front Benches of 
the House of Commons, and little cliques in the 
Ministry may secure too great a share of the profit- 
able jobs of the Administration. But the persons 
who will secure these jobs may be the sons of 
working men, of Petticoat Lane Jews, may be small 
attorneys, and, above all, may be barristers — and, 
indeed, they do belong to these classes much more 
often than to the class of landed gentry, which is the 
only but very faint equivalent that we have for the 
reigning and mediatised Princes of Germany, for the 
officers of noble descent, and for the omnipotent 
Ministers with the irrepressible Emperor at their 

And there is the other immense fact that in Eng- 
land, as in France, Italy, or the United States, politics 
have changing aspects. It is possible that, in these 
countries, a demagogue, by means of wirepulling and 
gerrymandering, may appear almost absolute. But, 
after a few years, a landslide in the constituencies will 
give him the appearance of being somewhat lower 
than the dust. And, not only will he fall, but the 
principles for which he stands, and the class with which 
he is identified will fall also. In Germany class, in- 
dividual, and principles are permanent, until that 
revolution shall come that has never yet come. The 
Ministry is always in the hands of the Right or Con- 
servatives, and whatever change may take place in 
public opinion there is no chance of its being reflected 
in the mirror of State. 
This is what makes so pitiful the idealism of such 


writers as the Hon. Bertrand Russell, whose words I 
have set as a motto at the head of this part. This 
gentleman, from the secure fastness of his study, to 
which it is eminently unlikely that any member of the 
First Squadron of Westphalian Hussars will ever 
penetrate, utters with scholastic grace the dogma 
that we ought to allow Prussian troops to overrun 
Great Britain because German public opinion would 
prevent Prussia exercising any harshness in its ruling 
of these realms. Let us put aside altogether the con- 
sideration of what, from a philosophical point of 
view, are no doubt the mere transitory inconveniences 
of the process of occupation by German troops. I 
suppose that in the immense scale of things which in- 
cludes the contemplation of the solar system, the star 
Arcturus and the planet Soheil, the habits of Fora- 
minifera, and the theory of waves, it matters very 
little if five hundred of us in every village are taken 
and shot ; our wives bayoneted ; our daughters raped ; 
the champagne taken from our cellars, whilst Messrs. 
Hinrichs and Engelbrecht make quick changes into 
our silken vests and drawers. That will not affect, in 
the very minutest degree, any of the workings of the 
Higher Mathematics in which Mr. Russell is an ex- 
pert, nor will it affect that gentleman's demonstration 
of the existence of a Deity by means of mathematical 
infinities. But what is shocking in Mr. Russell is the 
assumption of a premiss when all the mathematical 
bases that there are make that premiss demonstrably 
wrong. The mathematical figures once again in this 
case are the 397 votes of the Reichstag. These ex- 
press, if only roughly, the state of public opinion in 
the German Empire. I have already shown how little 
effect public opinion had in preventing the building of 


a great fleet to which it was opposed. Let us see what 
this pubHc opinion has done for subject-races. 

I will leave to Mr. Russell the contemplation of the 
whole history of Prussian Poland since I cannot write 
about it without more feeling than should be shown 
by a controversialist. I will therefore simply copy 
out from the " Deutscher Geschichtskalender," or 
German Annual Official Register, a few passages with 
regard to Poland under the general heading of " Party 
Activities," and the particular heading of '* Party 
Activities in the Provinces of Posen and West Prussia,'* 
as follows : 

'* Sept ^th. — In the prosecution at Thorn against sixty 
secondary school teachers for the offence of belonging to 
a secret association [Geheimbundelei] fifteen were acquitted, 
ten threatened with deportation, and five-and- thirty com- 
mitted to prison. During the proceedings the following 
transpired concerning the minutes of the Maryania Union 
to which the secret associates [Geheimbiindler] belonged. 

" The minutes are headed : * We Maryanien live in hope. 
Minutes of the Literary Historic Union named Maryania.' 
The exact provisions of the minutes are the following : 
' The object of the members of Union is to study the his- 
tory of their own (the Polish) nation with its literature, 
the perfection of themselves in the Polish language, and 
the exercise of moral influence on the young. The activities 
of the Union are carried on in ordinary, extraordinary, 
and anniversary meetings. Ordinary meetings take place 
twice a week, and last an hour. On these occasions, after 
listening to lectures, the rest of the time is devoted to the 
reading of Polish authors. Extraordinary sittings will 
be called by the President in the case of any pressing 
necessities, except at the end of the quarter, when those 
entrusted with office will render accounts. National 
holidays will be celebrated by special sittings. These 


commemoration days are : the Partition of Poland, 
November 25th, the Union of LubHn, August nth, 
November 29th, January 27th, in memory of Prince 
Pribislaw, May 3rd, January ist, and the day of the foun- 
dation of the Maryania Union, September 29th. At these 
holiday sittings the President and another member deliver 
speeches, the theme being the historical event whose 
celebration is undertaken. Another member at the end 
delivers a speech on some occasional theme, more particu- 
larly upon some vital question, touching on the mistakes 
which have been made, and how they should be rectified. 
The aspirant to membership takes the following oath : 
"I, N.N., swear, upon entering the Literary Historical 
Union, under pain of forfeiting the honourable name of 
Pole, that I will obey the laws of this Union, and always 
conscientiously and carefully act in accordance with them. 
This oath I regard as being as holy as the remembrance of 
our fatherland Poland is holy to me." To provide against 
the discovery of this organisation every new member, who 
is registered in a special book under a pseudonym by the 
President, undertakes even to the last extremity to de- 
clare that he knows nothing of the existence of the 
organisation. Each member pays monthly a subscription 
of one Polish gulden (about 6d.).' ^ 

''Nov. igth. — ^The correctional chamber in Gnesen sen- 
tences one woman to two and a half years' penal servitude, 
another woman to one year's hard labour, and a number 
of other defendants to periods of imprisonment varying 
from four weeks to two years all on account of breaches 
of peace in Wreschen, in the following circumstances : 
The Government, in the well-founded conviction that the 
children in Wreschen understand sufficient German, 
ordered the use of the German language (which is to be 
introduced for other instructional purposes) for religious 
instruction. This change was undertaken with every 
caution : for weeks the children at the appointed hours 
1 "P.G,," 1901, vol, ii. pp. 77-8, 


were not catechised ; they were only lectured. In the 
end, nevertheless, they refused altogether to answer in 
the German tongue, and this not so much because they 
did not understand German, but with the obstinate 
determination that they would not [underUned in original] 
speak German. Keepings-in and birchings with which it 
was necessary to attempt to maintain discipUne helped in 
no way ; one Httle girl, for example, would only take hold 
of the German catechism with her apron, as if it had been 
something unclean. These punishments were the occa- 
sion for uproar in the streets. During these, men and 
women penetrated by force into the school- house, threat- 
ened the school-inspector and the teachers, and actually 
attacked the police force which had hurried to the place. 
The evidence brought out most plainly that the origin of 
the whole thing was to be looked for in national, not re- 
ligious motives."^ 

Mr. Bertrand Russell will, however, answer that all 
this took place fourteen years ago, and that public 
opinion had nothing to do with this matter. I turn, 
therefore, to the last complete volume of the "Deutscher 
Geschichtskalender " (1913) that I possess and find 
under the heading: '* Confiscation of Polish Landed 
Property " the following speeches of party-leaders in 
the Reichstag. 

" Jan. 2gth. — An interpellation of Brandys [a PoHsh 
deputy] supported by the Centre Party, concerning the 
confiscation of PoHsh landed property comes up for dis- 
cussion. The interpellation is as follows : The Prussian 
State Government has undertaken the confiscation of 
PoHsh landed property in order to further the aims of the 
Commission of [German] Immigration [Ansiedlimgskom- 
mission]. What steps does the Imperial Chancellor medi- 
1 " D.G.," pp. 82-3. 


tate taking in order to counteract these measures, which j 

are irreconcilable with the Constitution and the legislation i 

of the Empire, and which are provocative of the deepest ! 

feehng both in their political and social relations to the j 
people ? " 


I omit the speech of the Polish leader, who might 1 

naturally be expected to object to the confiscation of j 

his land; the only noteworthy fact that he brings \ 

out is that the Imperial Parliament has twice passed i 

a vote of censure on the Ministry over this matter. ; 

The debate continues, and I would ask the reader \ 

to observe that the party lines of the division are i 

exactly those which distinguished the opposition to j 

naval measures : i 

Abg. Wendel {Soc). — " If the Ministry had had a clear ] 

conscience they would not have tried to avoid responsi- J 

bility. This is a matter of the brutal application of a \ 

brutal and unconstitutional law [Ausnahmegesetzes]. The \ 

expropriation is a piece of revolution. The Polish poUcy ^ 

[of the Administration] only damages Germans. In plain j 

German it is called Germanising [Germanisieren]. With :. 
this expropriation the present Ministry has struck at the 

roots of the civil community. The Conservatives with ■ 

this expropriation have filled up the measure of their poli- \ 

tical crimes." \ 

Abg. Count Praschna (Centre leader). — " We regret ■ 

that the Imperial Chancellor has taken refuge behind ,< 

formalities. We do not hold it for right that an ancient ). 

population should be driven from its land and dwellings, j 

and we shall support unanimously the Polish resolution." J 

Abg. Schlee (National Liberal). — ** The expropriation is 1 

not contrary to the laws of the Empire. It must be ; 

applied everywhere where Germanism [Deutschtum] is in .j 

danger. Colonisation within our own boundaries must be '^ 


still more furthered. A class of small peasant proprietors, 
who are the backbone of the State, must come into being." 

Abg. Count v. Carmer (Conservative). — " We hold abso- 
lutely fast to the standpoint which we have always repre- 
sented, namely, that the consideration of this is not a 
matter within the province of the Reichstag. The Im- 
perial Constitution contains nothing in contradiction to 
the expropriation. We shall vote against the resolution." 

Abg. Dr. Pachnicke (People's Party), — " In German 
interest we regret the Polish policy, but Polish territory 
must remain German. A more extensive immigration of 
peasant proprietors might have furthered Germanism more 
than all the laws. The poHce regulations have produced 
great solidarity among the Poles. We shall refrain from 
casting our votes on the Polish resolution, since we must 
respect all that makes for stabihty." 

On the following day the House divided upon the 
interpellation, when a vote of censure on the Ministry 
was passed by 213 votes to 97, 43 members abstaining 
from voting. The Ministers took no notice whatever 
of the vote of censure, and the Polish expropriation 
continues until the present day. This should show 
Mr. Bertrand Russell how much effect German public 
opinion can have when it is a question of alleviating 
the lot of subject nationalities. 

Of course Mr. Russell may adopt the attitude of the 
Prussian Ministers and may say that the treatment 
of Poland was a Prussian domestic affair and 
that the German people has no voice in Prussian 
domestic affairs ; therefore the German people may 
disclaim responsibility as did the representative in the 
Reichstag of the Imperial Chancellor. Against this 
plea we may set the history of the Zabern affair, which 
may or may not remain in the reader's mind. It is 


unnecessary to go into this case in detail. The main 
point is that Zabern, unHke Wreschen in Poland, lies 
in the Reichsland, or Imperial territory. The Zabern 
affair was a matter of ill-treatment of the civil popula- 
tion by a military garrison, the civil population being 
French and subject. On this occasion, too, there was 
little doubt of the trend of German public opinion. 
The Reichstag once more passed repeated votes of 
censiue upon the Administration, the same parties 
taking part in the division. The Administration, once 
more, took no notice whatever of the vote of censure ; 
once more it took refuge in stating that the treatment 
of civilians in a subject population was no province 
for discussion in the Reichstag. The case of Poland 
could not be discussed by the Empire because Poland 
belonged to Prussia ; the case of Zabern could not be 
affected by the Reichstag because Alsace-Lorraine was 
subject to mihtary authorities. I repeat that I 
cannot comment upon these matters, because to think 
of them causes me too much emotion. Let me set 
down the words of a very humble Uttle newspaper of 
Zabern. I quote once more the " Deutscher Geschichts- 
kalender" ; under the heading of January 10 th, 1914, 
we have the following : 

" The Zaherner Wochenhlatt writes resignedly : * We 
are speechless ; but we are weighed down by the feeling 
that we are without rights and without help — a feeling that 
has taken absolute possession of us after quietly thinking 
the matter over. Herr Landgerichtsrat Beemelmann 
[Advocate] declared before the court-martial that the 
people of Zabern could now look for help only to the Kaiser. 
We have given up even this hope." ^ 

^ " D.G.," 1914, pp. 9-10. 


The people of Zabern had forgotten — as well they 
might forget — the existence of an avenging but august 

It is a misfortune that Mr. Bertrand Russell should 
have meddled in these affairs. His colleagues in the 
attempt to bolster up Prussia are in the end merely 
party poUticians. They pursue the ordinary course 
of small fry at little bye-elections. These are venial 
offences, or at least common malpractices. But Mr. 
Russell is not a politician ; he is a thinker, and thinkers 
must have higher standards and greater scrupulosities, 
or they forfeit their rights to existence before the 
face of God. That the lamentable and miserable 
Poles, that the lamentable and miserable Alsatians 
should suffer is a horrible thing ; but suffering is the 
lot of men, and there are few of us who do not 
in this Hfe suffer at least from private tyrannies. 
But that a thinker should espouse the cause of the 
oppressors of Poland and of the subject French — that 
is the most horrible spectacle upon God's earth ; it 
is more horrible than the stupidity of the German 
administration ; it is more horrible than the brutality 
of the Prussian officers. For it is natural for German 
administrators to be stupid ; it is natural for Prussian 
officers to be brutal. These creatures have followed 
their instincts, as does the malarial parasite when it 
preys upon the anopheles mosquito, and the anopheles 
mosquito when it draws blood from the veins. But the 
thinker who bolsters up the cause of oppression by 
brutes and fools — the cause of the oppression of the 
two fine and noble civilisations of the world — those 
of Poland and of France — that thinker, falsely instruct- 
ing those who have been set under him on account of 
a superior intelligence granted to him by destiny — 


that thinker has poisoned the springs of knowledge 
and has sought to corrupt those less learned than him- 

I have no eloquence — but if I had I should not here 
seek to employ it in the effort to make the peoples of 
the world see that the first duty of every proper man 
is to set about the freeing of the subject world from the 
Central European domination. There is no need for 
eloquence. If you will take your atlas and will look 
at the map of Central Europe you will perceive one 
uniform, one sinister set of phenomena. On every 
boundary of the United Empires there is subject 
territory — on every boundary with one sinister excep- 
tion. East and West Prussia are populated by subject 
Poles, the borders of Denmark by subject Danes, the 
borders of France by subject French, the borders of 
Southern Austria by subject Italians, of Eastern 
Austria by subject Serbs, the northern borders of 
Austria by subject Croats, Ruthenians, and GaHcians. 
This particular ring-fence round the Central Empires 
is absolutely complete save in the one little patch upon 
the borders of Belgium ; and, significantly and hor- 
ribly, the inhabitants of that borderland can tell you 
what it is to have Germany for a neighbour and Ger- 
man public opinion for sole protector. I do not think 
that anything else is needed to prove that, from the 
earliest historic times, the German peoples have been 
predatory peoples, and that German pubUc opinion 
has, at the worst, supported, and, at the best, con- 
nived at, the spohation of other races. ^ 

^ From the following speech the reader will observe that at 
least a portion of German public opinion is in favour of 
completing the circle of subjected nationalities that sur- 
rounds the Central Empires : 


Race-theorising is mostly nonsense. But there are 
certain broad demarcations that cannot be gainsaid. 
Slavs, Italians, and Danes, whether by blood, by 
climate, by civilisation, or by tradition, are very 
strongly differentiated from Prussians, Austrians, and 
Hungarians. And the nature of racial and traditional 
differences between such races makes the oppression 
of the one by the other more bitter, because it is 
more unimaginative than any of the other facts of 
life. In the broad scale of things it is no doubt 
absurd not to be as ready to worship God in one 
language as in another, or to resent not being allowed 
to study the literature of your country; but the 
worship of God, the words in which that worship 
goes forth, and the reading of your national literature 
are beset with peculiar and vibrating emotions. And 
the suppression of those emotions in humanity leads 
to insanity, to moral decay, and to racial death. 

Speech by Herr Schifier, spokesman of the National Liberal 
Party (reported in Daily Mail, June 2nd, 191 5) : 

" When it is said that we are waging no war of conquest 
I say that is also our standpoint. That we are pursuing 
Napoleonic aims there can be no question. But we say that 
we must have compensation for the colossal sacrifice of 
treasure and blood and we demand this — (prolonged cheers) — 
not in the sense that we think any strip of land or a handful 
of money can atone for the blood spilt. 

" Our object must be real and tangible guarantees [Sicher- 
heiten] that such an attack can never again be repeated at 
our expense. That we owe to those who have fallen. If 
these guarantees demand an extension of our frontiers, if 
military necessities require that these frontiers be developed 
in order to be better armed, and in future defended with 
less bloodshed, then we regard it as a moral duty to insist 
upon such extension." (Storm of long-continuing applause 
and cheers.) 


Let me then, as humbly and as little dictatorially as 
possible, beg any one whom my words may reach to 
do, at the very least, nothing that may hinder the 
freeing of these poor peoples who may not worship 
God in their own tongues, may not read of the 
God of their fathers, may not dwell on their own 
lands, or upon those lands erect houses in which 
their children shall dwell. And let me again say that 
it is the duty of the peoples engaged in this struggle 
to prosecute this struggle to the very extent of their 
powers. In the name of God let no man say that we 
must make a speedy peace because we shall have to 
go on Uving with Germany after this war is over. 
Cancer, typhus, tuberculosis, and lunacy, must, I 
suppose, be always with us, but not the German 
Empire under the hegemony of Prussia. 

So that there, as far as I am concerned, is the last 
of Germany, and I hope and pray that, after I have 
written the paragraph that follows I shall never have 
occasion again to use my pen on the subject of Ger- 
many as it is. Germany as it might be is another 
affair. But this is not the place, nor am I perhaps 
the writer, to project a scheme for a Prankish — not a 
Teutonic — Utopia. It would indeed be to enter into 
a realm occupied by dogmatists much more loud- 
voiced than myself, though, as the poet wrote about 
the robin : 

*' Whilst other birds sing mortal loud and swearing. 
When the wind lulls I try to get a hearing." 

But it is none the less a fact that there is no race 
barrier and no barrier of creed between the peoples 
of the South of Germany and the peoples of France. 
Racially and historically these people are Franks, 


and it is only for a century or so that they have been 
united with Germany as represented by Prussia. 
Annexation by France or by Belgium is a thing no 
doubt to be deprecated, but I cannot myself see either 
in common sense, in humanity, or in the light of history 
any objection to a revival of the Confederation du 
Rhin under a French protectorate. That such con- 
federations of differently speaking peoples not racially 
very different can be successful, independent, and 
harmonious is proved by the Confederation of Switzer- 
land. And I do not mind hazarding the prophecy 
that in some such confederation the salvation of the 
world will eventually be found. As to that, I do not 
wish to dogmatise. But I dogmatise with serene 
confidence and a conscience absolutely untroubled 
when I say that no peace can be found in this world 
until Germany, as she is, is dismembered once and for 
all. Let that be the last of Germany. 



Let me now utter for what they are worth my own 
observations on the occasioning of this war. The three 
words which seem to me to characterise the British 
handling of the international situation both before and 
after the declaration of war — these three words are 
correctness of attitude. And correctness of attitude 
seems to me to be the most desirable of all human 
virtues, at any rate, in civic and in social contacts. If 
I know that a person with whom I have dealings, 
whether diplomatic or material, will be correct in 
his attitude, I know exactly what to expect of him. 
And all the processes of diplomatic, as of social life, 
are immensely hastened and immensely eased the 
moment we know what we may expect of the persons 
with whom we are in contact. Of course, correctness 
of attitude can be stigmatised as implying frigidity. 
There is no denying that. I personally, with my 
immense Francophile tendencies and with my belief 
that, if any good is to come to the world, it can only 
come, strained and disciplined by the mental pro- 
cesses to which the French subject all phenomena — 
I, then, if I wished to blame Sir Edward Grey, or if I 
wished to blame the British Governments which have 
been in power ever since the first Entente Cordiale, 
should blame them for not having made a complete, 



diplomatic, military, naval, mercantile, and social 
treaty of defence and offence with France. For me the 
British nation and the French nation are, and always 
have been, one and indivisible — one by race, by tradi- 
tion, by civilisation, and even, strained as the proposi- 
tion may sound, by construction of language. If I 
were to permit myself an image I should say that 
France, in her relation to England, has always seemed 
to me like a wise and charming elder sister, teaching a 
spirited, and upon the whole good youngster lessons 
in logic so as to fit him for the school of the world. In 
comparison with other wars — though perhaps I am 
unduly sentimental in writing this — the wars between 
France and England have been civilised affairs. That 
may simply be that the two nations have never been 
able so efficiently to " get at " each other as has been 
the case with continental nations. There have not 
been the same widespread laying waste of districts, 
the same starvations, pillages, murders, rapes, and 
arsons. Even the celebrated chevauchee of the Black 
Prince, in which he burned and plundered many towns 
and villages from Calais to the Pyrenees, was little 
more than the destructive ride of a schoolboy and 
has left as little trace upon the historic mind. For I 
ask myself how many of my readers will so much as 
have heard of the chevauchee of the Black Prince. So, 
in the schoolboy scale of things, Agincourt was an 
enlivening, clean, and cheerful geste ; the ChevaUer 
Bayard, Bertrand du Guesclin, Eustache de St. 
Pierre, Villeneuve, Ney, Marmont, Wellington, and 
Casablanca — all these, at any rate in the schoolboy 
scale of things, are fine figures, giving us now and then 
fine phrases, standing out in rough-hewn history as 
models of duty, of self-sacrifice, and of loyalty to 


ideals. Horatio Nelson is the greatest genius that 
England ever produced ; Joan of Arc is a saint in 
heaven, and assuredly no Englishman, in the councils 
of the Vatican, desired to play the part of advocatus 
diaholi at her canonisation. 

So that, if I wished to blame Sir Edward Grey and 
his colleagues, it would be simply because their correct- 
ness of attitude led them into a certain frigidity to- 
wards France. But that their attitude was correct I 
think few people will deny. It was perhaps not abso- 
lutely inspired. The British Ministry had no man- 
date from the British nation to cement an offensive 
alliance with the French or to undertake to land 
troops on the Continent of Europe at the demand of 
the French Staff. But that the British nation would 
have given such a mandate had the occasion arisen I 
do not much doubt. In the clash of party politics, 
no occasion arose of asking for such a mandate. 

Party politics are a great curse, and secret diplo- 
macy may be responsible for much evil. But I do not 
see how they can be replaced by any other system — 
hominihus sic stantibus. They arise from the wire- 
pullings that are customary to humanity ; they arise 
just because of certain human virtues — just because 
of family solidarities, of friendships, and of loyalties. 
It is for this reason that, heartily as I am ready to 
agree that secret diplomacy is responsible for certain 
evils in the body politic, I do not think that an ideal 
State, a sort of international kissing-kindness land, 
would arise if Mr. Shaw, Mr. Brailsford, and Dr. Lieb- 
knecht, and, let us say, Mr. Upton Sinclair, were the 
dictators of the world. Their hearts might well be 
full of idealisms, but their practices would be in- 
evitably the self-stultificatory practices of every other 


committee that the world has ever seen. I was never 
more strikingly impressed with this fact than when 
once I asked one of the almost permanent officials 
of the Fabian Society what chances a certain revo- 
lutionist of that body had of succeeding in ejecting 
the elected officials of the Society, the elected official 
being commonly known as the Old Gang. This leader 
answered : " Oh, we shall ruin him. He has not got 
proper manners for handling the Committee." These 
words — and I have put them down exactly as they 
were uttered, though of course I cannot render the 
cold cruelty of the speaker's tones — disposed, as far 
as I was concerned, of any possibility of doing away 
with secret diplomacy. We require, in fact, special 
testimonials from those who are to replace our present 
representatives. And we certainly do not require 
persons who will say that they are prepared to down 
anybody who has not the knack of handling com- 
mittees. We have already too many people with the 
knack of handling committees. 

Theoretically speaking, public diplomacy is very 
desirable, and many arguments might be advanced in 
favour of the abolition of the present system. The 
subject indeed is much too technical for my pen. But 
the mere telling of lies about Sir Edward Grey is no 
more argument for the abolition of secret diplomacy 
than telling lies about Mr. Bernard Shaw would be 
an argument for the suppression of Socialism. And 
the telling of these lies at the present moment is so 
inopportune that it becomes more nearly criminal 
than even the usual devices of party politicians. I am 
not accusing Mr. Shaw and his colleagues of lack of 
patriotism, since patriotism, like love of parents, is 
a thing that you either have or haven't, and that you 


can't be blamed or praised for having or not having, 
though you may be Uked or disHked. Mr. Shaw has 
told us that he had reasons for disliking his father, 
and he has liberally besmirched the memory of that 
individual ; Mr. Shaw has told us that he has reasons 
for putting spokes in the wheel of Great Britain, and 
he has liberally besmirched this country. I am not 
seeking to indict Mr. Shaw upon that account ; that 
is a matter that he must settle with his conscience, his 
God, and the police. If they are satisfied, it is no 
affair of any one else. 

But the fact remains that England's attitude at the 
outbreak of the present war was one of absolute cor- 
rectness. There was the Treaty of Guarantee for 
Belgium, and Great Britain observed it. Great Britain 
could not have observed it without having previously 
had some military conversations with the Belgian 
Staff. Great Britain could not have landed 200,000 
oxen in Belgium without some conversations passing 
between the State officials of the two countries. As 
for the object which inspired those who originally 
framed the treaty we cannot know what those objects 
were. It is obviously true that it would be disagree- 
able for Great Britain to have Netherland ports in 
the hands of a Power that might invade her, and 
very likely the motives of those who originally framed 
the Treaty were to avoid danger to Great Britain. I 
cannot see that this is a crime, or even that it is 
unworthy. Moreover, the representatives of the other 
signatories to the treaty were fully aware that it 
would be inconvenient for Great Britain to let the 
ports of Belgium be in the hands of a Power capable 
of invading Great Britain, and, being fully acquainted 
with that fact, those Powers set their signatures to the 


Treaty. It is not as if the representative of Great 
Britain in 1839 had put his hand over the map and 
had thus concealed the fact that Antwerp and Ostend 
were a few hours' saihng from the British coast. 
Moreover, the German guarantee of the existing 
Treaty was renewed as late as April 29th, 1913.^ Great 
Britain, in fact, had certain advantages from the 
Treaty ; had enjoyed these advantages with the 
consent of the Powers of Europe, and was enjoying them 
on August 3rd, 1914. And it is to be remembered 
that not only England, but France and Germany her- 
self enjoyed the benefit of Belgium's being a neutral 
State. Mr. Shaw and his colleagues talk of Great 
Britain's hypocrisy in this matter as if Great Britain 
alone enjoyed any benefit. But, had Belgium not 
been neutral during the last sixty-five years, Germany 
would have needed to support an immense chain of 
forts all along the Belgian frontier so as to counteract 
the possibility of invasion by Belgians in alliance with 
the French or the British, or both, and France would 
have had to maintain similar defences all along its 
Belgian frontier in order to minimise the danger of 
invasion by Belgians in alliance with the Germans or 
British. And both France and Germany had already 
benefited by neutral States upon their borders in war- 
time — the French in 1871 benefited by the fact that 
the Belgians prevented the passage of German troops 
through Belgian territory, and the Germans benefited 
by the fact of the disarmament of a whole French 
Army that, in 1871, was driven across the Swiss border. 

