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Rabbi Isadore Isaacson 

4 4444444444 




-' ! .v. i i *y. ; 

Author of "Contrite Hearts," "In the Gates 
of Israel," etc. 


302 Broadway, New York 


LISHING Company, New York. 


Acknowledgment is due to the publishers of 
The New York Times and of The New York 
Sun for their kind permission to reproduce 
these interviews and drawings. Herman Bern- 


Introductory Note 5 

I. Leo Tolstoy 7 

II. Sergius Witte 20 

III. Elie Metchnikoff 50 

IV. Bernard Shaw 72 

V. Henri Bergson 91 

VI. Auguste Rodin 107 

VII. Havelock Ellis 132 

VIII. Leonid Andreyev 156 

IX. Maximilian Harden 171 

X. Maxime Kovalevsky 18ti 

XI. The Portsmouth Conference 19<i> 

XII. The Sheikh-ul-Islam 225 



Leo Tolstoy 7 

Sebgius Witte 20 

Elie Metchnikoif 50 

Bebnabd Shaw 72 

Henbi Bebgson 01 

Auguste Rodin 107 

Havelock Ellis 132 

Leonid Andbeyev 150 

Maximilian Habden 171 

Maxime Kovalevsky ISO 

The Sheikh-ul-Islam 22o 


It has been my good fortune to interview 
some of the master minds of Europe the fore- 
most authors, scientists, philosophers, states- 
men and artists. If what I have reproduced 
of their views on various themes is not suffici- 
ently vital or interesting, the fault is mine, not 

The interviews collected in this volume have 
appeared during the past five years in leading 
journals in this country. I have made no 
changes in these articles now for the reason 
that I believe the student of international 
affairs may be interested in verifying some of 
the statements of these great men concerning 
passing events and in judging their forecasts 
of changes in the future. 

The subjects touched in this book are 
varied and are of necessity treated in a frag- 

mentary manner. Yet the flashes of thought 
of the men who are practically at the helm of 
activities of universal significance may present 
a peculiar interest to all sorts and conditions 
of readers. 

If the interviews in this little volume should 
lead the reader to a closer interest in the work 
of some of these famous men, or if only a 
glimpse may be gained by the reader into the 
prophetic earnestness of Tolstoy, the zeal and 
optimism of Metchnikoff, the brilliant whim- 
sicalities of Shaw, the clever statesmanship 
of Witte, the keen penetration or Bergson, 
the passionate power of Andreyev, the analyt- 
ical force of Harden, the love of the beautiful 
of Rodin, the fearless progressiveness of Ellis, 
the many-sided erudition of Kovalevsky, and 
the quaint philosophy of the Sheikh-ul-Islam, I 
shall feel that this book has served its purpose. 

New York, January, 1913. 



Dratting by Dart 


BEFORE my departure fo^yasnaya Poly- 
ana, Prof. Ma^iriie Kovalevrilry,' otte of 
Russia's foremost editors and authori- 
ties on international law, said to me: "You will 
see the only man in Russia who dares to tell 
the truth, even to the Czar, and who is not 
punished for it." 

I left St. Petersburg on the day after the first 
convention of the representatives of the Rus- 
sian press. The cream of Russian publicists 
had come together for the purpose of consider- 
ing the most adequate ways and means of cele- 
brating the eightieth anniversary of Tolstoy's 
birthday. Young and old, men and women, 
offered suggestions of how best to honor the 
man who is at present the Russian people's 
only pride. They spoke with boundless en- 
thusiasm, with fire, with the zeal and earnest- 

( 7 ) 


ness with which an enslaved people, suddenly 
set free, speaks of freedom. 

A young journalist rose and in a forceful 
speech declared that the most suitable means 
of honoring Tolstoy would be for the entire 
Russian press on the 28th day of August, the 
birthday of Tolstoy, to condemn the wholesale 
executions that; are-" being committed daily in 
the Russian 'Empire* and to issue a general 
appeal JKit 'these de>th sentences be abolished. 
Then an officer walked* over to the chairman 
and informed him that unless they stopped 
talking of the executions he would disperse the 

But Russia all Russia, except the Govern- 
ment, the Holy Synod, and the Black Hundreds 
seems to have forgotten for a while its help- 
lessness and its misery in its preparations to 
do honor to Tolstoy. The people throughout 
Russia are infinitely more interested in the 
Tolstoy celebration than in the work of the Rus- 
sian "Parliament." Only from time to time 
the Union of the Real Russian People, com- 
posed of bands of dark reactionaries, in their 
organs, which are patronized by the Govern- 
ment, but which are ignored by the people, 

( 8 ) 


attack Tolstoy in the vilest terms, branding 
him as an anti-Christ and a traitor. The 
Church has done all in its power to hinder the 
jubilee, and on the day that I started for 
Yasnaya Polyana I read in the newspapers that 
the St. Petersburg authorities had refused to 
legalize a society which was to be formed in 
honor of Tolstoy and which was to be known 
as the Leo Tolstoy Society. 

On the way to Tula, in the train, a stout, red- 
faced "man with long hair" a Russian priest 
was seated opposite me. Eager to hear a 
Russian priest's view concerning conditions in 
Russia, and particularly his opinion of Tolstoy, 
I entered into conversation with him. When 
I told him that I was going to see Tolstoy I 
noticed how his face suddenly brightened, his 
red cheeks turned still redder, and bending 
over to me he said in a low voice, so as not to 
be overheard by the other passengers: 

"You are a happy man. * * * When you 
see that saintliest man in Russia, tell him that 
you met a Russian village priest who sends him 
greetings from the bottom of his heart. Tell 
him that the priest you met bowed his head 
with shame for the manner in which the Church 
has treated Tolstoy. And tell him that the few 

( 9 ) 


peasants who have learned to read, read noth- 
ing but the Bible and Tolstoy. They under- 
stand his works even better than the Bible." 

As we turned past the little blue church I 
saw five women in bright parti-colored loose 
dresses laughing and singing and whirling 
about as they worked in the field, and the group 
as well as the colors of their clothes reminded 
me of Malyavin's masterly painting, "The 
Whirlwind," which is symbolic of chaotic, red 
Russia. Finally, after we had passed through 
numerous labyrinthine roads, at about 9:30 
o'clock in the morning I found myself at the 
door of the little white house where lives and 
works the greatest artist and the most remark- 
able man in the world to-day Leo Tolstoy. I 
was met by Nicholas Gusev, Tolstoy's secretary, 
an amiable young gentleman, who took me into 
his room. 

Presently he entered. I cannot recall what 
I said when I shook hands with Tolstoy, but he 
put me at my ease immediately, and he 
strengthened my conviction that the greatest 
men are the simplest men, even as the chief 
characteristic of the greatest masterpieces is 
their simplicity. In the corner, like a striking 

( 10 ) 


painting by Rembrandt, sat the grand old man, 
a black soft silk turban on his head, his wide- 
open eyes bright with kindness, such as I have 
never seen in any painting or photograph of 

"You will pardon me if I will drink my coffee 
as we speak," he said to me in English. Then, 
changing from English to Russian, he asked 
me about my impressions of Russia, and par- 
ticularly about the popularity of Henry George's 
works in America. 

I related to him the incident that occurred at 
the Convention of the Representatives of the 

"Yes," he said, "an appeal by the press for 
the abolition of executions in Russia would 
please me better than any other honor." He 
spoke in a soft, caressing voice, and the peculiar 
radiance of his face, the far-away look in his 
eyes all really gave him the appearance of a 
saint, "a man not of this world," as Repin had 
aptly described him. 

"Count, I should like to know your views 
upon the future of Russia," I asked. 

"One of the most horrible superstitions," 
answered Tolstoy, after a minute's pause, "more 
harmful than all religious superstitions one 

( 11 ) 


which has caused rivers of blood is that very 
strange superstition which sprang from the use 
of violence, and which makes people believe 
that a small number of men can now establish 
the social life of the whole community, This 
activity to transform the present order of 
things not only fails to help, but actually hind- 
ers the course of events. The activity of 
the revolutionists, like the deeds of violence 
committed by the Government, will not lead 
to any improvement in the life of our people. 
On the contrary, Stolypin, who hangs hundreds 
of people, or the revolutionists, who are trying 
to kill Nicholas II., are only interfering with 
the natural development of events. History is 
full of examples to prove this. The French 
Revolution produced Napoleon. The civil war 
produced the terrible negro problem in 

Count Tolstoy shook his head, brushed back 
a tuft of white hair from under his turban, 
and added, as though to himself: 

''Strange very strange." 

"Nearly fifty years ago," he went on slowly, 
"the great question that occupied all minds in 
Russia was the emancipation of the serfs. The 

( 12 ) 


burning question now is the ownership of land. 
The peasants never recognized the private 
ownership of land. They say that the land 
belongs to God. I am afraid that people will 
regard what I say as stupid, but I must say it : 
The leaders of the revolutionary movement, as 
well as the Government officials, are not doing 
the only thing that would pacify the people at 
once. And the only thing that would pacify 
the people now is the introduction of the system 
of Henry George. I have outlined a plan ac- 
cording to which the agrarian question can be 
solved, and have submitted my plan to the 
Government as well as to the Duma. I have 
written about it to one who occupies a high post 
in the official world, and whose family I have 
known very well. But his hands are tied. Hii 
attitude towards the Court and toward his 
enemies is such that he cannot do anything in 
this direction. I do not reproach him. I only 
feel sorry for him. They do not understand 
that the proper solution of the land question 
is the only means of pacifying nine-tenths of 
the Russian population. 

"As I have pointed out in my introductory 
note to the Russian version of 'Social Problems,' 
Henry George's great idea, outlined so clearly 

( 13 ) 


and so thoroughly more than thirty years ago, 
remains to this day entirely unknown to the 
great majority of the people. This is quite 
natural. Henry George's idea, which changes 
the entire system in the life of nations in favor 
of the oppressed, voiceless majority, and to the 
detriment of the ruling minority, is so undeni- 
ably convincing, and, above all, so simple, that 
it is impossible not to understand it, and, under- 
standing it, it is impossible not to make an 
effort to introduce it into practice, and therefore 
the only means against this idea is to pervert 
it and pass it in silence. And this has been 
true of the Henry George theory for more than 
thirty years. It has been both perverted and 
passed in silence, so that it has become difficult 
to induce people to read his work attentively 
and to think about it. 

"It is true that there are in England, Canada, 
the United States, and Germany very good little 
journals devoted to the single tax idea, but 
they have only an insignificant number of sub- 
scribers. Among the majority of the intel- 
ligent people throughout the world the ideas of 
Henry George are unknown, and the indifference 
toward them is even increasing. Society does 

( 14 ) 


with ideas that disturb its peace exactly what 
the bee does with the worms which it considers 
dangerous but which it is powerless to destroy. 
It covers their nest with paste, so that the 
worms, even though not destroyed, cannot mul- 
tiply and do more harm. Just so the European 
nations act with regard to ideas that are dan- 
gerous to their order of things, or rather, to the 
disorder to which they have grown accustomed. 
Among these are also the ideas of Henry 
George. 'But light shines even in the darkness, 
and the darkness cannot cover it/ A truthful, 
fruitful idea cannot be destroyed. However you 
may try to smother it, it will still live, it will be 
more alive than all the vague, empty, pedantic 
ideas and words with which people are trying to 
it will be also with Henry George's ideal. 

"And it seems to me that just now is the 
proper time to introduce this idea now, and 
in Russia. This is just the proper time for it, 
because in Russia there is a revolution, the 
serious basis of which is the rejection by the 
whole people, by the real people, of the owner- 
ship of land. In Russia, where nine-tenths of 
the population are tillers of the soil, and where 
this theory is merely a conscious expression of 

( 15 ) 


that which has always been regarded as right 
by the entire Russian people in Russia, I say, 
especially during this period of reconstruction 
of social conditions, this idea should now find 
its application, and thus the revolution, so 
wrongly and criminally directed, would be 
crowned by a great act of righteousness. This 
is my answer to your question about the future 
of Russia. Unless this idea is introduced into 
the life of our people Russia's future can never 
be bright." 

Thus ended our first conversation. Tolstoy 
advised me to meet Nikolayev, the translator of 
Henry George, who lives a little distance away 
from the Tolstoy home. 

"Talk this matter over with him and then we 
will continue our conversation. By the way, 
you had better finish your breakfast," added 
Tolstoy with a smile, leading me to the dining 

In the doorway I met Countess Tolstoy, hold- 
ing a bunch of fresh white roses, and as she 
passed she said: 

"Leo Nikolayevich is very fond of these 

I came out on the porch, where I met Tol- 

( 16 ) 


stoy's physician, Dushan Makowitzky. I in- 
quired about Tolstoy's health. 

"Three days ago Count Tolstoy had a hem- 
orrhage, which weakened him very much/' he 
said. "But he is recovering very fast. Until 
a few days ago he walked a great deal and took 
long rides on horseback." 

We had passed the beautiful flower-bed in 
front of the porch and turned into the "alley 
of oaks," a straight, long alley, with spreading 
century oaks on each side. 

"Here Leo Nikolayevich prays every morn- 
ing," Dr. Makowitzky told me. From the 
"alley of oaks" we went through the forest, 
where the physician showed me a wonderful 
bit of scenery, which Tolstoy described in one 
of his famous passages in "Anna Karenina." 

After an interesting conversation with M. 
Nikolayev, with whom I visited the homes of 
the peasants of Yasnaya Polyana, I returned to 
Tolstoy's room. He spoke to me of his latest 
work, "I Cannot be Silent," and of another 
essay, which is to appear shortly. I asked him 
what he regarded as his most important work 
thus far. 

"I consider my artistic works as insignifi- 
( 17 ) 


cant. My most important works are those 
dealing with religious subjects which I have 
written during the past ten years," replied 

"And your artistic works which were pro- 
duced during the past ten years?" 

"You refer to such works as 'Resurrection' ? 
They are important in so far as they treat of 
religious self-perfection. That which is called 
artistic is aristocratic art. Therefore I am 
against it. I should have said that I value 
greatly all my plain folk stories. But my very 
best work is the 'Cycle of Readings/ Only 
one-tenth of it is my own work. It is com- 
posed of extracts I have made from the writ- 
ings of the greatest masters of all time. This 
I consider as my most important and most use- 
ful work. It is my prayer-book. I use the 
selections for every day as my daily prayers. 
It is in every respect my favorite work." 

In discussing the state of Russian literature 
at the.present time, Tolstoy said: 

"I have a very poor opinion of it." He 
hesitated for a while, then added: "I am re- 
reading Pushkin now. My God, what a down- 
fall, what a terrible downfall, from Pushkin 

( 18 ) 


to the present-day writers! When I think of 
Russian writers I stop on Dostoyevsky, Turge- 
nev and Ostrovsky. Chekhov? Chekhov was 
a graceful writer, a master of great irony, but 
his work is not sufficiently substantial ; it lacks 
deep feeling/' 

Tolstoy smiled, halted a while, and said 
slowly : 

'The denomination of a fraction is deter- 
mined by the numerator. The greater the 
denominator, he smaller the fraction. If the 
denominator is 0, no matter what the numer- 
ator would be, the result would be zero. The 
decadent school of literature in Russia as well 
as in all other countries is made up of nothing 
save the greatest self-conceit, and this is 
the denominator which reduces it to zero. 
Ibsen, Oscar Wilde, and others, (Tolstoy enum- 
erated many well-known French, English, and 
American writers, but later he asked me not 
to mention their names in this article) they 
are all decadents all full of enormous self-con- 
ceit. When I read Pushkin I see modesty 
and beauty in every line. When I read the 
English or American writers I involuntarily 
think of Dickens and Thackeray, and the com- 

( 19 ) 


parison is fatal to the new writers. In Dick- 
ens as in Pushkin the shortest piece is care- 
fully conceived, elaborated and polished. There 
is no greater enemy of aristocracy in art than 
your humble servant myself. Yet I must 
say that when art was supported and patron- 
ized by aristocrats the artists made all efforts 
to appeal to the refined tastes of those patrons 
of art, but when the masses became the patrons 
of art the artists, in their desire to appeal to 
the masses, have lost their refinement. 

"There is a saying, 'You must appreciate 
the opinion of the stupid people, for they are 
always in the majority. , And this is the rule 
by which present-day writers are guided. Per- 
sonally, though I appreciate it, I am against 
such forms of art as that of Dickens. I be- 
lieve in the art that should be for the masses, 
but I cannot see even the symptoms of it as 

I asked Tolstoy to express his views on the 
Jewish question in Russia. 

"Most of the things ascribed to me as my 
expressions on this question are exaggerated. 
To me all questions are solved by my religious 
view of life. All people are alike. Therefore 

( 20 ) 


there can be no such thing as a Jewish ques- 
tion. It is as if you asked me about the 
Russian question, the German question, or the 
Japanese question. There is no Jewish ques- 
tion, no Polish question, no Russian question 
all people are brethren. It is very sad and pain- 
ful if we must make an effort to realize this. 
If there are any bad traits in the Russian Jew^ 
they were called forth by the horrible perse- 
cutions to which we have subjected them. How 
do I account for the anti-Jewish feeling in 
Russia? We often dislike more those whom 
we harm than those who harm us. This is 
exactly true of the attitude of the Russians 
toward the Jews." 

At dinner Tolstoy brought up the Jewish 
question once more. He said: 

"Herzen used to tell a story of a dispute he 
had heard between a Greek Catholic, a Roman 
Catholic, and a Protestant. The Greek Catholic 
declared that all the witches came from Kiev. 
The Roman Catholic said that the witches came 
not from Kiev, but from Tchernigov. And the 
Protestant swore he was sure that the witches 
came neither from Kiev nor from Tchernigov, 
but from Vologda. He was asked to settle the 

( 21 ) 


dispute. His answer was: 

" 'I cannot answer your question, for I do not 
believe in the existence of witches.* 

"That is how I look upon the Jewish question. 
Just as I do not believe in witches, so I do not 
believe in these various national and political 

After dinner Tolstoy played several games 
of chess with a young composer, while Countess 
Tolstoy was telling me of the autobiography 
she was writing. 

"We have been married forty-six years now. 
Another four years and we shall celebrate our 
golden wedding," said the Countess. "In my 
autobiography I am describing only those inci- 
dents in my life which have a direct bearing 
upon Leo Nikolayevich and his work. I have 
already written two volumes, but am only as 
far as the year 1890. This work of mine will 
be published only after my death." 

Soon the young composer and M. Tchertkov, 
Tolstoy's most intimate friend, who lives but a 
few versts from Yasnaya Polyana, took their 
leave. Tolstoy rose, and, looking out of the 
window for some time, said ecstatically: 

"What a wonderful sunset!" 

( 22 ) 


It was indeed the most beautiful sunset I 
had ever seen. Tolstoy stood for several min- 
utes, absorbed in thought. Then, turning to 
me, he said, in a low voice : 

"Yes yes, I am growing old and weak. My 
end is nearing rapidly. But the older I grow 
the happier I am. You cannot understand it. 
When I was as young as you I did not under- 
stand it. Yes, the older I grow the happier I 

Suddenly he asked, in a soft yet searching 

"Tell me, what are your religious views on 
life? But be sincere. Few people are sincere 
when they answer this question." 

I answered sincerely, as well as I could. 

"Religion must be the highest form of love," 
said Tolstoy after a while, " or love is merely 
a word. All religions are based on love, but 
Christianity is based on the highest form of 

"In life as well as in theory?" I asked. 

"Meanwhile only in theory. But the world 
is growing ever more perfect. It cannot be- 
come perfect unless our inner religious con- 
sciousness is directed toward this highest form 

( 23 ) 


of love. With the highest form of love as our 
law we will be perfect." 

During the following half hour Tolstoy com- 
mented on several subjects. He spoke of 
Repin's latest work, expressed a lively interest 
in the coming elections in the United State, and 
was enthusiastic in his praise of William Jen- 
nings Bryan, who had visited him several years 
ago, and whose photograph I noticed in a con- 
spicuous place in Tolstoy's workroom. 

In speaking of the latest things Tolstoy had 
read, he said: 

"I have recently read Haeckel on capital pun- 
ishment. He says that capital punishment is a 
very good thing, for it coincides with Darwin's 
theory about the survival of the fittest. It is 
very strange. Who is to judge as to who is fit 
and who is unfit ? I may think that Haeckel is 
unfit. Haeckel may think that I am unfit. Do 
you know? Numerous things which are now 
regarded as scientifically true seem to me ridic- 
ulous. It is my belief that in two or three hun- 
dred years from now Darwinism will be 
laughed at." 

I asked Tolstoy about his latest work, and 
|riiether it was true that he was writing a new 

( 24 ) 


novel, the central figure of which was a priest, 
as the newspapers had reported. 

"I am working at present on several things 
that interest me more religious treatises. The 
story mentioned in the newspapers is an old 
one. I worked on it some ten years ago and 
it is yet unfinished. I may finish it before I 
die. I have several works of fiction which will 
not be published before my death. I have an- 
other plot for a novel which I may write soon." 

And as Tolstoy spoke his voice rang with 
notes of youthful vigor and I felt that, not- 
withstanding the long struggle between Tolstoy 
the preacher and Tolstoy the artist, the artist 
within Tolstoy often asserted himself strongly 
and often came out victorious. 

I shall never forget the impressions I re- 
ceived that day in Yasnaya Polyana. The won- 
derful sunset that I was fortunate enough to 
watch in the presence of the great master is 
one that can never be effaced from my memory. 
Nor shall I ever forget the kindly words of en- 
couragement that Tolstoy said to me as I bade 
him farewell. 

June, 1908. 

( 25 ) 


THE man who but a short while ago was 
the idol of the Russian masses, hailed 
as the hero of the peace, and the savior 
of blood-and-tear-stained Russia, the man who 
is more than any other responsible for the 
change that has come over Russia, for the so- 
called Constitution and the Duma Count 
Sergius Witte is not only away from 
the helm of the Russian Government, but 
as his attitude toward the Amur Rail- 
road question has shown, he stands i almost 
alone even in the Council of the Empire. Never- 
theless a strong feeling prevails everywhere 
that Count Witte's day is not yet done, that he 
will be recalled during the first emergency. 

A prominent Russian stateman, in speaking 
of Witte, said: "A mighty mind like Witte's 

( 26 ) 

i^intoiMi twfiwmiMM- -TTfifllfiriBl 


Drawing by Mara 


cannot be downed for a long time, especially 
amid Russian official mediocrities. Even in 
falling he never loses himself, and he is bound 
to rise again." 

I met Count Witte at his home on Kamenno- 
ostrovsky Prospect. His large study, furnished 
with dark-red, massive furniture, holds a col- 
lection of paintings and engravings of the rul- 
ers of Europe. A fine print of President Roose- 
velt occupies a conspicuous position. Above 
Mr. Roosevelt's picture is an etching of Lord 
Salisbury. Czar Nicholas II. is there in dif- 
ferent poses on the right of Witte's desk. A 
large painting of Alexander III. is on the left 
side, and the wall in front of his desk is almost 
entirely covered with the Count's ancestors. 
His huge desk was heaped with various books, 
and before him lay a copy of the speeches de- 
livered at the Imperial Council on the Amur 
Railroad question. 

Count Witte has aged considerably since his 
visit to America, and at first sight he gives the 
impression of a very old man. But as he 
speaks his eyes brighten up, the presence of a 
master mind is felt, and only at times, when he 
spoke of death, a note of hopelessness was 

( 27 ) 


faintly heard, hinting the ephemeral nature of 
human greatness and power. 

My first question was about the Duma. 

"The third Duma is the best we have had 
thus far," answered Count Wifcte slowly. "It 
is perhaps not intelligent enough, not suffi- 
ciently experienced, but it is better to have a 
Duma like this than to Have no Duma at all." 

Count Witte paused awhile, and then added : 

"The third Duma is also better in another 
sense. It is not as revolutionary as the pre- 
vious Dumas. But when it comes to financial 
questions the Deputies are like children they 
know absolutely nothing." 

"Minister of Finance, Kokovtzoff, in a re- 
cent speech in the Duma thanked God that 
there is no Parliament in Russia. Is there a 
Parliament in Russia ?" I asked. 

"Let us better not speak of this," said the 
Count, as he shrugged his shoulders and smiled. 

"In America you are regarded by many as 
the man who gave the Constitution to Russia. 
Would you perhaps tell me something about 

"That is quite true, I am responsible for it," 
answered Count Witte. "This is a matter for 

( 28 ) 


the future historian. But let me explain to 
you what prompted me to decide that such a 
step was the only adequate one. Personally, 
I am opposed to such Parliaments and consti- 
tutions. I do not like all this talk these dis- 
putes, these discussions, these arguments. I 
am not against listening to the opinions of other 
people, but after I have listened to all the ad- 
vice and the opinions of others I act according 
to my own lights. Look at these," and the 
Count pointed to the portraits of his ancestors 
on the wall. "I have been brought up in en- 
vironments to which constitutionalism and par- 
liamentarianism were entirely foreign. I 
served under the most autocratic of recent Rus- 
sian Emperors, Alexander III. 

"I cannot say, therefore, that I love con- 
stitutionalism and parliamentarianism. There 
is really no love for constitutionalism in my 
heart or soul. But I urged it as a physician 
would urge a patient to take a laxative. The 
remedy was the product of my mind. I real- 
ized that this operation, if it may be called so, 
was absolutely essential. Without it the Rus- 
sian Government was on the point of" and the 

( 29 ) 


Count lowered his hand to the floor "do you 
understand ? On the point of crumbling away. 
There are many people who cannot forgive me 
for having signed the Portsmouth treaty, for 
they believe that if I had not signed it at that 
time Russia would have come out victorious in 
the end. * * * It is their patriotic feeling that 
speaks in them, although they are convinced 
that this could never have happened. But I 
am quite satisfied with these achievements of 
mine the signing of the Portsmouth peace 
treaty and the 'operation* by means of a con- 

"I should like to know your opinion as to the 
significance of the German Emperor's recent 
speech which has attracted so much atten- 
tion," I asked. 

"In my opinion there is nothing unusual 
about the Kaiser's speech. I know Kaiser 
Wilhelm very well, and I admire him. I ad- 
mire him because he is really the first German 
in Germany. He has the courage to say ex- 
actly what he thinks. If he did not possess 
this courage he would not only be a poor Em- 
peror, but he would be a very poor German " 

"But is there no special significance in the 

( 30 ) 


Kaiser's speech since it was delivered just at 
the time of the meeting between King Edward 
and the Czar r 

"When then should he have delivered it? 
That is why it has caused so much talk. Let 
me give you an example. It may not describe 
the situation exactly: it is merely an analogy. 
When several people get together and begin to 
ill-treat and tease some one it Is natural that 
they should feel irritated when they see the 
ill-treated person turning upon them and show- 
ing his teeth. Whether Russia has done well 
by yielding to England is a question, but it 
was quite natural that a courageous man like 
Wilhelm should make the statement just at 
this time." 

"I understand that there is at present a Pan- 
Slavic Convention in Prague. What are your 
views as to the efforts made in the direction of 
a federation of all Slavic nations ?" 

"I regard this movement as of very slight 
importance. All that was characteristically 
Slavic in our religion and culture has been sub- 
merged in Western European culture, so that 
there is no longer anything distinctly peculiar 
to Slavic nations. The time when nations were 

( 31 ) 


actuated by ideals is past. Now nations are 
guided solely by their egotistical interests, not 
by ideals. The tendency among the Poles to 
join the Slavic federation and cling even to 
Russia is due simply to the setback they have 
received in Germany. But I regard this move- 
ment on the whole as rather insignificant." 

"Could you tell me something about the 
Amur Railroad affair?" 

"You probably know that I have opposed it all 
along, and that I am in the minority in this 
matter. But I feel that a tremendous blunder 
is about to be committed. Here I am looking 
over the speeches that were made in favor of 
this road. They have said that unless the 
Amur Railroad is built Russia would within 
four years be devoured by Japan, or by Eng- 
land, or by the United States. The only thing 
they did not say, which would have made their 
arguments complete, is that within four years 
the moon will fall down on Russia and destroy 
it, if the Amur Railroad is not built. The fu- 
ture will show whether I was right or they. 
We shall see. But it is possible that we shall 
not be able to tell this very soon, for I under- 
stand that it is planned to extend the time for 

( 32 ) 


constructing the road from four to fifteen 
years. That would be more sensible." 

"What is the state of Russian industries at 
the present time as compared with a few years 

"Russian industries are at present in a rather 
sad state, but I expect a change for the better 
in the near future, when everything will be 
restored to more or less normal conditions." 

Speaking of Russian literature, Count Witte 

"I am not a specialist in this line. Perhaps 
it is because I am a little too old, but I cannot 
adapt myself to the taste of the reading public. 
To me the younger Russian writers appear like 
youngsters who daub paintings made-to-order- 
while-you-wait, which the public likes. These 
young men are suffering from enormous self- 
conceit. I am speaking of such writers as 
Gorky and Andreyev. Of course, Tolstoy is the 
greatest artist in the world, but his philos- 
ophy is absolutely childish. We read his naive 
treatises on economic questions merely for the 
flashes of his great genius which penetrate 
everything he writes. Our younger writers 
are going through a period of decadence." 

