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Full text of "The ravings of a renegade; being the War essays of Houston Stewart Chamberlain"

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Presented to the 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 
LIBRARY 

by the 

ONTARIO LEGISLATIVE 
LIBRARY 

1980 



THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 



A Few New and 
Important Books. 

MODERN GERMANY AND 
HER HISTORIANS, 

By ANTOINK GUILLAND. 

TREITSCHKE: His Life and 
Works. 

GERMANY, FRANCE, AND 

ISLAM. By TREITSCHKE. 
Price 7s. 6d. each net. 

TREITSCHKE' S HISTORY 
OF GERMANY IN THE 
NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

Complete in Six Volumes. 
Price 12s. 6d. each net. 

BISMARCK'S LETTERS TO 
HIS WIFE, 1870-71. 
Price 3s. 6d. net. 

THE SUPERMAN IN MODERN 
LITERATURE. By LEO BERG. 
Price 5s. Od. net. 

THE SOCIOLOGY OF 
POLITICAL PARTIES IN 
MODERN DEMOCRACY. 

By ROBERT MICH ELS, Professor of 
Political Economy and Statistics at 
the University of Basle. 
Sq. demy 8vo, 12s. 6d. net. 

London : Jarrold & Sons 



61940 

THE RAVINGS OF 
A RENEGADE 



BEING THE WAR ESSAYS 
HOUSTON STEWARD fefsl 
CHAMBERLAIN ' 



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Translated from the German by 

CHARLES H. CLARKE, Ph.D. 

With an Introduction by 

LEWIS MELVILLE 



LONDON 



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INTRODUCTION. 

IT is with much pleasure that I write a few 
lines to introduce Dr. Clarke's translation 
of Mr. Houston Stewart Chamberlain's 
" Kriegsaufsatze " ("War Essays"). Dr. 
Clarke, who has spent many years in Ger- 
many, has a very wide knowledge of the 
language, the people, and the life of that 
country, and the reader may rest assured 
that the translation conveys the spirit of 
the original. 

Mr. Houston Stewart Chamberlain, who 
was born in 1855, was intended for the 
British army a circumstance which it is 
now amusing to remember but being of 
delicate health and unable to endure the 
vagaries of the English climate, he went 

5 



6 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

abroad, and has spent most of his days, 
first in Austria, and since 1900 in Germany. 
He married the daughter of Richard Wagner, 
and has written several books on German 
literature and music. In this country his 
best known work is " Die Grundlagen des 
neunzehnten Jahrhunderts," a transla- 
tion of which appeared under the title of 
"The Foundations of the Nineteenth Cen- 
tury." When the war broke out, Mr. Cham- 
berlain was invited by his friends to address 
himself to England and point out the wrong 
which that country had done in taking up 
arms against Germany; but, as he tells us, 
though he desired to do so, his pen abso- 
lutely declined to indite a word. He then 
bethought himself of telling Germany what 
he thought of England, and, lo ! the sentences 
rolled over each other in their anxiety to 
be enrolled in that noble cause. These essays 
appeared in various periodicals ; two of 
them, " England " and " Germany," were 
re-issued and circulated as a pamphlet ; and 



INTRODUCTION 7 

all of them were collected and published in 
volume form. The book was accorded a 
very hearty welcome throughout Germany, 
and the copy in front of me bears the 
imprint, " seventh edition." 

It may, of course, be held by some that no 
good purpose is served by presenting these 
essays in an English dress. I venture, however, 
to contend that the book is of great interest 
to British readers. I do not propose to discuss 
the taste of an Englishman who at such a 
time as this can abuse his country in the 
vitriolic style employed by Mr. Chamber- 
lain : I merely assert that the " Kriegsauf- 
satze " are valuable as giving a clear insight 
into the Pan-German mind, in its most 
wild moments. Like all renegades, Mr. 
Chamberlain is plus royaliste que le roi. In 
his eyes everything in Germany is good, 
everything in England vile ; virtue is 
German, culture is German, large-hearted- 
ness is German, literature and art are 
German, decadence and incompetence and 



8 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

vice and stupidity are English. In fact, 
he echoes the refrain of Herr Lissauer's in- 
famous (but to British folk amusing) " Hymn 
of Hate": "We have only one enemy 
England." 

" As I believe in God, so do I believe in 
the holy German language," is the text of 
one of Mr. Chamberlain's essays. In another 
article he writes in all seriousness, "My 
conviction is that in all Germany during the 
last forty years there has not lived a single 
German who has wished for war not one. 
Who puts forward the contrary view, lies 
either deliberately or unintentionally." In 
a third paper he asks, " Why do all nations 
hate Germany and the Germans ? " Mr. 
Chamberlain argues that this is due partly 
to envy, partly to misconception. The cor- 
rect explanation is, however, to be found in 
another direction. Germany is hated because 
it can produce writers who are so fatuous 
as to put forward such opinions as are con- 
tained in this book, for it must be remem- 



INTRODUCTION 9 

bered that while the words are Mr. Cham- 
berlain's, the sentiments he voices are those 
of almost the entire educated and " cultured " 
classes in the unhappy country which has 
adopted him. 

LEWIS MELVILLE. 

LONDON, 

November 29th, 1915. 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. 

IN publishing a translation of Houston 
Stewart Chamberlain's " War Essays," it 
is perhaps necessary, from the very first, 
to make clear to the public that it is not an 
attempt to carry on German propaganda in 
our own country. It is certainly a most 
regrettable and painful fact that an English- 
man should have been found capable of 
championing the worst form of Pan-German 
militarism, but it seemed impossible to allow 
a work emanating from such a quarter and 
containing so violent an attack on Eng- 
land to pass unheeded and unchallenged 
especially in consideration of the vogue it has 
enjoyed in Germany, where, in spite of its 
exaggerated assertions and absolutely idiotic 
statements concerning English life and insti- 



ii 



12 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

tutions, it is regarded as the last word of 
truth. It is read and commented on by 
everyone. A special edition of the two 
essays, "England" and "Germany," has 
been published as " Schiitzengrabenausgabe " 
(Trench Edition), and is supplied to the 
troops by thousands, the price of the copy 
being then reduced to the insignificant sum 
of thirteen pfennigs (about a penny three 
farthings). It is one of the principal items 
of a group of publications written by Sven 
Hedin, Ludwig Ganghofer, and Paul Oscar 
Hocker, which Germany with her accustomed 
thoroughness has mobilised against her ene- 
mies in the field. But, unlike his colleagues, 
Chamberlain has, as yet, not proceeded to 
the front. Like the General Staff in Berlin, 
for which he evinces such extravagant venera- 
tion, he sits in his study at Bayreuth, the 
holy seat of classic Wagnerism, and hurls 
one after another his bolts against Germany's 
enemies, destined, in his opinion, to have the 
same effect in the world of letters as the 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE 13 

Germans believe they have produced by their 
43 cm. mortars in the war and to stagger 
humanity by the " frightfulness " of their 
irresistible logic. The purpose of this trans- 
lation is to show the nature and quality of 
this logic, to reveal the tactics by which this 
renegade strategist proceeds to annihilate 
his native country and all her allies and to 
defend the country of his adoption. To do 
this it was necessary, though painful, to 
place the Essays in their entirety before the 
reading public. 

In their essence the Essays are a defence, 
for every German and I believe Chamber- 
lain will feel honoured to be counted among 
them finds himself in a state of hopeless 
defence as soon as he ventures to write on the 
German political attitude in the present war. 
But Chamberlain has studied strategy from 
the famous Field-Marshal Moltke and knows 
"der Hieb ist die beste Parade" ("the blow 
is the best defence"); he therefore allows 
no opportunity to escape, however remote it 



14 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

may be, without turning it into a stick with 
which to belabour his unfortunate native 
country. German and English literature are 
ransacked from their origins to the present 
day to rake up any comment, however 
trivial, derogatory to England or laudatory 
to Germany. It is interesting to note that 
all the witnesses called, both for the defence 
and the prosecution, are long since deceased ; 
they are the most convenient category, 
unable to turn round and repudiate or 
qualify their testimony. 

A country which produced Luther and 
Goethe must necessarily, according to Cham- 
berlain, be destined to great things, and 
cannot possibly stray from the straight path 
of righteousness. Shakespeare, although ad- 
mittedly a great genius, was, like Chamber- 
lain, born in England. But then England 
has changed completely since that time. It 
has changed because it harbours two races 
the Norman and the Anglo-Saxon within 
its shores, which have never mingled, but 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE 15 

throughout the centuries remained distinct 
in manners, speech, and attitude of mind. 
For Chamberlain the key of the whole 
present position lies in the Norman Con- 
quest of the year 1066 and in a " turn of 
fate " which induced the honest Anglo- 
Saxon husbandman to leave his field and 
venture on " the dark and stormy deep," 
of which by nature he had an innate dread ; 
for the sake of wealth to become a pirate, 
a trader. 

Politically, England never flourished except 
in Anglo-Saxon times. Her Parliament has 
ruined her, as, in Chamberlain's opinion, all 
Parliaments ruin nations who are foolish 
enough to adopt them. Chamberlain would 
probably have recommended the retention 
of the " folkmote," which seems to be in his 
mind when he speaks of the future political 
institutions which are to be realised in Ger- 
many, when she has overthrown all her 
enemies and become the leading state in the 
world. 

/I- 



16 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

These constructive remarks of Chamberlain 
are not unlikely to cause him some trouble, 
when the heat of battle has passed away, 
for the reactionary spirit expressed in them 
is too evident and pronounced to be palatable 
even to the most docile German. But, in the 
meanwhile, any stick is good enough with 
which to beat a dog. 

Burke, Bolingbroke, and Carlyle are all 
pressed into the ranks that are arrayed 
against us, especially Carlyle. But it is not 
the Carlyle of the " French Revolution," but 
the author of the " Life of Frederick the 
Great " and the " Essays on German Litera- 
ture " books which have long since been 
superseded in this country with whom we 
have to contend. An essay on " Der Neue 
Kurs," the new course of German politics 
since the dismissal of Bismarck, by Carlyle, 
would certainly be of extreme interest, and 
Chamberlain might find himself in the same 
position as the sorcerer's apprentice in 
Goethe's " Zauberlehrling " : 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE 17 

44 Die ich rief, die Geister 
Werd' ich nun nicht los." 

(" I cannot lay the spirits 
Which I conjured up.") 

The same would apply to Goethe. If the 
quotations derogatory to the German people 
by him and other well-known German poets 
and writers were to be collected, they would 
fill a handsome volume, without including 
those of Heinrich Heine, for whom Chamber- 
lain, for obvious reasons, possesses little love ; 
these might be bound up in a separate volume, 
there is no lack of them. Chamberlain is an 
arduous student of comparative philology 
and, as such, is doubtlessly acquainted with 
the works of a certain Max Miiller, related to 
German poets of the same surname ; perhaps 
in studying him he may have come across the 
lines : 

" Auf Deutsch will ich es kiihnlich sagen 
Ohn' England war die Weltnichtzu ertragen." 

("I will boldly state in German that without 
England the world would be unbearable.") 



18 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

We see ourselves humbly forced to admit 
that Germany surpasses us in renegades, 
" comme en toute chose." 

Seriously, Chamberlain is a man of exten- 
sive learning and great literary attainments, 
which he has displayed in his works on " The 
Foundations of the Nineteenth Century," on 
"Kant," on "Goethe," all of which are 
written in the " holy German language," the 
only tongue, we presume, capable, by means 
of its structure and " contents," of conveying 
the thoughts of the author in an adequate 
form. He lives at Bayreuth, which, by the 
way, is the only place, even in Germany, in 
which he could possibly live. He is connected 
by marriage with the family of the great 
composer, Richard Wagner. 

It is absolutely necessary to bear these 
facts in mind in order to understand the 
Essays and judge them in their right 
milieu. 

No man of any artistic feeling can with- 
stand the charm of transcendental music, 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE 19 

which appeals to that part of the human 
soul which, in ordinary life, leads a half- 
famished existence, and in many cases has 
ceased to exist for want of nutriment. But 
it is like the flame of which Schiller speaks in 
his " Song of the Bell " : " Wehe, wenn sie 
losgelassen ! "' ("Woe, when untrammelled 
it escapes our guard.") From the oppressed 
it turns into the tyrant. The mind then turns 
entirely to the pursuit of the universal, which, 
because it is itself of a dual constitution 
like the English nation it is unable to assimi- 
late. It becomes unable to appreciate the 
facts of everyday life, to understand itself 
or those surrounding it, and loses itself in the 
dim vagueness of sentimentality Irrlichterei- 
Schwefelei, as the Germans express it. 

It was particularly against this attitude 
of mind that Goethe, after having overcome 
it in his youth, in the period of storm and 
stress, contended during the rest of his long 
life, fixing as his ideal the harmony between 
the individual and the universal, in the soul 



20 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

of man this being its most natural, most 
human and, therefore, highest state. 

The poet may be granted an excess of the 
" universal " ; for him who writes on scientific, 
economic, or political questions it is far safer 
to err on the other side. 

This has repeatedly been brought home 
to Chamberlain by his German critics, so that 
he has been forced to turn and face them in 
a defence. At present he probably believes 
he can let himself go with impunity ; zeal 
for the good cause will excuse all lack of 
scientific exactitudes. 

But still we fear his Essay, " The German 
Language," will cause as much head-shaking 
in the ranks of scientific Germanic philology 
as his wild political assertions among cool- 
headed politicians and diplomatists, to say 
nothing of his praise of Luther in the ranks 
of the powerful Central Party (Roman 
Catholic) in Germany and the clerical party 
in Austria. Things must indeed have changed 
if these gentlemen are to stand quietly by and 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE 21 

be told that they, although remaining true 
to their old faith, have profited immensely 
in religion, morals, and national life by the 
work of Martin Luther. 

A later Essay called " Die Zuversicht " 
(" Confidence ") not included in this collec- 
tion shows that he has had to defend himself 
against the accusation of flattering the Ger- 
man people. But these are things between 
him and his adopted Fatherland. 

Much more serious is the manner in which 
he treats the political events which led up 
to the war. Nowhere does he make the 
slightest attempt to prove the base charges 
he brings against his native country. It is 
sufficient for him to say, " as is well known," 
"as is accepted." In this respect, as in all 
others, he forms the exact antithesis to his 
countryman by adoption, the author of 
" J'accuse," and I should strongly recom- 
mend a minute comparison of the two books. 
In fact, it is difficult for an Englishman to 
understand why the author of " J'accuse " 



22 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

should go to such trouble to prove things that 
are self-evident, until he is confronted with 
amazing accusations brought forward by a 
representative of German opinion in the 
style of Chamberlain. All Chamberlain's 
accusations against England on account of her 
self-seeking policy are conclusively refuted in 
the chapters of "J'accuse" dealing with this 
subject, and the statistical material is supplied. 
But Chamberlain goes still farther. He 
hints that England was a party to the foul 
murder of the heir to the Austrian throne ; 
that the whole of the British fleet was 
mobilised in July, 1914, in anticipation of 
events which those in power were trying to 
bring about. He states that a friendly visit 
by the British fleet to Kiel was undertaken 
for the express purpose of spying, as all other 
means to attain knowledge of this harbour 
had failed. A man born of British parents 
and on British soil who can do that places 
himself outside the pale. He exposes himself 
to be regarded as I/he paid agent of a hostile 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE 23 

state, and many will maintain that the " iron 
cross " which decks his bosom is not the only 
reward he has received for fouling his own 
nest, but that "klingende Miinze " ("hard 
cash "), to use the pretty German expression, 
has also played its part. And what, after all, 
can be said against this assertion ? Has not 
Chamberlain proved, to his own full satisfac- 
tion, that an Englishman will do anything 
for money ? True, Warren Hastings did not 
seek to enrich himself, but his company, his 
country. Chamberlain admits this. But 
then, that was a long time ago, and we are on 
the downward grade and must have travelled 
considerably since then. 

It is dangerous to cut away the ground 
beneath one's own feet ; the slightest move, 
and one falls into the precipice the bottom- 
less pit. Rightly did Schiller say : 

" Ans Vaterland, ans teure schliess dich an 
Da sind die starken Wurzeln deiner Kraft." 

('* Adhere unto thy native land, 
For from there thy strength doth come.") 



24 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

Curious, this applies to an Englishman 
just as much as to a German ! 

Even the greatest of tacticians occasion- 
ally make mistakes. A slight detail is over- 
looked, a loophole is left by which the enemy 
may break through and reach the very heart 
of the position. This accident would appear 
to have happened to our strategic author in 
spite of his attack, distinguished by so much 
brilliant impetuosity " durch seinen flotten 
Schneid," as he would express it, or, per- 
haps, exactly on this account. 

When extolling the intrinsic merits of 
the General Staff he states that the whole 
plan of the campaign of 1914 was drawn up 
by the Great Field-Marshal Helmuth von 
Moltke, who died in the year 1891. This 
plan was modernised and kept in readiness 
by the General Staff. But it must neces- 
sarily have contained the passage of the 
German troops through Belgium and the 
breach of Belgian neutrality. But this, 
according to Chamberlain, was justified by 




TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE 25 



a convention between France and Belgium, 
formed in the reign of Edward VII. , who 
ascended the throne in 1902. There is a 
German proverb, " Allzu scharf macht 
schartig " (" Too sharp turns the edge "), 
and Chamberlain would do well to be more 
careful how he deals with the secrets entrusted 
to him by his friends of the General Staff. 

But now for the lighter vein, which, for- 
tunately, is never entirely missing, especially 
when learned gentlemen of Chamberlain's 
calibre descend into the sphere of ordinary 
life. 

It is long since I have enjoyed anything 
so much as Chamberlain's description of a 
London Christmas festival. The families, 
seated at thousands of tables in the dining 
halls of the London hotels, awaiting the 
stroke of twelve to sing " For he's a jolly 
good fellow," and indulge promiscuously 
in dancing the " Tango," is a picture that 
deserves to live ; and it will live in Germany, 
handed down from father to son. I don't 



26 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

quite understand why they should wait till 
midnight ; there would appear to be some 
slight confusion between Christmas and New 
Year they follow each other with such 
overwhelming rapidity. But, nevertheless, 
it is a pearl. 

Not less amusing is Chamberlain's hunt 
for a blue tie throughout the whole of London 
when blue was out of fashion. Hard lines ! 
To say nothing of the English town of forty 
thousand inhabitants in which not a single 
person was to be found who could read words 
of four syllables without floundering, or of 
Chamberlain's journey through the deserted 
streets of the capital on boat-race day. They 
are all classical and will be told and told 
again to our children when travelling on the 
Continent. 

We offer our deepest sympathy to Mr. 
Chamberlain at the shock he received on 
hearing of the British Association, referred to 
as the " British Ass," and would recommend 
him not to expose his nerves to such a trial 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE 27 

again without the utmost necessity. In 
short, we rather fear that his humour has 
not survived his long sojourn in Bayreuth. 
Our humour has stuck to us in spite of our 
general depravity. Perhaps it is the last 
remnant of Merry Old England, and while 
there is humour there is still life. It proves, 
at least, that our minds are still healthy and 
capable of that harmony which Goethe con- 
sidered so essential. For it is humour which, 
as the electric spark springing from cloud to 
cloud equalises the two poles, mediates in 
the soul of man between the individual 
and the universal and produces the pure air 
of harmony a fresher and a purer atmos- 
phere than would appear to prevail at 
Bayreuth at present. 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

i. GERMANY'S LOVE OF PEACE 33 

II. GERMAN LIBERTY - 47 
in. THE GERMAN LANGUAGE (LETTER 

TO E. E.) - 67 

IV. GERMANY AS LEADING POWER IN 

THE WORLD - 93 

V. ENGLAND - - 109 

VI. GERMANY - 157 



29 



I. 