1 The debate in the Budget Committee of the Reichstag 
on that date is reported in the Belgian Grey Book (English 
Edition), No. 12, p. 12. The " Deutscher Geschichtskalender " 
does not give reports of speeches in Committee. 


It is, to me, the most singular example of the 
lengths to which party politics will drive otherwise 
clear-sighted individuals, that the Peace Party of this 
country should decry the principle of guaranteed and 
neutral States. Whatever may be the immediate 
difficulties in the way, it seems to me that the ultimate 
and final peace of Europe can only arise from a Rhenish 
Confederation, and that peace could only be the more 
final if the integrity of that Confederation were 
guaranteed by the rest of the world. Guarantees are 
not everything, but they are worth a great deal, and 
will be worth a great deal more if Prussia's breach of 
the neutrality of Belgium leads to the downfall of 
Prussia. From that day onwards almost any Great 
Power would hesitate for long before it crossed a 
neutral border. 

That is why I do attach a great deal of importance 
to the fact of the correctness of attitude of Great 
Britain in regard to the inviolability of Belgium. It 
is disagreeable to write praise of one's own side : so 
I was taught at school, and so to-day I feel. So that, 
instead of writing glowing panegyrics of this country, 
I limit myself to a constatation of the facts as coldly 
stated as I can manage. And the fact does remain, 
more important and more weighty than any other 
fact of fife — that if Prussia's downfall comes because 
Prussia violated the neutrality of Belgium, any other 
militarist State that may arise in Europe will hesitate 
long before doing the like, through all the centuries 
to come. 

From the muddle of comparative moralities in 
which the Prussian and pro-Prussian apologists have 
involved this question one would be driven to think 
that it was Great Britain alone that had benefited 


from the neutrality of Belgium ; that Great Britain 
has obtained these benefits in some underhand manner, 
and that, in supporting Belgium in August 1914, 
Great Britain was continuing in secret to obtain 
benefits of which the rest of the world was ignorant. 

This is sheer nonsense. The only thing that can 
be said, the only thing that stands out is that the 
attitude of Great Britain was absolutely correct. For 
sixty-five years — from 1839 to 191 1 — Great Britain 
had been advantaged by the neutrality of Belgium ; 
on August 3rd, 1914, Great Britain decided to pay for 
the benefits she had received, the occasion for the 
payment having arisen. As far as I can understand 
moral problems, no possible blame can attach to Great 
Britain for this fact. I do not know that any con- 
siderable praise can be bestowed upon her. I do not 
know that any particular praise attaches to me be- 
cause I pay my butcher's bill when it is asked for. 
It is a commonplace of life, such as usually passes 
without comment. 

The detractors of this country continue their argu- 
ment as follows : by defending Belgium, Great Britain 
will continue to obtain the profit of having the Nether- 
land ports in the hands of a Power that cannot invade 
Great Britain, and, in case Belgium profits by the 
defence, Great Britain will probably share some of those 
profits. That may be true, or may be false, but I 
cannot see that any change is thus brought about in 
the moral aspect of the position. If Great Britain 
claimed enormous praise for her support of Belgium, 
those people who object to praising other people might 
then object that Great Britain was obtaining advan- 
tage. But, as far as I know. Great Britain has claimed 
no exaggerated praise. She has discharged a debt of 


honour — so do many millions of men every day in the 
year. It is not an occasion for rhetoric, nor is it an 
occasion for any fine writing. We may write of it as 
composedly as we should of transactions between a 
livery-stable man and a corn-chandler. Supposing I 
were a corn-chandler and I saw a chance of consider- 
ably increasing my business if I could get in consider- 
able sums of money owing to me by a livery-stable 
man, and supposing, at the same time, that when I have 
increased my business I shall be able to put a con- 
siderable amount of extra work in the way of the 
livery-stable man, am I to expect to hear the livery- 
stable man say when I present my bill: "No, my 
friend, to pay you would be an act of hypocrisy, 
because, by increasing your business, I might possibly 
increase my own ' ' ? 

. I hope my readers will bear these arguments in 
mind when next they are confronted by one of those 
gentlemen who say cunningly that we are only sup- 
porting Belgium because it pays us to do so. As a 
matter of fact, we are supporting Belgium ; but 
whether it can pay us to do so is a matter a very long 
way from solution. 

In any case, the fact that Great Britain did support 
Belgium is a matter for congratulation to the whole 
world, since it is the final and immense instance of 
correctness of attitude. This, I repeat, is the most 
important of the virtues. For myself and such men 
as be of good-will, I do not ask more from the men 
that surround us than that they shall have a stan- 
dard and shall adhere to it. Given that, life will run 
smoothly in all such affairs as are suited for the smooth 
running of life. We shall know where we stand, and, 
although the fellow-beings with whom we have con- 


tacts may be limited in their benefactions to ourselves, 
they will at least not fail us in such things as we have 
a right to expect of them. Given as much as that, we 
shall not need pity, sympathy, generosity, or com- 
prehension on the earth. 

Or let us get the earth keyed up to at least that 
standard. It would be better if the world could be 
full of heroes, of poets, and of saints, but we have 
a long way to go before we achieve so much as a 
population even of poets and thinkers. I think that 
that is really why I have written this book — not to 
claim any great and special virtues for my country, 
but simply to point out that a country — some country, 
any one country — has been capable in very difficult 
times of no more than correctness of attitude. This 
is, believe me, a great step forward in the history of 

By the grace of God we are now fighting on the 
side of the French. Had I had my own way, being 
impulsive, visionary, or what you will, we should have 
been fighting on the side of the French long ago. 
Long ago we should have been marching side by side 
through the streets of Berlin. But perhaps destiny 
is more beneficent, is wiser and is kinder. More 
generous and splendid sentiments in our rulers might 
have precipitated us into earUer combats in a cause 
more fine. But perhaps the ultimate fineness may 
just be the finer because we have assumed the com- 
paratively humble role of mere correctitude. 

And with that I will leave these matters. There is, 
I think, no need to point any further morals with 
regard to Germany. That the attitude of Germany, 
the civilisation of Germany, is that of the schoolboy 
who has broken loose from all rules is evident enough. 


For a century or so we have gone somnolently through 
life under the impression that the nations of the 
world were adult and had certain codes. We may 
put it down, if we like, to nothing more than climate. 
Prussia, we may say, has not a climate capable of 
supporting a non-predatory human race. We may 
put it down, if you like, to position. Over-sea trade is 
a necessity to support a nation in ease, culture, and 
leisure. Prussia has no sea-board. We may put it 
down, if you like, to education. The province of 
education is so to mould a man that, out of such 
materials as are at his easy disposal, he may lead a 
life of some industry, of some intellect, of some ele- 
gance, of some poetry, of some consideration for and 
some co-operation with his neighbours. The province 
of Prussian education has been to teach the Germans 
that the ideal man is a millionaire like a pig living in 
a vast and gilded hotel. 



And at the last let us consider in this year of the 
hundredth anniversary of Waterloo how we may best 
repay some of the debts that humanity owes to the 
country of the HHes. For, whether it be from Frois- 
sart or from Fontenelle, or from Flaubert, or from 
Jacques Anatole Thibaut, known as Anatole France, 
humanity, and more particularly the humanity of 
these islands, has nothing but indebtedness to France 
to show. And that we are allied to these wonderful 
peoples, the men of the Midi, the men of the Middle 
and of the Northern' departments — that alone should 
make us be glad of the days we hve in ; that England 
should be at last the ally of France is the greatest 
privilege ever afforded by destiny to the descendants 
of Hengist and Horsa, or to the descendants of those 
barons who asserted their rights and privileges on the 
island of Runnymede. For in the whole world it is 
only France that incontestably matters. A word here 
and there may be said for other countries ; the Irish 
have had many grievances and have expressed them 
in vague and frequently alluring dialects ; the Scotch, 
by hanging together, have achieved entrance into, and 
ascendency over many Cabinets, town councils, and 
municipal bodies which have contracts to give ; the 
13 193 


Germans have made many researches into original 
documents ; the English — well, we have always been 
complacent enough. Italy, too, had its day ; there 
was once a great Muhamadan civilisation ; but it is 
only France that, since France was France, has always 
been the second home for every man not a Frenchman. 
This has been the case because of the honour, of the 
self-sacrifice, of the probity, and of the industry of 
the French people. Do you know why it is that 
every woman in the world, if she has the chance, gets 
her hats from Paris ? No doubt it is partly a matter 
of fashion, or of the French genius for design ; but 
these things change and are greater or less in degree. 
There is, however, one unvarying factor — the fact 
that only in Paris are feathers and trimmings so 
securely and inteUigently sewn into a hat that that 
hat after five hours' wear or after two months' wear 
will have exactly the same line and the same aspect 
that it had when it left the stand in the hatmaker's 
ateher. That is France, and that is why France is 
really wonderful. 

For it means that when a leader of men arises in 
France he will find men — and that can be said of no 
other country, not even of this country, which, Dei 
gratia, stands nearest to France. Those little, extra 
drawings tight of the strong thread that keeps the 
feathers and the trimmings in their places are the 
symbols of all the greatness and all the beauty that 
France has given to the world — are the symbols of 
the spirit of Joan of Arc, of the Cathedral of Amiens, 
and of the city of Carcassonne. They are the symbols 
of free and proud human beings giving attention to 
detail because honour demands that this attention 
shall be given. This love of " finish " made France 


great at Waterloo in the minor matter of war- 
fare, and makes France still great on the Argonne 
to-day when warfare has become relatively of even 
less importance. The care with which a parcel is 
done up in one of the large bazaars of the street run- 
ning along the quays in Boulogne ; the care with 
which an omelette, a salad, and a slice of ham will 
be served up to you in any roadside inn near Beau- 
vais ; the care with which a long-haired person dressed 
like a rapin will turn out a little fragment of vers 
libre on the south bank of the Seine ; the care with 
which the jeweller in the Rue de la Paix will set 
minute diamonds into the engine-turning of the case 
of a tiny watch ; the care with which beneath his 
immense screens of cypress and of yew the Provengal 
cultivator of first-fruits will set his seeds into the 
ground ; the care with which on the quays in Mar- 
seilles the cook will apportion the exact ingredients of 
his bouillabaisse — all these things are symbols of and in 
exact apostolic succession from the little bas-reliefs of 
David and Goliath, that are as exactly proportioned, 
as decorative, and as impressionist as any Japanese 
work, on the portals of the Cathedral of St. Gilles on 
the borders of the Camargue, near Aigues-Mortes. 
And all these things, again, are symbols of and in 
exact apostolic succession from, the proud boast of 
Joan of Arc before her judges, that, when it came to 
the use of needle and thread, she feared comparison 
with no woman in all her district of France. 


The fact is that, with^ all these littlenesses of finish, 
the French people, the French men and women, keep 


themselves singularly in contact with the realities of 
life. They know, extraordinarily and beyond the 
knowledge of most people, which things are real and 
which delusions. Beside such a Frenchman the aver- 
age Englishman is a sentimental and impracticable 
dreamer ; the German is a loud-mouthed and boastful 
romanticist. The exact causes of these international 
phenomena are difficult enough to descry. Why is 
it, for instance, that almost any fat Frenchman that 
you sit next to in a cafe of a public square in the city 
of Lyons will have a pretty exact knowledge of the 
values of life, whereas no Englishman from Berwick 
Bridge to Ky nance Cove has ever yet given any atten- 
tion to this important subject ? Hundreds of years 
ago the French peasant evolved from Hfe the immense 
lesson that " la vie, voyez-vous, n'est jamais si bonne ni 
si mauvaise que Ton ne croit." And that great truth, 
along with the doctrine of chances which is also of 
French evolution, has had an immense influence on the 
moulding of French character. The highest and most 
subtle Enghsh leader of thought has never, within his- 
toric times, got much beyond the practical philosophy 
of Piers Plowman, who considered that in this world 
there were fortunate lives and unfortunate lives, and 
that in the end we should come before the final court 
where the poor shall dare to plead. In England, that 
is to say, we still see life as a matter of careers, black 
and white, and we are apt to consider our careers 
so much that we neglect frequently the daily tasks 
by which those careers are created and directed. In 
France, on the other hand, by the great bulk of the 
people life is accepted as a grey, or at best a piebald, 
matter. In consequence, in the great bulk of the 
French people there is very Httle restlessness. The 


farmer remains upon his acres ; the sabotier goes on 
turning out sabots ; the cantonnier is content to 
remain tending his little patch on the main road, and 
these men put their hope of glory in that curious, 
vague, and very definite thing they call I'honneur. 
That form of honour has about it little of the English- 
man's commonplace picturesqueness. It has nothing 
to do with always teUing the truth, with taking a cold 
bath every morning, or with asserting one's rights. 
It can subsist side by side with avarice, with mean- 
ness, with personal dilapidation, and with want of 
cleanliness. It can endure the oppressions of very 
bad forms of government ; nevertheless, without it 
the individual would die. For it is the honour of the 
metier, allied in some respect to the honour of the 
German super-man, and yet differing essentially, 
inasmuch as it is always a matter of personal discipline 
and of traditions. The sabotier may have the mean- 
nesses of the sabotier, and his want of personal cleanU- 
ness, but he must not have more than is in the 
tradition. He is, as it were, a member of the Honour- 
able Company of his craft, and he must keep up at 
once the traditions of his craftsmanship and the 
tradition of those craftsmen as members of society. 
It is because of that tenacious, rather than stern sense 
of rhonneur that France, in spite of the worst of 
Governments, retains always, or recovers miraculously 
soon, her equilibrium. From the point of view of 
militarist, of politico-economic efficiency, the Second 
Empire was about as bad a form of government as 
could be imagined. " L'empire c'etait la paix." It 
was the dominion of a dreamer who permitted much 
dancing, who saw war spectacularly and romantically, 
who built castles in the air which included a gigantic 


Latin Union the world over. I have always liked the 
Second Empire and the Third Napoleon. But cer- 
tainly his was the worst form of government for a world 
that included Bismarck, Von Moltke, Von Roon, Von 
Treitschke, and those other formidable savages. 
Nevertheless, so little had this bad form of government 
affected the French people that France's recuperation 
after 1870 remains one of the national marvels of the 
world. I have heard it said that various ministries 
of the Third Republic have been unsatisfactory. I 
dare say they have been ; I dare say they haven't 
been ; as a Roman Catholic, I am not inclined to like 
an organisation that has produced MM. Combes, Cail- 
laux, Cruppi, and the other persecutors of the Church. 
But, whether the Third Republic have been corrupt or 
immaculate, the daily papers of the first week in May 
presented us with the remarkable diagram in black 
lines showing that on the Continent the British troops 
held relatively a little bit of line about as large as a 
black postage stamp and the French a great expanse 
figured by about a yard of black tape. That is France, 
in spite of all Governments, with her traditions of 
the little milliners who sew feathers into hats, and of 
the saint of Domremy who, when it came to her 
needle, feared no woman in France. That is the pro- 
duct of the farmers and the sabotiers and the can- 
tonniers, each with his quelques sous in a stocking up 
the chimney ; each sober, hard-working, without 
many illusions as to life, tenacious of the honour of 
his craftsmanship, of his village, of his arrondissement, 
of his Midi, or of his Nord, and able to say : ' ' Les 
sabotiers, ce sont des bons enfants," or " Qui est-ce 
qu'il y a de plus heureux que les cantonniers ? " And 
behind all these men, these villages, these arrondisse- 


ments, these departments, this Nord and this Midi, 
sober, patient, and with no great illusions of any 
kind, there remains, uniting them all — France. 


" Pendant un demi-siecle, les bourgeoises de Pont-» 
I'Eveque envierent a Mme. Aubain sa servante Fili- 

This simple sentence is the beginning of the story 
which, at this moment, is of most significance to the 
world. It means that for fifty years the middle-class 
housewives of Pont-l'Eveque envied Mme. Aubain her 
servant Felicite. Nevertheless, exactly and rightly 
to translate that simple sentence is a task of almost 
unheard-of difficulty. Let us consider for a moment 
these verbal exactitudes. Let us take the words 
"Pendant un demi-siecle." If we say "During half 
a century," the words have not a quite English sound. 
If we say " For fifty years," the period is too exact in 
appearance. It would give the suggestion that Mme. 
Aubain was about to celebrate a golden jubilee. And 
the opening words of a story are of immense impor- 
tance because they strike a note in the reader's mind, 
so that if we start the reader anticipating the celebra- 
tion of a golden jubilee, and if no such celebration take 
place, the reader's mind will be a little confused. 
In the French the sentence suggests no event of any 
kind, not so much as the shadow of an event. The 
clear, cold sentence, with its cadence just sufficiently 
long to leave the reader wishing for the next syllables, 
dictatorially limits the mind to the consideration, 
firstly, of Mme. Aubain, and then, by the careful 
reservation of the servant's name to the last words. 


indicates with absolute precision that the main interest 
of the story will be the servant Felicite. The use of 
the word bourgeoises indicates that Pont-l'Eveque is 
a town, or a large village, of sufficient importance to 
contain several families in fairly comfortable circum- 
stances. The note thus exactly struck in the reader's 
mind amounts to this : that the story will concern 
itself with an affair lasting fifty years, that the affair 
will not contain any memorable events, and that it 
will centre round the life of a faithful servant — for 
Felicite was for fifty years in the service of her mis- 
tress and the other housewives of the place envied 
Mme. Aubain. 

We must therefore not commence our rendering by 
saying ' * For fifty years. ' ' On the other hand, ' ' During 
half a century " is not quite right. I do not know why 
it is not quite right — I fancy that the word ' ' during ' ' 
rather imphes sequences of similar or dissimilar but 
not continuous actions spread over a given period. 
I think we should be using correct English — correct 
idiomatic English — if we said ' * During the next two 
centuries the Danes made repeated attempts to break 
the power of the Heptarchy " ; but I think we should 
have to say " For the last twenty-five years" — or, if 
we wanted to be more literary — " For the last quarter 
of a century Admiral von Tirpitz was, or has been, 
unceasingly engaged in the long effort to raise a 
High Seas Fleet for the German Empire." 

Thus, in the case of Felicite we might say that for 
half a century the housewives, etc. On the other 
hand, "For half a century," is too literary a phrase 
to satisfy an absolutely delicate ear. Personally, if I 
were writing the story on these lines I should begin 
with an exact statement of the number of years. 


softening off the exactness with the qualificative " more 
than." " For more than thirty-seven years/' I should 
say, and I think I should arrive at about the sense of 
Flaubert's phrase. I am not, of course, suggesting 
that Flaubert is at fault in the matter. " Pendant un 
demi-siecle" is a phrase in general use amongst 
simple people in France to imply a long period — any- 
thing between thirty-seven and fifty years. Similarly 
with the word enviirent. 

In English we should probably have to translate 
this : " Envied her her servant," and the phrase might 
possibly serve the turn. Nevertheless, some trace of 
the original meaning of the word " envy," which was 
a cardinal sin, still attaches to the dissyllable in cer- 
tain cases. Of course in such a phrase as '* I envy 
So-and-So his good teeth" or " his sound digestion," 
the original sense of the word " envy " has completely 
disappeared. Nevertheless the necessity to use the 
phrase " envied her her servant " is regrettable, though 
I cannot think of any more advantageous synonym. 
In England, I fancy, we are accustomed to associate 
the word ' ' housewives ' ' to some extent with malicious 
gossip, so that the collocation of the words * ' house- 
wife" and '*envy" has a faint flavour of the dis- 
agreeable. In France, when a bourgeoise of Pont- 
I'Eveque met Mme. Aubain in the market-place or 
came once a week to the salle of Mme. Aubain to play 
floral loto she would felicitate Mme. Aubain upon 
Felicite and would really mean what she said. This 
is the precise meaning of the word envierent. 

So that, if I had to translate Un Cceur Simple for 
pubHcation, which God forbid that I should have to 
do, I should work out from the story as nearly as pos- 
sible how many years Felicite was in the service of 


Mme. Aubain, and I should begin : *' For more than 
forty years the housekeepers of Pont-l'Eveque envied 
Mme. Aubain because of her servant Fehcite." I am 
aware of the objections to this rendering. In the 
first place, many reviewers might — and with some 
justice — object to the rendering '* For more than forty 
years," and I do not know whether they would be 
right or whether they would be wrong. Still, I have 
the rather strong feeling that the business of a trans- 
lator is to take over rather the atmosphere than the 
exact wording of the original. For " housewife " it will 
be observed that I have substituted "housekeeper," 
and the word ''housekeeper" generally implies a 
paid upper servant. That I should have to chance. 
I have got to imply that the persons who envied Mme. 
Aubain were in a position to keep servants ; " house- 
wife " is a dangerous word because, in its proper pro- 
nunciation of " hussif," it sounds too like "hussy" 
to go near the word " envied." After the word 
" envied " I have inserted the words " because of," so 
as still further to get away from the implication of 
mortal sin. For it seems to me that if I say : "I 
envy So-and-So his position," that might mean that 
I was attempting to get him out of his job, and to 
obtain it for myself ; whereas, if I say that I envy 
him because of his position, it would at the most imply 
that I should like to have a similar one. 


The reader will say, " What is the use of all this 
fuss about the exact incidence of a few commonplace 
words ? " I can only answer that the exact use of 
words seems to me to be the most important thing in 


the world. We are, in the end, governed so much 
more by words than by deeds. 

And I do stoutly maintain that this very exact 
examination and weighing of French words is of the 
most enormous importance to the inhabitants of these 
islands. It is of enormous importance to us to realise 
that they have in France these faithful servants, these 
market-towns where the housekeepers really go to 
market, these quiet, simple people contented with 
their humble and useful careers. If you will read 
with great care and assimilate with a humble intelli- 
gence — for humility is necessary in approaching the 
study of words, and your mind must be utterly cleared 
of any trace of preconception — if, then, with humility 
and attention you will read the following sentences 
you will know more of France than if you spend 
months and months and months in one of the large 
hotels near the Tuileries Gardens : 

** Un vestibule etroit separait la cuisine de la salle oH 
Mme. Aubain se tenait tout le long du jour, assise pres 
de la croisee dans un fauteuil de paille. Centre le lambris, 
peint en blanc, s'alignaient huit chaises d'acajou. Un 
vieux piano supportait, sous un barometre, un tas pyra- 
midal de boites et de cartons. Deux bergeres de tapisserie 
flanquaient la cheminee en marbre jaune et de style 
Louis XV. La pendule, au milieu, representait un temple 
de Vesta — et tout I'appartement sentait un peu le moisi, 
car le plancher etait plus bas que le jardin." 

You will know, then, something of France, for France 
is "la salle de Mme. Aubain," where she sits day 
after day against the white wainscoting ; there will be 
the eight mahogany chairs, an old piano under a 
barometer ; an arm-chair with a tapestry back will 
be on each side of the yellow marble mantelpiece, 


Louis Quinze in style. The clock in the centre of the 
mantelpiece will represent a temple of Vesta, and all 
the room will smell a little of mould because the floor 
is a little lower than the garden. And when you have 
this picture well before you, you will find that there will 
rise in your mind the reasonably correlated idea that 
there must be thousands and thousands of such houses 
all over France from Alsace to the mouth of the Rhone — 
thousands and thousands of tranquil, useful households, 
where there is a touch of style in the tapestried arm- 
chairs, the yellow marble mantelpiece, Louis Quinze 
in tradition, the clock and barometer — where, in fact, 
life is quite decorous, sober, and more tenacious than 
the life of any other country in the world. Out of 
such small material indeed, and managing life with 
such frugality, these people achieve an existence of 
dignity and common sense. And that should be a 
great lesson to us. 

It is a lesson that we immensely need, and that 
only France can give us. 

Modern life, the modern life of our great cities, has 
got hideously too far from the quiet rooms where sit 
the mothers of the race — the quiet rooms that smell 
faintly of mould because they are a little below the 
level of the garden. And, if these are hideous days, 
with hideous occurrences devastating appalling nights, 
that is very much because the world has got too far 
away from Mme. Aubain and her servant Felicity. It 
is directly because of this. The Germans have devas- 
tated Belgium because every German has been taught 
to desire to be a pig of a millionaire in a vast gilded, 
modern hotel, with central heating and vast base- 
ments, far underground, filled with an army of sweated 


The salvation of the world, if it be to be saved, will 

come from Mme. Aubain and her servant Felicite — 
the moral as much as, or even more than, the military 
salvation. And, for my part, if I could have my 
way, I would introduce a conscription of the French 
language into this country and a conscription of the 
English language into France, so that every soul from 
County Galway to the Alpes Mari times was trans- 
fused with the double civilisation. For it is only 
through language that comprehension and union can 
arise, and it is only by the careful and strained atten- 
tion to the fine shades of language in common use 
that comprehension of language can be reached. And 
it is perhaps only Flaubert who ever paid suificient 
attention even to the French language to reach its 
thorough understanding, and thus to appreciate the 
value to the world of the mind of Felicite, who for 
more than forty years was the servant of Mme. 
Aubain of Pont-l'Eveque. 

The women of Kent say to their daughters, when 
advising them as to matrimonial policies or relations 
with persons of the opposite sex : " You see yon man. 
He comes from Sussex. He sucked in silliness with 
his mother's milk, and he's been silly ever since. But 
never you trust a man from the Sheer es." In that 
way do the Men of Kent acknowledge that the in- 
habitants of Sussex are human beings, or at least not 
foreigners hke the inhabitants of the Shires. In Kent 
it is always a man from the " Sheer es " who is the 
villain of the piece. When Farmer Finn wished to level 
Aldington Knoll — a local sacrilege, since Aldington 


Knoll is watched and tended by the souls of the 
drowned let out of hell for the purpose so that it may 
continue to be a landmark to mariners for ever — 
Farmer Finn had to fetch a man from the " Sheer es " 
to tackle the job. The end of the man from the 
" Sheeres " was a very bad one, and Aldington Knoll 
is there to this day. Sussex, on the other hand, is 
proud of the Anglo-Saxon fact that her emblem is a 
hog and her motto " Wunt be druv." Nevertheless, 
the alliance between the Men of Kent and the Men of 
Sussex is very close. Between Hampshire and Sussex 
there is little contact ; between Sussex and Kent 
there are no boundaries. The Weald melts slowly 
from the one county into the other, and where pre- 
cisely the Romney Marsh and Denge Marsh melt into 
Gulland Marsh and Pett Level I have never been able 
to discover, though I have been along those roads 
countless times since I was eight. But there, at any 
rate, is the homogeneity of the two counties, with the 
curious survivals of primeval laws, Borough English, 
Gavelkind, Tail Female, and the rest. As the famous 
song has it : 

" When Harold was invaded. 
And, falling, lost his crown. 
And Norman William waded 
Through blood to pull him down, 
The counties round, in fear profound. 
To hide their grave condition, 
Their lands to save they homage gave. 
Bold Kent made no submission. 


Then sing in praise of Men of Kent, 
Both loyal, brave and free ; 
If any Briton doth excel 
A Man of Kent is he" — 


which, roared to the accompaniment of Kentish fire, 
has given many men to the " Buffs." And the Buffs 
from time immemorial claim their place in the van- 
guard of the British hosts. 