( 33 ) 


"How do you account for the decline of Rus- 
sian literature during the past few years?" I 

"How would you account, for instance, for 
the fact that the crops in France are some- 
times good and sometimes poor? How would 
you acount for the fact that we have no Napo- 
leon now ? How would you account for the fact 
that we have no Washington now ? If we must 
account for it, perhaps the decline of Russian 
literature, even as the decline of the literatures 
of other countries for decadence has of late 
become the characteristic feature of almost 
every European literature is due to the fact 
that this is the age of technical development and 
growth. In my younger days perhaps eight 
hundred of every thousand intelligent youths 
dreamed of becoming poets. Nowadays it is 
quite different. I have just been playing with 
my grandson. He is four years old. He does 
not like story books as the children of our days 
did. He is interested in automobiles and all 
sorts of mechanical devices. I can remember 
when I was a child in Caucasia the emotion 
I experienced when I saw the first telegraph 
erected there." 

( 34 ) 


A flash of youthfulness brightened up his 
face for a while. 

"No, no," he added after a pause "you 
can't account for the decline of our literature, 
even as you can't account for the failure of 
crops, even as we do not know why we have no 
Napoleon, no Washington now." 

"What of the future of Russia? Do you 
think that the present situation will remain 
unchanged for some time, that there will be 
no fresh outbreaks?" 

"Russia was great and powerful, and I think 
that in time it will become greater than it ever 
was. A country that is recovering from such 
a horrible, disgraceful, stupid, criminal war as 
we had is a country with a future. There will 
of course be outbreaks from time to time. At 
times the waves of discontent will rise moun- 
tain high, and then they will sink again. For 
some time to come there will be a periodic 
rising and falling of the waves. But this in- 
dicates life. A smooth surface would be a sign 
of death. I cannot say definitely how soon this 
bright era will commence. Nor can I say that 
it will be during my lifetime. Perhaps in fif- 
teen years. Perhaps in five years. Perhaps 
even still sooner." 

June, 1908. ( 35 ) 


Last night I had a lengthy conversation 
about the Jewish question with Count Sergius 
Witte, the former Premier of Russia. "The 
Jewish question is the most acute and painful 
problem before the Russian people to-day," said 
Count Witte. "One-third of the population of 
Russia is composed of non-Russian elements, 
such as Poles, Jews, Finns, Armenians, Tartars, 
and others. Yes, we have more than fifty mil- 
lions of people whom Russia took unto herself 
in her eagerness to expand, to enlarge her ter- 
ritory, and yet we are pursuing a narrow Rus- 
sian nationalist policy. Empress Catherine II 
wanted more land, therefore she took the pro- 
vinces peopled by the Poles and the Jews. But 
nothing was done to make their mode of life 

"Nicholas I started a policy of reform with 
regard to the Jewish question. Alexander II 
carried on the work of reform along this line 
in a mild and admirable manner and if his 
policy had been continued we would have had 
no such a thing as a Jewish question to-day. 

"But during the past twenty years Russia, 
instead of going forward in this respect, made 
rapid strides backward, so that now the Jews 
in Russia have no rights whatever. 

( 36 ) 


"I have just recalled a very characteristic 
incident. When I served under Alexander III, 
who was the most autocratic of Czars, he said 
to me one day: 

" 'Sergey Yulievich, is it true that you are 
so fond of the zhidi (a degrading name for 
Jews) V 

" 'Permit me to answer you by another ques- 
tion/ I said. 'Could you gather all the Jews 
of Russia, place them in ships on the Black 
Sea and then sink the ships? You would not 
do that, would you? The Jews must live 
among us, with us. Therefore we must give 
them the opportunity to live as we do. In my 
opinion, the only way of solving the Jewish 
question is to give the Jews equal rights.' 

"Alexander III was silent for awhile. Then 
he remarked: 

" 'Perhaps you are right/ 

"But as I said before, we have gone back- 
ward for the past twenty years, the Jews have 
no rights of any kind at present, and it is im- 
possible to go farther back than Russia has 

"In official spheres I have always been almost 
alone whenever the Jewish question came up 
for consideration. The same is true of the sit- 

( 37 ) 


uation today. There is not a single repulsive 
thing conceivable that has not been attributed 
to me. The Union of the Real Russian People, 
through its organs, has conducted and is still 
conducting a bitter campaign of slander against 
me. According to them, I should have been 
hanged a thousand times. They have sought 
to discredit me before the Emperor as well as 
before the people, and in a measure they have 
perhaps succeeded." 

"How can the condition of the Jews in Rus- 
sia be remedied now?" I asked. 

"The Jewish question cannot now be solved 
at one stroke," answered the Count. "Now 
that the Jews have been deprived of all rights 
for twenty years it would be dangerous to give 
them equal rights at once. Such a step would 
lead to terrible pogroms." 

"Do you regard the Russian masses as anti- 
Semitic and do you believe that if equal rights 
were given to the Jews of Russia, the people 
would start massacres of the Jews of their 
own accord, without any 'outside* encourage- 
ment?" I asked. 

"There is no anti-Semitism among the Rus- 
sian masses. But if the Jews were given the 

( 38 ) 


right to buy land, there would be a terrible con- 
flict between the peasant population and the 
Jews. The agrarian question is a most painful 
wound in the body politic of Russia. The 
peasant is reduced to a state of despair because 
he has not enough land to maintain himself. It 
is quite easy to foresee what the outcome of 
such a conflict would be in Russian provinces 
where Jews are entirely unknown. This, of 
course, must be averted. When I was in Amer- 
ica I explained to Schiff, Seligman, Straus and 
Kraus that now the Jewish question in Rus- 
sia must be settled gradually, but they did not 
agree with me. Not being Russians they could 
not realize the danger of a hasty solution of 
the Jewish problem." 

"But what is to be done now to ameliorate 
the condition of the Jews in Russia?" I asked 

"In my opinion, the Jewish question can be 
solved entirely within twenty-five years. The 
first essential thing in the Jewish question as 
in the agrarian question -is that the official 
spheres should begin to realize that these ques- 
tions must be solved. Thus far there is no such 
feeling. My project would be to abolish the 

( 39 ) 


Jewish Pale of Settlement immediately, but on 
condition that the Jews shall not be allowed to 
buy land in the real Russian provinces, say, for 
twenty-five years to come, so as not to stir 
race-hatred in the down-trodden peasantry. 
At the same time all educational institutions 
and government positions should be opened to 
the Jews. In a word, the only way of ameli- 
orating the Jewish question is to give the Jews 
equal rights with the Russians." 
June, 1908. 

There are many opinions about Count Sergius 
Witte in Russia. The Czar, it is known, hates 
him for having hastened the conclusion of 
peace with Japan and for having overestimated 
the strength of the revolutionary forces. But 
for Witte the Czar and the reactionaries still 
believe the Russian army would have defeated 
Japan, and but for Witte there would have been 
no Constitution in Russia to-day. 

Not that there is a real constitutional Gov- 
ernent in Russia now, but there is, after all, a 
semblance of a Parliament, and the more prog- 
ressive members of the Duma from time to 

( 40 ) 


time criticise the Government in their speeches, 
and these speeches are published in the news- 
papers and read by the people. All this is a tre- 
mendous step forward for the Russian people, 
and the Czar will not forgive Witte for having 
curtailed his powers as an autocrat. 

The revolutionists have blamed and criticised 
Witte, believing that if he had not concluded 
the peace treaty at Portsmouth the revolution 
would have triumphed because of the inevitable 
defeats of the Russian troops in Manchuria. 

The Constitutional Democrats, whom Witte 
summoned to his assistance when he was Pre- 
mier, did not respond, fearing that he was not 
sincere in his promises of reform in 1905. A 
prominent Russian, a man of great learning 
and unblemised repute, in speaking of Count 
Witte, said to me recently : 

"The part he has played in the history of 
Russia has not yet been estimated, nor even 
realized. I happen to be familiar with certain 
episodes of his activities in 1905, and I believe 
him to be one of the best patriots Russia has 
had, in the best sense of the word." 

Whether people believe that Count Witte 
is an opportunist or a patriot, one thing is cer- 

( 41 ) 


tain, the former Premier of Russia, as a states- 
man, towers head and shoulders above those 
who are ruling Russia to-day. Call Witte "the 
father of the Russian Constitution" ironically 
or in earnest, there is no doubt that it was he 
who wrung the manifesto of October 17, 1905, 
from the Czar, and though most of the reforms 
promised then have not yet been fulfilled, and 
some of the reforms introduced have since been 
revoked by Premier Stolypin, Russia is bound 
to work out its destiny as a liberated people, 
and, notwithstanding the machinations of the 
reactionary forces, the Constitution can no 
longer be revoked completely. 

In the course of the numerous conversations 
I have had with Count Witte, he has made upon 
me the impression of a sincere man, and above 
all a man of great imagination, of picturesque 
viewpoints, wide horizons, deep religious feel- 
ing, and remarkable sagacity. Though no 
longer at the helm of the Russian Government, 
Count Witte is still regarded as Russia's fore- 
most statesman, and his views on national or 
international affairs are eagerly sought in Eu- 
rope as well as in Russia. 

I met him again in his house on Kamenno- 

( 42 ) 


ostrovsky Prospect, "the White House" of Rus- 
sia at one time. Count Witte would not discuss 
the present condition of Russia at home or 
abroad, but expressed a keen interest in the 
efforts of President Taft as a peacemaker. 

"The proposed arbitration treaty is in prin- 
ciple not a new idea," he said. "The ideal of 
peace is as old as Christianity, if not older. It is 
older than nineteen centuries and yet what little 
progress it has made! The real essence of 
Christianity is based on peace, on the prohibi- 
tion of murder. I am with all my heart in 
favor of arbitration as an ideal, but it is diffi- 
cult to believe that it can now be applied in 
our life, that it is not merely a vague though 
beautiful dream." 

The Count rose from his armchair and, pac- 
ing his spacious study, continued: 

"As I study, however, the cost and the tre- 
mendous burden of armed peace, to which all 
nations are striving even more now that arbi- 
tration and peace are talked about; as I scru- 
tinize the meaning of armed peace, of standing 
armies and navies, I am wondering whether 
armed peace is not much worse than war. 
This may sound strange, but it is true, if we 

( 43 ) 


look into the matter more deeply than the 
people who talk of peace are usually in the 
habit of doing. 

"Let us examine the budget of the different 
nations. I believe that from 40 per cent, to 
50 per cent, of all expenditures of Governments 
are absorbed by the standing armies and navies, 
by armed peace. I often ask myself whether 
armed peace is not really worse than war, with 
all its bloodshed and its horrors and its enor- 
mous costs. 40 per cent, or 50 per cent, of the 
budget goes to cover the expenses of wars in 
the past and the maintenance of armies and 
navies for wars in the future. 

"Now imagine what mankind would gain if 
the powerful nations were really in earnest in 
their professions of peace and would do away 
with their enormous standing armies and nav- 
ies, with armed peace. Think of the money, 
which represents the labor, the brains, the 
courage of mankind, that would be saved. 
Imagine to what great purposes such enormous 
sums of money could be put. 

"I shall say nothing of the fashionable words 
'education of the masses/ but if these sums of 
money were used on improving the sanitary 

( 44 ) 


and hygienic conditions of the people, mankind 
would be a hundredfold happier than it is now. 
The people would live healthier, better, purer 
lives, and they would live longer, too. Then 
we should have real progress. 

-The best of our people are ruined, the best 
efforts, the greatest minds, the strongest intel- 
lects are now wasted contriving and perfecting 
new life-destroying instruments. People are 
learning to fly. What is the first thought of 
those brave conquerors of the air? Are they 
inspired by any lofty sentiments? No. These 
airmen, encouraged by the^ Governments, at 
once contrive to turn the airship into a terrible, 
death-dealing machine. 

"We are perfecting ourselves in the art of 
murder. Compare the wars of to-day with 
those of yesterday, with those of the remote 
past. We have fewer wars nowadays, but one 
modern war is more horrible, more costly in 
human life, than a score of wars in the past. 

"The Russian-Japanese war was, perhaps, 
the most brutal war of the nineteenth century, 
and the next war, when it comes, will far out- 
strip the preceding wars in cruelty, horrors, 
bloodshed. For we have made progress in the 

( 45 ) 


art of warfare. Now, if one nation gets air- 
ships for purposes of war, planning to destroy 
the enemy by hurling explosives upon his camps 
and his battleships, the other nations, not to 
be caught napping, naturally hasten also to 
provide themselves with similar life-destroying 

"We have fewer wars now, it is true. But 
is it because we have advanced, because we have 
grown more Christian in spirit, because we 
realize the brutality of war ? Not at all. We 
are not conscious of any such feelings. We 
have fewer wars because of our economic and 
commercial relations. So long as the idea that 
war is a crime against the best qualities of 
mankind is not realized by the powers, all these 
talks about arbitration and peace will remain 
mere empty words. 

"See how a man who preached real peace was 
looked upon in these days of ours. Take Tol- 
stoy for example. He preached 'Thou shalt 
not kill.' He advocated peace and good will to 
all men, but everywhere people regarded his 
philosophy as unsound, his doctrines as those 
of an insane man. They all said: 'Oh, Tolstoy 
is a great artist; he is a wonderful writer of 

( 46 ) 


stories and novels ; he is a great student of the 
human soul, but he is not sane in his moral 
sermons, in his philosophy of life.' 

"To me, I must admit, Tolstoy as a preacher 
seemed quite ordinary. I also admired him as 
a great artist, but as a teacher of life he gave 
me nothing new. 

"He was paraphrasing Christ. He was re- 
peating the things I first learned as a child. 
In the course of my first lessons in religion I 
was taught that man should be kind to his fel- 
low man, I was taught the principles of peace 
and love. Tolstoy was merely stating in sim- 
pler form that which Christ and other religious 
reformers before had preached thousands of 
years ago. 

"I had learned these things as a child, but I 
have been spoiled by life. When I grew up 
I saw that human beings, instead of taking 
seriously these fundamental truths, deceived 
and harmed one another in their efforts to 
achieve what they called success. I was spoiled 
by life when I realized that none of the noble 
ideals, none of the truths which constitute the 
essence of true religion, was applied in life. 

"Therefore, I say, if the United States, or 

( 47 ) 


England, or Germany, or any other great power, 
in coming to an understanding of settling dis- 
putes and differences by means of arbitration, 
would show its sincerity by disarmament, that 
would be quite another matter. But for a long 
time to come the nations will not do it, and 
therefore these peace negotiations are not 

"Armed peace is the heaviest burden human- 
ity is carrying on its back. Look at the best 
efforts of the best minds that are wasted on 
infernal inventions on the invention of smoke- 
less powder, noiseless guns, and so forth. 
"And what is more important than the budget, 
the heavy cost of standing armies, millions 
of people are torn away from agriculture and 
other useful work. The armies and navies are 
robbing the nations of their best physical, men- 
tal, and moral strength, which is, of course, far 
more important than the budget. 

"If a million men, now in the army, were 
working and earning, say, for instance, 50, or 
even 30, copecks a day each, what a vast in- 
crease in the capital of the land ! For the main 
wealth of a country is its labor, and yet millions 
of the strongest young men are forced to lead 

( 48 ) 


unproductive lives under the present state of 

Count Witte paused at the window of his 
study, facing the street. 

"Look at the people passing there," he said. 
"Think of the Jews in the Pale of Settlement. 
See their pale, emaciated faces. They are half 
starved. I have lived among them. I remem- 
ber how families lived on nothing but bread and 
herring almost all the year around. And often 
they did not have enough of that either. 

"Look at the people passing there," he said, 
ditions the bulk of the people live there ! Per- 
haps if the enormous sums absorbed for armed 
peace were spent more wisely we should have 
more happiness everywhere. 

"The state of armed peace is also responsible 
for the growth of Socialism, and even Anarch- 
ism, in most countries. These two armed 
peace and Anarchism go hand in hand. The 
burden of standing armies, the heavy taxes thus 
imposed upon the people in one form or another, 
make their life intolerable, and the result must 
shape itself m movements of discontent, pro- 
test, and revolution." 

June, 1911. 

( 49 ) 


IT was at the dinner table of Count Sergius 
Witte, during my recent visit to St. Peters- 
burg, that I learned that Elie Metchnikoff, 
the world's foremost biologist, the head of the 
Pasteur Institute, was in Russia. The St. Peters- 
burg newspapers did not know for three days 
that Russia's greatest scientist had come to 
visit Russia after an absence of many years, 
during which he had become famous through- 
out the world. 

"Metchnikoff came to St. Petersburg quietly, 
unheralded. He has been in this city three 
days now, and none but some of his immediate 
friends know about it. He dined with us yes- 
terday and will be here again this evening," 
Count Witte said to me. 

Countess Witte spoke of MetchnikofFs mod- 

( 50 ) 



esty, of his tenderness, and of the simple life 
the Metchnikoffs are leading near Paris. The 
ex-Premier of Russia commented upon the 
meagre income of the world's greatest scientist, 
remarking that if Metchnikoff did not have his 
little estate in Russia, it would be difficult for 
him to make ends meet on the salary he was 
receiving as head of the Pasteur Institute. 

"When you meet Metchnikoff, do not speak 
to him about Russian politics. He has strange 
views on the subject," a prominent Russian 
statesman warned me. 

When the newspapers discovered that Met- 
chnikoff was in St. Petersburg, all the news of 
the day suddenly shrank into insignificance, 
and from that day until the day of his return 
to France Metchnikoff held the attention of all 
Russia. Not even the official reports that 
flooded the newspapers about the meeting of 
Kaiser Wilhelm and the Czar in the Finnish 
waters interested the Russian people so much 
as the visit of Metchnikoff. When it was 
learned that the great student of the human 
body had decided upon a pilgrimage to the 
great student of the human heart and soul, 
Tolstoy, the press was occupied almost ex- 

( 51 ) 


clusively with the meeting of the two monarchs 
of universal literature and science, Leo I, and 
Elie L, Tolstoy and Metchnikoff . The little vil- 
lage in the Government of Tula, Yasnaya Poly- 
ana, and not the Standart, the imperial yacht 
on which the Kaiser and the Czar met, held the 
center of the stage in chaotic Russia. Which 
was the most effective rebuke to the Russian 
Government that had forced Tolstoy to seclude 
himself in Yasnaya Polyana, and Metchnikoff 
to seek and grace another fatherland. 

The only thing that Russia seems to fear is 
adverse criticism in the foreign press, and it 
is for this very reason that the Russian Gov- 
ernment, in its eagerness to impress public 
opinion outside of Russia favorably, from time 
to time makes a bluff at introducing some 
humane movement, such as the calling of the 
Peace Conference by the Czar, for instance, or 
at honoring Russia's great men. Thus was 
Gogol recently "honored" by an ugly monu- 
ment. Metchnikoff, too, was honored. The 
government did not prevent him from lecturing 
on the cholera in the city of Duma and did not 
interfere with the university professors and 
students who gave hearty ovations to the man 

( 52 ) 


the Russian people are proud of. But Gogol is 
dead and the Russian Government is not afraid 
of him, and Metchnikoff occupies himself with 
science, not with politics, and in Paris, not in 
St. Petersburg. 

Prof. Metchnikoff received me in St. Peters- 
burg, in the house of his friends, on Malaya 
Spasskaya, at 10 o'clock in the morning. 

"I have just been tortured by the photog- 
rapher," Metchnikiff said to me goodnaturedly. 
"I don't like these forced poses." 

"This is one of the penalties a famous man is 
asked to pay for his fame," I remarked. 

"Very true," he said, wiping his glasses and 
smiling broadly. 

Metchnikoff, the man who has devoted his 
life to studying the problems of how to make 
mankind happy by combatting and wiping out 
the most dreadful diseases, and who writes his 
scientific treatises in a style so simple and vivid 
that many a famous novelist might envy, is in- 
deed, in whatever he says and does, so radiant 
and brimful of the joy of living that he may 
be styled the apostle of optimism. 

Before asking Metchnikoff about his work at 
the Pasteur Institute, I wanted to know his 

( 53 ) 


impressions of Russia. That Metchnikoff, who 
has lived the greater part of his life in France, 
should be styled a "reactionary" in Russia 
seemed too strange to be true. 

"How long is it since you left Russia, pro- 
fessor?" I asked. 

"More than thirty years, but I have visited 
St. Petersburg about seven years ago," he an- 

"What are your impressions of Russia to- 

"My impressions of Russia ? I have not seen 
much of Russia as yet, but I am not as pessi- 
mistic as my friend Count Witte. I find that 
Russia has changed for the better since I left 
it," Metchnikoff answered with a smile. 

"Do you compare Russia of to-day with the 
Russia of thirty years ago, when you first left 
it, or with that of seven years ago, when you 
last visited it ?" I asked. 

"Thirty years ago Russia was better than 
seven years ago. To-day it is better than thirty 
years ago." 

"May I know what has given you this im- 
pression ?" 

"There are several things that have con- 

( 54 ) 


vinced me that Russia has made great progress. 
I was in the Duma yesterday and I heard the 
speeches made by the deputies. I assure you 
that I could hardly believe that I was in Russia. 
Perhaps they are not doing very much in the 
Duma, but they speak freely there, and the 
newspapers print those speeches and the people 
read the speeches. When I take up a Russian 
newspaper nowadays I cannot believe my own 
eyes. There are signs of freedom everywhere. 
Why, here I am to lecture to-night at the City 
Duma on the cholera, yet the authorities 
have not asked me to submit to them a synopsis 
of my paper, as they used to do in the days 
when I lived in Russia." 

"Don't you think that the authorities have 
not asked you for an outline of your lecture be- 
cause you are Metchnikoff and because the sub- 
ject is rather safe from their point of view?" 
I asked. 

"Quite the contrary, they should have been 
more cautious now than before. They should 
have feared that if I touched upon politics in 
the course of my lecture my word might carry 
more weight now than before." 

"But don't you think the fact that your repu- 

( 55 ) 


tation is international has something to do with 
the courtesy of the Russian authorities?" 

"Perhaps," he smiled. "But I find the most 
hopeful signs in the educational institutions. A 
few years ago the youth of Russia was occupied 
exclusively with politics. The universities were 
not institutions of learning, but arenas for po- 
litical activities. After the storm of 1905 a 
reaction has set in. The youth of Russia has re- 
turned to the more serious problems that con- 
front mankind. It has abandoned politics and 
is studying human nature and life. The uni- 
versities and the laboratories are again crowded 
with young people thirsting for knowledge. 
While I was a student there were two strong 
currents struggling against each other among 
the Russian youth. On one side was the educa- 
tional movement, which forced its way into 
Russia from Western Europe. Many of us 
turned to science with enthusiasm, believing 
that the salvation of Russia lay in that direc- 

"On the other side the revolutionary propa- 
ganda carried away many of the best young 
minds, which were thus lost to science. I went 
through that stage myself. I remember one in- 

( 56 ) 


cident particularly well. When I was a gym- 
nasium student, about 16 or 17 years of age, 
I received a letter from abroad in which I was 
urged not to be satisfied under any circum- 
stances with a constitution in Russia, but to de- 
mand immediately and insist that Russia shall 
be a republic. After the assassination of Alex- 
ander II. it was impossible to continue any seri- 
ous work in the Russian universities, and it was 
then that I understood that the youth of Russia 
could do more for Russia by devoting itself to 
education rather than to politics. I am glad to 
see that there are at present signs pointing to 
a normal condition in the educational institu- 

Truly, an apostle of optimism ! 

I asked Prof. Metchnikoff about his own 

"First of all," he said, "I am glad to inform 
you that I have just received a letter from 
Paris telling me that the Pasteur Institute has 
come into a fortune which will enable us to 
carry on our work on a larger scale than before. 
Osiris, the Jewish banker, who died in February, 
1907, left 40,000,000 francs to the Pasteur In- 
stitute, and now the formalities connected with 

( 57 ) 


the gift are at an end. By this donation Osiris 
made himself one of the great benefactors of 

"Osiris, as far as is generally known, never 
took any interest in philanthropic or educa- 
tional institutions. He had the reputation of a 
miser. Can you tell me something about the 
man ?" I asked. 

"Osiris was indeed a very strange personality. 
He was a Bordeaux Jew, became a widower 
early in life, and had very few near relatives. 
After he had amassed his great fortune he be- 
came interested in archaeology. He went to 
Egypt with an archaeological expedition and 
brought some valuable objects from there. 
Osiris was not his real name. His name was 
Iffla, but he called himself Osiris in honor of 
the most popular of Egyptian gods the god of 
light and health. 

"At first he wanted to give his fortune to the 
French Government. He purchased a large 
number of Napoleonic relics and the house in 
which Napoleon lived, and wanted to turn it 
into a museum. But he met with so many 
obstacles in the shape of formalities and the 
attitude of the government towards him was 
so cold that he became disgusted. 

( 58 ) 


"It was then that some one advised him to 
donate his fortune to the Pasteur Institute. A 
few months before his death he became ill and 
invited Prof. Roux of the Pasteur Institute. He 
then informed him that he was planning to leave 
his fortune to the Institute, and asked that the 
interest 600,000 francs annually be used es- 
pecially for investigations of tuberculosis and 
cancer. One of the conditions was that Prof. 
Roux and I visit him daily during his illness. 
He was a very peculiar man. His reputation as 
miser was well deserved. I recall a little inci- 
dent during the time that I visited him when he 
was ill. The physicians had prescribed that 
Osiris eat a portion of ice cream three times 
daily. Osiris was greatly disturbed by this 
prescription and he complained to me. 

" 'Where will I get the means for such lux- 
uries? I can't afford to have ice cream three 
times a day/ 

"He had no electricity in his house, but used 
candles instead, for the sake of economy. A 
niece of his, a very poor girl, came to him one 
day and asked him to assist her. Though she 
was penniless, Osiris refused. But when he 
learned several months later that she had gone 

( 59 ) 


on the stage he sent for her and, praising her 
for having found work, gave her an allowance 
of 200 francs a month, and left her a small 
fortune when he died, in February, 1907, at 
the age of 82. He was almost a legendary fig- 
ure, peculiar in every way. In our case the for- 
malities connected with his donation were dis- 
entangled within two years, and I am glad that 
they are at an end at last. The Institute has 
already expanded as a result of his gift. We 
have bought another building which is to be 
used as a department for tropical diseases. 
Special investigations will be made of the so- 
called 'sleeping sickness.' " 

"May I know whether you are pleased with 
the results of your recent investigations con- 
cerning premature senility ?" I asked. 

"We are working all along in this direction 
in the hope of finding the most effective remedy 
for premature senility. I am convinced the 
main cause of our growing old too fast lies in 
the microbes within the intestinal canal. All 
our efforts are therefore directed against these 
microbes which we are endeavoring to fight." 

Prof. Metchnikoff touched his gray beard 
with his fingers and said lightly : 

( 60 ) 


"I am only 64 years old, and yet see how gray 
my beard is. I look much older than I really am. 
This should not be. People will attain happi- 
ness only when they will grow old natur- 
ally, not as they now grow old without years, 
and when they will be able to use all their fac- 
ulties, without suffering or pain, until the time 
sets in for their natural death. As I have 
pointed out in my introduction to the Russian 
edition of my 'Studies in Optimism/ science 
brings happiness to mankind. The relief that 
medical science brings to suffering humanity 
should not be regarded as merely a negative 
ideal. The absence of suffering, which means 
that man can make use of his perfect health, 
constitutes a very positive ideal, which is ap- 
preciated all the more as the years go by, and 
which makes it possible for man to avail him- 
self of the other advantages of life. 

"The idea, which has become rather popular, 
that the animal is happier than the human be- 
ing is erroneous. Of course it is difficult to 
solve this question with any degree of cer- 
tainty, because it is impossible to compare the 
feelings and the sensations of animals and 
human beings. But we can compare the differ- 

( 61 ) 


exit feelings and sensations of man himself. We 
know that to many people the happiness af- 
forded by science and the solution of scientific 
problems is undoubtedly higher than the hap- 
piness which animals are capable of feeling and 
which is attained by them through satisfying 
their hunger or other requirements. The con- 
sciousness of inevitable death, which animals 
have not, and which often makes man so un- 
happy, is an evil that can be remedied, that 
will be remedied by science. 

"It is more than likely that science will teach 
us to live in accordance with the principles of 
orthobiotics, and will lead life to the moment 
of the approach of the instinct of natural death, 
when there will no longer be the fear of the in- 
evitability of the end. Science can and must 
in the future give to mankind a happy existence. 
When science will have secured for mankind a 
normal cycle of life, when the people will for- 
get the majority of diseases, even as they need 
not worry so much about the plague, cholera, 
diphtheria, rabies, and other scourges that 
threatened them until recently, then the efforts 
of gratifying the higher requirements of a spir- 
itual life will come to the front even more than 

( 62 ) 


now. But together with the quest after knowl- 
edge for the sake of the highest pleasure, that 
is, together with 'science for science's sake/ 
mankind will then even more than now seek 
happiness in the pleasure afforded by all kinds 
of beauty, that is by 'art for art's sake/ " 

In speaking of his critics, Prof. Metchnikoff 
said : 

'It may seem strange, but it is a fact, never- 
theless. My own countrymen, the Russians, 
have been my harshest critics. Among others, 
K. K. Tolstoy, attempted to attack my theories, 
and especially my statements regarding the 
use of sour milk bacteria for hindering the de- 
cay of the intestines. He keeps repeating that 
I advise everybody to use sour milk simply be- 
cause I was attracted by some food stuff that 
appealed to me. 