GERMANY'S LOVE OF PEACE. 



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I. 

GERMANY'S LOVE OF PEACE. 

IN these holy days of such grave import 
there is no inclination for the niceties of 
style ; even the oratory of Demosthenes 
sounds hollow in comparison with the deed 
of laying down one's life for the Fatherland. 
Facts alone are of interest to us at the 
present moment. " Fact's," says Carlyle, 
" go beyond thought ; beside them words 
are but stammering and stuttering." But 
how are we to arrive at facts ? Material 
ones, true, force themselves upon us, but how 
do we contrive to obtain intellectual, moral 
facts ? The monstrous fact of the European 
War is borne in upon us by day and night ; 
but what fact lies at the root of this war ? 
Who desired it ? The enemies of Germany 

33 C 



34 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

maintain that Germany is the breaker of 
the peace, there will be no lasting peace 
till Germany be destroyed ; whence this 
conception of a demented brain ? How is 
it possible to hide from the sight of millions 
the evident truth, the " fact " ? He who 
says fact presupposes truth. An untrue 
fact is void ; an " ens imaginarum " ; Kant's 
" empty apperception without an object " ; 
but at times this void imagination contrives 
to gain a demoniacal power over the ideas of 
man. 

By means of the Press, which can do so 
much to spread the truth, mendacity has, in 
the hands of few individuals, grown to a 
power beyond conception throughout the 
world ; we see it drastically in the war news 
published in the foreign press, and yet how 
harmless are lying reports of victories in 
comparison with the systematic poisoning 
of a whole nation by a plan of lying which 
has been carefully thought out and carried 
on for years. 



GERMANY'S LOVE OF PEACE 35 

Oscar Wilde once wrote an essay on the 
" Art of Lying." Since then his country- 
men have made considerable progress in 
this noble art. This does not imply that 
the statesmen of former times followed the 
straight path of open honesty ; but cunning 
was met by cunning, the fox was out-foxed, 
and, thus, it can, in a certain sense, be said 
that the trickery of a Richelieu, for instance, 
was " honest cheating." But now the 
entirely unsuspecting are misled. 

No statesman of the present day can 
ignore public opinion ; it is impossible at 
least to the West of the Dwina to carry on 
a war, if the great masses of the people are 
not persuaded of its necessity ; and, as no 
civilised people of their own free will desire 
war, the necessity a matter which Richelieu 
could dispense with must be demonstrated 
to them. 

Here a terrible thing is revealed ; lies 
have exactly the same effect as truth, for 
they are believed. It is sufficient to acquire 



36 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

a certain number of papers with large cir- 
culation and consequently of great influence, 
to place them under a united management 
and, in a few years, the purpose is attained. 
Never in the history of the world has the 
deception of an entire nation been so shame- 
fully, so wickedly, conceived and carried out 
as the deception of England in regard to 
Germany. This deception alone is respon- 
sible for the present war. From the very 
beginning England, the dynamic force, 
desired the war and brought it about ; Eng- 
land caused the estrangement between Russia 
and Germany ; England has incessantly 
egged on France to war. This criminal 
policy was possible, solely by means of a 
well-calculated, systematic deception of the 
English people. 

The chief agitator was a king, the mental 
tool of a soulless, cunning diplomatist, who 
worshipped the ancient English principle 
that in matters of state hypocrisy and 
mendacity are the most effective arms ; as 



GERMANY'S LOVE OF PEACE 37 

" manager " of the plot a clever journalist 
was selected to whom all opinions were 
indifferent as long as they brought him 
profit. At this period he already possessed 
papers of the most various political opinions, 
he acquired more and more ; ultimately the 
Times, whose course he had long controlled, 
passed into his hands ; to-day, parading 
with the title of a Lord which hides his real 
name and his un-English descent, he rules 
supreme throughout the English Press. To 
mention one thing : for years the reports 
of the Times correspondent in Berlin have 
been a disgrace ; this man without a con- 
science on whose cowardly head a great 
quantity of all the misery of the war falls 
has by positive and negative lying surpassed 
the limit of imagination. Repeatedly I asked 
why the villain was not hounded from Berlin 
to the frontier ; the reply was : There is no 
law against lying. Such a law must be 
made ! Liars who endanger the peace of 
Europe must be hanged. 



38 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

And now, after dealing with the fictitious 
fact that Germany desired the war, we turn 
to the real fact : Germany was the guardian 
of the peace. My testimony as a foreigner 
may bear some weight in this respect. 

For forty-five years my intercourse has 
been mainly with Germans ; for thirty years 
I have lived constantly in Germany ; the 
love of German character, German thought, 
German science, German art, has sharpened 
my sight without making me blind to her 
faults. My judgment has remained entirely 
objective ; and to many things which dis- 
pleased me the day I set foot on German 
soil I have never been able to accustom 
myself. From earliest youth in close rela- 
tions to France, attached to England by 
bonds of blood, I regarded all countries with 
an unbiassed eye. It is true I have led a 
secluded life, have never sought by vulgar 
sight-seeing and running after celebrities to 
acquire a knowledge of the country and 
people, but things are seen more distinctly 



GERMANY'S LOVE OF PEACE 39 

at a distance than at close range ; in silence 
the ear hears more clearly than in the midst 
of confusing din. And my testimony is : 
in the whole of Germany during the last forty- 
three years not a single man has lived who 
desired war ; no, not a single one. He who 
maintains the contrary lies be it consciously 
or unconsciously. 

I have had the good fortune to become 
acquainted with Germans from all parts of 
the Empire and of all spheres of life, from 
Imperial Majesty to the honest artisan, with 
whom I have had daily dealings. I have 
known intimately schoolmasters, scholars, 
merchants, bankers, officers, diplomatists, 
engineers, poets, journalists, officials, artists, 
physicians, lawyers. Never have I met a 
warlike one or, to be more exact, one eager 
for war. But in England, during my last 
visits in 1907 and 1908, everywhere an 
absolutely horrifying hatred of Germany 
and the impatient expectation of a war of 
destruction. The absence of animosity to 



40 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

other nations is the most striking charac- 
teristic of the Germans and of the Germans 
alone. They generally err on the side of 
exaggerated recognition of foreign merits. 
Besides, every German knows that, owing 
to the geographical position of his country, 
he has everything to fear and nothing to 
hope for from a war. How should a people 
whose industry, trade, and science were thriv- 
ing more and more every year, as was the 
case with Germany during the last forty- 
three years, wish to bring on a war which 
must destroy all three ? 

I will now only say a few words more 
about the Emperor William. 

He alone, as an individual, could give the 
definite decision. I have not met the Em- 
peror frequently, but under particularly 
favourable circumstances, beyond the bonds 
of court etiquette, unobserved, in informal 
interchange of opinion ; I have never 
repeated a word of the monarch ; not that 
he entrusted any secrets to me, but because 



GERMANY'S LOVE OF PEACE 41 

one can never foresee the possible effect of 
a word spoken by a man in so exposed a 
position ; nor will I to-day renounce my 
maxim. Yet I commit no indiscretion when 
I say that in this important personality two 
traits appeared to me specially remarkable, 
as the two " dominants " of all his feeling, 
thinking, acting : the deep and never relax- 
ing feeling of responsibility before God and- 1 - 
closely and exactly defined by this the 
energetic, masterful, yes should it not sound 
too paradoxical the turbulent desire to 
preserve peace for Germany. 

Germany's power, which he has done so 
much to foster, was not to conjure up a war, 
but enforce peace on all ill-wishers. His 
actions, indeed, bear evidence of it ; for, 
when, during the last ten years the situation 
became nearly unbearable for Germany's 
honour and England took good care that 
this should be the case it was he who 
again and again prevailed for peace. Not 
that there was ever a war party in Berlin 



42 THE RAVINGS OP A RENEGADE 

that is a lie of the Times ; but there were 
responsible ministers and soldiers who said : 
If England and her companions wish for 
war at any price, then let it be at once. 
But the Emperor could not let this argument 
prevail with his conscience. He thrust the 
half -drawn sword into its sheath. 

No wish of that I am entirely persuaded 
stood higher with him than the wish to be 
able to say on his death-bed : I have in- 
violably preserved the peace of my country, 
history will call me the " Emperor of Peace." 
If God gives the Austro-German arms the 
complete, overwhelming victory for which 
we all pray, even we who are not Germans, 
in so far as we value the attainments of 
civilised humanity higher than national 
vanity, then, and only then, will Europe 
enjoy a century of peace, and the wish of 
the great and good monarch, who has been 
so shamefully deceived by his fellow-princes, 
will yet be fulfilled more gloriously than he 
himself had thought ; at the same time a 



GERMANY'S LOVE OF PEACE 43 

justification for all Germany against slander 
and lying. Then, more intensely, will he 
be called the " Emperor of Peace," as he 
and his army have created peace as their 
own brave achievement. 



IL 
GERMAN LIBERTY. 



IL 

GERMAN LIBERTY. 

THE assertion that Germany's enemies are 
fighting for liberty against tyranny is to 
be found with striking frequency in official 
manifestos and newspaper articles. The 
opinion has long been circulated through- 
out the world that everywhere where 
Germany goes there is an end to all 
freedom. I have met serious men, scholars 
in England, for instance, who had warm 
sympathy for German science and literature, 
and yet believed that, politically, it would 
be a misfortune if Germany's influence 
were to increase in Europe, for it would 
mean the destruction of all liberty. 
Now when I occasionally attempted, in 

47 



48 THE RAVINGS OP A RENEGADE 

oral disputes to support the contrary, that 
Germany had, for centuries, been the real 
and sole home of a liberty which tends to 
raise the human race and is alone worthy of 
the name, I never succeeded in rousing 
interest. The English and French, even the 
well-educated, do not reflect on the essence 
of liberty, on its peculiar function in the 
complicated organism of the human mind ; 
for them it is purely a political idea which 
has been handed down through the ages ; 
they always considered they had refuted me 
when they brought out as trumps that the 
German Imperial Chancellor was appointed 
and retained by the Emperor, and could 
remain in office in spite of the majority of 
the Reichstag. The essence of liberty is, 
therefore, to be able to overthrow chan- 
cellors. Whole books would be necessary 
to give real enlightenment on this subject 
to destroy wrong ideas and replace them by 
correct ones. I will only make a few remarks, 
give a little food for reflection. 



GERMAN LIBERTY 49 

Let us ask first : In what does the far- 
famed English political liberty really con- 
sist ? If one were to sum up the internal 
history of England, which, till 1688, was 
heroic and sanguinary, and later on Machia- 
vellian and intriguing, in a single formula, it 
would be : History of a struggle between 
nobility and crown. Neither of these factors 
thought of liberty ; each only sought to 
increase its power. When Cromwell appeared, 
both joined issue against the one man, and 
the sole course which would have been 
capable of founding true freedom in Eng- 
land. Afterwards the course, thanks to the 
insular position of the country, was very 
simple, and from it rose the English Par- 
liament, which has been set up as an un- 
attainable pattern till one is tired of hearing 
of it, and in which, until a few years ago, the 
Lower House was just as aristocratic as the 
Upper House. For a long time England has 
been ruled by an oligarchy, the king 
is a puppet. Up to the commencement 

D 




50 THE RAVINGS OP A RENEGADE 

of the nineteenth century the sovereign, 
if he possessed the necessary energy, 
had a say in the election of the Prime 
Minister, then he lost this prerogative, and 
the secret committee of the parliamentary 
oligarchy has since governed alone. The 
fiction of the two chief parties is still kept 
up, and the minority of the male population 
which enjoy the franchise still decide when 
the one shall be superseded by the other ; 
but the leaders of both parties work under 
the same cover and keep at a distance all 
who might be inclined to restrict their power 
or the profits they derive. Offices are given 
only by the governing caste: the leader of 
the victorious party must be Prime Minister, 
and all other ministers are elected not, as 
one might presume, by the party, but by the 
secret committee ; king and people have no 
say whatever in the matter. Discipline is 
severely maintained in the parties by the 
Whips ; woe to any member who should dare 

to express his own opinion. The House of 
s 



\ 



GERMAN LIBERTY 51 

Commons has, it is true, assumed a slightly 
more democratic appearance in consequence 
of the extension of the franchise, which 
was first carried out by Disraeli and then by 
Gladstone ; but the system has remained 
unaltered ; aristocracy is yielding to plutoc- 
racy. What the House has lost in gentility 
it has gained in power. The restriction of 
the freedom of speech, particularly by the 
introduction of the so-called " guillotine," 
which permits every debate to be broken off \ 
at a certain time and a vote to be taken at 
once, has transformed this pretended freest 
of all parliaments into a kind of machine, 
by means of which a small group of poli- 
ticians rule and govern for seven years 
according to their own sweet will. The 
tyranny of this clique, which, as the recent 
Marconi scandal proved, are not even afraid 
of indulging in shady financial transactions, 
was rendered complete when, two years ago, 
a decisive influence on the legislation was 
withdrawn from the Upper House. The 



52 THE RAVINGS OP A RENEGADE 

veto-right of the crown has long ago fallen 
into abeyance. And thus England is 
governed by a " Convent," or rather a 
" Conventicle." And that is called free- 
dom! 

But I should like to go deeper. For 
liberty is of a frail and tender nature, and 
often flees from public life to take up her 
abode in the energetic life of individuals ; 
this may be observed in the United States. 
To a certain extent it is also the case in 
England. I do not believe there are so many 
cranks people who take no heed of public 
opinion or custom, who care neither for 
good or bad reputation, but think, act, and 
live as it suits them personally anywhere as 
in England. But these exceptions do but 
prove the rule, and in their grotesque par- 
ticularities show the reverse of the general 
lack of liberty. The last time I was a few 
weeks in England I made my friends very 
angry because I could not help exclaiming, 
" You are truly a nation of sheep." It 



GERMAN LIBERTY 53 

begins with the smallest habits of daily life, 
and continues up to political opinions, every- 
thing on the same pattern. Every man 
wears the same trousers ; every woman the 
same bonnet ; I remember that once in the 
whole of London not a single blue tie was to 
be had : blue was out of fashion ; such a 
thing is impossible in Berlin, Paris, Vienna. 
All people of both sex read the same novels, 
devour one volume a day " the novels of the 
week." On the day of the boat race 
between Oxford and Cambridge one walks 
through literally empty streets in London ; 
the oldest duchess and the youngest chimney- 
sweep, all are seized by the same enthusiasm, 
as by a madness, for this event, of which, 
at the best, they see but little, and, in no 
case, understand anything, as in order to 
understand the achievement a special know- 
ledge of all kinds of details tide, wind, etc. 
is requisite, which is only possessed by expert 
oarsmen. 

Closely allied to this sporting mania is a 



54 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

complete contempt for all mental attain- 
ments. I am not only speaking of ignor- 
ance alone ; truly, with the exception of the 
small class of exquisitely trained scholars, 
the ignorance is so immense that no German 
can form an idea of it ; in a town of forty 
thousand inhabitants it was found impossible, 
five years ago, to find a single man capable 
of reading English correctly to a convalescent. 
They stumbled over words of three syllables 
and broke down entirely when they came to 
those of four ! But of that I will not speak 
for the moment, but of the conscientious 
objection to every intellectual occupation 
which is prevalent in England. Years ago, 
the Swede, Steffens, remarked rightly (in 
his excellent book, " England as a World 
Power") : " The English seemed to have a 
superstitious dread of intellectual influences 
in the management of human affairs. ' ' Every 
well-educated man in England is suspicious ; 
he only gains consideration the moment when 
his intellectual attainments begin to bring 



GERMAN LIBERTY 55 

in money otherwise, he is regarded as a 
fool. 

A few years ago I arrived unfortunately 
a few weeks too late in a town where 
the annual meeting of the British Association 
had taken place; I was congratulating one 
of the principal inhabitants an unusually 
talented man, decorated with many orders, 
esteemed at court, and known and admired 
in all quarters on this meeting of the most 
important English scholars, and of many 
from abroad, which must have brought him 
stimulus and experience. 

At first the gentleman in question did 
not understand me, then he said, laughing : 
" Oh, you mean the British Ass, as we call 
the Association. I am thankful to say I 
managed to keep so well out of the way of 
the gentlemen that I did not see one of 
them." It is thus that pure science is 
treated in England, in the best circles. I 
could give many such examples, interesting, 
because they are taken from life ; but my 



56 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

main purpose is to point out that true 
liberty is incompatible with such a frame of 
mind: not only is English industry and 
manufacture, the whole spirit of public life, 
blighted by this hatred of culture, but it also 
destroys the possibility of liberty. Liberty, 
we know, since Kant is an idea, no man is 
born free ; liberty must be acquired by each 
individual. Its accessories are an education 
and strengthening of the mind, a methodical 
uplifting above all with which it was origin- 
ally endued, until that liberation is attained 
which alone deserves the name of liberty. 
External liberty, if not preceded by internal 
liberty, is but licence. The English under- 
stand by liberty the right to walk on the 
grass without being stopped by a policeman ; 
that they are not restricted by military 
duties from setting out into the world in 
search of adventures ; that they may leave 
school at an early age to act as clerk in a 
solicitor's office, and thus, without the 
troublesome compulsion of studying law, in 



GERMAN LIBERTY 57 

a few years become a solicitor, etc., etc. 
On the other hand, the German may not 
walk on the grass ; he may not arrange his 
life as it pleases him best ; but he is obliged 
to sacrifice valuable years of youth and, later 
on, many holiday weeks to his Fatherland, 
and his life when the necessity arises. None 
of the higher professions are open to him 
unless he has acquired extensive general and 
specific knowledge. Is he, on this account 
less free than the Englishman ? Does not 
the irresistible superiority of the German 
soldier lie in his moral qualities particularly ? 
And what does this mean but that he acts of 
his own free will. He alone wishes what he 
is ordered to do, wishes it with his whole 
heart ; the English, the French, the Rus- 
sian soldier is ordered to do a thing which 
has no relation to his personal will ; in the 
best of cases he only obeys a desire of destruc- 
tion which, not natural to him, has been 
roused by a system of lies. And is it not 
their education which raises the German 



58 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

middle class above that of all other nations ? 
the education which is enforced upon them 
by the nation with relentless severity, and 
thanks to which the individual becomes a 
person capable of free judgment. Even the 
numerous trifling annoyances, what may be 
done and what may not be done, which, at 
first, are very irksome to us foreigners in 
Germany, are they not at bottom the result 
of general good order from which all profit ? 
They may be exaggerated, but are, on the 
whole, a good school of discipline and con- 
sideration of others. Martin Luther teaches : 
" The flesh should have no liberty " ; on the 
contrary, every man should be " servant of 
all." And then he continues : " But in the 
spirit and in our conscience we are most 
free from all servitude ; there we believe no 
man, there we trust no man, put confidence 
in no man, fear no man but solely Jesus 
Christ." I do not know if the present-day 
Englishmen consider Martin Luther a free 
man ; the great majority, even among the 



GERMAN LIBERTY 59 

educated, know, I am afraid, as little about 
him as their king does about Goethe, probably 
no more than the name. And were I now to 
let Frederick the Great speak : " Without 
liberty there is no happiness," they would 
certainly object that he was a tyrant. We, 
on the other hand, experience how liberty 
is obtained. Liberty is no abstract quality, 
that hovers in the air, and for which one 
needs only to stretch out one's hand ; that- 
is mock liberty that is thus caught, a decep- 
tive illusion that falling from the horn of 
Pandora vanishes into thin air. 