These things are historic and incontrovertible. 
The Conqueror never did conquer Kent ; the ancient 
laws are alive to this day to testify to it ; therefore 
deny it not. But, all the same, I am inclined to see 
the reason for the pre-eminence of Kent and the 
secondary eminence of Sussex in a certain cosmo- 
politanism. The " Sheeres " are just the " Sheeres " ; 
the battles of Edgehill and Naseby and Tewkesbury 
and Marston Moor were affairs of inland clans rising 
against inland clans. But when Caesar landed near 
Deal ; Agricola at the Portus Lemanis, now known as 
Lympne ; Augustine at Sandwich ; William the Con- 
queror at Pevensey ; when the Dutch Anabaptists 
landed at Rye ; the Huguenots, who still live at 
Canterbury, at Sandwich ; when all the mysterious 
businesses of owling, smuggling, the underground pas- 
sages for Jesuits, Jacobites, refugees, supporters of 
Napoleon, exporters of British gold to the camp at 
Boulogne, and so on took place between the North 
Foreland and Beachy Head — all these things gave 
a certain cosmopolitan flavour to the lives of the 
barons of the Cinque Ports and their uproarious 
descendants. Their names bear witness to it to this 
day : there are the Venesses, the Gassons, the Odinots, 
the Rangsleys, and the Finns, side by side with the 
innumerable Hogbens, the Hucksteps, the Fletchers, 
and the Foords — Venetians, Normans, Huguenots, 
Dutch, and Spanish, all Hving side by side with the 
pure Anglo-Saxons. And, right away up till the time 
of Napoleon, up till the time when, in the 'forties, the 


Rangsley Gang was dispersed, and indeed up till the 
present day, the inhabitants of these coasts were more 
familiar with the streets of Calais, Boulogne, Dieppe, 
and Havre de Grace than with the gold-paved ways 
of London City. All these owlers, coggers, smugglers, 
coiners, protectors of escaping French officers, of 
Jesuits, and of Jacobites made their constant trips 
to those French towns, frisked it with the girls there, 
spoke a passable, maritime French, and no doubt had 
a wife in every port. Indeed, a few years ago I came 
across a party of lookers, waggoners, and waggoners' 
mates from the neighbourhood of Elham who had 
just come back from spending a day and a night in 
Calais, though not one of them had ever spent an 
hour in London town or north of the Med way. 


For me, the finest view in the world is to be had 
from one of those Kentish locahties that I have just 
named. And it is for me the finest view in the world, 
though I have seen the Camargue from Les Baux, the 
Seven Hills from a height in Rome, and the Hudson 
from West Point — because from that place in Kent 
one can best see into France. Nay, in that place one 
may be actually illuminated — physically illuminated 
— from France ; I have really, that is to say, suc- 
ceeded in reading a large-print book, on those shores 
of Kent at night, by the flashes from Grisnez. The 
light-keepers at Dungeness indeed grumbled at the 
superior brilUancy coming from the tower over near 
Etaples, as if it were a boast flung in the teeth of 
Trinity House. 

Once I was breaking a window through the wall of 


a cottage on one of those Kentish flanks that run 
down to Dungeness Bay. I suppose when one is really 
engrossed in a job one does not look up ; and knocking 
a square through plaster, brickwork, and tiles laid on 
to brickwork is a sufficiently engrossing job, though 
one have the handiest of handy men to help one. At 
any rate, it was not until we had well squared out 
the space into which the window-frame would go that 
I stepped back into the room, much as an artist steps 
back from his canvas, to consider what might be the 
view that we had opened up. The room was lowish, 
coolish, and rather dark ; the day was astonishingly 
bright. It was one of those days when the sun diffuses 
an almost painful light from a blue sky that is like 
polished metal, whilst underneath it ran a cruel east 
wind. And suddenly, in a square before the eye hung 
a most astonishing picture — a belt of painfully vivid 
blue, a belt of painfully vivid pink, and above the 
pink another belt of blue. And, in the belt of pink, 
which was formed by the French cliffs, there were 
nacreous markings, for all the world like the little 
ruddled and bluish shadowings of pink mother-of- 
peaxl — they were the Cathedral of Boulogne, the 
houses of Boulogne, and the column that Napoleon I 
erected to commemorate the invasion of Great Britain. 
It was a curious concatenation that the breaking of 
the window should coincide with the so exceedingly 
bright day ; in the thirty years or so precedent to 
that moment — in the thirty years when the aspect of 
the French shore, like a faint, pinkish fragment of 
mother-of-pearl, had been almost the most familiar 
object of my Hfe, I have never seen that view so 
clearly, and I never expect so to see it again. Never- 
theless, times in which France, as it were, seems to 


come into England, are not unchronicled in history. I 

Thus, by what was no doubt the effect of a mirage, \ 

Boulogne was once, in 1873, so plainly visible from ;■ 

Hastings that the people lounging on the quay where i 

the boats came in were quite plainly to be made out I 

by the naked eye ; and if, in those parts of the world, ; 

France sometimes seems to leap forward, in that part ^ 

of the world too Great Britain almost hterally seems \ 

to stretch out her hands to France ; since, by the \ 

constant accretion of pebbles which are borne east- \ 

ward from Kynance Cove and Chesil Beach, Dunge- j 

ness Point moves out to sea and towards France at j 

exactly the rate of a yard per year. A year or two 1 

ago this process seemed to be slow enough — this j 

rapprochement between France and England. But I 

we have one thing to thank the Prussians for — by ' 

their crime on August 3rd, 1914, this slow creeping ! 

near of a yard by the year has suddenly increased j 

itself so that the two nations, by a happy force of j 

circumstance, have been flung into each other's arms, l 

I once wrote a poem, called it " The Great View,'* • 

and showed it to a brother-novelist or a rival poet who | 

is usually credited with seeing further through a j 
millstone than most of us who are of more common 

clay. The poem begins : 



" Up here where the air's very clear i 

And the hills slope away right down to the bay. 

It is very like heaven ; .; 

For the sea's wine-purple and lies half -asleep j 

In the sickle of the shore. ..." r 

and so on. I was, in short, describing the view I 1 
have just been trying to recapture. And, as far as I i 
can remember, the poem ended : j 


" Like a cloud shell-pink, like the ear of a girl, 
Like Venice glass mirroring mother-of-pearl ; " 

and then, after a line so literary that my pen blushes 
to set it down : 

"Where the skies drink the sea and the last light lies and 
There is France." 

My friend read the poem with an air of scrupulous 
and demanded attention, came to the end of it, and 
paused in a quite painful embarrassment. Then he 
said that he didn't see the point of it. He couldn't 
understand (a) why the lines should be so irregular, 
and (6) why one should exhibit so much emotion merely 
because one was seeing France. I wonder whether 
to-day he understands. 

At any rate, to me the sight of France always pro- 
duces a state of intense emotion — always has and 
always will. I remember when I was a quite small 
boy at school at Folkestone there were tremendous 
red sunsets, connected with the eruption of Krakatoa, 
I think. To walk along the Leas in the evening was 
Hke walking up against an orange wall. Not only 
the sky was orange, but the sea, the house-fronts, and 
the very beach-paths upon which one walked. Never- 
theless, subdividing this flat pressure of colour there 
would be a long, dusky purple streak, from the one 
end of which there came at first a pinprick, and then 
a great blaze, and then a pinprick and then again 
another great blaze of light as Grisnez swung on its 
axis. That, again, was France. 

And, indeed, for me that strip of colour, set mid- 
way in the skies, always suggests a fragment of the 


rind of a pomegranate. If I could tear it away ; if 
I could come in behind it, there, beneath my eyes, 
closely packed as the pomegranate grains lie side by 
side, would be all the glories of France. They would 
begin with a little chap, wearing red worsted breeches, 
a blue coat with brass buttons, and a flapped cap, 
standing with fixed bayonet at the head of the quay, 
and they would go on right down to the terrace at 
Avignon, from which one looks out to see the great 
stretches and long sand-banks of the Rhone and the 
immense peak of the Mont Ventoux, with the observa- 
tory up amongst its snows. And when we had done 
gazing at that view we should return to the cafe in 
the Place de la Mairie and should drink very weak 
and tepid beer in the shadows of the Palace of the 
Popes. And, broken in half, across the great stream 
would stand the bridge of Avignon, where, as you 
know, " tout le monde danse en rond," and which, 
as you know, was erected owing to the miraculous 
stone-lifting feats of a little boy, who, because he so 
encouraged the disheartened bridge-builders, was 
afterwards canonised. 


I do not know whether you have ever watched a 
colony of lizards living upon a perpendicular, rough, 
white wall, over-topping which there will be three 
enormous stone-pines, pouring over which there will 
be branches bearing thickly young peach-blossoms, 
and behind the peach-blossoms the bright green 
shutters, the very white walls, and the very red peaked 
roof of a very little chateau de campagne. And over the 
whole there will be the absolutely translucent, hya- 


cinthine bowl of the sky ; and, absolutely occupying 
every possible attention of the ear, there will be the 
sounds of the great mistral. 

The mistral is a wind more tremendous, and more 
overwhelming, a wind more endowed with personality 
than any other wind in the globe. We say a north- 
west wind ; we say a north-easter ; but the mistral is 
always the mistral, constant in its effects and direc- 
tions, enormous in its achievements, making hfe pos- 
sible by its results, since to face it is like having wine 
forced into your limbs by a nine-million horse-power 
hose. The sirocco is a parched nuisance ; the fohn 
a miasmic breath from an open oven ; the mistral is 
pain, exhilaration, and the vastest concert of wind- 
instruments in the world. In its voice as it rushes a 
hundred feet above the earth there is the scream from 
the dark-green tops of the stone-pines, and the wild 
creaking of the bright red limbs ; twenty feet below 
that is the steady, enormous roar from the gigantic 
primeval plane-trees; twenty feet below that the 
settled hiss through the dark leaves of the holm-oaks ; 
and, crepitating perpetually in millions and millions 
of little sounds, the beat of leaf upon leaf in the gardens 
of olives. The emblem indeed of the proud city of 
Avignon is a mediaeval head with wild hair blown 
straight back from the forehead and face, since Avig- 
non is the city of the mistral. Nevertheless, in this 
immense, steady tumult, upon the perpendicular 
white wall the lizards, in the absolute tranquillity and 
sunlight of the hollowed-out and sunken ways, pursue 
their domesticities. 

If you are of a contemplative disposition, or if you 
find a sheltered spot in a sunken way, and treasure it 
up as a place where you may have the full warmth 


of the sun and shelter from the mistral ; and if in this 
place you will stop still for quite a time you will per- 
ceive the lizard in his domestic aspect. The whole 
colony of him will creep out of the blue shadows and 
tiny crannies ; in the immensely bright sunlight, on 
the dead white of the wall, there will be nothing of 
brightness about him and no metallic lights ; he will 
be dusty-grey, like the under-side of the leaves on the 
trees in the gardens of olives. He will be, as it were, 
in his smoking-cap and slippers, having put off the 
shining armour of the full-dress parade ; or perhaps 
the greyness is only his fatigue-uniform ; he will be 
going about his work, the work which renders him a 
benefactor to the world — his employment which con- 
sists, if not in " swotting," then at least in consuming 
— flies. In the particular place which I have in mind 
I have counted ninety-two lizards on a very small 
piece of wall, and, going there day after day to get 
out of the wind, we became extremely familiar with 
that family. There was the very large old gentleman, 
without a tail, and extremely grotesque because he 
hadn't got a tail. There was the young lady with 
only one eye. Nevertheless, her other eye with its 
golden rim could express extreme satisfaction when- 
ever a large fly was — no doubt agreeably — agitating 
various regions of her gentle interior ; there was the 
little lizard with the large white patch on the place 
where it would sit down, if lizards ever do sit down. 
And there were the eighty-nine other members of 
the family. There, hour in and hour out, suspended 
on the perpendicular white surface, they would hang, 
grey and protectively resembling the crannies of the 
wall itself ; drinking in, too, no doubt, the wonderful 
sunlight of Provence. 



If we went a little farther, round the corner, we 
should see what we took to be the white cascade, nine 
or ten miles away, but very clear in the clear atmo- 
sphere. Myriads of little sunken paths amidst the 
immense tufts of rosemary, between the sad grey 
trunks of those trees that witnessed the agony of a 
God — the myriads of little sunken, stony paths all 
lead upwards to the little hills of grey, bare stone. 
Here once pastured the " chevre de M. Seguin — la cabro 
de moussu Seguin qui se battegue touto le neui eme lou 
loup e piei lou matin lou loup la mange" — that little 
goat of M. Seguin, who fought all night against the wolf, 
and then in the morning the wolf ate her. For in the 
little, old Alpilles with their tufts of rosemary, wild 
lavender, and wild thyme, which the truant goats too 
much love, there are still wolves that come out when 
the cold shadows fall. But up on the great bare ex- 
panse of stone, suddenly and surprisingly, there rises 
the Roman triumphal arch which undoubtedly com- 
memorates the victory of Caius Marius over the bar- 
barians ; and the other great Roman monument which 
the peasants in the field around, with that truer know- 
ledge of inspired truth than is possessed by all us 
archaeologians, will tell you was set up to commemorate 
the wedding-day of the said Caius Marius and St. Mary 
Magdalene. At any rate, from this great Roman 
Campus Martins, set on the bare sides of the most 
beautiful hills in the world, once more we could always 
see, clearly defined, that white cascade. But if we 
ask the peasants ploughing between the olive-trees or 
the stone-masons squaring out the great blocks that 
they got from the thirty-miles of subterranean quarries 
left by the Romans, they would never tell us what 
that white cascade was. Yet it was striking enough. 


Nine or ten miles away, against the light-grey of that 
range of stone hills, it seemed to stand out perfectly 
white, quite clear, and rather square. And, down in 
the town where the planes go all round the ramparts 
and where there are little cafes and several old churches, 
and, no doubt less of the superstition that will not let 
the peasants mention the works of the good people 
— down in the town they would say, " C'est quelque 
chose — quelque chateau." And after persistent 
questioning — for I don't know whether the towns- 
people were simply indifferent to that particular glory 
of France or whether they also disliked talking about 
it — we elicited the definite statement that it was the 
Chateau d'Amour. You understand it was really and 
truly the authentic Chateau d'Amour — the castle 
where the Courts of Love were held. For myself it 
has a particular memory because — and this the true 
truth, not a fairy-tale! — there I caught the scorpion 
that for many months I cherished in my bosom only 
to see it die, at a congress of historians, at sight of 
Professor Oncken. 


When I was a boy I was familiar with, though I 
never really liked, an historical character called 
Brennus. Brennus, you will remember, was respon- 
sible for various breaches of neutrality, and eventu- 
ally invested the city of Rome. From that city he 
demanded ransom. The ransom being agreed upon, 
and the gold weighed out in the scales, Brennus cast 
his sword into the scale and insisted on having its 
weight made up in gold. When the equivalents of 
the representatives of the Hague Conference of that 


day objected that this was not cricket, Brennus repHed 
that that might well be so, but that it was at least 
the Brennic equivalent for pretty Fanny's ways. It 
was, as you might say, " Fanny's First Play " of the 

Now Pan-Germanists will tell you that, because he 
was fair and had a moustache that stood straight up 
at two ends, King Brennus was the founder of the 
House of Brandenburg, and the sword of Brennus, they 
will say, was that shining sword of their ancestors 
which to-day they have once more unsheathed. At 
any rate, that tradition has gone on sounding down 
the ages, and mightily inspired Count Bismarck in his 
arguments with M. Thiers before the walls of Paris. 
Indeed, if you will read Count Bismarck's account of 
his interviews with that statesman you will at once 
recognise what I will take the liberty of calling the 
Brennus ''touch" just as you will, if you read the 
German diplomatic correspondence with the Grand- 
duchess of Luxemburg in August 1914. Personally, 
if a sense of unworthiness forbids my saying that I 
am on the side of the angels, I can firmly inscribe 
myself on the side of Caius Marius, his wife Mary Mag- 
dalene, and the occupants of the Chateau d'Amour. 
Being exactly midway between the immense castle of 
Les Baux and the cities of Avignon and Aries, the 
Chateau d'Amour was the most convenient meeting- 
place for those knights and ladies of those times and 
climes who delighted to discuss problems set to them 
by the gentle goddess. They would spend a whole 
summer afternoon seated in rows in a little amphi- 
theatre that is still discernible, discussing such points 
as (a) if a lady had a lover, was it not her duty, in 
true loyalty to him, to take a second lover so as to 


discover whether or no the first were the true perfec- 
tion of perfection ? or (b) if a gentleman's wife ex- 
pired, and immediately the soul of another lady 
entered her body, would the knight be unfaithful to 
his first wife if he continued to live with the recon- 
stituted personality ? These knights and ladies estab- 
lished between them what remains the most valuable 
tradition in the whole world — the tradition of chivalry. 
Bertran de Born, who loved too many ladies, and 
Peire Vidal who loved so unprofitably la Louve of 
Las Tours, could not only put up the finest " scraps" 
the world has ever seen — they could fight in the finest 
of spirits. If to-day we are, metaphorically speaking, 
" playing the game," it is due as much as anything 
to Bertran de Born. I do not suppose that the reader 
will remember the story of the siege of the Castle of 

Bertran de Born, with his wonderful but too abusive 
poems, had set against him all the kings of the earth 
and all the nobles of Provence. The King's sons of 
England he had set against their father, and those 
princes he had set against each other — Richard the 
Lionheart, John Without Land, and the Prince who 
had died in Bertran' s arms. So the kings of the 
earth and the King of England and the nobility of 
Provence besieged Bertran de Born in his strong 
Castle of Autaforte. And, because their commissariat 
was sadly defective, Bertran de Born sent them out 
food from his castle, so that between them they might 
make a good fight of it. Eventually they battered 
down his walls with stone shot, took him prisoner, 
and prepared to hang him. Bertran protested that, in 
the first place, the use of shot was contrary to the 
conventions of knightly war ; and that the friends 


whom he had fed had very discourteously pointed out 
a spot in his castle-wall that had not been repaired ; 
and that, contrary to all decency, the allies had 
turned their balls upon this spot. He also remarked 
that he intended to go to Aragon upon his good 
horse, and that there, with his battle-axe, he would 
batter in the skull of the King of Aragon, so that his 
brains, like paste, should run down all over his armour. 
The allies replied that the knights, friends of Bertran 
de Born, who had fed on the bread and beef that he 
had sent out, had had no hand in pointing out the 
weak place of Autaforte, but that, conformably with 
the rules of war and the dictates of humanity, their 
master of artillery had discovered that weak place 
for himself. They also said that Bertran de Born was 
very unlikely to batter in the skull of the King of 
Aragon, since they were going to hang him in ten 
minutes. But Bertran replied to the King of England 
so movingly with tidings of the King's son who had 
died in his arms that the King of England, beneath 
his tent, with the tears running down his face, set 
fr«e the great maker of sirventeses and gave him his 
life, his castle, much gold, and many gentle and pitiful 
compliments. At any rate, one day we penetrated, 
pushing our way through briars and wild olives, into 
the Castle of Love that, for many centuries, no lovers 
had penetrated. In amongst these frowning heights 
we found rubbles of old walls, of Roman pottery, of 
Saracenic glass, and of mosaic-work of the troubadours 
— and the poor scorpion. This engaging, innocuous, 
and affectionate animal survived the voyage to Nice, 
to Marseilles, to Corsica, to Paris, and even the cross- 
ing of the British Channel. But, alas ! I happened 
to take it to that fatal congress, and the historians, 


coming mostly from the east of the Elbe, when they 
heard of the historic origins of its birthplace, were, 
Teutonically, wild to see it. They thought perhaps 
that the real name of Bertran de Born, since he had a 
red beard, was Bernstein von Bornhofen. And after 
one look at the then amiable visage of the Professor I 
have already named (he had ten minutes before come 
from his historic interview with the Lord Chancellor 
at Mr. Humphry Ward's), the poor scorpion up and 
died. Perhaps, coming from the land of the traditions 
of Caius Marius, Mary Magdalene, and the Courts of 
Love, he could not stand that atmosphere vibrating 
with the Brennus ** touch" and the scintillations, as 
it were, from the sword of Brennus, that seemed to 
play about that London drawing-room. 

The reader must pardon me if I thus put the case 
of France — without advocacy of the political rights of 
that great country, but with some little picture of the 
country itself. That is the way I should plead the 
cause of a friend, for that is how the pleasant passages 
of life and the pleasant countries of the world come 
up in the mind — in a picture or so, in some pages of 
a book, in a great view or two, in the remembrance 
of a few kindly people, who, like the sabotiers, " sont 
des bons enfants." 

In a sense this book is all about France — and this 
book has been, I can assure you, no small labour. As 
I have already said, it comes difficultly to me to praise 
my own team, and almost as difficultly to indict the 
other side. Neither the one proceeding nor the other 
are part of the correctness of attitude after which I 
have been taught to seek. Still, the labour had to 
be undertaken ; the picture had to be provided with 
a frame. If it is a very small picture in a very large 


frame the reader again must pardon me : I cannot 
do better work because I am not a better workman. 
Or it would be more true to say that I had not the 
courage to attempt a picture on a larger scale 

Chivalry is the most valuable thing in the world :, I 
have given a little impression of how all the chivalry 
in the world came from France. Fine views and a 
generous climate breed a race that can afford to be 
ginereiix. I have tried to touch in the generous climate 
and the landscapes of bits of France. Faithful service 
is as fine as chivalry — so I have called this Epilogue 
Felicite. If, then, I had had the courage, I should 
have written much more about France. The other 
writing — the polemical — is labour enough : to praise 
one's friend is a labour too ; but it is a labour of love. 
Alas, what one writes with ease and joy in the heart 
is, I am sadly aware, only too frequently read with 
aversion. So I left it at Bertran de Born. 

All chivalry, then, all learning, all the divine things 
of life came from that triangle of the world which 
holds the Chateau d 'Amour, midway between Les 
Baux, Aries, and Avignon. From there they spread 
up the Rhine, across the lie de France ; across the 
Pas de Calais, to the Port of London, to Oxford, to 
Edinburgh, to Dublin, and a little way — but, alas, such 
a little way ! — across the Rhine. The races affected 
by that Romance culture are all one race. That is the 
true truth of history, for all these races see God and 
the great archangels and the little angels of God, with 
much the same vision from much the same angle. 
For races outside that circle, God is Wodin, or Aegir, 
or Sad Necessity. 

I will tell you : I have written that at times some 
of us do not desert distressed friends because we 


read Marryat as boys and did not wish to be the 
rats that deserted a sinking ship. That appeared to 
me to be reason enough why Great Britain should 
have the hegemony where men follow the sea. Then 
add this : Certain of us have had our enemies well 
defeated, and lying, as you might say, ready for the 
coup de grace. We have then let the enemies go. 
That is because the Angevin King of England and the 
King of Aragon and the nobles of Provence spared 
Bertran de Born when he was trussed up and ready 
for the gallows. France had given chivalry to the 

That appears to me to be the imperative reason why 
France should have the hegemony where men plough 
between the olive trunks or labour amongst vines. 
Not all of us are loyal servants, but in the lands of 
this comity there is some loyalty ; not all of us are 
chivalrous, but in the lands of this comity there is 
some chivalry ; not all of us are poets, but in the 
lands of this comity the mouthing of verbiage at least 
does not quite obscure truth. So, if in the world 
from now on, there is to be any of the pleasantness 
that we loved, any of the virtues that we have held 
made men and women gracious, the cause of France, 
which is our cause, must prevail. If it do not, there 
may well be in the world many more machines, many 
more gilded hotels — but assuredly there will be none 
of that civilisation of altruism and chivalry which, 
beginning in that triangle of Provence, has spread 
pleasantness and light upon the minds of men to the 
furthest confines of the earth. 



Let us now consider those apologists for Prussia who base 
their special pleadings upon accounts of the diplomatic 
negotiations between the Central Empires and the rest of 
Europe. Of these the most prominent, and, in a sense, the 
most dangerous, is Mr, George Bernard Shaw. Mr. Shaw is 
prominent because of his great gifts, dangerous because of 
his inconsequentiality. For this reason I have decided to 
deal with his account of the origins of the war by the only 
method possible when one is dealing with a controversialist 
whose arguments have no correlation. I have taken upon 
myself the task of answering Mr. Shaw sentence by sentence, 
and, from the sample of this answer with which he is here 
provided in Appendix B, I think the reader will agree 
with me in the following points. Mr. Shaw has absolutely 
no knowledge of German life or of the German Imperial 

1 (i) Published by the Union of Democratic Control : 
"War, the Offspring of Fear." By Hon. Bertrand Russell. 
"The Origins of the Great War." By H. N. Brailsford. 
" Parliament and Foreign Policy." By Arthur Ponsonby, M.P. 
" Shall this War end German Militarism ? " By Norman Angell. 
"War and the Workers." By J. Ramsay Macdonald, M.P. 
"The Morrow of the War." 

(2) Published by the Independent Labour Party : 

" Belgium and ' the Scrap of Paper.' " By H. N. Brailsford. 

" How the War Came." 

" Persia, Finland, and our Russian Alliance." 

" British Militarism." By C. H. Norman. 

(3) Published by the National Labour Press : 

" Britain and the War : a Study in Diplomacy." By C. H. Norman. 
" Is Britain Blameless ? " By A. Fenner Brockway. 
"The Causes of War." 

15 225 


Administration. Mr, Shaw's acquaintanceship with the 
diplomatic negotiations that preceded the war exhibits no 
trace whatever of his having studied anything more than 
documents connected with, at the most, five weeks before the 
outbreak of hostilities. Mr. Shaw has no settled convictions 
of any kind whatever as to the causes of the war, or as to 
the personalities who were in charge of the negotiations that 
preceded the war. 

I do not wish to say anything with regard to the private 
figure of Mr. Shaw and I do not conceive myself to be at 
liberty to animadvert in the least upon what may be this 
entertaining dramatist's private motives. But I do consider 
myself to be at liberty to point out that Mr. Shaw is a party 
politician like any other party politician. So are the Hon. 
Arthur Ponsonby, M.P., Mr. H. N. Brailsford, Mr. Fenner 
Brockway, and Mr. C. H. Norman. The Union of Democratic 
Control and the Independent Labour Party which publish 
the pro- Prussian pamphlets to which I am referring are party 
organisations, supported like any other party organisations 
by party funds, and Mr. Norman Angell and Mr. Bertrand 
Russell are party writers just like any other party writers. 
They cannot, therefore, lay any claim to indulgence on the 
score of their impartiaUty, and a certain suspicion must there- 
fore a priori attach to the writings of these gentlemen — a 
suspicion that could not attach to the writings of M. Bergson, 
of M. Maeterlinck, of Signor d'Annunzio, of Mr. Henry James, 
or even, lamentable as it is to have to write it, to the utter- 
ances of Professors Eucken, Oncken and Misch, and Herr En- 
gelbrecht. The German writers are imbecile because of moral 
obliquity ; the English writers are suspect because the force 
of party exigencies deprives them, of necessity, of the right to 
claim argumentative clean-handedness. It is very disagreeable 
to me to write that Mr. Brailsford, for instance, is not argu- 
mentatively clean-handed. Mr. Brailsford' s exertions in the 
cause of the pohtical enfranchisement of women have earned 
my very deep respect. Nevertheless, as in the case of Mr. 
Shaw, Mr. Ponsonby, and the others, in the matter of the 
origins of the present war Mr. Brailsford' s hands are not 
clean. The sentences upon which I base this serious allega- 
tion — for I know of no allegation that can possibly be more 


serious — are taken from Mr. Brailsford's pamphlet " Belgium 
and the ' Scrap of Paper,' " pages 8-9, and are as follows : 

(i) "Sir Edward Grey has told us that war at that time, 1906, 
was probable and that he gave France an undertaking to back her 
with armed force." 

The words underlined are a direct lie. 

(2) " We meant to resist a German invasion of Belgium, not neces- 
sarily because we felt any overwhelming moral indignation about 
it, but because we were bound as the ally of France to resist any attack 
aimed at her." 

The words not underlined in this sentence are mere writing. 
If by " we " Mr. Brailsford means the British nation, he has 
no means of judging ; if by " we " Sir Edward Grey, he has 
no means of judging. The words underlined are a direct lie. 