"As a matter of fact, I caution people against 
the constant use of sour milk because, together 
with the helpful and useful microbes, it fre- 
quently contains also undesirable microbes. He 
argues that instead of the curdled milk other 
things may be used, such as raw fruits, cider, 
vinegar, and even light wine, and that these 
would produce the same effect. But I have ex- 

( 63 ) 


plained very carefully in my works that it is 
not merely a question of swallowing acids, for 
they are absorbed before they reach the heavy 
intestines. And that is just where they are 
needed in order to offset the destructive bac- 
teria. That is why I advise the use of live pure 
sour milk bacteria cultures in boiled milk, which 
reach the proper place alive and hinder the de- 
cay of the intestine. This has been established 
beyond any doubt." 

I asked Prof. Metchnikoff whether progress 
had been made in the investigation of tubercu- 
losis by the Pasteur Institute. 

"The experiments with preventive inoculation 
have not proved successful. But even the 
simplest measures adopted in France against 
the sread of the disease have been very help- 
ful. Thus, such things as isolating the chil- 
dren of tuberculous parents and separating the 
consumptives in the advanced stages of the dis- 
ease from those in the less advanced stages, 
have already shown good results. The number 
of consumptives is decreasing in France." 

"I see that they have started an energetic 
campaign against tuberculosis in America/' 
Prof. Metchnikoff added after a while. 

( 64 ) 


"What is your opinion of American scien- 
tists?" I asked. 

"It seems to me that Americans are rather 
fond of sensationalism even in their science. 
When my volume 'Studies in Otimism' appeared 
in English it was called 'The Prolongation of 
Life/ I cannot understand why the title should 
have been changed. But that is not important. 
I have the greatest respect for American scien- 

"America has produced in recent years a 
number of first-class scientists. Jacques Loeb 
is perhaps the most important of them. I can 
foresee the time when America will outshine 
Europe by her scientists. I believe it is unfair 
to the American people that they are regarded 
everywhere in Europe as good business men 
only. As soon as a man shows any signs of 
talent here, the Americans try to attract him 
to America, and as they are richer and have 
more means for carrying on experimental sci- 
entific work, they secure our best men. It will 
not be long before our best scientists will be in 

"When are you coming to America, profes- 

( 65 ) 


"I am afraid the voyage across the ocean will 
not agree with me," he answered with a smile. 

Prof. Metchnikoff then spoke with great en- 
thusiasm about the "grand old man" of Russia 
and his prospective visit to Yasnaya Polyana. 

"I have always looked forward with the 
greatest pleasure and reverence to a meeting 
with Tolstoy, and I am happy that my hope is 
to be fulfilled now." 

Upon my request for some facts concerning 
his biography, Prof. Metchnikoff said : 

"I was born in 1845, in the Government of 
Kharkov. I am a Little Russian, a son of the 
steppe. My father was an officer of the Guards, 
who later became a general. My mother was a 
Jewess. I ascribe my love for science to my 
descent from the Jewish race. I studied natural 
science at the gymnasium and the university in 
Russia. Later I studied zoology and biology in 
Germany and Italy. I was professor in St. 
Petersburg and Odessa. After the assassina- 
tion of Alexander II. I found that it was impos- 
sible to do any serious work at the university 
because of the political tendencies that crowded 
out the desire for study among the youth. Soon 
the Russian universities had no serious profes- 

( 66 ) 


sors, and some of the best men in Russia who 
could achieve much for their fatherland were 
lost to Russia. I am speaking of the Russian 
Jews. The Russians have the mind, but the 
Russian Jews have in addition to that vivacity 
and energy to a remarkable degree. Russia has 
lost many great talents by persecuting the 
Jews. Prof. Minkowsky, the great mathema- 
tician, was a Russian Jew who had to leave Rus- 
sia simply because he was a Jew. The same was 
true of the other Minkowsky. My own assist- 
ants, Bezredko and Weinberg, are men of 
great talent, and I am sure that they will be 
shining lights in the scientific world. But as 
they are Jews, they could not develop in Russia, 
and Russia has lost them." 

Metchnikoff paused for a while and added 
optimistically : 

"I feel quite certain that there will be a 
change even in this. The Russian Government 
will realize its errors and will improve the 
condition of the Jewish people, for its own 
sake, if for no other reason." 

June, 1909. 

( 67 > 


I met Prof. Metchnikoff again in Paris after 
his visit to Yasnaya Polyana. He received me 
in his laboratory at the Pasteur Institute. 

"I am delighted with my visit to Tolstoy,' ' 
he said. "I must confess that I never expected 
he was such a splendid man. He is really won- 
derful. His feelings, his heart, are developed 
to the highest degree of sensitiveness and deli- 

"Did you discuss his works with him." 

"Yes, I told him that I value his purely liter- 
ary work more than his philosophical work. 
Tolstoy replied that he considered his philo- 
sophical work of more importance than his 
artistic work. He said that it was very easy 
for him to produce his artistic work, while his 
philosophical work proved more difficult, and it 
was for this reason that he loved it all the more. 
We spoke about religion and science. He took 
a deep interest in my work and was particularly 
eager to have me tell him what I knew about 
cancer. We walked in his garden and I picked 
out some leaves with wart-like growths upon 
them, and he was very much interested in my 
explanations of these growths. In speaking of 
religion and science, he said that people were 

( 68 ) 


wrong in believing him to be opposed to re- 
ligion or science. What he opposed, he said, 
Was the hypocrisy and the falsehood that the 
Church had introduced into religion. As for 
science, Tolstoy said that he opposed the narow- 
minded so-called scientists who believed that, 
having made some small discovery, they should 
be considered as superior people benefactors 
and teachers of mankind." 

"May I know your own views on religion ?" 

"I am an atheist, as you will see from my 
'Studies in Optimism.' The fact that the ma- 
jority of the people believe in God and in 
future existence is based not upon religious 
instinct but may be explained by the influence 
of education. That is why we often see that 
people who in their childhood believed in what 
they had been trained to believe, in time lose 
their faith in those things as their minds 

"I understand that you expressed yourself 
very strongly about the inferiority of women 
while you were in Russia. May I know your 
views on this subject?" 

"Women are superior to men in affairs of 
the heart," said Prof. Metchnikoff, with a smile. 

( 69 ) 


"Genius, I believe, is a masculine quality, just 
as a beard is, for instance, or as strong muscles 
are. That women are inferior to men they have 
demonstrated most effectively in the domains 
where they have always reigned supreme 
music and cooking. Women have not produced 
a single composer of note, and even in the 
kitchen they have not been able to maintain 
their supremacy. If they want a good cook 
they get a man. Of course I am not opposed to 
women studying the arts and sciences, but I do 
not believe that women will ever amount to 
much as scientists. I need hardly say that 
there are exceptions, just as there are bearded 
ladies, but at any rate, they are superior to 
men in affairs of the heart, and that is a 
great deal. As for women scientists, it is 
better that they occupy themselves with science 
than with fashions." 

Before leaving, Prof. Metchnikoff presented 
me with a set of his works in Russian. 

"Do you think that a reading of 'Studies in 
Optimism* will help to prolong life, Professor ?" 
I asked. 

"It may shorten your days during your voy- 
age across the Atlantic if you have nothing else 
to read," he laughed. 

( 70 ) 


When I left the Pasteur Institute I carried 
away a deep impression of a strong, simple, 
lovable personality, an apostle of optimism, who 
has made a religion of science even as Tolstoy 
made a science of religion. 

June, 1909. 

( 71 ) 


OF all the English writers I was particu- 
larly eager to meet Bernard Shaw, the 
man who is hated or admired; regarded 
either as a great genius ahead of his time, or 
a literary buffoon seeking for notoriety; either 
a great reformer employing startling methods 
of expression to attract attention to what he 
has to say, or an insincere scoffer, jester, cynic, 
and destroyer. 

I met him in his home, at Adelphi Terrace, 
London. As I walked up the staircase, I saw a 
sign over the small gate on the first story bear- 
ing the name of "Mrs. Bernard Shaw." His 
own name was not there. 

I rang the bell and a rather good-looking 
maid opened the door. As Mr. Shaw was ex- 
pecting me at the appointed hour, the maid 

( 72 ) 


-Drawing by Dart 


ushered me into his study a spacious, bright, 
cheery room. Shaw was seated on a couch and 
near him, on a low stool, sat his secretary, a 
young woman, taking dictation. When I en- 
tered, the secretary rose and walked out, and I 
remained alone with Mr. Shaw. 

Bernard Shaw is a rather tall, well-built 
kindly looking man; gray, yet youthful, vigor- 
ous, almost always smiling. He wore a neat 
brown suit of the latest cut, which gave him 
quite a dashing appearance. 

He commenced by asking me some questions 
about Russia. Then he spoke of Tolstoy, and 
finally gave vent to his feelings about America. 
He still seems to feel the sting caused him by 
the suppression of his play, "Mrs. Warren's 
Profession," in New York several years ago. 

Shaw has been called the most piquant per- 
sonality of our time, playing the role of Puck in 
the drama as well as in life, but it seems to 
me that if one were to look for a character in 
modern literature that would resemble the in- 
tellectual make-up of Bernard Shaw it would be 
difficult to find anything nearer than An- 
dreyev's Anathema, the spirit of reason, re- 
flecting the negations and yearnings and doubts 

( 73 ) 


of humanity, trying to pierce the unknown and 
to shake the conventionalities of goodness. 

Like Anathema, Shaw seems to be full of in- 
consistencies, yet keen and brilliant. Now 
weak, now strong, now kind, now cruel, always 
searching and defiant, he sees the passing show, 
the efforts and achievements, the injustices 
and sacrifices, and as he looks on he laughs a 
kind of Mephistophelean laugh. 

In the course of our conversation I asked him 
about Tolstoy's essay on Shakespeare in which 
Tolstoy tried to prove that Shakespeare was 
not only not a great dramatist but not even a 
mediocre writer. 

"That was a silly little book," replied Shaw. 
"Tolstoy happened to take one of Shakespeare's 
very best plays and tried very hard to prove 
that it was worse than the play from which 
Shakespeare drew his theme. As a matter of 
fact, 'King Lear' is an excellent play, and Tol- 
stoy was entirely wrong in his analysis of 

"Tolstoy was a prodigious genius," he went 
on as he reclined on his couch, with a smile. 
"But he was devoid of any humor or fun. 
That's why he could not understand me. He 

( 74 ) 


was too dead serious and he was almost child- 
ish in the philosophy he evolved and the doc- 
trines he preached. 

"I cannot understand how so deep a student 
of human nature and so close an observer as 
Tolstoy was could expect people to follow his 
rules of life which even a child would at once 
recognize as impractical, as hopelessly infeas- 
ible. Yet he went on with his theories not- 
withstanding that his followers suffered dis- 

"But as an artist he was wonderful. With 
one stroke he knew how to make certain 
things appear ridiculous. He made no com- 
ment. He simply pointed at something in pass- 
ing, as it were, and the effect was tremendous. 

"I shall never forget the reference to the 
manner of exercises made by one of the jurors 
in the jury room in 'Resurrection.' Without 
the slightest comment he makes the thing thor- 
oughly ridiculous. Or, in his story, The Death 
of Ivan Ilyich,' where he describes the blue vel- 
vet thrown over the coffin he makes no com- 
ment whatever, but somehow after reading it 
you feel how ridiculous funeral ceremonies 

( 75 ) 


Much interest is just now centred on Ber- 
nard Shaw on account of the authorized critical 
biography of him which was published a few 
days ago. In referring to it, Mr. Shaw said 
with an air of great seriousness : 

"This is a very good book. One can really 
get an excellent idea of myself and my works 
by reading this book; but there is not a single 
accurate statement in it. 

"Dr. Henderson has published in the volume 
pictures of houses in which I never lived, and 
if he mentions a newspaper in connection with 
some of my work he invariably mentions the 
wrong one. He often gets me into trouble by 
quoting things which I have never said. 

"In one place, for instance, he refers to a 
statement which I am supposed to have made 
about my unfriendly relations toward women. 
Now, even I would hesitate to say that I had un- 
friendly relations with women. On the whole, 
however, the book is very good, but it has what 
I would call the inaccuracies of higher mathe- 
matics. Dr. Henderson, you know, is a mathe- 

When our conversation turned to America 
and things American, I asked Mr. Shaw why he 

( 76 ) 


has never visited the country where some of 
his plays have been so successful. 

"Why should I go to America?" wondered 
Mr. Shaw. "There is nothing there that can 
interest me. When America is a real Ameri- 
can Nation, when the American type becomes 
fixed, when the American's skin turns red and 
his forehead recedes, then it will be interesting 
to go to America. 

"But at the present time, what are the 
Americans? An appalling, horrible, narrow 

"Take such a small detail as the incident 
with the women who wore harem skirts in New 
York. They were jeered at and had to run for 
their lives. Now, the harem skirt is really a 
splendid thing, and there is not the slightest 
cause for jeering those who wear them. But 
America is a land of unthinking, bigoted per- 

"Take another incident, the Gorky affair. 
Even if Gorky had come from a country where 
divorces are easily granted, the treatment he 
received at the hands of Americans would have 
been brutal. But Gorky came from Russia, 
the land of barbaric laws. Therefore I say 

( 77 ) 


America's outrageous treatment of Gorky put 
her outside of the pale of civilization, if she 
ever was within the pale. This should be said 
to America. It may do her some good." 

"Are you not interested in the development 
of the American people in their achieve- 
ments?" I asked. 

"But they are not developing. That is why 
they don't interest me. And I am sure they 
would not be interested in me if I came there. 
I am not an elephant, so I would not arouse 
their curiosity. They have much untrained 
religious enthusiasm, and the trouble with 
them is that each one is working out his own 
ideals individually instead of having one com- 
mon religion or ideal for all." 

"Do you mean to say that you are opposed 
to individualism, to individual self-perfection?" 
I asked. 

"We must be guided by certain standards. 
Anything silly or rotten that I write is 
smashed by public opinion and done for. If I 
lived on a desert island I would perhaps be 
writing silly and sentimental romances, which 
are of no use to anybody. But I am working 
hard. I argue and debate and weigh every 

( 78 ) 


phrase, and work on it and reconstruct it until 
it is quite simple. It is absolutely true that 
easy writing is hard reading and hard writing 
is easy reading. 

"Now to return to America, I believe she 
ought to have a religion of her own. The Pil- 
grims took the Bible along with them when 
they emigrated to America. The Christian 
religion was a real religion in the Middle Ages ; 
then a state of skepticism set in at the time of 

"Since the Pilgrims left their countries be- 
cause of religious persecution, it was quite 
natural that they should take their religion 
along with them. But it would have been 
much better for them if they had taken the 
religion of the Indians and developed it. At 
the present time we all wear clothes that do not 
fit us. We have the Christian religion, which 
is the Jewish religion, an Oriental religion 
and it does not fit us. It was good for us when 
we were Orientals, when Judaism and later 
Christsianity came into the world. 

"America is overridden with old-fashioned 
creeds and a capitalist religion. Mr. Roose- 
velt is a typical expression of what I mean. 

( 79 ) 


"There is not a single credible religion in the 
world to-day. No educated man in Germany 
or here or even in America if there are such 
men there believes in the things our religions 
would have us believe. A new religion is 

Mr. Shaw spoke with apparent seriousness, 
but there was a peculiar smile in his eyes. 

I asked him for his views on the peace move- 
ment which is now attracting so much atten- 
tion everywhere, particularly in England and 
the United States. 

He burst into laughter. 

"Do you take this seriously ? I am fifty-five 
years old now, and I have passed through this 
peace wave several times. I recall one peace 
meeting in particular. It was several years 
ago. I believe Sir Arthur Conan Doyle pre- 
sided at that meeting. I was an invalid at the 
time and came to the meeting on crutches. 

"They spoke of peace there. Everybody was 
in a peaceful mood then. People were sending 
Christmas cards to one another. Though ,1 
was on crutches, I believe I smashed that meet- 
ing. You see, we were building torpedo boats 
at the time, and any one who would have dared 

( 80 ) 


to be opposed to our building those torpedo 
boats would have been mobbed. 

"International war will be stopped some day 
as duels have been stopped. All countries 
should combine, and the one that fires the first 
shot should be dealt with severely. But all 
this talk at present is nonsense. We talk of 
our command of the sea. This is ridiculous. 
We may as well talk of our command of the sun 
and the moon." 

Mr. Shaw leaned back comfortably on the 
couch, and after a brief pause went on with a 
smile : 

"You must not think that we don't like the 
Americans who come over here. We like them 
very much that is, our hotelkeepers~and shop- 
keepers do. The Americans come over here 
and spend so freely the money made for them 
by the unfortunate people in America. We 
live on your earnings, on the sweat of your 
people, of the little children in South Carolina 
and other States. That is all very nice for our 
hotelkeepers and shopkeepers. Also for 
France and Germany. We like the Americans 
very much." 

( 81 ) 


Mr. Shaw spoke for some time in this strain. 
Then our conversation turned to the drama in 

"The drama in England is hopeless," said 
Mr. Shaw. He paused a while, then added: 

"I should have said the drama in England is 
hopeless just now. You see I was born at an 
extremely unfortunate moment for myself. I 
came to England when I was twenty years old, 
in 1876. Compulsory education was intro- 
duced in England in 1870. The newly literate 
needed and bought the same kind of literature 
we used to buy in the penny numbers senti- 
mental novels dealing with criminal heroes. 
The serious works of the dramatist and the 
novelist appeal only to a very few. 

"That is why Stevenson's Treasure Island' 
was successful because he gave the newly 
literate a story of the type they liked in their 
penny thrillers, but of course it was beautifully 
written. He had to stoop to the masses. 
There are several really fine writers in Eng- 
land to-day who are compelled to write senti- 
mental stuff to keep from starving. 

"The same is true of the drama to-day. The 
old sentimental novels are turned into dramas, 
and these popular dramas drive out the higher 

( 82 ) 


drama. The only difference between the drama 
of to-day and the drama of yesterday is that 
the criminal heroes are somewhat better to- 

"It is quite natural that these plays as well 
as the silly society plays are successful. If 
you or I go to see such a play we may find it 
dull, and would be bored by it, but the large 
mass of the people do not want to think; the 
intellectual play drives them away. 

"The clerks, the hard-working people like to 
see fine clothes and elegant manners and 
society life portrayed on the stage. They find 
pleasure in such plays and therefore go to see 

"That is why I told Mr. Frohman when he 
planned to give serious dramas here, that he 
would not be successful. Such plays should 
be given in endowed theatres. 

"I watched The New Theatre in America 
with some interest, but they made a blunder at 
the very outset. Mr. Barker was invited to 
take charge of the productions at The New 
Theatre, but when he saw the size of the house 
he felt that he could not make The New Thea- 
tre idea a success, and he declined the invita- 
tion to be connected with it." 

( 83 ) 


"What of your own plays, Mr. Shaw? Are 
you pleased with the reception they are get- 
ting," I asked. 

"Germany, Sweden, Austria these are the 
countries that stand by me. France, the most 
backward country, and Paris, which is a hun- 
dred years behind other capitals of Europe, 
may soon see one of my plays produced there. 
A French manager has made a contract with 
me for the production of my play, but I shall 
not believe that they will produce it until I 
have seen it. 

"One of my plays was produced in Vienna. 
It was announced for four performances. But 
the first performance proved to be such a fiasco 
that my translator and the manager there were 
in despair. 

"They wanted to take it off the boards after 
the first performance. But finally they decid- 
ed to give the four performances as announced. 
Then it turned out to be one of the biggest 
successes. They are also producing some of 
my plays in Russia, particularly 'Mrs. Warren's 
Profession.' This is a good, old-fashioned 
play to bring children to see. 

"When 'Mrs. Waren's Profession' was pub- 
lished in book form, I was afraid that some 

( 84 ) 


stupid people might buy the book and, with- 
out reading it, send it to the children as Christ- 
mas presents. People are generally in the 
habit of doing such things. So I called the 
volume 'unpleasant plays/ to prevent grown- 
up people from giving it to children. In the 
following edition I marked it still more strong- 
ly by a quotation on the title page which I 
felt sure would make cautious mothers hide 
the book from their children. 

"Imagine my surprise when one day a lady 
I know said to me: 'Mr. Shaw, your book is 
a great favorite with my children.' 'What 
book is it?' I asked. 'Mrs. Warren's Profes- 
sion/ she answered. . 

"I asked her to tell me why the book was 
such a favorite with her children. She said 
that they liked the story, particularly the love 
scenes, and they were especially happy when it 
turned out that the lovers were sister and 
brother. When I asked what they thought of 
Mrs. Warren, she told me they considered her 
a very funny and amusing person who kept a 
fried fish shop. Thus you see they found noth- 
ing but purity in the play. 

"You must be careful as to what books you 
give to grown-up people, for they may be cor- 

( 85 ) 


rupted but children may read anything. I 
believe now that children, up to the age of 
sixteen, may read anything and everything. 
After that age their books should be carefully 
chosen for them. After the age of forty 
people must not be allowed to read anything 
at all. 

"We are committing the greatest crime 
against our children by bringing them up as 
we do. The present school system is abomin- 

"How, in your opinon, should the children 
be educated?" I asked. 

"The streets of a great city, as well as the 
streets in the smaller towns, should be the 
place where children could get their educa- 
tion. That is why cities should be beautified, 
the streets should be the proper school of life. 
Children should get enough pocket money if 
their parents cannot afford to give it to them, 
the State ought to provide that, instead of 
giving pensions to the old." 

"But how would the old people manage to 
live if they are no longer able to work ?" 

"The old should be killed when they can't 
work," replied Mr. Shaw, with a smile. "The 

( 86 ) 


problem confronting us is how to bring up the 
young, the children. At present the parents 
regard them as a nuisance, they want to be 
free, so they send their children to school. 
There they find turnkeys called teachers, and 
beastly books called schoolbooks. The children 
are entrusted in the care of irritated and un- 
sympathetic men and women who hate them 
and who cannot manage their own affairs. 

"I would teach them a little reading, enough 
to read the signs on the streets, and to count 
money. Then, if they are interested, if they 
want to know more, they will learn more. 
There should be schools, but children should 
not be compelled to attend school. And the 
schools should not be free. The children 
should go to school as we go to the theatre. 
If a child wants to go to school, it may go, pay 
admission and stay as long as it likes. If the 
teacher is not courteous, the child will simply 
get up and walk out. 

"Suppose that people who come to see my 
plays were compelled to come and sit through 
the performance; if they were beaten and 
forced to come, do you think they would like 
the play? The same is true of the children 
and the present system of education." 

( 87 ) 


In discussing the drama abroad Shaw 
touched upon the recent anti-Semitic demon- 
strations in Paris on account of Henri Bern- 
stein's latest play and upon the Jewish ques- 
tion in general. 

"I could never understand what they call the 
Jewish question. I think the Jewish question 
everywhere is due to the Jew's business ability 
and honesty. If a Jew makes a bargain with 
you he means to keep it, and means you to 
keep it, too. The Englishman will sign away 
everything when he needs money, but he does 
not mean to keep his promise when he makes 
the bargain. 

"Of course there is no special antipathy 
against the Jew in England, but whatever 
there is, simply comes from the Jew's straight- 
forward business integrity, which infuriates 
the thick-headed Englishmen. I think that 
Shakespeare sized up the situation to a nicety 
in The Merchant of Venice.' Shylock made a 
bargain with Antonio, kept it, and meant An- 
tonio to keep it. Antonio, who is really a sen- 
timental Englishman, was ready to sign away 
everything in order to get the money from the 
Jew, without the slightest intention of ever 
returning it. When the Jew wanted Antonio 

( 88 ) 


to fulfill his end of the contract the mob jeered 
and mocked him. 

"This, I believe, is true everywhere. The 
.Jew is intelligent, industrious, and hard-work- 
ing, and when he makes a bargain he knows 
exactly what he is doing. 

"Of course, the Jews have changed a great 
deal. The modern Jews are fond only of 
music. They are almost as stupid as English- 

"The prejudice against the Jewish race is 
still deep-rooted because people do not pause 
to analyze the prejudice. I think Macaulay 
was right when he said that if you start a 
prejudice against people with red hair there 
would soon develop a general hatred of them, 
and they might be massacred. 

"The massacres of the Jews in Russia were 
managed exactly as the massacres of the Ar- 
menians in Turkey. The Sultan gave the order 
in Turkey, and the Czar gave the order in 

Mr. Shaw then spoke again of the New Re- 
ligion in his peculiarly brilliant manner, and 
wound up by saying: 

"I say that Life Force is God. But the En- 
glishman objects to this. He says Life Force 

( 89 ) 


is a foreigner, while God is an Englishman. 
That is where we disagree." 

It was now four o'clock in the afternoon, and 
Mr. Shaw had to go to The Little Theatre to 
direct the rehearsal of a play whose author- 
ship is not announced on the programmes or 
the posters. * It is called "Fanny's First 
Play," a play within a play, followed by an 
epilogue in which some of the people pass 
judgment on the play and its author. By the 
time this is published it will probably be known 
that 'Tanny's First Play" is Shaw's latest 

May, 1911. 

(90 ) 


Drawing by Dart 


DURING my recent stay in Paris I was de- 
lighted to receive an invitation to meet 
the man who is regarded as the pro- 
foundest and most original thinker in France 
to-day, Prof. Henri Bergson. 

Bergson's works, "Time and Free Will," 
"Matter and Memory," "Creative Evolution," 
and his essay on "Laughter," have been trans- 
lated into many languages and his influence is 
making itself felt in many lands. In England 
Bergson is well known and well liked and the 
English claim a special share in him, for they 
believe that Bergson's mode of thinking was 
determined by his close study of the English 
philosophers, by the influence of Herbert 
Spencer and John Stuart Mill, of Locke, Berke- 
ley and Hume. 

In Germany Bergson's works are attracting 

( 91 ) 


much attention. Hermann Graf Keyserling, the 
distinguished German writer, says of Bergson's 
work: "His philosophy is perhaps the most 
original work since the days of Immanuel 
Kant." In Russia various editions of his works 
have appeared and numerous studies by the 
foremost Russian publicists are published from 
time to time. In France Prof. Bergson is ex- 
tremely popular. Unlike most philosophers that 
preceded him he is a prophet honored in his 
own land. He is the most popular of lecturers 
and his lecture room is always crowded with 
students as well as with women of fashionable 
society. The Bergson school of philosophy is 
in great vogue. It appeals alike to the deep 
student and to the faddist. 

An acute thinker, Prof. Bergson possesses a 
masterly, clear and direct style. He presents 
his views on most difficult themes with fasci- 
nating clearness. Every great thinker treats 
the eternal problems in some new way, and 
though so many influences are claimed to have 
shaped the thoughts and philosophy of Bergson, 
he is original, for he has treated the great 
problems of life in an entirely new way. 

Bergson does not give us a definite system. 
But he opens wide the door of the future and 

( 92 ) 


shows us a great variety of new ways and new 
aims and new possibilities. 

Mr. Carr, in his able little work on Bergson's 
"Philosophy of Change/' which was revised by 
Bergson himself, has summarized the philoso- 
phy of Bergson in the following terms : 

"Philosophy reveals to us a reality that is 
consistent with the satisfaction of our highest 
ideals. It discloses the life of the spirit. It 
may give us neither God nor immortality in the 
old theological meaning of these terms and it 
does not show us human life and individual con- 
duct as the chief end, purpose and centre of 
interest. But the reality of life is essentially 
freedom. Philosophy delivers us from the 
crushing feeling of necessity that the 
scientific conception of a closed mechanical 
universe has imposed on modern thought. Life 
is a free activity in the open universe. We 
may be of little account in the great whole. 
Humanity itself and the planet on which it has 
won its success may be an infinitesimal part of 
the universal life, but it is one and identical 
with that life and our struggle and striving is 
the impetus of life. And this, above all, our 
spiritual life means to us, the past has not 
perished, the future is being made." 

( 93 ) 


I met Prof. Bergson in his home, in Villa 
Montmorency, in Auteil, Paris. He spoke with 
enthusiasm about America and American 
thinkers and never tired of expressing his ad- 
miration for the late William James. Prof. 
Bergson is looking forward with great interest 
to his first visit to America, next January, 
when he will come both to teach and to study 

"You are doing such an immense deal of work 
in philosophy and psychology in America, and 
such splendid work," began the French phil- 
osopher. "The quality of the work done by 
American philosophers and psychologists is 
really remarkable. I consider William James 
one of the greatest men America has produced. 
I may even say, one of the great men of all 
countries and all times. I knew him well. I 
met him and spoke with him a number of times 
and I corresponded with him considerably. He 
was a wonderful man. But there are a number 
of other great psychologists in America. You 
have Muensterberg, Royle and many others." 

