Infomotions, Inc.William of Germany / Shaw, Stanley



Author: Shaw, Stanley
Title: William of Germany
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): emperor; germany; berlin; prince; prince hohenlohe
Contributor(s): Murray, Gilbert, 1866-1957 [Translator]
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Title: William of Germany

Author: Stanley Shaw

Release Date: July 28, 2004  [eBook #13043]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WILLIAM OF GERMANY***


E-text prepared by Ted Garvin, Keith M. Eckrich, and the Project Gutenberg
Online Distributed Proofreading Team



WILLIAM OF GERMANY

by

STANLEY SHAW, LL.D.
Trinity College Dublin

WITH A FRONTISPIECE

1913







The Frontispiece is from a photograph by E. Bieber, of Berlin




CONTENTS
                                                           PAGE

    I.  INTRODUCTORY.......................................   1

   II.  YOUTH (1859-1881)..................................  10

  III.  PRE-ACCESSION DAYS (1881-1887).....................  42

   IV.  "VON GOTTES GNADEN"................................  56

    V.  THE ACCESSION (1888-1890)..........................  69

   VI.  THE COURT OF THE EMPEROR........................... 105

  VII.  "DROPPING THE PILOT"............................... 125

 VIII.  SPACIOUS TIMES (1891-1899)......................... 144

   IX.  THE NEW CENTURY (1900-1901)........................ 189

    X.  THE EMPEROR AND THE ARTS........................... 205

   XI.  THE NEW CENTURY--_continued_ (1902-1904)........... 237

  XII.  MOROCCO (1905)..................................... 255

 XIII.  BEFORE THE "NOVEMBER STORM" (1906-1907)............ 275

  XIV.  THE NOVEMBER STORM (1908).......................... 289

   XV.  AFTER THE STORM (1909-1913)........................ 321

  XVI.  THE EMPEROR TO-DAY................................. 342

 INDEX  ................................................... 391




I. INTRODUCTORY.

William the Second, German Emperor and King of Prussia, Burgrave of
Nuernberg, Margrave of Brandenburg, Landgrave of Hessen and Thuringia,
Prince of Orange, Knight of the Garter and Field-Marshal of Great
Britain, etc., was born in Berlin on January 27, 1859, and ascended
the throne on June 15, 1888. He is, therefore, fifty-four years old
in the present year of his Jubilee, 1913, and his reign--happily yet
unfinished--has extended over a quarter of a century.

The Englishman who would understand the Emperor and his time must
imagine a country with a monarchy, a government, and a people--in
short, a political system--almost entirely different from his own. In
Germany, paradoxical though it may sound to English ears, there
is neither a government nor a people. The word "government" occurs
only once in the Imperial Constitution, the Magna Charta of modern
Germans, which in 1870 settled the relations between the Emperor and
what the Englishman calls the "people," and then only in an
unimportant context joined to the word "federal."

In Germany, instead of "the people" the Englishman speaks of when he
talks politics, and the democratic orator, Mr. Bryan, in America is
fond of calling the "peopul," there is a "folk," who neither claim
to be, nor apparently wish to be, a "people" in the English sense.
The German folk have their traditions as the English people have
traditions, and their place in the political system as the English
people have; but both traditions and place are wholly different from
those of the English people; indeed, it may be said are just the
reverse of them.

The German Emperor believes, and assumes his people to believe, that
the Hollenzollern monarch is specially chosen by Heaven to guide and
govern a folk entrusted to him as the talent was entrusted to the
steward in Scripture. Until 1848, a little over sixty years ago, the
Emperor (at that time only King of Prussia) was an absolute, or almost
absolute, monarch, supported by soldiers and police, and his wishes
were practically law to the folk. In that year, however, owing to the
influence of the French Revolution, the King by the gift of a
Constitution, abandoned part of his powers, but not any governing
powers, to the folk in the form of a parliament, with permission to
make laws for itself, though not for him. To pass them, that is; for
they were not to carry the laws into execution--that was a matter the
King kept, as the Emperor does still, in his own hands.

The business of making laws being, as experience shows, provocative of
discussion, discussion of argument, and argument of controversy, there
now arose a dozen or more parties in the Parliament, each with its own
set of controversial opinions, and these the parties applied to the
novel and interesting occupation of law-making.

However, it did not matter much to the King, so long as the folk did
not ask for further, or worse still, as occurred in England, for all
his powers; and accordingly the parties continued their discussions,
as they do to-day, sometimes accepting and sometimes rejecting their
own or the King's suggestions about law-making. Generally speaking,
the relation is not unlike that established by the dame who said to
her husband, "When we are of the same opinion, you are right, but when
we are of different opinions, I am right." If the Parliament does not
agree with the Emperor, the Emperor dissolves it.

These parties, from the situation of their seats in a parliament of
397 deputies, became known as the parties of the Right, or
Conservative parties, and the parties of the Left, or Liberal parties.
Between them sat the members of the Centre, who, as representing the
Catholic populations of Germany--roughly, twenty-two millions out of
sixty-six--became a powerful and unchanging phalanx of a hundred
deputies, which had interests and tactics of its own independently of
Right or Left.

By and by, one of the parties of the Left, representing the classes
who work with their hands as distinguished from the classes who work
with their heads, thought they would like to live under a political
system of their own making and began to show a strong desire to take
all power from the King and from the Parliament too. They agitated and
organized, and organized and agitated, until at length, having settled
on what was found to be an attractive theory, they made a wholly
separate party, almost a people and parliament of their own. This is
known as the Social Democracy, with, at present, no deputies.

Such, in a comparatively few sentences, is the political state of
things in Germany. It might indeed be expressed in still fewer words,
as follows: Heaven gave the royal house of Hohenzollern, as a present,
a folk. The Hohenzollerns gave the folk, as a present, a parliament, a
power to make laws without the power of executing them. The Social
Democrats broke off from the folk and took an anti-Hohenzollern and
anti-popular attitude, and the folk in their Parliament divided into
parties to pass the time, and--of course--make laws.

This may seem to be treating an important subject with levity. It is
intended merely as a statement of the facts. The system in Germany
works well, to an Englishman indeed surprisingly so. In England there
is no Heaven-appointed king; all the powers of the King, both that of
making laws and of administering them, have long ago been taken by the
people from the King and entrusted by them to a parliament, the
majority of whom, called the Government, represent the majority of the
electing voters. In the case of Germany the folk have surrendered some
of what an Englishman would term their "liberties," for example, the
right to govern, to the King, to be used for the common good; whereas
in the case of England, the people do not think it needful to
surrender any of their liberties, least of all the government of their
country, in order to attain the same end.

Thus, while the German Emperor and the German folk have the same aims
as the English King and the English people, the common weal and the
fair fame of their respective countries, the two monarchs and the two
peoples have agreed on almost contrary ways of trying to secure them.

The political system of Germany has had to be sketched introductorily
as for the Englishman, a necessary preliminary to an understanding of
the German Emperor's character and policy. One of the most important
results of the character and policy is the state of Anglo-German
relations; and the writer is convinced that if the character and
policy were better and more generally known there would be no
estrangement between the two countries, but, much more probably,
mutual respect and mutual good-will.

With the growth of this knowledge, the writer is tempted to believe,
would cease a delusion that appears to exist in the minds, or rather
the imaginations, of two great peoples, the delusion that the highest
national interests of both are fundamentally irreconcilable, and that
the policies of their Governments are fundamentally opposed.

It seems indeed as though neither in England nor in Germany has the
least attention been paid to the astonishing growth of commerce
between the countries or to the repeated declarations made through a
long series of years by the respective Governments on their countries'
behalf. The growth in commerce needs no statistics to prove it, for it
is a matter of everyday observation and comment. The English
Government declares it a vital necessity for an insular Power like
Great Britain, with colonies and duties appertaining to their
possession in all, and the most distant, parts of the world, to have a
navy twice as powerful as that of any other possibly hostile Power.
The ordinary German immediately cries out that England is planning to
attack him, to annihilate his fleet, destroy his commerce, and
diminish his prestige among the nations. The German Government
repeatedly declares that the German fleet is intended for defence not
aggression, that Germany does not aim at the seizure of other people's
property, but at protecting her growing commerce, at standing by her
subjects in all parts of the world if subjected to injury or insult,
and at increasing her prestige, and with it her power for good, in the
family of nations. The ordinary Englishman immediately cries out that
Germany is seeking to dispute his maritime supremacy, to rob him of
his colonies, and to appropriate his trade. Is it not conceivable that
both Governments are telling the truth, and that their designs are no
more and no less than the Governments represent them to be? The
necessity for Great Britain possessing an all-powerful fleet that will
keep her in touch with her colonies if she is not to lose them
altogether, is self-evident, and understood by even the most
Chauvinistic German. The necessity for Germany's possessing a fleet
strong enough to make her rights respected is as self-evident.
Moreover, if Germany's fleet is a luxury, as Mr. Winston Churchill
says it is, she deserves and can afford it. As a nation she has
prospered and grown great, not by a policy of war and conquest, but by
hard work, thrift, self-denial, fidelity to international engagements,
well-planned instruction, and first-rate organization. Why should she
not, if she thinks it advisable and is willing to spend the money on
it, supply herself with an arm of defence in proportion to her size,
her prosperity, and her desert? It may be that, as Mr. Norman Angell
holds, the entire policy of great armaments is based on economic
error; but unless and until it is clear that the German navy is
intended for aggression, its growth may be viewed by the rest of the
world with equanimity, and by the Englishman, as a connoisseur in such
matters, with admiration as well. A man may buy a motor-car which his
friends and neighbours think must be costly and pretentious beyond his
means; but that is his business; and if the man finds that, owing to
good management and industry and skill, his business is growing and
that a motor-car is, though in some not absolutely clear and definite
way, of advantage to him in business and satisfying to his legitimate
pride--why on earth should he not buy or build it?

The truth is that if our ordinary Englishman and German were to sit
down together, and with the help of books, maps, and newspapers,
carefully and without prejudice, consider the annals of their
respective countries for the last sixteen years with a view to
establishing the causes of their delusion, they could hardly fail to
confess that it was due to neither believing a word the other said; to
each crediting the other with motives which, as individuals and men of
honesty and integrity in the private relations of life, each would
indignantly repudiate; to each assuming the other to be in the
condition of barbarism mankind began to emerge from nineteen hundred
years ago; to both supposing that Christianity has had so little
influence on the world that peoples are still compelled to live and go
about their daily work armed to the teeth lest they may be bludgeoned
and robbed by their neighbours; that the hundreds of treaties solemnly
signed by contracting nations are mere pieces of waste paper only
testifying to the profundity and extent of human hypocrisy; that
churches and cathedrals have been built, universities, colleges, and
schools founded, only to fill the empty air with noise; that the
printing presses of all countries have been occupied turning out
myriads of books and papers which have had no effect on the reason or
conscience of mankind; that nations learn nothing from experience; and
to each supposing that he and his fellow-countrymen alone are the
monopolists of wisdom, honour, truth, justice, charity--in short, of
all the attributes and blessings of civilization. Is it not time to
discard such error, or must the nations always suspect each other? To
finish with our introduction, and notwithstanding that _qui s'excuse
s'accuse_, the biographer may be permitted to say a few words on his
own behalf. Inasmuch as the subject of his biography is still, as has
been said, happily alive, and is, moreover, in the prime of his
maturity, his life cannot be reviewed as a whole nor the ultimate
consequences of his character and policy be foretold. The biographer
of the living cannot write with the detachment permissible to the
historian of the dead. No private correspondence of the Emperor's is
available to throw light on his more intimate personal disposition and
relationships. There have been many rumours of war since his
accession, but no European war of great importance; and if a few minor
campaigns in tropical countries be excepted, Germany for over forty
years, thanks largely to the Emperor, has enjoyed the advantages of
peace.

From the pictorial and sensational point of view continuous peace is a
drawback for the biographer no less than for the historian. What would
history be without war?--almost inconceivable; since wars, not peace,
are the principal materials with which it deals and supply it with
most of its vitality and interest--must it also be admitted, its
charm? For what are Hannibal or Napoleon or Frederick the Great
remembered?--for their wars, and little else. Shakespeare has it
that--

     "Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues
     We write in water."

Who, asks Heine, can name the artist who designed the cathedral of
Cologne? In this regard the biographer of an emperor is almost as
dependent as the historian.

The biography of an emperor, again, must be to a large extent, the
history of his reign, and in no case is this more true than in that of
Emperor William. But he has been closely identified with every event
of general importance to the world since he mounted the throne, and
the world's attention has been fastened without intermission on his
words and conduct. The rise of the modern German Empire is the salient
fact of the world's history for the last half-century, and accordingly
only from this broader point of view will the Emperor's future
biographer, or the historian of the future, be able to do him or his
Empire justice.

Lastly, another difficulty, if one may call it so, experienced equally
by the biographer and the historian, is the fact that the life of the
Emperor has been blameless from the moral standpoint. On two or three
occasions early in the reign accounts were published of scandals at
the Court. They may not have been wholly baseless, but none of them
directly involved the Emperor, or even raised a doubt as to his
respectability or reputation. Take from history--or from biography for
that matter--the vices of those it treats of, and one-third, perhaps
one-half, of its "human interest" disappears.

In the circumstances, therefore, all the writer need add is that he
has done the best he could. He has ignored, certainly, at two or three
stages of his narration, the demands of strict chronological
succession; but if so, it has been to describe some of the more
important events of the reign in their totality. He has also felt it
necessary, as writing for English readers of a country not their own,
to combine a portion of history with his biography. If, at the same
time, he has ventured to infuse into both biography and history a
slight admixture of philosophy, he can only hope that the fusion will
not prove altogether disagreeable.




II.



YOUTH



1859-1881

As the education of a prince, and the surroundings in which he is
brought up, are usually different from the education and surroundings
of his subjects, it is not surprising if, at least during some portion
of his reign, and until he has graduated in the university of life,
misunderstandings, if nothing worse, should occur between them: indeed
the wonder is that princes and people succeed in living harmoniously
together. They are separated by great gulfs both of sentiment and
circumstance. Bismarck is quoted by one of his successors, Prince
Hohenlohe, as remarking that every King of Prussia, with whatever
popularity he began his reign, was invariably hated at the close of
it.

The prince that would rule well has to study the science of
government, itself a difficult and incompletely explored subject, and
the art of administration; he has to know history, and above all the
history of his own country; not that history is a safe or certain
guide, but that it informs him of traditions he will be expected to
continue in his own country and respect in that of others; he must
understand the political system under which his people choose to live,
and the play of political, religious, economic, and social forces
which are ever at work in a community; he must learn to speak and
understand (not always quite the same thing) other languages besides
his own; and concurrently with these studies he must endeavour to
develop in himself the personal qualities demanded by his high
office--health and activity of body, quick comprehension and decision,
a tenacious memory for names and faces, capacity for public speaking,
patience, and that command over the passions and prejudices, natural
or acquired, which is necessary for his moral influence as a ruler. On
what percentage of his subjects is such a curriculum imposed, and what
allowances should not be made if a full measure of success is not
achieved?

But even when the prince has done all this, there is still a study,
the most comprehensive and most important of all, in which he should
be learned--the study of humanity, and in especial that part of it
with the care of whose interests and happiness he is to be charged. A
few people seem to have this knowledge instinctively, others acquire
something of it in the school of sad experience. It is not the fault
of the Emperor, if, in his youth, his knowledge of humanity was not
profound. There was always a strong vein of idealism and romance among
Hohenzollerns, the vein of a Lohengrin, a Tancred, or some mediaeval
knight. The Emperor, of course, never lived among the common people;
never had to work for a living in competition with a thousand others
more fortunate than he, or better endowed by nature with the qualities
and gifts that make for worldly success; never, so far as is known to
a watchful and exceptionally curious public, endured domestic sorrow
of a deep or lasting kind; never suffered materially or in his proper
person from ingratitude, carelessness, or neglect; never knew the
"penalty of Adam, the seasons' difference"; never, in short, felt
those pains one or more of which almost all the rest of mankind have
at one time or other to bear as best they may.

The Emperor has always been happy in his family, happy in seeing his
country prosperous, happy in the admiration and respect of the people
of all nations; and if he has passed through some dark hours, he must
feel happy in having nobly borne them. Want of knowledge of the trials
of ordinary humanity is, of course, no matter of reproach to him; on
the contrary, it is matter of congratulation; and, as several of his
frankest deliverances show, he has, both as man and monarch, felt many
a pang, many a regret, many a disappointment, the intensity of which
cannot be gauged by those who have not felt the weight of his
responsibilities.

A discharge of 101 guns in the gardens of Crown Prince Frederick's
palace in Berlin on the morning of January 27, 1859, announced the
birth of the future Emperor. There were no portents in that hour.
Nature proceeded calmly with her ordinary tasks. Heaven gave no
special sign that a new member of the Hohenzollern family had appeared
on the planet Earth. Nothing, in short, occurred to strengthen the
faith of those who believe in the doctrine of kingship by divine
appointment.

It was a time of political and social turmoil in many countries, the
groundswell, doubtless, of the revolutionary wave of 1848. The Crimean
War, the Indian Mutiny, and the war with China had kept England in a
continual state of martial fever, and the agitation for electoral
reform was beginning. Lord Palmerston was Prime Minister, with Lord
Odo Russell as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mr. Gladstone as
Minister of Finance. Napoleon III was at war with Austria as the ally
of Italy, where King Emmanuel II and Cavour were laying the
foundations of their country's unity. Russia, after defeating Schamyl,
the hero of the Caucasus, was pursuing her policy of penetration in
Central Asia.