German Freedom real Freedom was con- 
ceived and created by Martin Luther, 
Frederick, Kant, Goethe, Wilhelm von Hum- 
boldt, Bismarck, and thousands of others, 
who each, according to his strength, trod 
in the steps of these great creators of Free- 
dom. An un-German liberty is no liberty. 
This Goethe knew right well when, towards 
1792, he observed that " A certain desire for 
liberty, a striving for democracy," was begin- 



60 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

ning to gain possession of many German 
minds. " They did not seem to feel," 
he writes, " what they must lose first to 
attain some kind of questionable advan- 
tage." And bitterly he upbraids " this 
fluctuation of opinion unfortunately the 
result of German character always prone to 
imitation." 

Germany has attained this precious pos- 
session in the course of struggles physical 
and mental throughout centuries. This 
German freedom is an absolutely original 
product. Humanity has, up to the present, 
known nothing which resembles it. It stands 
incomparably higher than Hellenic liberty ; 
besides, it is much more firmly founded than 
that ephemeric product which could resist 
neither the external enemy nor internal 
decay. Characteristic of German liberty is 
the conscious assertion of the whole. All 
individual parts of the empire preserve their 
independence and submit to be subjected to 
the whole. Thus, too, every man submits 



GERMAN LIBERTY 61 

from infancy for the good of the whole. 
That is the first step to liberty. 

This freedom, and only this, can hope for 
duration. For the first time in the history 
of the world, freedom, as an inclusive and 
continuous property, becomes possible. Let 
this, above all, ]be borne in mind. " Free- 
dom is not licence but truthfulness," says 
Richard Wagner. But how can a whole 
commonweal, a whole nation in its political 
structure and character be no longer arbi- 
trary but truthful ? The sublime spectacle 
which Germany in the war of 1914 offers 
teaches us. Let that be compared with the 
trivial nonsense we hear from kings, ministers, 
orators, and poets. It is unnecessary to 
speak of the liberty Russia has to dispense ; 
what liberty poor betrayed and ruined 
France can promise, the country of political 
corruption, of hollow words, needs as 
little explanation. England understands by 
liberty only the right of the mighty, and 
this right only for herself. Not a single 



\ 



62 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

spark of intellectual life has ever sprung 
from its immense colonial empire. The in- 
habitants are all only cattle-owners, slave- 
owners, merchandise accumulators, mine ex- 
ploiters, and everywhere there reigns the 
absolute licence of brutality which develops 
everywhere where it is not opposed by in- 
tellectual culture : that brutality which Rud- 
yard Kipling, England's most popular poet, 
has the front to claim as the highest power 
and greatest glory of England. 

The continuance and development of free- 
dom on earth depends on the victory of the 
German arms and on Germany's remaining 
true to herself after victory. And just as 
freedom in Germany though at first only the 
dream and hope of a few God-favoured men, 
and which even to-day can only be completely 
and consciously conceived by those who are 
favoured by nature and circumstances 
nevertheless gradually permeates the whole 
people, as we now experience it in this war, 
when millions immediately rush to arms, who 



GERMAN LIBERTY 63 

could not have been called upon, therefore 
by their own free will. In this same manner 
German freedom will spread over all the 
world as far as the German language sounds. 
True freedom will form a better glue than 
jingoism. And the German language the 
holy warden of these mysteries no longer 
despised and soon forgotten by her own chil- 
dren in far-off lands, but everywhere fostered 
and developed, will found a universal Teuton- 
ism, and by degrees educate other nations, 
in so far as nature has granted them the 
capacity, to understand liberty and thus 
enter into its possession. 
God grant this victory. 






* Is 



III. 



THE GERMAN LANGUAGE (LETTER 
TO E. E.). 



III. 

THE GERMAN LANGUAGE 
(LETTER TO E. E.). 

You are certainly right. It would be 
criminal, if just in these September days, 
when the great decision is pending which 
will decide all future issues, to abandon 
oneself to the intoxication of foolhardy con- 
fidence. From a thinking being, at least, 
more logic is to be expected than humbly to 
petition God for help and, at the same time, 
to be persuaded the Germans could not 
possibly fail to be victorious. I believe that 
the Germans have done everything humanly 
possible to emerge as victors from this 
struggle which has been forced upon them ; 

but I know what part is played in history by 

67 



68 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

insignificant circumstances, accidents, as they 
are called. From the bottom of my heart, 
I turn to God and say as our Saviour has 
taught us : " Father, not as I will; Thy will 
alone be done." True humility means to 
be prepared for all. Do we, indeed, know 
which would be more difficult to bear 
victory or defeat ? 

And yet, how shall I express myself ? 
I am afraid I shall become illogical or even 
impious. I could only regard a German 
defeat as a deferred victory. I should say to 
myself, the time is not yet ripe, we must 
continue to preserve the holy treasure in 
the restricted circle of the Fatherland. For 
Germany alone, at the present day, among 
all nations preserves a living, holy treasure, 
capable of development. It is inexpressible 
like all that comes from God, and I feel 
myself not only incapable of describing it 
or even of circumscribing it. One must be 
born a German, or have become one, to 
understand this ; one must live in the midst 



THE GERMAN LANGUAGE 69 

of this manifold blessing, must breathe its 
air, work in its light, live in its sunshine, rest 
under its benevolent protection. And there 
the word of our so exclusively German 
Schiller occurs to me : " When once light has 
penetrated a man, there is no night outside." 
For the moment let these words suffice. 
What we call " German " is the secret by 
which mankind is enlightened ; and the 
means of this enlightenment is the German 
language. 

Nothing can persuade me that this lan- 
guage is destined to destruction ! There are 
other languages rich in works of the spirit ; 
who would deny it ? I, least of all, who from 
infancy up to the present day have felt 
myself at home in English and in French, 
so that Shakespeare, Hume, and Sterne, 
Ronsard, Pascal, and Rousseau, are in their 
own words, their untranslatable idioms, 
nearly as accessible and familiar to my ear 
and understanding as Luther, Herder, and 
Goethe. I also possess a slight idea of 



70 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

the structure and vigour of the ancient 
languages ; can read Italian, and owe lasting 
impressions to the study of Spanish and Serbo- 
Croatian. Based on this knowledge and other 
knowledge acquired from comparative phil- 
ology, I maintain that, among living languages, 
German occupies, unquestionably, a unique 
position of majesty and vitality which ex- 
cludes any comparison. This lies partially 
in the structure of the language, as it has 
been formed by history, partially in the 
products which it has received from an un- 
paralleled series of virile, eminent, and par- 
tially heroic minds. These products let this 
be added at once transcend the realm of 
language. Thus, for instance, Johann Sebas- 
tian Bach, the marvel, whom Goethe can 
only compare with God, is unthinkable be- 
yond the pale of the German language 
and beyond the lines which Luther indicated 
for the development of the spirit of this 
language. All this is but one and the same 
current. 



THE GERMAN LANGUAGE 71 

In regard to its structure, so many excel- 
lent things have been said and so many 
things are treasured in your faithful memory 
that I can merely restrict myself to referring 
you to the fourth of Fichte's " Orations to 
the German Nation." On the whole, I must 
confess, I find Fichte difficult. He generally 
goes against my grain ; but this lecture on 
" The principal differences between the Ger- 
mans and other nations of Teutonic origin " 
I always read again from time to time, and 
derive benefit from it. First, I am pleased 
to see that he reckons among the "nations 
of Germanic origin the French, the Spaniards, 
and the Italians." It is quite evident how 
much Germanic blood must flow in their 
veins as the source of their vigour. It is 
sufficient to know what the idea " German " 
means, and to have studied a little history ; 
and yet this evident truth stated in the 
winter-term, 1807-8, had to be redis- 
covered in our days. Secondly, Fichte pro- 
nounces in simple words an absolutely decisive 



72 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

fact by seeking the reason for the increasing 
differences between nations, above all, in 
their languages. Among the languages of 
Europe, German is the only living one. 
Everything else is deducted from this fact, for, 
as Fichte observes : " Between the living and 
the dead no comparison is possible, and the 
former has an infinite advantage over the 
latter," therefore all direct comparisons be- 
tween the German language and the Neo- 
Latin languages are entirely void of sense 
and forced to treat of matters which are not 
worth the trouble. The catastrophe which 
has deprived all these languages of life 
English forms no exception is that they 
are founded on dead roots, that is to say, 
composed of dead material; therefore they 
were from the beginning artificial, not natural 
languages. These nations, Fichte rightly 
says, " have, exactly speaking, no native 
language," a fact for which Richard Wagner 
found the adequate expression : " Their 
language speaks for them, but they do not 



THE GERMAN LANGUAGE 73 

speak in their language." That is to say, 
the moment all words which do not designate 
only concrete things, but serve to express 
and communicate thought, are no longer 
derived from impressions known to the 
senses when, for instance, " Erfolg " is ex- 
pressed by " succes," and thus, in the place 
of a vivid idea of striving for a goal, crowned 
by the prefix " er " to indicate attainment, 
two syllables " sue " and " ces " stand, both 
of which for the present-day Frenchman have 
no signification. As soon as this takes place, 
words become only counters, incapable of 
inflexion, modulation, or composition ; the 
ordinary man ceases to think and genius 
finds no instrument by which he can produce 
new thought, la m&diocrite est de rigeur, 
mediocrity is absolutely imposed. Whereas 
in a language which has retained its living 
qualities, like the German, " the transcen- 
dental part is metaphorical, comprising at 
every step the entire physical and mental 
life of the nation in complete unity, in order 



74 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

to express an idea which is not arbitrary but 
has resulted from the past life of the nation." 
The fact must not be overlooked that the 
Latin language when, towards the end of the 
Republic, it became a language of culture, 
was forced to borrow ; for it cannot be main- 
tained as of the Greek that it is living ; 
for it borrows from the Greek numerous 
terms for thoughts, sentiments, and ideas, 
ready made, as they had been coined during 
the centuries of the absolutely original de- 
velopment of the Hellenic races, and in the 
attempt to adapt native words to the foreign 
meaning, misunderstandings arose, from 
which we still suffer to-day. I need only 
refer you to the chapter on the word 
" Nature " in my book on Goethe. There 
were partial and complete misunderstand- 
ings ; the Latin language of the classical 
period possessed consequently the moment 
it rose above the sphere of everyday life 
no living connection with the language of 
the people ; it was an artificial language 



THE GERMAN LANGUAGE 75 

which was incomprehensible to the people, 
" half dead in its own home." The result of 
this is that the present languages of Western 
Europe spring from a doubly dead root. 
Besides the German, the Scandinavian lan- 
guages alone have remained pure. 

So much about the structure of the Ger- 
man language, just to refresh your memory. 
The German language is a living tongue, and 
because it lives it is fit to serve as a vessel 
for divine thought. 

But now I beg you to direct your glance 
to the critical point at which the contents 
are poured into the vessel. " To the pos- 
sessor of such a language the spirit speaks 
directly, and reveals itself to him, as one man 
to another," says Fichte; and Goethe ex- 
claims : " Come, Holy Ghost, Thou all-creator, 
and visit all our souls ! " 

But to attain this many things are neces- 
sary. An individual spirit, here and there, 
capable of receiving and transmitting the 
revelations of the Holy Ghost is not suffi- 



76 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

cient. If the language is to derive strength, 
each of these favoured souls must belong to a 
national life on broad foundation, rich in 
forces, talents, and a passionate desire for 
activity ; souls must be linked one to the 
other and one after another ; language and 
thought are interdependent ; they grow one 
upon the other ; united they rise like a tree 
with spreading boughs. The Scandinavian 
languages form a valuable reserve, a kind of 
reinforcement behind the German lines ; but 
their geographical position has refused an 
extensive and luxuriant expansion to these 
nations. But in Germany this expansion 
took place in an ideal manner. Let the 
historian deplore Germany's lack of unity, 
and the innumerable sufferings it has caused 
in times gone by. The intellectual life pro- 
fited by it to attain the incomparable diversity 
of conditions and, therefore, the variety of 
determinating influences within the unity 
of experience and thought provided by the 
language. By this means the language was 



THE GERMAN LANGUAGE 77 

kept alive and remains so to-day. If you 
trace French from Rabelais and Montaigne 
down to Voltaire, you perceive an increasing 
impoverishment in the vocabulary as well 
as in the inflexions, until the structure has 
definitely been beaten to shining steel and 
functions mechanically. This development, 
which, regarded from a higher standpoint, 
is retrogressive, corresponds to the instinct 
of genius ; as the language was artificial, 
there was only one means of attaining rela- 
tive perfection it must be entirely arti- 
ficial no trace of nature. A Montaigne at 
the present date must hold his peace or 
learn German. I should like to call your 
special attention to the following : If this 
peculiar process led to an unprecedented 
result it was not due solely to the logical 
necessity of the linguistic position, but, to 
a great extent, to political development. 
The French language developed exactly on 
the lines of unity and sameness desired by 
the monarchy ; the French Revolution might 



78 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

destroy the external Bastille, but not the 
internal ; the spirit of this nation is for ever 
imprisoned. The German language, too, has 
suffered many losses in vocabulary and 
idioms since the days of Martin Luther ; par- 
ticularly the unfortunate prevalence of Latin 
among the educated classes till about 1750 
had a destructive effect. It was exactly this 
political diversity which, together with the 
essential properties of the language, averted 
a catastrophe. 

One need but cast a glance on Upper and 
Lower Austria, on Styria, on Switzer- 
land, on the Low German provinces, to 
perceive what treasures of living words and 
idioms were preserved. Thanks to the political 
disunity, these remained capable, at any 
moment, of once more becoming common 
property of the nation. A large proportion 
of the present-day vocabulary has been 
preserved from threatening oblivion in the 
course of the eighteenth century by the 
works of Gottsched, Adelung, and their con- 



THE GERMAN LANGUAGE 79 

temporaries and successors. Leibnitz, in his 
" Unvorgreifliche Gedanken " (" Essays with- 
out Prejudice ") indicated the way ; Goethe 
and Richard Wagner boldly returned to the 
original roots, but much remained to be done 
in this respect. It is an inestimable blessing 
that political notion and language did not 
coincide. He is a German who speaks the 
German tongue. No nation of the present 
or the past except the Greeks can com- 
pare in rich diversity with German. And 
upon this fertile soil the spirit has revealed 
itself continuously for centuries so that the 
thought expressed in German now occupies 
a unique position in the world. 

It is of supreme importance that the 
beginnings of the German language reach, 
without interruption, back into antiquity. 
This is the foundation of the living roots 
of which I spoke above. A similar state 
exists in no other language of the present 
time, at least in no language of literature 
French, particularly, shows in its very origin 



80 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

an arbitrary development dependent on 
chance. It developed as a compromise be- 
tween two contending idioms ; the Ger- 
manic conqueror learnt the language of the 
conquered, Gaul, lopped off, without any 
consideration, all inflexions which he found 
cumbersome, and was thus forced to submit 
to a definite rule the sequence of words in 
sentences which till then had been quite 
free ; besides, he grafted on the dry Latin 
stock numerous new and vigorous expres- 
sions borrowed from his native German. 
Up to the sixteenth century traces of Ger- 
manic vigour remained alive. Montaigne still 
indulged in the liberty of forming and com- 
posing words ; but he did not prevail, and 
shortly after him the flame died out for ever. 
A much stronger force lives in the English 
language ; it alone possesses qualities capable 
of making it a dangerous rival of the Ger- 
man. Here the conditions are just the 
opposite of the French ; the Norman Con- 
queror had already succumbed to the French 



THE GERMAN LANGUAGE 81 

language ; the Anglo-Saxon, beaten on the 
field, but numerically the stronger, possessed 
the more vigorous language. Prom this com- 
position, in which the Teutonic element 
retained the upper hand particularly in 
respect to the general structure of the 
language a marvellous medium of human 
intercourse has developed, so that a Shake- 
speare could arise from its midst and shed 
forth light. 

And yet ! As soon as we look more 
closely we discover a terrible and irreparable 
blemish. English is capable of serving as a 
vehicle for the sublime, the phantastic as 
well as for the energetic, the political 
debate, for all that is direct, thus also for 
business, sport, for the trivial and the brutal ; 
but it is impossible to reveal thoughts of 
delicacy and depth in English. Even the 
thoughts of brilliant thinkers are stunted 
and parched, and half Scottish Kant had to 
be born in Germany, so that he might com- 
plete the work begun by his countryman 



82 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

Hume. The reason is this : for all higher 
mental activity words of Latin-French origin 
only are employed ; the nobleman alone had 
leisure to think ; the Saxon populace that 
had become serfs was occupied with hard 
work and could, at the most, find time for 
poetry in the evening when toil was done. 
Thus, when the time came for new modes of 
thought there was no tractable material, 
only clumsy, rusty armour. 

Consequently England remained excluded 
from the highest attainments of the last 
two centuries, as it could not participate in 
the conscious and unconscious mental life 
of Germany, which was leading in the world ; 
thence a daily increasing leeway, which had 
long become evident to the more clear- 
sighted. For by thought I by no means 
mean, in the first place, philosophy, but the 
most valuable part of science and art as well 
as of all that contributes to culture and to 
the formation of a scientific point of view, 
to a life of mental activity. English natural 



THE GERMAN LANGUAGE 83 

science, for instance, is for the uneducated 
man an entirely incomprehensible rigmarole, 
composed of nothing but barbaric Latin and 
Greek words, interspersed with still less 
comprehensible and unpronounceable Ger- 
man technical terms it is a technical 
achievement and not a means of culture. 
An English theologian to take another ex- 
ample who is ignorant of German, no longer 
knows what are the questions of the day in 
this science. This is the reason why not a 
single ray of real enlightenment ever pene- 
trates to the people ; there is no language 
by the medium of which it might find its 
way. Fichte's words : " In a people with a 
living tongue culture penetrates daily life, 
where this is not the case culture and life 
take each its own separate course," may be 
applied to a comparison between the German 
and the English language. The very high, 
aristocratic, liberal culture to be found in 
England stands completely outside the pale 
of national life ; it has not the slightest 



84 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

influence on the attitude of the people, on 
the ruling classes, on the aims and means of 
the state. 

Hence the absolute necessity that the 
German language not the English should 
become the universal language. Should 
English come off victorious, human culture 
is cut off, dedicated to death. The moral 
corruption of England has revealed itself 
since the commencement of the present war 
in the most terrible manner ; mendacity, 
brutality, violence, boasting, at the same 
time a complete lack of dignity, justice, 
virility, truly a sad spectacle. Let the im- 
mense colonial possessions and other countries 
of English tongue get into a position to 
expose their thoughts and souls, and with 
horror it will be revealed what brutality is 
hidden here, the final phase of brutality in 
the human race. Therefore the German 
and with him the German language must 
be victorious. And when once he has gained 
the victory-*-be it to-day or in a hundred 



THE GERMAN LANGUAGE 85 

years the necessity remains the same 
then there will be no more important task 
than to enforce the German language 
on the world. Everywhere, even among 
foreign races, there are, among hundreds 
f thousands, men of great talents and of 
noble mind ; without a knowledge of Ger- 
man they remain excluded from the highest 
range of culture. Nor do I only think of 
men of genius, on all, particularly on the 
simple, the humble, those who stand closest 
to nature, the German language acts as a 
blessing sent straight from the hand of 
God into the human heart. What language 
contains " tales " like those collected by 
the brothers Grimm ? And, although Shake- 
speare, who, by the way, lives only in Ger- 
many and not in England, is always being 
cast up to us, does not the German lan- 
guage possess in Luther an incomparable 
treasure, an inexhaustible source of popular 
eloquence, flowing besides from a heroic 
genius ? Why was the Reformation never 



86 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

a success in England, in Poland, and in 
France ? Because only the German language 
possessed the strength to overcome the 
foreign element in Christianity. I do not 
say this to annoy German Roman Catholics, 
let them remain faithful to their creed ; 
but we all became Germans through Luther's 
work. He taught us to see in the German 
people, in German politics, divine institu- 
tions worthy of love and veneration. Thus 
he laid the foundation. And from then 
on I mean from the moment when the 
German soul revealed itself in folk-lore tales 
and its natural vigour in this strong man 
the divine " thought " of the German lan- 
guage rises to the great creator of thoughts 
and words in which new ideas gain form and 
live to Immanuel Kant, whom none can 
fathom who do not know German it rises 
to Goethe, the sublime counterpart of Kant, 
of whom Jacob Grimm so rightly says : 
" Without him we can hardly imagine our- 
selves Germans," so strong is this mystic 



THE GERMAN LANGUAGE 87 

power of native language and poetry. It 
rises to the high summit where German 
music the art that stormed the heavens 
united so completely with the German lan- 
guage that from this moment the latter 
became capable of expressing the inexpres- 
sible, and thus humanity received in works 
of art a new organ which is inseparable from 
the German language, as word and sound 
form but a single unity. 