(3) " Secret conversations took place on our initiative between 
our military representatives and the Belgian Staff. The official 
reports of these discussions were found by the Germans when they 
captured Antwerp. The documents were in an envelope marked 
' Conventions Anglo-Beiges.' " 

The word underlined is a forgery. The facsimiles of the 
envelope published by the German Government show that 
the word inscribed there is " Conversations " not " Conven- 

Direct lying and forgery are, I suppose, the ordinary imple- 
ments of party politics, and, in the effort to get Sir Edward 
Grey out of ofhce, Mr, Brailsford is possibly warranted in 
employing the usual weapons of party politics. Personally, 
I think that still more harm is done in the world by loose 
writing and by ascriptions of motives when the writer can 
have no possible evidence as to what may be the motives or 
aims of the individuals whose motives and aims he professes 
to depict. Personally, that is to say, I think the loose writing 
such as that in the two passages that follow does infinitely 
more harm than any number of crimes which are usually 
more seriously regarded. 


(i) " We were coldly contemplating an utterly unnecessary war 
with Germany, waged for no higher end than to assist France in a 
predatory colonial adventure, and we foresaw that this war might 
involve the Belgians in the horrors of invasion." 

Or again. Ibid., p. 2 : 

{2) " The motive which led the German Government into this 
crime against Belgium is not obscure, ... It is possible that the 
Germans may not have foreseen the consequences in detail, for they 
are not an imaginative race. Their object was not to conquer or 
annex Beleium." 

I ask myself in vain how a human being can have written 
the w^ords underlined in these two passages — and I continue 
to ask myself in vain. For we have to consider that Mr. 
Brailsford is here arrogating to himself the claim to know 
the secret processes that went on inside the brain-pans of Sir 
Edward Grey and the permanent officials of the British 
Foreign Office on the one hand and of Herren Bethmann- 
HoUweg, Jagow, and the officials of the Berlin Foreign Office 
on the other. I thought that this sort of writing was limited 
to pamphlets of injured councillors in village council elec- 
tions ; but it does not seem to be so limited. Let me remind 
my reader once more of the canons that I have laid down 
for the historical understanding of current events — that no 
historical controversialist has the right to base an argument 
on anything but direct evidence of fact, and that every person 
who comments controversially on current events of historic 
importance, must, in the face of destiny, who is august and 
avenging, regard himself as, and speak with the sobriety of, 
an historian. 

And the whole methods of Mr. Brailsford' s whole school 
are characterised by the same argumentative dishonesty. I 
dislike belabouring people, and perhaps I have sufficiently 
belaboured the Union of Democratic Control and the Inde- 
pendent Labour Party. Let us, therefore, consider a pubUca- 
tion issued by the National Labour Press and written by 
Mr. C. H. Norman. Mr. Norman's methods of attack are 
precisely similar to those of Mr. Brailsford. His pamphlet 
is called " Britain and the War : a Study in Diplomacy.'' 


Once more, Mr. Norman is obsessed by the idea that there is 
in existence a secret treaty between Sir Edward Grey and 
the French Government. But, unhke Mr. Brailsford, who is 
too skilful to bring his evidence and limits himself to assertion, 
Mr. C. H. Norman not only makes the assertion over and 
over again, but actually produces his evidence. Here are 
Mr. Norman's assertions : 

" Reports emanating from Paris soon began to circulate alleging 
the existence of this document. In February 19 13 Lord Hugh 
Cecil, in the debate on the Address, pointed out : * There is a very 
general belief that this country is under an obligation, not a treaty 
obligation, but an obligation arising out of an assurance given by 
the Ministry in the course of diplomatic negotiations, to send a 
very large armed force out of this country to operate in Europe.' 
Mr. Asquith intervened at once, saying : ' I ought to say that 
it is not true.* How can that denial be reconciled with the con- 
tents of the letter addressed to the Ambassador ? " (pp. 8-9). 

Mr. Norman gives the letter to the Ambassador, but he 
cannot let the matter go without comments of his own. 
Here, then, are letter and comments : 

" In his fatal speech of August 3rd, 19 14, Sir E, Grey read the 
following document, technically known as an aide-memoire, which 
he had written to the French Ambassador in London on Novem- 
ber 22nd, 1912 : ' My dear Ambassador, — From time to time in 
recent years the French and British naval and military experts have 
consulted together. It has always been understood that such 
consultation does not restrict the freedom of either Government to 
decide at any future time whether or not to assist the other by 
armed force. We have agreed that consultation between experts 
is not and ought not to be regarded as an engagement that com- 
mits either Government to action in a contingency that has not 
yet arisen, and may never arise. The disposition, for instance, of 
the French and British Fleets respectively at the present moment 
is not based upon an engagement to co-operate in war. You have, 
however, pointed out that, if either Government had grave reason 
to expect an unprovoked attack by a third Power, it might become 
essential to know whether it could, in that event, depend upon 
the armed assistance of the other.' Then comes the operative 
part, in which was an undertaking of the highest importance : 
* / agree that, if either Government had grave reason to expect an 


unprovoked attack by a third Power, or something that threatened 
the general peace ' (just observe how far-reaching those words might 
become in certain eventualities) ' it should immediately discuss 
with the other whether both Governments should act together to 
prevent aggression, and, if so, what measures they would be pre- 
pared to take in common.' Between two private individuals an 
instrument so worded would be regarded as a contract in terms as 
well as in honour " (p. 8). 

It will be observed that the only obligation contained 
in this aide-mSmoire is an obligation to " discuss " certain 
points. Yet Mr. Norman treats this obligation as being one 
of absolute offensive and defensive alliance — as an absolute 
pledge, that is to say, that Great Britain will declare war if 
France chooses to declare war. On account of this obligation 
to discuss Mr. Norman writes the words : " That answer was 
an untruth " in the case of Mr. Asquith, and he writes the 
words, " That was a most disingenuous and tricky reply " 
as a comment upon Sir Edward Grey's answer of April 28th, 
1 91 4. Sir Edward Grey was then asked : " Whether the 
policy of this country still remained one of freedom from all 
obligations to engage in military operations on the Conti- 
nent ? " He replied : " The position now remains the same 
as was stated by the Prime Minister in answer to a question 
on March 24th, 1913." 

Poor Sir Edward Grey can, in fact, do no right. From the 
quotations which follow the reader will judge that poor Sir 
Edward was incompetent because he had not got an agree- 
ment with Russia, whilst he was also villainous because he 
had, and a liar because he said he hadn't. 

" Sir Edward Grey admitted, in the same speech, that he did 
not know what the outcome of such a bargain might be, because, he 
continued : ' We are not parties to the Franco-Russian Alliance. 
We do not even know the terms of that Alliance.' That is a confession 
of incompetence, because no such letter should have been given to 
the French Ambassador until disclosure had been permitted of the 
obUgations of France towards Russia (p. 8). 

" On June nth, 1914, Mr. Norman continues. Sir Edward Grey 
was asked : ' Whether any naval agreement had been recently 
entered into between Russia and Great Britain, and whether any 
negotiations with a view to a naval agreement have recently 


taken place or are now pending between Russia and Great 
Britain,' The Foreign Secretary dealt with the question in a 
most elaborate and formal manner : ' The Prime Minister replied 
last year to the question of the Hon, Member that if a war arose 
between European Powers there were no unpublished agreements 
which would hamper or restrict the freedom of the Government or of 
Parliament to decide whether or not Great Britain should participate 
in a war. That answer covers both questions on the Paper, It 
remains as true to-day as it was a year ago. No negotiations have 
since been concluded with any Power that would make the state- 
ment less true. No negotiations are in progress, and none are likely 
to be entered upon, as far as I can judge,' All this time Sir 
Edward Grey had in his possession a copy of the letter he had 
himself written to M, Cambon that committed Britain to every 
kind of continental adventure into which Russia might drag 
France, The concluding sentence of this statement of Sir Edward 
Grey, in the circumstances, is a masterpiece of misrepresentation: 
' But if any agreement were to be concluded that made it necessary 
to withdraw or modify the Prime Minister's statement of last year 
which I have quoted, it ought, in my opinion, to he, and I suppose 
it would he, laid he fore Parliament.' That is the mental state of the 
Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, whose appeals to heaven 
and to national honour read a Httle strangely in view of the falsity 
of their representations to Parliament, the custodian of national 
honour. It is a curious commentary upon these repudiations that 
the American Press, on June 20th, 19 14, before the assassination at 
Sarajevo, published a report that a naval convention had been 
signed between Russia and Britain under which, in the case of a 
Russo-German War, Britain would render assistance to Russia by 
naval operations. It is right to add that Sir Edward Grey has 
strenuously contradicted that report ; but the reader must judge 
what value he will attach to contradictions emanating from Sir 
Edward Grey " (pp. 9-10), 

I do not know that any comment of mine upon these 
extracts is needed. In a country town in which I once re- 
sided there lived two butchers, the one called Tomalin, the 
other called Short, Mr. Tomalin, by giving information 
against Mr, Short, secured the conviction of that individual 
for habitually selling putrid meat ; for ever afterwards Mr, 
Short, when any speech of Mr. Tomalin' s was reported to 
him, was in the habit of saying : " Well, you know how 
much you can believe of what Tomalin says." When I read 


those last-quoted words of Mr. Norman, I was irresistibly 
reminded of Mr. Short. And the same words are frequently- 
used by authors of authors, by doctors of doctors, by sohcitors 
of solicitors, by female beauties of female beauties, and by 
the jealous generally. They mean, these words, precisely 
nothing at all. 

And with that I will leave the matter of these pamphlets. 
If the reader is in any doubt as to the justice of the cause of 
the AUies he will perhaps give himself the trouble to read 
the pages devoted to Mr. Shaw's pamphlet in the next Appen- 
dix. I have selected Mr. Shaw for this minute attention 
rather than any other writer because Mr. Shaw, with his 
enormous versatiUty of commonplaceness, employs, in his 
pamphlet, every argument used by every other writer. At 
one moment you will read that the German Emperor is a 
bitterly ill-used sovereign, at the next that he is a spouting 
demoniac of mihtarism ; at one moment Sir Edward Grey 
is an autocrat bestriding a murmuring world, at the next a 
timid and lacrimonious individual in the clutches of the per- 
manent officials of the Foreign Office; at one moment we 
may read that M. Sasonoff, in the negotiations that immedi- 
ately preceded the war, was the only diplomatist who kept 
his head ; at the next it is the officials of Unter- den- Linden 
who alone possessed a clear and resolute policy. There is no 
argument used by any opponent or any supporter of Ger- 
many that Mr. Shaw does not use, and this makes his pamphlet 
not so much worthy of attention as convenient for analysis. 



It is my purpose to comment upon or to answer, sentence 
by sentence, as much of Mr. Shaw's complete writings about 
the present war as I imagine a fairly patient reader can bring 
himself to contemplate. 


" Common Sense about the War," § i, page i, col. i : 

Besides, until Home Rule emerges from its present suspended 
animation, I shall retain my Irish capacity for criticising Eng- 
land with something of the detachment of a foreigner, and perhaps 
with a certain slightly malicious taste for taking the conceit out 
of her. 

It should be remembered that the most pitiful case in the 
world at the present moment is the case of Prussian Poland, 
and, in ably advocating the cause of Prussia, Mr. Shaw is 
advocating, to the measure of his abihties, a very abominable 
oppression. And whilst it is extremely creditable in a des- 
cendant of those Scotch Presbyterians who formed the garri- 
son that Great Britain employed for the oppression of Ireland, 
to wish to atone for some of the religious murders and bri- 
gandage which his ancestors have committed upon the Irish, 
that propitiatory attitude is hardly sufficient excuse for 
advocating a cause which, if it succeeds, must perpetuate 
the rehgious murders and brigandages of Prussia upon the 
territories of Poland, Schleswig-Holstein, and Belgium. 

Whatever may have been the motives of the AlUes in 



undertaking the present war, it can never be sufficiently 
remembered that the success of the AlUes will bring about 
the freeing of a great many subject races. It cannot be 
sufficiently remembered that the oppressions to which these 
races are subjected are very real, very gaUing, and deliber- 
ately aimed at race murder. Whatever the motives of the 
Allies, their cause is the cause of Prussian Poland, of Austrian 
Poland, of Belgium, of subject Italians, Bosnians, Herzego- 
vinians, Croats, Rumanians, and Ruthenians. In perpetuat- 
ing the rule, particularly of the Hungarians over the subject 
races within the borders of that country, the Irish upholder 
of Prussia is riveting a yoke of very real martyrdom upon 
many thousand miserable necks. And whilst that Scotch 
Presbyterian who upholds the cause of oppressed Ireland 
may be a sufficiently gallant individual, that Irishman is a 
very scurvy knave, who, for the mere sake of " taking the 
conceit out of " any person or institution in the world, 
hammers another nail into the iron coffin in which Prussia, 
Austria, and Hungary have encased these poor peoples. 

I do not wish to shirk facing the fact that the Powers 
who make up the Allies have subject to them many races, and 
that several of these subject races are alleged to be cruelly 
ill-treated. And I do not yield to Mr. Shaw in a very genuine 
feeling that a condition of subjecthood of one race to another 
of different faith, traditions, language, and values of Ufe, is 
the most horrible phenomenon in the present world. But 
the victory of the Allies will mean the certain freeing of 
several subject races and will mean that Mr. Shaw, myself, 
and many other men feeling alike, will, through our repre- 
sentatives, and to the measure of the power vouchsafed us, 
at any rate during the congress or the settlement of the 
terms of peace, have a voice in the fate, say, of Poland, or, 
say again, of Egypt, If, on the other hand, the Allies do not 
conquer, those peoples who would otherwise be freed will 
not be freed ; and neither Mr. Shaw nor myself, nor yet any 
single man of good-will towards subject races, will have any 
voice at all in the making of those dispositions. It seems 
to be, therefore, the duty of Mr. Shaw and the sympathisers, 
who are a formidable band, to see to acquiring, during the 
progress of the present war, as much influence as we can ; 



so that, in the end, we may have every possible grain of 
power in the making of those final dispositions — rather than, 
by irritating one or other of the Allied combatant Powers, or, 
by bringing down the cause of the Allies, to ensure the final 
subjection of all the now subject races throughout the world. 


" Common Sense About the War," § i, page i, col. i : 

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

1 have no comments to make. 


"Common Sense about the War," § i, page i, col. i : 

And first, I do not see this war as one which has welded 
Governments and peoples into complete and sympathetic solidarity 
as against the common enemy. I see the people of England 
united in a fierce detestation and defiance of the views and acts 
of Prussian Junkerism. And I see the German people stirred 
to the depths by a similar antipathy to English Junkerism, and 
anger at the apparent treachery and duplicity of the attack made 
on them by us in their extremest peril from France and Russia. 

Sentences II and III of this paragraph flatly contradict 
Sentence I. In any case, it is misreading of psychology to 
say that the English people know anything at all about 
Junkerism. Mr. Shaw himself sets up a fictitious image which 
he labels Junkerism, and dislikes it. But the psychologist 
of a nation goes to work, of necessity, more subtly and must 
take into account many more facts. The Prussian is the 
enemy, as Gambetta put it, for almost every inhabitant of 
these islands, not because of a Junkerism of which, till the 


outbreak of hostilities, they had never heard, but for forty- 
eight milUon shades of reasons and for half a dozen main 
reasons — firstly and mainly, because many men fear invasion, 
some fear trade competition, some few because they prize 
French civilisation above all else in the world. Some dishke 
papng for heavy armaments which they think are caused 
by the arming of Germany ; some dislike Militarism and 
imagine that the German Emperor is responsible for this ; 
some have met Germans in hotel corridors and have found 
them disagreeable. And all these people are united by a 
common, sentimental belief that the rule of Anglo- Saxondom 
is mild, gentle, constitutional, democratic, and beneficent. 
Similarly with the Germans : the Prussian Government has 
the support of that congeries of nations for sixty-four million 
shades and combinations of reasons, and for three or four 
main reasons. The inhabitants of Borkum have not passed 
many days for the last twenty-five years without thoughts of 
the possibility of hearing the guns of a British bombarding 
squadron ; various manufacturers, like the nickel workers of 
Bavaria, wish to see Great Britain crushed because British 
manufacturers have captured various nickel -trading industries 
of Europe which were formerly in their hands.^ The granite 
workers of South Germany wish the defeat of Great Britain 
because the Scotch granite workers have lately entirely cap- 
tured the French stone trade which also was formerly in their 
hands. 2 The coal-miners and mine-owners of Rhenish West- 
phalia wished to see Great Britain crushed because lately, and 
more particularly owing to the complete breakdown of the 
Prussian-Hessian State Railway system in 191 2, British coal 
has poured down the Rhine in ever-increasing quantities.' 
Various learned and unlearned members of the German 
nation, from professors to foremen brewers, and from judges 
to SociaUst deputies, are united in thinking that, by support- 
ing Russian tyranny. Great Britain is perpetuating in this 
world a system of barbarism which will eventually blot out 
the, to them, undoubted glories of German culture. An 
immense number of unthinking, as well as an immense number 
of the educated docile of the North and South Germans, are 

1 See Report of H.B.M.'s Consul- General for Bavaria, 1913. 

2 See ditto. 

3 See report of H.B.M.'s Consul- General for Diisseldorf, 1912. 


united in a common rage with the British for offering armed 
resistance, because, ever since the Imperial Education Edict 
of 1891, they have been taught in every school and in every 
university, that the British were a decadent people, incapable 
of armed resistance. That last motive may be said to unite 
all the sixty- four miUion inhabitants of Germany in a common 
hatred of the English, since, from the fall of Bismarck on- 
wards, every inhabitant of Germany who has attended the 
schools or the universities has been officially taught that the 
English are a race expert in nothing but unnatural vice, sunk 
in sloth, and entirely lacking in patriotism. 

But there is one mean element which has influenced, not 
only the peoples of the German Empire, but the peoples of 
Austria- Hungary — that being the increased and ever-increas- 
ing difficulty of subsistence in those Empires, and the belief, 
deliberately fostered by the Imperial Authorities of both 
countries, that waging war is the only certain means of 
attaining to individual prosperity. Trade after trade in 
Germany has been lost in the last few years owing to the 
necessity for paying higher wages, this necessity being due 
to the increased cost of living and to the ever-increasing 
burden of taxation for the support of the ever-increasing 
armaments. And let me quote here the most terrible and 
cynical pronouncement that was ever made upon a people by 
one of its rulers : 

" It is our sacred duty to sharpen the sword that has been put 
into our hands and to hold it ready for defence as well as for 
offence. We must allow the idea to sink into the minds of our 
people that our armaments are an answer to the armaments and 
policy of the French. We must accustom them to think that an 
offensive war on our part is a necessity in order to combat the pro- 
vocations of our adversaries. We must act with prudence so as 
not to arouse suspicion, and to avoid the crises which might injure 
our economic existence. We must so manage matters that, under 
the heavy weight of powerful armaments, considerable sacrifices, and 
strained political relations, an outbreak [Losschlagen] should be con- 
sidered as a relief, because after it would come decades of peace and 
prosperity, as after 1870." ^ 

1 Memorandum on the Strengthening of the German Army, Berlin, 
March 19th, 1913. Quoted in French Yellow Book, page 10 of English 
Government Version. 


This is, I think, the most horrible betrayal of a race that 
was ever known. In the face of it can Mr. Shaw persist in his 
frivolous and epigrammatic antitheses of two peoples — who 
have never heard of each other's Junkerism — fearing each 
other's Junkerism ? 


" Common Sense about the War," § i, page i, cols, i and 2 : 

. . . And I see the Junkers and Militarists of England and 
Germany jumping at the chance they have longed for in vain for 
many years of smashing one another and establishing their own 
oligarchy as the dominant Militarism in their own country. . . . 

The rest of this paragraph is mere forensic writing, clever 
enough but quite immaterial as evidence as to the origins of 
the present war. Mr. Shaw presents us, for a whole column, 
with a number of visions such as that in the sentence here 
enshrined. He has had these visions ; but the mere fact 
that Mr. Shaw has visions is not evidence of anything other 
than his visionary nature. I am concerned solely with 

/ mention all this, not to make myself wantonly disagreeable, 
but because military persons, thinking naturally that there is 
nothing like leather, are now talking of this war as likely to 
become a permanent institution, like the Chamber of Horrors 
at Madame Tussaud's .... 

In addition, this paragraph contains sentences like the one 
here annexed. This is mere freakishness. Every military 
person, of whichever belligerent force or nationality, wishes 
for a speedy and crushingly victorious end to the war. 

Forgetting, I think, that the rate of consumption maintained 
by modern military operations is much greater relatively to 
the highest possible rate of production maintainable under the 
restrictions of war time than it has ever been before. 

This is the mere colloquialism of the non-historically- 
minded. To give only one instance to the contrary, Prussia, 
during its war of Liberation against Napoleon, made much 
greater sacrifices than she is making to-day. 



" Common Sense about the War," § 2, page i, col. 2 : 

The European settlement at the end of the war will be effected, 
let us hope, not by a regimental mess of fire-eaters sitting round 
an up-ended drum in a vanquished Berlin or Vienna, but some 
sort of Congress in which all the Powers [including, very im- 
portantly, the United States of America) will be represented. 

Congresses for the purpose of settling terms of peace have 
never, in modern historical times, been conducted by regi- 
mental messes, nor is it likely that, in future, they will be so 
conducted. Thus the Congress of Vienna at the end of the 
Napoleonic wars consisted of a debate between various states- 
men, Metternich, for instance, representing Austria, Harden- 
berg and von Humboldt representing Prussia, Stein and the 
Emperor Alexander representing Russia, and so on. This 
whole sentence is therefore nonsensical. 

Now I foresee a certain danger of our being taken by surprise 
at that Congress, and making ourselves unnecessarily difficult 
and unreasonable, by presenting ourselves to it in the character 
of Injured Innocence. We shall not be accepted in that charac- 
ter. Such a Congress will most certainly regard us as being, 
next to the Prussians {if it makes even that exception), the most 
quarrelsome people in the universe. 

Similarly, the whole of this paragraph is entirely extraneous. 
The diplomatists representing Great Britain will not assume 
any airs of morality at all. At the final congress for settling 
terms of peace the representatives of Great Britain, France, 
Russia, Belgium, Serbia, the German, Austro- Hungarian, and 
Turkish Empires will meet as business men and will discuss 
these matters on lines of pure expediency. 

" Common Sense about the War," § i, page 2, col i : 

What is a Junker ? Is it a German officer of twenty-three, 
with offensive manners, and a habit of cutting down innocent 
civilians with his sabre .^ Sometimes ; but not at all exclusively 


that, or anything like that. Let us resort to the dictionary. I 
turn to the " Encyclopddisches Worterhuch " of Muret Sanders. 
Excuse its quaint Gertnan- English. 

Junker : Young nobleman, younker, lording, country 
squire, country gentleman, squirearch. Junkerherrschaft 
— squirearchy, landocracy. Junkerleben : Life of a country 
gentleman, {figuratively) a jolly life. Junkerpartei : country 
party. Junkerwirtschaft : doings of the country party. 

A Junker is a Prussian landowner whose property lies 
east of the Elbe. The Junkerpartei is not, as Mr. Shaw 
would seem to suggest, an agreeable country house-party, but 
the political, party organisation known as the Agrarian Party,^ 
which has existed in Prussia ever since the reform of the con- 
stitution by Stein and Hardenberg. Its first leader was von 
Marwitz. The Junkers and the Junkerpartei of Prussia desire 
to see enacted all such measures as may be of service or pro- 
fitable to Prussian landowners whose properties lie east of 
the Elbe. They desire the strictest possible protection for 
agricultural products, the limitation of the vote of the in- 
dustrial populations, the abohtion of death duties on real 
estate, and the maintenance of the present system of binding 
contracts for agricultural labourers, so that the existing 
system of state serfdom in the Ostelbische territories may 
not be weakened. 

1 The habit of irresponsibly flinging about the word Junker, though 
Mr. Shaw has extended its scope beyond the bounds of reason, was not 
first contracted by Mr. Shaw. The following quotation will go to prove 
my contention that the Junkerpartei is a perfectly definite political party 
with a perfectly definite programme : 

* ' When Bismarck was in the United Diet, and afterwards in the Prus- 
sian and Erfurt Parliaments, the opponents of the principles which he 
then represented denounced him as a * Junker,' and Georg von Vincke 
went so far as to declare in a debate in the lower Chamber that he re- 
garded Bismarck as ' the incarnation of Jvmkerdom,' i.e. an extreme 
adherent of the party which was at that time opposing desperate resist- 
ance to the efforts made by the Prussian National Assembly and its 
parliamentary successors to abolish feudal rights, aristocratic privileges, 
and other relics of the Middle Ages. . . ." — Busch's " Bismarck," vol. ii. 
p. 354. Readers interested in the exact history of the Prussian Jimker- 
partei might consult Hermann Kohler, " Landwirtschaft und Sozial- 
demokratie " ; Evert's " Der Deutsche Osten," or "Die wichtigsten 


Sir Edward Grey is a Junker from his topmost hair to the tips 
of his toes ; and Sir Edward is a charming man, incapable of 
cutting down even an Opposition front bencher, or of telling a 
German he intends to have him shot. Lord Cromer is a Junker. 
Mr. Winston Churchill is an odd and not disagreeable compound 
of Junker and Yankee : his frank anti-German pugnacity is 
enormously more popular than the moral babble [Milton's phrase) 
of his sanctimonious colleagues. He is a bumptious and jolly 
Junker, just as Lord Curzon is an uppish Junker. I need not 
string out the list. In these islands the Junker is literally all 
over the shop. 

I know nothing about Sir Edward Grey's hair or toes ^ ; but 
Sir Edward Grey does not advocate the strictest possible 
protection for agricultural products, the limitations of the 
industrial franchise, the abolition of death duties on real 
estate, or a system of serfdom for agricultural labourers. 
Certainly he does not desire to benefit Prussian landowners 
whose lands lie east of the Elbe. Mr. Winston Churchill does 
not advocate any of these things. Lord Curzon may or may 
not be a Protectionist, but he was not a member of the British 
Cabinet who embarked upon the present war. 

It is very difficult for any one who is not either a Junker or a 
successful barrister to get into an English Cabinet, no matter 
which party is in power, or to avoid resigning when we strike 
up the drum. The Foreign Office is a Junker Club. Our 
governing classes are overwhelmingly Junker ; all who are not 
Junkers are riff-raff, whose only claim to their position is the 
possession of ability of some sort : mostly ability to make money. 

Let us, however, put it that by " Junker " Mr. Shaw means 
merely an hereditary landowner. Of the eighteen members 
of the British Cabinet who delivered to Germany the ulti- 
matum of August 3rd, 1914, only four belonged to the here- 
ditary landowning class, and only one owns any considerable 

1 '• I recognise the good-will of the gentleman who has assured us of his 
friendship. Mr. Grey has also declared that he will do everything in his 
power to better the relations of England and Germany." (Speech of 
Graf Westarp, Junker leader during Agadir debates in the Reichstag, 
December 5th, 1911), (" D.G.," vol. liv. p. 89.) 



quantity of land. If we water down still further the term 
" Junker," and let it mean what in English is called " County- 
Family," we find that still only four members belong to 
county families. The mere fact of the immense preponder- 
ance of lawyers in the British Cabinet shows how essentially, 
taking the term " Junker " either at its narrowest or at its 
broadest sense, the British Cabinet is a non-Junker Cabinet. 
It is, in fact, mainly distinguished by its urban complexion ; 
it contains hardly any representative of agricultural interests, 
and the excursions of its Chancellor of the Exchequer into 
agricultural matters have been productive of nothing but 
jocularity. The sentence beginning " Our governing classes " 
is the merely slovenly epigrammatic writing of the dramatist. 
It might have been true in the days of Thackeray. Good 
birth, which is the same thing as membership of a county 
family, is hardly any longer a passport even into social gather- 
ings. If I wished to perpetrate a similar epigram to Mr. 
Shaw's I might say: " Our governing classes are overwhelm- 
ingly Jewish; all who are not Jews are riff-raff." That 
would not be true, but it would be just as true as Mr. Shaw's 

And, of course, the Kaiser is a Junker, though less true-blue 
than the Crown Prince, and much less autocratic than Sir 
Edward Grey, who, without consulting us, sends us to war by a 
word to an A mbassador and pledges all our wealth to his foreign 
allies by a stroke of his pen. 