In Prussia the unrest was chiefly domestic. The country, while
nominally a Great Power, was neutral during the Crimean War, and
played for the moment but a small part in foreign politics. Bismarck,
in his "Gedanke und Erinnerungen," compares her submission to Austria
to the patience of the French noble-man he heard of when minister in
Paris, whose conduct in condoning twenty-four acts of flagrant
infidelity on the part of his wife was regarded by the French as an
act of great forbearance and magnanimity. Prince William, the
Emperor's grandfather, afterwards William I, first German Emperor, was
on the throne, acting as Prince Regent for his brother, Frederick
William IV, incapacitated from ruling by an affection of the brain.
The head of the Prussian Ministry, Manteuffel, had been dismissed, and
a "new era," with ministers of more liberal tendencies, among them von
Bethmann Hollweg, an ancestor of the present Chancellor, had begun.
General von Roon was Minister of War and Marine, offices at that time
united in one department. The Italian War had roused Germany anew to a
desire for union, and a great "national society" was founded at
Frankfurt, with the Liberal leader, Rudolf von Bennigsen, at its head.
Public attention was occupied with the subject of reorganizing the
army and increasing it from 150,000 to 210,000 men. Parliament was on
the eve of a bitter constitutional quarrel with Bismarck, who became
Prussian Prime Minister (Minister President) in 1862, about the grant
of the necessary army funds. Most of the great intellects of
Germany--Kant, Goethe, Schiller, Hegel, Fichte, Schleiermacher--had
long passed away. Heinrich Heine died in Paris in 1856. Frederick
Nietzsche was a youth, Richard Wagner's "Tannhaeuser" had just been
greeted, in the presence of the composer, with a storm of hisses in
the Opera house at Paris. The social condition of Germany may be
partially realized if one remembers that the death-rate was over 28
per _mille_, as compared with 17 per _mille_ to-day; that only a start
had been made with railway construction; that the country, with its
not very generous soil, depended wholly upon agriculture; that
savings-bank deposits were not one-twelfth of what they are now; that
there were 60 training schools where there are 221 to-day, and 338
evening classes as against 4,588 in 1910; that many of the principal
towns were still lighted by oil; that there was practically no navy;
and that the bulk of the aristocracy lived on about the same scale as
the contemporary English yeoman farmer. Berlin contained a little less
than half a million inhabitants, compared with its three and a half
millions of to-day, and the state of its sanitation may be imagined
from the fact that open drains ran down the streets.

The Emperor's father, Frederick III, second German Emperor, was
affectionately known to his people as "unser Fritz," because of his
liberal sympathies and of his high and kindly character. To most
Englishmen he is perhaps better known as the husband of the Princess,
afterwards Empress, Adelaide Victoria, eldest daughter of Queen
Victoria, and mother of the Emperor. Frederick III had no great share
in the political events which were the birth-pangs of modern Germany,
unless his not particularly distinguished leadership in the war of
1866 and that with France be so considered. The greater part of his
life was passed as Crown Prince, and a Crown Prince in Germany leads a
life more or less removed from political responsibilities. He
succeeded his father, William I, on the latter's death, March 9, 1888,
reigned for ninety-nine days, and died, on June 15th following, from
cancer of the throat, after an illness borne with exemplary fortitude.

To what extent the character of his parents affected the character of
the Emperor it is impossible to determine. The Emperor seldom refers
to his parents in his speeches, and reserves most of his panegyric for
his grandfather and his grandfather's mother, Queen Louise; but the
comparative neglect is probably due to no want of filial admiration
and respect, while the frequent references to his grandfather in
particular are explained by the great share the latter took in the
formation of the Empire and by his unbounded popularity. The Crown
Prince was an affectionate but not an easy-going father, with a
passion for the arts and sciences; his mother also was a
disciplinarian, and, equally with her husband, passionately fond of
art; and it is therefore not improbable that these traits descended to
the Emperor. As to whether the alleged "liberality" of the Crown
Prince descended to him depends on the sense given to the word
"liberal." If it is taken to mean an ardent desire for the good and
happiness of the people, it did; if it is taken to mean any
inclination to give the people authority to govern themselves and
direct their own destinies, it did not.

The mother of the Emperor, the Empress Frederick, had much of Queen
Victoria's good sense and still more of her strong will. A thoroughly
English princess, she had, in German eyes, one serious defect: she
failed to see, or at least to acknowledge, the superiority of most
things German to most things English. She had an English nurse, Emma
Hobbs, to assist at the birth of the future Emperor. She made English
the language of the family life, and never lost her English tastes and
sympathies; consequently she was called, always with an accent of
reproach, "the Englaenderin," and in German writings is represented as
having wished to anglicize not only her husband, her children, and her
Court, but also her adopted country and its people. A chaplain of the
English Church in Berlin, the Rev. J.H. Fry, who met her many times,
describes her as follows:--

     "She was not the wife for a German Emperor, she so English
     and insisted so strongly on her English ways. The result was
     that she was very unpopular in Germany, and the Germans said
     many wicked things of her. She hated Berlin, and if her son,
     the present Emperor, had not required that she should come
     to the capital every winter, she would have lived altogether
     at Cronberg in the villa an Italian friend bequeathed to
     her.

     "She was extremely musical, had extensively cultivated her
     talents in this respect, and was an accomplished linguist.
     Like her mother, Queen Victoria, she was unusually
     strong-minded, and was always believed to rule over her
     amiable and gentle husband. Her interest in the English
     community was great, another reason for the dislike with
     which the Germans regarded her. To her the community owes
     the pretty little English church in the Mon Bijou Platz
     (Berlin), which she used to attend regularly, and where a
     funeral service, at which the Emperor was present, was held
     in memory of her.

     "German feeling was further embittered against her by the
     Morell Mackenzie incident, and to this day controversy rages
     round the famous English surgeon's name. The controversy is
     as to whether or not Morell Mackenzie honestly believed what
     he said when he diagnosed the Emperor's illness as
     non-cancerous in opposition to the opinion of distinguished
     German doctors like Professor Bergmann. Under German law no
     one can mount the throne of Prussia who is afflicted with a
     mortal sickness. For long it had been suspected that the
     Emperor's throat was fatally affected, and, therefore, when
     King William was dying, it became of dynastic and national
     importance to establish the fact one way or other. Queen
     Victoria was ardently desirous of seeing her daughter an
     Empress, and sent Sir Morrell Mackenzie to Germany to
     examine the royal patient. On the verdict being given that
     the disease was not cancer, the Crown Prince mounted the
     throne, and Queen Victoria's ambition for her daughter was
     realized.

     "The Empress also put the aristocracy against her by
     introducing several relaxations into Court etiquette which
     had up to her time been stiff and formal. Her relations with
     Bismarck, as is well known, were for many years strained,
     and on one occasion she made the remark that the tears he
     had caused her to shed 'would fill tumblers.' On the whole
     she was an excellent wife and mother. She was no doubt in
     some degree responsible for the admiration of England as a
     country and of the English as a people which is a marked
     feature of the Emperor's character."

This account is fairly correct in its estimation of the Empress
Frederick's character and abilities, but it repeats a popular error in
saying that German law lays down that no one can mount the Prussian
throne if he is afflicted with a mortal sickness. There is no "German
law" on the subject, and the law intended to be referred to is the
so-called "house-law," which, as in the case of other German noble
families, regulates the domestic concerns of the House of
Hohenzollern. Bismarck disposes of the assertion that a Hohenzollern
prince mortally stricken is not capable of succession as a "fable,"
and adds that the Constitution, too, contains no stipulation of the
sort. The influence of his mother on the Emperor's character did not
extend beyond his childhood, while probably the only natural
dispositions he inherited from her were his strength of will and his
appreciation of classical art and music. Many of her political ideas
were diametrically opposed to those of her son. Her love of art made
her pro-French, and her visit to Paris, it will be remembered, not
being made _incognito_, led to international unpleasantness,
originating in the foolish Chauvinism of some leading French painters
whose ateliers she desired to inspect. She believed in a homogeneous
German Empire without any federation of kingdoms and states, advocated
a Constitution for Russia, and was satisfied that the common sense of
a people outweighed its ignorance and stupidity.

The Emperor has four sisters and a brother. The sisters are Charlotte,
born in 1860, and married to the Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Meiningen;
Victoria, born in 1866, and married to Prince Adolphus of
Schaumberg-Lippe; Sophie, born in 1870, and married to King
Constantine, of Greece; and Margarete, born in 1872, and married to
Prince Friederich Karl of Hessen.

The Emperor's only brother, Prince Henry of Prussia, was born in 1862,
and is married to Princess Irene of Hessen. He is probably the most
popular Hohenzollern to-day. He adopted the navy as a profession and
devotes himself to its duties, taking no part in politics. Like the
Emperor himself and the Emperor's heir, the Crown Prince, he is a
great promoter of sport, and while a fair golfer (with a handicap of
14) and tennis player, gives much of his leisure to the encouragement
of the automobile and other industries. Every Hohenzollern is supposed
to learn a handicraft. The Emperor did not, owing to his shortened
left arm. Prince Henry learned book-binding under a leading Berlin
bookbinder, Herr Collin. The Crown Prince is a turner. Prince Henry
seems perfectly satisfied with his position in the Empire as
Inspector-General of the Fleet, stands to attention when talking to
the Emperor in public, and on formal occasions addresses him as
"Majesty" like every one else. Only in private conversation does he
allow himself the use of the familiar _Du_. The Emperor has a strong
affection for him, and always calls him "Heinrich."

Many stories are current in Germany relating to the early part of the
Emperor's boyhood. Some are true, others partially so, while others
again are wholly apochryphal. All, however, are more or less
characteristic of the boy and his surroundings, and for this reason a
selection of them may be given. Apropos of his birth, the following
story is told. An artillery officer went to receive orders for the
salute to be discharged when the birth occurred. They were given him
by the then Prince Regent, afterwards Emperor William I. The officer
showed signs of perplexity. "Well, is there anything else?" inquired
the Regent. "Yes, Royal Highness; I have instructions for the birth of
a prince and for that of a princess (which would be 30 guns); but what
if it should be twins?" The Regent laughed. "In that case," he said,
"follow the Prussian rule--_suum cuique_."

When the child was born the news ran like wildfire through Berlin, and
all the high civil and military officials drove off in any vehicle
they could find to offer their congratulations. The Regent, who was at
the Foreign Office, jumped into a common cab. Immediately after him
appeared tough old Field-Marshal Wrangel, the hero of the Danish wars.
He wrote his name in the callers' book, and on issuing from the palace
shouted to the assembled crowd, "Children, it's all right: a fine
stout recruit." On the evening of the birth a telegram came from Queen
Victoria, "Is it a fine boy?" and the answer went back, "Yes, a very
fine boy."

Another story describes how the child was brought to submit cheerfully
to the ordeal of the tub. He was "water-shy," like the vast majority
of Germans at that time, and the nurses had to complain to his father,
Crown Prince Frederick, of his resistance. The Crown Prince thereupon
directed the sentry at the palace gate not to salute the boy when he
was taken out for his customary airing. The boy remarked the neglect
and complained to his father, who explained that "sentries were not
allowed to present arms to an unwashed prince." The stratagem
succeeded, and thereafter the lad submitted to the bathing with a good
grace.

Like all boys, the lad was fond of the water, though now in another
sense. At the age of two, nursery chroniclers relate, he had a toy
boat, the _Fortuna_, in which he sat and see-sawed--and learned not to
be sea-sick! At three he was put into sailor's costume, with the
bell-shaped trousers so dear to the hearts of English mothers fifty
years ago.

At the age of four he had a memorable experience, though it is hardly
likely that now, after the lapse of half a century, he remembers much
about it. This was his first visit to England in 1863, when he was
taken by his parents to be present at the marriage of his uncle, King
Edward VII, then Prince of Wales. The boy, in pretty Highland costume,
was an object of general attention, and occupies a prominent place in
the well-known picture of the wedding scene by the artist Frith. The
ensuing fifteen years saw him often on English soil with his father
and mother, staying usually at Osborne Castle, in the Isle of Wight.
Here, it may be assumed, he first came in close contact with the
ocean, watched the English warships passing up and down, and imbibed
some of that delight in the sea which is not the least part of the
heritage of Englishmen. The visits had a decided effect on him, for at
ten we find him with a row-boat on the Havel and learning to swim, and
on one occasion rowing a distance of twenty-five miles between 6 a.m.
and 3 p.m. About this time he used to take part with his parents in
excursions on the _Royal Louise_, a miniature frigate presented by
George IV to Frederick William III.

Still another story concerns the boy and his father. The former came
one day in much excitement to his tutor and said his father had just
blamed him unjustly. He told the tutor what had really happened and
asked him, if, under the circumstances, he was to blame. The tutor was
in perplexity, for if he said the father had acted unjustly, as in
fact he thought he had, he might lessen the son's filial respect.
However, he gave his candid opinion. "My Prince," he said, "the
greatest men of all times have occasionally made mistakes, for to err
is human. I must admit I think your father was in the wrong."
"Really!" cried the lad, who looked pained. "I thought you would tell
me I was in the wrong, and as I know how right you always are I was
ready to go to papa and beg his pardon. What shall I do now?" "Leave
it to me," the tutor said, and afterwards told the Crown Prince what
had passed. The Crown Prince sent for his son, who came and stood with
downcast eyes some paces off. The Crown Prince only uttered the two
words, "My son," but in a tone of great affection. As he folded the
Prince in his arms he reached his hand to the tutor, saying, "I thank
you. Be always as true to me and to my son as you have been in this
case."

The last anecdote belongs also to the young Prince's private tutor
days. At one time a certain Dr. D. was teaching him. Every morning at
eleven work was dropped for a quarter of an hour to enable the pair,
teacher and pupil, to take what is called in German "second
breakfast." The Prince always had a piece of white bread and butter,
with an apple, a pear, or other fruit, while the teacher was as
regularly provided with something warm--chop, a cutlet, a slice of
fish, salmon, perch, trout, or whatever was in season, accompanied by
salad and potatoes. The smell of the meat never failed to appeal to
the olfactory nerves of the Prince, and he often looked, longingly
enough, at the luxuries served to his tutor. The latter noticed it and
felt sorry for him; but there was nothing to be done: the royal orders
were strict and could not be disobeyed. One day, however, the lesson,
one of repetition, had gone so well that in a moment of gratitude the
tutor decided to reward his pupil at all hazards. The lunch appeared,
steaming "perch-in-butter" for the tutor, and a plate of bread and
butter and some grapes for the pupil. The Prince cast a glance at the
savoury dish and was then about to attack his frugal fare when the
tutor suddenly said, "Prince, I'm very fond of grapes. Can't we for
once exchange? You eat my perch and I--" The Prince joyfully agreed,
plates were exchanged, and both were heartily enjoying the meal when
the Crown Prince walked in. Both pupil and tutor blushed a little, but
the Crown Prince said nothing and seemed pleased to hear how well the
lesson had gone that day. At noon, however, as the tutor was leaving
the palace, a servant stopped him and said, "His Royal Highness the
Crown Prince would like to speak with the Herr Doktor."

"Herr Doktor," said the Crown Prince, "tell me how it was that the
Prince to-day was eating the warm breakfast and you the cold."

The tutor tried to make as little of the affair as possible. It was a
joke, he said, he had allowed himself, he had been so well pleased
with his pupil that morning.

"Well, I will pass it over this time," said the Crown Prince,

     "but I must ask you to let the Prince get accustomed to bear
     the preference shown to his tutor and allow him to be
     satisfied with the simple food suitable for his age. What
     will he eat twenty years hence, if he now gets roast meat?
     Bread and fruit make a wholesome and perfectly satisfactory
     meal for a lad of his years."

During second breakfast next day, the Prince took care not to look up
from his plate of fruit, but when he had finished, murmured as though
by way of grace, "After all, a fine bunch of grapes is a splendid
lunch, and I really think I prefer it, Herr Doktor, to your
nice-smelling perch-in-butter."

The time had now come when the young Prince was to leave the paternal
castle and submit to the discipline of school. The parents, one may be
sure, held many a conference on the subject. The boy was beginning to
have a character of his own, and his parents doubtless often had in
mind Goethe's lines:--

     "Denn wir koennen die Kinder nach unserem Willen nicht formen,
     So wie Gott sie uns gab, so muss man sie lieben und haben,
     Sie erzielen aufs best und jeglichen lassen gewaehren."

     ("We cannot have children according to our will:
     as God gave them so must we love and keep them:
     bring them up as best we can and leave each to its own
       development.")

It had always been Hohenzollern practice to educate the Heir to the
Throne privately until he was of an age to go to the university, but
the royal parents now decided to make an important departure from it
by sending their boy to an ordinary public school in some carefully
chosen place. The choice fell on Cassel, a quiet and beautiful spot
not far from Wilhelmshohe, near Homburg, where there is a Hohenzollern
castle, and which was the scene of Napoleon's temporary detention
after the capitulation of Sedan. Here at the Gymnasium, or _lycee_,
founded by Frederick the Great, the boy was to go through the regular
school course, sit on the same bench with the sons of ordinary
burghers, and in all respects conform to the Gymnasium's regulations.
The decision to have the lad taught for a time in this democratic
fashion was probably due to the influence of his English mother, who
may have had in mind the advantages of an English public school. The
experiment proved in every way successful, though it was at the time
adversely criticized by some ultra-patriotic writers in the press. To
the boy himself it must have been an interesting and agreeable
novelty. Hitherto he had been brought up in the company of his
brothers and sisters in Berlin or Potsdam, with an occasional
"week-end" at the royal farm of Bornstedt near the latter, the only
occasions when he was absent from home being sundry visits to the
Grand Ducal Court at Karlsruhe, where the Grand Duchess was an aunt on
his father's side, and to the Court at Darmstadt, where the Grand
Duchess was an aunt on the side of his mother.

An important ceremony, however, had to be performed before his
departure for school--his confirmation. It took place at Potsdam on
September 1, 1874, amid a brilliant crowd of relatives and friends,
and included the following formal declaration by the young Prince:

     "I will, in childlike faith, be devoted to God all the days
     of my life, put my trust in Him and at all times thank Him
     for His grace. I believe in Jesus Christ, the Saviour and
     Redeemer. Him who first loved me I will love in return, and
     will show this love by love to my parents, my dear
     grandparents, my sisters and brothers and relatives, but
     also to all men. I know that hard tasks await me in life,
     but they will brace me up, not overcome me. I will pray to
     God for strength and develop my bodily powers."

The boy and his brother Henry stayed in Cassel for three years, in the
winter occupying a villa near the Gymnasium with Dr. Hinzpeter, and in
summer living in the castle of Wilhelmshohe hard by. Besides attending
the usual school classes, they were instructed by private tutors in
dancing, fencing, and music. Both pupils are represented as having
been conscientious, and as moving among their schoolmates without
affectation or any special consciousness of their birth or rank. Many
years afterwards the Emperor, when revisiting Cassel, thus referred to
his schooldays there:

     "I do not regret for an instant a time which then seemed so
     hard to me, and I can truly say that work and the working
     life have become to me a second nature. For this I owe
     thanks to Cassel soil;"

and later in the same speech:

     "I am pleased to be on the ground where, directed by expert
     hands, I learned that work exists not only for its own sake,
     but that man in work shall find his entire joy."