This dream of the universal German lan- 
guage is practicable ; it is not only in the 
interest of the Germans, it is their duty. 
This duty contains two commands. Firstly : 
no German must ever abandon his language, 
neither he nor his children's children. 
Secondly : in every place and at every time 
he should endeavour to enforce it on others, 
till everywhere it triumphs like the arms 
of our national armies. Let the business 
man lead the way and demand German 
from his correspondents, as has been done 
up to now by the English and Americans in 



88 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

regard to their language. By extension of 
colonial empire and increase of the mer- 
cantile marine the German language will go 
with the German flag to all quarters of the 
world, and no longer as an inferior idiom 
begging for sufferance and decked with dis- 
jointed scraps of English, but everywhere 
regarded as the language of efficiency, 
honesty, and enlightenment, and, therefore 
the most esteemed. 

As far as the Empire extends let the 
clergymen teach and preach only in German, 
the teacher instruct in no other tongue. 
Abroad, let no German commit the crime 
of abandoning his language. Let him learn 
to understand that in so doing he renders 
himself guilty of a disgraceful deed. If all 
Germans in the United States, in Canada, 
Australia, etc., faithfully retain their lan- 
guage throughout generations, then the day 
will soon come when this language will claim 
equal rights in legislative bodies and govern- 
ment departments, and when this is attained 



THE GERMAN LANGUAGE 89 

it will penetrate victoriously into the life of 
the continents. In the meanwhile, schools 
must do their uttermost that German become 
the language of all higher education. It 
must be rendered clear that he who does not 
know German is a pariah. Foreign nations 
will learn German forced by envy, avarice, 
duty, ambition. All causes are the same to 
me ; with the German language we make 
everyone an inestimable gift, and we need 
have no compunction as to the means by 
which we force it on him. 

It is thus that I image the victorious 
course of the German language; and should 
I no longer experience it, the present war 
leads me to hope that, perhaps, I shall 
not close my eyes without seeing the begin- 
ning of the realisation of the most fervent of 
all the wishes of my heart. You see, there 
is a subjective tinge in the confidence of 
which I spoke above, a subjective tinge : As 
I believe in God, so I believe in the holy 
German language ! 



IV. 

GERMANY AS LEADING POWER IN 
THE WORLD. 



IV. 

GERMANY AS LEADING POWER IN 
THE WORLD. 

A FRIEND of mine a German is asking 
himself and therefore also me, in evident 
anxiety, if a victorious Germany would 
possess the political maturity which would 
render it capable of becoming the leading 
power in the world. I am deeply touched 
thai, in the midst of the joy of victory, a 
man should put this anxious question to 
his soul ; this is true German. If many 
think thus, then we may look with confidence 
towards the coming days of peace. At all 
events, the question deserves an answer. 
I will give mine in the few following lines. 

It is not easy at the present time to remain 
calm, to observe calmly, judge calmly, speak 

93 



94 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

calmly. And yet it is dangerous not to do 
so. For things of heavy import are not 
produced in excitement, but by clear-sighted- 
ness, reflection, energy. The German vic- 
tories are not, in the first place, due to the 
" furor teutonicus " of which one hears so 
much ; on the contrary, they are mainly 
based on the calm, efficient, and foreseeing 
work of decades. By well-informed quarters 
I am told the whole of the present plan of 
campaign dates in its very details back to 
old Moltke; he had drawn up a plan for 
a war on two as well as on three fronts. 
This plan has been kept up-to-date by the in- 
defatigable labours of the General Staff 
new means of transport, auto-transport, 
aeronautics, the new arms have all been 
taken into consideration, and the plan ex- 
tended ; in addition it has been nearly daily 
tested as to its readiness. Thus we had 
first the deed of the genius and then the 
never relaxing difficult application to duty 
of the many. And only then, finally, the 



GERMANY AS LEADING POWER 95 

third factor which in reality lay as an 
element at the bottom of the other two 
the usually hidden vigour of the nation, a 
greatness of ideal reality which unites the 
mental ardour of the genius with the implicit 
sacrifice of obedience. We see, in order 
that a nation may accomplish really great 
things, three factors must unite : thorough 
efficiency of the nation as a whole ; great 
talents in individuals ; a methodical training 
of many. Yet it is evident that the simple 
existence of these forces is of no avail, if 
they do not work together in such a 
manner that each attains its full result. 

But here we are laying our hand on the 
sore place in the political state of Germany 
to-day. As in no other country in the world 
all that is necessary exists to attain in this 
sphere also tno greatest of results ; but the 
different parts do not work in union ; waste 
of strength, waste of time, waste of men. 
Of what use would a Moltke have been if 
he had been sent "planter ses choux " in 



96 THE RAVINGS OP A RENEGADE 

some provincial town ? Thus the most 
capable men of Germany are allowed to 
decay. What could a nation attain that 
never had a chance of revealing itself as 
" spontaneous force," but must submit for 
years to be lectured by pettifogging lawyers 
and pot-house politicians on things which it 
does not understand, to be broken up into 
twenty parties who are constantly at one 
another's throat. How magnificently great, 
yes, let us say it, how holy great, does the 
German nation appear as soon as the above- 
mentioned elements work together. Ah, 
happy we, to-day we once more experience 
it ! Every belief bursts forth again, every 
hope, even the most forlorn, seems to find 
justification. We see that the impossible 
is possible. As in the army, so in the work 
of peace, there is nothing which Germany 
could not attain. And what a glorious 
prospect for the future of humanity to be 
placed under the influence of such a Ger- 
many. And yet many men are unable to 



GERMANY AS LEADING POWER 97 

feel confident in this respect. The difference 
between military Germany and political Ger- 
many is too marked. 

Of the forces which give their power to 
military Germany only the second comes 
into play in political matters. All respect 
for German officials ! And yet into what a 
groove of disappointment and sourness they 
have got. Officials like the German ones, 
scientifically and methodically trained for 
the highest functions, require internal liberty 
to carry out with joy their duty, and this 
can only be given them by tasks which 
appeal to their genius, and the execution of 
which demands that they employ all their 
faculties. The official, if great things are 
to be attained, should be in a similar position 
to the officer in times of war, raised up by 
wings from above with firm support below. 
For this, new ways would have to be pre- 
scribed by the hand of a genius, and boldly 
and calmly entered on. New ideals cannot 
be attained by old ways. The organisation 



98 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

of the German army was at first an idea in 
the brain of an individual man before, in the 
course of a century, it became that which 
causes our astonishment and admiration to- 
day ; and because it was an idea, thousands 
have joyfully collaborated at its realisation. 

The German national vigour should not 
become a parody of itself in the unbearably 
trivial form of the German Reichstag. What 
a satire on the tragic events of 1914 is the 
Zabern debate which preceded them and 
ended with the disgraceful and, at the same 
time, ridiculous vote of censure ! It will be 
said that the Reichstag has now behaved 
well ! That is not so. It was the whole 
German people that rose as one man in 
their unique greatness. No Reichstag could 
oppose this mighty movement ; not members 
of the Reichstag, but Germans seized the 
Kaiser's hand ; as German men they acted 
in the only possible way. But the Reichstag 
reassembled, and at once the old trouble 
recommenced ; everything was delayed, 



GERMANY AS LEADING POWER 99 

everything suffocated, and political life resem- 
bled a Trojan field of ruins. If Germany 
desires, as a political power, the same success 
as a military power, radical changes must be 
carried out ; and for new wants new forms 
and new methods be found and invented. 
To tell the truth, all nations of the earth 
are sick and tired of parliaments ; tired of 
the sacred general franchise ; tired of the 
ever-running flow of oratory, which threatens 
to drown the whole of the civilised world, as 
in a new Deluge. Silence is strength. Ask 
General Quartermaster von Stein if I am not 
right. Chattering leads to complete imbecility. 
That will be the result of present-day parlia- 
ments. And if I am asked what position the 
people are to occupy in the arrangement of the 
new political whole, my answer is : 

The people will be the unconscious root, 
supplying nutriment, the reserve of forces, 
and will then prove themselves as efficient 
as now in the German army. As soon as 
the people^are brought to silence, their voice 



100 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

is most distinctly heard. Their speech is 
not dialectic, but something which far sur- 
passes it. A monarch may be represented, 
a class, a profession a people cannot be 
represented. The people are nature, and a 
Mr. Miiller or Mr. Meyer is as little able to 
represent them as he is to represent a moun- 
tain or a wood. This pretended representa- 
tion of the people does nothing but destroy 
the real vigour of the people and cause a 
chaos. It causes incessant restlessness and, 
therefore, anxiety. It consumes every root 
fibre which would have served to sustain 
life. It stultifies by its debate and nullifies 
all great plans by its disputes. In addition 
to this, like a monstrous dragon, it swallows 
mountains of strength and oceans of time, 
all of which are lost for ever for the life of 
the nation. The people naturally recognise 
and foster great characters ; parliament in- 
variably refuses to tolerate any talent that 
arises above mediocrity. Read Bismarck's 
speeches and then read the speeches in which 



GERMANY AS LEADING POWER 101 

the " High House " replied. It is a school 
of disgust ! However, it is a good sign 
that, among all the parliaments of the world, 
the German " Reichstag " must be regarded 
as the most unbearable. From this we see 
how un-German this inheritance of the French 
Revolution is. It is true the French Chamber 
is slowly ruining the country, but more 
" esprit " and wit are shown there than in the 
German Reichstag ; to bandy words so that 
assertion and retort fly like a ball from one 
to the other suits the French character 
better, as well as the spectacular nature of 
the prearranged debates to which spectators 
of both sex press as to a theatre. All this in 
nowise suits the German character. 

The English Parliament is also rapidly 
approaching a catastrophe since the days 
when it ceased to be an assembly of landed 
proprietors and intellectual capacities to 
become the hunting-ground of political attor- 
neys. Yet there still exist in it great tradi- 
tions of real Germanic worth which endow it 



i 



102 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

with a dignity which the German Reichstag 
lacks entirely. 

No nation is nearly so rich in manifold 
political institutions as Germany. Truly she 
has no need to borrow forms of government 
from abroad. How dead is France with her 
single town where politicians, artists, scholars, 
and cocottes all live one upon the top of the 
other, all round surrounded by 500,000 square 
kilometres of philistines without art, with- 
out science, without society, "agrideserti " as 
far as intellectual life is concerned. 

What an unformly, monstrous chaos 
Russia represents, a conglomerate held to- 
gether only by the law of indolence ! What 
a weak ideal is beautiful Austria united 
solely by its loyalty to the House of Haps- 
burg, but otherwise all parts striving asunder 
in hostile antipathy. And how deep has 
England sunk since she abandoned her in- 
herited aristocratic principles of government 
for the gain of money. 

But in Germany every spot is alive, because 



GERMANY AS LEADING POWER 103 

here manifold historical traditions live and 
work, because here alone the present grows 
out of the past. The kingdoms, duchies, 
free towns, the democratic and aristocratic 
forms of government, all exhale a life such 
as has never been seen before. For God's 
sake no unifying, no uniformity. Germany 
is a real, organic unity, because it consists of 
parts. The present German Empire is an 
entirely new formation in the history of man- 
kind, therefore it can, shall, and must pro- 
duce new forms of political life. Away with 
English and French patterns ! 

No less must Germany adopt new ways in 
the conception of her relations to other 
states. Here Bismarck has shown us the 
way. Instead of accepted " diplomacy " he 
showed how to practise statesmancraft, a 
new, real German statesmancraft, wary but 
not mendacious, clever but not Machiavellian, 
daring to foolhardiness ; but, in truth, as 
well thought out and cautious as a cam- 
paign plan of the German General Staff. 



104 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

After Bismarck's, unfortunately, too early 
departure, Germany immediately strayed 
again on foreign paths. No attention was 
paid to the fundamental truth that a states- 
man may occasionally be an excellent diplo- 
matist (vide Bismarck in Petrograd and 
Paris), but an ordinary diplomatist never has 
the makings of a real statesman. No worse 
misfortune could happen to Germany than 
once more to come under Metternich's prin- 
ciples of government. Let it not be said 
history knows but one Bismarck ; principles 
work with might when once they have been 
recognised and boldly seized ; they show 
the way and produce men ; exactly as in war, 
all at once, generals arise whose genius, in 
times of peace, no one would have suspected. 
No, there is no lack of the right men in 
Germany, only room must be made for them. 
Therefore, above all, away with the old school 
of diplomatists. There is not a German 
who within the bounds of real " diplomacy " 
is capable of contending with the Greys, 



GERMANY AS LEADING POWER 105 

Delclasses, Iswolskis, or whatever their 
names may be. The best feature of post- 
Bismarckean time was that men were sent 
to the most dangerous posts who by nature 
of their character and intelligence could 
not be led into dark, tortuous ways. Thus, 
at least, a German trait was preserved in the 
midst of all this un-German business. But 
now things must become different, otherwise 
political Germany will succumb in spite of all 
the victories of military Germany. For God's 
sake, no more Ambassadors' Conferences ! 

When once Germany has gained the power 
and that she will gain it we all most con- 
fidently expect she must at once set about 
instituting the scientific policy of genius. 
Exactly as Augustus undertook a reformation 
of the world, so Germany must do it now. 
A great policy can only be thought out by 
a few and carried out with iron consequence. 
It is absurd to think that a whole people can 
carry out a policy. There is much talk of 
the people nowadays, but, after all, in the 



106 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

last instance, it is always certain classes 
who gain possession of the power and use 
it for their own selfish ends. Germany must 
not become an industrial, nor a financial, 
nor an agricultural state. It must be 
governed by a class which stands outside 
the parties and spheres of special interest. 
These are the sole conditions of a scientific 
policy of genius. All this may sound Utopic, 
but a new era demands new methods. The 
fact should not be overlooked that, although 
Germany is now victorious in Europe, that 
is not an end to the struggle. The inhabi- 
tants of other continents are there. The 
ultimate victory will be with him who judges 
the problems as Moltke judged the possible 
eventualities of the war, and who, like the 
German General Staff, strong, conscious, 
faithful, and above all without having to 
submit to any interference by lawyers repre- 
senting, or rather misrepresenting, the people, 
carries out the firmly drawn up plan. 

For the new time new aims and new means ! 



V. 
ENGLAND 



V. 



ENGLAND. 

AN old experience teaches us : Anyone who 
has spent six weeks in a foreign country sits 
down baldly and writes a bright book de- 
scribing clearly and briefly with astonishing 
simplicity the national character, the customs, 
qualities, i.nd failings of a people, so that he 
who runs .nay read, as the English say. He 
who has sjent six months in conscientious 
observatioi writes with much greater cau- 
tion ; his biok runs the risk of wearying the 
reader, who wishes to acquire definite know- 
ledge and now gropes in uncertainties, due 
to reservations and indefinite statements. 
But he who his lived there six years and had 
the opportunity of coming into close contact 




110 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

with a number of differently constituted 
individuals of the nation in question, so tJ^at 
he has been able to observe in their mi nc i s 
the effect of events in action and react i on> 
and has gained knowledge not only of t,heir 
character, but of the peculiar trend of their 
character he will abandon the intenti on o f 
writing a book on that nation, because he 
cannot hope to do justice to so complicated a 
subject into which it is so difficult J, o gain 
an insight. It is a different matter when a 
man who himself belongs to this people, and 
therefore possesses an inexhaustible and inex- 
haustive knowledge of them, lets the past 
which also is well known to him pass before 
his mind's eye; he gains deep insights at 
certain points ; it is there where, character 
and history clash. Suddenly, be then be- 
comes aware that this character, f the course 
of historic events had not forced upon it 
just this definite line of develo3ment, must 
have turned out quite different and that the 
same historic course would certainly have 



ENGLAND 



111 






had quite a different effect on a character 
moulded on other lines. One must proceed 
with the utmost caution as soon as one 
speaks of the " character " of a nation ; for, 
as it is necessarily composed of innumerable, 
different, individual characters, one runs the 
risk of producing a picture in the manner of 
Lombroso, who had the faces of fifty mur- 
derers photographed one above the other in 
order to attain the physiognomy of the ideal 
murderer, by which means a perfectly 
characterless type was produced, the only 
certain quality of which was that it certainly 
did not resemble any murderer who had ever 
lived. 

But with a nation the blood relationship 
which penetrates everywhere does much to 
unify, and much is also contributed by the 
;c psyche" of the masses, i.e., the influence 
to which the individual is subjected by those 
around him. Thus, for instance, the unity 
of the German national character is revealed 
with overwhelming force at the present 



* J8 

3* if 






3? 
i2 



112 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

moment ; 1914 is for Germany one of those 
moments when history and character clash ; 
suddenly we gain an insight right into the 
interior, which is otherwise hidden from the 
eye by the deceptive surface. 

In the same manner and at the same 
moment not with the same unity, let us 
hope to God, but yet distinctly and decisively 
a clash between English character and 
English history is revealed. And we stand 
before it overwhelmed with horror and shame. 
For it is of no avail that journalists main- 
tain that the English are no longer Teutons, 
and that they prove it by their conduct ; 
they are Teutons, much purer Teutons than 
many Germans, and the development of 
the last two centuries has placed the Anglo- 
Saxon element, i.e., the real Teuton element, 
more and more in the foreground at the 
expense of the Norman-French element, 
which is constantly losing ground by inter- 
marrying. The influence of the Jews cannot 
be asserted, although it is particularly great 






ENGLAND 113 



in the present government. Germany has 
twenty times as many Jews, where are they 
now ? As if blown away by the mighty 
rising, as " Jews " no longer to be found ; 
for they are doing their duty as Germans 
at the front or at home. Whereas the 
English Jews, who are the natural brothers 
and cousins of the German Jews, participate 
in all the disgraceful actions there, hastily 
change their German names into English 
ones, and, in the Press, of which they have 
gained almost complete possession, lead the 
campaign of slander against Germany. If 
a nation rises, the Jew follows. He does not 
lead. The causes of the development which 
has placed England where she now stands 
are to be sought much deeper, in the events 
of past centuries. This was one of the 
possible developments of the Germanic race ; 
from the disharmony between history and 
character it has become a fact. If one reflects 
on the history of states, one is more and 
more astonished at the far-reaching effect, 

H 



114 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

which spreads by channels no eye can over- 
look, of simple events and of hardly per- 
ceptible turns of fate. It is sufficient to 
bear in mind one single event at the com- 
mencement of English history, and a single 
turn caused by external circumstances which 
took place five hundred years later, to under- 
stand many things which would otherwise 
remain an unsolvable enigma. Prom these 
two facts there results as effect a third. 
From the peculiarly constituted effect arises 
necessarily a just as peculiar counteraction, 
and thus, ultimately as with all organic 
life an infinitely manifold and individual 
whole is composed of the most simple com- 
ponents imaginable, in which all parts are 
interdependent. The conquest by the Nor- 
mans, which, in the eleventh century, sub- 
jected the Anglo-Saxon population, is the 
" event " which I have in my mind ; the 
" turn of fate " is the process, beginning 
about the sixteenth century, by which the 
agricultural inhabitants of England, in spite 



ENGLAND 115 

of their innate dread of the sea, were turned 
into mariners and merchants. There can 
be no doubt that distinctive and, for a 
foreigner, inexplicable traits of character in 
the English nation are derived, in the first 
place, from a conjunction of the Saxon forms 
of government, which already, under Alfred 
the Great, had attained a very high stan- 
dard, with the spirit of the vigorous Norman ; 
just as little can it be doubted that from the 
moment when the change to a commercial 
nation took place, a change commenced in 
the whole political community, which ulti- 
mately was bound to lead to the catastrophe, 

the commencement of which we see to- 
day. 