How does Mr. Shaw know what the Kaiser is ? Or the 
Crown Prince ? Presumably from tittle-tattle. It is almost 
impossible to know anything about the inner sentiments of 
royal personages of to-day, except from rumours and possibly 
scabrous anecdotes. I have myself been personally assured 
by the German Emperor that he desired peace, I do not 
know whether he did or did not. He was speaking officially. 
One can know nothing about these personages except from 
their public utterances, and it is purposely misleading to 
write about them except from that point of view. It is a 
deliberate lie to say that the German Emperor is less auto- 
cratic than Sir Edward Grey. Sir Edward Grey did not 


declare war, which is the only interpretation one can put 
upon the words " sent us to war." After the majority of its 
members had resigned rather than declare war on Germany 
in support of France, the British Cabinet, with the exception 
of two members, agreed to deUver an ultimatum to the Ger- 
man Imperial authorities on August 3rd, 1914. This ulti- 
matum was to the effect that Great Britain would declare 
war upon Germany if Germany did not undertake not to 
violate the neutrality of Belgium. Germany violated the 
neutrality of Belgium ; Great Britain declared war on Ger- 
many. These are the exact facts. Any speculations that 
Mr. Shaw may make upon them are merely excursions in 
comparative ethics or imaginative disquisitions upon what 
Mr. Shaw imagines to be the psychologies of the statesmen 
concerned. This point cannot be sufficiently driven home. 

** Common Sense about the War," § 4, page 4, cols, i and 2 : 

Now that we know what a Junker is, let us have a look at 
the militarists. A militarist is a person who believes that all 
real power is the power to kill, and that Providence is on the side 
of the big battalions. 

Let us agree that aggressive militarism is the most mon- 
strous nuisance of the modern world ; that in a Utopian or 
ideal society any person possessing or uttering aggressive 
militarist views should be executed without mercy ; that 
an aggressive mihtarist is a person of contemptible intellect, 
defective imagination, and undeveloped views of the values 
of hfe. 

The most famous militarist at present, thanks to the zeal with 
which we have bought and quoted his book, is General Friedrich 
Bernhardi. But we cannot allow the General to take precedence of 
our own writers as a militarist propagandist. 

This phraseology is ambiguous. What is the exact mean- 
ing of " to take precedence of " ? If Bernhardi is the most 
famous militarist at present should he not take precedence 


of General Chesney, who wrote " The Battle of Dorking," 
since General von Bernhardi is an agent of living propaganda, 
whereas the " Battle of Dorking " was absolutely forgotten 
until Mr. Shaw chose to revive attention to this work ? 

/ am old enough to fememher the beginning of the anti-German 
phase of that very ancient propaganda in England. The Franco- 
Prussian War of 1870-71 left Europe very much taken hack. 
Up to that date nobody was afraid of Prussia, though everybody 
was a little afraid of France ; and we were keeping " buffer 
States " between ourselves and Russia in the east. Germany 
had indeed beaten Denmark ; but then Denmark was a little 
State, and was abandoned in her hour of need by those who 
should have helped her, to the great indignation of Ibsen. Ger- 
many had also beaten Austria ; but somehow everybody seems 
able to beat Austria, though nobody seems able to draw the moral, 
that defeats do not matter as much as the militarists thinks 
Austria being as important as ever. 

Mr. Shaw's versions of history have the colloquial in- 
accuracy of the dramatist who seeks for the picturesque 
rather than the historic average. It is absurd to say that 
up to 1870 nobody was afraid of Prussia. Austria dreaded 
Prussia ; Denmark dreaded Prussia ; the other German 
States dreaded Prussia ; so did the Russian Empire. It 
might reasonably be advanced that until the Prusso-Danish 
War no nation outside the German Confederation whose diet 
was at Frankfort dreaded Prussia. Whose duty was it to 
" help " Denmark ? The Prusso-Danish War came after in- 
numerable negotiations, in the course of which almost every 
German State of the Confederation, and in addition France 
and Great Britain, took the part of Denmark diplomatically 
Denmark was a little nation, but so also was Prussia then. 
And Denmark regarded herself, and was regarded by the other 
States of Europe, as impregnable owing to the range of forti- 
fications called the Diippel, which stretched across the Danish 
peninsula. It is sheer nonsense to say that Austria is as 
important as ever, or was so at the opening of the present 
war. At the Congress of Vienna Austria dictated to the 
entire world ; in 1914, and for many years past Austria, if 


it might be too much to say that she was merely the vassal 
of Prussia, was, at any rate, comparatively impotent in the 
councils of Europe except when she had the backing of the 
House of Hohenzollem. 

There was not a State in Europe that did not say to itself : 
*' Good Heavens / what would happen if she attacked us ? " 

This is mere writing. On November i8th, 1870, during 
the Siege of Paris, Thomas Carlyle addressed to the Times 
an immensely long letter whose last sentence is as follows : 

" That noble, patient, deep, pious, and solid Germany should 
be at length welded into a nation and become Queen of the Conti- 
nent, instead of vapouring, vainglorious, gesticulating, quarrelsome, 
restless, and over-sensitive France, seems to me the hopefuUest 
public fact that has occurred in my time." 

And that letter, if not the first, is, at any rate, the most 
egregious symptom of the lickspittle toadying to Prussian 
materialism, Prussian Philologie, and Prussianism in general, 
distinguishing a whole British school of thought, which, 
beginning with John Stuart Mill and continuing through 
George EUot, George Henry Lewes, Herbert Spencer, and 
Thomas Carlyle, finds its culmination in Mr. Shaw's pamphlet. 

We in England thought of our old-fashioned army, and our 
old-fashioned commander, George Ranger [of Cambridge), and 
our War Office with its Crimean tradition of imbecility ; and 
we shook in our shoes. 

This is merely whimsical and probably quite untrue. But, 
if we " shook in our shoes," that was hardly a symptom of 

We soon produced the first page of the Bernhardian literature, 
an anonymous booklet entitled, " The Battle of Dorking.'* 

It is merely silly to call the " Battle of Dorking" Bern- 
hardian literature. " The Battle of Dorking," regarded as 
a hterary achievement, is pleasant, amateurish, and fairly 


good reading. It depicts the landing of several German 
Army Corps, in 1873, in the neighbourhood of Newhaven, 
after the entire British Fleet has been sunk by a new and 
devihsh instrument called the torpedo. It shows the absolute 
defeat of an amateurishly collected British Army, formed of 
untrained volunteers, stiffened with a few regular regiments. 
It foreshadows national bankruptcy, and mild instances of 
Prussian Schrecklichkeit. Bernhardi writes such sentences as : 

" War is an unqualified necessity, ..." Or : 

" Since the struggle [with France, England, and Russia] appears, 
on thorough investigation of the international question, necessary 
and inevitable, we must fight it out, cost what it may. ... In one 
way or another we must square our account with France if we wish 
for a free hand in our international policy. This is the first and 
foremost condition of a sound German policy. . . . France must 
be so completely crushed that she can never again come across 
our path." ^ 

This was written in 1896. 

It was not the first page of English militarist literature : 
you have only to turn back to the burst of glorification of war 
which heralded the silly Crimean Campaign {Tennyson's 
" Maud " is a surviving sample) to find pceans to Mars which 
would have made Treitschke blush {perhaps they did). 

Of course the " Battle of Dorking " was not the first page 
of English militarist literature. Shakespeare wrote : " War 
is God's beadle ; war is God's minister." Mr. Jorrocks also, 
by implication, commended war. But so did Homer, so did 
Horace, so did Bertran de Born, so did Dante, Walther von 
der Vogelweide, Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Chaucer. So 
did Tolstoy in his early days. But it was reserved for Treit- 
schke to echo the words of Hegel to the effect that waging 
war is the first province of the State, and " that the living 
God will see to it that, in spite of all the efforts of apostles of 
peace, war will always return as a saving remedy for humanity." 

1 " Germany and the Next War," 1912 edition, pp. 23 and 104. 



It was reserved, in fact, for Prussia to evolve the state doctrine 
whose first principle was the waging of war, and whose second 
principle was the promotion of prosperity in the individual 
citizen by the waging of war. 

The point is that German militarist propaganda was pro- 
moted, subsidised, enjoined, and enforced by the Prussian 
State. The persons in England who have carried on mili- 
tarist propaganda have been retired army officers, regarded, 
as a rule, as " cranks " who have made little or no popular 
appeal. There have been General Chesney, Major Stewart 
Murray, the late Lord Roberts, and so on. In another cate- 
gory there was the brilliant author of " The Riddle of the 
Sands." These persons were laughed at by a proportion of 
the population, and, judged by the only test that we can 
get hold of — the statistical test — they had not nearly so 
much effect as almost any humanitarian, sociological, or 
merely eccentric organisations. In this connection the fol- 
lowing table should be impressive enough. 

Militarist Organisations 

{Complete List) 
Navy League (95 Branches) 

National Service League 

Imperial Maritime League 

Boys' Naval Brigade 
Public School Cadet Corps 

Social Organisations 
{A Selection Only) 

Band of Hope (15,000 Branches) 

Temperance Movement (130 

National Union of Woman Suf- 
frage (non-militant), (305 So- 

Churches of Christ Scientist (31 
Churches, 41 Societies) 

Vegetarians (35 Societies) 

Peace Societies (selected) 

International Arbitration League 

Church of England Peace League 

Rationalist Peace Society 

Norman Angell Club 

National Peace Council 

Free Trade Union 

Tariff Reform Union 

Fabian Society 

Anti-Gambling League 

Anti- Vivisection League 



Territorial Forces 

Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve 

British Union for Abolition of 

Canine Defence League 
Our Dumb Friends' League 
Humanitarian League 
Research Defence Society 
Divorce Law Reform Association 
Penal Law Reform Association 
Salvation Army 

Memberships of Above 
Territorial Forces, 266,222 (1912) 

National Service League (Pay- 
ing Members) 100,000 (19 13) 
Navy League, 100,000 (19 12) 

R.N.V.R., 4,224 (1913) 

Boys' Naval Brigades, 1,260 

Memberships of Above 
Brotherhood Movement, 620,000 

C.E.T.S., 550,000 {1913) 

National British Women's Tem- 
perance Association, 190,000 


Royal Naval Temperance So- 
ciety, 25,000 (191 3) 

Fabian Society, 2,786 (1914) 

VII (Continued) 

Later on came the Jingo fever [anti-Russian, by the way ; but 
let us not mention that just now), Stead's " Truth A bout the Navy," 
Mr. Spenser Wilkinson, the suppression of the Channel Tunnel, 
Mr. Robert Blatchford, Mr. Garvin, Admiral Maxse, Mr. 
Newbolt, Mr. Rudyard Kipling, The National Review, Lord 
Roberts, the Navy League, the imposition of an Imperialist 
Foreign Secretary on the Liberal Cabinet, Mr. Wells's " War 
in the Air " [well worth re-reading just now), and the Dread- 
noughts. Throughout all these agitations the enemy, the villain 
of the piece, the White Peril, was Prussia and her millions of 
German conscripts. 

{a) The last sentence of this passage contradicts the first. 
In any case such writing is sheer whimsicality of the most 
arbitrary kind. One might say, if one wished to be precise 


about such speculative matters — to be precise about the 
ground facts that, Great Britain having always had a 
" bogey," up till the middle nineties, the bogey was Russia ; 
from the middle nineties until, say, the South African War, 
France was gradually puUing into first place as the " Menace." 
Later it has been Prussia. 

This sort of writing is purely arbitrary and generally non- 
sensical ; but I might point out that, for instance in 1889, 
in an article in the Nineteenth Century, Lord Charles Beresford 
insisted that the British Fleet must be twice as large as the 
French Fleet ; that in 1890, Sir Henry Campbell-Banner- 
man, then Secretary of State for War, said before the Har- 
tington Commission : 

" In this country there is, in truth, no rule for general military 
policy, in the larger and more ambitious sense of the phrase. We 
have no designs against our European neighbours. Indian mili- 
tary policy will be settled in India itself." ^ 

And in 1896 a writer in the Edinburgh Review says : 

"As we have already said, Germany has supplied a uni- 
versal model. It would be absolutely impossible, however, 
to apply an exact imitation of the German system to the 
British Army." It may interest Mr. Shaw to know that the 
*' authorities " upon which the writer in the Edinburgh bases 
his article are : 

" The Duties of the General Staff," by General Bronsart 
von Schellendorf. 

" The Brain of an Army; a Popular Account of the German 
General Staff," by Spenser Wilkinson. 

" The Report of the Royal Commission, etc." 

" The Letters of Vetus, on the Administration of the War 

Not one of these works can be called anti-German in tenor. 

[b) Mr. Stead's " Truth about the Navy " was not directed 
against Germany, but merely revealed weaknesses in the 
British Naval system. The suppression of the Channel Tunnel 
was directed, not against Germany, but against France. Mr. 
Newbolt, as far as I have been able to discover, had not 
written against Germany before the opening of the present 
1 Report of the Hartington Commission, 1890. 


war. Mr. Kipling had not written against Germany till that 
time. Mr. Wells's " War in the Air " is not directed against 
Germany as the foe of this country. 

(c) If we take, then, the other writers, setting Lord 
Roberts against General Bernhardi, and Mr. Spenser Wil- 
kinson, since he is a professor of history, against Professor 
Delbriick, how do Mr. Blatchford, Mr. Garvin, Admiral Maxse, 
and the National Review, stand up against Kant, Hegel, 
Treitschke, General von der Goltz, General von Clausewitz, 
Prince von Biilow, and the Emperor William II, who said 
" The trident must be in our hands" ? 

For the benefit of those English people who, like Mr. 
Shaw, are unacquainted with the Prussian state psychology, 
I here present the reader with one hundred quotations from 
German professors, princes, politicians, officials, school- 
masters, pubUcists, and journalists, who {a) either praise war 
in the abstract as of moral benefit to a nation or advocate 
it in the concrete as a method of increasing the wealth and 
moral and industrial prosperity of the German Empire, or 
(6) point out that Great Britain stands in the way of Germany, 
and must be put out of that way by means of the sword. 
As to the German official attitude towards France, I have 
already quoted a typical passage from the writings of General 
Bernhardi, who, it should be remembered, is at this moment 
the German Official Propagandist for the United States ; but 
I include here one or two more official or semi-official utter- 
ances directed against France. 

In limiting myself to one hundred extracts I am having 
regard only to what I imagine to be the reader's patience. 
From the sources indicated I will, if necessary, disinter one 
thousand or five thousand similar passages, the number being 
limited simply by the time and the means at my disposal. 
I think the reader will find me justified in generalising from 
the extracts here given that : Military extension of the 
Empire and its sources of prosperity is at the base of every 
Prussian official and semi-official publicist's utterance. It 
is one of the reserve resources of the German Empire, which 
is taken as being there and ready for use, much as in English 
State finance, alcohol, tea, or cocoa is at the disposal of a 
Chancellor of the Exchequer if it be necessary to increase 


the revenue. That may be said to be the essential difference 
between the psychology of the German Empire under Prus- 
sian hegemony and the psychologies of every other civilised 
Power of the present day. 

One Hundred German Militarist Utterances 

I. Royal Personages, Governors, Officials 

The German Crown Prince,* Friedrich Wilhelm (1882- 
. Military career beginning with his studies as 
cadet, 1 896-1900). 

1 . " For him who has once ridden in a charge in peace, there 
is nothing better except another ride, ending in a clash with 
the foe. How often in the midst of a charge have I caught the 
yearning cry of a comrade, ' Donnerwetter ! If it were only 
in earnest ! ' That is the cavalry spirit ; every true soldier 
must feel and know it." — From an article in " Germany in 
Arms " (1913). 

2. " The German Empire has, more than any other peoples 
of our old earth, the sacred duty to maintain its army and 
its fleet always at the highest degree of readiness to strike. 
Only thus supported by our good sword can we obtain the 
place in the sun which is our due, but is not voluntarily con- 
ceded to us." — Ihid. See " The Kaiser's Heir," pubUshed 
in 1913, pp. 116-17. 

Prince von Bulow, Bernhard (1849- . Ed. Lausanne, 
Leipsic, and BerUn. Entered Foreign Office 1874 ; 
Ambassador at Rome, Petersburg, and Vienna. Imperial 
Chancellor, 1900-1909). 

In " Imperial Germany," memoirs written after retirement 
from the office of Imperial Chancellor, Prince Biilow pointed 
out that the German fleet was directed against England, and 
said that in 1897 great care was necessary not to arouse too 

1 I omit the Emperor's bellicose utterances. For one thing, they are 
matters of common knowledge ; for another, I regard them rather as the 
romantic gasconading of a slightly unbalanced mind that is apt to grow 
over-excited at the sight of swords and standards. 


much popular enthusiasm for the fleet in Germany, for fear 
of awakening British suspicions, 

3. " (In 1900) our Navy was not strong enough for us 
forcibly to achieve a suf&cient sea-power in the teeth of 
English interests. . . ." — " Imperial Germany," p. 90. 

4. " We desire amicable and even friendly relations with 
England, but we are not afraid of hostile ones. . . . We con- 
front England to-day, supported as we are by a Navy which 
demands respect in a very different manner from fifteen years 
ago, when it was a question of avoiding any conflict with 
England as long as possible, till we had built our fleet. At 
that time our foreign policy was to a certain extent regulated 
by the question of armaments ; it had to be carried on under 
abnormal conditions. To-day the normal state of affairs is 
restored ; our armaments are at the service of our poUcy 
... we need no longer take such care to prevent England 
from injuring our safety and wounding our dignity ; with 
our own unaided strength we are able, as is meet for Germans, 
to defend our dignity and our interests against England at 
sea as we have for centuries defended them against the con- 
tinental powers on land." — " Imperial Germany," p. 94. 

5. " Those times of political powerlessness and of economic 
and political humility shall not return. We will never again, 
to quote (Professor) Friedrich List, become the servant of 
humanity." — Speech in Reichstag, 1900. 

General von Falkenhayn, Prussian War Minister (1861- 
. Military career. Service in China. Became Chief 
of Staff. Made War Minister, 191 3). 

6. " Without the Army not a stone of these proud walls 
would be standing, and no workman could earn his bread in 
peace." — Speech in Reichstag, December 3rd, 1913. 

Dr. Helfferich, Imperial Minister of Finance (1872- 

Held various important positions in commercial or 
financial concerns. In 1904 Professorship of Political 
Economy at Bonn offered, but refused. Became Director 
of the Deutsche Bank and in 1914 Minister of Finance). 

7. " For Germans war is the most subUme test of the moral 


and material strength of the people." — Budget Speech, 
March nth, 1914. 

Graf von Wedel, Karl, S. L., Statthalter (Imperial Gov- 
ernor) of Alsace-Lorraine (1842- . Military career. 
In 1907 became Governor of Alsace-Lorraine). 

8. " Honour the Army, which represents the fine flower of 
our people and our sanctuary." — Speech on retirement, 
April 19th, 1914, 

Dr. Bethmann-Hollweg, Imperial Chancellor (1856- 

Studied law. Various legal positions ; in 1905 became 
Prussian Minister for Home Affairs, and in 1909 Imperial 

9. " For months past we have been living, and we are living 
now, in an atmosphere of passion such as we have never 
before experienced in Germany. At the root of this feeling 
is the determination of Germany to make its strength and 
capability prevail over the world." — Speech in Reichstag, 
November loth, 1912. 

2. Political Party Leaders, etc. 

Abg. Bassermann, National Liberal Leader (1854- . In 
1893 elected Member of Reichstag for Mannheim. Has 
represented other towns and now sits for Saarbriicken. 
President of the National Liberal Party. A consistent 
upholder of the Big-Fleet policy for Germany. In 
various speeches stated that Germany must keep friendly 
with England until she had a great Navy). 

10. " King Edward VI I' s whole poUcy consisted in isolating 
and in hemming in Germany. That is a great development 
of the consciously pursued English policy which rests on a 
tradition of centuries — upon a tradition of always directing 
itself against the most powerful State of the Continent. That 
State is now Germany. . . . All these developments must 
make one thing clear to us — that we must keep our eyes open 
and our sword sharp." — Speech in Reichstag, December 5th, 


Abg. Kuebel, National Liberal. 

11. At the National Liberal Conference at Boblingen he 
lamented the " angelic patience " {Engelsgeduld) Germany had 
shown in the Agadir affair. 

" A single blood-letting is preferable to a chronic disease." 
— Speech, October 15 th, 191 1. 

Conference of Liberal Women (Berlin October 19th, 

12. Passed a resolution denouncing England. One of its 
five clauses contained this sentence : 

" A well-planned World-Power and Colonial policy [" Welt- 
und Kolonial PoUtik"] is a question of life and death ["Le- 
bensfrage"] for the working classes." 

The resolution went on to demand a very great increase in 
the German Navy (" einen kraftvoUen Ausbau der deutschen 
Flotte ") and stated that strivings for peace directed towards 
England were a real danger for Germany. — E. Bernstein's 
*' Die englische Gefahr und das deutsche Volk" (The English 
Peril and the German People), 191 1. 

Abg. von Heydebrand, Conservative. 

13. " We have succeeded for the first time in concluding a 
treaty with France. That, in the opinion of many people, is 
an approach to a lasting rapprochement. This view I do not 
share. I can understand that France feels quite satisfied 
with the situation. . . . What has assured peace to us is not 
common accord and mutual understanding ; it is our good 
German sword and the feeling that our Government is ready 
to draw this sword at the proper moment. ... I can under- 
stand that it now pleases England to forget these things and 
to know nothing, after its plans have succeeded — of driving 
France and Germany into a war which, possibly, might not 
have been to England's advantage. That Englishmen should 
forget such things I can well understand. But we Germans 
have not forgotten. . . . We know now where our enemy 
stands." — Speech in Reichstag, November nth, 191 1. 

It was at this point of this speech that the German Crown 
Prince applauded the speaker from a box. 


Abg. General von Liebert, Nationalist, Reichspartei 
(1850- . Military career. Fought in 1866 and 1870. 
Author of military works. President of Pan-German 
League. Elected to Reichstag in 1907). 

14. " Germany has always worked for the whole world, 
but it must do so no longer (see item 5) in these days of 
Realpolitik and the wars of brigandage in Tripoli [Italy's 
Tripoli tan campaign]. I fear particularly from the Morocco 
agreement with France that, in an eventual war, France will 
draw great masses of troops from that territory." — Speech in 
Reichstag, November nth, 191 1. 

3. Soldiers {General Principles) 

Clausewitz, Karl von (i 780-1831. Prussian General, and 
greatest of German military writers). 

15. " War is nothing but a continuation of poUtical inter- 
course with a mixture of other means." — " Vom Kriege " (Of 
War), EngUsh Edition, 1873. Book VIII. p. 65. 

16. " Let us not hear of generals who conquer without 
bloodshed. If a bloody slaughter is a horrible sight, then 
that is a ground for paying more respect to war, but not for 
making the sword we wear blunter and blunter from feelings 
of humanity, until some one steps in with one that is sharp 
and lops off the arm from our body." — Ibid. Book IV. p. 151 . 

MoLTKE, Helmuth, Count VON (1800-1891. Prussian 
General and one of the greatest of strategists. Victorious 
General in 1866 and 1870). 

17. " The idea of universal peace is but a dream, and not 
even a beautiful dream. . . . War is an element in the order 
of the world as established by God, . . . Without war the 
world would grow corrupt, and lose itself in materialism." — 
Correspondence with Bluntschli. December nth, 1880. 

18. " The war of 1866 was not a war for national existence, 
nor was it a war called for by^popular demand ; it was a war. 


carefully and long prepared, in the Prussian Cabinet, a war 
for an ideal good — the establishment of our power ' [f iir ein 
ideales Gut — ftir unsere Machtstellung] ". — Moltke's Corre- 
spondence, vol. vii. p. 426. 

Prussian General Staff. 

ig. " But since the tendency of thought of the last century 
was dominated essentially by humanitarian considerations, 
which not infrequently degenerated into sentimentality and 
flabby emotion [" SentimentaUtat und weichlicher Gefuhls- 
schwarmerei"] there have not been wanting attempts to in- 
fluence the development of the usages of war in a way which 
was in fundamental contradiction with the nature of war and 
its object." — The reference is to the Hague Conference. 

20. " By steeping himself in miUtary history an of&cer will 
be able to guard himself against excessive humanitarian 
notions. It will teach him that certain severities are indis- 
pensable to war — nay, more, that the only true humanity 
very often lies in a ruthless appUcation." — "German War 
Book," Professor Morgan's translation, pp. 54-5. 


General von der Goltz (1852- . Military career. 
Author of several military works, also two operas). 

21. "The question, then, arises: Is a knowledge of war 
valuable to the ordinary mortal, when it may only tempt him 
to dare difficulties and dangers perhaps to his own undoing ? 
Certainly ! What true soldierly nature would hesitate long 
to brush aside all scruples and seize the opportunity, when 
offered, of wielding the baton of a Field-Marshal ? The prize 
is a great one ; it is that which beckons the poet and artist 
onward on a thorny path — Immortality ! This word has an 
irresistible charm. The fortunate warrior rescues his name 
from oblivion." — "Das Volk in Waffen " (the Nation in 
Arms), pp. 472-3. 

22. (Quoted at some length by ElUs Barker: "Modern 
Germany," pp. 143-4). "We must contradict the opinion 
that has been freely expressed that a war between Great 


Britain and Germany is impossible, . . . The material basis 
of our power is large enough to make it possible for us to 
destroy the present superiority of Great Britain, but Ger- 
many must prepare beforehand for what is to come and must 
arm in time. Germany has arrived at one of the most critical 
moments in her history, and her fleet is too weak to fulfil 
the task for which it is intended." — Article in Deutsche 
Rundschau, March 1900, entitled " Seemacht und Land- 
krieg " (Sea- Power and Land Warfare), pp. 344-52. 

23. " Then, again, there are the false apostles of to-day 
who condemn war as in itself reprehensible. . . . Thus do 
the shadows deepen over the ancient Germanic ideal of a 
proud nation of warriors — an ideal which is bound to lose 
its power to attract particularly in a prolonged peace when 
even the most martial minded see that all chances of testing 
their prowess are fading gradually away." — " From Jena to 
Eylau," EngHsh Edition, 191 3, pp. 73-4. 

Freiherr von Freytag Loringhoven (Member of the 
German General Staff, and author of several works on 
miUtary subjects, 

24. " Pacifism is at bottom nothing but the grossest material- 
ism, veiling itself in an obscure garment of idealism, hiding 
its inwardness from unsuspecting minds. To-day's hostility 
to war is a misapprehension of the tragedy of life and rests on 
the optimistic madness which seeks to estimate the values 
of human life according to our finite ideas." — " Krieg und 
Politik in der Neuzeit" (War and Policy in Modern Times), 
p. 280. 

25. " The oppressive tyranny, experienced by the whole 
world, which England exercises at sea." — Ibid, p, 270. 

26. " A sound policy based upon war should not concern 
itself with complaints from trades and industries " — Ibid. 

p. ^57- 

27. " The longer peace lasts the more must the warlike 
spirit be wakened in the officers' corps, which is the backbone 
of the army ; it must be exercised and kept living by all 
means," — " Die Grundbedingungen kriegerischen Erfolges " 
(The Conditions of Success in War), 1914, p. 204. 



Baron von Falkenhausen, Ludwig Alexander (1844- 
. Military Career. General of Infantry). 