This is the right spirit; but if he had said "greatest joy" and "can
find," he would have said something more completely true.

The life at Cassel was simple, and the day strictly divided. The
future Emperor rose at six, winter and summer, and after a breakfast
of coffee and rolls refreshed his memory of the home repetition-work
learned the previous evening. He then went to the Gymnasium, and when
his lessons there were over, took a walk with his tutor before lunch.
Home tasks followed, and on certain days private instruction was
received in English, French, and drawing. His English and French
became all but faultless, and he learned to draw in rough-and-ready,
if not professionally expert fashion. Wednesdays and Saturdays, which
were half-holidays, were spent roving in the country, especially in
the forest, with two or three companions of his own age. In winter
there was skating on the ponds. The Sunday dinner was a formal affair,
at which royal relatives, who doubtless came to see how the princes
were getting on, and high officials from Berlin, were usually present.
After dinner the princes took young friends up to their private rooms
and played charades, in which on occasion they amused themselves with
the ever-delightful sport of taking off and satirizing their
instructors. At this time the future Emperor's favourite subjects were
history and literature, and he was fond of displaying his rhetorical
talent before the class. The classical authors of his choice were
Homer, Sophocles, and Horace. Homer particularly attracted him; it is
easy to imagine the conviction with which, as a Hohenzollern, he would
deliver the declaration of King Agamemnon to Achilles:--

     "And hence, to all the host it shall be known
     That kings are subject to the gods alone."

The young Prince left Cassel in January, 1877, after passing the exit
(_abiturient_) examination, a rather severe test, twelfth in a class
of seventeen. The result of the examination was officially described
as "satisfactory," the term used for those who were second in degree
of merit. On leaving he was awarded a gold medal for good conduct, one
of three annually presented by a patron of the Gymnasium.

A foreign resident in Germany, who saw the young Prince at this time,
tells of an incident which refers to the lad's appearance, and shows
that even at that early date anti-English feeling existed among the
people. It was at the military manoeuvres at Stettin:

     "Then the old Emperor came by. Tremendous cheers. Then
     Bismarck and Moltke. Great acclaim. Then passed in a
     carriage a thin, weakly-looking youth, and people in the
     crowd said, 'Look at that boy who is to be our future
     Emperor--his good German blood has been ruined by his
     English training.'"

Before closing the Emperor's record as a schoolboy it will be of
interest to learn the opinion of him formed by his French tutor at
Cassel, Monsieur Ayme, who has published a small volume on the
education of his pupil, and who, though evidently not too well
satisfied with his remuneration of L7 10s. a month, or with being
required to pay his own fare back from Germany to France, writes
favourably of the young princes. "The life of these young people
(Prince William and Prince Henry) was," he says,

     "the most studious and peaceful imaginable. Up at six in the
     morning, they prepared their tasks until it was time to go
     to school. Lunch was at noon and tea at five. They went to
     bed at nine or half-past. All their hours of leisure were
     divided between lessons in French, English, music,
     pistol-shooting, equitation, and walking. Now and then they
     were allowed to play with boys of their own age, and on fete
     days and their parents' birth-anniversaries they had the
     privilege of choosing a play and seeing it performed at the
     theatre. As pocket-money Prince William received 20s. a
     month, and Henry 10s. Out of these modest sums they had to
     buy their own notepaper and little presents for the servants
     or their favourite companions."

As to Prince William's character as a schoolboy, Monsieur Ayme writes:

     "I do not suppose William was ever punished while he was in
     Cassel. He was too proud to draw down upon himself
     criticism, to him the worst form of punishment. At the
     castle, as at school, he made it a point of honour to act
     and work as if he had made his plans and resolved to stick
     to them. He was always among the first of his class, and as
     for me I never had any need to urge him on. If I pointed out
     to him an error in his task he began it over again of his
     own accord. We did grammar, analysis, dictations, and
     compositions, and he got over his difficulties by sheer
     perseverance. For example, if he was reading a fine page of
     Victor Hugo, or the like, he hated to be interrupted, so
     deeply was he interested in the subject he was reading.
     Style and poetry had a great effect upon him; he expressed
     admiration for the form and was aroused to enthusiasm by
     generous or noble ideas. Frederick the Great was the hero of
     his choice, a model of which he never ceased dreaming, and
     which, like his grandfather, he proposed as his own. It is
     easy to conceive that after ten or twelve years of such
     study, regularly and methodically pursued, the Prince must
     have possessed a literary and scientific baggage more varied
     and extensive than that of his companions. And he worked
     hard for it, few lads so hard. To speak the truth, he was
     much more disciplined and much more deprived of freedom and
     recreation of all sorts than most children of his age."

_Par paranthese_ may be introduced here a reference to Prince Henry,
of whom Monsieur Ayme writes less enthusiastically.

     "One day," the tutor writes, "I was dictating to him
     something in which mention of a queen occurs. I came to the
     words '... in addition to her natural distinction she
     possessed that August majesty which is the appanage of
     princesses of the blood royal....'

     "Prince Henry laid down his pen and remarked, 'The author
     who wrote this piece did not live much with queens.'

     "'Why?' I asked.

     "'Because I never observed the August majesty which attaches
     to princesses of the blood royal, and yet I have been
     brought up among them,' was the reply.

     "William, however," continues Monsieur Ayme, "was the
     thinker, prudent and circumspect; the wise head which knew
     that it was not all truths which bear telling. He was not
     less loyal and constant in his opinions. He admired the
     French Revolution, and the declaration contained in 'The
     Rights of Man,' though this did not prevent his declaiming
     against the Terrorists."

One incident in particular must have appealed to the French tutor.
Monsieur Ayme and his Prussian pupil one day began discussing the
delicate question of the war of 1870. In the course of the discussion
both parties lost their tempers, until at last Prince William suddenly
got up and left the room. He remained silent and "huffed" for some
days, but at last he took the Frenchman aside and made him a formal
apology. "I am very sorry indeed," he said,

     "that you took seriously my conduct of the other day. I
     meant nothing by it, and I regret it hurt you. I am all the
     more sorry, because I offended in your case a sentiment
     which I respect above any in the world, the love of
     country."

But it is time to pass from the details of the Emperor's early youth,
and observe him during the two years he spent, with interruptions, at
the university. From Cassel he went immediately to Bonn, where, as
during the years of military duty which followed, we only catch
glimpses of him as he lived the ordinary, and by no means austere,
life of the university student and soldier of the time; that is to
say, the ordinary life with considerable modifications and exceptions.
He did not, like young Bismarck, drink huge flagons of beer at a
sitting, day after day. He was not followed everywhere by a
boar-hound. He fought no student's duels--though a secret performance
of the kind is mentioned as a probability in the chronicles--or go
about looking for trouble generally as the swashbuckling Junker,
Bismarck, did; for in the first place his royal rank would not allow
of his taking part in the bloody amusement of the _Mensur_, and his
natural disposition, if it was quick and lively, was not choleric
enough to involve him in serious quarrel. His studies were to some
extent interrupted by military calls to Berlin, for after being
appointed second lieutenant in the First Regiment of Foot Guards at
Potsdam on his tenth birthday, the Hohenzollern age for entering the
army, he was promoted to first lieutenant in the same regiment on
leaving Cassel.

For the most part the university lectures he attended were the courses
in law and philosophy, and he is not reported to have shown any
particular enthusiasm for either subject. The differences between an
English and a German university are of a fundamental kind, perhaps the
greatest being that the German university does not aim at influencing
conduct and character in the same measure as the English, but is
rather for the supply of knowledge of all sorts, as a monster
warehouse is for the supply of miscellaneous goods. Again, the German
university, which, like all American universities except Princetown,
has more resemblance to the Scottish universities than to those at
Oxford, Cambridge, or Dublin, is not residential nor divided into
colleges, but is departmentalized into "faculties," each with its own
professors and _privat docentes_, or official lecturers, mostly young
savants, who have not the rank or title of professor, but have
obtained only the _venia legendi_ from the university. The lectures,
as a rule of admirable learning and thoroughness, invariably laying
great and prosy stress on "development," are delivered in large halls
and may be subscribed for in as many faculties as the student chooses,
the cost being about thirty shillings or there-abouts per term for
each lecture "heard." Outside the university the student enjoys
complete independence, which is a privilege highly (and sometimes
violently) cherished, especially by non-studious undergraduates, under
the name "academic freedom." The German preparing for one or other of
the learned professions will probably spend a year or two at each of
three, or maybe four, universities, according to the special faculty
he adopts and for which the university has a reputation. There are
plenty of hard-working students of course; nowadays probably the great
majority are of this kind; but to a large proportion also the
university period is still a pleasant, free, and easy halting-place
between the severe discipline and work of the school and the stern
struggle of the working world.

The social life of the English university is paralleled in Germany by
associations of students in student "Corps," with theatrical uniforms
for their _Chargierte_ or officers, special caps, sometimes of
extraordinary shape, swords, leather gauntlets, Wellington boots, and
other distinguishing gaudy insignia. The Corps are more or less
select, the most exclusive of all being the Corps Borussia, which at
every university only admits members of an upper class of society,
though on rare occasions receiving in its ranks an exceptionally
aristocratic, popular, or wealthy foreigner. To this Corps, the name
of which is the old form of "Prussia," the Emperor belonged when at
Bonn, and in one or two of his speeches he has since spoken of the
agreeable memories he retains in connexion with it and the practices
observed by it.

Common to all university associations in Germany--whether Corps,
Landsmannschaft, Burschenschaft, or Turnerschaft--is the practice of
the _Mensur_, or student duel. It is not a duel in the sense usually
given to the word in England, for it lacks the feature of personal
hostility, hate, or injury, but is a particularly sanguinary form of
the English "single-stick," in which swords take the place of sticks.
These swords (_Schlaeger_), called, curiously enough, _rapiere_, are
long and thin in the blade, and their weight is such that at every
duel students are told off on whose shoulders the combatants can rest
their outstretched sword-arm in the pauses of the combat caused by the
duellists getting out of breath; consequently, an undersized student
is usually chosen for this considerate office. The heads and faces of
the duellists are swathed in bandages--no small incentive to
perspiration, the vital parts of their bodies are well protected
against a fatal prick or blow, and the pricks or slashes must be
delivered with the hand and wrist raised head-high above the shoulder.
It is considered disgraceful to move the head, to shrink in the
smallest degree before the adversary, or even to show feeling when the
medical student who acts as surgeon in an adjoining room staunches the
flow of blood or sews up the scars caused by the swords. The duel of a
more serious kind--that with pistols or the French rapier, or with the
bare-pointed sabre and unprotected bodies--is punishable by law, and
is growing rarer each year.

Take a sabre duel--"heavy sabre duel" is the German name for
it--arising out of a quarrel in a cafe or beer-house, and in which one
of the opponents may be a foreigner affiliated to some Corps or
Burschenschaft. Cards are exchanged, and the challenger chooses a
second whom he sends to the opponent. The latter, if he accepts the
challenge, also appoints a second; the seconds then meet and arrange
for the holding of a court of honour. The court will probably consist
of old Corps students--lawyer, a doctor, and two or three other
members of the Corps or Burschenschaft. The court summons the
opponents before it and hears their account of the quarrel; the
seconds produce evidence, for example the bills at the cafe or
beer-hall, showing how much liquor has been consumed; also as to age,
marriage or otherwise, and so on. Then the court decides whether there
shall be a duel, or not, and if so, in what form it shall be fought.

The duel may be fixed to take place at any time within six months, and
meanwhile the opponents industriously practise. The scene of the duel
is usually the back room of some beer-hall, with locked doors between
the duellists and the police. The latter know very well what is going
on, but shut their eyes to it. The opponents take their places at
about a yard and a half distance from advanced foot to advanced foot,
and a chalk line is drawn between them. Close behind each opponent is
his second with outstretched sword, ready to knock up the duellists'
weapons in case of too dangerous an impetuosity in the onset. The
umpire _(Unparteiischer)_, unarmed, stands a little distance from the
duellists. The latter are naked _to_ the waist, but wear a leather
apron like that of a drayman, covering the lower half of the chest,
and another piece of leather, like a stock, protecting their necks and
jugular veins. The duel may last a couple of hours, and any number of
rounds up to as many as two hundred may be fought. The rounds consist
of three or four blows, and last about twenty seconds each, when the
seconds, who have been watching behind their men in the attitude of a
wicket-keeper, with their sword-points on the ground, jump in and
knock up the duellists' weapons. When one duellist is disabled by skin
wounds--there are rarely any others--or by want of breath, palpitation
or the like, the duel is over, and the duellists shake hands. This
description, with some slight modifications, applies to the ordinary
Corps _Mensuren_, which are simply a bloody species of gymnastic
exercise.

On one occasion early in the reign the Emperor spoke of the Corps
system with great enthusiasm, and especially endorsed the practice of
the _Mensur_. "I am quite convinced," he said at Bonn in 1891, three
years after his accession,

     "that every young man who enters a Corps receives through
     the spirit which rules in it, and supposing he imbibes the
     spirit, his true directive in life. For it is the best
     education for later life a young man can obtain. Whoever
     pokes fun at the German student Corps is ignorant of its
     true tendency, and I hope that so long as student Corps
     exist the spirit which is fostered in them, and which
     inspires strength and courage, will continue, and that for
     all time the student will joyfully wield the _Schlaeger_."

Regarding the _Mensur_, he went on:

     "Our _Mensuren_ are frequently misunderstood by the public,
     but that must not let us be deceived. We who have been Corps
     students, as I myself was, know better. As in the Middle
     Ages through our gymnastic exercises (_Turniere_) the
     courage and strength of the man was steeled, so by means of
     the Corps spirit and Corps life is that measure of firmness
     acquired which is necessary in later life, and which will
     continue to exist as long as there are universities in
     Germany."

The word for firmness used by the Emperor was _Festigkeit_, which may
also be translated determination, steadiness, fortitude, or
resoluteness of character. It may be that practice of the _Mensur_,
which is held almost weekly, has a lifelong influence on the German
student's character. It probably enables him to look the adversary in
the eye--look "hard" at him, as the mariners in Mr. A.W. Jacobs's
delightful tales look at one another when some particularly ingenious
lie is being produced. In a way, moreover, it may be said to
correspond to boxing in English universities, schools, and gymnasia.
But, on the whole, the Anglo-Saxon spectator finds it difficult to
understand how it can exercise any influence for good on the moral
character of a youth, or determine, as the Emperor says it does, a
disposition which is cowardly or weak by nature to bravery or
strength, save of a momentary and merely physical kind. The Englishman
who has been present at a _Mensur_ is rather inclined to think the
atmosphere too much that of a shambles, and the chief result of the
practice the cultivation of braggadocio.

Besides, the practice is illegal, and though purposely overlooked,
save in one German city, that of Leipzig, where it is punished with
some rigour, the Emperor, who is supposed to embody the majesty and
effectiveness of the law, is hardly the person to recommend it. His
inconsistency in the matter on one occasion placed him in an
undignified position. Two officers of the army quarrelled, and one, an
infantry lieutenant, sent a challenge to the other, an army medical
man. The latter refused on conscientious grounds, whereupon he was
called on by a military court of honour to send in his resignation.
The case was sent up to the Emperor, who upheld the decision of the
court of honour, adding the remark that if the surgeon had
conscientious scruples on the point he should not remain in the army.
An irate Social Democratic editor thereupon pointed out that such a
decision came with a bad grace from a man with whom, or with any of
whose six sons, no one was allowed to fight. The Emperor is still a
member of the Borussia Corps, but chiefly shows his interest by
keeping its anniversaries in mind, by every few years attending one of
its annual drinking festivals (_Commers_), and by paying a substantial
yearly subscription.

The German student Corps, historically, go back to the fourteenth
century, when the first European universities were established at
Bologna, Paris, and Orleans. Universities then were not so called from
the universality of their teachings, but rather as meaning a
corporation, confraternity, or collegium, and were in reality social
centres in the towns where they were instituted. The most renowned was
that of Paris, and here was founded the first student Corps. It was
called the "German Nation of Paris," a corporation of students, with
statutes, oaths, special costumes, and other distinctive features. At
first, strange to say, it contained more Englishmen than Germans. The
"Nation" had a procurator, a treasurer, and a bedell, the last to look
after the legal affairs of the association. Drinking was not the
supposed purpose of the society, but the Corps mostly assembled, as
German Corps do to-day, for drinking purposes.

The earliest form of German student associations Was the
Landsmannschaft. To this society, composed of elders and juniors,
new-comers, called Pennales, were admitted after painful ceremonies
and became something like the "fags" at an English public school. The
object of the original Landsmannschaft was to keep alive the spirit of
nationality. The object of the German Corps is different. It is to
beget and perpetuate friendship, and this accounts for the steady
goodwill the Emperor has always shown towards the comrades of his Bonn
and Borussia days.

An ancient form of Corps entertainment is called the Hospiz, now,
however, much modified. Upon invitation the members of the Corps meet
in a beer-hall or in the rooms of one of the Corps. The president is
seated with a house-key on the table before him as a symbol of
unfettered authority. As members arrive, the president takes away
their sticks and swords and deposits them in a closet. The guests sit
down and are handed filled pipes and a lighted _fidibus_, or
pipe-lighter. Bread and butter and cheese, followed by coffee, are
offered. After this, the real work of the evening begins--the
drinking. A large can of beer stands on a stool beside the president.
The latter calls for silence by rapping three times on the table with
the house-key, and the Hospiz is declared open. Thenceforward only the
president pours out the beer, unless he appoints a deputy during his
absence. The president's great aim and honour is to make every one,
including himself, intoxicated. He begins by rapping the table with
his glass and saying "Significat ein Glas." In response all drain
their glasses. Then comes a "health to all," and this is followed by a
"health to each." "The Ladies" follow, including toasts to the pretty
girls of the town, and ladies known to be favourites of those present.
Married ladies or women of bad reputation must not be toasted in the
Hospiz.

A story is told of a toast the Emperor, in these his Lohengrin days,
once proposed at a Borussia meeting. "On the Kreuzberg" (a hill near
Bonn), he said,

     "I saw a picture, the ideal of a German woman. She united in
     herself beauty of face and an imposing form, the roses in
     her cheeks spoke of the modesty peculiar to our maids, and
     her voice sounded harmoniously like the lute of the
     Minnesingers on the Wartburg. She told me her name--may it
     be blessed."