By " nobility " something quite different 
is understood in England to what the term 
conveys in other countries. It is not a 
question of a title by which all members of 
the family are externally distinguished for 
all times ; but of belonging to a social caste, 
which forms a distinct internal contrast to 



116 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

the rest of the people. Incessantly people 
fall out of this caste, incessantly others are 
received into it by assimilation. Every 
Englishman who belongs to the " nobility " 
or " gentry " is to be known at once ; very 
frequently by his features, always by the 
expression of his face, by his behaviour, 
by his voice, and, above all things, with 
absolute certainty by his speech. No im- 
portance is attached to the title, which is 
only given to one of the contemporaries of 
the family ; all importance is attached to 
the caste. Aristocratic men often refuse 
titles. Some of the leading families have 
refused titles of nobility for centuries. To 
compare this with the French ancient regime 
would be erroneous. It is true the Frank, 
the Burgundian, and the Gothic nobility 
could be distinctly distinguished from the 
other people up to the Revolution ; at 
present their imposing physiognomies are 
very rarely seen in France. In England the 
conditions were quite different from the very 



ENGLAND 117 

beginning, and the nobility have assumed a 
position of far greater importance. The 
Burgundians, Franks, and Goths penetrated 
as whole nations into Gaul ; the greater part 
was entirely assimilated by the original in- 
habitants; only princes and nobles held 
aloof, and they were not numerous enough 
to maintain their position long. On the 
other hand, the number of noble families 
who followed the first kings from Normandy 
and Anjou to England was relatively small, 
so that this nobility, which received and 
assimilated only a few Saxon and Danish 
families, remained completely separated from 
the people, who retained their unalloyed 
Anglo-Saxon blood. Hence the fact of this 
upper caste which is distinctive of England, 
a caste which, up to the present day, possesses 
its own language, or, to be more exact, its 
own pronunciation ; but this pronunciation 
includes numerous words and idioms which 
an Englishman who does not belong to this 
caste is as incapable of using correctly as he 



118 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

is of attaining the pronunciation. By this 
circumstance the nation was divided into 
two parts, and has remained so to the present 
day : an upper and a lower ; an aristocratic 
and a plebeian. William the Conqueror 
endeavoured, but without success, to learn 
Anglo-Saxon. The great historian, Hobbes, 
tells us that under the early Norman kings 
those who complained of the tyranny of the 
new nobility received as answer : " Silence, 
thou art but an Englishman." And yet this 
simple Englishman came off victorious by per- 
sistently refusing to learn French. In the 
same manner and this is the critical point 
the upper caste refused to learn Anglo- 
Saxon. The new language was the result 
of this twofold obstinacy, it is called English ; 
it arose from two contending idioms, each of 
which desired prevalence for itself, but even 
after the definite settlement the contest 
continued in the two pronunciations of the 
present time, the aristocratic and the common. 
He who bears in mind this circumstance, 






ENGLAND 119 

the language, will soon, even without a 
personal acquaintance with England, procure 
a deeper insight into many matters than 
extensive works on the subject could have 
provided. Thus it comes that secondary 
schools open to the whole nation, as they 
exist everywhere, in Germany, France, Italy, 
etc., are impossible in England. " I cannot 
send my son to a school," says the aristo- 
cratic Englishman, " where he would learn 
from comrades and masters the pronuncia- 
tion ' 'igh ' for ' high,' and ' hisland J for 
'island.' ' Besides, there is the ugly nasal 
pronunciation which has developed in the 
towns in England and, to a much greater 
extent, in America and Australia. The Ger- 
man " Gymnasium " and " Realschule " are 
impossible ; there are institutions for the 
education of the sons of the aristocracy and 
for those of the lower class ; the boys never 
get to know one another, do not speak to 
one another, and despise each other. There- 
fore a university, in the German sense, is 



120 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

impossible. The ancient universities are ex- 
clusively aristocratic, and produce those ex- 
quisite English scholars who, secluded from 
common life, live in their mediaeval colleges, 
men of great experience in life and society, 
as is natural for the ruling class of a ruling 
nation, frequently with the necessary leisure 
for study and travel ; they represent in their 
personality and books the highest grade of 
culture which, at the present day, can be 
attained by humanity. It is true, they are 
the product of a hot-house. 

But the new universities are mainly 
technical schools. Some eminent professors 
particularly of chemistry, physics, me- 
chanics who have all acquired their know- 
ledge in Germany, teach at them, but they 
have no influence on the character of the 
institutions, which is exclusively practical 
and in no sense addicted to pure science. 
\ One of the main supports of modern Ger- 
\ many is thus entirely lacking in England : 
the influence of school and university which 



ENGLAND 121 

penetrate the life of the nation by a thousand 
veins and raise it to a unity of culture. 

No less does England lack the possibility 
of a national army, of that powerful, moral 
creation which one might call the backbone 
of modern Germany. For the German 
army would not possess its enormous moral 
power if the absolute unity of all forces of 
the nation were not united and reflected 
in it. From Imperial Majesty to the youngest 
peasant recruit they all form one single 
family, each one a comrade to the other, 
all united by obedience, duty, patriotism. 
Before the army could develop and bring 
the unity of Germany to its highest power, 
the moral and mental unity to desire and 
create such an army had to exist. This is 
wanting in England. In England the two 
classes of the people the small and the 
large know nothing of one another, abso- 
lutely nothing. I can have a servant for 
twenty years and know as little about him 
as about the soul of my walking-stick. The 



122 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

pride of the Englishman who does not belong 
to the upper caste is his unapproachability. 
He does not wish to be questioned ; he does 
not wish to speak ; he does not say " Good 
morning " ; he does not say " Good night " ; if 
he meets his master, he goes out of his way 
so as not to have to salute. What com- 
radeship can then exist between soldier and 
officer ? How is unity to be attained ? 
The relationship is and remains that of the 
aristocrat, who gives orders to men belong- 
ing to a different class and enforces obedience 
by his innate superiority. 

Besides, the English of the lower classes 
have from the beginning been unwarlike. 
The Plantagenets waged many wars in France 
and distinguished themselves in the Holy 
Land ; but with the exception of the nobility 
they drew no soldiers from England. Green, 
the well-known historian, writes : " The 
inhabitants of England took no interest in 
wars and crusades, what they valued in their 
kings was that they procured lasting peace 






ENGLAND 123 

for the island." And that has remained 
so up to the present day when the English 
army is composed to the much greater part 
of Celtic Irish and Celtic Scotch. The real 
English do not enlist. In the English battles 
of the past Englishmen of the nobility have 
commanded, but the armies consisted of 
foreign levies, mostly Germans. The battles 
in India have, from the commencement, been 
principally fought with Indian troops, and 
not with English ; the legal percentage was 
one-fifth Englishmen, and these " English- 
men" were mostly Irish. The excellent 
descriptions of recruiting which we find in 
Shakespeare are known to every educated 
German, from Henry I V., Part II. An amus- 
ing confirmation is to be found in the letters 
of the Venetian ambassador about the same 
time. At the commencement of 1617 Eng- 
land wished to assist the Republic against 
Spain. The Doge accepted the services of 
a Scottish count bringing soldiers from 
Scotland and Ireland, but he refused the 



124 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

English auxiliaries, saying : "He had no 
great opinion of them and knew how much 
their ardour depended on the three B's 
Beef, Beer, and Bed." Then look up von 
Noorden's " War of the Spanish Succession." 
You will find that in 1708 England had to 
make up her mind to legislate against the 
lack of English recruits, which was increasing 
year by year. It is the same story 1200, 
1600, 1700, and 1900. I could quote dozens 
of examples. The insular situation is no 
sufficient explanation. Before our eyes we 
see how the Island Empire of Japan has 
raised a formidable national army. I am 
persuaded the real cause lies in the " event," 
the mixing of the races, followed by the 
social disruption and augmented by the " turn 
of fate," of which I shall speak soon. 

It may be added that the theory England 
did not need a large army, and ought not to 
maintain one, served as a support to the 
practice at an early date. No statesman was 
ever more respected by his countrymen than 



ENGLAND 125 

Lord Bolingbroke. Far beyond his life he 
remained the prophet of the peculiar lines of 
development of modern England. In the 
midst of the victories of Queen Anne, Boling- 
broke, in his " Observations on the History 
of England," explains England should have 
a large fleet, but not a standing army, for the 
latter " would approach England too much 
to the Continent," whereas it was England's 
interest to let the continental powers wage 
war upon each other " without, herself, 
becoming too deeply involved." An army 
would entail " great economical incon- 
veniences and, at the same time, serious 
dangers." 

A third thing should be shortly men- 
tioned. The whole legislation of England 
the state, the constitution, her policy is in 
the hands of a single class of society without 
any real assistance from the other. Hobbes 
frankly confesses it : " Parliament has never 
represented the whole nation." The Refor- 
mation would have been the touchstone, for 



126 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

everywhere religion is the most internal wheel 
of politics. And what do we find ? Those 
Englishmen who really broke loose from 
Rome soon had to flee their country and 
seek liberty of conscience in the deserts of 
North America; whereas the separation of 
the Established Church took place as a 
purely political measure of the very absolute 
King, Henry VIII. , nearly without consulting 
Parliament. The inhabitants of England 
went to bed as Roman Catholics and awoke 
the next morning as Anglicans. The talk 
about English political liberty has always 
irritated me ; from the commencement of 
history it has only been the question of the 
liberty of a caste. Athens had " leisure " to 
be free, because the 20,000 free citizens were 
served by 400,000 slaves ; England could 
allow herself the luxury of a so-called free 
Parliament, because this Parliament was en- 
tirely in the hands of rich men, who derived 
pleasure and power from governing. Thomas 
de Quincey, an author much too little known 




ENGLAND 127 

in Germany, one of the richest talents 
England ever produced, shows that the exten- 
sion of the influence and rights of the Lower 
House since about 1600 are by no means to 
be attributed to an increase of the strength 
of the people, but to the increase of the lower 
nobility, that is to say, of the families 
descended from younger sons ; these have, by 
degrees, pushed aside the hereditary nobility 
and the bishops. It was very wise of the 
Parliament to obtain rights for the people ; 
it strengthened it against the king, and gave 
it the power to execute him who refused to 
submit to the dictates of the ruling caste ; 
but with no less sanguinary means it has 
contrived to suppress every attempt of the 
people to gain real power. Even to-day, when 
the franchise is extended so as to include a 
considerable proportion of the non-aristocratic 
people, the old violence of the governing 
class may still be seen. Many readers will 
know Dickens' s description of a parlia- 
mentary election in the " Pickwick Papers." 



128 THE RAVINGS OP A RENEGADE 

I can confirm them myself from a later 
period. On the day of the election, a special 
train brought four hundred roughs into the 
little provincial town from the nearest in- 
dustrial centre. They were the hired guard 
of the conservative party. These men were 
in no way interested in the election in a 
strange town; they were there to inspire 
awe in the liberal voters and if not suc- 
cessful in this to break their skulls. For- 
tunately, the liberal committee had not 
been remiss, and shortly afterwards three 
hundred still more ugly roughs arrived from 
another part of the country. The whole 
day there was shouting, fighting ; voters 
were hauled out of their carriages by the 
feet ; orators pelted with rotten eggs, etc. 
a peculiar conception of the liberty of 
political opinion and the free right to vote. 
In the evening I experienced it on my own 
person for, at that time, I was a pupil in 
a college, and of the eighty inhabitants of 
my " house " the only one who wore the 




ENGLAND 129 



liberal badge, thus confessing himself an adhe- 
rent of Gladstone's. Not even the prayers of 
the masters prevailed upon me to lay aside the 
colours of my convictions and replace them 
by those of Disraeli, and so the whole pack 
fell upon me, knocked me down, and beat 
me, till the masters and servants hastened to 
my assistance. On that day it is now forty- 
six years ago I learnt more about the 
English constitution and the English con- 
ception of liberty than later from the books 
of Hallam and Gneist. In English politics 
two uncultured forces are opposed, supple- 
menting each other : the uncultured violence 
of the class accustomed to rule, and the 
elementary lack of culture of the entirely 
ignorant masses, who, as was shown above, 
never have an opportunity of getting into 
touch with higher civilisation. 

All these peculiarities date back to the 
event which as a sudden coup de main in 1066 
put an end to the fine civilisation of the 
Anglo-Saxon state and created the kingdom 

i 



130 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

of England. In my opinion, the roots both 
of England's rise and fall are to be found 
here. 

But now for the curious " turn of fate," 
for without it the general demoralisation of 
all classes which we have to deplore would 
never have come about. 

John Robert Seeley, in his classic book, 
" The Expansion of England," has long ago 
exposed the legend that the English were 
naturally bold mariners, like the Vikings of 
the early Normans. The contrary is true. 
It has been very difficult to imbue them with 
a taste for the sea. Seeley, at the same 
time, points out that the English are, in 
reality, by no means conquerors. They have 
founded colonies where the countries were 
uninhabited or only inhabited by naked 
savages others they have swindled from the 
Dutch, the French, the Spanish, by treaties, 
or, as in the case of Malta, by breach of 
treaty. India was subjected by Indian 
troops. Never has England undertaken con- 



ENGLAND 131 

quests by force of arms as the French and 
the Spaniards have done. The English do 
not wage war like Alexander or Caesar, for 
the sake of glory. " For England," says 
Seeley, " war is an industry 4 , one of the 
possible ways of becoming rich, the best 
business, the most profitable investment." 
This may be laudable or not ; I only men- 
tion it because this trait is a supplement 
to the others. The fact is that the English 
are not soldiers, and not bold, daring mariners, 
but were solely enticed on the water by 
trade. Trade in peace, trade by means of 
war ; army and navy, but not for the unity 
and power of the country, but for the ad- 
vancement of wealth in all parts of the world, 
certainly honest and brave, but not the 
expression of a national need, a national 
idea. 

Naturally, the insular position always ren- 
dered it necessary that England should receive 
many commodities from across the water ; 
not only conquerors, but merchandise of all 



132 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

kinds came from there. For many centuries 
this trade was in foreign hands. Under the 
successors of William I. it was the French 
of Normandy and Picardy who monopolised 
the English trade ; then particularly the Ger- 
man Hansa, and later on the so-called 
Flemish Hansa ; Venice and Genoa conducted, 
according to special treaties, the whole of 
the commerce to and from the Mediterranean, 
without the intervention of English ships. 
Even the fishing along the English coasts was 
chiefly carried out by the Dutch, so that when 
Henry VIII. made the timid attempt to 
foster the first society of Merchant Adven- 
turers, and tried to found a navy for its pro- 
tection, he experienced the greatest difficulty 
in procuring the sailors necessary to man it. 
To overcome this difficulty a law was made 
under his successor, Edward VI., in 1549, 
forcing the English to eat fish on Fridays and 
Saturdays, as well as during Lent and on all 
days of atonement, under penalty of a fine. 
Elizabeth was careful to enforce this measure 



ENGLAND 133 

and to do all in her power to encourage 
fishing. At a time, therefore, when the 
Italians, Spaniards, and Portuguese had 
already produced generations of bold, in- 
genious ocean seamen, laws were necessary 
to drive the English to catch herrings and 
flounders off their own coasts (vide Cunning- 
ham, " Growth of English Industry and 
Commerce "). Now things certainly ad- 
vanced quickly, and the same Doge who 
refused English troops was very pleased to 
accept the help of English fighting ships, 
which, although only armed merchantmen, 
were reckoned as belonging to the Royal 
Navy. 

In July, 1518, for the very first time in 
history, seven English men-of-war sailed 
into the Mediterranean, as a modest con- 
tribution to a powerful Dutch and Venetian 
fleet (Corbett, " England in the Mediter- 
ranean "). Now England had recognised the 
new position of things in the world, and the 
opportunity which it offered of acquiring 



134 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

wealth. All problematic questions had already 
been settled by others ; the East and West 
Passage had been discovered, the New 
World opened up, India rendered accessible, 
communications established with China ; now 
was the time to seize what was to be had 
according to the moral of Mephistopheles : 

" The question's what, and by no means why ? 
I needs be ignorant of navigation ; 
War, commerce, and free piracy 
Form but one trinity, no separation." 

Here the new point at which England's 
policy commences is clearly indicated: war, 
commerce, and piracy. 

As soon as England embarks on foreign 
trade she begins to hate; first of all the 
German Hansa. Those who wish to know 
more about the subject need only look up 
Schanz's " England's Commercial Policy." 
Immediately piracy commences ; without de- 
claring war, England attacks Jamaica, which 
belonged to Spain, and lays the foundation 



ENGLAND 



135 



to her West Indian Empire. For a long 
time England's colonial activity is restricted 
to capturing the Spanish galleons as they 
return home laden with gold and precious 
wares. Everywhere commercial England 
grows at the expense of other nations, and 
increases by their destruction. Piracy pre- 
cedes, through it commerce prospers ; wars 
are waged when there is no other resource, 
but Lord Bolingbroke's " island policy " is 
never forgotten. First England unites with 
Holland to destroy the colonial empire of 
the Spanish ; then with France to sever the 
vital nerve of Holland ; then she perceives 
how ingeniously the great Frenchman Dupleix 
has attacked the Indian problem, imitates 
him, and incites the natives against him, 
then the natives against each other, till 
ultimately, as Seeley says, " without con- 
quest " she acquires one of the largest em- 
pires in the world. On the threshold of the 
nineteenth century, Kant, the mildest, but one 
of the most clear-sighted of men, describes 



136 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

England as " the most bellicose and most 
prone to violence of all states." How ab- 
jectly immoral the people soon became 
under the influence of this new spirit may be 
shown by a single example : how they 
glory in English schools in the battles won 
by Marlborough with his German soldiers ! 
What now was their real aim and result ? 
To assure for England the monopoly of the 
slave trade ! Lecky, the author of the great 
" History of England in the Eighteenth Cen- 
tury," says after the peace of Utrecht (1713) 
the slave trade formed " the centre of the 
whole English policy." As long as this trade 
remained profitable the English carried it on. 
Liverpool, for instance, has not grown great 
by its industry, but through the tracking 
down and bartering of millions of unhappy 
negroes. The patriotic historian Green says 
verbally : " The terrible cruelties and 
iniquities of this trade, the ruin of Africa, 
and the annihilation of human dignity did 
not arouse sympathy in a single Englishman." 



ENGLAND 137 

Then Green proceeds to the description 
of the endeavours of individual philan- 
thropists. But for decades these were of 
no avail. Parliament was deaf. The mer- 
chants were furious until the day when a 
new position caused this trade to be no 
longer desirable, and now amidst disgusting, 
hypocritical protests of humanity and Eng- 
land's mission to hold up a light to all nations 
of the world, etc., the slave trade is pro- 
hibited by law. 