"I understand that you are engaged upon a 
new volume in the form of dialogues. May I 

( 94 ) 


know with what subject you are dealing in 
your forthcoming work?" I asked. 

"I have a special way of working," replied 
M. Bergson. "I may call it an anarchistic way. 
When I take up a new subject I just work it 
out in my own way. I take several avenues 
in my efforts to attain results. Very often 
I gain much information in the course of my 
work upon certain subjects, but no precise work 
comes out of it. So I really cannot say whether 
the book upon which I am engaged now will 
come out or not, for I am only in the process 
of building it. As yet I cannot say whether 
I shall succeed in building it up or not." 

"I have no system in philosophy. I have no 
simple set of rules from which I could evolve 
my philosophy. In philosophy there are differ- 
ent problems and each problem must be solved 
by special methods. The methods employed in 
solving one problem will not do when you 
attempt to solve another problem. I cannot 
always deduce from answers I have already 
given the answers to other problems. There 
must be a new answer to every new question. 

"I was once interviewed by a correspondent 
who wanted me to answer a number of ques- 

( 95 ) 


tions. I told him that I had no opinion on those 
questions. I said that each of those questions 
would take from ten to fifteen years to answer, 
and if he would come back fifteen years later 
I might be able to give him the answer." 

"But there are general questions on which 
you have formed opinions, and I would like to 
know your views on some of these questions/' 
I remarked. 

"Oh, yes, there are provisional answers. But 
an opinion is of no great importance if it is 
given in an offhand manner. One must be 
impregnated with the subject; one must study 
and analyze it thoroughly and have intuition. 
Now, intuition is not at all guess work. Many 
mistakes have been made by those who speak 
of my theory of 'intuition* as guess work. I 
believe it is necessary to be impregnated with 
the subject if we would find a solution to it. 
We must constantly learn. We must become 
students again. We must start the subject 
anew. And that may lead us to a new science. 
I have several times become a student again. 
I have several times taken up a new subject. 
My present work will deal with ethics and 
aesthetics, with the principles of morals and 
the principle of art. 

' fkp, \ 


"I have been greatly impressed with a work 
on ethics written by Prof. Dewey. I find the 
book very interesting, very original and quite 

Prof. Bergson paused a while. Then he 
added : 

"I am interested in the various religious 
movements in America, as far as they touch 
upon the ethical questions. I am interested in 
the ethical culture movement. I have met Prof. 
Felix Adler and am greatly interested in his 
work. He impressed me as a very penetrating 
and earnest man, and I think he will succeed, 
for I believe that his movement has a future. 

"I am interested in the religious movements 
in America because it strikes me that there 
is more life in America in this direction. In 
America religious and ethical questions are be- 
coming a living study, while with us in Europe 
they remain theoretical questions. But to my 
great regret I shall have no time during my 
brief stay in America to study closely any of 
these movements." 

"What accounts for this difference in relig- 
ious movements between America and Eur- 

( 97 ) 


"First of all the Americans are practical 
people. They are supposed to be the most 
practical people in the world to-d^ay. They 
want definite rules for conduct and ethics. 
It is a curious fact that modern philosophers 
have neglected this. Leibnitz and others have 
given us systems of ethics, but their systems 
are too general. Even Kant in his great works 
on ethics, in his masterpiece on practical 
reason, laid down formulas that are far too 
vague to be of any use in practical life. Kant 
said: 'Always act so that your action may be- 
come a universal law/ 

"This is not quite easy to apply in practical 
life. Try to apply this formula to the problem 
of capital and labor, to the differences between 
employer and workman. Each one would 
attempt to act so that his action might become 
a universal law. How are we to judge who 
of the two is right ? Each of them would claim 
that his action should be the universal law. 
And there is no real ethics without real answers 
to these most difficult questions. Of course, 
a philosopher's answers cannot be as precise 
as the answers of a mathematician. 

"America seems to realize that the philo- 

( 98 ) 


sophers have not given the real answers to the 
vital questions. And therefore there is a great 
feeling for these religious and ethical move- 
ments in America. I am deeply interested in 
this relation between religion and ethics." 

"You have written in some of your works 
about the immortality of the soul," I said. 
"Have you made any further investigations 
into this subject?" 

"I have studied the diseases of the mind and 
the diseases of memory and of certain cases 
in which I could see the precise relation be- 
tween mind and memory. I have come to the 
conclusion that it is a mistake to think that 
the work of the mind and of the brain is ident- 
ical. Only a small part of the work done by 
the mind is done by the brain. The brain is 
only a province of the mind. The mind repres- 
ents a country and the brain is only one of 
its provinces. The work done by the country 
is immensely wider in scope than that done 
by the province. The death of the brain is 
a probability. But I have found that the mind 
goes on living after the brain has died. From 
this I concluded that the mind survives the 
body. I cannot say definitely that the mind 

( 99 ) 


is immortal, but there is a strong probability 
that it is. 

"Modern philosophy is a study that can go 
on doing further work in this direction. Phil- 
osophy, like science, can make progress. There 
is still progress to be made in science; there is 
still some distance to go in that domain." 

"Are you interested in any of the new move- 
ments in art and in literature ?" 

"I am interested in anything that shows 
talent," replied M. Bergson, with a smile. 
"Any school is interesting if it shows talent. 
I do not believe in any special schools of art, 
in any special methods. In literature and in 
art schools, methods are nothing. Genius is 

"I recall one day a correspondent came to 
interview me about the original exhibition of 
the 'Cubists.' Their idea was that any paint- 
ing must be made of squares. He wanted to 
know my opinion about the 'Cubists.' My an- 
swer was that I preferred genius. The same 
I may say about the 'Futurists.' As far as I 
know, the fashion has been to have genius first. 
Then a system and methods were evolved. I 
believe that real genius creates its own meth- 

( 100 ) 


ods. So with regard to all new movements 
and new schools, I must say that they must 
first have genius." 

"Who are your favorite authors of to-day?" 
I asked. 

"We have quite a nunib>? 5of geniuses- in our 
literature. Maeterlinck, Pierre Lqti, Bourget. 
But perhaps the most reriiaFkable ' writers who 
is not exactly as good a novelist as a musician 
in words, is Maurice Barres. In this respect, 
as a prose poet, he can rank with the greatest. 
But his style is so unique that it would be dif- 
ficult to translate him without losing much of 
the beauty of his work. 

"Then there is, of course, Anatole France. I 
have mentioned chiefly French writers, for 
I understand French literature best. I am not 
very familiar with Anglo-American literature. 
You see, it is impossible to do two things well 
at the same time, and I must choose between 
one and the other between my work and the 
reading of foreign literature. I consider Tol- 
stoy and Dostoyevsky the greatest masters of 
fiction. Dostoyevsky was almost unconscious 
in his art. He did not describe things but he 
somehow made you see and feel them. His 

( 101 ) 


works are most important to psychologists. 
Tolstoy and Dostoyevski have seen the human 
soul naked and they have seen it in action and 
have reproduced it. Of the two Tolstoy was 
the more many-sided genius. 

"I have great admiration for Emerson and 
Poe. The work of Foe is so vivid and his 
poetry is ao musical, and it is charged with 
such deep" feeling, that I remember it distinctly 
although I read it many years ago. Emerson 
I have reread recently. I am not familiar with 
the works of Henry James, but his brother told 
me that Henry rewrote his prefaces and parts 
of his works for his new edition. To me this 
is a sign of a great writer. Only great artists 
go to the trouble of doing this. They are 
moved by really artistic feelings. Shaw? Yes, 
I certainly admire him. I have not yet read 
all his works, but I have laid them aside and 
intend to take them up upon the first occasion." 

"What are your views on the feministic 
movement in Europe and America?" 

"I have not found any difference of level be- 
tween the male and female mind," replied Berg- 
son. "Women have not yet had the chance 
to produce philosophic work. But judging by 

( 102 ) 


the average aptitude, men and women are 
equal. When I lectured to male and female 
students I experimented by giving the same 
subject for compositions to men and women. 
The results were that the papers could be mixed 
up and it would have been difficult to tell which 
were written by the men and which by the 
women. There is no real difference. The 
question whether women could give as many 
philosophers as men have given will be seen 
in time. I see absolutely no reason why women 
could not produce work of the same quality. 
Only now we shall see what they can accom- 
plish, now that they are getting the same edu- 
cation. We shall be the witnesses of a great 

"Half of mankind is now submitting to the 
same education that the other half has been 
getting. The growth of the woman's move- 
ment, the rapidity of its development socially 
and politically, is astounding. When I was a 
young man I could not even conceive that such 
a movement could grow so rapidly. Therefore, 
when you ask me about the woman's movement, 
I say I am for experimenting, but I must add 
that it is a dangerous experiment; since half 

( 103 ) 


of the people would suddenly get votes. 1 
think it should be done gradually. Women 
have thus far not had the interest in politics 
and could not be expected to have the apti- 
tude for it. I certainly do not approve of the 
militant methods of the suffragettes. I know 
that wherever there is enthusiasm there is 
violence, but the women are injuring their own 

In speaking of the many races emigrating to 
the United States and the effect of immigrants 
upon the American type the great French phil- 
osopher said: 

"I have been much struck by the fact that 
though different races have come to America 
there is an original type there ; though so many 
elements go to shape the population of your 
great centres there is a distinct American type. 
Since there is no tendency on the part of the 
immigrants to remain separate I feel that much 
good will come from this mixture of the race3. 
You have more reading of newspapers, current 
literature, and you have more schools. 

"To my mind, the richer a temperament the 
better. The more elements constitute the 
population of America the more privileged 

( 104 ) 


America will be, the richer and the stronger. 
I am greatly struck by the generosity and 
broad mindedness of the American people. It is 
certainly a great moral lesson to Europe." 

Concerning the Jewish question and the Zion- 
ist movement Prof. Bergson, who is himself a 
Jew, said: 

"To us French people this question seems 
paradoxical. We are so assimilated. If there 
were a new Zion I do not think many Jews 
would go there. A prominent Jewish states- 
man when asked in 1848 what he thought of 
Zionism replied that he would be in favor of 
Zionism if he were given the post of Jewish 
Ambassador to Paris." 

"But for the oppressed and the persecuted ?" 
I asked. 

"That is another question. Oppressed peo- 
ple must look for ways and they are justified 
in seeking a home. Whether it would be pos- 
sible to solve the Jewish question in that way 
I cannot answer. Russia may become more 
tolerant. The Jews of other countries have 
attained equal rights. After equal rights have 
been secured by the Jews I believe the Jewish 
question will be solved. I do not much believe 

( 105 ) 


in permanent special qualities of races. Na- 
ture is very often nothing else than habit and 

"There are racial differences between the 
white, yellow and black races, but there is no 
difference in the white races. People can 
adopt the qualities, the defects and the habits 
of the people among whom they live. In 
Europe we see that the difference in races is 
nothing but habit, education and the degree of 
living together. It is a mistake in psychology 
that much is ascribed to nature which should 
be ascribed to habit. 

"I doubt whether the Jews have any special 
hereditary defects or qualities, considering that 
their blood has been so mixed very much more 
than is believed. Whole tribes in Russia were 
converted to Judaism. I believe the Jewish 
question will be solved when the Jewish people 
will have attained equal rights in the countries 
where they are being persecuted. And the 
sooner that is attained the better for the Jews 
of course, and also for the countries where they 

May, 1912. 

( 106 ) 

t g^H^ 


Drawing by Krieghoff 


AUGUSTE RODIN, the world's foremost 
sculptor to-day, the energetic Rem- 
brandt in sculpture, who but yesterday 
had to struggle like a novice and defend his art 
against the prejudice of his colleagues and 
those people who always comdemn the man 
who dares to speak his own new word, is 71 
years old, or rather 71 years young. Some 
people are always young. They have no time 
to grow old. They do their work, they say 
their word in literature or in life, in sculpture, 
in painting, or in music, regardless of the cen- 
sure and condemnation of the few or the mul- 
titude; they work even more energetically in 
the face of such hardships, and their efforts are 
always identified with youthfulness. Such a 
man is Auguste Rodin, the French sculptor. 

( 107 ) 


The famous painter, Paul Laurens, said of 
Rodin : 

"He belongs to the race of those men who 
march alone." 

Rodin has not only marched alone, but has 
made the multitudes, even his former enemies, 
march behind him. He has created an art 
epoch that will, in the future, characterize the 
nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth 
centuries. In the words of a very gifted 
painter, Rodin, in his living creations of bronze 
and marble, has produced a natural and moving 
race of people. 

A poet of passion, an interpreter of the 
human, Rodin is young in his intense admira- 
tion of the old, the undying art of the Greeks, 
which was also human. Rodin has made his 
life one long, continuous effort to attain the 
ideal of art. Though a Frenchman, Rodin is 
universal in his art. His power and immensity 
spring from his individuality, rather than from 
his surroundings. 

A keen art critic, Gustave Kahn, has said: 

"All great sculptors seek to reproduce life, 
but not all do it in the same spirit. Some pay 
more attention to the clearness of expression 

( 108 ) 


than to exactness. Michael Angelo is great, 
mighty and exact; others, like Carpeaux, for 
instance, are great and elegant ; Rude and Rodin 
are great and pathetic. French sculpture, 
which together with Italian sculpture of the 
Renaissance, represented works of the greatest 
beauty, declined in the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century, until Rodin appeared as an 
artist. He made motion the chief character- 
istic of his works." 

From his very first productions, beginning 
with "The Man with the Broken Nose," to his 
very latest, which is not yet completed, and 
which is to be dedicated by Rodin to the "Mar- 
tyrs of the Air," he kept on shocking the placid 
academicians and conventional judges of art. 
His "John the Baptist" and his statue of Balzac 
roused storms of indignation against Rodin in 
his own country as well as in other lands. 

Nevertheless, Rodin forged ahead, creating 
masterpiece after masterpiece, until he has 
made a place for himself as the foremost among 
the sculptors of the age. 

Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of meet- 
ing Rodin in Paris. I was invited to his studio 
at a quarter past five in the afternoon, when 

( 109 ) 


his day's work is ended. The spacious yard in 
front of his studio looked rather like the yard 
of a busy warehouse, with heavy trucks and 
many workmen going quickly about their work. 
Within, many artists, young and old, were wait- 
ing for the master. 

Passing through a number of enormous 
rooms, containing statuary of various sizes, 
antique and modern, I was met by the Duchess 
de Choiseul, a great admirer of Rodin, who 
informed me that Rodin would see me in a little 

I had heard that the Duchess de Choiseul, 
regarded by prominent French people as one 
of the most brilliant women in France, was 
called "Rodin's Muse." Also that she was an 
American. So I asked her: 

"Is it true that you are known as Monsieur 
Rodin's Muse and that you are an American?" 

"Yes, I am proud to be both the Muse of the 
greatest sculptor in the world and a daughter 
of the greatest country in the world." 

"May I know what your maiden name was ?" 

"When I was a little girl I used to say that 
I was the daughter of the Coudert Brothers of 
New York," replied the Duchess with a smile. 

( HO ) 


"I said that I am proud that I am an American. 
I am also proud that I persuaded an American 
millionaire, Thomas F. Ryan, to do something 
really worth while for his country. I am 
referring to his gift of Rodin works to the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 

"Mr. Ryan had his bust made by Rodin. 
Then an inspiration came to me. I said to him 
one day: 'Mr. Ryan, don't be a dead man for- 
ever. You are a millionaire, but your millions 
will be of no avail when you die. Why 
shouldn't you do something that will help your 
country f ' 

"I talked and talked to him in this strain 
until I succeeded. Mr. French and Mr. Robin- 
son, on the committee of the Metropolitan Mus- 
eum, were the judges, and they purchased for 
Mr. Ryan the works of Rodin which now form 
the Rodin gallery in New York. 

"This collection of Rodin masterpieces in 
America is of the utmost importance to young 
American artists. For I believe, just as Mon- 
sieur Rodin does, that we have more real artists 
in America^ more talent, more genius, than 
other countries have. 

"Here in Europe we have dried fruit, while 

( HI ) 


in America we have vigorous, young talents 
but they are spoiled when they come over 
here, amidst these surroundings, away from 
the environments under which they could de- 
velop naturally. America is the greatest coun- 
try in the world, but if every rich American 
were really interested in the development of 
his country, America could be made still 

"America could be made greater than Greece 
and Rome ever were; we have enough millions 
there now we want artists. By bringing over 
such works as those of Rodin or of other mas- 
ters the young American artists could have 
the best examples of Europe's greatest works 
amidst their own surroundings, and this would 
tend to build up a great American art." 

At this point the door opened and Rodin 
walked in. With his long gray beard and gray 
hair, with his fine penetrating eyes, a dark 
velvet cap on his head, and in a brown velvet 
jacket, he looked like a Rembrandt painting, 
striking and picturesque. As he seated him- 
self upon a sofa, there stood behind him his 
latest work, as yet unfinished, which he is dedi- 
cating to the martyrs of the air, the aviators 

( 112 ) 


who have lost their lives. 

After some preliminary conversation, I asked 
Rodin for his views as to the future of sculp- 

"Sculpture is an eternal art," he said, speak- 
ing slowly. "At some periods it will assert 
itself more strongly than at others, but it will 
exist forever. 

"The art of sculpture was perfected by the 
Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Greeks, who 
brought it to its highest point. In modern 
times different styles have been introduced in 
this art, and different names given to them, 
but these styles have deviated from the school 
of the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans. 
Therefore, our works are inferior, for the an- 
tique art is nearly perfect." 

Rodin paused awhile, then continued, speak- 
ing more quickly: 

"The sculpture of our epoch is approaching a 
terrible crisis. Modern sculpture is losing all 
the best qualities of the art in the past. It is 
also separated from that which belonged to it 
when it was a perfect art. 

"In these days of ours there is a new manner 
of placing works of sculpture in public houses 

( 113 ) 


called museums. This is a grave mistake. The 
works of art thus placed there are only frag- 
ments, and art, to be perfect, must be complete. 

"Sculpture and architecture belong together, 
and the deterioration of the one art affects the 
other. I believe that sculpture will rise again 
to its former position only after our architect- 
ure has regained its equilibrium. It seems to 
be a peculiarity of our time to put works of 
sculpture in the wrong place. 

"In France there is a movement at present 
striving to restore this art to its former state 
and to free it from these new tendencies of our 
age, which have been instrumental in its de- 
cline. The very fact that we have commenced 
to realize this error leads me to believe that 
there is hope for progress by going back to 
the older conception of this art." 

"May I know what you regard as the mission 
of the sculptor and his art, if there is any such 
mission ?" 

"The mission of art is morality, religion. It 
is the finest expression of human intelligence, 
the noblest expression of the thought of the 
whole of humanity. 

"The epochs that preceded the eighteenth 

( 114 ) 


century brought beauty into the world, into 
life. The confusion of the nineteenth century, 
which upset everything, which overthrew old 
standards and created no new standards, en- 
tered also into art. 

"Confusion reigned supreme in all the arts. 
The nineteenth century was the epoch of but 
a few individualities. It was an epoch without 
any particular style, without any characteristic 
standard, either in sculpture or in architecture. 

"But I feel optimistic as to the future. For 
I see signs pointing to new and better ways." 

"What is your opinion of American sculp- 
tors?" I asked. 

"American sculpture is still French," replied 
M. Rodin. "But it is making great progress. 
America has produced a number of very re- 
markable artists, such as Sargent, Saint-Gaud- 
ens, Whistler. 

"There is no doubt in my mind that America 
has a great future as an art centre. There are 
many fine artists there, artists of unusual qual- 
ities, and American art, in all forms, will surely 
grow ever greater and greater if it does not 
become commercialized. There lies the great 

( H5 ) 


' "The commercialism of our age, especially in 
America, is ruining the best talents that would 
have made this age an art epoch. The commer- 
cial spirit, characteristic of this period, is the 
tomb-stone over the noblest strivings of the 

Our conversation turned to his own works, 
and I asked what he considered his most im- 
portant production. 

"The most difficult thing in the world is to 
judge your own self and your own works. All 
my life has been devoted to a continual study 
of the human body and the soul. Therefore, 
each one of my works represents something 
that is part of all my work, and I cannot say 
which is better and which is worse. 

"There are people who consider The Kiss' 
as my masterpiece ; there are others who regard 
The Thinker* as my most important work; 
still others believe 'Victor Hugo' to be the best 
thing I have done. To me it is simply a differ- 
ent name, for all these works, as I said, are 
only a part of my studies of humanity, of pas- 
sion, and thought." 

Speaking of types of women and models, M. 
Rodin said: 

( 116 ) 


"The type of woman has not changed since 
the days of the ancient sculptors. It remains 
always the same always beautiful. In general 
the women of the Mediterranean were preferred 
by the artists as models, but women of the 
North are just as perfect. 

"For what is art? Always the great truth 
of nature seen by a human mind. Photographs 
are not art, because they do not pass through 
a human brain. 

"Everything in nature is beautiful for the 
real artist, for the man of imagination. Noth- 
ing is more ridiculous than the effort of an 
artist to produce something beautiful, some- 
thing perfect, by combining perfect parts of 
different models into one. Thus the artist who 
reproduces the eyes of one model, the hands of 
another, the feet of a third, the neck of a 
fourth, produces perhaps a beautiful doll, but 
it is lifeless and worthless. 

"There is no such thing as ugliness in nature, 
in life. Everything is beautiful if seen through 
the artist's mind. The imperfections become 
perfect. There is nothing more wonderful than 

M. Rodin was fatigued after a hard day's 

( 117 ) 


work. The Duchess de Choiseul suggested 
that we look over some of the sulptures in the 
studio. There was "The Benediction." Two 
women, with wings, rising out of the waves of 
the ocean, their heads bent in prayer. This 
is Rodin's latest work, intended as a memorial 
for the dead aviators who sacrificed their lives 
as martyrs to the great future of aviation. 

Another statue represents "Psyche et 
rAmour." Near it was a striking figure of a 
girl, seated upon a rock, listening. This was 
entitled "The Echo." 

Another work that attracts much attention 
in Rodin's studio is "The Mystery." Two 
hands, a man's and a woman's, clasping each 
other, form a sort of dome, and represent the 
mystery of life. 

M. Rodin always interested himself deeply 
with studies of the expression of the hand. 
He produced hands that seemed to clutch at 
space, ready to hurl it somewhere ; he produced 
terrible hands that seemed to commit acts of 
violence ; he formed fingers that groped greedily 
yet hopelessly under the burden of Fate; he 
produced hands that appear to be clutching at 
the shadow of mystery. At one period of his 

(118 ) 


life Rodin attached special significance to these 
studies of the human hands, but while Rodin 
never neglects details, his art strives above 
all for harmony, and these studies formed but 
part of his complete works. 

The Duchess de Choiseul then removed the 
cloth from an unfinished bust of herself which 
Rodin is working on. 

"The master really regards this bust as his 
masterpiece," said the Duchess. 

It is indeed a most wonderful work, repre- 
senting laughter. 

Rodin's Muse laughed. The great sculptor 
came into the room, looked at the uncovered 
bust, and smiled. 

"It is not yet finished, but I expect to com- 
plete it before long," he said. 

Many students, artists, and other visitors 
were waiting for Rodin in the adjoining room. 
He went out to see them. 

Duchess de Choiseul covered the bust and 
said : 

"We have only one Rodin. He is old. We 
cannot afford to lose him. We must have him, 
we must have as much of his work as possible. 

( H9 ) 


Therefore, when he is tired or indisposed, I 
keep on urging him ; 'Work ! Work ! Work V " 

And Rodin's Muse laughed. 

May, 1911. 

JUST as I was leaving Paris the postman 
handed me a letter from Auguste Rodin, 
containing an invitation to visit him in 
his studio on the following afternoon. My 
grips were in the automobile and I was on my 
way to the railroad station. 

A gifted painter and keen art critic who was 
with me said: 

"I hope you are not hesitating. I would give 
up a dozen other important engagements for a 
meeting with the Michelangelo of modern times. 
Besides Rodin is 72, and there is only one 

I was not hesitating. I remembered the 
great pleasure I had derived from my meeting 
with the vigorous, intellectual seventy-one-year 
young genius of France. 

At 2 o'clock I came to the studio where the 
greatest masterpieces of the famous French 
sculptor have been produced and where they 
are still produced. 

( 120 ) 


Before meeting the master I met his "muse." 

"Has M. Rodin completed the bust of his 
muse?" I asked the Duchess as she came out 
and assured me that M. Rodin would soon re- 
turn to the studio. 

"That was a most unfortunate affair. A 
number of accidents happened to that bust 
before it was completed and finally when it was 
ready and was to be shipped to the exhibition 
another accident occurred and the work was 
destroyed. That bust was one of the very 
finest works of the master. But he is working 
on a new bust." 

Saying this she removed the cloth from an 
incomplete bust of herself, her face laughing 

"I am afraid that this one is not such a happy 
likeness of me," she added with a smile. "I 
am almost sure that no accidents will happen 
to this bust." 

The "muse" commenced to speak with 
enthusiasm about Rodin's great success every- 
where in Europe, in America, and especially in 

"Rodin has just returned from Lyons," she 
said. "He has loaned to the city of Lyons his 

( 121 ) 


private collection of about two hundred and 
fifty of his favorite drawings for the exhibi- 
tion. All the rooms and the salon are bril- 
liantly illuminated and the impression made 
by the Rodin exhibition there is one that can 
never be forgotten. The surroundings and the 
atmosphere are so delightful, and the works of 
the master seem to be moving and going 
around. It is a gigantic exhibition." 

Then she spoke about the numerous people 
who are disturbing Rodin with various requests, 
and robbing him of his precious time. 

"There are some who come here in the hope 
of getting souvenirs," she said, "and if they 
do not get any they are quite ready to steal 
them. Sometimes I fear that a crank might 
attack the master. I have been planning how 
to guard M. Rodin against such people. Now 
we have solved this question. I have secured 
a wonderful police dog to watch Rodin. Peo- 
ple with criminal tendencies had better beware 
of that dog. And now that we have that dog 
here I feel that the master is safe. There was 
never a more intelligent bodyguard nor a more 
loyal one." 

Finally Rodin came in. His short stature, 

( 122 ) 


his left shoulder somewhat lower than the 
right, the deep furrows on his face might 
disillusion his admirer at the first glance, but 
as soon as Rodin begins to speak and his eyes 
brighten you see before yourself the genius. 
You realize that the enormous struggles and 
hardships and disappointments he had experi- 
enced before he could gain recognition had im- 
printed those deep wrinkles on his face. You 
feel the deep, sincere note in all he says. And 
you also feel that, unlike many great artists, 
he knows how to say things effectively. 

Rodin is very modest. Several years ago, 
when he visited England for the first time, this 
modesty of the famous French sculptor 
assumed an amusing aspect. He was invited 
to London. A deputation of prominent artists 
and a representative of the King went out to 
meet him in Dover and to greet him as he 
stepped on English soil. A special car was in 
readiness to take the master to London; but 
the deputation failed to find Rodin. Finally 
they noticed him seated in a third class car with 
his huge valise. 

He was taken to the special car. In London 
a banquet was given in his honor. A great 

( 123 ) 


number of celebrities were present. One of 
them delivered a speech in English which 
seemed to make a profound impression. Rodin 
did not understand a word of it. As the 
speaker referred to the greatest sculptor in 
the world, who was among them, and all 
applauded enthusiastically. Rodin also applaud- 
ed, for he did not know whom the people were 

I asked M. Rodin whether he would not care 
to say something to the American people, 
among whom his works are beginning to 
attract so much attention. 

The great sculptor answered: 

"The American nation has created a Rodin 
Museum at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 
Being now a part of the Metropolitan Museum 
it may increase and grow in time. The Rodin 
Museum, I understand, is now visited by many 
working people, by artisans and students. This 
pleases me immensely. I think that such mus- 
eums render great services and are very useful, 
for I notice that in all countries in Europe and 
in America efforts are now being made to 
restore art to its former place. Until recently 
art has been declining. 

( 124 ) 


"The trouble is that among the students of 
art there are many who are not seriously de- 
voting themselves to the study of art ; there are 
so many idlers and nobles who pose as art 
students. I therefore have more confidence, 
and I expect real results from the actual ap- 
prentices. These have more courage, more 
perseverance; they make more serious efforts, 
and they want to make progress and accom- 
plish ever better results. And that is what 
we need nowadays. We must try to find again 
the energy that art students had in former 
days. Such energy is still to be found in those 
working for the progress of science. But 
among the students of art this energy has been 

"The fine arts must go on developing with the 
greatest sincerity. Sincerity should always be 
the keynote of all works of art. Art brings 
happiness into life, for it is for the most part 
a rational admiration of nature. 

"Art is like religion. And the best religion 
is that which gives happiness at the smallest 
cost, almost without money, for after all the 
different ways of happiness are chiefly intel- 

( 125 ) 


"It is upon such principles as this that one 
realizes the beautiful productions of art which 
have come down to us from the great epochs 
in the past. Sincerity in the admiration of 
nature has brought us all great masterpieces 
of all times. The finest architectural works, 
the finest sculptures are those suggested by 
beauties of nature, and the finest adornments 
of architecture are made of the graceful body 
of woman. This I have been trying to explain 
in my works." 