The toast found its way into the local papers and gave birth to a
romantic legend connecting the future Emperor with a pretty and modest
girl of the town, but no true basis for it has ever been discovered.

In toasting the Ladies in a Hospiz each of those present may name the
lady of his choice, and if two name the same lady they have a drinking
bout to determine which is entitled to claim her. The one who first
admits that he can drink no more--usually signified by a hasty and
zigzag retreat from the room--is declared the loser. If a guest comes
late to the Hospiz he must drink fast so as to catch up with earlier
arrivals, unless he has been drinking elsewhere, when he is let off
with drinking a "general health."

The close of the Emperor's student days was marked by an event which
was to have a great influence on his life and happiness. It was in
1879 that he made the acquaintance of the young lady who was, a couple
of years later, to become his wife, and subsequently Empress. When at
Bonn Prince William had developed a liking for wild-game shooting, and
accepted an invitation from Duke Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein to
shoot pheasants at Primkenau Castle, the Duke's seat in Silesia. More
than one romantic story is current about the first meeting of the
lovers, but that most generally credited, as it was published at or
near the time, represents the young sportsman as meeting the lady
accidentally in the garden of the castle. He had arrived at night and
gone shooting early next morning before being introduced to the family
of his host, and on his return surprised the fair-haired and blue-eyed
Princess Auguste Victoria as she lay dozing in a hammock in the
garden. The student approached, the words "little Rosebud" on his
lips, but hastily withdrew as the Princess, all blushes, awoke. The
pair met shortly afterwards at breakfast, when the visitor learned who
the "little rosebud" was whom he had surprised. The Princess was then
twenty-two, but looked much younger, a privilege from nature she still
possesses in middle age. The impression made on the student was deep
and lasting, and the engagement was announced on Valentine's Day, in
February, 1880. The marriage was celebrated on February 27th of the
following year at the royal palace in Berlin. Great popular rejoicing
marked the happy occasion, Berlin was gaily flagged to celebrate the
formal entrance of the bride into the capital, and most other German
cities illuminated in her honour. The imperial bridegroom came from
Potsdam at the head of a military escort selected from his regiment
and preceded the bridal cortege, in which the ancient coronation
carriage, with its smiling occupant, and drawn by eight prancing
steeds, was the principal feature. On the day following the marriage
the young couple went to Primkenau for the honeymoon.

The marriage with a princess of Schleswig-Holstein was not only an
event of general interest from the domestic and dynastic point of
view. It had also political significance, for it meant the happy close
of the troubled period of Prussian dealings with those conquered
territories.

A story throwing light on the young bride's character is current in
connexion with her wedding. One of the hymns contained a
strophe--"Should misfortune come upon us," which her friends wanted
her to have omitted as striking too melancholy a note. "No," she said,

     "let it be sung. I don't expect my new position to be always
     a bed of roses. Prince William is of the same mind, and we
     have both determined to bear everything in common, and thus
     make what is unpleasant more endurable."

Since the marriage their domestic felicity, as all the world is aware,
has never been troubled, and the example thus given to their subjects
is one of the surest foundations of their influence and authority in
Germany. The secret of this felicity, affection apart, is to be sought
for in the strong moral sense of the Emperor regarding what he owes to
himself and his people, but no less perhaps in the exemplary character
of the Empress. As a girl at Primkenau she was a sort of Lady
Bountiful to the aged and sick on the estate, and led there the simple
life of the German country maiden of the time. It was not the day of
electric light and central heating and the telephone; hardly of lawn
tennis, certainly not of golf and hockey; while motor-cars and
militant suffragettes were alike unknown. Instead of these delights
the Princess, as she then was, was content with the humdrum life of a
German country mansion, with rare excursions into the great world
beyond the park gates, with her religious observances, her books, her
needlework, her plants and flowers, and her share in the management of
the castle.

These domestic tastes she has preserved, and the saying, quoted in
Germany whenever she is the subject of conversation, that her
character and tastes are summed up in the four words _Kaiser, Kinder,
Kirche_, and _Kueche_--Emperor, children, church, and kitchen--is as
true as it is compendious and alliterative. It is often assumed,
especially by men, that a woman who cultivates these tastes cultivates
no other. This is not as true as is often supposed of the Empress, as
a journal of her voyage to Jerusalem in 1898, published on her return
to Germany, goes to show. Following the traditions and example of the
queens and empresses who have preceded her, she has always given
liberally of her time and care, as she still does, to the most
multifarious forms of charity. She has a great and intelligible pride
in her clever and energetic husband, while her interest in her
children is proverbial. She appears to have no ambition to exercise
any influence on politics or to shine as a leader of society. Like the
Emperor, she is not without a sense of humour, and is always amused by
the racy Irish stories (in dialect) told her and a little circle of
guests by Dr. Mahaffy, of Trinity College, Dublin, who is a welcome
guest at the palace.

The offspring of the marriage, it may be here noted, is a family of
seven children--six sons and a daughter--as follows:--

     Crown Prince Frederick William, born 1882
     Prince Eitel Frederick             " 1883
     Prince Adalbert                    " 1884
     Prince August William              " 1887
     Prince Oscar                       " 1888
     Prince Joachim                     " 1890
     Princess Victoria Louise           " 1892

The Crown Prince was born on June 6th at the Marble Palace in Potsdam.
He was educated at first privately by tutors, and later at the
military academy at Ploen, not far from Kiel. When eighteen he became
of age and began his active career as an officer in the army. He is
now commander of the First Regiment of Boay Guards ("Death's Head"
Hussars) at Langfuhr, near Danzig, with the rank of major. He was
married in June, 1905, to Cecilie, Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin,
and is the father of four children, all boys. The Crown Princess is
one of the cleverest, most popular, and most charming characters in
Germany, of the brightest intelligence and the most unaffected
manners. The leading trait in the Crown Prince's character is his love
of sport, from big-game shooting (on which he has written a book) to
lawn tennis. In May last he began to learn golf. He is personally
amiable, has pleasant manners, and is highly popular with all classes
of his future subjects. He is credited with ability, but is not
believed to have inherited the intellectual manysidedness of his
father. The only part he can be said to have taken in public life as
yet is having called the imperial attention to the Maximilian Harden
allegations regarding Count Eulenburg and a court "camarilla,"
referred to later, and having, while sitting in a gallery of the
Reichstag, demonstrated by decidedly marked gestures his disagreement
with the Government's Morocco policy.

Since his marriage the Emperor has more than once publicly
congratulated himself on his good fortune in having such a consort as
the Empress. The most graceful compliment he paid her was in her own
Province of Silesia in 1890, when he said:

     "The band which unites me with the Province--that of all the
     provinces of the Empire which is nearest to my heart--is the
     jewel which sparkles at my side, Her Majesty the Empress. A
     native of this country, a model of all the virtues of a
     German princess, it is her I have to thank that I am in a
     position joyfully to perform the onerous duties of my
     office."

Only the other day at Altona, after thirty years of married life, he
referred to her, again in her home Province and again as she sat
smiling beside him, as the

     "first lady of the land, who is always ready to help the
     needy, to strengthen family ties, to discharge the duties of
     her sex, and suggest to it new aims. The Empress has
     bestowed a home life on the House of Hohenzollern such as
     Queen Louise, alone perhaps, conferred."

Queen Louise, the famous wife of Frederick William III, died in 1810
and is buried in the mausoleum at Charlottenburg, the suburb of
Berlin. She has remained ever since, for the German nation, the type
of womanly perfection.




III.



PRE-ACCESSION DAYS



1881-1887

The seven years between the date of his marriage and that of his
accession were chiefly filled in by the future Emperor with the
conscientious discharge of his regimental duties and the preparation
of himself, by three or four hours' study daily at the various
Ministries, among them the Foreign Office, where he sat at the feet of
Bismarck, for the imperial tasks he would presumably have to undertake
later.

Emperor William I, now a man of eighty-four, was still on the throne.
Born in 1797, he lived with his parents, Frederick William III and
Queen Louise, in Koenigsberg and Memel for three years after the
battle of Jena, won the Iron Cross at the age of seventeen in the war
with Napoleon in 1814, took part in the entry of the Allies into
Paris, and devoted himself thenceforward, until he became King of
Prussia in 1861, chiefly to the reorganization of the army. For a year
during the troubled times of 1848 he was forced to take refuge in
England, from whence he returned to live quietly at Coblenz until
called to the Regency of Prussia in 1858. He was the Grand Master of
Prussian Freemasonry. The attempts on his life in Berlin in 1878 by
the anarchists Hoedel and Nobiling are still spoken of by eye-witnesses
to them. Both attempts were made within a period of three weeks while
the King was driving down Unter den Linden, and on both occasions
revolver shots were fired at him. Hoedel's attempt failed, but in view
of Socialist agitation, the would-be assassin was beheaded (the
practice still in Prussia) a few weeks later. Pellets from Nobiling's
weapon struck the King in the face and arm, and disabled him from work
for several weeks. The political events of the reign, including the
Seven Weeks' War with Austria in 1866, which ended at Sadowa, where
King William was in chief command, and that with France in 1870, when
he was present as Commander-in-Chief at Gravelotte and Sedan, are
frequently referred to by Bismarck in his "Gedanke und Erinnerungen,"
and to these the reader may be referred.

The high and amiable character of the old Emperor, as he became after
1870, is common knowledge. He was a thoroughgoing Hohenzollern in his
views of monarchy and his relations to his folk, but he was at the
same time the type of German chivalry, the essence of good nature, the
soul of honour, and the slave of duty. He was extremely fond of his
grandson, Prince William, and it is clear from the latter's speeches
subsequently that the affection was ardently reciprocated.

Of Emperor William, Bismarck writes in the highest terms, describing
his "kingly courtesy," his freedom from vanity, his impartiality
towards friend and foe alike; in a word, he says, Emperor William was
the idea "gentleman" incorporated. On the other hand, Bismarck tells
how the old Emperor all his life long stood in awe of his consort, the
Empress Augusta, Bismarck's great enemy and the clearing-house
(_Krystallisationspunkt_), as he describes her, of all the opposition
against him; and how the Emperor used to speak of her as "the
hot-head" ("_Feuerkopf_")--"a capital name for her," Bismarck adds,
"as she could not bear her authority as Queen to be overborne by that
of anyone else." The Iron Chancellor, by the way, mentions a curious
fact in connexion with the attempt on Emperor William's life by
Nobiling. The Chancellor says he had noticed that in the seventies the
Emperor's powers had begun to fail, and that he often lost the thread
of a conversation, both in hearing and speaking. After the Nobiling
attempt this disability, strangely enough, completely disappeared. The
fact was noticed by the Emperor himself, for one day he said jestingly
to Bismarck: "Nobiling knew better than the doctors what I really
needed--a good blood-letting."

Referring to the Empress Frederick at this period, Bismarck writes:

     "With her I could not reckon on the same good-will as I
     could with her husband (Emperor Frederick). Her natural and
     inborn sympathy for her native country showed itself from
     the very beginning in the endeavour to shift the weight of
     Prussian-German influence on the European grouping of the
     Powers into the scale of England, which she never ceased to
     regard as her Fatherland; and, in consciousness of the
     opposition of interests between the two great Asiatic
     Powers, England and Russia, to see Germany's power, in case
     of a breach, used for the benefit of England."

An incident may be mentioned here which took place at what was to turn
out to be the Emperor William's death-bed and refers particularly to
our young Prince William. Bismarck was talking to the sick Emperor a
few days before the latter's death. The Chancellor spoke about the
necessity of publishing an Order, already drawn up in November of the
preceding year, appointing Prince William regent in case the necessity
for such a measure should occur. The sick Emperor expressed the hope
that Bismarck would stand by his successor. Bismarck promised to do so
and the Emperor pressed his hand in token of satisfaction. Then,
suddenly, Bismarck relates, the Emperor became delirious and began to
rave. Prince William was the central figure in his ravings. He
evidently thought his grandson was at his bedside and exclaimed, using
the familiar _Du_; "_Du_ you must always keep on good terms with the
Czar (Alexander III) ... there is no need to quarrel in that quarter."
Thereafter he was silent, and Bismarck left the sick-room.

The Prince's parents, Crown Prince Frederick and his English consort,
had also their Court at the Marmor Palais in Potsdam, and their palace
in Berlin, but the life they led was comparatively simple. The Crown
Prince and Princess were great travellers and consequently often
absent from Germany; and when at home, while the Crown Prince, in his
serious-minded fashion, was absorbed in study, the Crown Princess
divided her time between the practice of the arts and correspondence
with her now grown-up sons and daughters.

Still, it is clear from the signs of the time that there was a good
deal of intrigue going on throughout this pre-accession period, or, if
intrigue is too strong a term for it, a good deal of friction, social
and political, in high circles. It was chiefly caused, if the old
Chancellor's statements to his sycophantic adorer, Busch, are to be
credited, by the interference of the Empress Augusta and her
daughter-in-law, the Crown Princess, in the sphere of politics, the
Empress seeking to influence her husband in favour of the Catholics,
whom she had taken under her protection, and the Crown Princess
trying, as we have seen, to influence German policy in favour of
England.

Exactly what part Prince William took in it all is not very clear. One
thing we know, that he greatly displeased Bismarck by his constant
attendance at the Waldersee _salon_, then a social centre in Berlin.
Countess Waldersee, who is still living in Hannover, was the daughter
of an American banker named Lee. She married Frederick, Prince of
Schleswig, but he died six months after the wedding. His widow
afterwards married Count Waldersee, who was subsequently to command
the international forces during the Boxer troubles in China. Bismarck
detested Waldersee, perhaps because many people spoke of him as his
probable successor, and consequently looked with anything but favour
on his imperial pupil's visit to the Waldersees.

The great figure of the time, however, was neither the Emperor nor the
Crown Prince nor Prince William, but Prince Bismarck, who, as
Chancellor for now more than a quarter of a century, had throughout
that period guided the destinies of Prussia and the German Empire.
Emperor William and Crown Prince Frederick and Prince William were
playing, doubtless, more or less prominent parts on the public stage,
but all things of moment gravitated towards Bismarck, whose days were
spent, now persuading or convincing the Emperor, now warring with a
Parliament growing impatient of his dictatorial attitude, now
countermining the intrigues and opposition of his adversaries at Court
and in the Ministries. He hardly ever went into society, but though he
spent his days growling in his den at the Foreign Office when he was
not immersed in work, he was the great popular figure of Berlin;
indeed, it might be said, of all Germany.

As second lieutenant, Prince William had naturally a good deal to
learn, though, entering life, as we have seen, as a "fine young
recruit," having had a "military governor" appointed to his service
when he was four, being made an officer at the age of ten, and having
passed most of his life hitherto in a military society and atmosphere,
he had less perhaps to learn than the ordinary young German officer.
He went through the usual drills, and doubtless felt, as keenly as
does the young officer everywhere, their monotonous and seemingly
unnecessary repetitions, but they fulfilled the object in view and
gave him the well-set-up bearing and martial tread which still
distinguish him. Living in the old Town Castle of Potsdam, in rooms
that had once been occupied by Frederick the Great, he entered with
zest into the task of learning the mechanism of his regiment and at
the same time of the army generally, though it cannot have been as
interesting a task then as now, when science has added so many new
branches to military organization. Both he and his young wife were as
hospitable as their not too generous means and occasional cheques from
the Emperor William would allow, particularly to any Borussian of the
Prince's Bonn university days who might be passing through Berlin or
Potsdam. The young Prince and Princess took part, as was to be
expected of them, in the festivities and ceremonies of the Emperor's
and Crown Prince's Court, and, when they had nothing more interesting
to do, might be seen strolling arm in arm about the streets in Potsdam
looking into the shops as young married people do in every town, and
being apparently, as the story-books say, as happy as the day is long.

On the whole, however, during these pre-accession years, only glimpses
of Prince William's character and doings are obtainable, but, though
meagre, they are sufficient to suggest that in his case, too, if we
extend the saying to cover the entire period of youth, the child was
father to the man. The chief, almost the only, reliable authorities
for the inner history of the time are the memoirs and notes left by
the two Chancellors, Prince Bismarck and Prince Hohenlohe--_en
passant_ let the hope be expressed here that in the interests of
Germany herself another Chancellor, Prince Bernhard Ernst von Buelow,
now living in retirement at Rome, will enlighten the world as to that
of the last ten or twelve stirring years, _quorum pars magna fuit_.
Both Bismarck and Hohenlohe were excellent judges of character, and
have, described, though with regrettable brevity, the character of
Prince William about this time. Talking to his confidant, Dr. Busch,
in June, 1882, Bismarck says of the Prince:

     "He is quite different from the Emperor William, and wishes
     to take the government into his own hands; he is energetic
     and determined, not at all disposed to put up with
     parliamentary co-regents, a regular guardsman; Philopater
     and Antipater at Potsdam! He is not at all pleased at his
     father (Crown Prince Frederick) taking up with professors,
     with Mommsen, Virchow, Forckenbeck. Perhaps he may one day
     develop into the _rocher de bronze_ of which we stand in
     need."

This _rocher de bronze_ is an expression constantly employed by
devoted royalists and imperialists in Germany. It was first used by
Frederick William IV, who, in the jargon which in his time passed for
the German language, exclaimed: "_Ich werde meine Souvereinetat
stabilizieren wie ein rocher de bronze_."

Again, about this time Bismarck says:

     "Up to that time (when Prince William was studying at the
     Ministries) he knew little, and indeed did not trouble
     himself much about it, but preferred to enjoy himself in the
     society of young officers and such-like,"

and he goes on to tell how the Prince took--or did not take--to this
Ministerial education. It was proposed that the Under Secretary of
State, Herrfurth, who was reputed to be well informed, particularly in
statistics, should instruct him about internal questions. The Prince
agreed and invited Herrfurth to lunch, but afterwards told Bismarck he
could not stand him, "with his bristly beard, his dryness and
tediousness." Could Bismarck suggest some one else? The Chancellor
mentioned Privy Councillor von Brandenstein. The Prince did not
object, had the Baron several times to meals, but paid so little
attention to his explanations that Brandenstein lost patience and
begged for some other employment. Concerning a rendezvous, Bismarck
writes:

     "He (Prince William) has more understanding, more courage
     and greater independence (than his grandfather), but in his
     leaning for me he goes too far. He was 'surprised' that I
     had waited for him, a thing his grandfather was incapable of
     saying;"

and the Chancellor adds:

     "It is only in trifles and matters of secondary importance
     that one occasionally has reason to find fault with him, as,
     for instance, in the form of his State declarations--but
     that is youthful vivacity which time will correct. Better
     too much than too little fire."