We are fortunate enough to possess 
Goethe's clear and lasting judgment on this 
subject : " Everyone knows the protesta- 
tions of the English against the slave trade, 
and whilst they attempt to prove to us what 
humane principles underlie their action, it 
is now discovered that the true motive is a 
mercenary aim, without which the English, 
as is well known, never undertake anything. 
On the west coast of Africa they now require 
the negroes in their large possessions, and it 
is contrary to their interests to export them 



138 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

from there. In America they have estab- 
lished large colonies of negroes which are 
profitable, and yearly produce a large quan- 
tity of negroes. With these they cover 
their North-American demand, and, as in 
this manner, they carry on a very profitable 
trade, an import from abroad would be in- 
jurious to their commercial interest, and 
they, therefore, proclaim, not without an 
object, against this inhuman traffic." 

It is impossible, and also unnecessary, to 
describe how the exclusive addiction to 
trade and industry, to the acquirement of 
money, gradually caused the destruction of 
England's agriculture. At the turn of the 
eighteenth to nineteenth century the English 
weavers lived in comfortable cottages in 
the country, surrounded by vegetable gardens 
and fields. To-day only a very rich mer- 
chant can afford to live in the country in 
England, for the cultivation of the ground 
does not cover the expenses. In the year 
1769, of a census of eight and a half millions, 



* 



ENGLAND 139 

2,800,000 were employed in agricultural 
labour and tending cattle ; in 1897, with a 
population of forty millions, only 798,000 
men and women were employed on the land 
(Gibbons, " The Industrial History of Eng- 
land, 5 ' 4th edition). 

With this a deeply penetrating change of 
the whole character of both classes is closely 
connected ; by this development the life and 
soul of the Englishman has been completely 
altered. Old England had for centuries en- 
joyed the inestimable good fortune of not 
having to dread an external enemy, and she 
had waged her few wars with foreign soldiers. 
Thus agriculture and country life were blessed 
with great prosperity, and as the old poets 
tell us, and the new scholars prove by statis- 
tics, not only the lords, but also the small 
holders and labourers, were incomparably 
better off than now. England enjoyed 
throughout Europe a reputation for comfort 
and merriment. 

A traveller of the fifteenth century observes 



140 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

that the English seem " less troubled with 
hard work than other people, and are able 
to lead a more refined life and give more 
time to intellectual pursuits." Another 
speaks of their incomparable kindness. All 
this has changed. 

To intellectual pursuits in present-day 
England I have referred in the " Essay on 
German Liberty," page 55 ; but in regard to 
" merry old England," that flourished most at 
the time of Henry VIII. and Elizabeth, and 
is known to us all from Shakespeare and 
Walter Scott, and which we all love, it has 
disappeared entirely, at first gradually and 
then with surprising rapidity in inverse ratio 
with the development of shipping and in- 
dustry. In the novels of the eighteenth 
century, it is still to be seen like the uncanny 
glare of a sultry sunset. The genius of 
Dickens still shows it us in the hearts of 
some whimsical characters, where, hovering 
between caricature and melancholy insight 
into their own unreal existence, it passes on 



ENGLAND 141 

to definite decease. To-day the last vestige 
has been trampled down. No comfort is to 
be found in England, no broad and kindly 
humour, no merriment. Everything, as far 
as public life is concerned, is haste, money, 
noise, show, vulgarity, arrogance, discourage- 
ment, and envy. One remembers the beau- 
tiful old English Christmas festival with 
red-berried holly and the mistletoe, beneath 
which innocent kisses were stolen. On this 
day least of all, even thirty years ago, no 
one could have been enticed away from his 
home. To-day the dining-rooms of all the 
immense hotels of London are sold out weeks 
before ; they sit at a thousand tables, family 
by family, eat and drink until, at midnight, 
the singing of trivial street-songs in the style 
of the disgusting " For he's a jolly good 
fellow " begins, after which the tables are 
quickly cleared and all the young men and 
girls, who are entirely unknown to each other, 
devote themselves in disgusting promiscuity 
to the execution of negro dances, whilst the 



142 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

older elements gamble in the card-rooms. 
It is thus that the birthday of our Saviour 
Jesus Christ is kept in England ! And this 
example I select from a multitude, because 
this manner of amusement is the contrary of 
merry. The word " merry," so the American 
philologer Whitney informs us, has no cognate 
word in the Teutonic languages ; from the 
conquered Celts, in whose language it meant 
" a child's game," the Anglo-Saxons took it 
to express delight at the beauty of a land- 
scape, particularly of woods and meadows ; 
Shakespeare still calls the humming of the 
bees " merry " ; from this meaning it as- 
sumed the signification of joy in music, 
particularly in singing, and this third stage 
then grew to mean " innocent gaiety " in 
general. 

In this so peculiarly descriptive word the 
former English people were adequately 
described. And I do not think that any com- 
petent Englishman will contradict me when I 
say, " We were merry, we are no longer so." 



ENGLAND 143 

With the complete decay of country life, and 
the just as complete victory of the god of 
commerce and industry, mammon, all true, 
harmless, simple, heart-easing merriment has 
departed from England. And this again 
recalls an old proverb, " 'Tis good to be 
merry and wise," and the merry man is cer- 
tainly the wise one, and he who is not merry 
is certainly not wise. 

I believe I can maintain with certainty 
that the catastrophe of the complete loss of 
English , memm^iit, of English wisdom, of 
English honesty (for this, too, was proverbial 
in former times), is due to the circumstance 
that the change to war, trade, and piracy 
came upon a people split into two peculiar 
classes. All civilisation, religion, education, 
army, art, legislation, customs, presupposes 
unity, if it is to penetrate the whole nation 
in such a manner that even the simplest man 
receives something from it. What is meant 
by this is well known in Germany, and I 
need dwell no longer on it. In England it is 



144 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

unknown. As soon as the honest Anglo-Saxon 
peasant had been converted into a pirate, 
then we had the " blond beast," as he is 
described by the German philologer, Nietzsche, 
in his mad dreams ; and as soon as the 
" refined " noble had lost intellectual interests 
and become greedy for gold there arose the 
heartless slave-trader, who only differed from 
the Spanish brutal tyrant by his hypocrisy. 
There is nothing more brutal in the world 
than a brutal Englishman. He has no other 
resource than his brutality. Generally speak- 
ing, he is not a bad man; he is frank, 
energetic, full of animal spirits, but he is as 
ignorant as a Kaffir ; passes through no 
school of discipline and respect ; knows no 
other ideal than to " fight his way through." 
This brutality has gradually permeated from 
the bottom to the top as is always the case 
nearly the whole nation. Only fifty years 
ago it was regarded as derogatory for a 
member of the nobility to take part in in- 
dustry, commerce, or finance. To-day, the 



ENGLAND 145 

head of the greatest family of Scotland, the 
brother-in-law of the king, is a banker! 
Sons of earls and dukes disappear from 
society ; if you ask what has become of them, 
you are told, " Oh, he is making his heap." 
Where and in what manner nobody asks. 
Suddenly, he returns as a rich man, and all 
is well. 

In the meanwhile another kind of brutality 
has developed in the upper caste, which is 
still more serious in regard to politics. Al- 
though external customs and refined manners 
have remained the same, the moral compass 
seems to have grown unreliable. The tempta- 
tion of great power founded on immense 
wealth seems to have been too great. Among 
the nobility and those connected with it, 
they seem no longer to be able to distinguish 
between right and wrong. The same man 
who in private life would never sway a 
hair's breadth from the path of the strictest 
integrity, commits, in the supposed interest 
of his country, any crime. The prophets 

K 



146 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

among us Burke, Carlyle, Ruskin have, 
for the last hundred years, been deploring 
the decay of veracity, which was formerly 
so holy in England. For this, too, I should 
like to give an example. The reader will see 
into what ways, or, rather, what errors, 
England has fallen. 

The name of Warren Hastings will be 
known to nearly all. As a mere youth he 
entered the service of the East India Com- 
pany. He rose to Governor-General. Doubt- 
lessly, England owes her dominion over 
India, in the first place, to this man, who 
with Machiavellian cunning found the means 
of setting the different countries, races, 
religions, and dynasties of India against each 
other, and inciting them all against the 
competition of the French. Together with 
eminent intellectual properties and a will of 
iron, Warren Hastings is particularly dis- 
tinguished by a complete lack of scruple in 
political matters. He was connected with 
tyrants like Tipu Sahib, with criminals who, 



ENGLAND 147 

from the lowest castes, forced their way to 
the throne, and then, like wild beasts, ruled 
over the patient Hindoo, with sorceresses on 
the throne, who kept their own sons in dun- 
geons that they might continue to wallow 
in the blood of the people, with the worst 
scum of Asiatic monsters, into whose power 
unfortunate India had fallen. Certainly mild 
measures were of no avail here, and if the 
Company, or rather the English government 
which stood behind it, had intervened with 
strong, armed hand, they would have done 
a noble task. There was no question of this. 
The government never thought of assisting 
with money or soldiers, and the Company 
did not wish to increase its expenditure, but 
to raise its revenue. And so Warren Hastings 
now joined issue with one Indian prince and 
now with another, raised no questions of 
right or wrong, even protected the greatest 
villain of a usurper as long as he served the 
interests of the Company, and, as he thought, 
those of England best. Above all things 



148 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

money was necessary. How was he other- 
wise to procure and equip an army ? India 
must pay for her own subjection. And so 
Hastings selected among the rival princes 
those who promised the largest sums of 
money. These he supported with all the 
means over which a European could dispose. 
In this manner he nearly doubled the revenue 
of the East India Company. How was it 
possible ? How could these princes pay 
such sums and supply so many soldiers ? 
By the means of such atrocities the like of 
which the world has never heard of until 
the noble Belgians occupied the Congo 
atrocities which left an eternal stain upon 
the name of humanity, for no animal could 
imagine them, and no devil would dare to 
practise them on innocent beings. 

Then, in 1786, the great Burke arose 
immortal by this deed alone and by the 
enthusiasm of his words prevailed upon Par- 
liament to proceed against the man who was 
thus disgracing England's good name. When 



ENGLAND 149 

the case was brought before the House of 
Lords, the highest court of appeal, Burke 
spoke six days in succession, founding the 
accusation in every detail and terminating 
with the words : "I accuse Warren Hastings 
in the name of the eternal laws of all justice, 
I accuse him in the name of human nature 
which he has covered with disgrace." 

The case dragged on for ten years, that 
is to say, it was protracted by all legal 
means and tricks. One can imagine how the 
distance of India, at that time, rendered 
difficult the procuring of 7 testimony and 
retarded the proceedings, and to what an 
extent Hastings and the Company profited 
from this. It was always repeated: he had 
raised the revenue from 3,000,000 to 
5,000,000, what more do you want ? Even 
at the present day these figures are to be 
found in nearly all English books on the 
subject ; Hastings is considered justified. 
Besides, he had invented the opium trade. 
Should such a genius be punished ? Pitt, as 



150 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

Prime Minister, conversant with the docu- 
ments of the accusation, said, " There is 
only one means of escape; he must plead 
urgency of state matters." In short, Hast- 
ings was acquitted. Burke, in the last of 
his great speeches in the court, his attempt 
to obtain victory for the good cause he had 
repeatedly fainted from exhaustion while de- 
livering it pronounced the ever-memorable 
words : " My lords, if you close your eyes to 
these atrocities you make of us Englishmen 
a nation of concealers, a nation of hypocrites, 
a nation of liars, a nation of cheats ; the 
character of England, that character which 
more than our arms, more than our trade, 
has made a great nation of us, England's 
character will be destroyed, lost for ever. 
Truly, we also know the power of money, 
and we feel it, but against it we appeal to 
your lordships, that you should procure 
justice, that you may save our morals and 
our virtues, that you may protect our national 
character and our liberty." 



ENGLAND 



151 



The day on which Warren Hastings was 
acquitted April 23rd, 1795 is one of those 
days of which I spoke at the commencement 
of this essay, when history and character 
clash, and we suddenly gain an insight into 
the interior. New England, which of course 
had long been in the process of evolution 
from the old, now stood as an accomplished 
fact. Hastings had not amassed personal 
wealth, he had not in his private capacity 
cheated other individuals ; he had, perhaps, 
in his life not harmed a fly ; yet in the 
interest of his country that is to say, of 
its power and wealth he had feared no lie, 
no perjury, had betrayed those who confided 
in him, had not protected the innocent, 
and placed criminals on the throne. He 
had suffered that others committed cruelties 
of the most revolting nature by simply 
turning his back and refusing to take notice 
of them ; had dismissed English officials, 
who reported them with horror. We see 
the modern English statesman is an accom- 



152 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

plished fact at the same time as modern 
England. 

Exactly such a man is Sir Edward Grey ; 
for years gone by he has presided at peatce 
conferences, so that the intended war should, 
by no means, fail to be brought about. 
For years he has sought " rapprochement " to 
Germany, so that the honest German states- 
men and diplomatists should not perceive 
the firm intention of the war of annihilation. 
In the last moment the German Emperor 
nearly warded off the danger of the war. 
Grey, the canting apostle of peace, finds 
means to shuffle the cards in such a manner 
that it is impossible. England had always 
shuddered at the thought of regicide ; now 
that the unheard-of crime takes place, that 
state officials and officers prepare it, and that 
the heir to a throne causes the heir to the 
neighbouring throne to be murdered, now 
not a word of horror, but Grey discovers 
England's mission to protect the " little 
states." The English government causes 




ENGLAND 153 

Antwerp, in " neutral Belgium," to be con- 
verted into the strongest fortress in the 
world ; the English government had already 
sent ammunition to Maubeuge in 1913. Grey 
had the military convention between France 
and Belgium in his pocket ; all details of 
landing, transport, etc., are drawn up, black 
on white, and yet he finds means to make it 
appear that it is Germany which from pure 
necessity, we know now that it would other- 
wise have been lost " breaks the neutrality." 
For the first time in the history of the world 
the whole English fleet was mobilised but 
only for a harmless revue by the king. Just 
at the time of the assassination of Francis 
Ferdinand a friendly visit to Kiel is arranged, 
for all attempts to spy out this harbour had 
failed. 

That is the political England of to-day, 
as Burke had prophesied concealers, hypo- 
crites, liars, cheats. Ruskin gives us bitter 
comfort : " Let us take no heed of this 
England, in a hundred years it will belong 



154 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

to the dead nations." Nor do I believe in 
the monstrous strength of England, of which 
we hear so much; real strength can only 
stand on a firm moral foundation. The in- 
dividual Englishman is brave and honest ; 
the English state is rotten to the core. It 
need but be firmly tackled. 

Germany is so entirely different that for 
years she did not understand England, the 
political England of to-day, and always 
allowed herself to be deceived anew. I 
nearly fear that this will happen again in 
the future. That might be fateful. There- 
fore, I, an Englishman, must have the 
courage to bear testimony to the truth. A 
strong, wise, victorious Germany alone can 
save us all. 



VI. 
GERMANY. 






VI. 
GERMANY. 

VERY frequently one hears of late the ques- 
tion, "Why do all nations hate Germany 
and the Germans ? " This question, coming 
from the mouth of a real German can, in such 
times, have a touching effect. 

If there is in the world a peaceful, well- 
behaved, pious people it is the Germans. 
The good education which each, without 
exception, receives ; the spirit of discipline 
which prevails throughout public life ; their 
naturally reflexive disposition, all contribute 
to curb the more brutal elements and to 
assure the prevalence of the temperate* 
And these qualities are not of recent date; 

they are only more pronounced at present 

157 



158 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

than formerly, because Germany has been 
incessantly educating herself. Towards the 
end of his career Napoleon stated that in all 
his campaigns in Germany he did not lose 
a single soldier by assassination; of other 
countries he could not maintain the same. 

And one must bear in mind what vengeful 
hatred the Germans must have borne against 
the French, who had repeatedly converted 
the most beautiful parts of their country into 
deserts not soldiers against soldiers, but 
a furious horde of inhuman savages, hurled 
against a harmless population. And yet no 
revenge, no lust for blood, not a single case. 
Nowhere a single German, who, unobserved, 
far from restraining discipline, falls upon a 
sleeping or a straying Frenchman; among 
millions of inhabitants not one. And this 
testimony comes from the cold-hearted enemy 
of Germany ! On the other hand, let us 
cast a glance at the " Franc tireurs " of 
1870-71, the treacherous murderers, who 
deprived hundreds or, perhaps, even thou- 



GERMANY 159 

sands of brave German soldiers of their lives. 
Cast a glance at the wounded Zouaves and 
Turcos, who bit off the fingers of the Red 
Cross men ; think of the English campaigns 
against the Matabeles and other peaceful 
Zulu tribes in the nineties, in which the 
terrible dum-dum bullets were used to hasten 
the end of all resistance. Think of the 
revolting atrocities which the Belgians prac- 
tised for years in the Congo on a harmless, 
unarmed people, solely for money, to force 
the people by the fear of death to hard 
work. Read the officially accredited report 
signed by priests on the conduct of the 
Belgian civil population of both sex in the 
present war, who, worse than wild beasts, 
gouged out the eyes of the poor German 
wounded, maimed them in other ways, and 
then suffocated them by pouring sawdust 
into their mouths and noses. It is unneces- 
sary to speak of Russian atrocities, as this 
nation makes no claim to civilisation. 

And still these nations enjoy the sym- 



160 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

pathies of the world and are extolled as 
civilising powers, whereas the German is 
called barbarian, incendiary, murderer, so 
that the whole population flee at the ap- 
proach of a German soldier, the only one 
of reliable discipline, who has never harmed 
a hair on the head of an innocent man. 
I should, indeed, like to know what other 
army is accompanied by professional art 
critics, whose duty it is immediately on the 
occupation of a town to take charge of the 
treasures of art found there. At the first 
entry of the Germans into Rheims this 
year, I hear by private letter, the soldiers 
were conducted through the cathedral by 
professional connoisseurs and crowded round, 
as many as could obtain leave, in pious con- 
templation. And yet everyone believes the 
slander that the German armies intentionally 
destroy treasures of art. What we ex- 
perienced forty-four years ago is repeated 
in the present universal war. Every French- 
man, every Belgian, every Englishman and 



GERMANY 161 

Russian who really comes into contact with 
German soldiers is astonished not only at 
their iron discipline, but also what honest, 
absolutely decent, good-hearted men they 
are. The belief in the monstrosity of the 
Germans is so deeply rooted that personal 
experiences are regarded as exceptions and 
not counted in the general account. This 
was the case in 1870. I can speak from 
wide experience. For, at that time, I pos- 
sessed in France, where I had spent the first 
years of my life, many and some very in- 
timate relations. At the end of 1871 I was 
again in France. Everywhere the same 
story. Not a single Frenchman have I met 
who stated that he had suffered cruelty him- 
self or even excessive harshness, or seen it 
practised on others. But the inhabitants of 
my beloved Versailles assured : " The king 
was here and the ' great Head-quarters,' so 
the men were careful ; but if you knew how 
the barbarians behaved in Normandy ! " Now 
just in Normandy I had old relations to 



162 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

peasant families. I made enquiries. " No," 
I was told, " we were fortunate. ManteufePs 
army was operating here, excellent men, 
irreproachable discipline, they dare not have 
pinched an egg ; but in Alsace there it 
must have been terrible." The eastern 
country was unknown to me, but in that 
winter I made the acquaintance of a French 
Alsatian pastor, violent German hater, but 
a truthful man, and when I put the old 
question to him he drew a sketch-book from 
his drawer and showed me a gigantic Ger- 
man infantryman engaged in peeling potatoes 
in the kitchen of his manse, a Uhlan sitting 
on a stone bench before the door feeding 
with tender clumsiness a baby, and other 
similar idyllic scenes. " Quelle bonne pate 
d'hommes," he cried, nearly enthusiastically, 
" and what good-natured fellows ! " But then 
followed the usual : " But we were lucky, 
they were Pomeranians who stayed longest 
in our town ; but if you knew how the South 
Germans in the Orleannais have behaved." 