28. " War is as old as the human race . . . and a moment 
will come when, with the might of natural forces, the river 
which had hitherto been carefully dammed will break its 
barriers, and with energy greater than the art which had been 
used to hold it back : unhappy, then, will be the nation who 
does not rise to the height of the struggle, but, having listened 
to the elegies of pacifists, is not prepared for battle." — " Der 
grosse Krieg der Jetztzeit " (Large-scale Warfare in Modem 
Times) (1909), pp. 2-3. 

General von Liebert, in 1907 President of the " Alldeuts- 
cher Verband " (the Pan-German League). 

29. " The way to assure the peace of the world is to give 
Germany all she needs. She will obtain this by the weight 
of her seventy millions of men." — Leipziger Neueste Nach- 
richten, August 191 1). 

General Keim (1845- . Took part in 1866 and 1870 
campaigns ; 1882-9 Member of German General Staff : 
author of many military writings) . 

30. " Pacifism, that is our enemy." — TdgUche Rundschau, 
February 6th, 1910). 

General von Reich en au, quoted by Jean Lagorgette : " Le 
Role de la Guerre," p. 515. 

31. " War and the struggle for existence are only two ex- 
pressions for the same thing. Fighting is an indispensable 
condition of mankind's ultimate perfection, thanks to the 
uninterrupted and perfect selection which it affords." — " Ein- 
fluss der Kultur auf Krieg " (The Influence of Civilisation 
on War), p. 25. 

4. Professors, Historians, and School-teachers. 

" I begin by taking : I can always find pedants to prove 
my rights afterwards." — Frederick the Great. 


Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804), in his " Critik der Aesthetik," 
praises war on moral grounds. 

32. " Even where civiUsation has reached a high pitch there 
remains this special reverence for the soldier. . . . War itself, 
provided it is conducted with order and a sacred respect for 
the rights of civilians, has something sublime about it, and 
gives nations that carry it on in such a manner a stamp of 
mind all the more sublime, the more numerous the dangers to 
which they are exposed and which they are able to meet with 
fortitude. On the other hand, a prolonged peace favours the 
predominance of a mere commercial spirit and with it a 
debasing self-interest, cowardice, and effeminacy, and tends 
to degrade the character of the nation." — " Critique of Aes- 
thetic Judgment" (English edition, 1911), pp. 112-13. 

WiLHELM VON HuMBOLDT (1767-1835. German philologist 
and man of letters. Engaged, too, in affairs of State ; 
in 1 815 was one of the signatories of the capitulation of 
Paris) . 

33. " The influence of war upon the character of a people 
is one of the most profitable phenomena for the perfecting 
of the human race." — Berliner Monatsschrift, No. lo, 1792. 

Heinrich Gottlieb Tzschirner (i 778-1 828. Professor of 
Theology at Dresden in 1805, and at Leipsic in 1809), 
says, in effect : 

34. "I believe there is a reason for war's existence because 
I believe in God. God wishes it to be." — See " Ueber den 
Krieg " (1815), pp. 241-97. 

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (i 770-1 831) 

35. In his "Philosophic des Rechtes " states that the 
waging of war is the first object of the State and praises 
war on moral grounds (1833). — See " Werke " (1833 Edition, 
vol. ix. pp. 418-30). 


Adolf Lasson. Authority on International Law and Pro- 
fessor of Philosophy at Berhn University. 

36. " The security of peace which the civilised State gives 
us . . . corrupts the manly virtues. . . . The possibility of 
war is good and of incalculable value." — " Das Kulturideal und 
der Krieg" (1868), pp. 55 and 68. 

Heinrich Leo (i 799-1 878. Contributor to several official 
or semi-official papers ; author of historical works, e.g. 
" History of the Netherlands." Professor of History at 
Halle, 1828-68). 

37. "May God deliver us from the inertia of other Euro- 
pean peoples, and give us a good war, fresh and joyous, tra- 
versing Europe with fury, passing the nation through a sieve 
and disembarrassing us of the scrofulous canaille who fill up 
space and render it too narrow for other people." — Volks- 
blatt fur Stadt und Land (June 1853). 

Friedrich Theodor Vischer (1807-1887. Philosopher and 
Aesthetician : Professor at Tiibingen University, 1866). 

38. In 1873 he chanted the praises of war, and said it was 
a remedy for human ennui. — See also his " Der Krieg und die 
Kiinste" (War and the Arts), 1872. 

Rudolf Jhering (1818-92. Germany's foremost jurist : 
Professor of Roman Law at Vienna, 1868 ; author of 
standard works on jurisprudence). 

39. " The power of the conqueror — that is what makes and 
determines right ; it is in recognising this principle that war 
can come to an end and peace return." — Birthday speech 
in honour of Emperor William I, 1876, quoted by A. Fouillee, 
" Esquisse psychologique des peuples europeens," p. 289, 

" At a favourable moment war can advance the develop- 
ment of the State in a few years more than centuries of 
peace." — " Geist des romischen Rechtes " (Spirit of Roman 
Law), 1852-78. Quoted by J, Lagorgette : " Le Role de la 
Guerre," p. 458. 


Leopold von Ranke (i 795-1884. Great German historian). 
In his " Politisches Gesprach " (PoUtical Dialogue) 
(1836, Works, p. 327, vol. xlix. 1887), Carl says : 

40. " You can consider that bloody combats are at bottom 
only the struggle of moral energies," and Friedrich (Ranke) 
repUes in effect that that is his opinion. 

F. VON HoLTZENDORFF (1829-89. German jurist. In 1863 
made Professor at Berlin, in 1873 at Munich. Authority 
on international law). 

41. "The beginnings of that deterioration in men, which 
Hegel feared as the result of a long peace, might have made 
themselves felt when the German sword was once again 
drawn from the sheath in 1864 after nearly half a century of 
uninterrupted peace." — " Die Idee des ewigen Volkerfriedens " 
(The Idea of an Eternal Peace among Nations), pp. 56-7 

42. " And yet, in spite of all, it is reprehensible, from the 
present standpoint, to label war as barbarism. The harm 
to civilisation, which war of necessity brings in its train, the 
evil that it causes, the wounds that no indemnity can heal, 
that no trophies can hide, should not obscure the fact that 
war is in individual cases not only unavoidable in the present 
state of the evolution of law, but it can be urged as a duty." 
— Ibid. p. 623. 

43. "It cannot be denied that an exaggerated view of 
peace at certain times and in certain people has been stained 
by materialism." — Ibid. p. 63. 

44. " War has been a great civilising power in the past and 
can be in the present, particularly in the relations between 
highly civiUsed and semi-barbarian nations." — Ibid. p. 48. 

O. V. Platen. 

45. " War proves not only the power of God, but also His 
magnificence" (quoted from" Kriegslehren und Friedensideen 
im Jahrhundert der Industrie" (1843), in Jean Lagorgette's 
" Le Role de la Guerre," p. 455). 


David Friedrich Strauss (1808-74. German theologian 
and man of letters; author of " Das Leben Jesu)." 

46. " An unhealthy peace is healed by a healthy war. I 
do not mean, of course, wars which arise from the caprice of 
a ruler, but those which have their origin of necessity in the 
external or domestic relations of peoples. ... It is the same 
with war as with capital punishment. Limit it, make it 
more humane, as much as is possible ; but on no account 
whatever abolish it." — " Deutsche Gesprache : Der Krieg " 
(German Dialogues : War), 1863-5. 

Strauss also defended war in general and the Franco- 
Prussian War in particular in a letter to Renan written Sep- 
tember 29th, 1870. 

Heinrich Rettich (in 1888 a legal official at Stuttgart). 

47. " War is the result of a human need, and its aim is the 
satisfaction of that need." — " Theorie und Geschichte des 
Rechts 2um Kriege " (Theory and History of the Laws of 
War) (1888), p. 71. 

H. VON Treitschke (1834-96. Saxon by birth, but became 
a Prussian citizen in 1866. Member of the Reichstag in 
1871. Professor of History at Berlin in 1874 ; Editor 
of " Preussische Jahrbiicher." Author of the standard 
"History of Germany in the Nineteenth Century"). 

48. "The Christian duty of self-sacrifice for something 
higher does not exist for the State, for the reason that there 
is nothing above and beyond it in the world's history, and 
consequently it cannot sacrifice itself for another, ... A 
sacrifice for a foreign nation is not only non-moral, but it 
is contrary to the idea of self-assertion, which is the highest 
law of the State." — " Die Politik" (1897 edition), p. roo. 

49. " The living God will see to it that war returns again 
and again as a terrible medicine for humanity." — Ibid. p. 75. 

50. "It is indeed pohtical idealism which fosters war, 
whereas materiaUsm rejects it. . . . The historian sees that 
to banish war from history would be to banish all progress 
and becoming." — Ibid. p. 74. 


51. "If a law be out of date and incapable of alteration 
by peaceful means, war is a milder remedy than revolution ; 
for it preserves truth and faith, it can hold the wildly im- 
petuous powers of destruction within bounds, and its result 
appears to the nations as a judgement of God." — Speech 
at celebration of twenty-fifth anniversary of the Emperor 
William I's accession, 1886. See " Deutsche Kampfe : Neue 
Folge," p. 358. 

52. " England to-day is the shameless representative of 
barbarism in international law." — " Die Tiirkei und die Gross- 
machte." (Turkey and the Great Powers), English edition, in 
volume entitled, "Germany, France, Russia, Islam" (1915), 
p. 14. 

Max Jahns (1837-1900. One of Germany's foremost writers 
on Military History and Science : Lecturer at Berlin 
Military Academy, 1872-86). 

53. " War is unavoidable ; it is also necessary, that is, 
it rests on natural laws. The cultural influence of war on 
the high arts is immeasurable. . . . War is one of the most 
effectual aids to the progress of human civilisation." — " Ueber 
Krieg, Frieden und Kultur " (On War, Peace, and Culture) 
(1893), pp. 45, 74, and 82. 

Hans Delbrijck (1848- . Author of various historical 
works, particularly on military history. From 1884 to 
1890 Member of Reichstag, now Professor of History at 
Berlin University and Editor of the Preussische Jahr- 
hucher) . 

54. " There is no higher duty for the coming generation 
than to see to it that the world be not divided up between the 
English and the Russians, but that German and French 
influences, and those of the smaller nations, so far as they 
have any cultural value, should be preserved. Without war 
if it be possible ; but that is an end that would not be too 
dearly attained, even at the cost of much blood." — " Zukunfts- 
krieg und Zukunftsfriede," Preussische Jahrbucher, 1899, 
vol. xcvi. p. 229. 

55. " We must keep war, so that heroism may not die out 
in the world," — Ibid. p. 204. 


56. He urged a Franco-Russo-German alliance against 
Great Britain. — North American Review, January 1900, pp. 


57. He said that Germany would not forget England's 
unwarrantable interference in the Agadir affair. — Letter to 
the Neue Freie Presse, 191 1. 

58. He spoke of " Britain's long-standing and traditional 
political hostility to Germany." — Daily Mail interview, 
December 191 1. 

Rudolf Martin (1867- . Official in German Imperial 
Home Office. Author of many writings on political 
economy and finance, in particular on the Imperial aspects 
of the Bagdad railway and of aircraft). 

59. " The preservation of peace is decidedly not the highest 
and most ideal aim of a great nation, ... As a foundation 
for an increase in military, political, and economic power, an 
extension of the German Empire's territorial possessions is 
absolutely necessary." — " Deutschland und England " (Ger- 
many and England), (1908), p. 15. 

60. "In Germany there are many people who represent the 
standpoint that there will be no war if no one attacks us. . . . 
This view is so mean, so worthless that there can be no dis- 
cussion with those who hold it. Germany will certainly draw 
the sword and open the attack as soon as the hour for action, 
according to her sovereign judgement, has come. . . . The 
Austro-Prussian dispute gave us the German War and the 
North German Federation. The jealousy of France gave us 
the German Empire. The dispute between Great Britain 
and the German Empire will give us the new Greater Ger- 
many." — " Kaiser Wilhelm II und Konig Eduard VII " (The 
Emperor WiUiam II and King Edward VII), pp. 57-8. 

Adolf Wagner (1835- . Professor of Political Economy 
at Berlin University. Member of Prussian Herrenhaus : 
Germany's greatest authority on economics). 

61. '* Our real adversary is England." — Interview in 
Georges Bourdon's " L'Enigme AUemand," p. 103. 


Max Lenz (1850- . One of Germany's foremost his- 
torians. Authority on Bismarck. Professor of History 
at various universities. Rector of BerUn University. 
1911-12 : Professor of History at the Hamburg Wissen- 
schaftliche Stiftung). 

62. " O wonderful, sanctifying power of war ! Where are 
now the white-hvered fools who wished to plant with their 
soft, sweet words eternal peace in a world full of envy and 
strife ? " — Suddeutsche Monatshefte, September 1914. 

63. " Our Army, as the most immediate expression of our 
strength, proves before all things that the ideas which create 
power are moral ideas." — " Kleine Historische Schriften " 
(I9i3)> p. 583- 

KuNO Fischer (i 824-1907. Philosopher and historian of 
philosophy. 1856-72: Professor at Jena; 1872-1907 
at BerUn. Author of standard " History of Modem 

64. " Wars are terrible, but they are necessary, morally 
necessary, for they guard the State against inner petrifaction 
and stagnation." — "Geschichte der Philosophie " : Hegel, 
vol. i. p. 737. 

Karl Mayr (Professor of History at the University of 
Munich) . 

65. " Our long training by means of the State and the 
Army appears once more to be the preserver of the nation's 
best characteristics. . . . War is, indeed, the bitter medicine 
which seems to have been provided to free us from many 
sicknesses." — Suddeutsche Monatshefte, September 191 4. 

Karl Heigel (1842- , Professor of History at Munich in 
1885. Author of various historical works. In 1904 
became President of the Royal Academy of Sciences, 

66. " The nation of warriors and thinkers has the vocation 
accorded to it, by universal history, to unite Sparta and 
Athens." — Suddeutsche Monatshefte, September 1914. 


Ernst v. Halle (Professor of Political Economy at Berlin 
University, 1901). 

67. "In the great wars of the future the German people, 
after losing so many millions of Germans (by emigration) to 
the Anglo-Saxon world in the nineteenth century and so 
having shifted the balance of power to its own disadvantage, 
will need all the inner strength of shoulders, fists, and heads, 
will need the strength of the nation, of its productivity, of 
its fighting powers, of its brain and its imperial organisation, 
in order to guard its rights among the nations by land and 
sea." — " Die deutsche Volkswirtschaft an der Jahrhunderts- 
wende" (German National Economy at the parting of the 
Centuries, dedicated to Admiral von Tirpitz) (1902). Intro- 
duction, p. xiv. 

68. " The Customs Union and the German Empire gradually 
gave Germany that economic superiority which through the 
centuries she had had to yield to other nations. Only a 
World-power Policy [' Weltmachtpolitik '] can extend this and 
preserve it for the blessing of the whole people. The German 
Empire could, as Bismarck rightfully recognised, only be placed 
firmly on its feet by supporting itself upon the shoulders of 
the whole nation by means of universal military service and 
universal suffrage." — " Weltwirtschaftliche Aufgaben und 
Weltpolitische Ziele " (The Tasks of World Economy and the 
Aims of World PoUtics), (1902) p. 241. 

5. Publicists 

69. Maximilian Harden (1861- . Germany's most 
notable publicist) in an article in his paper. Die Zukunft, in 
1904, blamed the Emperor for not concealing hostility against 
Great Britain until the time came to strike, thus neglecting 
one of Bismarck's chief principles. 

Ernst Teja Meyer ( Journalist ; occasional con- 

tributor to Deutsche Revue). 

70. " The war-cry of Germany is, ' Los von England * 
(Cut loose from England)." — From a pamphlet entitled " Los 
von England." 

71. Richard Calwer (1868- . Author of works on 


economics; foremost Socialist economist). In Sozialistische 
Monatshefte for September 1905 wished to see a European 
ZoUverein directed against Great Britain. 

72. Daniel Fryman in " Wenn ich der Kaiser war" (If 
I were the Emperor) (19 13), is definitely belUcose against 
Great Britain, and says that questions between England and 
Germany must be settled " by blood and iron." This work 
had a very wide sale. 

73. "Deutschland beim Beginn des 2oten Jahrhunderts " 
(Germany at the beginning of the Twentieth Century), (1900), 
an anonymous pamphlet which also had a very wide sale, 
said : " We require a fleet only against England." 

74. " England's Weltherrschaft und die deutsche Luxus- 
flotte " (England's World-mastery and Germany's Luxury- 
Fleet), an anonymous pamphlet published by the German 
Navy League, said : " On every one of the world's trade routes, 
like an ancient robber-knight in full armour, lance in hand, 
stands England." 

75. Carl Eisenhart in " Die Abrechnung mit England " 
(Wiping off the Score against England), (1900), represents the 
German Navy as being built to acquire England's best 

C. Cleinow (1873- . Studied political economy and Slav 
history at Konigsberg. Took up career of journalist, 
and in 1909 became Editor of the Grenzboten and of&cial 
mouthpiece of the late Kiderlen-Wachter, when German 
Imperial Foreign Minister). 

76. " What cultural achievements must we not banish from 
our minds if there had been no wars, no armies, no armament 
factories! Strife is the father of all things." — Grenzboten, 
April 9th, 191 3. 

77. E. Pfleiderer (Professor of Philosophy at Tubingen. 
Chaplain in 1870. Preached two sermons to Third Wurtem- 
berg Brigade in Park of Pontanet, in view of Paris), in his 
pamphlet " Die Idee eines goldnen Zeitalters " (The Idea of 
a Golden Age, 1877), speaks of war as the educator of nations, 
as the touchstone of existing quaUties, and the creator of 
fresh ones. See pp. 86-102. 


L. Stein. 

78. "If war has fulfilled its political function in forming 
and balancing States, it still has an educational part to play." 
— " Das Ideal des ewigen Friedens und die soziale Frage : 
(The Ideal of Eternal Peace and the Social Question), (1896), 
p. 49. Quoted by J. Lagorgette : " Le Role de la Guerre," 
p. 464. 

H. VON DiRKSEN (Dr. jur. of Bonn : contributor to Grenz- 

hoten) . 

79. " The most illuminating explanation seems to me to 
be this : that Imperialism is the modem form of that eternal 
struggle of different individual groups among themselves. 
Strife as the father of all things, as the primary condition of 
all fusion, unity, and higher evolution, as the expression of a 
will to such higher evolution — there would be the hypotheses 
for such a view." — Article " Die Grundlagen des Imperial- 
ismus " (The Foundations of ImperiaUsm) in the Grenzboten, 
May 7th, 1 91 3. 

80. WiLHELM Stapel (contributor to Grenzboten) in the 
issue of Grenzboten for December i8th, 191 2, has an article 
entitled " Zur Rechtfertigung des Krieges " (In Defence of 

Count von Reventlow (1869- . Is prominent member 
of the Pan-German League, Naval Captain, and prolific 
writer on naval affairs). 

81. " Germany must have a fleet capable of conquering the 
greatest hostile maritime Power." (Quoted by the Eclair, 
November 15th, 1910). 

Paul Rohrbach (1869- . Took part in German colo- 
nising activities. Editor of Das Grossere Deutschland 
(Greater Germany) and prominent writer on ImperiaHst 

questions) . 

82. " For us there is no standing still ; we have the choice 
of sinking back to the place of the peoples to whose nationaUty 
territorial bounds are set ("Territorialvolker ") or of con- 


quering a place beside the Anglo-Saxons." — " Der Deutsche 
Gedanke in der Welt" (The German Idea in the World), p. 8; 

6. Journalists 

*' SoziALiSTiscHE MoNATSHEFTE " (Sociahst), December 1899 
(Quoted by Ellis Barker : " Modem Germany," p. 141)- 

83. " That Germany be armed to the teeth, possessing a 
strong fleet, is of the utmost importance to the working man." 

** Grenzboten " (semi-official), October 5th, 1899. 

84. *' All differences between France and Germany benefit 
only the nearly all-powerful enemy of the world." 

85. In the issue of April i6th, 191 3, appeared an article 
on Clausewitz's book, " Vom Kriege " (On War), in which 
that book is described as " not only a book for the soldier, 
but for humanity " ; and again, " In the last resort what 
Clausewitz wrote was not the book ' Of War ' but the book 
* Of Life.' " 

86. In March and April, 1913, the Grenzboten circulated as 
a supplement a placard of the German " Wehrverein " (corre- 
sponding to the English National Service League). "The 
' Wehrverein ' has always stood for the complete application 
of the law of Universal Military Service. Our Western neigh- 
bours are now what we once were, but are no longer, a ' Nation 
in Arms.' After the reintroduction of their Three Years' 
Service Law their army will be far superior to ours. A very 
grave increase in their power and desire of the offensive will 
be the certain result. Thus the position of our league is 
clear. What power it possesses must be placed in the service 
of the new Military Service Bill. . . . Let us therefore shrink 
from no sacrifice : let us show our neighbours that we are 
ready to oppose will to will." 

"Die Post " (Agrarian). Quoted by W. N. Willis : " What 
does Germany Want? " (1912), p. 21. 

87. " Beware of England ! Let us hear nothing of treaties ! 
Let us wait and arm and what we need will be ours undi- 


88. " Nauticus " (official) in March 1900 speaks of the 
necessity of counteracting England's piratical policy ("Ero- 
berungspolitik ' ') . 

" Allgemeine Evangelische Lutherische Kirchenzeitung 
(Lutheran) said in November 1908 : 

89. " The Emperor is working for the good- will of the 
English people. That is not a very elevating spectacle for 
us ; but it is necessary so long as we must avoid a war with 
England by reason of our not being strong enough. . . . We 
must build further and compete with England until England 
has indeed three times as many ships as we, but is unable to 
man them. Until that time comes scaremongering ("Kriegs- 
hetze") is sheer madness." 

Alfred Kerr (1867- . Author of numerous works of 
literary criticism and editor of " Pan"). 

90. " The law of Ufe requires that the less strong shall be 
eliminated ; the true conquerors are the hungry. And we 
are the hungry. The money we have gained has given us a 
taste for more ; the well-being we have conquered has in- 
creased our appetite. When the German looks round about 
the world he finds that he has come off badly, that what is 
left him is only the scraps of a good meal. But this division 
in his thoughts is only provisional." — Quoted by Georges 
Bourdon : " L'Enigme AUemand," p. 224. 

" Militar Wochenblatt " (quoted by Paul Pilant, " Le 
Peril allemand," 1913).^ 

91. "La guerre est une loi divine, qui condamne les peuples 
malades et desireux de paix ou qui les conduit a la guerisme 
par le sang et par les mines. La guerre et la preparation a 
la guerre sont aussi necessaires au developpement des peuples 
que la lutte pour la vie est necessaire a I'individu." 

1 I give the following quotations from French sources in order to prove 
my contention in the foregoing pages that France was aware of the mili- 
tarist tendencies in contemporary German thought. Readers who are 
not convinced of this fact might consult M. Vergnet's " France en Danger." 


" Neue Politische Correspondenz " (quoted by Andre 
Barre in " La Menace allemande," 1907). 

92. " L'Angleterre est un colosse aux pieds d'argile, . . . 
Apres avoir brutalement repousse Tamitie que TAUemagne 
lui off rait avec plus d'enthousiasme que de sagesse diplo- 
matique, elle a tisse autour de nous des rets diplomatiques qui, 
dds maintenant, entravent la liberte de nos mouvements. Si 
elle continue a agir de la sorte, nous pourrons bien nous 
trouver tentes, quelque jour, de dechirer ces rets avant que 
d'en etre trop etroitement enserres. . . ." 

" Der Deutsche" (quoted by Le Temps, May 15th, 1907). 

93. " Le sort de la France depend actuellement, malgre 
toutes les ententes et les alliances, uniquement de 1' amour 
de la paix de I'Empereur allemand. Un moment pourrait 
toutefois venir ou cet amour de la paix deviendrait une faute 
et un crime, et le moment viendra certainement ou la partie 
sera dans la proportion de 80 millions d'AUemands contre 
40 millions de Frangais." 

" Potsdamer Tageszeitung " (quoted by Le Matin, 
August 15th, 1910). 

94. " Vivre encore quarante ans en paix serait un malheur 
national pour nous." 

" Die Post " (Agrarian: quoted by Le Matin, April 24th, 191 1). 

95. " C'est un devoir, pour les vrais patriotes, que de 
s'elever contre le danger que presente le reve d'une paix 
perpetuelle, reve dont le seul resultat est d'affaiblir 1' esprit 
guerrier d'un peuple. . . . Malheur au pays ou les pacifistes 
sont nombreux : il s'affaiblit." 

" Germania " (Centre Party : quoted by Le Matin, Novem- 
ber 7th, 1 901). 

96. " II y a un excedent de force chez les jeunes gens de 
vingt a trente ans. lis ont soif d'actes heroiques. . . , Un 
peuple qui pendant quarante ans a vecu dans la paix com- 
mettra des desordres si on ne le mene pas contre I'ennemi." 


7. Artists and Novelists 
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-90. Student at Bonn and 
Leipzic. Professor at Bale. Friend and then enemy 
of Wagner. Poet, philologist, and philosopher). 

97. " Ye shall love peace as a means to new wars — and 
the short peace more than the long." " A good cause, you 
say, sanctifies every cause. But I say unto you : it is a good 
war that sanctifies every cause." — " Also sprach Zarathu- 
stra" (Thus spake Zarathustra), (English Edition), p. 52. 

98. August Niemann (popular novelist : author of anti- 
English novel on the South African War) : in his novel " Der 
Weltkrieg : Deutsche Traume " (The World- War : German 
Dreams) (1904) he represents England as conquered by and 
the British Empire nearly all divided up between Germany, 
France, and Russia. 

Karl Bottcher (novelist). In 1904 he wrote a scurrilous 
pamphlet : 

99. " Im Bann der Englanderei " (In the Toils of Eng- 
landism) protesting against any friendship with England. 

Emanuel Geibel (1815-84. One of Germany's greatest 
song- writers) . 

100. Wrote numerous poems of strong militarist senti- 
ment ; for example, the early poem " Kriegslied " (War 
Song), which begins : 

" And if we have nothing left to us 
Yet still we have our sword," 

or, again, the several warlike or Gallophobe songs written be- 
tween 1866 and 1870 ; e.g. " From the Salzburg days, late 
Summer, 1867," " War-Song, July 1870," " A Psalm against 
Babel " {i.e. Paris), and " On the Third of September, 1870." 
In the last of these Paris is spoken of thus : 

"Now trembles before God's 
And Germany's sword, 
The city of scorn 
And the home of bloodguiltiness." 



At first, in the *' Battle of Dorking** phase, the note was 
mainly defensive. But from the moment when the Kaiser 
began to copy our Armada policy by building a big fleet, the 
anti-German agitation became openly aggressive ; and the cry 
that the German fleet or ours must sink, and that a war between 
England and Germany was bound to come some day, speedily 
ceased to be merely a cry with our Militarists and became an 
axiom with them. 

It hardly seems necessary to comment upon these sentences. 
What is the meaning of " ceasing to be a cry and becoming 
an axiom " ? These words have no meaning, unless we put 
it that, before Germany had a fleet our militarists cried out 
that the German Fleet must be sunk, and that when Germany 
did build a fleet the miUtarists no longer cried this out. 

I do not wish to dogmatise, but it seems that, in building 
an immense fleet, and in uttering his aspiration to the effect 
that Germany's future was upon waters already occupied by 
Great Britain, the German Emperor was committing an act 
of aggression in the accepted sense of the term. It may be 
right or wrong for Great Britain to occupy the chief place upon 
the sea, but that is not here the question. 

" Common Sense about the War," page 4, col. 2 : 

And what our Militarists said our Junkers echoed ; and our 
Junker diplomatists played for. 

*' Common Sense about the War," page 5, col. i : 

Now, please observe that I do not say that the agitation was 
unreasonable. I myself steadily advocated the formation of a 
formidable armament, and ridiculed the notion that we, who are 
wasting hundreds of millions annually on idlers and wasters, 
could not easily afford double, treble, quadruple our military 
and naval expenditure. I advocated the compulsion of every 
man to serve his country, both in war and peace. 