Busch relates, under date of April 6, 1888, Bismarck's birthday, how
Prince William came to offer his congratulations, and, having done so,
invited himself to dinner. The meal over, he made a speech toasting
Bismarck, in which he said:

     "The Empire is like an army corps that has lost its
     commander-in-chief in the field, while the officer who is
     next to him in rank lies severely wounded. At this critical
     moment forty-six million loyal German hearts turn with
     solicitude and hope to the standard, and the standard-bearer
     in whom all their expectations are centred. The
     standard-bearer is our illustrious Prince, our great
     Chancellor. Let him lead us. We will follow him. Long may he
     live!"

Prince Hohenlohe's references to Prince William as Emperor are
frequent and full, but he has little to say about his character as
Prince William beyond noting, when there was some talk of the Prince
directly succeeding Emperor William, that he was "too young." On an
occasion subsequently Prince Hohenlohe amusingly notes that the
Emperor shook hands with him until his fingers "nearly cracked." This
is still a genial gesture of the Emperor's.

One document, however, is available to show the spirit of religious
tolerance which then animated our young Lutheran Prince, as it has
animated him, it may be added, ever since. Pius IX had been succeeded
in the Papacy by the more liberal Leo XIII, and the Kulturkampf had
come to an end. Prince William, writing to an uncle, Cardinal
Hohenlohe, says:--

     "That this unholy Kulturkampf is at an end is a thing which
     rejoices me beyond expression. Of late many eminent
     Catholics, among them Kopp (afterwards Cardinal) have
     frequently visited me and honoured me with a confidence at
     once complete and gratifying. I was often so happy as to be
     able to be the interpreter of their wishes (to the Emperor
     and Bismarck, presumably) and do them some service. So it
     has been granted to my youth to co-operate in this work of
     peace. This has given me great pleasure and happiness.

     "Give my regards to Galimberti and lay my respects at the
     feet of the Pope.

     "Thy devoted nephew,

     "WILLIAM OF PRUSSIA."

With his future subjects Prince William was brought into close
relations only in a very limited way. No one, save perhaps Bismarck,
seems to have known or suspected his true character and aims. This was
natural enough, since it is not until a man comes to occupy some
influential or prominent position that the public begins to take an
interest in him. His father would be Emperor before him, and fate
might have it that he himself would not live to come to the throne.
Royal highnesses are not uncommon in a country with such a feudal
history and so many courts as Germany. The young Prince, moreover, was
never, to use a phrase of to-day, in the limelight. He was never
involved in a notorious scandal. He had not, as his eldest son, the
present Crown Prince, has, published a book. He was more or less
absorbed in the army, the early grave of so many dawning talents. And
there was no newspaper press devoted to chronicling the doings and
sayings of the fashionable world of his time. His natural abilities
would doubtless have secured him reputation and success in any sphere
of life, but, as he himself would probably be the first to admit, much
of his fame, and even much of his merit, is due to the splendid
opportunities afforded him by his birth and position.

At the same time it is obvious that if his people at this period had
not much opportunity of studying the young Prince, he had been
studying them and their requirements as these latter appeared to him.
He had evidently thought much on Germany's conditions and prospects
before he came to the throne, and was Empire-building in imagination
long before he became Emperor. It is not hard to guess the drift of
his meditations. The success of the Empire depended on the success of
Prussia, and the success of Prussia, ringed in by possibly hostile
Powers, on union under a Prussian King whom Germans should swear
fealty to and regard as a Heaven-granted leader. From the history of
Prussia he drew the conclusion that force, physical force, well
organized and equipped, must be the basis of Germany's security.
Physical force had made Brandenburg into Prussia, and Prussia into the
still nascent modern German Empire. He knew that France was only
waiting for the day to come when she would be powerful enough to
recover her lost provinces. Russia was friendly, but there was no
certainty she would always be so. Austria was an ally, but many people
in Austria had not forgotten Sadowa, and in any case her military and
naval forces were far from being efficient. An irresistible army, and
a national spirit that would keep it so, were consequently Germany's
first essentials.

Simultaneously a new fact of vital importance for Germany's prosperity
presented itself for consideration--the growth of world-policy in
trade, the expansion of commerce through the development caused by new
conditions of transport and intercommunication in which other nations
were already engaged. The Prince saw his country's merchants beginning
to spread over the earth, and believing in the doctrine that trade
follows the flag, he felt that the flag, with the power and protection
it affords, must be supplied. For this it appeared to him that a navy
was as indispensable as was an efficient army for Germany's internal
security. All other great countries had fine navies, while to Germany
this complement of Empire was practically wanting. Accordingly he now
took up the study of naval science and naval construction.

There was an occasion, however, at this time when the young Prince
attracted general attention, if only for a few days. It was when as
colonel of the Body Guard Hussars, he ordered his officers to withdraw
from a Berlin club in which hazard and high play had ruined some of
the younger and less wealthy members. The committee of the club used
their influence to cause Emperor William to make the new commander
cancel his order. The Emperor sent for his grandson and requested its
withdrawal.

"Majesty," said the young commander, "permit me a question--am I still
commander of the regiment?"

"Of course--"

"Well, then, will your Majesty allow me to maintain the order--or else
accept my resignation?"

"Oh," said the Emperor, who was in reality pleased with the young
disciplinarian, "there can be no talk of such a thing. I could not
find so good a commanding officer again in a hurry."

When the club committee's ambassadors came to the Emperor to learn the
result of his intervention, his answer was, "Very sorry, gentlemen; I
did my best, but the colonel refuses."

The political situation as regards France was just now highly
precarious. General Boulanger, whom Gambetta once described as "one of
the four best officers in France," had become Minister of War in the
de Freycinet Cabinet of 1886. Relying on a supposed superiority of the
French army, he prepared for a war of revenge against Germany and
aimed, with the help of Deroulede and Rochfort, at suppressing the
parliamentary _regime_ and establishing himself as dictator. His plans
were answered in Germany by the acceptance of Bismarck's Septennat
proposals for increasing the army and fixing its budget for seven
years in advance. The war feeling in France diminished, and though it
revived for a time owing to the arrest of the French frontier police
commissary Schnaebele, it finally died out on that officer's release
at the particular request of the Czar to Emperor William. Boulanger's
subsequent history only concerns France. He was sent to a provincial
command, but returned to Paris, where he was joyously received and
elected to Parliament by a large majority. He might, it is believed, a
year or two later, on being elected by the department of the Seine,
with Paris at his back, have made a successful _coup d'etat_ on the
night of his triumphant election, but his courage at the last moment
failed, and on learning that he was about to be arrested he fled to
Brussels, where he committed suicide on the grave of his mistress.

The time, however, was approaching, the most interesting, and as the
succession of events have shown, the most momentous for the Empire
since 1870, when Prince William's accession was obviously at hand.
During the year 1887 and the early part of 1888 the attention of the
world was fixed, first curiously, then anxiously, then sympathetically
on the situation in Berlin. Emperor William was an old man just turned
ninety; he was fast breaking up and any week his death might be
announced. Hereditarily the Crown Prince Frederick, now fifty-six,
should succeed, and a new reign would open which might introduce
political changes of moment to other countries as well as Germany. The
new reign was indeed to open, but only to prove one of the shortest in
history.

In January, 1887, a Shadow fell on the House of Hohenzollern, the
Shadow that must one day fall on every living creature. It was noticed
that the Crown Prince was hoarse, had caught a cold, or something of
the kind. A stay at Ems did him no good, Doctors Tobold and von
Bergmann, the leading specialists of the day, were consulted, a
laryngoscopic examination followed, the presence of cancer was
strongly suspected, and an operation was advised. At this juncture, at
the suggestion, it is said, of Queen Victoria, it was decided to
summon the specialist of highest reputation in England, Sir Morell
Mackenzie, who, having examined the patient, and basing his opinion on
a report of Professor Virchow's, declared that the growth was not
malignant. It was now May, and on Mackenzie's advice the patient
visited England, where, accompanied by Prince William, he was present
at the celebration of Queen Victoria's Jubilee. Some months after his
return to the Continent were spent with his family in Tirol and Italy,
until November found him in San Remo, where a meeting of famous
surgeons from Vienna, Berlin, and Frankfort-on-Main finally diagnosed
the existence of cancer, and Mackenzie coincided with the judgment.

The old Emperor died on March 9th. He had taken cold on March 3rd, and
on the 7th a chronic ailment of the kidneys from which he suffered
became worse, he could not sleep, his strength began to ebb, and it
was clear the end was near. On the 6th, however, he was able to speak
for a few minutes with Prince William, with Bismarck, and with his
only daughter, the Grand Duchess of Baden, who had arrived post-haste
the night before to be present at the death-bed. The Grand Duchess, as
the Emperor spoke, besought him not to tire himself by talking. "I
have no time to be tired," he murmured, in a flicker of the sense of
duty which had been a lifelong feature of his character, and a few
hours later he passed quietly away. The funeral, headed by Prince
William and the Knights of the Black Eagle, took place on the 20th.
The new Emperor Frederick, who had hurried from San Remo on receiving
news of the Emperor's condition, was too ill to join it, but stood
behind a closed window of his palace and saluted as the coffin went
by.

The incidents of the Emperor Frederick's ascent of the throne, the
amnesty and liberal-minded proclamations to his people, and in
particular the heroic resignation with which he bore his fate, are
events of common knowledge. One of them was the so-called Battenberg
affair. Queen Victoria desired a marriage between Princess Victoria,
the present Emperor's sister, then aged twenty-two, and Prince
Alexander of Battenberg, at that time Prince of Bulgaria, so as to
secure him against Russia by an alliance with the imperial house of
Germany. Prince Bismarck objected on the ground that the marriage
would show Germany in an unfriendly light at St. Petersburg, and might
subject a Prussian princess to the risk of expulsion from Sofia.
Another account is that the Chancellor feared an increase of English
influence at the German Court with the Prince of Bulgaria as its
channel. In any case, the result of the Chancellor's opposition was to
place the sick Emperor in a delicate and painful situation. It was
ended by his yielding to the Chancellor's representations, and the
marriage did not come off.

Meanwhile, the Emperor's malady was making fatal progress. The Shadow
was growing darker and more formidable. A season of patiently-borne
suffering followed, until Death in his terrific majesty appeared and
another Emperor occupied the throne.




IV.



"VON GOTTES GNADEN"

Prince William is now German Emperor and King of Prussia. Before
observing him as trustee and manager of his magnificent inheritance a
pause may be made to investigate the true meaning of a much-discussed
phrase which, while suggesting nothing to the Englishman though he
will find it stamped in the words "Dei gratia" on every shilling piece
that passes through his hands, is the bed-rock and foundation of the
Emperor's system of rule and the key to his nature and conduct.

Government in Germany is dynastic, not, as in England and America,
parliamentary or democratic. The King of Prussia possesses his
crown--such is the theory of the people as well as of the dynasty--by
the grace of God, not by the consent of the people. The same may be
said of the German Emperor, who fills his office as King of Prussia.
To the Anglo-Saxon foreigner the dynasty in Germany, and particularly
in Prussia, appears a sort of fetish, the worship of which begins in
the public schools with lessons on the heroic deeds of the
Hohenzollerns, and with the Emperor, as high priest, constantly
calling on his people to worship with him. This view of the kingly
succession may seem Oriental, but it is not surprising when one
reflects that the Hohenzollern dynasty is over a thousand years old
and during that time has ruled successively in part of Southern
Germany, in Brandenburg, in Prussia, until at last, imperially, in all
Germany. Moreover, it has ruled wisely on the whole; in the course of
centuries it has brought a poor and disunited people, living on a soil
to a great extent barren and sandy, to a pitch of power and prosperity
which is exciting the envy and apprehension of other nations.

In England government passed centuries ago from the dynasty to the
people, and there are people in England to-day who could not name the
dynasty that occupies the English throne. Such ignorance in Germany is
hardly conceivable. In Prussia government has always been the appanage
of the Hohenzollerns, and the Emperor is resolved that, supported by
the army, it shall continue to be their appanage in the Empire.
Government means guidance, and no one is more conscious of the fact
than the Emperor, for he is trying to guide his people all the time.
Frederick William IV once said to the Diet: "You are here to represent
rights, the rights of your class and, at the same time, the rights of
the throne: to represent opinion is not your task." This relation of
government and people has become modified of recent years to a very
obvious degree, but constitutionally not a step has been taken in the
direction of popular, that is to say parliamentary, rule.

England and Germany are both constitutional monarchies, but both the
monarch and the Constitution in Germany are different from the monarch
and the Constitution in England. The British Constitution is a growth
of centuries, not, like the German Constitution, the creation of a
day. The British Constitution is unwritten, if it is stamped, as Mary
said the word "Calais" would be found stamped on her heart after
death, on the heart and brain of every Englishman. The German
Constitution is a written document in seventy-eight chapters, not
fifty years old, and on which, compared with the British Constitution,
the ink is not yet dry. In England to the people the Constitution is
the real monarch: in Germany the monarchy is to the people what the
British Constitution is to the Englishman; and while in England the
monarch is the first counsellor to the Constitution, in Germany the
Constitution is the first counsellor to the monarch.

The consequence in England is representative government, with a
political career for every ordinary citizen; the consequence in
Germany is constitutional monarchy, properly so-called, with a
political career for no common citizen. Neither system is perfect, but
both, apparently, give admirable national results. And yet, of course,
an Englishman cannot help thinking that if Herr Bebel were made
Minister to-morrow, Social Democracy would cease to exist.

The people acquiesce in the Hohenzollern view, not indeed with perfect
and entire unanimity, for the small Progressive party demand a
parliamentary form of government, if not on the exact model of that
established in England. The Social Democrats, evidently, would have no
government at all. Many English people suppose that Germans generally
must desire parliamentary rule and would help them to get it, for
multitudes of English people are firmly persuaded that it is England's
mission to extend to other peoples the institutions which have suited
her so well, without sufficiently considering how different are their
circumstances, geographical position, history, traditions, and
national character. A very similar mistake is made in Germany by
multitudes of Germans, who believe it is Germany's mission to impose
her culture, her views of man and life, on the rest of the world.

The Prussian view of monarchy, expressed in the words "von Gottes
Gnaden" ("By the Grace of God"), is a political conception, which,
under its customary English translation, "by Divine Right," has often
been ridiculed by English writers. Lord Macaulay, it will be
remembered, in his "History of England," asserts that the doctrine
first emerged into notice when James the Sixth of Scotland ascended
the English throne. "It was gravely maintained," writes Macaulay,

     "that the Supreme Being regarded hereditary monarchy, as
     opposed to other systems of government, with peculiar
     favour; that the rule of succession in order of
     primogeniture was a divine institution anterior to the
     Christian, and even to the Mosaic, dispensation; that no
     human power, not even that of the whole legislature, no
     length of adverse possession, though it extended to ten
     centuries, could deprive the legitimate prince of his
     rights; that his authority was necessarily always despotic;
     that the laws by which, in England and other countries, the
     prerogative was limited, were to be regarded merely as
     concessions which the sovereign had freely made and might at
     his pleasure resume; and that any treaty into which a king
     might enter with his people was merely a declaration of his
     present intention, and not a contract of which the
     performance could be demanded."

The statement exactly expresses the ideas on the subject attributed
abroad to the Emperor.

The distinguished German historian, Heinrich von Treitschke, writes of
King Frederick William IV, the predecessor of Emperor William I, as
follows:--

     "He believed in a mysterious enlightenment which is granted
     'von Gottes Gnaden' to kings rather than other mortals. All
     the blessings of peace, which his People could expect under
     a Christian monarch, should Proceed from the wisdom of the
     Crown alone; he regarded his high office like a patriarch of
     the Old Testament and held the kingship as a fatherly power
     established by God Himself for the education of the people.
     Whatever happened in the State he connected with the person
     of the monarch. If only his age and its royal awakener had
     understood each other better! He had, however, in his
     strangely complicated process of development, constructed
     such extraordinary ideals that though he might sometimes
     agree in words with his contemporaries he never did as to
     the things, and spoke a different language from his people.
     Even General Gerlach, his good friend and servant, used to
     say: 'The ways of the King are wonderful;' and the not less
     loyal Bunsen wrote about a complaint of the monarch that 'no
     one understands me, no one agrees with me,' the
     commentary--'When one understood him, how could one agree
     with him?'"

It was this king, be it parenthetically remarked, who said, when his
people were clamouring for a Constitution, in 1847: "Now and never
will I admit that a written paper, like a second Providence, force
itself between our God in Heaven and this land"--and a few months
later had to sign the document his people demanded.

Von Treitschke, writing on the last birthday of Emperor William I,
thus spoke of the doctrine:

     "A generation ago an attempt was made by a theologizing
     State theory to inculcate the doctrine of a power of the
     throne, divine, released from all earthly obligations. This
     mystery of the Jacobins never found entrance into the clear
     common sense of our people."

Prince Bismarck's view of the doctrine was explained in a speech he
made to the Prussian Diet in 1847. He was speaking on "Prussia as a
Christian State." "For me," he said,

     "the words 'von Gottes Gnaden,' which Christian rulers join
     to their names, are no empty phrase, but I see in them the
     recognition that the princes desire to wield the sceptre
     which God has assigned them according to the will of God on
     earth. As God's will I can, however, only recognize what is
     revealed in the Christian gospels, and I believe I am in my
     right when I call that State a Christian one which has taken
     as its task the realization, the putting into operation, of
     the Christian doctrine.... Assuming generally that the State
     has a religious foundation, in my opinion this foundation
     can only be Christianity. Take away this religious
     foundation from the State and we retain nothing of the State
     but a chance aggregation of rights, a kind of bulwark
     against the war of all against all, which the old
     philosophers spoke of."

On the second occasion, thirty years later, the Chancellor's theme was
"Obedience to God and the King."