Speaking of his own methods of work, M. 
Rodin said: 

"As I have stated before, I believe that art 
requires first of all patience and perseverance. 
Nowadays the young people want to make pro- 
gress in the arts too quickly. They do not 
even find the time for learning to know them- 
selves. The young people are striving for orig- 
inality, or what they believe to be originality, 
and they hasten to imitate it. Forced origin- 
ality, like the bizarre, has no reason for exist- 

"A real artist builds his artistic work upon 
nature. Only after he has done that can he 
infuse his own temperament into the work. 

( 126 ) 


Many young artists will go to a museum and 
examine quickly a number of works of art, and 
then they will say to themselves, 'Now we have 
found ourselves, we have discovered our souls, 
we will create something new/ It may be that 
they really have souls, but these souls are -the 
souls of thieves. 

'We must try to do the very best we are 
able to do. We cannot become perfect artists 
within a few days. Artists need an enormou? 
deal of patience. And they must work hard. 
Nothing can be achieved without hard work. 
If an artist is hasty, if he is hurrying to accom- 
plish something, if he does not regard his work 
as its own end, if he thinks only of the success 
that will come to him as a result of his work, if 
he thinks only of the money he will get for his 
work, of the honors that may be showered 
upon him, of the orders he will secure, the 
artist is at an end, he will never accomplish 
anything really worthy. 

"Such people will never be artists. They may 
make things that will appeal to the masses be- 
cause these things will be mediocre, they will 
stoop to the lower taste of the masses and to 
their short sighted intelligence. But they will 

( 127 ) 


never be real artists. And how easy it is for 
an artist to go astray. The artist who loves 
women too passionately is lost. 

"You cannot serve two passions at the same 
time; you cannot serve art and woman at the 
same time. And yet it has always been the 
opinion that artists derive their inspiration 
from the fire of love. Inspiration! Oh, that 
is an old, romantic idea which is devoid of any 
meaning. According to that old idea a youth 
of twenty is smitten with an inspiration to 
create a marble statue, to build it out of the de- 
lirium of his imagination at night. This is 

"Artists do not love their work if they do not 
understand it. All that is done in haste and 
in a state of excessive exaltation should be 
destroyed. Lombroso and others who imagine 
that genius borders on insanity are absolutely 
wrong. Genius is order personified, the con- 
centration of the abilities and level-mindedness 
of the masses. My work has often been styled 
the product of inspiration and exalted enthu- 
siasm. I am just the opposite of an enthusiast. 

"My temperament is even. I am not a 
dreamer. I am rather a mathematician. My 
sculpture is good because it is geometrically 

( 128 ) 


correct. I do not deny that I am emotional in 
my work, but that is only because my emotion 
is aroused by the beauties of nature which I am 
reproducing. I admire nature and I find it so 
perfect that if God called me and asked me to 
suggest a change I would answer: 'All is per- 
fect. Nothing should be changed!' 

"People have often accused me of having 
made erotic sculptures. I have never made any 
erotic works. I have never made a sculpture 
for the sake of the erotic element. Most of 
the people cannot conceive this because they 
are forever looking for literary and philosophi- 
cal ideas in sculpture. Sculpture is the art of 

"I have created human bodies in various 
forms, in various natural forms. Nature is al- 
ways beautiful. If nature sometimes appears 
too ugly it is simply because we do not under- 
stand it. And what a great number of artists 
are deforming nature by trying to inter- 
pret it!" 

"Have you noticed any new tendencies in art 
that show any promise?" I asked. 

"I think that we are becoming more sincere 
and I hope that our epoch will be marked by a 

( 129 ) 


growing sincerity, for all our hope and the fu- 
ture of art depend upon sincerity. 

"Much is being said about various new 
schools in art, about the 'Futurists' and others. 
But these do not exist. All these new styles 
and fads are devoid of any power. They are 

"If you were asked to give a few rules of ad- 
vice to young sculptors, what would you sug- 
gest to them?" I asked. 

"First of all, I must recommend study. We 
must study hard and be sincere. We must 
learn to admire nature, and admire the Greeks, 
who were in this respect sincerer than all of 
us. We must copy them or rather no, not 
copy them, that would be bad. We should in- 
troduce the sincerity and the methods of the 
Greeks into the different arts. In modelling 
a Dutch woman we can employ the methods of 
the Greek. The Greek power of modelling 
would be successful even if the subject be an 
American woman. It is the form and the sin- 
cerity and the power of modelling that have 
made Greek art so perfect." 

I asked Rodin to mention the names of his 
favorite authors who influenced his life. 

( 130 ) 


"The Romans, the Greeks, Dante and 
Shakespeare," replied the French sculptor. 

Toward the end of the interview, Mr. Rodin 
said of the feminist movement : 

"There is something very good in that cam- 
paign. They want to have men understand 
and appreciate that they possess a value. They 
want to demonstrate to men that there is some 
value in women which men lose by not under- 
standing them. The suffragettes are only try- 
ing to prove their value. Man has weakened 
in the course of his work of research and eager 
quest for money, while women have in the 
meantime become superior to men in their 

May, 1912. 

( 131 ) 


ENGLAND being the storm centre of 
woman's struggle for equal rights, I 
turned to Havelock Ellis for his views 
on the methods of the suffragettes and the 
prospects of the movement. 

Havelock Ellis has long been recognized as 
an authority on woman. His works on "Man 
and Woman," "The Psychology of Sex," his 
scientific studies in the psychology of women 
are widely known throughout the world and 
have been translated into almost all languages 
used by civilized peoples. Aside from these im- 
portant works, he depicted in masterly manner 
the new spirit in literature as voiced by Diderot, 
Heine, Whitman and Tolstoy more than twenty 
years ago. He was also the first to direct the 
attention of English reading people to the phil- 
osophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. 

( 132 ) 


Drawing by Hess 


I met Mr. Ellis in his Brixton home. In ap- 
pearance he is a little older than he really is. 
He is only fifty-three years of age. But he is 
youthful and vigorous in spirit and he speaks 
with the simplicity and modesty characteristic 
of really great men. 

"Fortunately for America and for American 
women, you have not the same problems to con- 
tend with, and American women do not employ 
the methods that are used by the leaders of the 
woman's movement in England/ said Mr. Ellis. 
"There is not the slightest doubt in my mind 
that these methods are causing a great deal of 
injury to woman's cause. Personally I have 
great admiration for the women, but I believe 
that their tactics of concentrating on the vote 
as the only solution of their problem and their 
use of violence are not calculated to help them." 

"What methods would you suggest that 
would help their cause ?" I asked. 

"Wherever women have secured their rights, 
as in Finland, for instance, they have attained 
their aims because they stood beside the men, 
not against them. Besides, they should not try 
to emulate men in their methods, but should 
rather go along their own lines, and they would 
be much more successful. I quite agree with 

( 133 ) 


Olive Schreiner, who believes that women 
should not concentrate on the suffrage/' 

"What, then, are the ends women ought to 
work for instead of concentrating on the suf- 

"I regard economic independence as far more 
fundamental than the franchise," replied Mr. 
Ellis. "Women ought to do everything instead 
of doing one thing, harping on the right to vote. 
They ought to be active in the arts, in litera- 
ture, in social work, and they will also get the 
suffrage in the right way. 

"England is a very old country, we are old 
fashioned here, in a good sense, and everything 
moves slowly. This is why the methods of the 
suffragettes do more harm than good to the 
cause of woman. It is, of course, different in new 
countries, such as America, for instance. There 
you may attain results more rapidly, because 
you are accustomed to doing new things. It is 
hard to understand why the leading suffra- 
gettes in England are forever attacking the 
politicians. As a matter of fact the politicians 
have always been in favor of woman suffrage 
more than any other portion of the com- 

"The chief point against the movement de- 

( 134 ) 


manding votes for women is that the majority 
of women in England do not want the franchise. 
Therefore I think it will be much better when 
the desire on the part of the women to vote 
comes naturally, and I feel sure that when the 
majority of English women really want the 
suffrage they will certainly get it." 

Mr. Ellis said that people are in most cases 
wrong in their estimates of women and their 

"I have observed that women will some- 
times do exactly the opposite of what they are 
expected to do. The women whose views were 
asked at a large meeting with regard to divorce 
proved quite a revelation to those who consider 
themselves judges of women's ways and 
thoughts. The majority of the women present 
at that large gathering expressed themselves in 
favor of divorce by mutual agreement. At 
another congress the majority of women de- 
clared against the religious education of chil- 
dren. And the women in the Finnish Parlia- 
ment surprised the male representatives of the 
people by talking about 50 per cent, less than 
the men. 

"Thus you can never tell what women will do, 
but in my opinion they are making a grave mis- 

( 135 ) 


take by morbidly concentrating on the point of 
the vote, caring for nothing else. The longest 
way around is very often the shortest way 
home. Mill said many years ago that women 
have to educate themselves. This is true to- 
day as well. 

"After all, it is only a small section of women 
that cares for politics. Women who have had 
the municipal vote have not used it. The vote 
is only of minor importance. In Germany the 
woman's movement is conducted along different 
lines there it is a movement for giving 
women emotional rights. And the list of names 
of representative people all over the world, in- 
dorsing the methods and aims of the German 
woman's movement is one that the English 
suffragettes could hardly secure for their 

"What do you think of the work of women 
in art and literature in recent years ?" I asked. 

"I think that a good drama written by a 
woman or an important novel produced by a 
woman does more good for the woman's cause 
than any of the militant methods of the suffra- 
gettes. But I must say that too many women 
who have no business to devote their time to 
writing are giving themselves to what they call 

( 186 ) 


the artistic life. They are thus wasting their 
lives and doing things that are useless. 

"I do not think women have any special ap- 
titude for the arts, though they have produced 
some good novels. But there is such a great 
field for women in which they really excel I 
mean social work. They are specially gifted 
for this sphere of activity and such work is 
much more important than art. Art is after all 
merely a luxury." 

"Would you call the great artistic master- 
pieces merely a luxury?" I asked. 

"No, I would not go as far as that. But it is 
more important to have a healthy home than 
to write a novel. Real art, as I pointed out years 
ago, as a many sided and active delight in the 
wholeness of things is the great restorer of 
health and rest to the energies distracted by 
our turbulent modern movements. Thus un- 
derstood it has the firmest scientific founda- 
tions. Its satisfaction means tne presence of 
joy in our daily life, and joy is the prime tonic 
of life. 

"It is the gratification of the art instinct that 
makes the wholesome stimulation of labor joy- 
ous. It is in the gratification of the art instinct 
that repose becomes joyous. We have already 

( 187 ) 


an art in which for the great mass of people to- 
day our desires and struggles and ideals are 
faithfully mirrored. But nowadays too many 
women, for that matter too many men, are de- 
voting themselves to what they call art with- 
out having the slightest aptitude for it and 
they are merely wasting their energy." 

Mr. Ellis spoke of the influence of Nietzsche 
and Tolstoy upon life and literature and then 
related how he had planned to visit the great 
Russian at Yasnaya Polyana fifteen years ago. 

"Of all your meetings with distinguished 
men I envy you your meeting with Tolstoy," 
said Mr. Ellis. "Tolstoy was the only man of 
letters I was really eager to meet. He was not 
only the greatest writer of his time, but also 
the greatest personality. And that is even 
more important than to be a great writer. 

"I was in Moscow about fifteen years ago and 
was to leave for Yasnaya Polyana when I re- 
ceived word from Tolstoy that one of his chil- 
dren was taken ill with typhoid and therefore 
he could not receive me. I visited Russia and 
I visited Spain a number of times and I admire 
both the Russian and the Spanish peoples they 
are both unfortunate." 

( 138 ) 


"Perhaps that is the reason why you admire 
them above others ?" I suggested. 

"Perhaps. Some of their best qualities are 
thus brought out. They are of course not per- 
fect from a political viewpoint. I certainly do 
not admire the politics of these countries. But 
the political activities of a nation do not always 
mar it or make it perfect. The trouble is that 
people speaking of Russia often confound the 
people with the Government. There the line 
between the Government and the people is 
drawn very distinctly." 

Mr. Ellis refered to Mr. Roosevelt's views on 
race suicide. He said : 

"We have bishops in England unmarried, of 
course, who are preaching large families. Mr. 
Roosevelt ought to go to Russia and to China, 
the countries with an enormously high birth 
rate and all its dreadful results. To my mind 
civilization, progress and a low birth rate go 

"There has been progress in China of late." 

"Yes, and in connection with this let me tell 
you what a lady who recently returned from 
China has told me. The English lady visited a 
Chinese school. She asked the children what 
they wanted to know about her country. The 

( 139 ) 


children begged her to tell them all about the 
suffragettes. Now, little girls that want to hear 
mainly about suffragettes are not likely to have 
large families when they grow up." 

Of the unrest among the working people of 
England, Mr. Ellis said: 

"The wave of unrest here as well as else- 
where is the result of prosperity. It is only 
when working people are better off that they 
can better afford to strike. I am, of course, in 
sympathy with bettering the condition of the 
working people, but I believe they are like the 
suffragettes, especially in England, where 
things move so slowly. They should also go 
more slowly and they will attain their aims 

Speaking of American literature, Mr. Ellis 

"I cannot say who is my favorite American 
author. The writers in America are not keep- 
ing pace with the greatness of their country. 
America produced one supreme artist Poe. 
The other great writers produced by America 
were Whitman, Emerson, Thoreau. But the 
Americans are too busy to produce a real litera- 
ture. You must not be so busy, you must have 
more dreamers if you would produce a litera- 

( 140 ) 


ture of importance. The atmosphere of Ameri- 
ica does not seem to be favorable to literature 
to-day. It was more so half a century ago. 
The conditions of New England were certainly 
favorable in this sense, but those conditions 
have now almost disappeared." 

Mr. Ellis is now at work upon a book which 
will shortly appear in England and in which 
he will deal with "The Task of Social Hygiene.' , 

I asked Mr. Ellis to present more fully his 
views on the latest aspects of the woman ques- 

"With pleasure," replied Mr. Ellis. "The 
modern conception of the political equality of 
women with men arose in France in the second 
half of the eighteenth century. Its way was 
prepared by the philosophic thinkers of the 
'Encyclopedic,' and it was definitely formulated 
by some of the finest minds of the age, notably 
by Condorcet, as part of the great programme 
of social and political reform which was to some 
degree realized in the upheaval of the revolu- 

"The political emancipation of women con- 

*The following now embodied in Havelock ElUtfs 
important new look, "The Task of Social Hygiene.** 

( 141 ) 


stituted no part of the revolution. There were 
too many more pressing matters to be dealt 
with, and the only women who had been taught 
to demand the rights of their sex were pre- 
cisely those whom the revolution guillotined or 
exiled. Even had it been otherwise we may be 
quite sure that Napoleon, the heir of the revo- 
lution and the final arbiter of what was to be 
permanent in its achievements, would have 
sternly repressed any political freedom ac- 
corded to women; the only freedom he cared 
to grant to women was the freedom to produce 
food for cannon, and so far as lay in his power 
he sought to crush the political activities of 
women even in literature, as we see in his treat- 
ment of Mme. de Stael. 

"But an Englishwoman of genius was in 
Paris at the time of the revolution, an acute 
critic of its disorders, an enthusiastic partisan 
of the finer and broader elements in the great 
French movement for social reform. The 
French agitators had delighted in declarations 
of the rights of man; Mary Wollstonecraft, 
without imitating their fanatical and dogmatic 
spirit, published in 1792 her 'Vindication of the 
Rights of Woman.' 

( 142 ) 


"It was not a shrill outcry, nor an attack on 
men; it was just the book of a woman, a wise 
and sensible woman, who discusses many 
woman's questions frankly and yet delicately, 
and advocates civil and political rights for 
women not as a panacea for all evils but as a 
reasonable condition of progress, for, as she 
argues, humanity cannot progress as a whole 
while one-half of it is semi educated and only 
half free. 

"The Victorian movement for the education 
of women and their introduction into careers 
previously monopolized by men inevitably en- 
couraged the movement for extending the 
franchise to women. It may indeed be said 
that this movement was well established in 
England many years before it gained a footing 
and still less practical realization in any other 
country. Moreover it was remarkably suc- 
cessful in winning over the politicians, and 
not those of one party only. 

"Since Mill published his 'Subjection of 
Women* in 1869 there have always been emi- 
nent English statesmen convinced of the de- 
sirability of granting the franchise to women, 
and among the rank and file of members of 

( 143 ) 


Parliament, irrespective of party, a very large 
proportion have pledged themselves to the 
same cause. The difficulty, therefore, in in- 
troducing woman suffrage into England has not 
been primarily in Parliament. The one point 
at which political party feeling has caused ob- 
struction and it is certainly a difficult and im- 
portant point is the method by which woman 
suffrage should be introduced. Each party 
Conservative, Liberal, Labor naturally 
enough desires that this great new voting force 
should first be applied at a point which would 
not be likely to injure its own party interests. 

"It is probable that in each party the maj- 
ority of the leaders are of opinion that the ad- 
mission of female voters is inevitable and per- 
haps desirable, the dispute is as to the extent 
to which the floodgates should in the first 
place be opened. In accordance with English 
tradition some kind of compromise, however 
illogical, suggests itself as the safest first step. 
That was the view of the framers of the last 
attempt to secure woman's suffrage, the so- 
called conciliation bill, and they were justified 
in feeling some resentment when a crushing 
logic was applied to the bill by influential 

( 144 ) 



ta|esmen /; w^o^p^s,^ ^^ris^es , anicious 
|p^ secure w#ma$U$rage> wm#ii i^ftemi' 

'The dispute of the gatekeep^jS^auld,, haw- 
ever, be easily overcome if the pressure behind 
the gate were sufficiently strong. But it is .not. 
However large a proportion of the voters in 
Great Britain may be in f a vor ; pf-. women's 
franchise, it is certain that qnly a v^ry, minute 
percentage regard this .as, s,,a (pejs1#>nh having 
precedency over all other questions. This was 
shown at the recent elections, when two woman 
suffrage candidates were put up and secured 
considerably less than fifty votes ; i between 

them, wfwroii jnem *H V> <f-*wnj 

"And the reason wfry inen have only*, taken 
a very temperate interest in woman . suffrage 
is; tt&t ' wonien themselves 1 in th'e mass 'have 
taken an equally temperate interest in the mat- 
ter when they have not been actually hostile to 
the movement. It may indeed be said even at 
the present time that whenever an impartial 
poll is taken of a large miscellaneous group of 
women only a minorit3f f are%un(f tpL be in f aypr 
of woman suffrage. No : significant event* fias 
occurred to stimulate general interest in the 
^matter and no supremely eloquent or in^fmeh- 
lial ^oiee fia^ artificially stirr^Tft ?/; fIO ' ,,n 

( 145 ) 


"There has been no woman of Mary Woll- 
stonecraft's genius and breadth of mind who 
has devoted herself to the cause, and since Mill 
the men who have made up their minds on this 
side have been content to leave the matter to 
the women's associations formed for securing 
the success of the cause. These associations 
have, however, been led by women of a past 
generation who, while of unquestionable intel- 
lectual power and high moral character, have 
viewed the woman question in a somewhat nar- 
now, old fashioned spirit, and have not pos- 
sessed the gift of inspring enthusiasm. The 
growth of the movement, however steady it 
may have been, has been slow. 

"In the meanwhile in some other countries 
where it was of much more recent growth the 
woman suffrage movement has achieved suc- 
cess with no great expenditure of energy. It 
has been introduced into several American 
States. It is established throughout Austral- 
asia. In Finland women may not only vote but 
also sit in Parliament. 

' 'It was in these conditions that, some five 
years ago, the Women's Social and Political 
Union was formed in London. It was not an 

( 146 ) 


offshoot from any existing woman's suffragette 
society, but represented a crystalization of new 
elements. For the most part even its most con- 
spicuous leaders had not previously taken any 
active part in the movement for woman's suf- 
frage, an exception should perhaps be made in 
the case of Mrs. Pankhurst, the chief leader, 
who furnished an element of historic contin- 

"The suffrage movement had need of exactly 
such an infusion of fresh and ardent blood; so 
that the new association was warmly welcomed 
and met with immediate success, finding re- 
cruits alike among the rich and the poor. Its 
unconventional methods, its eager and militant 
spirit, were felt to supply a lacking element, 
and the first picturesque and dashing exploits 
of the union were on the whole well received by 
the friends of woman's suffrage. It was felt, 
for the most part, that the obvious sincerity 
and earnestness of these very fresh recruits 
covered the rashness of their new and rather 
ignorant enthusiasm. 

"But a hasty excess of ardor only befits a 
first uncalculated outburst of youthf ulness. It 
is quite another matter when it is deliberately 

( 147 ) 

W I^fii jMfA mm& MI/N^D s 

ha#den#d int^ : ^ 

Q^n&e&imst^dLyQi giS9^3#gGr.<taff for the 
purpose of advertising % grjeYao^ m season 
f$d oujijoj: f eason. iq Jon bif ?/i9bss! 80O03iqa 
/'Since,: : moreo^er^rtfeeoattadk ;wasr directed 
chMymgamst |)olitieSansV precisely that dais 
,afitibe cbmmuiiity^asiiindSiedtd be favoraMe 
M ! flroman'tf -r ? suffrage,* $ mild - since it cou&ied 
among its triumphs personal assaults on (Mte- 
^eJ-Mini^t^Es^w^Oi ar^feo^ince4rQteampi0|is of 
4ts ; c^^,jftif^wge^ 

ment became as stari^ipa^Nas >its. offensiv^emess. 
The effect on^tfeeearly \friend3 of ^.thenewmove- 
^penti-^^s ise-vStabl^^i : Seme who had hailed it 
witfe; enthusiasm and proclaimed its pioneers 

$jtelaj;in; and protest: and fina^ elapsed fato 

-fflqj^w-Qifo&K f$iG&$&4 the mowinek $ven 

among its former leaders, were less silent, They 

^F^.r^yeajed^ the world jfeoaTujakmdfe^ seam 

of the influences which slowly corrupt such a 

movement ir^m^h* "teeddAri /fRhQ^ it iha&deas 

into sectarianism, the naKEQWing al aim, the 

Jnf$ft&ev($ <^^%n^t$* 3 \h$ xl jeatojusy of 

xh&itM&8& to ti^mggC3t-tli*riiiaiecd8 and 


ifte WeaKhes^W*fl^ su^agettesF St M un^ 

In^ryasin^degr'efc fh syr^alMe^^^hgS^ffi^h 
Wlilgfreft clmrac^^iid tl4st *fc]jttite$ # s8S$B|: 
the advocates of woman's suffrage.* : Nearly 
all English women to-day -frfttf stand well ^bqve 
the average in mental distinction are in favor 
of woman's suffrage/ though they may not al- 
ways be inclined to take an active part ' in 
securing it; perhaps the only prominent e5tc6p- 
^fioii is Mrs. Humphrey Ward. Yet they rSrely 
associate themselves WitH f the' methods of n ffie 
suffragettes. They do not indeed protest/ for 
they feel there would be a kind of disloyalty in 
fighting against the extreme left of a move- 
ment to Which they themselves belong, but they 
stand Wcrff The women who are chiefiy at- 
tracted to the ranks of the suffragettes belong 

WfMig Masses: { nin lo "" hni > ** 
to SOfrsimfli sifTnifiTj . mlj y<f b'}~UonqYff .Qfr# 

"Firsts :those of the well- to. do class, with no 
outlet for their activities who eagerly embrace 
. an exciting occupation, which has become not 
only highly respectable but even in a sense 
fashionable; who have no natural tendency to 
excess, but are easily moved by their 
environment;, son^e of these ar^ rjh f ; and the 

( k&m > 


great principle once formulated in an un- 
happy moment concerning a rich lady inter- 
ested in social reform 'We must not kill the 
goose that lays the golden eggs/ has never 
been despised by the suffragette leaders. 

"Second, the rowdy element among women, 
which is not so much moved to adopt the meth- 
ods for the sake of the cause as to adopt the 
cause for the sake of the methods, so that 
in the case of their special emotional tempera- 
ment it may be said that the means justify the 
end; this element of noisy explosiveness is al- 
ways to be found in a certain proportion of 
women; though latent under ordinary circum- 
stances, it is easily aroused by stimulation, and 
in every popular revolt it is noticed that the 
wildest excesses are the acts of women. 

"Third, in this small but important group 
we find women of rare and beautiful character 
who, hypnotized by the enthralling influence of 
an idea, and often having no great intellectual 
power of their own, are even unconscious of the 
vulgarity that accompanies them; and gladly 
sacrifice themselves to a cause that seems to 
be sacred; these are the saints and martyrs of 
every movement. 

"When we thus analyze the suffragette out- 

( 150 ) 


burst we see that it is really compounded out of 
quite varied elements, a conventionally respect- 
able element, a rowdy element and an ennobling 
element. It is therefore equally unreasonable 
to denounce its vices or to idealize its virtues. 
It is more profitable to attempt to balance its 
services and its disservices to the cause of 
woman's suffrage. 

"Looked at 'dispassionately the two main dis- 
advantages of the suffragette agitation, and 
they certainly seem at the first glance very 
comprehensive objections, lie in its direction 
and in its methods. There are two vast bodies 
of people who require to be converted in order 
to secure woman's suffrage ; first, women them- 
selves, and secondly, their men folk, who at 
present monopolize the franchise. Until the 
majority of both men and women are educated 
to understand the justice and reasonableness of 
this step and until men are persuaded that the 
time has come for practical action the most 
violent assaults on Cabinet Ministers suppos- 
ing such political methods to be otherwise un- 
objectionable are beside the mark. They are 
aimed in the wrong direction. 

"Some suffragettes have argued in this mat- 
ter that in times of political crises men also 

( 151 ) 


have acted just as badly or worse. But one 
of the chief arguments hitherto in favor of the 
admission of women into political life has been 
that women exercise an elevating and refining 
influence, so that their entrance into. this field 
will serve to r purify politics. That no doubt is 
an argument mostly brought forward by men 
ancl may be regarded , as in some measure an 
amiable masculine delusion, since most of the 
refining and elevating elements in civilization 
have owed their origin not to women but to 
men. But it is. not altogether a delusion. 

1 4$n the virtues of ' force ^however humbly 
those virtues are to be classed women as a sex 
can, never be <the rivals of men, and when 
WQ-nie^ ^attempt to gain their ends by the de- 
monstration of brute force they can only place 
themselves at a disadvantage. They are* lay- 
ingj down the weapons they know 'best how fc 
t^s^jancliao^pting jweapons so; unsuitable that 
they, only injure the usejfs; > no eJlujisau rsIolv 
"Many women; speaking* i on<< MH&li fyP*i&& 
suffragettes,.! protest rigairist the - idea that 
women must always be 'charming^ ^Ahd !i if 
'charm* is to = be understood in so harrow and 
conventionalized a sense that it means some- 

( my 

thing mMch is incompatible with the developed 
natural activities, whether of the soul or of 
the body> then 3uch a protest is amply justified. 
But im the larger sense, 'charm^-which means 
thi^-power to ; effect work without employing 
bnute f orce-r-is indispensable to women* Char m 
is a ^woman's , istrength j ust as strength is a 
mante icharniv Andithe justification for women 
in this ^matter > m that * herein / they: - represent 
the progress of civilization, lo sboiitem vpj 

^'Atf^ivttifeatlon involves 1 Btie.^sBtution^ 

this respect of tbe woman's method for the 
man's. In the last resort a savage can only as- 
sert his rights by brute force. But with the 
growth of civilization the wronged man, in- 
stead of knocking down his opponent, employs 
'charm ? in other words he employs an advocate 
whb-b^the exereise of sweet reasonableness 
persuades twelve men in a box that his wrongs 
niustlbe' righted, ^ahid the tnatter is then finally 
setedy v -hot ^ man's weapon; the fist, but by 
woman's weapon, the tongue. Nowadays the' 
samemethod of 'charm 1 is being substituted for 
brute force in international wrongs, and with 
the 1 complete substitution of arbitration for war 
the woman's method of charm wiir have re- 



placed the man's method of force along the 
whole line of legitimate human activity. 

"If we realize this we can understand why it 
is that a group of women who, even in the ef- 
fort to support a good cause revert to the crude 
method of violence are committing a double 
wrong. They are wronging their own sex by 
proving false to its best traditions, and they 
are w r ronging civilization by attempting to re- 
vive methods of savagery which it is civiliza- 
tion's mission to repress. Therefore it may 
fairly be held that even if the methods of the 
suffragettes were really adequate to secure 
woman's suffrage, the attainment of the 
franchise would be a misfortune. The ultimate 
loss would be greater than the gain. 