The article by Lord Roberts in the current number of " The 
Hibbert Journal" {October 1914). There you shall see also, 
after the usual nonsense about Nietzsche, the vision of " British 
administrators bearing the White Man's Burden." 

Lord Roberts' article appeared after the commencement of 
the war ; it in no way caused the declaration of war by Great 
Britain, and is therefore no concern of mine here. But I 
may point out that, since Mr. Shaw advocated enormous 
military and naval armaments before the war, and since the 
only purpose of these enormous armaments and this universal 
service must be the preservation of the British Empire, Mr. 
Shaw himself advocated the " Bearing of the White Man's 


The idlers and wasters, perceiving dimly that I meant the 
cost to come out of their pockets, and meant to use the admission 
that riches should not exempt a man from military service as 
an illustration of how absurd it is to allow them to exempt him 
from civil service, did not embrace my advocacy with en- 

This is mere writing. What tittle of evidence has Mr. 
Shaw to this effect ? 

But they must stand to their guns now that the guns are going 
off. They must not pretend that they were harmless Radical 
lovers of peace. 

Has Mr. Shaw any evidence to the effect that any one who 
formerly pointed out that Germany was a menace to Eng- 
land, to-day wishes to pretend that he did not point that out ? 

For instance : in an editorial in the English Review, of 
which I was proprietor, in 1909, 1 advocated a declaration 
by the British Government, to the effect that the laying 
down of another battleship by Germany would be regarded 
as a casus belli and would be followed by an immediate 
.declaration of war. I do not now run 5.way from that posi- 


tion. It would have been very wise, humane, and politic 
if the British Government had then made that declaration. 
The building of a great German Navy was a menace, and was 
intended as a menace to the peace of the world. 

. . . and that the propaganda of Militarism and of inevitable 
war between England and Germany is a Prussian infamy for 
which the Kaiser must be severely punished. That is not fair, 
not true, not gentlemanly. 

Several propositions are here put negligently by Mr. Shaw. 
Let us attempt to pin him down. 

[a] " The propaganda of miUtarism is a Prussian infamy." 
The propaganda of militarism which means that the first 
object of the State is the waging of war, and that the second 
object of the State is the enriching of its citizens by the waging 
of war, and that war in itself is a necessary medicine for the 
human race, is, as a State Doctrine, a purely Prussian phe- 
nomenon. These doctrines were preached by Kant, by 
Hegel, by Treitschke, by Delbriick, all of them State officials 
appointed by the Prussian ministers of State. These doc- 
trines have never been preached by an English State official. 

(6) " For which the Kaiser must be severely punished." 
On December 17th, 1890, the Emperor William II delivered 
an address to the school teachers of Prussia in which he 
admonished them to the effect that the province of Prussian 
education was to combat Social Democracy and to provide 
him with disciplined and healthy soldiers. At the end of 
this congress of teachers, to which this address was delivered, 
the Emperor presented his photograph to the Prussian Minister 
of Education inscribed with the words ' Sic volo, sic jubeo.' 
On February 12th, 1891, this Minister of Education issued 
an order to the school teachers of Prussia, curtailing the hours 
of study given to humaner learning, as well as the Latin and 
Greek classics, in favour of the contemplation of the victories 
won for Germany by the dynasty of the Hohenzollerns. No 
English Sovereign has ever delivered an address to the school 
teachers of Great Britain to the effect that their province 
was to combat Social Democracy or to provide him with 
healthy and disciplined soldiers. 


{c) " The propaganda of inevitable war between England 
and Germany." Can Mr. Shaw point to any single English 
official writer of position, or journalist, who has engaged in 
propagandising in favour of war between England and Ger- 
many ? As he does not mention any such person I presume 
that he cannot. I wish to lay stress upon the word " propa- 
ganda." " Propaganda of inevitable war " signifies that the 
person uttering such propaganda states that he desires war 
or that such a war would be of benefit to the community. I 
do not think that any English writer or pubhcist of repute 
since 1870 has ever said that he desired war with Germany. 
My own comparatively bellicose utterance of 1909 — upon which 
I lay stress because it is the most extreme pronouncement 
that I know of — cannot be read as implying a desire for a war 
with Germany. It can be read as implying simply and solely 
that, at that date. Great Britain was in a position to ensure 
peace by threatening war. But this is an infinite distance 
from an expression of a desire for " an inevitable war." It 
should be added that I am not a British official and that my 
publication was in opposition to the Government. 

The Prussian writers who have stated that a war with 
England, with France, or that war in general, is desirable 
and necessary for the prosperity of the German Empire have 
been very numerous and very highly placed. They include, 
as we have seen. Prince von Biilow, General von der Goltz, 
General von Bemhardi, the German Crown Prince, and the 
German Emperor. These are the actual rulers of Germany. 
All the writers and magazines and organisations mentioned 
by Mr. Shaw on p. 4 of his pamphlet, taken together, could 
not have the influence upon the councils of the British Em- 
pire that is exercised in the German Bundesrat, or Supreme 
Council of the German Empire, by any one of the German 
officials that I have mentioned. 

In addition to these Princes and officials, innumerable 
articles in the German newspapers and innumerable lectures 
by German professors have directly advocated declarations 
of war upon Great Britain, on the ground that, by such a 
war, Germany would have everything to gain and Great 
Britain ever)rthing to lose. 

In addition, the German newspapers have systematically 


falsified the utterances of English statesmen and diplomatists 
so as to make them appear bellicose. Thus in 191 1, Mr. 
McKenna, when First Lord of the Admiralty, stated that : " I 
rest on the indisputable principle that peace is not only the 
highest human good, but also the greatest material interest 
of the British Empire." In almost every German news- 
paper he was reported as having said : "I rest on the in- 
disputable principle that peace is not the highest human good. 
Before all things come the material interests of the British 
Empire." Thus also there was the fabricated interview with 
Sir Fairfax Cartwright in the Neue Freie Presse of August 31st, 
191 1, or, since the outbreak of war, the forged speech of 
Mr. John Burns. 

The rest of this paragraph is merely writing, picturesque 
but unsupported by any evidence. 


" Common Sense about the War," page 5, col. 2 : 

// is from our foreign policy, he says, that he has learnt what 
our journalists denounce as " the doctrine of the bully, of the 
materialist, of the man with gross ideals : a doctrine of dia- 
bolical evil." He frankly accepts that doctrine from us {as if 
our poor, honest muddleheads had ever formulated anything so 
intellectual as a doctrine). 

Mr. Shaw's comments within brackets seem to dispose of 
General von Bernhardi's allegation. Any man can learn 
anything from anybody's career. From the fact that few 
German actresses in provincial towns are paid more than 
fifteen shillings a week, and that these actresses must there- 
fore find an additional means of support, and that these 
actresses perform freely in Mr. Shaw's plays, I might deduce 
morals from the life of Mr. Shaw that would be grossly unfair 
to that writer. It is, nevertheless, true that he derives that 
portion of his income from hideously sweated artists, and 
that the maquereau might derive thence an apologia pro vita 

■ All that a Kaiser could do without unbearable ignominy to 


induce them to keep their bulldogs off and give him fair play 
with his two redoubtable foes, he did. 

What did the German Emperor do ? It is interesting to 
see Mr. Shaw taking the part of an oppressed Emperor and 
talking about " unbearable ignominy." Would it have been 
unbearable ignominy for the Emperor William II to have 
permitted — or to have coerced — Austria-Hungary to submit 
the Serbian answer to their ultimatum to the Hague Con- 
ference ; or would it have been unbearable ignominy to 
have accepted the Tsar's suggestion that the whole origins 
of the war should be submitted to the same tribunal ? 

The rest of the paragraph is mere writing. 


" Common Sense about the War," page 6, col. i : 

Suppose France, with its military prestige raised once more 
to the Napoleonic point, spends its indemnity in building an 
invincible Armada, stronger and nearer to us than the German 
one we are now out to destroy ! Suppose Sir Edward Grey re- 
monstrates, and Monsieur Delcasse replies, " Russia and France 
have humbled one Imperial Bully, and are prepared to humble 
another, I have not forgotten Fashoda. Stop us if you can ; 
or turn, if you like, for help to the Germany we have smashed 
and disarmed ! " 

This section has nothing to do with the origins of the war. 
And although, as a human being, I intensely resent Mr. Shaw's 
light-hearted denigration of France and the French people, 
it is no part of my business here to comment upon vague 
speculations as to what will happen after the conclusion 
of hostilities. 


But let me test the militarist theory, not by a hypothetical 
future, but by the accomplished and irrevocable past. Is it 
true that nations must conquer or go under, and that military 


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

This section is only remotely connected with the origins 
of the present war. I quote it in extenso in order to give the 
reader who may not have a copy of Mr. Shaw's pamphlet 
by him, an instance of Mr. Shaw's methods of deaUng with 
history. Except in the case of Austria-Hungary, where 
Mr. Shaw states what is deUberately untrue, these allegations 
which Mr. Shaw states as dogmas are at best matters of 


opinion. It is true that the alliance of Austria-Hungary has 
been sought by Germany, but so has the alhance of Turkey. 
And for the matter of that the aUiance of Portugal has been 
sought by the Allies. 

No doubt a considerable reverse may nerve any nation to 
renewed mihtary efforts ; but a crushing annihilation re- 
mains a crushing annihilation. For where, if Mr. Shaw's 
theory be true, are Carthage, Rome, Babylon, the Gothic 
Empire in Spain, the kingdom of the Abencerrages, the 
Empire of Charlemagne, the kingdom of Poland ? The 
Monaco joke is quite a good one. 


" Common Sense about the War," page 6, col. 2 : 

Amusing writing, but unconnected with the origins of the 
present war. 


In England we are all prepared to face any World Congress 
and say, " We know that Sir Edward Grey is an honest English 
gentleman, who meant well as a true patriot and friend of peace ; 
we are quite sure that what he did was fair and right ; and we 
will not listen to any nonsense to the contrary." The Congress 
will reply, " We know nothing about Sir Edward Grey except 
what he did ; and as there is no secret and no question as to 
what he did, the whole story being recorded by himself, we must 
hold England responsible for his conduct, whilst taking your 
word for the fact, which has no importance for us, that his con- 
duct has nothing to do with his character." 

This section again is unconnected with the origins of the 
present war. Let me however repeat that there will be no 
World Congress at the end of the war, and the character of 
Sir Edward Grey will not be canvaissed by either side at the 
congress of representatives of the combatant powers. 



" Common Sense about the War," page 7, cols, i and 2 : 

The early part of this section is again mere writing. I 
cannot see the value or appositeness of such remarks on Mr. 
Shaw's part as, " I have spent so much of my Ufe in trying 
to make the EngHsh understand that we are cursed with a 
fatal intellectual laziness ; " or, " We found it easy to 
silence it with any sort of plausible twaddle . . . provided 
by our curates at £70 a year." No doubt such statements 
have a value and appositeness, but still they seem to me to 
be more appropriate to a Minor Catechist than to an adult 
writer of a treatise on the origins of a great war. 

7 shall have to exhibit our Secretary of State for Foreign 
Affairs as " behaving almost exactly as we have accused the 
Kaiser of behaving." 

Yet I see him throughout as an honest gentleman, " perplexed 
in the extreme," meaning well, revolted at the last moment hy 
the horror of war, clinging to the hope that in some vague way 
he could persuade everybody to be reasonable if they would only 
come and talk to him as they did when the big Powers were kept 
out of the Balkan war, but " hopelessly destitute of a positive 
policy of any kind, and therefore unable to resist those who had 
positive business in hand." 

The phrases in inverted commas make hopeless nonsense 
of Mr. Shaw's argument. If Sir Edward Grey had no posi- 
tive policy of any kind and the person whom he tried to resist 
had a positive policy, then Sir Edward Grey cannot have 
behaved as the Emperor William II behaved, since Sir Edward 
Grey was resisting the Kaiser, and the person whom he re-. 
sisted had a positive poUcy. 

The rest of this paragraph is again only writing. 

And do not for a moment imagine that I think that the con- 
scious Sir Edward Grey was Othello, and the sub-conscious, I ago. 

I do not think that the Foreign Office, "of which Sir Edward 
is merely the figure-head," was as deliberately and consciously 
bent on a long-deferred Militarist war with Germany as the 
Admiralty was ; and that is saying a good deal. 


Compare the words in inverted commas with the phrases 
quoted below from page 4, col. i, of - Common Sense about the 
War," and with the other phrase from the same page and 
column : "of course the Kaiser is much less autocratic." 

He [Mr. ChuvchilT\ had arranged for the co-operation of the 
French and British fleets ; ' ' was spoiling for the fight ; and 
must have restrained himself with great difficulty from taking 
off his coat in public, whilst Mr. A squith and Sir Edward Grey 
were giving the country the assurances which were misunderstood 
to mean " that we were not bound to go to war, and not more 
likely to do so than usual. 

How can Mr. Shaw, who before this war has behaved Hke 
a fairly decent man, have committed himself to such re- 
portings of gossip .? What evidence has he for a word of 
this sort of stufi ? It is possibly true that since the out- 
break of the war Mr. Churchill's speeches have been more 
belhcose than those of Sir Edward Grey. But one does not, 
in decency, comment in such phrases as I have put in inverted 
commas upon a matter so grave as the declaration of a war. 

But though Sir Edward did not clear up the misunderstand- 
ing, I think he went to war with the heavy heart of a Junker 
Liberal {such centaurs exist) and not with the exultation of a 
Junker Jingo. 

Compare page 4 of Mr. Shaw's pamphlet : -- Sir Edward 
Grey, who, without consulting us, sends us to war by a word 
to an ambassador and pledges all our wealth to his foreign 
alhes by a stroke of his pen. ..." 

Which, in even the world of Mr. Shaw's gossip, is the real 
Sir Edward Grey ? 


I will permit myself the following few words of comment. 
I think I have demonstrated the amount of evidence that 
Mr. Shaw has brought forward to back up his assertions, and 
I think I have demonstrated what Mr, Shaw's methods are. 
The amount of evidence will be seen to be exactly nil ; the 


methods will be seen to be exactly those of a candidate in 
a parish council election. Mr. Shaw assigns motives and 
draws pictures of statesmen exactly after the manner of those 
ingenious artists who, during general elections, depict for us 
the upholders of the big or the Httle loaf, of the big or 
the Uttl© Navy, of the big stick or of the mailed fist. And 
regarded as historical comment Mr. Shaw's pamphlet has 
just the value of such artistic efforts — no more and no less. 
His knowledge of the motives of the Emperor WiUiam II is 
just as deep as his knowledge of the motives of Mr. Winston 
Churchill. His knowledge of the powers of Sir Edward Grey 
is just as deep as his knowledge of the powers of the Emperor 
WiUiam II. And, as the necessities of his vagrant theses 
alter, so does he alter his picture of the statesman concerned. 
At one moment the Emperor WiUiam II is a vain-glorious 
bully, at the next harassed by conspirators ; at one moment 
Sir Edward Grey is more autocratic than the Kaiser and 
sends us to war by a stroke of his pen ; at the next he is 
merely the figure-head of the Foreign Office ; at one moment 
he is a Junker from the tips of his toes to the crown of his 
head, at the next he goes to war with a heavy heart. It 
is true that Mr. Shaw tries to extricate himself from this 
quandary by calhng Sir Edward Grey a Junker Liberal, as 
who should say an air-filled vacuum. 
Such then are Mr. Shaw's methods of generahsation. 


In order to give the reader some idea of what are the pre- 
occupations of the real German Junker as opposed to the 
fictitious image Mr. Shaw tries to create, I here translate the 
speech referred to on page 114. It was deUvered by a Junker 
leader and was selected at random ; it is, however, as recent 
as possible. It was deUvered in the Prussian (not the German 
Imperial) Upper House as late as January loth, 1914, and was 
reported in the " Deutscher Geschichtskalender " for 1914 
(vol. 61, page 37) : 

" loth Jan. In the order of the day stands the resolution 
moved by Count Yorck von Wartenburg, that the Prussian Govern- 
ment be requested to direct its efforts so that the (inter-State) 
standing of Prussia to which it has claims on account of its history 
and its importance be not jeopardised by a shifting of the constitu- 
tional inter-State relations to the detriment of single States in 
their individual capacities. 

" The Clerk of the House, Count Behr, moved that the resolution 
be adopted. Count Yorck von Wartenburg stated that he had 
expected that the centenary of the Time of Glory 1 would have had 
as a consequence a greater elevation in the dominion of national 
hfe. Unfortunately, however, the appointed representatives of the 
people had left much to be desired in this respect. The strength- 
ening of the Army had only taken place in an atmosphere of extreme 
opposition and mistrust (ohne die widerwartigsten Nebenumstande) 
and the necessary financial measures had not been voted without 
the most regrettable consequences to inter-State relations. The 
federated Governments had made repeated concessions to the 
democratic lust of power. His present message to the Prussian 
Government at this eleventh hour must be ' videant consules ' 
(let the consuls look to it). The Reichstag had thought fit to pass 

Glorreiche Zeit, ue. Battle of Leipsic. 


a vote of ' no confidence ' in the Prussian Minister-President,^ 
with the aim of forcing him to resign, God preserve us from that. 
Unfortunately even the National Liberals had given their approval 
to this vote of ' no confidence.' And in many other cases the 
Reichstag had interfered in the legislation of the individual States. 
The Governments had not always rebuked these encroachments 
with the necessary sharpness. It was to be desired that the 
influence of Prussia should be strengthened by news of the amend- 
ments which Prussia was introducing in the Bundesrat (Supreme 
Council of the Empire). By the extension of Imperial (as opposed 
to State) legislation and the creation of new Imperial officials the 
Imperial power would be increased but the King of Prussia would, 
thereby, lose more than the Emperor would gain. The Reichstag 
also repeatedly meddled in military affairs and in those of the 
Emperor as supreme War Lord, Also the so-called Armaments 
Committee (of the Reichstag) had meddled with the executive with 
the sanction of the Government. Subordination in the Army 
must by these means be slowly but surely undermined. The 
Imperial Chancellor must be thanked for so courageously champion- 
ing the Army in spite of the uproar of the democratic majority. 
The Government's most sacred duty was to see to it that the Army 
should not be delivered over to such influences, lest we should arrive 
at the condition of affairs in England, with a life-long President at 
the head of a Republic. Prussia was the work of its rulers, Prussia 
had created the Empire. He hoped the attempt to undermine the 
sure foundations of Prussia would not succeed." 

The Imperial Chancellor, who was present at the sitting 
as Prussian Minister-President, cordially endorsed the senti- 
ments of Count Yorck von Wartenburg. If the reader still 
wishes for further instances of German mihtarist utterances, 
I can cordially commend to him the study of Mr. Alexander 
Gray's pamphlet "The True Pastime" (Methuen & Co., 
price 6d.), which, I may note, has been compiled independently 
of and since the getting together of my own list of what it 
pleases me to call the " Hundred Best Books " — at any rate on 
this subject. 

1 The Prussian Minister- President, Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg, was 
also the Imperial Chancellor, and in this capacity the Reichstag passed 
a vote of "no confidence" in him, to which the Government paid no 


Abencerrages, 280 

Abrechnung mit England, Die 

(By Carl Eisenhart), 267 
Actium, Battle of, 99, 100 
Act of Succession, 52 
Acton, John Emerich Edward, 

First Baron, 33 
Adriatic Sea, 47 
Africa, East, 139 
Agadir affair, 139, 254, 264 
Agadir debates in Reichstag, 

Agrarfragen, Die wichtigsten (By 

Georg Evert), 240 
Agrarian Party, 113, 240 
Agricola, 207 
Aigues Mortes, 73, 195 
Aldington Knoll, 205-6 
Alexander I, Emperor of Rus- 
sia, 239 
Alexandria, 89 
Algiers, Deys of, 100 
AUdeutscher Verband, 258, 268 
Allgemeine Evangelische Luther- 

ische Kirchenzeitung , 270 
Alsace-Lorraine, 48, 50, 79, 116, 

176, 204 
Also sprach Zarathoustra (By 

Friedrich Nietzsche), 272 
Amiens, 194 
Anabaptists, 207 
Angell, Norman, 225-6 
Annunzio, Gabriele d', 226 
Antwerp, 187, 227 
Apia Harbour, 125 
Arc de Triomphe de I'Etoile, 

73-4. 76 
Arethusa, 91 
Argonne, 195 
Aries, 217, 221 

Arms and the Man (By George 

Bernard Shaw), 19 
Asquith, Rt, Hon. 
20, 54, 

55, 229, 

Henry, 11, 

230, 282 
Athens, 265 
Attila, 55 
Augsburg, 161 
Augustine, St., 207 
Aus einem kleinen Garnison (By 

Lieutenant Bilse), 144 
Austria-Hungary, 39, 46, 48, 

178, 236, 239, 244, 278, 279, 

Autaforte, 218, 219 
Avenue de la Grande Armee, 73 
Avignon, 47, 212, 213, 217, 221 

Babylon, 280 

Baden, 126 

Baden, 128 

Bagdad Railway, 264 

Balkans, 48 

Baltic Sea, 128 

Bannerman, Sir Henry Camp- 
bell-, 249 

Barker, EUis, 256, 269 

Barker, Granville, 14 

Barre, Andre, 271 

Bassermann, Abg. Ernst, 253 

Battle of Dorking, The (By 
General Chesney), 244-6, 273 

Battle of the Baltic (By Thomas 
Campbell), 95 

Bavaria, 51, 117, 124, 236 

Bayard, Pierre, Chevalier, 183 

Beachy Head, 207 

Beauvais, 195 

Bebel, August, 13^ 




Beemelmann, Landgerichtsrat, 

Behr, Count, 285 
Belgian Grey Book, 1^,7 
Belgium, 4, 16, 17, 138, 150, 

155, 178, 181, 186-9, 204, 227- 

8, 233-4, 243 
Belgium and the " Scrap of 

Paper" (By H. N. Brails- 
ford), 16, 225, 227 
Belgrade, 17 
Belle Poule, La, 91 
Benvenue, 104 
Berchtold, Leopold, Graf von, 

Beresford, Lord Charles, 249 
Bergson, Henri Louis, 160, 166, 

Berlin, 239 

Berliner Monatschrift, 259 
Bernhardi, Friedrich A, J., 

General, 11, 243, 246, 250, 

276, 277 
Bernstein, Eduard, 254 
Bertran de Born, 218-22, 246 
Bertrand du Guesclin, 86, 183 
Berwick-on-Tweed, 38, 39, 41, 

Bethmann - Hollweg, Theobald 

von, 156, 173, 174, 228, 253, 

Beyle, Henri, 162 
Bilse, Lieutenant, 144 
Bingen, 126 
Birkenhead, 95, 112 
Bismarck, Otto, Fiirst von, 52, 

53, 131, 156, 198, 217, 236, 

240, 266 
Black-eyed Susan (By John 

Gay), 95 
Black Prince, 183 
Black Sea, 47 
Blake, Robert, 112 
Blatchford, Robert, 248, 250 
Blume, Professor W. von, 158 
Bluntschli, Johann Kaspar, 255 
BobUngen, 254 
Boccaccio, Giovanni, 73 
Boers, 279 
Bottcher, Karl, 272 
Bois de Boulogne, 75^ 
Bonn, 26 
Bordeaux. 86^ 

Borkum, 132, 133, 236 
Bosnia, 39 
Bosnians, 234 
Boulogne, 195, 207-10 
Bourdon, Georges, 264, 270 
Brailsford, Henry Noel, 7, 8, 10, 

II, 14, 16, 23, 184, 225-9 
Brain of an Army, The (By 

Spenser Wilkinson), 249 
Brandenburg, 133, 217 
Brandenburg, 128 
Brandys, Abg., 173 
Brennus, 216, 217, 220 
Brest, j-^ 

Briand, Aristide, 84 
Britain and the War (By C. H. 

Norman), 225, 228 
British Army, 51, 82 
British Militarism (By C. H. 

Norman), 225 
British Navy, 82, 108-10, 120, 

133. 137, 139-40, 155 
Brockway, A. Fenner, 225-6 
Brown, Ford, 90 
Brussels, 97 
Buenos Ayres, 103 
" Buffs," The, 207 
Billow, Bernhard H. M. K. 