"I refer," he said,

     "to the wrong interpretation of a sentence which in itself
     is right--namely, that one must obey God rather than man.
     The previous speaker must know me long enough to be aware
     that I subscribe to the entire correctness of this sentence,
     and that I believe I obey God when I serve the King under
     the device 'With God for King and Country.' Now he (the
     previous speaker) has separated the component parts of the
     device, for he sees God separated from King and Fatherland.
     I cannot follow him on this road. I believe I serve my God
     when I serve my King in the protection of the commonwealth
     whose monarch 'von Gottes Gnaden' he is, and on whom the
     emancipation from alien spiritual influence and the
     independence of his people from Romish pressure have been
     laid by God as a duty in which I serve the King. The
     previous speaker would certainly admit in private that we do
     not believe in the divinity of a State idol, though he seems
     to assert here that we believe in it."

In these passages, it may be remarked, Bismarck avoids an
unconditional endorsement of the Hohenzollern doctrine of divine
"right" or even divine appointment. Indeed all he does is to express
his belief in the sincerity of rulers who declare their desire to rule
in accordance with the will of God as it appears in Holy Scripture. In
addition to his dislike of a "Christianity above the State," the fact
that he did not subscribe to the doctrine of divine right, as these
words are interpreted in England, is shown by another speech in which
he said, "The essence of the constitutional monarchy under which we
live is the co-operation of the monarchical will and the convictions
of the people." But what, one is tempted to ask, if will and
convictions differ?

In recent times, Dr. Paul Liman, in an excellent character sketch of
the Emperor, devotes his first chapter to the subject, thus
recognizing the important place it occupies in the Emperor's
mentality. Dr. Liman, like all German writers who have dealt with the
topic, animadverts on the Hohenzollern obsession by the theory and
attributes it chiefly to the romantic side of the Emperor's nature
which was strongly influenced in youth by the "wonderful events" of
1870, by the national outburst of thanks to God at the time, and by
the return from victorious war of his father, his grandfather, and
other heroes, as they must have appeared to him, like Bismarck,
Moltke, and Roon.

It is worth noting that Prince von Buelow, during the ten years of his
Chancellorship, made no parliamentary or other specific and public
allusion to the doctrine.

Before, however, attempting to offer a somewhat different explanation
of the Emperor's attitude in the matter from those just cited, let us
see what statements he has himself made publicly about it and how the
doctrine has been interpreted by his contemporaries. He made no
reference to it in his declarations to the army, the navy, and the
people when he ascended the throne. His first allusion to it was in
March, 1890, at the annual meeting of the Brandenburg provincial Diet
at the Kaiserhof Hotel in Berlin, and then the allusion was not
explicit. "I see," said the Emperor,

     "in the folk and land which have descended to me a talent
     entrusted to me by God, which it is my task to increase, and
     I intend with all my power so to administer this talent that
     I hope to be able to add much to it. Those who are willing
     to help me I heartily welcome whoever they may be: those who
     oppose me in this task I will crush."

His next allusion, at Bremen in April of the same year, when he was
laying the foundation-stone of a statue to his grandfather, King
William, a few months subsequent to Bismarck's retirement, was more
explicit, yet not completely so.

"It is a tradition of our House," so ran his speech,

     "that we, the Hohenzollerns, regard ourselves as appointed
     by God to govern and to lead the people, whom it is given us
     to rule, for their well-being and the advancement of their
     material and intellectual interests."

The next reference, and the only one in which a divine "right" to rule
in Prussia is formally claimed, occurs four years later at
Koenigsberg, the ancient crowning-place of Prussian kings. Here he
said:--

     "The successor (namely himself) of him who _of his own
     right_ was sovereign prince in Prussia will follow the same
     path as his great ancestor; as formerly the first King (of
     Prussia, Frederick I.) said, 'My crown is born with me,' and
     as his greater son (the Great Elector) gave his authority
     the stability of a rock of bronze, so I too, like my
     imperial grandfather, represent the kingship 'von Gottes
     Gnaden.'"

At Coblenz in 1897, in reference to the first Emperor William's
labours for the army and people:--

     "He (Emperor William) left Coblenz to ascend the throne as
     the selected instrument of the Lord he always regarded
     himself to be. For us all, and above all for us princes, he
     raised once more aloft and lent lustrous beams to a jewel
     which we should hold high and holy--that is the kingship von
     Gottes Gnaden, the kingship with its onerous duties, its
     never-ending, ever-continuing trouble and labour, with its
     fearful responsibility to the Creator alone, from which no
     human being, no minister, no parliament, no people can
     release the prince."

Here, too, if the words "responsibility to the Creator alone" be taken
in their ordinary English sense, the allusion to a divine right may be
construed, though it is observable that the word "right" is not
actually employed.

In Berlin, when unveiling a monument to the Great Elector, the Emperor
was filled with the same idea of the God-given mission of the
Hohenzollerns. After briefly sketching the deeds of the Elector--how
he came young to the throne to find crops down-trodden, villages burnt
to the ground, a starved and fallen people, persecuted on every side,
his country the arena for barbarous robber-bands who had spread war
and devastation throughout Germany for thirty years; how, with
"invincible reliance on God" and an iron will, he swept the pieces of
the land together, raised trade and commerce, agriculture and
industry, in for that period an incredibly short time; how he brought
into existence a new army entirely devoted to him; how, in fine,
guided by the hope of founding a great northern Empire, which would
bring the German peoples together, he became an authority in Europe
and laid the corner-stone of the present Empire--after sketching all
this, the Emperor continues:

     "How is this wonderful success of the house of Hohenzollern
     to be explained? Solely in this way, that every prince of
     the House is conscious from the beginning that he is only an
     earthly vicegerent, who must give an account of his labour
     to a higher King and Master, and show that he has been a
     faithful executor of the high commands laid upon him."

One finds exactly the same idea expressed three months later when
talking to his "Men of Brandenburg." "You know well," he reminded
them,

     "that I regard my whole position and my task as laid on me
     by Heaven, and that I am appointed by a Higher Power to whom
     I must later render an account. Accordingly I can assure you
     that not a morning or evening passes without a prayer for my
     people and a special thought for my Mark Brandenburg."

To the Anglo-Saxon understanding, of course, the theory of divine
right has long appeared untenable, obsolete, and, as Macaulay says,
absurd. Many people to-day would go farther and argue that there is no
such thing as a divine right at all, since "rights" are a purely human
idea, possibly a purely legal one. But it is at least doubtful that
the Emperor uses the expression "von Gottes Gnaden" in a sense exactly
coterminous with that of "divine right" as used by Lord Macaulay and
later Anglo-Saxon writers and speakers. The latter, when dealing with
things German, not unfrequently fall into the error of mistranslation
and are thus at times responsible for national misunderstandings. The
Italian saying, "_traduttore, tradittore_," is the expression of a
fact too seldom recognized, especially by those whose business it is
to interpret, so to speak, one people to another. Language is as
mysterious and elusive a thing as aught connected with humanity, as
love, for example, or music; and it may be asserted with some degree
of confidence that among every people there are ideas current, and in
all departments--in law, society, art--which it is impossible exactly
to translate into the speech of other nations. The words used may be
the same, but the connotation, all the words imply and suggest, is,
perhaps in very important respects, different, and requires a
paraphrase, longer or shorter, to explain them. Take the word "false"
in English and "falsch" in German. They look alike, yet while the
English "false" carries with it a moral reproach, the German word,
where the context does not explicitly prove otherwise, means simply
"incorrect," "erroneous," without the moral reproach added.
Accordingly, when a German Chancellor asserts that the statement of an
English Minister is "falsch" he does not necessarily mean anything
offensive, but only that the English Minister is mistaken.

From this point of view one may regard the statements of the Emperor
concerning his kingly office. He has recently begun to use the
expression "German Emperor von Gottes Gnaden," a thing done by none of
his imperial predecessors, and certainly a very curious extension of a
doctrine which traditionally only applies to wearers of the crown of
Prussia. But if he does, it may, it is here suggested, be considered
further evidence that he employs the terms "von Gottes Gnaden" in a
sense other than that of "divine right" as conceived by the
Anglo-Saxon. The German "Gnade" means "favour," "grace," "mercy,"
"pity," or "blessing," and is at times used in direct contrast with
the word "Recht," which means "justice" as well as "right." The point,
indeed, need hardly be elaborated, and the Emperor's own explanation
of the revelation of God to mankind, with its special reference to his
grandfather which we shall find later in the confession of faith to
Admiral Hollmann, is highly significant of the sense in which he
regards himself and every ruling Hohenzollern as selected for the
duties of Prussian kingship. It is the work of the kingship he is
divinely appointed to do of which he is always thinking, not the legal
right to the kingship _vis a vis_ his people he is mistakenly supposed
to claim. He regards himself as a trustee, not as the owner of the
property. And is not such a spirit a proper and praiseworthy one? In a
sense we Christians, if in a position of responsibility, believe that
we are all divinely appointed to the work each of us has to do:
instruments of God, who shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we may.
The Emperor finely says of the Almighty: "He breathed into man His
breath, that is a portion of Himself, a soul." Reason is what chiefly
distinguishes man from the brute, though there are those who hold that
reason is but a higher form of brutish instinct, which again has its
degree among the brutes; but, assuming that reason is of divine
origin, enabling us to receive, by one means or another, the dictates
of the Almighty, it seems clear that there must be channels through
which these dictates become known to us.

This conveyance, this making plain is, as many people, and the Emperor
among them, believe, performed by God through the agency of those whom
mankind agree to call "great." For the last nineteen centuries a large
part of civilized mankind is at one in the belief that Christ was such
an agency, while millions again agree to call the agency Buddha,
Mahomet, Confucius, or Zoroaster. In the creed of Islam Christ, as a
prophet, comes fifth from Adam. In America there are thousands who
believe, or did believe, in the agency of a Mrs. Eddy or a Dr. Dowie.
And if this is so in matters of religion, itself only a form of the
reasoning soul, why should it not be the same in morals or philosophy,
art or science, government or administration: why should we not all
accept, as many still do, the sayings and writings of the Hebrew
prophets (as does the Emperor), of Plato and Aristotle, of Bacon and
Hobbes, of Milton and Shakespeare and Goethe, of Kepler and Galileo,
or Charlemagne and Napoleon, as divinely intended to convey and make
plain to us the dictates of Heaven until such time as yet greater
souls shall instruct us afresh and still more fully?

It may be that the Emperor thinks in some such way; his speeches and
edicts at least suggest it. Certainly, as already mentioned, he did on
one occasion, when speaking of his kingship, employ the word "right"
as descriptive of the nature of his appointment by God. But that was
early in his reign, and at no time since has he insisted on a
Heaven-granted right to rule. It was, no doubt, different with some of
his absolute predecessors, but it was not the view of Frederick the
Great, who declared himself "the first servant of the State."
Moreover, it is hardly conceivable that the Emperor, who is acquainted
with the facts of history and is a man of practical common sense
besides, does not know that the doctrine of "divine right" has long
been rejected by people of intelligence in every civilized country,
including his own.

If he really believes in divine right in the Stuart sense he must
think that the conditions of Germany are so different from those of
the rest of civilized mankind, and his own people so little advanced
in knowledge and political science, that a doctrine absurd and
dangerous to the peace of enlightened commonwealths is applicable as a
basis of rule in his own. It seems a more plausible view, that the
Emperor considers the expression "von Gottes Gnaden" an academic
formula of government, or what is still more likely, as a moral and
religious, not a legal, dogma, which yet expresses one of the leading
and most admirable features of his policy as a ruler. If it is not so,
he is inconsistent with himself, since he has repeatedly declared
himself bound by the Constitution in accordance with which his
grandfather and father and he himself have hitherto ruled. At present
the doctrine of divine "right" is regarded by Germans no less than by
Englishmen as dead and buried, and mention of it in Germany is usually
greeted with a smile. Even the notion of appointment by divine
"grace," while considered a harmless and praiseworthy article of faith
with the Emperor, is no longer regarded as a living principle of
government.




V.



THE ACCESSION



1888-1890

With his accession began for the Emperor a period of extraordinary
activity which has continued practically undiminished to the present
day. During that time he has been the most prominent man and monarch
of his generation. From the domestic point of view his life perhaps
has not been marked by many notable events, but from the point of view
of politics and international relations it has been the history of his
reign and to no small extent the history of the world.

When a German Emperor ascends the throne there is no great outburst of
national rejoicing, no great series of popular ceremonials. There is
no brilliant procession as in England, no impressive coronation like
that of an English monarch in Westminster Abbey, no State visit of the
monarch to the Houses of Parliament. In Germany Parliament goes to the
King, not the King to Parliament.

On the same day that the Emperor began his reign he addressed
proclamations to the army and navy. The addresses to the people and
the Parliament were to come a few days later. In the proclamation to
the army he said:

     "I and the army were born for each other. Let us remain
     indissolubly so connected, come peace or storm, as God may
     will. You will now take the oath of fidelity and obedience
     to me, and I swear always to remember that the eyes of my
     ancestors are bent on me from the other world, and that one
     day I shall have to give an account touching the fame and
     the honour of the army."

His address to the navy was in the same vein.

     "We have only just put off mourning for my unforgettable
     grandfather, Kaiser William I, and already we have had to
     lower the flag for my beloved father, who took such an
     interest in the growth and progress of the navy. A time of
     earnest and sincere sorrow, however, strengthens the mind
     and heart of man, and so let us, keeping at heart the
     example of my grandfather and father, look with confidence
     to the future. I have learned to appreciate the high sense
     of honour and of duty which lives in the navy, and know that
     every man is ready faithfully to stake his life for the
     honour of the German flag, be it where it may. Accordingly I
     can, in this serious hour, feel fully assured that we shall
     stand strongly and steadily together in good or bad days, in
     storm or sunshine, always mindful of the Fatherland and
     always ready to shed our heart's blood for the honour of the
     flag."

To his people he promised that he would be a

     "just and mild prince, observant of piety and religion, a
     protector of peace, a promoter of the country's prosperity,
     a helper to the poor and needy, a faithful guardian of the
     right."

To the Parliament a week later he announced that he meant to walk in
the footsteps of his grandfather, particularly in regard to the
working classes, to acquire the confidence of the federated princes,
the affection of the people, and the friendly recognition of foreign
countries. He said that in his opinion the

     "most important duties of the German Emperor lay in the
     domain of the military and political security of the nation
     externally, and internally in the supervision of the
     carrying out of imperial laws."

The highest of these laws, he explained, was the Imperial Constitution
and "to preserve and protect the Constitution, and in especial the
rights it gives to the legislative bodies, to every German, but also
to the Emperor and the federated states," he considered "among the
most honourable duties of the Emperor."

While the order of these addresses is different to what it would be in
England, it entirely accords with the spirit of the Prussian monarchy
and the political system of the German people. Settled in the heart of
Europe, the nation rests on the army, and it is hardly too much to say
that, from the Emperor's point of view, possibly also from the popular
German point of view, the interests of the army must be considered
before the interests of the rest of the population. An English
monarch, who issued his first address to the British navy, would be as
justified in doing so by the real necessities of Great Britain as a
German Emperor who first addresses the German army is justified by the
real necessities of Germany; for the British navy is as vital to the
British as the German army is to the German nation. In England,
however, the monarch's respect for the people and Parliament takes
precedence of his respect for the army, not _vice versa_ as in
Germany.

In a speech from the throne to the Prussian Diet the Emperor took the
Constitutional Oath: "I swear to hold firmly and unbrokenly to the
Constitution of the Kingdom and to rule in agreement with it and the
laws ... so help me God!" and went on to proclaim the continuance in
Prussia and the Empire of his grandfather's and father's policy and
work. He said at the same time, while undertaking not to make the
People uneasy by trying to extend Crown rights, that he would take
care that the constitutional rights of the Crown were respected and
used, and that he meant to hand them over unimpaired to his successor.
He concluded by saying that he would always bear in mind the words of
Frederick the Great, who described himself as the "first servant of
the State."

At Frankfurt-on-the-Oder, a few months later, he declared, when
unveiling a monument to his uncle, Prince Frederick Karl, a hero of
the Franco-Prussian War, that he meant never to surrender a stone of
the acquisitions made in the war and

     "believed he voiced the feeling of the entire army in saying
     that Germany, rather than do so, would suffer its eighteen
     army corps and its whole population of 42 millions to perish
     on the field of battle."

At this period of his career the Emperor was, first and foremost, a
thoroughgoing Hohenzollern. Doubtless he is so still, if he talks less
about the dynasty. He admired Frederick the Great, then as now, and in
the first place as military commander, but the ancestor with whom he
even more sympathized, and sympathizes, was the Great Elector. "The
ancestor," he said himself,

     "for whom I have the most liking (_Schwaermen_, a hardly
     translatable German verb, is the word he used) and who
     always shone before me as an example in my youth, was the
     Great Elector, the man who loved his country with all his
     heart and strength, and unrestingly devoted himself to
     rescuing the Mark Brandenburg out of its deep distress and
     made it a strong and united whole."

What particularly attracted the Emperor in the history of the Elector
was the fact that he was the first Hohenzollern who saw the importance
of promoting trade and industry, building a navy, and acquiring
colonies. As yet, however, the Emperor had only clear and fairly
definite ideas about the need for a navy. The world-policy may have
been in embryo in his mind, but it was not born.

The imaginative side of the Emperor's character at this period is well
illustrated in a speech he made in 1890 to his favourite "Men of the
Mark." He was talking of his travels, to which allusion had been made
by a previous speaker.

"My travels," said the Emperor,

     "have not only had the object of making myself acquainted
     with foreign countries and institutions, or to create
     friendly relations with neighbouring monarchs, but these
     journeys, which have been the subject of much
     misunderstanding, had for me the great value that, withdrawn
     from the heat of party faction, I could review our domestic
     conditions from a distance and submit them to calm
     consideration. Any one who, standing on a ship's bridge far
     out at sea, with only God's starry heaven above him,
     communes with himself, will not fail to appreciate the worth
     of such a journey. For many of my fellow-countrymen I would
     wish that they might live through such an hour, in which one
     can make up an account as to what he has attempted and what
     achieved. Then would he be cured of exaggerated
     self-estimation, and that we all need."

Having discharged the duty of addressing his own subjects, the
Emperor's next care, after a stay at Kiel where a German Emperor and
King now for the first time in history appeared in the uniform of an
admiral, was personally to announce his accession at the courts of his
fellow-European sovereigns. We find him, accordingly, paying visits to
Alexander II in St. Petersburg, to King Oscar II in Stockholm (where
he received a telegram announcing the birth of his fifth son), to
Christian IX in Copenhagen, to Kaiser Franz Joseph in Vienna and to
King Humbert in Rome. To both the last-mentioned he presented himself
in the additional capacity of Triplice ally.