"That the issue of woman's suffrage may 
be reached in England within a reasonable 
period is much to be desired for the sake of the 
woman's movement in the larger sense, which 
has nothing to do with politics, and is now in*, 
peded by this struggle. The enfranchisement 
of women, Miss Frances Cobb declared thirty 
years ago, is 'the crown and completion' of all 
progress in woman's movement. 'Votes for 
women/ exclaims more youthfully but not 

( 154 ) 


less unreasonably Miss Christabel Pank- 
hurst, 'means a new Heaven and a new Earth/ 
But woman's suffrage no more means a new 
Heaven or even a new Earth than it means, as 
other people fear, a new Purgatory and a new 

"We may see this quite plainly in Austra- 
lasia. Women's votes aid in furthering social 
legislation and contribute to the passing of acts 
which have their good side, and, no doubt, like 
everything else, their bad side. As Elizabeth 
Cady Stanton, who devoted her life to the 
political enfranchisement of women declared, 
the ballot is at most only the vestibule to 
woman's emancipation. Man's suffrage has not 
introduced the millenium and it is foolish to 
suppose that woman's suffrage can. It is mere- 
ly an act of justice and a reasonable condition 
of social hygiene." 

May, 1912. 

( 155 ) 

8 I J J Ci A [) J 3 V A H 

W9fl ?.ru',9irn 9iom orr 9$filt)tH8 B'iXSmow itiH 
Rn ,??rrB9rn it nfifft fOTi?'^ wen b ff9V$ to n.oviwH. 
7/>>n r, bffii V.Toir.^/T??*! wf| s ,*tr,9l olcfosci l9f{Jo 

-urtTBKlA rti Yinrr.lVr sirup ?.tri i 998 xslti ? // 

rrHsffcrxul rti r>!x; gsrtov &' 

rpiWO weeks after my visit to Count Leo 
I Tolstoy at Yasnay a . Poly aria, . I went 
. * from St. Petersburg to Wammelsu, Kn- 
land r to see ?: Leonid Andreyev, the most 
modern o| modern writers m .. Europe, ,, the 
author of the. great war story, "Red Laugh- 
ter," and of the remarkable morality play 
entitled "The Life >f Man." The most 
popular writer in Russia to-day, his, popularity 
having outshadowed that of Maxim Gorky, 
Andreyev is also, next to Tolstoy; the 7 'most 
gifted of all Russian writers. If his work, 
which is in every respect original, must be 
likened to the work of another Russian, it would 
come nearest to that of Dostoyevsky. His keen 
psychological insight, as revealed in his later 



Drawing by Krieghoff 


Works; nikp fefc compared wltfc-tKe^iest mark 
Sf <thd author of "Crime and Punishment." 

Ma^^^s'&l- : s^d^fi4it[Fatui?e; his tot 
short stories, 'attracted but little attentibn at 
the time of their appearance. It was only when 
Countess Tolstoy, the wife of Leo Tolstoy, in 
a letter to the Novoe Vremya, came out in ''de- 
fense of artistic purity and moral power in 
cbnteniporary literature> ,v declaring that Rus- 
sian society, instead bf buying, reading, and 
niakirig^ famous the -works of ttee l Andreyevs, 
should r< rise against such filth with indigna- 
tion^that almost everybody 1 ^ who can read in 
*lfosMa^tf Wthe 5 lrttle^ume '6lt*8 ^oMg 

In her attack u^on^AS^ye^ ^ ^ountfesS S%1- 
^l^ferftos'fotlWsf^^^^ ^ ^ 19 ^ { siifT 
^ai^i^e^^m^w^iter^, tek&>m&re^"tifc- 
M&eded only in conceiitratin^ their attention on 

the filthy point of human degradatidn and ut- 
:tTSd a cry to the undeveloped, half -intelligent 
' teridihg public, inviting them to see and to 
" examine thd decoinposM corpse of huiiiari$e&- 

Itfadation &fid to close their eyes to Gofewih- 
i&Mf id, v&s% world* witft the heaiities of ^latre, 

mm th^mafestr^^art, witeth^^of^ytoii- 

( Ft5t ) 


ings of the human soul, with the religious and 
moral struggles and the great ideals of good- 
ness even with the downfall, misfortunes, and 
weaknesses of suck people as Dostoyevsky 
depicted. * * * In describing all these 
every true artist should illumine clearly before 
humanity not the side of filth and vice, but 
should struggle against them by illumining the 
highest ideals of good, truth, and the triumph 
over evil, weakness, and the vices of mankind. 
* * * I should like to cry out loudly to the 
whole world in order to help those unfortunate 
people whose wings, given to each of them for 
high flights toward the understanding of the 
spiritual light, beauty, kindness, and God, are 
clipped by these Andreyevs." 

This letter of Countess Tolstoy called forth 
a storm of protest in the Russian press, and, 
strange to say, the representatives of the fair 
sex were among the warmest defenders of the 
young author. Answering the attack, many 
women, in their letters to the press, pointed out 
that the author of "Anna Karenina" had been 
abused in almost the same manner for his 
"Kreuzer Sonata," and that Tolstoy himself 
had been accused of exerting just such an in- 

( 158 ) 


fluence as the Countess attributed to Andreyev 
over the youth of Russia. Since the publica- 
tion of Countess Tolstoy's condemnation, An- 
dreyev has produced a series of masterpieces, 
such as "The Life of Father Vassily," a 
powerful psychological study ; "Red Laughter," 
a war story, "written with the blood of Russia" ; 
"The Life of Man," a striking morality present- 
ation in five acts, and, finally, his latest, and 
perhaps, also, his most artistic work, "The 
Seven Who Were Hanged," in which the hor- 
rors of contemporary life in Russia are deline- 
ated with such beautiful simplicity and power 
that Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, or Tolstoy himself 
would have signed his name to this master- 

Thus the first accusations against Andreyev 
have been disarmed by his artistic productions, 
which are permeated with sincere, profound 
love for all that is pure in life. Dostoyevsky 
and Maupassant depicted more subjects, such 
as that treated in "The Abyss," than Andreyev. 
But with them these stories are lost in the great 
mass of their other works, while in Andreyev, 
who at that time had as yet produced but a few 
short stories, works like "The Abyss" stood 
out in bold relief. 

( 159 ) 


Andreyev. has often been accused of being 
the advocate --of pessimisms arid <*. has been 
charged that his influence upon the Russian 
youth is pessimistic. Not long ago, neverthe- 
less, Andreyev, in speaking ; of his own pessi- 
mism, said: '1 never believed in life so much 
as when I read the work of the "father" of 
pessimism, Schopenhauer. Since a man could 
.tjjytok as he md^nd liye ? it is evident that ^e 
is mighty and unconquerable." 

In another plase, , he. <sai$ ; "Neither . truth aaor 
falsejioo^ wftLconfluer, l5 That whichus ^united 
with life itself will; , eonauer ; .that ' i which 
s^en^hens, the roots of? life and Justifies it. 
Only that which is useful to life remains; all 
that is harmful to it will sooner or later perish ; 
perish inevitably. Even if it stands to-day as 
an indestructijble waJJ -against s whi<|h.therheads 
of the Tiob.lfst People ars s J?real$ing in the strug- 
gle, it will fall tp-mor^QW.,^ It> will fall because 
it trie^ to impede life itsejf; nfhvJkfrfi 'fad* 

As I drove f rom , Terioki to Andreyev^ house, 
alpng:th dustrcovered.road, the sterol dnd taci- 
turn Utfcte). Fianisji driver suddenly broke the 
&Uece by ,sayingf to me in broken -Russian*^ 

<( ( *50,) 


"Andreyev is a good writer. * * * Al- 
though he is a Russian, he is a very good man. 
He is building a beautiful house here in Fin- 
land, and he gives employment to many of our 

We were soon at the gate of Andreyev's 
beautiful villa a fantastic structure, weird- 
looking, original in design, something like the 
conception of the architect in the "Life of 

"My son is out rowing with his wife in the 
Gulf of Finland," Andreyev's mother told me. 
"They will be back in half an hour." 

As I waited I watched the seething activity 
everywhere on Andreyev's estate. In Yasnaya 
Polyana, the home of Count Tolstoy, everything 
seemed long established, fixed, well-regulated, 
serenely beautiful. Andreyev's estate was 
astir with vigorous life. Young, strong men 
were building the House of Man. More than 
thirty of them were working on the roof and 
in the yard, and a little distance away, in the 
meadows, young women and girls, bright-eyed 
and red faced, were haying. Youth, strength, 
vigor everywhere, and above all the ringing 
laughter of little children at play. I could see 

( 161 ) 


from the window the "Black Little River," 
which sparkled in the sun hundreds of feet be- 
low. The constant noise of the workmen's axes 
and hammers was so loud that I did not notice 
when Leonid Andreyev entered the room where 
I was waiting for him. 

"Pardon my manner of dressing," he said 
as we shook hands. "In the summer I lead a 
lazy life, and do not write a line. I am afraid 
I am forgetting even to sign my name." 

I had seen numerous photographs of Leonid 
Andreyev, but he does not look like any of them. 
He has grown much stouter. Instead of the 
pale-faced, sickly-looking young man there 
stood before me a strong, handsome, well-built 
man, with wonderful eyes. He wore a grayish 
blouse, black, wide pantaloons up to his knees, 
and no shoes or stockings. 

We soon spoke of Russian literature at the 
present time, particuarly of the drama. 

"We have no real drama in Russia," said 
Andreyev. "Russia has not yet produced any- 
thing that could justly be called a great drama. 
Perhaps The Storm/ by Ostrovsky, is the only 
Russian play that may be classed as a drama. 
Tolstoy's plays cannot be placed in this cate- 

( 162 ) 


gory. Of the later writers, Anton Chekhov 
came nearest to giving real dramas to Russia, 
but, unfortunately, he was taken from us in the 
prime of his life." 

"What do you consider your own 'Life of 
Man' and To the Stars' "? I asked. 

"They are not dramas ; they are merely pres- 
entations in so many acts," answered Andreyev, 
and, after some hesitation, added: "I have not 
written any dramas, but it is possible that I 
will write one." At this point Andreyev's 
wife, a charming young woman, came in, also 
dressed in a Russian blouse. The conversation 
turned to America, and to the treatment ac- 
corded to Maxim Gorky in New York. 

"When I was a child I loved America," re- 
marked Andreyev. "Perhaps Cooper and 
Mayne Reid, my favorite authors in my child- 
hood days, were responsible for this. I was 
always planning to run away to America. T 
a:n anxious even now to visit America, but I 
am afraid I may get as bad a reception as my 
friend Gorky got." 

He laughed as he glanced at his wife. After 
a brief pause, he said: 

"The most remarkable thing about the Gorky 

( 163 ) 


incident is that while in his stories and articles 
about America Gorky wrote nothing but the 
very worst that could be said about that coun- 
try he never told me anything but the very 
best about America. Some day he will prob- 
ably describe his impressions of America as he 
related them to me. By the way, have you 
read Gorky's latest story, 'Confession/ It is 
a wonderful story. The Russian writers have 
unlearned to write like that nowadays." 

It was a very warm day. The sun was burn- 
ing mercilessly in the large room. Mme. An- 
dreyev suggested thaT it would be more pleasant 
to go down to a shady place near the Black 
Little River. 

On the way down the hill Andreyev inquired 
about Tolstoy's health and was eager to know 
his views on contemporary matters. 

"If Tolstoy were young now he would have 
been with us," he said. 

We stepped into a boat, Mme. Andreyev took 
up the oars and began to row. We resumed 
our conversation. 

"The decadent movement in Russian litera- 
ture," said Andreyev, "started to make itself 
felt about ten or fifteen years ago. At first 

( 164 ) 


it was looked upon as mere child's play, as a 
curiosity. Now it is regarded more seriously. 
Although I do not belong to that school, I do 
not consider it as worthless. The fault with 
it is that it has but few talented people in its 
ranks, and these few direct the criticism of the 
decadent school. They are the writers and also 
the critics. And they praise whatever they 
write. Of the younger men, Alexander Blok 
is perhaps the most gifted. But in Russia our 
clothes change quickly nowadays, and it is hard 
to tell what the future will tell us in our liter- 
ature and our life. 

"How do I picture to myself this future?" 
continued Andreyev, in answer to a question of 
mine. "I cannot know even the fate and future 
of my own child, how can I foretell the future 
of such a great country as Russia? But I be- 
lieve that the Russian people have a great 
future before them in life and in literature 
for they are a great people, rich in talents, kind 
and freedom-loving. Savage as yet, it is true, 
very ignorant, but on the whole they do not 
differ so much from other European nations." 

Suddenly the author of "Red Laughter" 
looked upon me intently, and asked: "How is it 

( 165 ) 


that the European and the American press has 
ceased to interest itself in our struggle for 
emancipation? Is it possible that the re- 
action in Russia appeals to them more than 
our people's yearnings for freedom, simply 
because the reaction happens to be stronger 
at the present time? In that event, they 
are probably sympathizing with the Shah 
of Persia ! Russia to-day is a lunatic asylum. 
The people who are hanged are not the 
people who should be hanged. Everywhere 
else honest people are at large and only crimin- 
als are in prison. In Russia the honest people 
are in prison and the criminals are at large. 
The Russian Government is composed of a band 
of criminals, and Nicholas II. is not the greatest 
of them. There are still greater ones. I do 
not hold that the Russian Government alone 
is guilty of these horrors. The European 
nations and the Americans are just as much 
to blame, for they look on in silence while the 
most despicable crimes are committed. The 
murderer usually has at least courage, while he 
who looks on silently when murder is committed 
is a small, weak, insignificant man. England 
and France, who have become so friendly to 

( 166 ) 


our Government, are surely watching with com- 
passion the poor Shah, who hangs the consti- 
tutional leaders. Perhaps I do not know inter- 
national law. Perhaps I am not speaking as a 
practical man. One nation must not interfere 
with the internal affairs of another nation. But 
why do they interfere with our movement for 
freedom? France helped the Russian Govern- 
ment in its war against the people by giving 
money to Russia. Germany also helped 
secretly. In well-regulated countries each 
individual must behave decently. When a man 
murders, robs, dishonors women he is thrown 
into prison. But when the Russian Govern- 
ment is murdering helpless men and women 
and children the other Governments look on 
indifferently. And yet they speak of God. If 
this had happened in the Middle Ages a crusade 
would have been started by civilized peoples 
who would have marched to Russia to free the 
women and the children from the claws of the 

Andreyev became silent. His wife kept row- 
ing for some time slowly, without saying a 
word. We soon reached the shore and returned 
silently to the house. 

( 167 ) 


Leonid Andreyev's brief autobiographical 
sketch is characteristic as it is interesting. 

"I was born," he said, "in 1871, in Oryol, and 
studied there at the gymnasium. I studied 
poorly; while in the seventh class I was for a 
whole year known as the worst student, and 
my mark for conduct was never higher than 
4, sometimes 3. The most pleasant time spent 
at school, which I recall to this day with pleas- 
ure, was recess time between the lectures, and 
also the rare occasions when I was sent out from 
the classroom. * * * The sunbeams, the 
free sunbeams, which penetrated some cleft and 
which played with the dust in the hallway, all 
this was so mysterious, so interesting, so full 
of a peculiar, hidden meaning. 

"When I studied at the gymnasium my 
father, an engineer, died. As a university stu- 
dent I was in dire need. During my first course 
in St. Petersburg I even starved not so much 
out of real necessity as because of my youth, 
inexperience, and my inability to utilize the 
unnecessary parts of my costume. I am to this 
day ashamed to think that I went two days 
without food at a time when I had two or three 
pair of trousers, two overcoats, &c. 

( 168 ) 


"It was then that I wrote my first story 
about a starving student. I cried when I wrote 
it, and the editor, who returned my manuscript, 
laughed. That story of mine remained unpub- 
lished. * * * In 1894, in January, I made 
an unsuccessful attempt to kill myself by shoot- 
ing. As a result of this unsuccessful attempt 
I was forced by the authorities into religious 
penitence, and I contracted heart trouble, 
though not of a serious nature, yet very annoy- 
ing. During this time I made one or two un- 
successful attempts at writing; I devoted 
myself with greater pleasure and success to 
painting, which I loved from childhood on. I 
made portraits to order at 3 and 5 rubles a 

"In 1897 I received my diploma and became 
an assistant attorney, but I was at the very 
outset sidetracked. I was offered a position on 
The Courier, for which I was to report court 
proceedings. I did not succeed in getting any 
"practice as a lawyer. I had only one case and 
lost it at every point. 

"In 1898 I wrote my first story for the 

( 169 ) 


Easter number and since that time I have de- 
voted myself exclusively to literature. Maxim 
Gorky helped me considerably in my literary 
work by his always practical advice and sug- 
June, 1908. 

( 170 ) 


Drawing by Marcus 


any introduction in America. But it 
may not be generally known that 
throughout Germany the name of Harden has 
become a household word. Among the people 
at large the name of Harden is associated with 
fearlessness and courage and victory. When, 
after his second trial, a crowd of about 5,000 
people waited for him at the Court House and 
carried him, amid cheers, on their shoulders, it 
was but an expression, in a small way, of the 
feeling of the masses, who everywhere ap- 
plauded the man who dared to stir up the hor- 
net's nest, to expose the rottenness in the high- 
est places, and who came out triumphant. 

Since then the success of Harden and his 
small but influential weekly journal, "Die Zuk- 

( 171 ) 


unft," called forth a most bitter animosity 
among Harden's already numerous enemies, 
chiefly inspired by a sense of envy. Men like 
Harden have enthusiastic admirers, but they 
also make mortal enemies. Thus Harden has 
been called by some "the savior of Germany/' 
by others he was styled "the betrayer of the 
German Empire." Harden has been compared 
with Couzier and Rochefort, with Girondin and 
Lasalle, with Sainte-Beuve and Taine; he has 
been called a harlequin and a prophet, and his 
speeches as well as his writings have been de- 
scribed as containing "fire and force, thunder 
and lightning." 

But, whatever Harden may be, one thing is 
certain he is the greatest molder of public 
opinion in Germany. His intimate friendship 
with Bismarck gave him a peculiar position as 
a "private authority" concerning the inner 
workings of politics and statesmanship in Ger- 
many as well as in other European powers. 
Since the passing of Bismarck, Harden has be- 
come the centre toward which gravitate all 
German statesmen and high officials who for 
some cause or another are discontented. To 
him they unburden themselves, and Harden 

( 172 ) 


himself has been called the prophet of dis- 

His fight against "the Knights of the Round 
Table" has proved successful, even though at 
the fourth trial, but a little while ago, Harden 
was found guilty and sentenced to a fine of 
600 marks. The men he accused in his articles 
in "Die Zukunft" are disgraced and dismissed 
from office. As Harden himself put it : 

"The decisive has happened. The German 
Emperor showed these men the door. Why? 
This will never be 'established' here. * * * 
No details are necessary. Can you believe that 
only the articles in Die Zukunft have led to this 
step ? Do we live in an empire where the most 
favored gentlemen are driven away because a 
moderately distinguished journal, by no means 
favored by the Kaiser, contained a few articles 
against them? Are old, intimate friends 
simply thrown out on this account? Is this 
sufficient for the Kaiser to say to the represen- 
tative of the former President of the Police 
Department: 'You need not tell me any more 
about Eulenberg, Moltke, Hohenau, or Lecomte ; 
these are settled. But I want at once a list 
of the others of the Court and the Guards' ?" 

( 178 ) 


In his last speech at the trial just closed 
Harden wound up with the following words: 
* * * when you condemn me, use your 
judgment, not your right, for you have not 
proved against me the slightest guilt. Do it! 
I have nothing against it. Such things must 
end in this way; such things have always 
ended thus in history. * * * It must always 
be thus. Do it again, if you would take the 
responsibility upon yourself. Let it be known 
that the imperial Court has once more tried 
to disgrace Harden and has convicted him 
again. I only wish that the sentence be severe 
(from your viewpoint there can be no question 
of a fine; such a decision would be incompre- 
hensible) and I am sorry that you cannot go 
above the four months' limit. Imprison me, 
brand me, strike me: that's the punish- 
ment. * * *" 

Next to the Kaiser, Maximilian Harden is 
perhaps the best known figure in Berlin. If 
you call up "Wilmensdorf, 366," the telephone 
operator will ask: "Harden?" That is not the 
number of "Die Zukunft," it is the telephone 
number of his house. The German barber, 
who is quite as talkative as his American col- 

( 174 ) 


league, while shaving me noticed that I had 
with me a copy of "Die Zukunft," and he imme- 
diately went into raptures over Harden. When 
I hailed a cabman and told him to drive to Wer- 
nerstrasse, 16, he looked up importantly and 
asked : "Herr von Harden ?" 

As I came to Grunewalde, Berlin's most beau- 
tiful section, where Harden's villa is located, I 
noticed the following legend painted on his 
door: "Walk in lively! You may enter with 
dust-covered shoes ! But if your heart and your 
mind are covered with dust, leave us alone !" 

This legend was not recently inscribed it 
showed considerable signs of age. 

Herr Harden received me in the room adjoin- 
ing his library, and through the open door I 
could see Franz von Lenbach's famous paint- 
ing of Bismarck on the wall facing Harden's 
writing table. From the photographs I had 
seen of Harden, and from what I knew of his 
work, I had pictured Harden as a strong, im- 
posing, rather theatrical figure. Instead, he is 
small in stature, unassuming, and modest- 
looking. But when he speaks there is some- 
thing in his face, in his eyes, that reminds one 
of the Napoleonic cast of features. 

( 175 ) 


We began to speak about German literature 
and the drama of to-day. 

"I have been ten days in Berlin and have 
noticed that perhaps nine-tenths of the dramas 
produced in your theatres are translations or 
adaptations from other languages. French 
comedies, farces, and detective plays are in 
the lead. Shakespeare is given, the Isben plays 
are produced, Goethe's 'Faust' has been revived 
by Max Reinhardt in a most elaborate form. 
Occasionally an original, new German play is 
also produced. What is the state of the drama 
in Germany to-day?" I asked. 

"German literature cannot be said to be in 
a flourishing condition," said Harden. "Some 
of our dramatists are writing novels now, but 
they have not produced anything of importance. 
Sudermann's "The Song of Songs" is a fiasco. 
It was a cheap appeal to the lower 
tastes of the people, but it failed, nevertheless. 
As in his dramas, Sudermann was here also 
striving merely for outward effects. Haupt- 
mamVs latest play, 'Griselda,' also failed of 
success. The trouble with all our dramatists 
is that as soon as they have met success with 
one of their plays they set up a high standard 

( 176 ) 


of living, and in order to maintain it they must 
keep on turning out play after play. They 
must produce even when they have nothing to 

"Take Hauptmann, for instance. He has 
bought eight villas and has grown accustomed 
to a luxurious life. He is thus compelled to 
produce unripe work upon the stage. German 
literature would be in a better state if our 
novelists and dramatists would rest more than 
they do. In France Rostand, the most gifted 
of all French poets and dramatists, produced 
only one drama after his great success, 
'L'Aiglon.' In Germany all Halbe, Hauptmann, 
Sudermann, and others have been writing too 
fast. Only a genius can produce a drama at 
one stroke, so to speak. No form of literature 
requires so much careful work as the drama. 
The great Ibsen always worked intensively; 
he rewrote every dialogue three or four times ; 
he reconstructed his scenes until they were 
dramatically perfect. 

"This dearth of good dramas and novels is 
all the more to be regretted because there is 
at present a great interest in the drama and 
in literature in general to be noticed among 

( 177 ) 


the people. Many books are bought now and 
the theatres are thriving.*' 

"Are there any new tendencies, new cur- 
rents, in German literature? I see that Rus- 
sian pornographic literature is finding its way 
into Germany in translations. Do you think 
this will exert some influence upon the modern 
German literature?" I asked. 

"Unfortunately, too much space and impor- 
tance are given to eroticism, to sexualism, in 
our literature. I am not a preacher of prudery. 
But I detest a work whose success is attained 
through pornography. Eroticism does not play 
so important a part in the life of the people 
as may be gathered from this sort of litera- 

"The fault of modern literature is that it 
mirrors real life too little. After all the power 
and efforts spent by the German people on 
inventions and the development of our indus- 
tries, the future historian will not find any- 
thing in the books written during the past 
ten years that would give him even the slight- 
est idea of what the people have really been 
doing. He will find only conflicts of Bohemians : 

( 178 ) 


stories of little girls and artists and literary 
folk. The treatment of real life, in artistic 
form, has been sadly neglected. 

"There is a strong movement now for 'native 
literature/ for typically German literature. I 
regard this movement as worthless. Who 
wants to resist outside influences upon art to- 
day ? Assimilation is felt in all arts at present, 
and narrow nationalism is becoming impos- 
sible. People of different nations and countries 
are growing ever more similar to one another. 
The national differences are less pronounced 
than the social differences. People of the same 
economic conditions living in different coun- 
tries understand one another better than the 
people who live in luxury understand those who 
live in the cellars of the same houses." 

"What literature do you regard at present 
as one that is likely to exert a determining 
influence upon other literatures?" 

"Certainly not current German literature. It 
is an individual who looms up and introduces 
a new note. Hauptmann cannot influence 
others. He is himself a conglomeration of 
other literatures. You will find in him the in- 
fluences of French and Russian literatures. 

( 179 ) 


Heine was a strong influence, especially on the 
young French lyrical poets. Now Nietzche is 
influencing the minds of young writers. Victor 
Hugo and Ibsen have had powerful influence 
everywhere. With Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy 
came the great Slavic wave over European lit- 

"And now?" 

"Now we are waiting for the American wave. 
It will surely come. It must come. It is with 
literature as with life and with politics," said 
Herr Harden. "The influence of America is 
beginning to be felt in Europe. A great deal 
is being said about the Americanization of Eu- 
rope, but the accusation that the Americans 
are money-mad, that they are nothing but 
dollar people is but a vulgar prejudice 
which is rapidly disappearing. There are dol- 
lar people everywhere. Nine-tenths of the ef- 
forts of all people everywhere are bent on 
moneymaklng, and it is childish to speak of 
Americans as introducing commercialism into 
the arts. 

"Paul Bourget was the first to weaken the 
prejudice that the Americans are merely busi- 
ness people. I know several American business 

( 180 ) 


men myself, and I am astounded at the interest 
they take in art. The higher spheres, the no- 
bility, in Germany are not interested in art or 
literature; they have no libraries and they buy 
no paintings. If not for the wealthy Jews al- 
most all our artists would have to starve. This 
abnormal state, caused by the indifference of 
our upper classes, has certainly had a retrogres- 
sive effect upon our art." 

Finally our conversation turned from litera- 
ture to politics. I asked him for his views on 
the future of Germany. 

"It is hard to foretell the future of Ger- 
many," replied Herr Harden. "Germany is 
strong, colossal, and it is growing ever stronger. 
But the population of Germany is growing, and 
it is becoming necessary for Germany to ex- 
pand. Germany must have colonies, it needs 
colonies for its natural development, and it will 
make an effort to acquire them. When? Not 
immediately, but in the near future." 

Herr Harden paused awhile, and then went 
on deliberately : 

"The best and most natural thing would be 
for the Germanic nations, the Anglo-Saxons 
and Americans, to unite and go hand in hand 

( 181 ) 


together. But England is opposed to such a 
union because of her antipathy for Germany. 
Therefore it is probable that England will form 
a close friendship with the Slavs and the Jap- 

"With a view to the future, if America is 
sufficiently far-sighted, it should reflect and 
consider carefully as to what would be best for 
herself. It would be best for America to look 
to her own interests, and therefore not go with 
England and thus help her carry out her pol- 
icies, which would work to the detriment of 
the United States. 

"If there is mutual good-will between Eng- 
land, America, and Germany, these three great 
industrial nations will find the possibility for 
natural and pacific development. But I fear 
that it will be impossible to avoid a war. The 
situation will not be straightened out without 
a war. It must come to it, because the En- 
glishmen are not yet accustomed, they have 
not yet learned from history to divide power; 
they are determined at any cost to hold by 
force and violence that which they regard as 

"The English statesman, who could see 

( 182 ) 


clearly the relations between Germany and Eng- 
land, must ponder carefully over everything 
that England has experienced with both South 
African republics since 1900 till the present 
time, and then reproduce this experience in 
world politics. Then he would see that it is bet- 
ter to come to an agreement with a great power 
in the beginning instead of waging war in an 
effort to kill it off. 

"As to Japan, I believe that the United States 
has made the gravest mistake by allowing it 
to become so great and powerful. Roosevelt 
was a very able and energetic President, but I 
do not think that he had very keen political 

"It was the natural antipathy for Russia 
that allowed Japan to become great. But the 
Americans rejoiced altogether too much over 
Japan's victory. 

"I think that America, which has settled the 
negro problem will also manage to settle the 
yellow race problem. The great difficulty for 
America is how to check pacifically the inva- 
sion of the yellow races. But the danger of 
the yellow-race problems will lose its acuteness 
as soon as the Panama Canal is ready. Then 

( 183 ) 


America will be able to resist Japan. Until then 
America will have to be careful." 

I asked Herr Harden to express himself con- 
cerning the Turkish situation. 

"I do not regard this liberalism in Turkey 
as definitely settled. It was said of the Jesuits 
that they either remain ^s they are or they 
can't exist at all. The same is true of Islam. 
The liberalism in Turkey is not liberalism in the 
American or English sense. Turkey is a re- 
ligious State. It is impossible to make such 
an important change as has been made in Tur- 
key so quickly. It was brought about by offi- 
cers and journalists, and the people had no 
hand in it. I believe there will soon be another 
uprising and the old Sultanate will reinstate 
itself. The Turks gravitate to Asia. In Euro- 
pean Turkey the Turks are in the minority. 
The officers furnish the sinews, and the journal- 
ists, schooled for years in London, Paris, and 
Brussels, furnish the brains of the new system 
in Turkey. But the people have played no 
part in the revolution. Mohammed and Robes- 
pierre, the Koran and Contrat Social these 
do not rhyme well. I fear that reaction and 
revolution will alternate for some time to come. 