GERMANY 163 

Even such evident nonsense as that the 
Germans carried away all clocks is not to 
be eradicated ; for years I have been on the 
look-out for a Frenchman who lost a clock, 
but my search has always been in vain. And 
still the belief is so firm that in the present 
war as the papers report in some places 
the inhabitants place their clocks outside 
their doors as a kind of reconciliatory sacri- 
fice. I can only say it shows how true it is 
that human fancy leads human reason by 
the nose. It is true any of us who has 
travelled has met German men and women 
who did not distinguish themselves by grace 
and modesty, and caused a very disadvan- 
tageous idea of what is German ; but those 
of us who have experienced Frenchmen and 
Italians abroad can tell of worse things 
still. Like Treitschke, I have often been 
annoyed at Englishmen. But these are not 
things to arouse national hatred. No, this 
hatred has general, wide-spreading roots and, 
as it has once sprung into existence, it causes 



164 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

every lie about Germany and the Germans 
to find ready credence, however incredible 
or improvable it may be. For many people 
it is a pleasure to speak evil of the Germans, 
and by slander to deprive them of respect. 

We have just now experienced again that 
men who, like the French musician Jaques- 
Dalcroze, after long wandering over the earth, 
in Germany alone found appreciation for 
their new ideals of art, unselfish assistance 
and a home, are not ashamed of accusing 
Germany of deliberately destroying towns 
and intentionally annihilating treasures of 
art. Not only a revolting, but so absolutely 
stupid slander, that it is hard to understand 
how an intelligent man who has spent but 
one day in Germany can render himself so 
ridiculous. As love gives insight, so does 
hate make blind. And from this case we 
see that even benevolence and unselfish 
assistance are not sufficient to gain love for 
Germany; German generosity does but pro- 
duce ingratitude and treachery. 



GERMANY 



165 



The fact of the hatred cannot be denied; 
it extends from the more or less concealed 
dislike of refined minds to the bloodthirsty 
rage of the brutal, to the treachery of the 
cowardly subscribers of the Geneva protest. 

I, personally, adhering to the tactics of 
immortal Moltke, have the habit of answer- 
ing the above question, Why is Germany so 
hated ? by advancing to the attack with 
the question : Why is Germany so loved ? 
Not that I consider the matter settled in 
this manner ; but this counter-question gives 
rise to reflection and raises the dispute into a 
higher sphere which, at least with all ques- 
tions concerning Germany, is an advantage. 
Carlyle alone, and even if he were the only 
one of modern times, would be sufficient to 
give us something to think of for a long time. 
For Carlyle, thanks to lifelong studies, was 
intimately acquainted with the German mind, 
and it is always an advantage to know what 
you are about to criticise. Carlyle had the 
great advantage that he not only knew 



166 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

literary Germany from the most ancient 
times up to Goethe, but he had also studied 
the development of the nation, as it stands 
before us to-day, so that for him, with his 
prophetic talent, the past, the present, and 
the future lay clear before his eyes. No one 
has written more beautifully on Luther than 
Carlyle. He knew him thoroughly, and it 
is to be regretted that his strength did not 
last for the intended biography. 

It is not the theologian that entrances 
him, it is the man of God, the German man. 
From Luther's room in the Wartburg he writes : 
" One feels that of all places upon which the 
sun shines down, this for us living ones is 
the most holy. To me at least, in my 
poor thoughts, it would seem as if the direct 
presence of God sanctified these rooms, as 
if eternal memories and holy influences, 
warning precepts were hovering around whis- 
pering to the hearts of men painful, powerful 
and brave words." And then Carlyle relates 
how his companion I believe it was Emer- 



GERMANY 167 

son when he believed himself unobserved, 
quickly bent down and impressed an ardent 
kiss on the old oak table. These two 
foreigners knew Germany and therefore 
loved it. " Noble, patient, deep-minded, 
pious, able Germany," as Carlyle called it in 
1870. For Luther is not a great man who 
happened to be born in Germany; he and 
his native land rather form the front and the 
reverse of a coin, which on the one side 
shows, as if seen in a dream, the symbol 
of unutterable forces, desires, doubts, and 
delights of a millionfold endeavours, and on 
the other perishable features of a man in 
whose life that which all desired has assumed 
eternal form. Luther and Germany are so 
inseparable, so closely interwoven as at 
the other end of the possible scale of human 
talents this is the case between Goethe and 
Germany. To bring forth great men of this 
description a people must possess great 
qualities. Tieck wrote the true words : " As 
soon as Goethe opened his eyes and opened 



168 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

those of others, Germany stood there in 
her direct existence." She had but slum- 
bered. 

Germany, and perhaps this is a symbol 
of her productive force, periodically relaxes 
into unconsciousness of herself and must be 
awakened by a message from above ; never 
did the trumpet-sound which calls to the 
fulfilment of eternal duties ring more power- 
fully than through Luther, a direct product 
of the native earth, and immediately raised 
a loud echo throughout the whole German 
people, from prince to peasant. Each recog- 
nised the voice of his own conscience, as he 
had heard it between his dreams. Why has 
the Reformation never gained a firm foot- 
hold in Bohemia, in Poland, in France, in 
England ? Because everywhere it was a matter 
of sects. Whereas in Luther the longing of 
a whole people for truth is expressed, and it, 
therefore, had the same effect on those who 
remained faithful to Rome as on those 
who broke away. With him it is not a 



GERMANY 169 

question of religion in the sense of any 
Church, but of religion which includes the 
whole sphere of life and teaches to regard 
one's native country as the most holy of 
God's gifts. Therefore, one can and must 
say that Germany who stands so powerfully 
to-day is Luther's Germany. She speaks his 
language, thinks his thoughts, and does the 
deeds that he desired. Dogmatic questions 
lie outside the pale of German thoughts. 
He who knows Luther well therefore knows 
Germany well; that was the case with 
Carlyle. And now a curious coincidence 
happened. Carlyle, at the age of twenty-one, 
was so conversant with the German character 
that he could write a life of Schiller, felt, 
when he had matured into a man, as a task 
desired by God (he tells us so himself) the 
necessity of giving up twenty years of his 
life to the study of Frederick the Great. 
Through this, his insight became perfect, for 
now he had become intimately acquainted 
with the driving force of the political renais- 



170 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

sance of Germany and could estimate its 
power. 

Carlyle was not a hero-worshipper in the 
restricted sense of the word. He had no 
veneration for the meteoric hero, who passes, 
no one knows from where, bound for some 
indefinite port, lacking all substance, and 
when he once, for the sake of a system, wished 
to write on Napoleon, he broke off after three 
pages with the words, " Poor man." No, 
the true hero grows out of the community 
as a condensed expression of all the forces 
divided in individuals, thus to carry away 
the community to attainments for which it 
is adapted, but to the accomplishment of 
which it would never have proceeded without 
this incomparable hero. Richard Wagner 
offers the best example of our times ; his 
art would never have been able to contend 
victoriously against a sea of hate and slander 
had it not corresponded to the particular 
longings and hopes of the German soul, 
realising what thousands had seen in dark 



GERMANY 171 

dreams and a few had sought, groping their 
way, but what only one divine genius was 
capable of giving. In what does the real 
sanctity of human greatness consist ? To be 
the man whom all need, for he alone needs 
all men and sets the whole in motion. No 
word in Carlyle's great work deserves more 
attention than his praise of Prussia in the 
first chapter of the twenty-first book : 

" Brave Prussia ; but the real soul of its merit 
was that of having merited such a king to com- 
mand it. An accidental merit, thinks the reader ? 

" No, reader, you may believe me, it is by no 
means altogether such. Nay, I rather think, 
could we look into the Account Book of the Record- 
ing Angel for a course of centuries, no part of it is 
such I There are nations in which a Friedrich is 
or can be possible ; and again there are nations 
in which he is and can not be. Nations who have 
lost this quality, or who have never had it, what 
Friedrich can they ever hope to be possible among 
them ? " 

This remark is of the greatest importance, 
for besides the obscene abusers of Germany 



172 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

there are a host of false friends of the school 
of Lord Haldane, who assert that they love 
Germany, ideal Germany, the Germany of 
poetry, philosophy, and music ; Germany 
dedicated to pure science. They detest only 
militarism and its stronghold Prussia, and 
would like to root it out, whereas here we 
hear the man who really knows the intel- 
lectual and political history of Germany 
and recognises its organic unity, and he says 
with no uncertain voice : 

" This assertion is either folly or insincere 
hypocrisy ; for without Prussia there would 
be no Germany to-day, and without that 
great school of veneration of true human 
dignity which is slightingly styled ' mili- 
tarism ' there would be no Prussia. A great 
people need political greatness, and a noble, 
patient, deep-minded, honest people deserve 
to be their own masters, deserve to possess 
that influence which belongs to them and to 
ise it in the interest of humanity." 
The foreigner who pretends to love Ger- 



GERMANY 173 

many without Prussia is excuse the harsh 
expression, but there are times when things 
must be called by their proper names either 
a blockhead or a rogue. Carlyle alone 
weighs up a thousand muddle-headed Hal- 
danes, to say nothing of all the leader-writers 
in Europe. How stupid envy and hate 
make people ! Three great nations have for 
years been arming and have formed a criminal 
conspiracy to attack Germany the peaceful, 
industrious country that threatened no one 
and to destroy it. Thanks to Providence, so 
many secret documents have been brought to 
the light of day, that no man of calm judg- 
ment can have the slightest doubt that the 
so-called " restrictive policy " simply meant a 
diabolical attack, a raid of brigands, pre- 
arranged in all its details, upon a troublesome 
competitor ; and because Germany the wise, 
the honest, the brave sets up an iron de- 
fence, fights with gigantic forces, therefore it 
is defiled as the stronghold of militarism and 
held up to execration. It is as if burglars 



174 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

were to complain because the police had 
spoilt their well-conceived plan, and to show 
moral indignation on this account. It would 
seem at times as if one had to do with silly 
boys incapable of stringing three ideas to- 
gether. How can one talk of " militarism " 
in regard to an army in which every second 
officer is either a professor, a merchant, or 
a lawyer ? In Russia " militarism " has 
ruled for years, and leads to crime after 
crime to delay the dawn of the day of judg- 
ment which will sweep away all who have 
governed so dishonourably. In France a 
government of adventurers rules the all too 
patient and too weak people; adventurers 
who, to hide their shady financial transac- 
tions, and keep their manipulations from 
becoming evident in the general confusion, 
stimulate the cry of revenge. Truly the 
most contemptible kind of " militarism." 
And a government like the English, which 
of long date has been planning a raid upon 
a closely related, peaceful neighbour, may 



GERMANY 175 

rightly be described as ''militaristic," for 
by means of battleships and force of arms 
it desires to deprive the other of the fruits 
of his industry and to appropriate them. 
But where all men for the defence of their 
country, of their livelihood, of their in- 
dividuality take to the field, led by all their 
princes, that is not " militarism," but a 
nation in arms. There they lie in the Ger- 
man trenches beside each other prince, 
banker, engineer, schoolmaster, artisan, 
tradesman, workman, and peasant the whole 
German nation of men ; the professional 
soldier disappears in their masses. But that 
the professional soldier is there, that he 
has been there throughout the long years 
of peace, may God requite him for it in all 
eternity ! Without him Germany would now 
hopelessly succumb to the criminal Coalition. 
And he is the creation of Frederick the Great 
and his successors ; the creation of Stein, 
Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and many others ; 
in short, the creation of Prussia. The South 



176 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

German has the same staying powers and 
fights as well as the North German. We 
have seen that in 1870 and 1914; but the 
genius of organisation, the strained alertness, 
the never-relaxing readiness, the marvellous 
faculty of being always prepared to spring, 
that is Prussia's merit. Carlyle has a beau- 
tiful expression for it : " Like the stars, 
always steady at his work." That is the 
motto I would have inscribed in golden 
letters over the entrance of the office of the 
General Staff in Berlin in honour of these 
magnificent men : " The constancy of stars." 
Therefore, false, seeming friends, cease your 
prattle about militarism, or uncover your 
heads and bow "in humility before human 
dignity." If the army is the backbone of 
Germany to-day, it is because it has deserved 
to be the backbone. The German army (in 
which I, of course, include the navy) is the 
most important institution of moral educa- 
tion in the world. Discipline can be enforced 
by a Dschengis Khan, but through it he only 



GERMANY 177 

produces wild beasts. But the German 
army thanks to the Hohenzollern and the 
Prussian spirit trains to obedience and, at 
the same time, to self-respect, to patience, 
to action, to exactitude and resourcefulness. 
The present war proves this a thousandfold. 
We may go still further, for the spirit of the 
German army has already penetrated the 
whole life of the nation, and is the key to 
German success in all quarters. By teaching, 
on the one hand, the exact and conscientious 
collaboration of the mass for a definite pur- 
pose, each one subordinating himself to the 
whole as an obedient, modest, zealous collabo- 
rator, seeking reward and satisfaction in 
the attainments of the whole, and, on the 
other hand, it attains the development of 
the incomparable exactitude for which the 
42 cm. mortars have become known through- 
out the world, but which to the same extent 
is working in a thousand places in chemical 
laboratories, in engineering works, in manu- 
factories of all descriptions, in scientific 

M 



178 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

enterprises, and, in time, will be evident 
everywhere. If, in addition, the average 
degree of education be taken into considera- 
tion, which has been enormously raised by 
the collaboration of school and army in 
Germany, it is clear how much of the excel- 
lent attainments of Germany, in many spheres 
which are still capable of enormous develop- 
ment, may rightly be attributed to the 
spirit of the army. The characteristic and 
distinctive feature is that this German mili- 
tary spirit, unlike the English naval spirit, 
which only rouses the instinct of piracy, has 
contributed to the attainments of peace. Co- 
operation and precision are the newest dis- 
coveries of the human mind, which intensify 
its attainments a hundredfold. While natural 
science was revealing itself in the sphere of 
theory, it invented, in its dire necessity, in 
the sphere of practical life, the Hohenzol- 
lern monarchy. There have been many 
armies in the world, but that an army should 
have developed a soul of its own, a " spiritus 



GERMANY 179 

rector," and that this should be " perfec- 
tion," that was a new invention of nature. 

" The love of perfection in work done " is 
what Carlyle calls the main feature of 
Frederick William I.'s character and of his 
son's. So different in all other things, in 
this they resembled each other. In these 
two things co-operation and precision in 
the gradual solution of the many problems, 
which the realisation of such ideals imposes 
upon the mind of man, lies the spirit of the 
Prussian army, which to-day has become the 
spirit of the whole united German army. 
But this spirit is the spirit of the whole of 
the enterprising German nation. In it and 
by it Germany marches at the head of all 
the nations in the world. 

Only so much to-day about the foolish 
reproach of " militarism." One sees how 
good it is to get to the bottom of things. 
Lord Haldane, the learned Minister of State, 
Ph.D. of Gottingen, LL.D. of Edinburgh, 
etc,, could by a little reflection have saved 



180 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

himself the trouble of writing incoherent 
nonsense. The same refers to the many 
others who have raised the same point. 
But enough of these slanderers of German 
honour ; let us sweep them all into a common 
grave and return to our question : " Why is 
Germany so loved ? " 

The love of Germany, for which Carlyle 
finds such glowing words, is by no means 
new. It can be traced back centuries. How 
enthusiastically the Germans have always 
loved their native land I do not need to 
point out to Germans. It might, however, 
be mentioned in this connection, for how 
should a country be loved so tenderly 
by so many high and powerful minds if it 
were barbaric and detestable ? I will but 
recall one stanza of Walter von der Vogel- 
weide : 

" I've roved afar through many lands, 

And have enjoyed the best, 
But may some evil me befall 
If there my heart found rest ; 




GERMANY 181 

Though foreign customs pleased me well, 
Why should I the truth not tell ? 
German life excels them all." 

In this two things are particularly worthy 
of note. The entire lack of animosity against 
foreign things, of which the minstrel "en- 
joyed the best," and the emphasis laid on the 
fact that the Germans are distinguished by 
good education, decent morals and customs. 
These lines were written about 1200 ; even 
at that period the people whom Maeter- 
linck, Bourget, Holland, Shaw, etc., would 
like to decry as barbarians were superior 
to all others in moral " education." Exactly 
the quality which to-day distinguishes the 
German people as a whole, with a few excep- 
tions which will, it is to be hoped, now be 
exterminated, from the chaotic licence of 
their tango-dancing neighbours. But not only 
Germans judge Germany so favourably. I 
can call a foreign witness of such great im- 
port that all slanders fade before him. No 
less a man than Michel de Montaigne shall 



182 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

bear testimony to the truth. Among the 
present detractors of Germany, none dare 
deny that Montaigne is one of the most 
intellectual and independent men who ever 
lived in Europe; for us it is also of im- 
portance that he belonged to the nobility, 
had spent a long time at the French court, 
and was a far-travelled man, knowing the 
world and men as hardly any other did, and 
seeing to the bottom of things. 

In the year 1581 he travelled in Ger- 
many for pleasure, and was so pleased that 
he said : "I left it with real grief, although 
my way lay towards Italy." He sums up 
his impressions in the following words : 
" Tout y est plein de commodite et de cour- 
toisie, et surtout de justice et de surete." 
Four things, then, according to the criticism 
of the Frenchman, distinguish Germany of 
the sixteenth century : comfort, politeness, 
justice, and safety. In the itinerary from 
which I take this extract, Montaigne re- 
peatedly refers to the excellent installation 



GERMANY 183 

and management of the German inns, par- 
ticularly in comparison with the terrible 
conditions in Prance. He also quotes many 
examples of politeness which he, at times, 
even experienced as inconvenient ; so, for 
instance, the custom, which still strikes us 
Western Europeans and which, as we here see, 
existed at that time, of letting persons whom 
one wished to honour walk at one's right hand. 
Thus, so it was explained to the Chevalier, 
allowing the stranger, at any moment, to 
draw his sword, for which, however, especially 
in Germany, there was no occasion. Ex- 
ternally, then, in regard to customs, decency, 
and politeness, Germany stood as high as 
France, if not higher ; and, internally, no less 
so. For right and justice together with the 
security of person and property form the 
foundations of every higher civilisation 
and culture. If, therefore, Germany distin- 
guished itself in these, it means that it was, 
at that time, the most civilised country in 
Europe. Hardly arrived in Bozen and 



184 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

Trient, Montaigne longs once more for the 
" charm of the German towns," and in Rome 
he soon had occasion to form a different idea 
of personal security, for, as he relates, the 
Pope and the cardinals, in spite of the official 
tasters, dare not drink the wine at communion 
otherwise than by means of specially con- 
structed golden tubes so as to avoid, as far 
as possible, the constant danger of being 
poisoned ! 

Then the terrible Thirty Years' War came. 
It was over with the "charm of German 
towns." Whose fault was this catastrophe ? 
To speak of a war of creeds does not fathom 
the matter ; many other things are in- 
volved ; if a quantity of subsidiary matters 
are set aside, the main issue is a war between 
the really German element and the not 
really German element; only then one sees 
that the thirty years with the artificial 
peace are insufficient, but that the war 
lasted with interruptions for two and a half 
centuries, only being brought to a conclusion 



GERMANY 185 

in 1866, when the vital centre was once more 
placed in old real German country from 
whence it had started, that is to say, in the 
North. 