In August of the year following his accession he paid his first visit
as Emperor to England. It was a very different thing, one may imagine,
from the earliest recorded visit of a German Emperor to the English
Court. That was in 1416, when the Emperor Sigismund (1411-1437)
arrived there and was received by Henry V. Henry postponed the opening
of Parliament specially on his account, made him a Knight of the
Garter, and signed with him at Canterbury an offensive and defensive
alliance against France. How poor the German Empire and the German
Emperor were at that epoch may be judged from the fact that on his way
home Sigismund had to pawn the costly gifts he had received in
England.

On the present occasion a grand naval review of over a hundred
warships, with crews totalling 25,000 men, was held in honour of the
Emperor at Osborne. This was followed, a few days afterwards, by a
parade of the troops at Aldershot under the command of General Sir
Evelyn Wood. On this occasion, after expressing his admiration for the
British troops, the Emperor concluded: "At Malplaquet and Waterloo,
Prussian and British blood flowed in the prosecution of a common
enterprise." In a little speech after the review the Emperor spoke of
the English navy as "the finest in the world." The impression made by
the Emperor on Sir Evelyn has been recorded by that general. "The
Emperor is extremely wide-awake," he writes to a friend, "with a
decided, straightforward manner. He is a good rider. His quick and
very intelligent spirit seizes every detail at a glance, and he
possesses a wonderful memory." The Emperor was now nominated an
honorary Admiral of the British navy and as a return compliment made
Queen Victoria honorary "Chef" of his own First Dragoon Guards. At the
naval review a journalist asked an English naval officer what would
happen if the Emperor, in command of a German fleet, should meet a
British fleet in time of war between England and Germany?--"Would the
British fleet have to salute the Emperor?" "Certainly," replied the
naval officer; "it would fire 100 guns at him."

Next year the Emperor was again in England, this time to be present at
the Cowes regatta, which he took part in regularly during the four
succeeding years, noting, doubtless, all that might prove useful for
the development of the Kiel yachting "week," the success of which he
had then, as always since, particularly at heart. He was received by
Queen Victoria with the simple and homely words, "Welcome, William!"

A State visit to the City of London followed, when he was accompanied
by the Empress, and was entertained to a luncheon given by the City
Fathers in the Guildhall. The entertainment, which took place on July
10, 1891, was remarkable for a speech delivered by the Emperor in
English, in which, besides declaring his intention of maintaining the
"historical friendship" between England and Germany, he proclaimed
that his great object "above all" was the preservation of peace,
"since peace alone can inspire that confidence which is requisite for
a healthy development of science, art, and commerce." On the same
occasion he expressed his feeling of "being at home" in England--"this
delightful country"--and spoke of the "same blood which flows alike in
the veins of Germans and English." Shortly afterwards he attended a
review of volunteers at Wimbledon, and, as he said, was "agreeably
astonished at the spectacle of so many citizen-soldiers in a country
that had no conscription."

The Emperor returned from England to receive the visit of his chief
Triplice ally, the Emperor Franz Joseph, and to discuss with him
doubtless the European situation. Bismarck has been pictured as
sitting at the European chessboard pondering the moves necessary tor
Germany to win the game of which the great prize was the hegemony of
Europe. The chief opposing Pieces, whose aid or neutrality was
desirable, were for long France, Russia, Austria, and Italy; but in
1883, with the conclusion of the Triple Alliance, Austria and Italy
needed less to be considered, and the only two really important
opposing pieces left were France and Russia. Still, Germany, through
her allies of the Triplice, might be dragged into war, and
consequently the doings of Austria and Italy, both in relation to one
another and to France and Russia were, as they now are, of great
importance to her.

At the time of the accession, the chessboard of our metaphor was
mainly occupied with Franco-German relations and with Russian designs
on Constantinople, the Dardanelles, and the Black Sea. The danger to
Germany of war with France, which had arisen out of the Boulanger and
Schnaebele incidents, had died down, but not altogether ceased.
Hohenlohe tells us how at this time, in conversation with the Emperor,
the latter ventured the forecast: "Boulanger is sure to succeed. I
prophesy that as Kaiser Ernest he will pay a visit to Berlin." He was
wrong, we know, as so many prophets are.

Russian designs on Turkey had had to reckon with the opposition of
England and Austria. As regards these designs, Bismarck says:

     "Germany's policy should be one of reserve. Germany would
     act very foolishly if in Oriental questions, without having
     special interests, she took a side before the other Powers,
     who were more nearly interested: she would therefore do well
     to refrain from making her move as long as possible, and
     thus, besides, gain the benefit of longer peace."

The Chancellor, however, admitted that against the advantages of a
policy of reserve had to be set the disadvantage of Germany's position
in the centre of Europe with its frontiers exposed to the attacks of a
coalition. "From this situation," said the Chancellor, "it results
that Germany is perhaps the only Great Power in Europe which is not
tempted to attain its ends by victorious war."

"Our interest," he goes on,

     "is to maintain peace, whereas our continental neighbours
     without exception have wishes, either secret or officially
     admitted, which can only be fulfilled through war.
     Consequently, German policy must be to prevent war or
     confine it as much as possible: to keep in the background
     while the European game of cards is going on: and not by
     loss of patience or concession at the cost of the country,
     or vanity, or provocation from friends, allow ourselves to
     be driven from the waiting attitude: otherwise--_plectuntur
     Achivi!_--third parties will rejoice."

That was the Bismarckian policy twenty-five years ago, and though new
economic conditions have had great influence in modifying it since,
particularly as it regards the East, it is practically Germany's
policy now.

In his first speech from the throne to the Reichstag the Emperor thus
referred to the Triple Alliance:

     "Our Alliance with Austria-Hungary is publicly known. I hold
     to the same with German fidelity, not merely because it has
     been concluded, but because I see in this defensive union a
     foundation for the balance of power in Europe and a legacy
     of German history, the importance of which is recognized by
     the whole of the German people, while it accords with
     European international law as undeniably in force up to
     1866. Similar historical relations and similar national
     exigences of the time bind us to Italy. Both Germany and
     Italy desire to prolong the blessings of peace that they may
     pursue in tranquillity the consolidation of their newly
     acquired unity, the betterment of their national
     institutions, and the increase of their prosperity."

In a speech a few months later he declared that the Alliance had no
other purpose than to strengthen the peaceful relations of Germany to
other foreign Powers. His next public reference to it was in May,
1900, when Kaiser Franz Joseph visited Berlin on the occasion of the
coming of age of the German Crown Prince. "Truly," exclaimed the
Emperor, in a vein of some exaggeration,

     "this Alliance is not alone an agreement in the eyes of the
     monarchs, but the longer it has existed, the deeper has it
     taken root in the convictions of the peoples, and the moment
     that the hearts of the peoples beat in unison nothing can
     tear them asunder. Common interests, common feelings, joy
     and sorrow shared together, unite our three nations for now
     twenty years, and although often enough misunderstandings
     and sarcasm and criticisms have been poured out on them, the
     three peoples have succeeded in maintaining peace hitherto,
     and are regarded by the whole world as its champions."

The history of the Triplice may be shortly related here as, along with
his navy, it is regarded by the Emperor as the chief factor in the
preservation of the world's peace, and is, in fact, as has been said,
the foundation of his foreign policy. It arose from Bismarck's desire
to be independent of Russia and from his dread of a European
coalition--for example, that of France, Austria, and Russia--against
the German Empire. "We had," Bismarck writes,

     "carried on successful war against two of the European Great
     Powers (Austria and France), and it became advisable to
     withdraw at least one of them from the temptation to revenge
     which lay in the prospect an alliance with others offered.
     It could not be France, as any one who knew the history and
     temperament of the two peoples could see, nor England owing
     to her dislike of permanent alliances, nor Italy as her
     support alone was insufficient against an anti-German
     coalition; so that the choice lay between Austria-Hungary
     and Russia."

For many reasons Bismarck would have preferred the Russian alliance,
among others the traditional dynastic friendship between the two
countries and the fact that no natural political or religious causes
of conflict existed between them; while a union with Austria was less
reliable, owing to the changeable nature of her public opinion, the
heterogeneousness of her Magyar, Slav, and Catholic populations, and
the loss of influence by the German element with the governing body.
On the other hand, however, an alliance with Austria would be nothing
new, internationally, as such a connection theoretically arose from
the former connection of Germany and Austria in the Holy Roman Empire.
While weighing the matter, a threatening letter from Czar Alexander II
to William I, in which he called on Germany to support his Balkan
policy, and said that if he refused peace could not last between their
two countries, decided Bismarck in favour of Austria. The chief
opponent of the new Alliance was William I, who was moved by personal
chivalric feelings towards his nephew, Czar Alexander; but,
disregarding this, because confident of eventually persuading his
imperial master, Bismarck went to Gastein and there settled with the
Austrian Minister, Count Andrassy, the principles of the Alliance.
Italy came into the Alliance in 1883 as the immediate result of France
obtaining a protectorate in Tunis, in return, partly, for her
acquiescence in the English acquisition of Cyprus. The protectorate
aroused general indignation and fear in Italy, and though it meant a
large expenditure on naval and military armament, on May 20, 1882, she
joined the Dual Alliance for five years, and thus turned it into the
Triplice.

The Triple Alliance rests on three treaties: one between Germany and
Austria-Hungary, one between Germany and Italy, and one between
Austria-Hungary and Italy. While by the first Germany and
Austria-Hungary bind themselves to combine in case of an attack on
either by Russia, whether as original foe or as ally, and to observe
"at least" benevolent neutrality in case of attack from any other
quarter, by the second Germany and Italy bind themselves to mutual
support in case of an attack on either by France. The third, between
Austria-Hungary and Italy, binds the signatories to benevolent
neutrality in case Austria-Hungary is attacked by Russia, or Italy by
France.

That there are weak points in the Triple Alliance is obvious. If
Austria-Hungary were a purely homogeneous country like France or
Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary, even without Italy, could face
with confidence an attack from either or both their powerful
neighbours. But Austria-Hungary is not homogeneous. A large proportion
of her population is anti-German, or at least non-German, and Italy is
always subject to be tempted by an opportunity of obtaining some of
Austria-Hungary's Adriatic possessions. Moreover, a large party is
even now to be found in Austria-Hungary which desires revenge for the
humiliation of her defeat by Germany in 1866.

The relations of Germany to Russia have always been rather those of
friendship between the monarchs of the two countries than of
friendship between the two peoples; and it is easy to understand that
the fear of revolution, Socialism, or "government of the people, by
the people, for the people," to use Lincoln's celebrated phrase, at
all times forms a strong and active bond of sympathy between the
monarchs. In the case of Russia there is also always to be considered
the obstinate, or as the Emperor would call it knightly, spirit in
which his grandfather, King William I, regarded his obligation to
maintain friendship with the Czar, and which for a long time made him
hostile to the idea of alliance with Austria instead of alliance with
Russia. The feeling, it is highly probable, is strong, if not equally
strong, in the mind of the Emperor to-day, if only out of respect for
the memory of his ancestor. There is not, to use a popular expression,
much love lost between the two peoples, not only because of racial
differences between Teuton and Slav, but because of the differences in
religion and in degree of civilization. There are not a few Germans
who assert that Germany's next war will be with Russia, and that from
the dominions of the Czar will be obtained the fresh territory Germany
needs for her constantly expanding population.

The Czar returned the Emperor's accession visit in Berlin in October,
1889, and it was on this occasion that the first sign of trouble
between the Emperor and the old Chancellor showed itself. When the
Emperor first proposed to make his round of visits of accession to
foreign sovereigns, Bismarck agreed except as regarded Russia and
England, objecting that visits to these countries would have an
alternatively bad effect in each. The Emperor, however, as has been
noted, went to Russia. During the return visit in Berlin, Bismarck had
an interview with the Czar which resulted in the final adjustment of
Russo-German relations, but at its close the Czar said, "Yes, I
believe you and have confidence in you, but are you sure you will
remain in office?" Bismarck looked surprised, and said, "Certainly,
Majesty; I am quite certain I shall remain in office all my life"--an
odd thing, one may remark, for a man to say, who must have been
familiar with the saying, "Put not your trust in princes."

When the Czar was going away, both the Emperor and Bismarck
accompanied him to the station, and on their return the Emperor gave
the old Chancellor a seat in his carriage. The talk concerned the
visit just over, and the Emperor again announced his intention of
spending some time in Russia the following year. Bismarck now advised
against the project on the ground that it would arouse hostility in
Austria, and because "it was not suitable considering the Czar's
disposition towards the Emperor."

"What disposition? What do you mean? How do you know?" questioned the
Emperor quickly.

"From confidential letters I am in the habit of receiving from St.
Petersburg, in addition to official reports," replied the Chancellor.

The Emperor expressed a wish to see the letters, but Bismarck gave an
evasive answer. The result was a temporary coolness between Emperor
and Chancellor.

From a memorandum of Prince Hohenlohe's we get a glimpse of one of the
political currents and anti-currents just now running high. Prince
Hohenlohe writes under date, June 27, 1888, when the Emperor was
hardly a fortnight on the throne:--

     "Last evening at 8 left Berlin with Thaden after supping
     with Victor and Franz (son and nephew) in the Kaiserhof
     Hotel. Paid several visits during the day. I found Friedberg
     somewhat depressed. He is no longer the big man he was in
     the Emperor Frederick's time, when everybody courted him. He
     knows that the Emperor does not favour Jews. Then I visited
     the new chief of the Cabinet (civil), Lucanus, a courtly,
     polished, obliging man, who looks more like an elegant
     Austrian privy councillor. Wilmoski inspires me with more
     confidence. At 5 to Bleichroeder's (Bleichroeder was the
     great Jew banker). We spoke, or rather he spoke first, about
     the political situation. He is satisfied, and says Bismarck
     is too. Only the Emperor must take care to keep out of the
     hands of the Orthodox. People in the country wouldn't stand
     that. (He is right there, comments Hohenlohe.) Waldersee and
     his followers, he said, was another danger. Waldersee was a
     foe of Bismarck's and thought himself fit for anything and
     everything. Who knows but that these gentlemen wouldn't
     begin the old game and say to the Emperor, 'You are simply
     nothing but a doll. Bismarck is the real ruler.' On the old
     Emperor this would have made no impression, but the young
     one would be more sensitive. Bismarck, therefore, wanted
     Waldersee's banishment, and would, if he could, send him to
     Strasburg (where Hohenlohe was Statthalter) as commanding
     general. Perhaps he was only aiming at making me (Hohenlohe)
     sick of my post and so get rid of Waldersee, his enemy, when
     I cleared out. Bleichroeder said Bismarck only introduced
     the compulsory pass system to show the Emperor that he too
     could act sharply against the French, and so as to take the
     wind out of the sails of the military party. Bismarck was
     thinking above all about seating his son Herbert firmly in
     the saddle (Herbert was Secretary of State for Foreign
     Affairs). That is the sole motive of his action and thought.
     There was therefore no prospect of matters in the Rhineland
     improving. As to Russia, Bleichroeder expected some
     occurrence, something out of the way (_exotisches_) by which
     Russia might be won, either the withdrawal of troops from
     the frontier or a meeting of Emperors. The Emperor, Bismarck
     said, would not begin a war. If it came, however, it would
     not be unwelcome to him."

Prince Hohenlohe also tells of a visit he paid in the month of the
accession to the widowed Empress Frederick. "She is much bowed down,"
he said,

     "very harassed-looking, and I feel sure that all this recent
     time, all the last year in fact, she has been displaying an
     artificial good-humour, for now I find her in deep distress.
     At first she could not speak for weeping. We spoke of the
     Emperor Frederick's last days, then she recovered herself a
     little and complained of the wickedness and meanness of men,
     by which she meant to allude to certain people.... Herbert
     Bismarck had had the impudence to tell the Prince of Wales
     (later Edward VII) that an Emperor who could not talk and
     discuss things should not be allowed to reign, and so on.
     The Prince of Wales, the Empress said, told Herbert that if
     it were not that he valued good relations between England
     and Germany, he would have thrown him out of the door....
     Waldersee was a false, unprincipled wretch, who would think
     nothing of ruining his country if he could only satisfy his
     own personal ambition."

Prince Hohenlohe finally called on the Prince of Wales, who "spoke
prudently, but showed his disgust at the roughness of the Bismarcks,
and could not understand their policy of irritating France."

The particular question concerning France that was agitating Germany
at the time of the accession was the state of affairs in
Alsace-Lorraine, and particularly Bismarck's measure requiring French
citizens entering the provinces to provide themselves with a pass from
the German Ambassador in Paris. The amiable and conciliatory
Statthalter, Prince Hohenlohe, had to make a reluctant journey to
Berlin in connexion with this question. There was another question
also weighing on his mind--the question whether or not he should have
a sentry guard before his official residence in Strasburg. The
military authorities, whose rivalry with the civil authorities
everywhere in Germany for influence and power still continues, wanted
to have the sentries abolished, but the Prince eventually had his way.
He showed Bismarck that they were necessary for his reputation with
the population, which had already begun to think less of his influence
as Statthalter owing to his one day at a review having incautiously
and gallantly taken a back seat in his carriage in favour of some lady
guests.

In normal times the composers of speeches from the throne are
accustomed to describe the relations between their own and foreign
countries as "friendly." When the relations are not friendly, yet not
the opposite, they are usually registered on the political barometer
as "correct." The attitude on both sides is formal, rigorously polite,
reserved; such as would become a pair of people who had once been at
feud and after their quarrel had been fought out agreed, if only for
the sake of appearances, to show no outward animosity, but on the
other hand not give an inch of way. The position of France and Germany
is "correct"; it has never been friendly since 1870; and it must be
many a long year before it can be friendly again. Apart from the
difference between the Latin and Teutonic temperaments, apart from the
legacy of hate left in Germany against France by the sufferings and
humiliations the great Napoleon caused her, apart from the fact that
one people is republican and the other monarchical, there is always
one thing that will prevent reconciliation--the loss by France of the
fair provinces Alsace and Lorraine. It is of no use for Germany to
remind France that up to the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 this
territory belonged to Germany, or rather to what then was known by
that name. It was useless as well as ungracious for Bismarck to tell
France to seek compensation in Africa for what she had lost in Europe.
Like Rachel mourning for her children, France will not be comforted;
and now, as from the heavy hour in which she lost the provinces, she
grieves over the memory of them and nurses the hope, still mingled
with hate, of one glorious day regaining them. There are sanguine
spirits who assert that the old feeling is dying out, and the German
Government studiously encourages that view. It may be so; time is
having its obliterating effects; and in externals at least the
Germanization of the provinces is slowly making progress. Still the
wound is deep, and there seems no prospect of its healing.