( 184 ) 


"The situation in Turkey shows the weakness 
of Europe. Turkey belongs in Asia. Islam 
either remains as it is or it can't exist at all. 
Turkey is in Europe because of the rivalry 
among the European powers, because of their 
weakness. It is just the same as if Japan 
would be tolerated by America to settle down 
along the Pacific. Americans, because of this 
example, may be counseled against permitting 
the Japanese invasion in the very beginning." 

"Do you think that the recent change in 
Turkey will serve as an impetus to a change in 
Russia ?" I asked. 

"I do not believe that anything will come 
about in Russia," answered Harden. "The Rus- 
sian people, all classes of the Russian people, 
want peace and rest. Only a war can bring 
Russia to a new uprising. Russia, too, is an 
Islam. Nothing save a change in the inner life 
of the Russian masses will lead to the recon- 
struction of Russia. There must first be an 
awakening of their inner consciousness, there 
must first be an inner revolution. But this, 
I fear, is a long, hard road. The Russian 
masses have still to learn the difference be- 
tween the life of the Czar and the life of an 

May, 1908. _ 


DURING my recent visit to Russia I had oc- 
casion to discuss Russian affairs with 
the leaders of the various parties in the 
Duma and with members of the Gosundarstven- 
ny Sovyet the Council of the Empire. I found 
among them a number of people who are un- 
doubtedly able to accomplish great things when 
the psychological moment arrives. But it 
seemed the time for their activity had not yet 
arrived. These people, intellectual giants, 
equipped with great learning and earnestness 
of purpose, are architect-builders who are able 
to erect structures according to beautiful pro- 
jects, but not before the ground has been 

They are as yet surrounded with windfallen 
trees in a very thick forest. The distance is 

( 186 ) 




enormous between the so-called Parliament in 
St. Petersburg and the millions of the ignorant 
masses, who are enmeshed in a dense net of 
government organs and agencies, especially 
created to keep them in darkness. 

As a prominent member of the Duma said 
to me: "The Russian Constitution is to be 
found solely upon a tiny island the Tavrich- 
esky Palace the building where the Duma 
holds its sessions. The autocracy does not al- 
low the Constitution to go beyond the walls of 
this palace." The conceptions of Czarism and 
constitutionalism are incompatible. There are 
provincial places in Russia, not so very far 
from St. Petersburg, where it is still dangerous 
to speak of the Duma, for some official might 
overhear it and ask: "Are you for the Czar 
or for the Duma ? " But a short time ago in 
one of the Cossack settlements in the Don re- 
gion, a crowd listening to the reading of news 
from the Duma was dispersed with whips. 

But the distance between those who worked 
for the emancipation of Russia and the masses 
is narrowing the people have begun to realize 
who are their enemies and who their friends. 

One of the greatest of the architect-builders 
of the new Russia is Prof. Maxime Kovalevsky, 

( 187 ] 


famous historian, authority upon international 
law, publicist, f ormely professor of the Univer- 
sity of Paris, now a member of the Council of 
the Empire. Prof. Kovalevsky is one of the 
very few great figures in Russia who perceive 
clearly the actual proportion and importance of 
events and who analyze them without either 
going into raptures or falling into despair. A 
scholar of the highest type, he is at the same 
time a practical statesman taking an active 
part in the preparatory work of Russia's recon- 
struction. His opinions upon the Russian sit- 
uation are accordingly of the greatest signifi- 
cance. While in St. Petersburg Prof. Kovalev- 
sky presented his views to me. He said: 

"The dispersion of the first two Dumas has 
created a spirit of skepticism among the peo- 
ple. And while the old peasants still remain 
faithful to God and the) Russian ,Czar, the 
majority of the young people have come to the 
conclusion that everything must be taken by 
force. In fact, they have become a little too 

"Looking over the legislation of the Third 
Duma I must say that it has not shown any 
necessary economy. The budgets have not 

( 188 ) 


been diminished. The Duma, however, was 
wrong in refusing an appropriation for the four 
battleships. Our fortresses at Revel and at 
Kronstadt are not efficient. They could not 
withstand an attack for more than three weeks. 
The four men-of-war we are to have now will 
be of the same type as the Dreadnoughts and 
will constitute to a certain extent a defense in 
the event of an invasion by Germany. 

"You ask me why has the Russian revolution 
failed ? I begin by denying the fact. My opin- 
ion is that it has not failed, but is going on at 
the present time, and, if some are despairing, 
it is because they do not realize the real nature 
of the movement. The movement is far from 
being only political it is essentially social. It 
began years ago, and its chief result will be the 
creation of a Russian democracy. Centuries 
ago Harrington, in his Oceana, expressed the 
idea, new for his time, that power belongs to 
those who own the land. Now Russian soil is 
rapidly passing into the hands of the peasants. 
The first Duma intended to accelerate the move- 
ment through legislation. The reaction which 
followed was chiefly created by the fact that 
the Russian nobility was frightened by the rad- 
icalism of the measures proposed. 

( 189 ) 


"But the movement, which has for its ends 
the transference of the land into the hands of 
the peasants is none the less going on, perhaps 
more rapidly than before. The Ministers, with 
M. Stolypin at their head, are buying the lands 
of ruined noblemen in order to resell them at 
lower prices to the peasants. This measure is 
certainly more ruinous to the Russian treasury 
than the one we had in view, but it achieves the 
same end. The dissolution of village commun- 
ities another obnoxious measure of the same 
Ministry is yet on the whole advancing the 
day of a democratic rising; upon one side it 
creates a numerous class of peasant propri- 
etors, and upon the other, a much more numer- 
ous class of rural proletariats. A collision be- 
tween them becomes every day more probable. 

"Our industries are unable to employ all those 
who, having no more settled interest in the 
land, are deserting the villages. And Russian 
agriculture is not likely to become a secondary 
branch of our national economy. In such condi- 
tions the rising of the country people in the 
rear future seems to me very probable, and all 
I hear from persons living in the country only 
confirms my apprehension. The peasant is los- 

( 190 ) 


ing his confidence in the Czar as the natural 
protector of the country people against the 
landed squires. The orthodox church is each 
day losing even more its moral hold upon the 
people, because of its total lack of independence 
toward civil authority and the nobility.* The 
radical Protestant sects, such as the Dukhobors, 
the Mennonites, the Stundists (Baptists), are 
gaining every day new adherents among the 
peasantry. All this is not calculated to sug- 
gest the idea that we have not to fear in the 
future a new agrarian movement. And for that 
reason I answer in the affirmative your ques- 
tion. Do I think that the agrarian question will 
lead to new disturbances in the near future? 
Yes, I am afraid it will. 

"In the spontaneous revolution which shall 
have for its chief object the creation of a peas- 
ant democracy instead of a military empire, re- 
liant upon bureaucracy, nobility and orthodoxy, 
the Third Duma is likely to play a prominent 
part, in this way only it will open the eyes of 
the peasants to the dependence in which Czar- 
dom lives upon bureaucracy, high orthodox 
clergy and landed gentry. I find no instance in 
the past of a more cynical pursuit of class in- 

( 191 ) 


terests than the one of which the Third Duma 
is, and will continue to be, the spectacle. From 
this point of view it may be compared only with 
the "chambre introuvable" of the French res- 
toration. The Ministry is powerless to pursue 
its own policy. It does what it is ordered to do 
by the reactionary alliance of "king, bishop and 
nobleman." To give you an instance. We were 
told (Stakhovitch, Arseniev and myself) by 
Premier Stolypin that he would do everything 
he could to render possible a collection of money 
in the whole empire to be employed for the cre- 
ation of some memorial associated with the 
name of Count Leo Tolstoy and the same 
Stolypin later took necessary measures to pre- 
vent any demonstration in favor of our "grand 
old man." Of course, he did so against his own 
will and only because he was ordered to do so 
by the orthodox clergy and the 'Real Russians/ 
who find a hearing at the Court. 

"I see, therefore, no reason to expect that the 
'Government' will do anything in favor of the 
Jews, except propogating the myth that, once 
emancipated, the Jews are certain to be exter- 
minated by the peasantry. I call this a myth, 
because neither at St. Petersburg, Moscow nor 

( 192 ) 


in the province of Kharkov, where I own some 
land, I ever discovered the hatred which the 
workman and the villager are supposed to en- 
tertain against the Jews. 

"You ask me what influence the events in 
Persia and Turkey are likely to exercise upon 
Russian affairs. I suppose they will induce the 
governing class I mean the Court and the high 
bureaucracy to maintain the present state of 
things I mean a Duma composed of persons 
devoted to the interests of the minority of no- 
blemen, high churchmen and landed squires. 

"The Russian Government is, to say the 
least, full of the most amazing inconsistencies. 
Thus, for instance, the authors of articles dis- 
tasteful to the Government are not punished 
only the publishers of such articles are prose- 
cuted. Leo Tolstoy is not prosecuted for his 
writings, but his son, who publishes them, is 
punished. If the Government were consistent 
the signers of the Viborg manifesto, the Dep- 
uties of the First Duma who are now in prison, 
should not have been prosecuted. They were 
merely the authors of that document. 

"How I regard the condition of Russian liter- 
ature? This question is more difficult to 

( 193 ) 


answer. Periods of transition, such as 
the one we are experiencing now in Russia, 
are not as a rule golden ages of literature. 
Why so? The riddle, if there is one, was dis- 
closed to me at one time by Turgenev. I was in- 
sisting upon his writing a new novel, in which 
the men of my generation would be pictured. 
'It cannot be done/ he answered. It is impos- 
sible to give a definite form in literature to per- 
sons and things which have not yet taken a 
definite form in life.' Applying this aphorism 
to the present state of our literature I am in- 
clined to think that our young authors do not 
find it easy to create new types, with two excep- 
tions, that of the 'hooligan/ so admirably rep- 
resented by Gorky and Arzibashev, and of the 
social reformer and agitator of whom you will 
find a less sucessful picture in Gorky's novel, 
'The Mother/ 

"It is to the same cause, the want of definite 
form characterizing our present evolution, that 
I attribute the great development of lyrics. We 
have several dozens of young poets who seek 
new forms and new symbols. Some of them, 
such as Balmont and Valeri Brussov, have 
given excellent translations of Shelley, Cal- 

( 194 ) 


deron and Lope de Vega, and have written ad- 
mirable verses of their own, verses that are 
comparable with those of our great Pushkin. In 
this our revolutionary period reminds me of 
that of 1789-1800 in France, when the great- 
est writer (Andre Chenier) was great on ac- 
count of his lyrical verses and not of his novels. 
We no doubt possess at this moment young 
writers who will be highly appreciated in some 
ten or twenty years, but who so far have not 
given, as the Frenchmen say, 'toute la mesure 
de leur talent/ " 

(195 ) 


famous Russian publicist, an authority 
on international law and a member of 
the Council of the Russian Empire, presented 
to me his views on the Portsmouth Peace 
Treaty. The facts brought out by Prof, Koval- 
evsky show the great skill employed by the 
Russian statesman, the plenipotentiary of a 
defeated country, Sergius Witte, in dealing 
with the representatives of the Mikado and 
with public opinion in America, and the docu- 
ments throw new light on the role played by 
President Roosevelt in forcing both sides into 
signing the peace treaty at Portsmouth. 

Prof. Kovalevsky said that while SQme people 
in defining the significance of the part played 
by the Portsmouth treaty in the development 

( 196 ) 


of Russia recall one of the most tragic moments 
in the life of new Russia, others, perhaps, more 
justly, compare it with Sevastopol, whose fall 
served as the starting point of an era of reforms 
as important at the time as the creation of the 
Duma soon after the signing of the Portsmouth 
Peace Treaty. He added that he was ready to 
express the hope that Portsmouth was not only 
the beginning of Russia's internal rejuvenation, 
but that it also ended the heroic and adven- 
turous period of Russia's foreign policies. 
Russia fought willingly both in the West and in 
the East, now seeking to protect its natural 
boundaries, now eager to unite nationalities of 
the Slavic race, now seeking simply to occupy 
territory supposedly belonging to nobody, and 
which was so poorly protected as the left shore 
of the Amur at the time it was taken by 

"The final word about the Portsmouth Treaty 
can not yet be told," declared Prof. Kovalevsky. 
"But this hardly relieves us of the necessity 
of balancing our accounts from time to time 
as new facts accumulate. Much must still 
remain but half told, and some things must be 
left unexplained. I am not at liberty to disclose 

( 197 ) 


the nearest source of my information. But I 
take upon myself the moral responsibility for 
the authenticity of the documents, admitting 
at the same time their incompleteness." 

Prof. Kovalevsky commenced by reviewing 
the situation in which Russia found itself as 
retreat succeeded retreat, and one defeat of 
Russian arms was followed by another, and 
those of the Russian statesmen who had made 
unsuccessful efforts to prevent Russia from 
plunging into the war considered it their duty 
to lift their voices in favor of peace. He then 
described in detail how Russian officialdom was 
divided on the question of peace at the time 
America stepped in with its offer to act as 
intermediary of peace. 

"Not only the military spheres expressed 
themselves in favor of continuing the war," he 
said. "Their ideas were re-echoed in the con- 
servative press, which was but poorly circulated 
among the people. The mass of the reading 
public, judging by the circulation of the news- 
papers in favor of peace, regarded with appre- 
hension the possibility of new defeats in the 
Far East. And amidst the peasant element 
the war, which had never aroused their sym- 

( 198 ) 


pathy, was becoming ever less popular from 
day to day. 

"But the question arises, why was the first 
proposal of negotiations for peace made by the 
United States ? After a moment's deliberation, 
such a question may seem somewhat naive, and 
if we asked this question it was only because 
the eyes of our diplomats were at one time 
turned toward other powers coming into in- 
comparably smaller contact with political ques- 
tions in the Pacific Ocean than the powerful 
federation which is alone able to contest the 
sovereignty of the sea by the Empire of the 
Rising Sun. 

"In this circumstance, of course, lies the 
nearest reason why the negotiations for peace, 
which were destined to change the subdivision 
of the spheres of influence in the Eastern ocean, 
could start neither in Paris nor in The Hague, 
but in America. America was all the more 
interested in the outcome of the Russo-Japanese 
war, since it had furnished to a considerable 
extent the means for conducting the war. 
Without new credit in America, Togo's fleet 
and Oyama's army would have been powerless 
to finish to the advantage of their fatherland 

( 199 ) 


the greatest conflict thus far between the yellow 
and white races. If public opinion in America 
remained as before on the side of the Japanese 
and all the interests of the United States did 
not concentrate upon one thing the speediest 
conclusion of peace on such conditions which, 
while satisfying the national self-respect of the 
Japanese and securing their capacity of paying 
their debts, would at the same time not transfer 
into their hands the hegemony of the Pacific 
Ocean, then the Russian plenipotentiaries, or, 
to be more exact, Count Witte, could never have 
succeeded in returning from Portsmouth with 
the text of the treaty guaranteeing, as we ven- 
ture to hope, peace in the Far East for many 
years to come. 


"The whole cleverness of Count Witte con- 
sisted, first, in his ability to win over public 
opinion in the United States, which until then 
was hostile to Russia, to dispose it in Russia's 
favor so strongly that even President Roosevelt, 
notwithstanding his personal relations and 
friendly sympathy which bound him together 
with one of the Japanese diplomats, had to 
submit to the influence of the rise of sympathy 

( 200 ) 


in the hearts of the American Nation for the 
people of the white race. 

"Our plenipotentiary has done in this respect 
everything possible. He also conferred with 
Jewish bankers not concerning a loan, but 
concerning means of protecting the life and 
property of their co-religionists in Russia. 

"At these conferences Witte, promising noth- 
ing formally, did not defend, but made apologies 
for 1he conduct of Russia with regard to the 
Jews, explaining that this policy had its critics 
even among Russia's statesmen, and therefore 
this policy would undoubtedly undergo consid- 
erable changes in the near future." 

Prof. Kovalevsky then went on to say that 
having watched from Europe, through the 
American press, the change in the people's 
sympathy from victorious Japan to Russia, 
he felt hopeful that despite any difficulties, 
despite the excessive demands made by the one 
and the obstinateness of the other power, things 
would in the end turn in favor of Russia. And 
these hopes were realized, said Prof. Kovalev- 
sky, just because public opinion in America 
realized at the critical moment its interests, 
which brought it closer to the white nation 

( 201 ) 


for the Americans were no longer afraid of 
Russia's policy of "the closed door," while they 
regarded with jealousy the sudden growth of 
the military and political power of the yellow 
race, whose faith and culture were strange to 

"When, on May 25, 1905, the American Am- 
bassador von Lengerke Meyer, in an audience 
with the Czar told him of President Roosevelt's 
readiness to offer to both warring powers his 
services as an arbitrator and to arrange a 
meeting of accredited representatives of both 
sides for the purpose of ascertaining the ques- 
tion as to the possibility of terminating the 
war, the Russian as well as the European press 
seemed unable at once to give itself an account 
as to why America and no other power was 
called by circumstances to pave the way toward 
the cessation of the vainly protracted blood- 

"This idea was very clearly expressed in the 
instructions given to the American Ambassador 
by the President of the United States. Ac- 
cording to the President, he voiced the convic- 
tion of all those who stood outside the conflict, 
among whom also were Russia's warmest 

( 202 ) 


friends, holding that the present war was hope- 
less for Russia, and that it might end only in 
the loss of the Russian dominions in Eastern 
Asia. In order to prevent such an event, which 
the President regarded as a disaster, and an 
imminent disaster, President Roosevelt resolved 
to offer to both sides, at his own risk and upon 
his own responsibility, without any outside in- 
tervention, to ascertain the question as to possi- 
ble conditions of peace. 

"The Russian Ambassador in the United 
States, Count Cassini, was the first to hear of 
this proposal from the President. The head 
of the American Government did not consider 
it necessary to hide that the speediest conclu- 
sion of peace was in the interests of Europe as 
well as of the United States. Cassini availed 
himself of the opportunity of remarking, by 
the way, to the President that the strengthen- 
ing of the Japanese fleet at the cost of the 
Russian fleet would hardly be in the interests 
of the United States Government. Cassini 
himself carried away the impression that 
Roosevelt was frightened by the recent victor- 
ies, that he had an undoubted influence over 
the Japanese, and that he was favorably dis- 
posed to Russia. 

( 203 ) 


"The task of our chief plenipotentiary, Count 
Witte," went on Prof. Kovalevsky, "was rend- 
ered all the more difficult by the circumstance 
that it was expected of him 'to establish solid 
friendly relations with Japan, so that Russia's 
position in the future in the Far East shall be 
secure, giving us an opportunity to direct our 
creative forces to the internal organization of 
the empire and to protect our vital interests in 
the Near East as well as in the West/ Ac- 
cording to reports from the United States, the 
President gave the newly appointed Russian 
Ambassador, Baron Rosen, to understand that 
the conditions on which the Japanese would 
agree to conclude peace were unknown to him, 
but that he had all reason to believe that Rus- 
sia's proposal to stop the war operations before 
the conclusion of peace would not appeal to the 
Japanese Government. 

"During Baron Rosen's visit at Oyster Bay, 
President Roosevelt did not conceal from the 
Russian envoy that in the beginning of the con- 
flict between Russia and Japan all his sympa- 
thies were on the side of the latter, but in the 
course of events on the battlefield his sympathy 
commenced to turn to the side of Russia. The 

( 204 ) 


complete dislodgement of Russia from the 
shores of the Pacific, from the standpoint of 
the political balance in the Far East, seemed to 
the President most undesirable for the United 
States. Considering the war as already lost 
to the Russians, President Roosevelt did not 
conceal his apprehensions that in case the war 
should continue Russia would be deprived not 
only of Sakhalin, but of all ^er possessions on 
the Pacific. 

"In view of this he advised that peace be 
concluded as quickly as possible, however diffi- 
cult the conditions. 'Neither peace at Prut, 
signed by Peter, nor the Treaty of Paris, which 
ended the Crimean War/ said President Roose- 
velt, 'harmed the military prestige of Russia, 
nor did they check the natural growth of her 
power. The same will happen again at 

"In the United States," said Prof. Kovalev- 
sky, "not all approved the President's inter- 
vention in the Russo-Japanese relations, and 
declared him to be onesided because of his 
desire to support the Japanese interests and 
those of her ally England. Roosevelt tried 
to show the groundlessness of such an estimate 

( 205 ) 


of his attitude. In official spheres in the 
United States it was also hinted that the Brit- 
ish Government pointed out to Japan that she 
would hardly ever have a better opportunity to 
avail herself of her position in this war and to 
strike Russia a sufficiently decisive blow to ren- 
der her completely powerless in the Far East. 

"These reports," declared Prof. Kovalevsky, 
"were contradicted by the reports received by 
the Russian diplomats directly from England, 
and besides they seemed improbable, for it was 
hardly in the interests of Japan's ally to create 
for Japan a position of sovereign of the 
eastern seas. 

"The reports received by the Russian diplo- 
mats from London were in time confirmed. In 
an article on Portsmouth, which appeared in 
the Revue de Droit International et de Legis- 
lation Comparee, we read the following con- 
cerning public opinion in England toward both 
warring nations at the time of the beginning 
of negotiations for peace : 'Germany as well as 
England wanted peace to be concluded. The 
humiliation of Russia seemed profitable from 
the point of view of English interests ; all that 
was gained by Japan during the war was re- 

( 206 ) 


garded as thoroughly guaranteeing her political 
and economic development, and the commercial 
advantages gained by her were so great that 
they themselves covered all the losses of the 
war. * * * England was of course glad of 
the decline of Russia's influence in Asia, but 
she did not want to weaken it completely in 
Europe, for this would have strengthened the 
authority of Germany in Europe. This con- 
sideration compelled England to insist upon 
Japan's accepting the terms of peace.' 

"There are reasons to believe," Prof. Kovalev- 
sky continued, "that at the same time with 
Witte the President of the United States was 
in constant communication with one of the 
Japanese statesmen who from the very outset 
had little faith in his nation's success in that 
war. I am referring to Baron Kaneko, who was 
sent to the United States as a financial agent. 
He was commissioned by his Government to 
secure foreign loans. Kaneko kept up his re- 
lations with the President, and was well in- 
formed on all that was being done in regard 
to the agreement. 

"From various reports received in St. Peters- 
burg it was evident that Witte had produced a 

( 207 ) 


most favorable impression upon the President. 
Mr. Roosevelt did not hide from him that the 
new account of the situation as presented by 
him gave rise in his (Mr. Roosevelt's) mind to 
certain doubts concerning the probability of 
future victories for the Japanese. He admitted 
that he had judged the Russian situation one- 
sidedly. At the same time he insisted that it 
was essential for both sides to end the war. 

"The plan outlined by the Russian envoy 
shows that Witte knew well the part that was 
to be played in the final solution of the question 
by public opinion in America as well as in Eu- 
rope. Convinced that the Japanese would not 
weaken in their principal demands, Witte 
nevertheless did not come to the conclusion that 
it was necessary to discontinue all further ne- 
gotiations. 'I am deeply convinced/ he wrote, 
'that we must direct the matter so as to attract 
to our side not only all Russians, but also the 
public opinion of the whole world. Only then, 
if we should have to enter into a prolonged 
war, we shall conquer the enemy, with the help 
of God. If America and Europe will stop giv- 
ing Japan financial aid, will cease sympathiz- 

( 208 ) 


ing with her and will be on our side morally, 
we shall defeat the foe.' 

"Witte continued to have no faith in the 
probability of attaining peace. On the first 
of August he wrote to the Minister of Finance 
that there would be no agreement, that it was 
necessary to prepare for a long war, and that 
it was therefore necessary for Russia to busy 
herself with the opening of foreign money mar- 
kets. The Japanese are figuring, he added, 
that we will not get any money abroad. And, 
indeed, all those with whom I had occasion to 
speak gave me to understand that under pres- 
ent conditions it is more than difficult for us to 
get money. It is therefore necessary, con- 
cluded Witte, to change such an attitude toward 
us and to follow in this respect the example of 
the Japanese and that is to influence the press 
systematically and to attract to our side in- 
fluential people. Important financial opera- 
tions are possible only in America and particu- 
larly in France. Germany is not able to give 
much, even in the event it should evince an 
inclination to do so. * * * My arrival in 
America, he wrote, has created the proper at- 
mosphere, If cultivated, it will be possible to 

( 209 ) 


carry through a financial operation; but it is 
especially necessary to attend to France. It is 
essential to come to a serious understanding 
with the French Government, and to do the 
same with the big financiers of both parties, 
'the Lyons credit/ and Rothschild's party. 

"Notwithstanding the lack of confidence on 
the part of Witte in the happy outcome of the 
negotiations, he agreed to take the advice of 
President Roosevelt with regard to the order 
of considering the various questions of the 
treaty separately. Mr. Roosevelt proposed to 
discuss first those questions on which an agree- 
ment was likely to be reached. Witte had 
thought at first that such a method would result 
only in loss of time. In all likelihood, added 
the Russian envoy, President Roosevelt had 
said the same to the Japanese, and in this way 
we may explain why they are evading the ques- 
tions on which disagreement is imminent. 

"From this statement it is evident," says 
Prof. Kovalevsky, "that President Roosevelt did 
everything in his power to prevent a breaking 
of the negotiations. Witte explained Mr. 
Roosevelt's persistence by saying that, being 
the initiator of the conference, for which he 

( 210 ) 


was attacked by his political enemies, Mr. 
Roosevelt would naturally have been vexed 
more than anybody else if the plenipotentaries 
were to break off negotiations right after the 
first meeting. 

"On August 4 Witte wrote to Count Lamsdorf , 
the Minister of Foreign Affairs, that in case the 
peace negotiations should be broken off, Mr. 
Roosevelt would not take the initiative in call- 
ing another conference. Witte added in this 
communication: 1 have not the slightest doubt 
that a continuance of the war would be the 
greatest misfortune for Russia. We may be 
able to defend ourselves more or less success- 
fully, but we will hardly be able to defeat Japan. 
The only favorable outlook for the future may 
be based perhaps on the exhaustion of her 

"The War and Navy Departments," resumed 
Prof. Kovalevsky, "were for war, and Admiral 
Birilev, in charge of the Navy Department, 
ascribing all of our defeats to the inability of 
our commanding Generals, spoke of the past 
defeats as unimportant. But the Minister of 
Foreign Affairs found it necessary to transmit 
to the Generals in command the latest tele- 

(211 ) 


grams received from Witte, in which he said: 
'I dare to express my opinion frankly that we 
could categorically break off all negotiations 
with Japan only on condition of complete con- 
fidence that the army commanded by Gen. Line- 
vich can defeat the enemy.' The Russian Gov- 
ernment was beginning to feel even more con- 
vinced that the time for the conference to end 
its activity had arrived. 

"In answer to a new cable received from 
Baron Rosen on August 9, in which he trans- 
mitted the contents of a conversation with 
President Roosevelt concerning the possible 
terms of peace, word was sent from the Czar 
that the Japanese needed money in the worst 
way, and that Russia would not give any money, 
and that there can be no agreement on that 
point. Therefore it would be aimless to con- 
tinue this state of uncertainty. Just at this 
moment, when apparently everything had been 
tried, and Russia stood on the eve of a renewal 
of the war operations, Mr. Roosevelt sent to 
Witte, for transmission to St. Petersburg by 
cable, his message to the Czar. 

"On the same day evidently fearing lest 
Witte should not carry out his instruction with 

( 212 ) 


regard to transmiting the message the Presi- 
dent cabled to the American Ambassador to see 
the Czar and transmit to him exactly the same 
message. At the same time the President had 
done everything possible to dispose the Japan- 
ese toward yielding. In a letter to Baron 
Kaneko he pointed out to him that it was not 
becoming in Japan to continue the war simply 
for the sake of getting an indemnity. 

" 1 would not blame Japan/ he said in that 
document, 'if she had broken off negotiations 
on account of Sakhalin; but if the war will be 
renewed merely for the sake of money she will 
not get it, and will also quickly lose the sym- 
pathy of the American people as well as that of 
other nations/ 

" 'It is in the interest of Japan/ President 
Roosevelt said in an additional telegram to 
Baron Kaneko, 'to end the war at this time. 
Japan has secured the mastery of Korea and 
Manchuria; she has doubled her own fleet by 
destroying the Russian fleet; she has taken 
Port Arthur, Dalny, the Manchurian Railroad; 
she has occupied Sakhalin. Japan will be wise 
if she now end the war triumphantly. From 
the ethical point of view Japan has a duty 

( 213 ) 


toward the entire civilised world, which expects 
from her the conclusion of peace. Let her 
show her superiority in questions of inter- 
national morals in the same measure as in the 
art of war. An appeal is made to her in the 
name of all that is lofty and noble. I hope 
Japan will not remain deaf to this appeal.' 