If we review in thought the whole of this 
time, commencing soon after the time of 
Montaigne's pleasant journey, at a time when 
the confessions dwelt peacefully side by side 
and mixed marriages were of daily occur- 
rence in Augsburg, up to the moment when 
Bismarck set his hand to the task, we shall be 
surprised at the Divine guidance, thanks to 
which there proceeded from the seemingly 
chaotic important consequences working one 
upon each other, and step by step the frag- 
ments of dissolution were collected, and once 
more united, again increased in essence and 
strength. They formed new organisations, 
derived advantages from peace and war, from 
victory and defeat, for external and internal 
development until, at last, the great, mag- 
nificent nation was attained, admirable in 
diversity, incomparable in material and mental 



186 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

treasures, exceeding all others in energy. 
Thus we succeed in looking upon the disastrous 
Thirty Years' War, which nearly caused the 
destruction of Germany, as an episode in a 
process of fermentation, of convalescence, of 
purification ; as a necessary transformation 
in order to adapt itself to a new time which 
demanded new forms, a process which ulti- 
mately proved to be to Germany's advantage, 
because during this time of trial in the hidden 
depths of her essential being she remained 
true to herself and, therefore, pure. 

I know of nothing more touching and more 
sublime in the history of mankind than the 
development of the purely ideal art of music 
to its highest perfection by the Thuringian 
family Bach, in the midst of all the sins and 
atrocities of this period. Richard Wagner, 
who was the first to call attention to this 
in his Essay, " What is German ? " says of 
Johann Sebastian : " Bach teaches us to see 
what the German spirit really is, where it 
was taking refuge and indefatigably re- 



GERMANY 187 

creating itself, at a time when it seemed to 
have disappeared from the world. No other 
people possesses anything similar, not only 
nothing like Bach, but nothing like this great 
process of purification of two and a half 
centuries' duration ; nothing similar to this 
tranquil formation and re-formation of the 
soul in hidden depths. And the consequence 
is that Germany to-day stands among all 
the old nations as the only youthful one ; 
she has been born again, she alone. Her 
classical poetry and prose, her most sublime 
music, her dramatic perfection, all were 
attained on the threshold of the nineteenth 
century, or in the nineteenth century; they 
belong to the living generation as a power 
which idealises the rough trivialities of daily 
life. Whereas the English and French pro- 
ductions of the same standing lie centuries 
back, testimonies of a world that has passed 
away. At the same time, and it is at least as 
remarkable, Germany alone has preserved 
from times gone by, besides mental treasures 



188 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

of all kinds, living political organisations 
which everywhere else have disappeared in 
favour of empty, abstract uniformity. Thus 
Germany issues from her long and hard 
trial rich in new things and rich in old, 
unique. 

Doubtlessly the incapacity of people of 
the present day to understand and love 
Germany is connected with the process of 
which we have just treated. Of Old Ger- 
many, which Montaigne loved so well, they 
know nothing, for New Germany they are 
themselves too old, or, let us use the 
favourite term for once in its right applica- 
tion too barbaric to be able to compre- 
hend it. For the querulous old men who 
hobble about on the worn-out crutches of 
abstract liberty and equality do not under- 
stand that liberty can only be gained by the 
sacrifice of personal licence, and equality found 
only in the general subordination of all to a 
common goal, not by each soldier being a 
Field-Marshal, as is the case in Haiti. They 




GERMANY 189 

have stuck fast in the ideas of the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries, of a time when 
Germany did not know herself, when Ger- 
many as a moral unity had disappeared from 
sight and formed only a chaos. That is the 
Germany they wish for, that they would like 
to see rise up again. They did not know 
if they should consider the Emperor "of 
German nationality," but who was not of 
German nationality, as the centre of the 
country. But one thing they did know, that 
the King of Prussia who waged war against 
the imperial power could certainly not be a 
German. And so, in the end, between 
" Autrichien " and " Prussien," the idea 
" Allemand" had entirely disappeared from 
the world ; Germany was hardly spoken of. 
Doubtlessly the chief crime of the present 
Empire in the eyes of its adversaries, and the 
chief cause of the hatred which saddens so 
many an honest German soul, is founded on 
nothing else but the existence of Germany. 
It was so fearfully convenient for England 



190 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

and France not to have to reckon with Ger- 
many as a stable, lasting factor. Napoleon 
treated it as a cook does his jelly, which 
he can divide and put together as he likes, 
and now, all of a sudden, it was no longer 
jelly, but a fact as hard as steel, that could 
not be cleared out of the way. Instead of 
jelly, General Staff, that was bitter. The 
easy-going Germany that fought England's 
battles and then served as a footstool for 
England at the Congress of Vienna had 
passed away. An extremely inconvenient 
Germany placed the strongest army in the 
world in the field and set about building 
a corresponding fleet. In accordance with 
the old saying, " Tout comprendre c'est 
tout pardonner," I cannot help feeling some 
compassion for the noble lord, whom we have 
just borne to his grave, and who pretended 
to love Germany without her " militarism." 
And no one knew nor do they know to- 
day how the transformation took place. 
It smacks of witchcraft. All English his- 




GERMANY 191 

torians firmly maintain (so Carlyle relates) 
that Frederick the Great one of the most 
noble men in the history of the world was 
a "robber" and a "villain." From these 
two assertions they proceed to further com- 
prehension. That is the tone henceforth in 
which all are treated who in any way have 
contributed to the transformation of "jelly" 
to General Staff. Bismarck, whose great- 
ness is, not to the least extent, founded on 
his gigantic frankness, is never mentioned in 
the Times without the epithet " forger," or 
the terrifying qualification " man of blood 
and iron," thus caricaturing Bismarck's 
beautiful saying and committing a double 
perfidy. 

In all this a grudging disposition, envy^ 
jealousy, and powerless rage are betrayed.J 
It would, however, be a mistake to seek any) 
historic foundation for this hate. Not once 
in the course of the history of the world 
has Germany done England any harm. No, 
it is not the past, but the present which is 



192 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

cast up to Germany as a crime. The fact 
that from the state of annihilation into which 
she seemed to have sunk seemed on superficial 
observation, for politicians pay no attention 
to art, philosophy, and science now sud- 
denly she has become something powerful: 
powerful in her capacity to deal heavy blows, 
powerful in creation, in invention, in dili- 
gence, in intelligence, in enterprise, in success, 
and most unheard of in financial means. 
This Germany in truth not only the pre- 
tended " militarism," especially the English 
hate and " to hate " means in its original 
sense " to hunt to death. 5 ' 

Perhaps the majority have no conception 
how far the idea of having to reckon with a 
Germany of political importance had dis- 
appeared from the eyes of Western Europe. 
For them Germany was a harmless country 
to which to resort, in the age when one is 
troubled by gout and liver ailments, to 
drink the waters. I remember, as if it were 
yesterday, the descriptions that were given 



GERMANY 193 

me of Germany when I was a child. Before 
every house there was a dunghill, upon the 
dunghill sat half-starved, half-naked boys 
and read Schiller. As late as the year 1889 
I purchased on the Eiffel Tower a French 
guide-book in which could be read that 
Cologne was noted for its cathedral and on 
account of "les sources odorif&untes qui y 
coulent," so certain were they that Germans 
were incapable of producing anything that 
they even caused our dear " Eau de Cologne " 
to spring as a well out of the ground. But, 
joking apart, consult the scholars, for in- 
stance, the French " encyclop6distes" and their 
contemporaries, you will soon discover how 
pale their conception of Germany was. In 
the great " Encyclopedic " the word " Alle- 
magne" occupies hardly half a column, and 
the half of this half-column is dedicated 
to a commercial treaty with Turkey. In 
Diderot, Bayle, Rousseau, the word hardly 
occurs. Old lynx-eyed Voltaire seems occa- 
sionally to catch a glimpse of future trouble. 

N 



194 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

After a description of the second systematical 
devastation of the Palatinate in 1689, he 
warns the French, if once the Germans 
should come to their senses, they would be 
capable of placing a much larger army in the 
field than the French, at the same time one 
of much better discipline and greater powers 
of resistance. 

He often mocks at the English method to 
fight with bribes and subsidies instead of 
soldiers, and if forced to use them, to resort 
to foreign auxiliaries. Then in a prophetic 
moment he sees what a mighty power might 
arise in Germany, " si jamais ce vaste pays 
pouvait Stre reuni sous un seul chef," should 
ever the day come when the whole country 
would obey one single War Lord. On the 
other hand, it would not appear to me that 
Voltaire had any conception of what distin- 
guished Germany as a people, as a national 
soul, as it had appealed to the Chevalier 
de Montaigne in so pleasing a manner after 
his short sojourn. He fails to understand 



GERMANY 195 

how from the ruined chaos, which, at that 
time, was called Germany, a nation was ever 
to be made. Once in a letter to Frederick 
the Great, which for the moment I cannot 
find and, therefore, cannot quote textually, 
he expresses his astonishment at the differ- 
ence between North and South ; how in 
Prussia intelligence and character are every- 
where displayed, whereas the South of Ger- 
many seemed to stick in a quagmire of 
stupid superstition, hopelessly abandoned to 
suffocation. Who would have predicted that 
the North would succeed in arousing the 
South ? That in the twentieth century we 
should have the sublime spectacle of a united 
Germany fighting shoulder to shoulder from 
the North Sea to the Adriatic, from the 
Vosges to the Carpathians ! 

If foreigners do not love Germany, it is 
because they do not know it ; they do not 
get to know it, because old-fashioned ideas 
block the way to knowledge. It should, 
however, be observed here that Germany, for 



196 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

a long time, had forgotten herself, and only 
by degrees has she again arrived at a proper 
estimation of her own value. Indeed, I 
venture to maintain still more. If I forget 
the present moment, which shows the whole 
population exalted and transfigured, if I 
look back upon the ordinary everyday life 
of Germany, I see many Germans who neither 
know nor love Germany modern Germany 
as she deserves to be known and loved. 
I do not wish to hint that they are not good 
patriots, far from me, but they grumble 
and grouse at this and that, are narrow- 
minded and short-sighted, and from their 
point of view are as little satisfied with 
modern Germany as the foreigners are from 
theirs. The policy of Germany since 1870, 
and particularly since the shaping of the 
" New Course," cannot be overlooked from 
the village steeple. In this sour mood it 
is not pronounced enough to be called bitter 
lies a longing for past times and conditions, 
a weakly sentimentalism which is not a true 



GERMANY 197 

product of German life and feeling. A 
poison such as Heine's poetry is not imbibed 
with impunity, and generations of young 
men and women have suffered from its 
effects and suffer still. And this is the 
poison which those foreigners imbibe who 
spend a few months or years in Germany 
for their education, and who certainly might 
have acquired something better. It is abso- 
lutely untrue that the real poets and 
thinkers of Germany stand on one side and 
the soldiers and practical men upon the 
other as two separate opposing representa- 
tives of Germanism. 

With flying colours the German poet 
marches at the head of the nation : 

" 'Twere vain and useless to attempt 
To stop th' eternal wheel of time 
With wings the hours bear it on, 
The new things come, the old are gone." 

And as far as the soldiers are concerned, I 
heard the other day from a publisher that in 



198 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

the Western frontier towns all copies of 
Goethe's " Faust " had been sold out. No 
book has been taken to the front in such 
quantities. And the German poets deserve 
this honourable love of the soldiers. Apart 
from men like Kleist, Theodor Korner, Ernst 
Moritz, Arndt, all the greatest German poets 
distinguish themselves by the importance 
they attach to national development, and their 
longing to see it strong and powerful, in a 
manner which I have been unable to dis- 
cover in any other literature. That their 
sentiments do not apply to the present 
moment as those of the poets of the war of 
liberation, adds more weight to the asser- 
tion. After Waterloo, Beethoven rejoices 
that the German nation " has once more 
regained its strength," and it is certainly 
worthy of remark when such a man con- 
fesses : " Strength is the moral power of 
those who distinguish themselves before 
others, it is also mine." And Schiller says : 
" The strong alone can overcome the fates." 



GERMANY 

Being an historian as well as a poet, he 
wrote the well-known verse which might 
have been composed for the present day : 

" Greedy as the arms of octopus 
Britain sends her ships afar 
And the realm of Neptunus 
Closes with a mighty bar." 

Schiller knows, as you see, that England 
is the selfish tyrant who wishes everything 
for herself and grudges any advantage to 
anyone else. As we know, Goethe shared 
this opinion. He valued much in the Eng- 
lish, particularly in individual English- 
men, but from a political point of view he 
considered them a cold-hearted nation of 
shopkeepers, as could be proved by fifty 
quotations. I will only refer to the one on 
the slave trade in the essay on England. 
Goethe expected a lasting peace only from 
a strong Germany : 

" And if all thought as I think, soon would the 

power be there 

Opposing the power, and all would be blessed 
by peace." 



, /OO THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

These words might have been written for 
the present war. Germany's firm desire for 
peace, which has been maintained for forty- 
four years up to the limits of the bearable- 
even beyond these limits was insufficient 
to keep it. This peace can only be enforced 
by the preponderance of Germany, the only 
country in Europe that seriously desires 
peace. And Goethe knew exactly how this 

power is to be obtained: 

. / 

" In unity be strong, 
And none can equal you." 

And the words which he wrote for 1815 will 
by the grace of God have a still higher 
significance for the year 1915 : 

" And everywhere, on every side 

We burst the foreign yoke ; 
And now we're Germans far and wide, 

A free and mighty folk. 
And thus we were and still remain 

The noblest of all races, 
Of honest heart and pure of stain, 

Do justiceUn all places." 



GERMANY 201 

The " honest heart " is the truthfulness 
which is at present so striking in the midst 
of the inferno of lies heaped upon lies. 
"Do justice in all places" is the strict 
honesty of the whole German policy. In all 
this, Goethe does not show a trace of senti- 
mentality. In August, 1815, he replied to 
a rather discouraging description : " What- 
ever evil may befall the French, they are 
heartily welcome to it." That is a different 
Goethe to the weakly caricature which is 
generally drawn abroad and, unfortunately, 
frequently in Germany. Above all things 
Germans should get to know themselves, 
and that is the first step towards love ; and, 
therefore, a much more intensive study of 
Goethe should be recommended them. And 
I could quote examples of terrifying ignorance 
in otherwise well-educated persons ; such a 
state of affairs is nothing less than a crime 
against the life of the nation, a sign of con- 
tempt for the highest gifts of God. What 
nation ever possessed such a man ? A poet 



202 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

of such inexhaustible power, so deep a thinker, 
such an excellent, firm, efficient, devoted 
worker. 

" And what can cause more grief to noble mind 
Than to see duty and, by force, be blind ? " 

Wisdom flows from his mouth as from an 
inexhaustible spring, accessible to all, bene- 
ficial to all, helpful to all, improving all, 
ennobling all. In this man one comes into 
contact with New Germany, which is so little 
known, which has been born again, in its 
most noble incorporation. Humane and, at 
the same time, of relentless severity, his 
heart open to the whole universe and yet 
firmly rooted in the " fatherland of the 
noblest race," worshipping democratic 
equality from early youth up to the highest 
age, and yet the self-sacrificing servant of 
a prince, free from all dogmatic restrictions 
and deeply religious in reverence and trustful 
faith ; a poet, painter, friend of music, no 
less a zealous student of natural science, 



GERMANY 203 

technical arts and industries, of commercial 
problems, earlier than any other man Goethe, 
who died in 1832, predicted the teansforma- 
tion of the world by railways and telegraph, 
for his spirit pressed forward in the youthful 
joy of Germany's awakening from her 
slumber. Thus in the first hour of the dawn 
of the new mighty Empire this new ideal of 
humanity was set up before us ; the perfect 
German man. For I repeat : the Old Germany 
of Walter von der Vogelweide still exists, but 
has become a New Germany, otherwise it 
would not live, or would live only as an aged, 
toothless, tottering man ; but from its trance 
it has arisen as the youngest and most 
vigorous of all states in the world- Goethe 
knew this as he knew all things : 

" And prince and people, all and all, 
Are fresh once more and new ! 
As liberty will come to you, 
The freedom of your call." 

Because, therefore, in spite of the half- 
mediaeval external decoration, which de- 



204 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

ceived the ignorant, everything in Germany 
is so astonishingly " fresh and new," and 
because concentration is required to feel free 
and at ease in the " national meaning," and 
not in the foreign accepted sense, I should 
recommend every German who feels himself 
hurt by foreign hate, to pay no heed to the 
envy and hate of others, but, in the first 
place, to be content to know himself better 
and love himself in a proper manner. Ger- 
many has need of a great deal of internal 
strength, in order to construct a political 
and social organisation equal to the already 
existing military organisation, and for some 
time to come she will have to dispense with 
"love." For all the social and political 
measures which will have to be introduced 
will not be in accordance with the taste of 
the leader-writers on the Thames, Seine, 
Neva, and Tiber. Much will be mis- 
understood ; Germany will be much abused 
and many lies published about her. This 
cannot be changed. Benefits, recognition, 



GERMANY 205 

assistance, flattery, self-denial thrown away 
either on states or individuals never assure 
love. We have seen it in regard to certain 
men who owed Germany everything. And 
how much greater progress Germany would 
have made in Alsace-Lorraine if she had 
followed Cromwell's precept in Ulster and 
not the dictates of a weakly humanitarianism. 
And all the explaining and excusing which 
is now so much in vogue I consider useless ; 
it only breeds worse impertinence, qui s'ex- 
cuse s* accuse still remains true. Do what is 
right and let the world talk. How fine it 
would have been if the Germans after a 
short notification to Belgium had simply 
marched into the country ; no inquiries in 
England, no official excuses, the initiated 
knew, then, what the whole world knows 
now. It would soon have been cleared up 
and the effect, whilst preserving all our 
dignity, would have been much more powerful. 
It was but a new phase of the conflict of what 
Carlyle so aptly calls " noble German veracity 



206 THE RAVINGS OF A RENEGADE 

and obstinate Flemish cunning." I wish the 
Germans could make up their minds for ten 
years not to read a line of what is written 
about them abroad. It would save them an 
enormous amount of time and annoyance. 
And in the meanwhile work at themselves, 
get to know themselves more thoroughly, 
boldly cast out the many foreign things 
which take up so much room in Germany, 
become pure German. The German army is 
a pure German invention and creation, in- 
spired with a pure German spirit. All ignoble 
or false elements are either carried away or 
cast out. Would that the same might suc- 
ceed in political as well as in social, intel- 
lectual, and artistic life. Would that, for 
instance, Berlin, the temple of the General 
Staff, might cease to be the resort of the worst 
class of swindlers, and the seat of the most 
disgusting decay of morals. Let us not 
forget Carlyle's saying about " the disgust 
at the worthlessness of men." For that we 
need no ostracism, no watch committee ; 



GERMANY 207 

such measures are not German. But we do 
need deep and serious reflection on ourselves, 
severe self-education of the mind and taste, 
as the army supplies it for the character, 
followed as it cannot be otherwise by a 
relentless rejection of all that is foreign and 
repugnant to the pure, high, German mind. 
Suddenly, it will be found that more and 
more among the noble and wise of all coun- 
tries will follow the example of Montaigne 
and Carlyle ; that they will no longer judge 
Germany externally and superficially, but, 
in humility and confidence, study her lan- 
guage and her character, and so learn to 
love her. Love never comes from the quarter 
and at the time it is expected ; the Divine 
sower goes His own ways, and it is His will 
that we should receive the best from Him. 
We, who live to-day, will not experience this 
great transformation from hate to love; 
but the day will come, I, a foreigner, announce 
it from the depths of a well-founded and 
unshakeable conviction. 



Printed by Jarrold 6- Sons, Ltd., Norwich, England.