Fiirst von, 11, 138, 144, 156, 

250, 251-2, 276 
Bundesrat, 125, 285 
Burgundy, 105 
Burke, Edmund, 66 
Burns, John, 81, 277 
Busch's Bismarck, 240 

Caillaux, Joseph, 84, 198 

Caius Marius, 215, 217, 220 

Calais, 72,, 92, 97, 183, 208, 22I 

Cahfomia, 70 

Calliope, 118 

Calwer, Richard, 266-7 

Camargue, 195, 208 

Cambon, Pierre Paul, 231 

Camelots du Roi, 116 

Campbell, Thomas, 95 

Campe, Joachim Heinrich, 163 

Campus Martins, 215 

Canterbury, 207 

Carcassone, 194 

Carcassone, Citadelle de, 7^ 
, Carlyle, Thomas, 245 
; Carmer, Ab§. Count von, 175 



Carthage, 7, 75, 280 

Cartwright, Sir Fairfax, 277 

Casablanca, 183 

Catalogue of State Papers, 27 

Cato. 6 

Causes of War, The, 225 

Cecil, Lord Hugh, 229 

Centre Party, 11 5-17, 134, 135- 

6, 173 
Chamberlain, Houston Stewart, 

Champs Elysees, 73-4 
Channel Islands, 105 
Channel Tunnel, 248, 249 
Charing Cross, 98 
Charlemagne, 280 
Chaucer, Geoffrey, 246 
Cherbourg, 73 
Chesil Beach, 210 
Chesney, General, 244, 247 
Cheviots, 42, 44 
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston, 

8, II, 20, 21, 241, 282-3 
Cinque Ports, io4--i6, 207 
Classen, Professor J., 158 
Clausewitz, General Carl von, 

II, 250, 255, 269 
Cleinow, Georg, 267 
Coeur Simple, Un (By Gustave 

Flaubert), 201 
Cologne Cathedral, 163, 164 
Combes, Justin Louis Emile, 198 
Committee's Report on Alleged 

German Outrages, 150, 165 
Common Sense about the War 

(By Bernard Shaw), 10, 17, 23, 

82 ; Appendix B, pp. 233-83 
Confederation du Rhin, La, 181 
Conservatives, 27, 113-17, 174, 

Constantine, Emperor, 55 
Cook, Professor Albert, 162 
Cooper, Fenimore, 92 
Copenhagen, 16 
Corsica, 219 
Crau, 7T, 
Creusot firm, 68 
Crimean Campaign, 41, 246 
Croats, 178, 234 
Cromer, Lord, 241 
Crown Prince of Germany, 26, 

S6, 242, 251, 254, 276 
Cruppi, Jean, 198 


Curragh Camp affair, 44, 167 
Curzon, Lord, 241 

Daily Mail, The, 179, 264 
Daily Telegraph, The, 138 
Damaraland, 50 
Danes, 50, 116, 178, 179 
Dante Alighieri, 72, 81, 246 
Darwin, Charles, 33 
Deal, 27, 207 
Delbriick, Professor Hans, 11, 

250, 263, 275 
Delcasse, Theophile, 19, 84, 

134. 278 
Denge Marsh, 206 
Denmark, 16, 17, 160, 178, 244 
Dernburg, Bernhard, 37 
Deutsche, Der, 271 
Deutsche Gedanke in der Welt, 

Der (By Paul Rohrbach), 269 
Deutsche Gesprdche (By David 

Friedrich Strauss), 262 
Deutsche Kdmpfe (By Heinrich 

von Treitschke), 263 
Deutsche Militarismus , Der (By 

Professor W. von Blume), 158 
Deutsche Osten, Der (By Georg 

Evert), 200 
Deutsche Revue, Die, 266 
Deutsche Rundschau, Der, 257 
Deutsche und dieser Krieg, Der 

(By Kurt Engelbrecht), 158, 

Deutsche Volkswirtschaft an der 

Jahrhundertswende, Die (By 

Ernst von Halle), 266 
Deutscher Geschichtskalender , 

126, 127, 171^ 173-5, 241, 284 
Deutschland, 126 
Deutschland beim Beginn des 

20ten J ahrhunderts , 267 
Deutschland in Waffen, 86 
Deutschlands Politische Parteien, 

(By Dr. H. Rehm), 115 
Deutschland und England (By 

Rudolf Martin), 264 
Dibelius, Professor W., 158 
Dieppe, 208 
Dirksen, H. von, 268 
Domremy, 77,, 198 
Drachenfels, 133 
Dresden, 143 
Dreyfus Trial, 77 



Dublin, 221 

Diippel, 244 

DiJsseldorf, 236 

Dundonald, Thomas Cochrane, 

Lord, 92 
Dungeness Point, 208, 210 
Duns, 41, 46, 48, 151 
Duties of the General Staff, Th$ 

(By General Bronsart von 

Schellendorf), 247 

Eagle of Liibeck, 162 

Eclair, L', 268 

Edgehill, Battle of, 207 

Edinburgh, 221 

Edinburgh Castle, 96, 139 

Edinburgh Review, The, 249 

Edom o' Gordon, 41 

Edward VII, Kingof England, 253 

Egypt, 234 

Ehrenbreitstein, 133 

Einfiuss der Kultur auf Krieg 

(By General von Reichenau), 

Eisenhart, Carl, 267 
Elbe, 220, 240, 241 
Elham, 208 
Eliot, George, 245 
Encyclopaedists, 67 
Engelbrecht, Kurt, 158, 164-6, 

Englands Weltherrschaft und die 

deutsche Luxusflotte, 267 
England und Wir (By Professor 

W. Dibehus), 158 
England und Wir (By Jacob 

Riesser,) 158 
Englische Gefahr und das deutsche 

Volk, Die (By Eduard Bern- 
stein), 254 
English Review, The, 26, 274 
Enigme A llemand, L' (By 

Georges Bourdon), 264, 270 
Entente Cordiale, 182 
Epping Forest, 96 
Ermeton, 165 
Ernst Ludwig, Grand-duke of 

Hessen-Darmstadt, 126 
Esquisse psychologique des peu- 

ples europeens (By Alfred 

Fouillee), 260 
Etaples, 208 
Eton and Harrow match, 39 

Eucken, Professor Rudolf, 33, 

157, 161-3, 166, 226 
Eugen, Prince, 86 
" Eulenburg scandal," 167-8 
Eustache de St. Pierre, 183 
" Eustachio, nequissimus pir- 

ata,*' 105 
Eyemouth, 46 

Fabian Society, 81, 185, 248 

Falkenhausen, Ludwig Alex- 
ander, Baron von, 258 

Falkenhayn, Erich, General 
von, 252 

Falkland Islands, 98 

Fashoda, 5, 278 

Faubourg St. Germain, y6 

Fischer, Kuno, 265 

Flaubert, Gustave, 14, 75, 193, 


Folkestone, 211 

Fontane, Theodor, 33 

Fontenelle, Bernard de, 193 

Foreign Ofi&ce, British, 8, 228, 
232, 241, 281, 283 

Foreign Office, German, 11, 228 

Foreign Office Papers, No. 9 
(respecting an Official Ger- 
man Organisation for in- 
fluencing the Press of other 
Countries), 132 

Foreign Opinion, 19 

Fouillee, Alfred, 260 

Foundations of the Nineteenth 
Century, The (By Houston 
Stewart Chamberlain), ' 72 

France, Anatole, 160, 166, 193 

France en Danger (By Paul 
Vergnet), 270 

France passim, particularly 
pages 73-6, 150-3, and Epi- 
logue, 193-222 

Franco-Prussian War, 75, 76, 
83, 107, 244, 262 

Franco-Russian Alliance, 230 

Frankfort, 107 

Frankfurter Zeitung, Die, 168 

Franks, 180 

Franz Ferdinand, Archduke, 17, 
18, 46, 47 

Franz Joseph, Austrian Em- 
peror, 21 

Frederick the Great, 258 



Frederick, the Great Elector, 

Free Conservatives, 114, 115 
Free Trade, 116, 117 
Freisinnige Volkspartei, 115, 116 
French Army, 51, yj, 78, 84 
French Yellow Book, 237 
Frejrtag Loringhoven, Freiherr 

von, 257 
Friedell, Egon, 19 
Frobisher, Martin, 112, 113 
Froissart, Jean, 193 
Fryman, Daniel, 267 

Gaillard, Chateau, 73 
Galicians, 178 
Galleons' Reach, 93 
Galsworthy, John, 14 
Gambetta, Leon, 235 
Gardiner, Professor Samuel 

Rawson, 33 
Garonne, 79 
Garvin, J. L., 248, 250 
Gegen England (By Professor 

Adolf Wagner), 157 
Geibel, Emanuel, 272 
Geisi des Krieges und des deut- 

schen Volkes Barbarei, Vom 

(By Professor Georg Misch), 

158, 161 
Geist des romischen Rechtes (By 

Rudolf Jhering), 260 
Genghis Khan, 55 
Genoa, 70 
German Army, 50, 62-4, 144, 

German Colonies, 71-72, 106 
German Confederation, 107 
German Empire passim 
German Navy, 65, 82, 106-8, 

112, 113, 123, 125, 128-41, 

251-2, 254, 275 
German War Booh (translated 

by Professor Morgan), 256 
German White Book, 17, 18 
Germanen in Frankreich, Die, 

(By Ludwig Woltmann), jt, 
Germania, 271 
Germany, PoHtical Parties of, 

1 14-17 
Germany and the Next War 

(By General von Bernhardi), 


Germany in Arms, article by the 

German Crown Prince in, 251 
Gnesen, 172 
Goehen, 130 

Goethe, Wolfgang von, 8 1 
Goltz, Colmar, Freiherr von 

der, II, 250, 256-7, 276 
Gothic Empire, 280 
Great Cross of Luheck, 106 
Great North Road, 96 
Greeks, 163 

Grenadier Guards, 4, 5, 6 
Grenzboten, 267-9 
Grey, Sir Edward, 7, 8, 12, 17- 

21, 24, 27, 38-41. 151, 153-6. 

182, 184-5, 227-32, 241-2, 

278, 280-3 
Grisnez, 208, 211 
Grossere Deutschland, Das, 268 
Grosse Krieg der Jetztzeit, Der 

(By Baron von Falkenhausen) 

Grosse Kurfurst, Der, 104, 107, 

108, 113, 125, 130 
Grundbedingungen Kriegerischen 

Erfolges, Die (By Freiherr von 

Freytag Loringhoven), 257 
Guelphs, 116 
GuUand Marsh, 206 

Haeckel, Professor Ernst, 156 

Hague Conference, 216, 256, 278 

Hague, The, 136 

Halle, Professor Ernst von, 266 

Hamburg, 103, 119 

Hamburg- Amerika Line, 103, 139 

Hamburg South American Line, 

Hamoaze, 120 
Hampshire, 206 
Hankin, St. John, 14 
Hanse Towns, 104 
Harden, MaximiHan, 143, 266 
Hardenberg, Carl August, Fiirst 

von, 239 
Harnack, Professor Adolf, 156 
Harry Grace de Dieu, 98, 106 
Hartington Commission, 249 
Hastings, 210 
Havre de Grace, 208 
Hector of Troy, 86 
Hegel, Georg Friedrich Wilhelm, 

II, 33, 246, 250, 259, 261, 275 



Heigel, Professor Karl, 265 
Heinsick, Paul, 158 
Helfferich, Dr. Karl, 252 
Hengist, 193 

Henry IV of France, King, 67 
Henry VIII of England, King, 

24, 27 
Henry of Prussia, Prince, 126 
Henry the Navigator, 109 
Herzegovina, 39 
Herzegovinians, 234 
Hessen-Darmstadt, 51, 126 
Heydebrand, Abg., 26, 27, 254 
Hihhert Journal, The, 274 
Hohenzollem, House of, 5, 6, 

10, 26, 55, 126, 245 
Holland, 83, 160 
Hollmann, Admiral, 128, 131 
Holtzendorff, Joachim WiUielm 

Franz von, 261 
Homer, 246 
Home Rule, 42, 233 
Horace, 246 
Horatius Codes, 86 
Horsa, 193 
Howick, 21 

How the War Came, 16, 225 
Hudson River, 208 
Huguenots, 207 
Humboldt, Wilhelm von, 239, 

Hungary, 47, 234 
Huxley, Thomas Henry, 33 
Hyde Park Corner, 98 

Ibsen, Henrik, 13, 18, 244 
Ideal des ewigen Friedens und 

die Soziale Frage, Das (By 

L. Stein), 268 
Idee des ewigen Volker friedens, 

Die (By E. F. von Holtzen- 
dorff), 261 
Idee eines goldnen Zeitalters, Die 

(By E. Pfieiderer), 267 
Ignatius, St., 112, 136 
lie de France, 221 
litis, 128 
Imperial Germany (By Prince 

Billow), 251-2 
Independent Labour Party, 10, 

14-16, 225, 226, 228 
Inkerman, Battle of, 279 

International Journal of Ethics, 

Ireland, 43, 44, 49, 233 
Is Britain Blameless? By A. 

Fenner Brockway, 225 
Islington, 70 
Italians, 178, 179, 234 
Italy, 134, 194. 255. 279 

Jade, 132 

Jagow, Gottlieb E. C. von, 228 

Jahns, Max, 263 

Jahrbuch, German Imperial 

Statistical, 71 
James, Henry, 226 
Japan, 18, 279 
Jaures, Jean, 136 
Jena to Eylau, From (By General 

von der Goltz), 257 
Jesus College, 57 
Jesus, Society of, 112, 136. 
Jhering, Rudolf, 260 
Joan of Arc, St., 43, 184, 194, 

John Bull's Other Island (By 

George Bernard Shaw), 29, 

John, King of England, 24 
Julius Caesar, 207 
Junkers, 113-15. Ii7. 235, 238- 

43. 284 

Kaiser's Heir, The, 86, 251 

Kaiser Wilhelm II und Konig 
Eduard VII (By Rudolf Mar- 
tin), 264 

Kant, Immanuel, 11, $^, 250, 
259. 275 

Karlsruhe, 126 

Keim, General, 258 

Kelso, 44 

Kent, 205-8 

Kerr, Alfred, 270 

Kiaou-Chou, 126 

Kiderlen-Wachter, Herr, 267 

Kiel, 119, 126 

Kingsley, Charles, 95 

Kipling, Rudyard, 11, 160, 248, 

Kitchener, Lord, 21 

Kleine Historische Schriften (By 
Max Lenz), 265 

Kolnische Volkszeitung, Die, 131 



Kolnische Zeitung, Die, 131 
Kolonialwaren, 61, 66, 70, 114 
Krakatoa, 211 
Kriege, Vom (By General von 

Clausewitz), 255, 269 
Krieg, Frieden, und Kultur, Uber 

(By Max Jahns), 263 
Kriegslehren und Friedensideen 

(By O. von Platen), 261 
Krieg, Uber den (By Heinrich 

Tzscherner), 259 
Krieg imd die Kiinste, Der (By 

Friedrich Theodor Vischer ) , 260 
Krieg und Politik in der Neuzeit 

(By Freiherr von Freytag 

Loringhoven), 257 
Kritik der Aesthetik (By Kant), 

Knipp, Herr, 122 
Kuebel, Abg., 254 
Kultur ellen Verantwortungen 

nach deni Kriege, Unsere (By 

Gustav Schiefler), 158 
KuUurideal und der Krieg, Das 

(By Adolf Lasson), 260 
Kynance Cove, 196, 210 

Lagorgette, Jean, 258, 260, 261, 

Landwirtschaff und Sozialdemo- 

kratie (By Hermann Kohler), 

Lasson, Adolf, 260 
Leipsic, 143, 284 
Leipziger Neueste Nachrichten, 

Lenz, Professor Max, 265 
Leo, Heinrich, 260 
Lepanto, Battle of, 99, 100 
Les Baux, 208, 217, 221 
Letters of Vetus, The, 249 
Lewes, George Henry, 245 
Liebert, Abg. General von, 255, 

Liebknecht, Dr. Karl, 184 
Li^ge, 75 
Lille, 149 

Lippe-Detmold, 124 
List, Friedrich von, 11, 33, 252 
Liszt, Franz von, 157 
London, Pool of, 93 
London, Port of, 93, 94 
Lorelei Rocks, 133 

Lorrainers, 116 

Los von England (By E. T. 

Meyer), 266 
Louisiana, 70 
Louvain, 89, 109 
Louvre, 73-4 
Lublin, Union of, 172 
Lucca, 70 

Lusitania, 99, 103, 112, 138, 142 
Luxemburg, 217 
Lympne, 207 
Lyons, 196 

Macdonald, Ramsay, 225 
McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald, 

Maeterlinck, Maurice, 160, 166, 

Mainzer Ruderklub, 57 
Malaysia, 98 
Manchester School, 115 
Mannheim, 103 
Marathon, Battle of, 75 
Marburg, 32, 159, 166 
Marchand, Colonel, 5 
" Marconi scandal," 167 
Marcus AureUus, 55 
Marlborough, First Duke of, 

Marmont, August Frederic, Mar- 
shal of France, 183 
Marryat, Captain Frederick, 92, 

99, 112, 120, 222 
Marseilles, 196, 219 
Marston Moor, Battle of, 207 
Martin, Rudolf, 264 
Marwitz, Friedrich August Lud- 

wig von der, 240 
Maryania Union, 17 1-2 
Mary Magdalene, St., 215, 217, 

Matin, Le, 271 
Maud, Tennyson's, 246 
Maupassant, Guy de, 46, 76 
Maxse, Admiral, 248, 250 
Mayence, 126 
Mayr, Professor Karl, 265 
Med way, 208 
Menace allemande. La (By 

Andre Barre), 271 
Mendelssohn, Moses, 164 
Metternich, Prince Clemens 

Lothar von, 239 



Metz, 84 

Mexico, 48 

Meyer, Ernst Teja, 266 

Midshipman Easy (By Captain 
Marryat), 95 

Militdr Wochenhlatt, Das, 270 

Militarism, British, 34, 80 

Militarism, French, y-^, 80 

Militarism, German, 34, 80 

MiHtarists, 243-7 

Militarist tjtterances. One Hun- 
dred, 251-72 

Mill, John Stuart, t,-^, 245 

Milton, John, 81, 241 

Minden, Battle, of, 51 

Minnehaha, 93 

Minnesingers, 67 

Minnetonka, 93 

Misch, Professor Georg, 158-61, 
166, 226 

Mitteleuropdischer Staatenver- 
hand, Ein (By Franz von 
Liszt), 157 

Modern Germany (By Ellis Bar- 
ker), 256, 269 

Moltke, Helmuth, Graf von, 198, 

Mommsen, Theodor, 11, 32, 33 

Monaco, 279, 280 

MongoUa, 40 

Montenegro, 18, 134 

Morgan, Professor, 256 

Morocco, 255 

Morocco, Sultans of, 100 

Morrow of the War, The, 225 

Moselle, 117 

Miilhausen, 84 

Miinsterische A nzeiger, Der, 1 3 1 

Miinsterische Zeitung, Die, 131 

Murray, Major Stewart, 247 

Nantes, 138 

Napoleon I, 10, 13, 16, 73, 97, 

207, 209, 238 
Napoleon III, Emperor of 

France, 75, 83, 198 
Naseby, Battle of, 207 
National Labour Press, 225, 228 
National Liberal Party, 1 14-16, 

134, 179. 285 
National Review, The, 248, 250 
National Service League, 247 
Nauticus, 270 

Naval Bill of 1900, German, 

128-31, 135-6 
Navarino. Battle of, 21 
Navy, British, 30, 31, 120 
Navy, German, 30, 31 
Navy League, The, 248 
Nelson, Horatio, Lord, 92, 112, 

120, 184 
Neue Freie Presse, Die, 264, 277 
Neue Politische Correspondenz, 

Die, 271 
Neues Wiener Journal, 18 
Newbolt, Henry, 11, 248, 249 
New Statesman, The, 17 
New York, 93 
Ney, Michel, Marshal of France, 

Nice, 219 

Nicholas, Tsar of Russia, 21 
Niemann, August, 272 
Nietzsche, Friedrich, 33, 272, 

Nineteenth Century, 249 
Nordeney, 132 

Norman, C. H., 225-6, 228-30 
North American Review, 264 
North Foreland, 207 
North German Lloyd Line, 103 
Norway, 70, 160 
Notre Dame of Paris, 163, 164 
Nuremberg, 161 

Oise, 79 

Oldenburg, 51 

Ollivier, Emile, 75-6 

Oncken, Professor Hermann, 

33, 216, 226 
Origins of the Great War, The 

(By H. N. Brailsford), 225 
Osten, Der Deutsche (By Georg 

Evert), 240 
Ostend, 187 
Oxford, 221 

Pachnicke, Abg., Dr., 175 

Palmerston, Lord, 107 

Pan, 270 

Pan-German League [See All- 

deutscher Verband) 
Panther, 139 
Paris, 73, 75, 76, 193, 219, 229, 

259, 272 



Paris, Siege of, 245 

Parliament and Foreign Policy 
(By Hon. Arthur Ponsonby), 
15, 225 

Pater, Walter, 33 

Peire Vidal, 218 

Percival Keene (By Captain 
Marryat), 95 

Pdril alletnand, Le (By Paul 
Pilant), 270 

Persia, 39 

Persia, Finland, and our Rus- 
sian Alliance, 225 

Pester Lloyd Line, 103 

Pett Level, 206 

Pevensey, 207 

Pfleiderer, E., 267 

Philosophic des Rechtes (By 
Hegel), 259 

Piers Plowman, 196 

Pilant, Paul, 270 

Place de la Concorde, 7^ 

Plassey, 104 

Platen, O. von, 261 

Poland, 48, 171-6, 233-4, 280 

Poland, Partition of, 172 

Poles, 50, 116, 177, 178 

Politik, Die (By Heinrich von 
Treitschke), 262 

Politisches Gesprdch (By Leo- 
pold von Ranke), 261 

Ponsonby, Hon. Arthur, 7, 14, 
15, 225-6 

Pool of London, 93 

Pope, 134 

Port of London, 93, 221 

Portsmouth, 1 20 

Portugal, 280 

Portus Lemanis, 207 

Post, Die, 269, 271 

Potsdam, 79 

Potsdamer Tageszeitung, Die, 271 

Praschna, Abg. Count, 174 

President of the French Re- 
public, 134 

Preussische Jahrbiicher, 262, 

Pribislaw, Prince, 172 

Provence, 47, 67, 214, 218, 222 

Prussia passim, particularly 
pages 155-6 

Prussia, East, 117, 124, 178 

Pyrenees, 183 

Ranger, George, 245 

Ranke, Leopold von, 11, 32, 33, 

Rehm, Dr. H., 115 
Reichenau, General von, 258 
Reichspartei, 113, 115, 116 
Reichstag, 52, 11 3-1 8, 128, 130, 

136, 141, 143, 170, 173, 175, 

252-5, 284-5 
Renan, Ernest, 262 
Rennes, 76-7 
Rettich, Heinrich, 262 
Reventlow, Count von, 268 
Rhine, 52, 84, 117, 119, 125, 

126, 133, 221, 236 
Rhineland, 117, 124 
Rhone, 84, 204, 212 
Riddle of the Sands, The (By 

Erskine Childers), 247 
Riesser, Jacob, 158 
Roberts, Lord, 82, 247, 248^ 

250, 274 
Robinson Crusoe, 157 
Rohrbach, Paul, 157, 268-9 
Roi Soleil, Le, 74 
Rokehope, 41 
Rdle de la Guerre, Le (By Jean 

Lagorgette), 258, 260, 261^ 

Rolland, Romain, 160 
Rome, 208, 280 
Romney Marsh, 206 
Roon, Albrecht T. E. Graf von^ 

Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 33 
Roumanians, 234 
Royal George, 95 
Runnymede, 193 
Russell, Hon. Bertrand, 7, 8, 

10, 16, 150, 170, 171, 173, 175, 

177, 222, 226 
Russia, 17, 25, 39, 40, 41, 49,. 

230, 231, 235, 239, 249, 278, 

Ruthenians, 178, 234 
Rye, 207 

St. Helena, 97 
St. Michel, Mont, 73 
St. Remy, 47 

Salammbo (By Gustave Flau- 
bert), 75 
Samoa, 119 



Sandgate, 27, 104 

Sandgate Bay, 104 

Sandwich, 207 

Sappho, 98 

Sasonoff, M., 19, 232 

Saxony, 51, 124 

Schellendorf, General Bronsart 

von, 249 
Schiefler, Gustav, 158 
Schiermonnikoog, 132 
Schiffer, Abg., 179 
Schlee, Abg., 174 
Schleswig-Holstein, 50, 116, 233 
Schiicking, Professor Walther, 

Seine, 195 
Serajevo, 46, 231 
Serbia, 17, 18, 47, 48, 134, 239 
Serbs, 178 
Shakespeare, WiUiam, 19, 20, 

•JT), 81, lOI, 246 

Shall this War end German 

Militarism ? (By Norman 

Angell), 225 
Shantung, 128 
Shaw, George Bernard, 4, 6-8, 

10-15, 17-20, 23, 24, 28, 29, 

Z7. S7. 81. 156, 169, 184-7, 

225, 226. Appendix B, pages 

Shomcliffe, 104 
Silesia, 117 
Sinclair, Upton, 184 
Socialists, 116, 135-6 
Solent, 120 
Song to Aegir (By the Emperor 

William IT), 124-5 
South African War, 85, 135, 

249, 272 
Southey, Robert, 95 
Sozialistische Monatshefte, 135, 

267, 269 
Spanish Navy, 100 
Sparta, 266 
Spee, Admiral von, 98 
Spencer, Herbert, 2)Z. 245 
Spielhagen Banks, 143-4 
Spion Kop, 85 
Standard Oil Company, 104 
Stapel, Wilhelm, 268 
Stead, William T,, 248, 249 
Stein, H. S. Carl, Freiherr von 

und zum, 239, 240 

Stein, L., 268 
Sternberg case, 143 
Strasbourg, 73, j6, 79 
Strauss, David Friedrich, 11, 262 
Siiddeutsche Monatshefte, 265 
Sussex, 205-7 
Sweden, 70, 160 
Switzerland, 181 

Tdgliche Rundschau, Der, 258 
Talavera, Battle of, 51 
Temps, Le, 271 

Tennyson, Alfred, Lord, 81, 246 
Teutonic Knights, Order of, 162 
Tewkesbury, Battle of, 207 
Theorie und Geschichte des Rechts 

zum Kriege (By Heinrich 

Rettich), 262 
Thermopylae, Battle of, 75 
Thiers, Adolphe, 217 
Thorn, 171 
Three Years' Service Act, French, 

151, 152, 269 
Tilbury, 93 

Times, The, 12, 62, 245 
Tirpitz, Alfred P. Admiral von, 

123, 128-32, 135, 137-9, 141- 

2, 200, 266 
Tisza, Count, 12, 19 
Titanic, 10 1 
Tolstoy, Leo, 13, 246 
Tom Cringle's Log (By Michael 

Scott), 95 
Trafalgar, Battle of, 21 
Treitschke, Heinrich von, 11, 32, 

^7,, 198, 246, 250, 262-3, 275 
Tripoli, 255 
Truth about the Navy, The (By 

W. T. Stead), 248, 249 
Tsar of Russia, 278 
Tuileries, 73-4, 203 
TUrkei und die Grossmdchte, Die 

(By Heinrich von Treitschke), 

Turkey, 47, 239, 279, 280 
Two Admirals, The (By Feni- 

more Cooper), 92 
Tzschirner, Heinrich Gottlieb, 


Ulm, 161 

Union of Democratic Control, 8, 
10, 14-16, 225, 226, 228 



United States of America, 76, 

104, 239, 250 
Unter den Linden, 84, 232 

Vatican, 184 

Ventoux, Mont, 212 

Vergnet, Paul, 271 

Versailles, 74 

Veius, Letters of, 249 

Victoria and Albert Docks, 93 

Victoria, Queen, 83, 124 

Vienna, 47, 239 

Vienna, Congress of, 239, 244 

Villeneuve, Pierre Charles Jean 

Baptiste Silvestre, 97, 183 
Vischer, Friedrich Theodor, 260 
Volk in Waff en, Das (By Frei- 

herr von der Goltz), 256 
Volkshlatt fiir Stadt und Land, 

Voltaire, Arouet de, 73 

Wagner, Professor Adolf von, 33, 

157. 264 
Wagner, Richard, s^ 
Walmer, 27 
Walther von der Vogelweide, 

156, 246 
War and the Workers (By Ram- 
say Macdonald), 225 
War in the Air. The (By H. G. 

Wells), 248, 249 
War, the Offspring of Fear (By 

the Hon. Bertrand Russell), 

16, 225 
Ward, Humphry, 220 
Warum es der deutsche Krieg 

ist ! (By Paul Rohrbach), 157 
Was hedeutet das deutsche Kaiser- 

tum (By Professor J. Classen), 

Was uns der Krieg bringen muss 

(By a German), 158 
Waterloo, Battle of, 51, 193, 195, 

Weald, 206 
Wedel, Graf von, 253 
Wehrverein, Der, 269 
Wellington, Duke of, 183 
Wells, H. G, II, 248, 250 
Weltgeschichtliche Bedeutung des 

deutschen Geistes, Die (By 

Professor Eucken), 157, 161-4 

Weltkrieg ; Deutsche Trdume (By 
August Niemnn), 272 

Weltkrieg, Der (By Paul Hein- 
sick), 158 

Weltwirtschaftliche Aufgdben und 
weltpolitische Ziele (By Ernst 
von Halle), 266 

Wend el, Abg., 174 

Wenn ich der Kaiser war (By 
Daniel Fryman), 267 

Westarp, Kuno, Graf von, 241 

Westphalia, 117, 236 

Westward Ho (By Charles Kings- 
ley), 95 M 

What does Germany Want ? 
(By W. N. Willis), 269 

White Book, German, 17, 18 

White Heather, 122 

White Rose League, 81, 116 

Wilkinson, Spenser, 248, 249, 

William the Conqueror, 206-7 

William I, German Emperor, 2>^, 

WilUam II, German Emperor, 8, 
17, 19, 21, 24-7, 55, 84, 112, 
118-25, 135, 137-8. 141-2, 
176, 232, 242, 250, 251, 273, 
275, 276-8, 281-3, 285 

Willis, W. N., 269 

Winchelsea, 27 

Woermann Lloyd Line, 103 

Wolfi-Metternich, Count Paul 
von, 21 

Wolff-Metternich case, 168 

Wolfram von Eschenbach, 156, 

Wolfstieg, Professor, 166 

Woltmann, Dr. Ludwig, 73 

Wordsworth, William, 81 

Wreschen, 172-3, 176 

Yorck von Wartenburg, Graf, 

114, 284-5 

Zabern, 84, 114, 167, 175-7 
Zaherner Wochenhlatt, Das, 176 
Zehn Jahre Deutsche Kdmpfe (By 

Heinrich von Treitschke), 263 
Zukunft, Die, 266 
Zukunftskrieg und Zukunfts- 

friede (By Hans Delbriick), 263 




D 523 .FBB 1915 


Ford, Ford Madox, 

Between St* Dennis and 

St* Georfi^e : a sketch 
AHF-2705 (sk)