"On August 10 the Czar instructed the 
American Ambassador to transmit the follow- 
ing message to President Roosevelt : 

" 'Desiring to show his complete readiness in 
every way to help the restoration of peace, and 
thus further the desires of President Roosevelt, 
who has expressed so sincerely his friendly 
feelings toward Russia, his imperial Majesty 
agrees to concede to the Japanese the southern 
part of Sakhalin occupied by them.'" 

"After this there could not be the slightest 
doubt that the continuance of the war was called 
for exclusively by Japan on the ground of 
monetary calculations, and this placed her in 
the position of either disdaining public opinion, 
which had been until then on her side, or con- 
tenting herself with the advantages already 
made so secure for her at the conference. 

"At a critical moment the Mikado recognized 

( 214 ) 


all the disadvantages that might arise for the 
future of Japan and her credit from further 
stubbornness. Not, however, until he had re- 
ceived a new reminder from the American 
Government, or, to be more exact, from the 
President. Now through Witte, now through 
the American Ambassador at the Russian 
Court, Mr. Roosevelt unceasingly insisted that 
the Russians should interpret as broadly as 
possible the right of the Japanese to get 
an indemnity for the expenditures in support- 
ing the captives of war, and that the Japanese 
in their turn should give up the idea about a 
war indemnity. 

"Notwithstanding all these intercessions the 
Czar remained unmoved. Witte and the 
American Ambassador were notified by the 
Czar that no war indemnity of any kind would 
be paid, but that a liberal sum would be paid 
for the care and support of the Russian cap- 
tives. The Government of the United States 
in order to induce the Russian Government to 
yield, found it necessary to inform it of the 
exact state of Japan's finances, which assured 
the possibility of prolonging the war for a long 
time. President Roosevelt in a message to 

( 215 ) 


the American Ambassador the contents of 
which were later transmitted to Count Lams- 
dorf made this clear. 

"On August 23, after the signing of the 
treaty, Count Witte sent the following cable 
to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: The treaty 
with Japan, like every other treaty, states only 
the general principles. There is no doubt that 
each paragraph will call forth a mass of ques- 
tions. The bringing into life of the treaty will 
depend in a great measure upon the manner in 
which our relations to Japan will be estab- 
lished from the very outset. If the Japanese 
will see that we really desire to live with them 
in peace, and that we have no hind thoughts, I 
feel certain that they too will begin to trust us, 
that all questions touched in the treaty will be 
solved to our mutual satisfaction.' 

"It was then that Witte recommended to 
appoint an Ambassador instead of a Minister 
in Japan and this desire of Witte's has only 
recently been fulfilled. It may be said that 
Count Witte's present attitude in questions of 
Russia's policy in the Far East is marked with 
the same care that found expression in the text 
of the above cable. All his statements, in- 

( 216 ) 


eluding his views on the Amur Railroad ques- 
tion, were called forth by the same desire to 
live in peace with our opponents and to treat 
them in a straightforward manner." 

In conclusion, Prof. Kovalevsky paid a 
high tribute to Count Witte. He said: "The 
Portsmouth peace treaty is recognized in Eu- 
rope as our only victory during the time of the 
war and there is a good deal of truth in this 
epigram. Our forces on land and sea proved 
to be weaker than the Japanese, but our diplo- 
macy triumphed over their diplomacy, perhaps 
because at that given moment it was guided 
not by a diplomat, but by a real statesman, even 
though of the 'old order.' " 

June, 1908. 

President Roosevelt's First Cablegram to 
Ambassador Meyer, August 9, 1905.* 

Please see his Majesty personally immediate- 
ly and deliver the following message from me : 
"I earnestly ask your Majesty to believe that 

*Thetewt of these tico cablegrams sent by President Roose- 
velt to be transmitted to the Czar on August 9 and August 
13, was published by me for the first time in my article in 
The New York Times, August2&, 1908. 

( 217 ) 


in what I am about to say and to advise I 
speak as the earnest friend of Russia and give 
you the advice I should give if I were a Russian 
patriot and statesman. The Japanese have, as 
I understand it, abandoned their demands for 
the interned ships and the limitation of the 
Russian naval power in the Pacific, which con- 
ditions I felt were improper for Russia to yield 
to. Moreover, I find out to my surprise and 
pleasure that the Japanese are willing to res- 
tore the north half of Saghalien to Russia, 
Russia, of course, in such case to pay a sub- 
stantial sum for this surrender of territory by 
the Japanese and for the return of Russian 

"It seems to me that if peace can be ob- 
tained substantially on these terms, it will be 
both just and honorable, and that it would be 
a dreadful calamity to have the war continued 
when peace can thus be obtained. 

"Of the twelve points which the plenipoten- 
tiaries have been discussing, on eight they have 
come to a substantial agreement. Two, which 
were offensive to Russia, the Japanese will, as 
I understand it, withdraw. The remaining two 
can be met by agreement in principle that the 

( 218 ) 


Japanese sKall restore or retrocede to Russia 
the north half of Saghalien, while Russia, of 
course, pays an adequate sum for this retroces- 
sion and for Russian prisoners. If this agree- 
ment can be made, the question as to the exact 
amount can be a subject of negotiation. 

"Let me repeat how earnestly I feel that it 
is for Russia's interests to conclude peace on 
substantially these terms. No one can foretell 
the continuance of war, and I have no doubt 
that it is to Japan's advantage to conclude 
peace. But in my judgment it is infinitely 
more to the advantage of Russia. If peace is 
not made now, and war is continued, it may 
well be that, though the financial strain upon 
Japan would be severe, yet in the end Russia 
would be shorn of those East Siberian provinces 
which have been won for her by the heroism of 
her sons during the last three centuries. The 
proposed peace leaves the ancient boundaries 
absolutely intact. The only change in territory 
will be that Japan will recover that part of 
Saghalien which was hers up to thirty years 
ago. As Saghalien is an island, it is, humanly 
speaking, impossible that the Russians should 
reconquer it, in view of the disaster to their 

( 219 ) 


navy, and to keep the north half of it as a 
guarantee for the security of Vladivostok and 
Eastern Siberia for Russia. 

"It seems to me that every consideration of 
national self-interest, of military expediency, 
and of broad humanity, makes it eminently 
wise and just for Russia to conclude peace sub- 
stantially along these lines, and it is my hope 
and prayer that your Majesty may take this 


President Roosevelt's Second Cablegram to 
Ambassador Meyer, Sent August 13, 1905. 

"My second cable was forwarded after the 
arrival of your first. Japan has now on deposit 
in the United States about 50,000 of the last 
war loan. Please tell his Majesty that I dis- 
like intruding my advice on him again, but for 
fear of misapprehension I venture again to have 
these statements made to him. 

"I, of course, would not have him act against 
his conscience, but I earnestly hope his con- 
science will guide him so as to prevent the con- 
tinuance of war, when this continuance may 
involve Russia in a greater calamity than has 

( 220 ) 


ever befallen it since it first rose to power in 
both Europe and Asia. 

"I see it publicly announced to-day by the 
Minister for Foreign Affairs that Russia will 
neither pay money nor surrender territory. I 
beg his Majesty to consider that such an an- 
nouncement means absolutely nothing when 
Sakhaline is already in the hands of Japanese. 
If on such theory the war is persevered in, no 
one can foretell the result, but the merged 
representatives of the Powers most friendly to 
Russia assure me that the continuance of the 
war will probably mean the loss not merely of 
Sakhaline, but of Eastern Siberia, and if after 
a year of struggle this proves true, then any 
peace which came could only come on terms 
which would indicate a real calamity. 

"Most certainly I think it will be a bad thing 
for Japan to go on with the war, but I think 
it will be a far worse thing for Russia. There 
is now a fair chance of getting peace on honor- 
able terms, and it seems to me that it will be 
a dreadful thing for Russia and the civilized 
world if the chance is thrown away. My ad- 
vices are that the plenipotentiaries at Ports- 
mouth have come to a substantial agreement 

( 221 ) 


on every point except the money question and 
the question of Sakhaline. 

"Let it now be announced that as regards 
these two points peace shall be made on the 
basis of the retrocession of the north half of 
Sakhaline to Russia on payment of a sum of 
redemption of money by Russia, the amount of 
this redemption of money and the amount to 
be paid for the Russian prisoners to be settled 
by further negotiations. This does not com- 
mit the Russian Government as to what sum 
shall be paid, leaving it open to further ne- 

"If it is impossible for Russia and Japan to 
come to an agreement on this sum, they might 
possibly call in the advice of, say, some high 
French or German official appointed by or with 
the consent of Russia and some English official 
appointed by or with the consent of Japan, and 
have these latter then report to the negotiators. 
This, it seems to me, would be an entirely 
honorable way of settling the difficulty. I can- 
not, of course, guarantee that Japan will agree 
to this proposal, but if his Majesty agrees to 
it I will endeavor to get the Japanese Govern- 
ment to do likewise. 

( 222 ) 


"I earnestly hope that this cable of mine can 
receive his Majesty's attention before the en- 
voys meet to-morrow, and I cannot too strongly 
say that I feel that peace now may prevent un- 
told calamities in the future. Let me repeat 
that in this proposal I suggest that neither 
Russia nor Japan do anything but face accom- 
plished facts, and that I do not specify or at- 
tempt to specify the amount to be paid as re- 
demption money for the north half of Sakha- 
line to be settled by further negotiation. I fear 
that if these terms are rejected it may not be 
possible that Japan will give up the idea of 
making peace or of ever getting money, and 
she will decide to take and to keep Sakhaline 
and Kharbine and the whole Siberian Man- 
churian Railway, and this, of course, would 
mean that she would take Eastern Siberia. 

"Such a loss to Russia would in my judgment 
be a disaster of portentous size, and I earnestly 
desire to save Russia from such a risk. If 
peace is made on the terms I have mentioned, 
Russia is left at the end of this war substan- 
tially unharmed, the national honor and inter- 
est saved, and the result of what Russians have 
done in Asia since the days of Ivan the Terrible 

( 223 ) 


"But if peace is now rejected, and if Japan 
decides that it is better she will give up the idea 
of obtaining any redemption money or any 
other sum, no matter how small, the military 
situation is such that there is at least a good 
chance, and on estimate of most outside ob- 
servers a strong probability, that though Japan 
will have to make heavy sacrifices she will yet 
take Harbin, Vladivostok, and Eastern Siberia, 
and if this is once done the probabilities are 
overwhelming that she could never be dis- 

"I cannot too strongly state my conviction 
that while peace in accordance with the sug- 
gestions above outlined is earnestly to be de- 
sired, from the standpoint of the whole world 
and from the standpoint of both combatants, 
yet that, far above all, it is chiefly to Russia's 
interest and perhaps to her vital interest that 
it should come in this way and at this time. 


( 224 ) 


Drawing by Marcue 


BUT a short time ago there existed a say- 
ing in Turkey that the Sultan is the 
shadow of God on earth, and that the 
shadow of the Sultan is the Sheikh-ul-Islam, 
the religious head of all the Moslems. When 
in April, by order of the famous Fetwa, pre- 
sided over by the Sheikh-ul-Islam, Abdul 
Hamid was deposed, the new Sultan, though 
very popular with the people, ceased to be the 
shadow of God on earth. The circumstances 
under which he has been proclaimed Khalif of 
the Ottoman Empire have made him a mere 

The Parliament, or rather the Union and 
Progress Committee of the Young Turks, is 
for the present the almighty power in the land. 

( 225 ) 


But there is one man whose authority has in- 
creased with the decline of the Sultan's power, 
and that man is the Sheikh-ul-Islam. Indeed 
those who know Turkey intimately, are of the 
opinion that his authority is even greater than 
that of the Parliament, for while the Parlia- 
ment has at present the support of the army, 
the Sheikh-ul-Islam has the masses behind him 
the blindly believing, fanatic hordes, headed 
by the hod j as, the Turkish priests, who exert 
a tremendous influence upon their followers, 
and who have on numerous occasions demon- 
strated their readiness to urge the massacre of 
those who oppose Islam. 

Who knows what would happen, what hor- 
rors would be perpetrated, what outrages com- 
mitted, and what bloodshed caused, if for some 
reason or another the Parliament and the 
Sheikh-ul-Islam should clash? The people of 
Turkey are afraid even to speak of it. But 
the wisest minds of the Ottoman Empire real- 
ize the danger of irritating Islam at the pres 
ent time, and therefore many reforms must 
wait for the opportune moment, when they may 
be introduced without shocking the religious 
sensibilities of the Moslems. 

( 226 ) 


It is for these reasons that of all the Turkish 
statesmen I was particularly eager to meet the 
Sheikh-ul-Islam and to learn from his own lips 
whether a bridge can really be built between 
Mecca and the Parliament and whether the Con- 
stitution does not clash with the Koran. 

The opportunity of securing an audience with 
the Sheikh, the chief of the Moslems, pre- 
sented itself to me in the Yildiz, the palace of 
the deposed Sultan, which has now been thrown 
open to the public. On Friday, after the 
Selamlik, when the first concert was given for 
the benefit of the public at the Yildiz, the occa- 
sion was turned into a merry festival and a day 
of great rejoicing. The saviors of the constitu- 
tion were proudly walking up and down the 
beautiful alleys of the park, and the people 
were rowing in the boats which a few months 
ago had been used by Abdul Hamid. A band 
was playing and singing patriotic songs, and the 
words of the songs, as well as the melodies, 
though old, seemed to carry a new meaning to 
the people, who cheered and applauded wildly. 
It was under these surroundings that I made the 
acquaintance of the son of the Sheikh-ul-Islam. 
With him was Col. Galib Bey, the head of the 

( 227 ) 


gendarmerie, one of the heroes of the new 
regime and one of the three men chosen to no- 
tify Abdul Hamid that he had been deposed. 

Upon my inquiry whether it would be possible 
for me to secure an audience with the Sheikh- 
ul-Islam, his son extended to me an invitation 
to the Islamate for the following day. 

It was about 10 o'clock in the morning when 
I started in a carriage from Pera to Stambul. 
The narrow, crooked, filthy streets of Constan- 
tinople were crowded with pedestrians in parti- 
colored gowns and turbans, the women wearing 
chiefly the charchafs, black dresses, their faces 
covered with black veils all walking in the 
middle of the streets. A jarring noise stood 
continuously in the air. People were shouting 
their wares in desperate tones, little donkeys 
carrying heavy and bulky burden? w^re bray- 
ing plaintively, and from time to time a dog 
barked lazily. 

We neared the tower of Stambul, and as it 
was somewhat too early to go over to the Is- 
lamate, I entered the Sulieman Mosque near 
by. It was a mercilessly hot day, but within 
the mosque it was very cool. On the floor, in 
one of the corners, sat a group of four sof tas, 

( 228 ) 


theological students, and, swaying their bodies 
back and forth, studied the Koran. They were 
reading softly, in a sing-song, but the extra- 
ordinary acoustics carried their voices from 
one corner of the tremendous building to the 
other. A little distance away from the stu- 
dents several men lay outstretched on the floor, 
fast asleep. These were workmen who had 
come to the Mosque in quest of shelter from 
the heat. Men in picturesque garb walked in 
and, turning toward the direction of the sun, 
knelt, kissed the matted floor, and prayed fer- 
vently. Suddenly the shrill voice of a little boy 
studying the Koran by heart resounded. He 
swayed his body back and forth with dizzying 
rapidity. Near him a Turkish army officer, his 
sword, his coat, and shoes removed and placed 
in a heap at his side, sat on the ground, also 
studying the Koran. The workmen, some twen- 
ty-five or thirty in number, kept sleeping, un- 
disturbed by the sing-song of the studeni3. 
Now and then one of the workmen would 
stretch himself, rise slowly and walk out, 

I started from the Mosque to the house of 
the Sheikh-ul-Islam. The square was crowded 

( 229 ) 


with beggars, cripples of all kinds side by side 
with strong strapping men, seated on the 
ground with outstretched hands. A woman 
clad in black, her face veiled, dropped a coin 
into the hand of one beggar, made a few steps 
forward, then paused. The happy recipient of 
the coin bowed his head in gratitude. Sud- 
denly the woman, surrounded by a crowd of 
beggars, young and old, walked up to the man 
on the ground and shouted: 

"Pray, you rascal! Why don't you pray?" 

And he rattled off a prayer mechanically in 
a tone that sounded like a sob. 

Near the beggars lay clusters of yellow dogs 
one of the most characteristic features of 
the streets of Constantinople, the dogs having 
been aptly styled the Street Cleaning Depart- 
ment of the Capital of Turkey. 

The department of the Islamate consists of 
several large, low, yellow-colored buildings. At 
the entrance of the yard men are selling beads 
and cakes. In the hallways of the building 
where the religious head of the nation attends 
to the business of Islam, hod j as in fine cloaks 
and underlings in tattered clothes, and old 
women in black, chiefly widows of priests, are 

( 230 ) 


lounging around the walls, in various positions, 
waiting for their monthly allowances and pen- 

My companion, a young Turk, a for- 
mer schoolmate of the Sheikh-ul-Islam's son, led 
the way to the old Turk who took my card to 
the Sheikh, eying us suspiciously. In the cor- 
ridor we had to remove our shoes and put on 
huge slippers. The priests and the women 
walked about in their stockings. 

Two minutes later I found myself in the 
presence of the man who guides the destinies of 

The new Sheikh, whose name is Sahib Molla 
Effendi, and who before his appointment to this 
highest post had been a member of the Council 
of the Empire, admired by those who know him 
for his liberal views, for which he was hated 
and persecuted by Abdul Hamid, is a tall, white- 
haired man of about sixty-five. He wore a 
white turban on his head and a loose brown 
cloak, his white beard was beautifully shaped, 
and his remarkably youthful and searching 
eyes were smiling from under his large jet- 
black eyebrows. He rose when we entered and 
stretched out his hand. 

( 231 ) 


"My son spoke to me about you. I am very 
glad to meet you," he said warmly, pointing to 
a seat on the lounge opposite him. 

My young companion kissed the Sheikh's 
hand and made a low bow. When we took our 
seats, the Sheikh bowed to us again, as is the 
custom in Turkey. 

"I am glad to make the acquaintance of the 
Sheikh-ul-Islam of new Turkey," I said. 

The Sheikh smiled, bowed low, and answered : 

"Turkey is going through a crisis now. There 
is a dearth of men of strong, great men. I 
realize that this high office needs a greater man 
than I am." 

He paused for awhile. Then he added: 

"I know quite well that I have been selected 
by the Sultan not because I am the right man 
for the post, but rather because there are so 
few real men in Turkey at present." 

An old Turk entered and whispered some- 
thing to the Sheikh. The Sheikh then turned 
to us and said: 

"You will forgive me, I hope, if I will receive 
a few people here and attend to some pressing 
affairs. It will take but a few minutes, and 
then we can speak without being disturbed." 

( 282 ) 


The Sheikh rang the bell and ordered to 
have tea brought in. He poured it into small 
glasses himself, sweetened it, and handed me 
one of the glasses. 

In the meantime a white-haired hodja en- 
tered, kissed the Sheikh's hand and not daring 
to sit down in the chair near the Sheikh's low 
table, bent down toward the Sheikh, speaking 
softly, in a cringing tone. The burden of his 
request was that his pension be given to him 

"Allah knows my pension is small enough, 
and now I am not getting it all," he said tear- 

The Sheikh lifted his hand to his lips quickly 
and whispered tenderly: 

"Hush! You must not speak of such mat- 
ters in this way. Everything is being straight- 
ened out now. I shall see to it that your pen- 
sion will be given to you regularly henceforth." 

The old priest sank down to the ground, 
kissed the hem of the Sheikh's cloak, and 
stepped out of the room backward, bowing rev- 

One after another a half dozen men came in. 
Some had come to ask the Sheikh to promote 

( 233 ) 


them, another begged to be transferred to a 
district closer to Constantinople. I saw the 
priest who wished to be transferred a while be- 
fore in the corridor. His black robe was of the 
finest cloth and on his head was a beautiful 
turban. In the corridor he stood alone, away 
from the crowd, his pose bespeaking an air of 
haughtiness, a look of sternness in his eyes. 
Now, in the presence of the Sheikh, his tall 
figure contracted and bent down all the while 
he spoke, an unnatural smile played in his 
eyes and on his lips as he cringed and kissed 
the Sheikh's hand, kneeling before him and 
kissing the hem of his cloak. 

The Sheikh settled the various questions with 
a smile, a word or two, and a stroke of the pen. 

Finally he turned to me, his face beaming 
with smiles, as he said: 

"Now we shall not be disturbed. I am glad, 
indeed, that you have come to see me. There 
is nothing better on earth than to come and 
see the truth with one's own eyes, instead of 
believing in hearsay. Especially is this true 
of Turkey, now more than ever before. 

"Unfortunately so much is being written 
about us by people who do not know us and 

( 234 ) 


who do not take the pains of learning some- 
thing about us." 

The first question I asked was whether it 
was true that according to the Koran there 
could not be a constitutional form of govern- 
ment in Turkey, as the Koran prohibited any 
legislation to emanate from anybody save the 

"Why, no, that is all wrong," replied the 
Sheikh-ul-Islam, with a smile. "The Constitu- 
tion has grown out of our religion. In fact, 
the Moslem religion orders a constitutional 
government. The Koran tells us that the wise 
men of the nation shall come together and de- 
cide what is best for all the people. Thus it 
may be said that the Koran actually gave birth 
to the Constitution." 

He lit a long cigarette and added: 

"The Sultan, of course, is our chief, for our 
religion tells us that a great nation cannot be 
without a chief." 

As I sat there I recalled how the former 
Sheikh-ul-Islam had defined the importance of 
the Khalif . It was at the time of the visit of 
Kaiser Wilhelm to Constantinople and the Holy 

( 235 ) 


"The Sultan is superior to all the other 
rulers," said the old Sheikh. "The Sultan is 
God's representative potentate on earth. But 
as it is impossible for the Sultan to be present 
everywhere, such rulers as the Kaiser of Ger- 
many, the King of England, the President of 
France, and the President of the United States 
have been made his assistants. Under such 
circumstances," declared the Sheikh, "it is not 
proper for the Sultan to be the first to greet 
the Kaiser." 

When Sultan and Kaiser met, and Abdul 
Hamid stretched out his hand first to greet his 
royal guest, the Sheikh-ul-Islam, who stood at 
his side, declared in a burst of anger: 

"The Sultan is degrading God by degrading 

The difference in the definitions of the Sul- 
tan, as given by the former and the present 
Sheikhs, mirrors the attitude of the religious 
Moslems toward their rulers in the past and 
the present. 

In the following question I asked how Islam 
looked upon people of other faiths and upon 
non-believers. His answer came slowly, in 
measured tones: 

( 236 ) 


"There is no difference between Mohamme- 
dan, Jew, or Christian in the eyes of a true 
Moslem. All are equal. The only place where 
our ways part are at prayer we go to the 
mosque, while they go to a synagogue or 
church. In fact, as far as we are concerned, 
our ways need not part even then, for we Mos- 
lems are at liberty to pray anywhere. We do 
not make the slightest discrimination against 
those who do not believe as we do. We look 
upon their goods as our goods, and upon their 
life as our life, and we try to protect them in 
every way. The Moslem who does not believe 
in Moses, the founder of Judaism, and Christ, 
the founder of Christianity, as prophets, is not 
a true Moslem. Of course, Mohammed, who 
came later than Moses and Christ, and who 
found the world in a dreadful state of demoral- 
ization, has improved upon their teachings. 
Otherwise all the prophets are equal. As for 
non-believers, we feel sorry for them, we pity 
them, but we do not persecute them. Our 
sympathies are naturally with believers, but 
we are not angry at agnostics. Their con- 
science is their own affair." 

"Have you written any works on religious 
subjects?" I asked. 

(287 ) 


"No, I have not written anything. I have 
never had a moment of unoccupied time. I 
believe it is a sad waste of time to write, unless 
one is sure that he can produce a great and 
useful work." 

"May I know who are your favorite writers 
in Europe?" 

The Sheikh-ul-Islam hesitated. 

"May I know your opinion of the works of 
such writers as Goethe, Voltaire, Tolstoy?" 

The Sheikh smiled, and it was evident from 
the expression of his face that he had not heard 
these names before. 

"I have not read their works, for the same 
reason that I have not written any books my- 
self. I have not had any unoccupied time. 
But I am of course familiar with Arabic litera- 

I explained to him Tolstoy's place in modern 
literature, the nature of his latest writings, 
and the reason why he had been excommuni- 
cated by the Russian Church. 

"What would be your attitude toward a Mos- 
lem, a man of the calibre of Tolstoy, who would 
criticise Islam?" I asked. 

"Our religion is liberal. Our religion is free. 

( 238 ) 


Any one may write whatever he pleases. We 
are not afraid. We would excommunicate no 
one for criticising us. We look upon the skep- 
tic and non-believer with a sense of compassion. 
We feel sorry for our critics, but we have not 
the slightest fear. And do you know why we 
have no fear? No one has yet written a better 
book than the Koran, nor can anybody ever 
write a better book." 

In my next question I asked the Sheikh-ul- 
Islam to express himself concerning the rights 
of the various religious heads, such as the 
Greek and Armenian Patriarchs and the Chac- 
ham Bashi under the new regime. 

"My position does not permit me to discuss 
political questions," he said. "Of course, I 
could enumerate to you their rights under the 
present regime, not in my official capacity. But 
I have not yet familiarized myself sufficiently 
with this subject, and it is my rule never to 
speak on anything unless I know it thoroughly." 

At this point I decided to ask the question 
to which no Turkish statesman is willing to 
give a frank answer. The Young Turks are 
afraid to commit themselves on the subject 
concerning the amelioration of the condition of 

( 239 ) 


women in Turkey, realizing that nothing might 
so arouse the Turkish masses against the new 
government as even the mention of reform in 
this direction. 

"Everywhere in Europe and America there 
are movements for the emancipation of women. 
Do you intend to introduce in time any reforms 
which would tend to improve the condition of 
women in Turkey?" I asked. 

The Sheikh's large, dark eyes smiled. Then 
he lowered his heavy, black eyebrows over his 
eyes and, after a pause, answered: 

"This is a very important question. The 
emancipation of woman? Ah! that is a most 
serious problem. But do you know ? The idea 
that such reforms are necessary has not yet 
been born in Turkey." 

"Is it because the men themselves are not 
yet emancipated?" 

"The idea of equalizing the women with the 
men is not yet born in Turkey and will not be 
born for a long time to come. At the present 
time the character, the customs, and habits of 
our people make it impossible for such ideas 
to develop in our midst." 

"You say, 'at the present time.' Do you 

( 240 ) 


believe that the Parliament will take up this 
question in the near future and introduce re- 
forms in this direction?" 

"I am not so sure that this will ever happen 
in Turkey," replied the Sheikh slowly. 

"What is your attitude toward Zionism V I 
inquired after a while. 

The Sheikh-ul-Islam looked as though he did 
not understand my question. So I modified it. 

"How do you look upon the emigration of 
Jews from countries where they are persecuted, 
such as Russia and Roumania, to Palestine?" 

"We regard all people as our equals," said the 
Sheikh. "We make no discrimination against 
Jew or Gentile. The Jews have always lived 
comfortably in Turkey, and the Moslems like 
them very much. But as much as we sym- 
pathise with a suffering race, we Moslems treat 
all people equally, and if a large emigration of 
Jews or Gentiles to Palestine would commence, 
it would become a problem for the Parliament 
to solve. It is certainly not a religious ques- 

Suddenly the Sheikh turned the conversation 
to America and Americans, and spoke with 
great enthusiasm. 

( 241 ) 


"The Americans are the most progressive 
people in the world/' he said. "They are quick 
to perceive their opportunities, they possess 
more initiative and energy than any other peo- 
ple. Let the American capitalists bring their 
money to Turkey. Turkey is in great need of 
money just now. They would earn great 
profits and would at the same time help us to 
develop along the lines of liberty. They would 
help us to help ourselves." 

Just before I left, the Sheikh-ul-Islam said 
to me: 

"Remember, our religion orders that there 
shall be a constitution. It does not order this 
form of constitution or that. Time may 
change the constitution and improve it. But 
what is most important, our religion orders 
liberty, and I assure you that Islam will be the 
protector of liberty." 

After a visit to the various departments of 
the Islamate and to the room where a few 
months before the Fetwa had decided to depose 
Abdul Hamid, I came out on the street. The 
sun was burning. The beggars and the dogs 
almost covered the square now. The women, 

( 242 ) 


with their faces covered, a mass of black from 
head to foot, walked slowly, and, in passing, 
some of them dropped coins to the beggars and 
waited for their prayers. 

As I passed the Sulieman Mosque on my way 
from the Sheikh, I saw new groups of people 
entering the cool house of prayer to sleep. 

From time to time a wild outcry rent the air, 
and some phlegmatic Turk would bestir him- 
self about his little shop. In the distance a 
Muezzin, stationed on the minaret, was calling 
the faithful Moslems to prayer: 

"Allah is great! Allah is most great!" 

June, 1909. 

(The End) 

( 243 ) 

11815 BOOK IS DtTEoWn^. 


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