Several suggestions have been made with a view to an arrangement that
might leave France without reason, or with less reason, for constant
meditation on revenge One of them is the neutralization of
Alsace-Lorraine on the model of Belgium, while another is the
distribution of the territory, so that while Alsace is divided between
Baden and Bavaria, Lorraine becomes a part of Prussia A third would
divide the provinces between the two nations. An illustration of the
yet prevailing feeling is found in the fact that large Alsatian firms
invariably use French in their correspondence with Berlin firms, and
almost as invariably refer to the "customs-arrangement" with Germany
in 1871. They cannot bring themselves to use the word "annexation."

Yet of late years--to anticipate somewhat the course of
events--Germany has made two important concessions to Alsace-Lorraine.
The first was the abrogation of the so-called "Dictator-Paragraph,"
which was part of the law for administering the new provinces after
the war of 1870. Under the paragraph the Lieutenant-Governor
(Oberpresident) of the Reichsland, as the newly incorporated territory
is now officially known, was empowered in case of need to take command
of the military forces and proclaim a state of siege. When announcing
the abrogation of the Paragraph in the Reichstag in 1902, Chancellor
von Buelow gave a resume of the relations of the provinces to the
Empire since 1870. He stated that immediately after the war the
population were not disposed to incorporation in the Empire, as they
thought the new state of things would only be temporary and that
France would soon reconquer the provinces. This state of feeling, the
Chancellor explained, naturally reacted on the Government, which
accordingly laid down the principle that the claims of the provinces
to equal political rights with other parts of the Empire could only be
recognized step by step, as the Government was satisfied that the
population conformed to the new order of things.

The second important concession to the Provinces was made only
recently, when the provincial committee was replaced by a popularly
elected Diet and the Provinces were granted three seats in the Federal
Council. There is a proviso that in case of equality in the Council
meetings the votes shall not be allowed to turn the scale in favour of
Prussia. The limitation is a concession to the susceptibilities of the
other Federal states.

Germany's relations with Great Britain at the time of the accession
were unclouded. Mr. Gladstone had been defeated on his Home Rule
proposals and Lord Salisbury was back in power. A lull had occurred in
British relations with the Transvaal. All nations, including Germany,
were beginning to turn their attention to the Orient with a view to
the acquisition in Asia of "spheres of influence and spheres of
interest," but as yet English and German interests had not come
anywhere into conflict.

The Emperor's great internal foe and the object of his special enmity
is the Social Democracy, and practically from the day of his accession
he has waged war with it. His attitude towards the Socialists requires
no long description, since it logically results from his traditional
conception of Prussian monarchy and from the revolutionary character
of Social Democratic aims. While a young man he paid little or no
attention to the movement, and probably regarded it as the "passing
phenomenon" he subsequently declared it to be. In 1884 the number of
Social Democratic voters was something over half a million, and the
number of Social Democratic members returned to the Reichstag 25: in
1890, two years after the accession, the figures were a million and a
half and 35 respectively.

The Emperor's denunciation of Social Democrats has always been
unmeasured. "A crew undeserving the name of Germans," a "plague that
must be extirpated," "traitors," "people without a country and enemies
to religion," "foes to the Empire and the country"--such were a few of
the expressions he then and during the next few years publicly applied
to three millions of his subjects. To-day, it may be added, the number
of Social Democrats in Germany is well over four millions.

In 1889, in reply to a deputation of three coal miners'
representatives, the Emperor said:

     "As regards your demands, I will have them carefully
     investigated (a phrase, by the way, not unknown in England)
     by my Government, and let you know the result through the
     usual official channels. Should, however, offences against
     public peace and order occur, should a connexion between
     your movement and Social Democratic circles be demonstrated,
     I would not be in a position to weigh your wishes with my
     royal goodwill, since for me every Social Democrat is the
     same thing as a foe to the Empire and the Fatherland.
     Accordingly, if I see that Social Democratic tendencies mix
     with the movement and lead to unlawful opposition, I will
     intervene with all my powers--and they are great."

And a month later:

     "That the Radical agitation of the Social Democracy has
     turned so many heads and hearts is due to the fact that in
     schools, high and low, too little is taught about the cruel
     deeds of the French Revolution and too little about the
     heroic deeds of the War of Liberation, which was (with the
     help of English bayonets, be it parenthetically remarked)
     the salvation of the Fatherland."

In 1892, to anticipate by a year or two, in reply to a guest who had
observed that Social Democrats were not decreasing in numbers, the
Emperor remarked:

     "The moment the Social Democracy feels itself in possession
     of power it will not hesitate for an instant to attack the
     Burghertum (middle classes) very energetically. No
     exhibition of general benevolence is of any use against
     these people--here only religious feeling, founded on
     decided faith, can have any influence."

The Emperor, referring to the murder of a manufacturer in Mulhausen,
said: "Another victim to the revolutionary movement kept alive by the
Socialists. If only our people would act like men!"

And yet it is obvious, looking at it from the standpoint of to-day,
that an admirably organized movement with four million parliamentary
voters in an electorate of fourteen millions, with no members in an
Imperial Parliament of 397 with representatives, more or less
numerous, on almost every municipal board of any importance in the
Empire, with the power of disturbing at any moment the relations
between capital and labour, upon which the prosperity, security, and
comfort of the whole population depend, and in intimate relations with
the Socialists of all other countries, cannot be merely ignored or
disposed of by scornful and sarcastic speeches, by official anathema,
or even by close police supervision. There must be something behind it
all which ought to be susceptible of explanation.

Before, however, attempting to conjecture what the something is, it
will be advisable, familiar to many though the facts must be, to
recapitulate, as briefly as possible, the history of the movement. Old
as the story is, it is necessary to have some knowledge of it, for
Social Democracy is the great, perhaps the only, domestic political
thorn in the Emperor's side.

It is a truism to say that the "social question," the question how
best to organize society, is as old as society itself. Great thinkers
all down the ages, from Plato to Sir Thomas More, from More to Jean
Jacques Rousseau, from Rousseau to Saint Simon, Fourier, Louis Blanc,
Lassalle, and Karl Marx, have devoted their attention to it. The
French Revolutionists tried to solve it, and the revolutionary
movement of 1848 took up the problem in its turn.

German Social Democracy may be referred for its source to the
teachings of Louis Blanc, who formed in 1840 a workmen's society in
Paris. Blanc held, as the Social Democrats hold, that capitalism was
the cause of all social evil, and that the workman was powerless
against it. He therefore proposed the establishment of workmen's
societies for purposes of production, and the grant of the necessary
capital at a low rate of interest by the State. The doctrine was taken
up in Germany with fiery enthusiasm by Ferdinand Lassalle, who, in
May, 1863, founded the General German Workmen's Society for a
"peaceful, lawful agitation" in favour of universal suffrage as a
first means to the desired end. Universal suffrage was granted by the
North German Confederation in 1867, and in 1873 Lassalle's adherents
numbered 60,000.

Meanwhile, Karl Marx and his disciple, Frederic Engels, had been
propagating their theories, and in 1848 the former published his
famous work on the ideal social state. At first Marx was a partizan of
revolutionary methods, but he subsequently recanted this view and
proclaimed that the Socialistic aim in future should be the
"strengthening of the economic and political power of the workman so
that the expropriation of private property could be obtained by
legislation." The Marxian doctrine was adopted in Germany by Wilhelm
Liebknecht and August Bebel, who, at Eisenach in 1869, founded the
Association of Social Democratic Workmen, to which the present German
party owes its name. The Eisenach programme declared "the economic
dependence of the workmen on the monopolists of the tools of labour
the foundation of servitude and social evil," and demanded "the
economic emancipation of the working classes." An attempt to get the
Lassalle society to join the Eisenacher society on an international
basis failed for the time, but the two associations finally coalesced
at the Gotha Congress of 1875.

The attempt on the life of William I in 1878 by the anarchist Nobiling
had an important effect on the fortunes of the party and the character
of its programme. The Socialist Laws were passed and the police began
a campaign against the Socialists, of which the mildest features were
the dissolution of societies, the searching of houses, the expulsion
of suspected persons, and the interdiction of Socialist newspapers and
periodicals.

For the next few years the party held its annual congresses in
Switzerland or Denmark, but as the Socialist Laws ceased to have
effect after three years, and were not then renewed, the party resumed
its congresses in Germany. The Congress at Erfurt in 1891 resulted in
the issue of a new programme rejecting the Lassalle plan for the
establishment of workmen's societies for productive purposes and
substituting for it the transfer of all capitalistic private property
engaged in the means of production, such as lands, mines, raw
material, tools, machinery, and means of transport, to the State. The
term used in the programme is "state," not "society," but the State is
in fact nothing but the society armed with coercive powers.

Other objects are universal suffrage for both sexes over twenty,
electoral reform, two-year parliaments, direct legislation "through
the people," some form of parliamentary government, autonomy of the
people in Empire, State, Province, and Parish, conscription, national
militia instead of standing army, international arbitration, abolition
of State religion, free and compulsory education, abolition of capital
punishment, free burial, free medical assistance, free legal advice
and advocacy, progressive succession duties, inheritance tax,
abolition of indirect taxation and customs, parliamentary decisions as
to peace and war, and undenominationalism in schools.

Especially for the working classes are intended the following:
National and international protective legislation for workmen on the
basis of a normal eight hours day, prohibition of child labour under
fourteen years, prohibition of night work save rendered necessary by
the nature of the work or the welfare of society, superintendence of
labour and its relations by a Ministry of Labour, thorough workshop
hygiene, equality of status between the agricultural labourer, servant
class, and the artisan, right of association, and State insurance, as
to which the working class should have an authoritative voice.

The programme contains nothing as to the practical consequences of the
provisions it contains, but Herr Bebel, in his book on "Woman and
Social Democracy," gives some examples. One is that the working time
will be alike for men and women, another that domestic life will be
limited to the cohabitation of man and woman, for children are to be
brought up by society, and a third that cooking and washing will be
the care of central public kitchens and washhouses. Meanwhile, all
these years, it may be noted, Herr Bebel and his millions of followers
have been living exactly like everybody else.

The student of working-class conditions in Germany is unlikely to
think clearly unless he distinguishes between such terms as Social
Democracy, Socialism, Trade Unionism, and Labour party. Social
Democracy is a species of Socialism. All Social Democrats are
Socialists, but not all Socialists Social Democrats. The latter, as an
enrolled political party, paying annual subscriptions and looking
forward to the future state as conceived by Marx, and now by Bebel,
number something under a million; the remaining three millions who
voted for Social Democratic candidates at the last general election
may have included men who believe in Social Democratic ideals, but the
vast majority of them, unless one does grave injustice to their common
sense, voted for such candidates owing to dissatisfaction with the
policy of the Government and present conditions generally--the high
cost of living, the pressure of taxation, the severity of class
distinctions, and like grievances, real or imaginary. These people are
Socialists in the English or international sense of the word, not
Social Democrats strictly speaking; and with these people the Emperor
is most angry because he knows they form the element most capable of
dangerous expansion.

Again, though the vast majority of German Socialists in the broader
sense are Trade Unionists, not all Trade Unionists are Socialists.
Trade Unionism--the organization of labour against capital--is
represented in Germany by two main bodies; the free or Socialist
Unions containing about two million working men, and the "Christian"
or loyal "National" Unions, which are anti-Social Democrat and
anti-Socialist. These have a membership of about 300,000. The
Hirsch-Duncker Unions, with 100,000 members, are Liberal, but also
loyal and anti-Socialist. In labour conflicts, naturally, as
distinguished from politics, all workmen of the particular branch in
conflict work together, whether they are Socialist or not. It need
only be added that there is no so-called "Labour party" in the German
Parliaments. The Social Democratic party in the Reichstag represents
labour interests generally, and promote them much more insistently and
successfully than they do the Utopia of their dreams.

But enough has been said to show the comprehensive and revolutionary
nature of Social Democratic doctrine. The only other feature that
requires mention in connexion with the movement is the desire on the
part of a section of the party for a revision of its programme. The
party of revision is usually identified with the names of Heinrich von
Vollmar, who first suggested it, and Eduard Bernstein, who is in
favour of trying to realize that portion of the programme which deals
with the social needs of the existing generation, the demands of the
present day, and would leave to posterity the attainment of the final
goal. The views of the Revisionists differ also from those of the
Radicals in respect of two other main questions which divide the
party, that of voting budgets and that of going to court. The
Revisionists are willing to do both, and the Radicals to do neither. A
decisive split in the party is annually looked for, but hitherto, when
congress-day came, the Revisionists, for the sake of peace and unity
in the party, have refrained from pushing their views to extremes. One
might suppose that professors of the tenets of Social Democracy would
get into trouble with the police, but they avoid arrest and
imprisonment by taking care to avoid attacking property or the family,
advocating a republic, or introducing religious questions into their
discussions.

In dealing with the growth of Social Democracy in Germany the
philosophic historian would doubtless refer to the French Revolution,
or go still farther back to the Reformation, as the starting-point of
every great change in the views of civilized mankind during the last
four and a half centuries; but it is with more recent times these
pages are chiefly concerned and consequently with causes now
operative. The main specific cause is the change from agriculture to
industry, and with it the growth of what is generally spoken of as
"industrialism." Industrialism means the assemblage of large masses of
intelligent men forming a community of their own, with its special
conditions and the wants and wishes arising from them. This is the
most fertile field for Socialism, for a new organization of society.
In Germany Socialistic ideas kept growing with the increase of
industrialism, and came to a head with the attempts by Hoedel and
Nobiling on the life of the Emperor William. The anti-Socialist laws,
passed for a definite period, followed, but they were not renewed; the
Emperor and his Government pressed on instead with a great and
far-reaching social policy, and Socialism, in the form of Social
Democracy, freed from restraint, took a new lease of life.

Another cause of as general, but less ponderable, a nature is the
remnant of the feudal spirit and feudal manners which lingers in the
attitude of the German governing and official classes towards the rest
of the population. The most objectionable features of the feudal
system have passed away, the cruel and exclusive rights and privileges
which only men in ignorant personal servitude to an all-powerful
master could permanently endure; but traces of the system still exist
in the official attitude towards the public and in the tone of the
official communications issued by the administrative services
generally. Attitude and tone may be referred in part to the
traditional character of the Prussian monarchy, which regards the
people as a flock of sheep, or as a "talent," as the Emperor has
called it, entrusted to its care and management by Heaven; but it is
also due in part to the systematization of public life--and largely of
private life--which at times makes the foreigner inclined to think
Germany at once the most Socialistic and at the same time the most
tyrannically ruled country in the world. Everything in Germany must be
done systematically, and the system must be the result of development.
But there is no use in having a system unless it is enforced--otherwise
it remains, like Social Democracy, a theory. Compulsion, therefore,
is necessary, and the Government provides it through its official
machinery and its police. The systematization has enormous public
advantages, but it is difficult for the Anglo-Saxon, jealous of his
individual right to direct his public life through his own
representatives and his private life according to his own judgment,
to accommodate himself to a system which seems to him unduly to
interfere with both right and judgment.

Perhaps it is the manner in which, under the name of authority,
compulsion is exercised by subordinate officialdom and in especial by
the police, as much as the compulsion itself, which irritates in
Germany. Every profession, business, trade, and occupation, down to
that of selling matches and newspapers in the streets, is meticulously
regulated; and while there is nothing to object to in this, what
strikes the Anglo-Saxon as objectionable is that the regulations are
enforced with the manners and in the tone of a drill-sergeant. The
official in Germany, he finds, is not the servant of the public. There
is a story current in England of a Duke of Norfolk, when
Postmaster-General, going into a district post-office and asking for a
penny stamp. The clerk was dilatory, and the Duke remonstrated. "Who
are you, I should like to know?" asked the clerk impertinently, "that
you are laying down the law." "I am the public," replied the Duke
simply, at the same time showing the clerk his card. An English
Foreign Secretary once told a deputation that the Ministry was
"waiting for instructions from their employers--the people." In
Germany it is the opposite; the official is the master and the public
his dutiful servant. In Germany the official expects marked deference
from the public: the post-office clerk is "Mr. Official," the guardian
of the law "Mr. Policeman" (with your hat off). The Anglo-Saxon rather
expects the deference to be on the other side, and has a sordid
subconsciousness that he pays the official for his services. Perhaps
the Social Democrat has something of the same feeling.

One of the chief consequences of industrialism in Germany is that the
people of the country are migrating to the towns. To the country
bumpkin the city is an Eldorado and a lordly pleasure-house. In truth,
he is much better off in it than in the stagnant life of the country.
In the city he sees comfort on every hand, with possibilities of
enjoyment of every kind, and if he does not soon get a share of the
good things going he grows discontented and turns Socialist. In the
city, too, he learns to think and compare, he perceives the
distinction of classes and notices that certain classes have open to
them careers from which he is excluded. Then there is the apparently
inevitable antagonism between labour and capital, between the employer
and employed, which drives the worker to Social Democracy, as offering
the prospect of his becoming his own master and enjoying the whole
fruits of his labour. He may not know Matthew Arnold's "Sick King in
Bokhara," but he would endorse Arnold's lines:--

     "And these all, for a lord
     Eat not the fruit of their own hands;
     Which is the heaviest of all plagues
     To that man's mind, who understands."

But whatever its causes, Social Democracy is one of the most curious
and anomalous societies extant. In a country which worships order, it
calls for absolute disorder. A revolutionary movement, it anxiously
avoids revolution. It is a magnificent organization for no apparent
practical, direct, or immediate purpose. Proclaiming the protection of
the law and enjoying the blessing of efficient government, it yet
refuses to vote the budget to pay for them. It supports a large
parliamentary party without any clear or consistent parliamentary
policy in internal or external affairs, unless to be "agin the
Government" is a policy. And lastly, if some of its economic demands
are justifiable, and have in several respects been satisfied by modern
legislation, its fundamental doctrine, the basis of the entire
edifice, is a wild hallucination, sickening to common sense, and
completely out of harmony with the progressive economic development of
all nations, including its own.

In conclusion, it may be added that the social side of the Social
Democracy is perhaps too often unrecognized or ignored by the foreign
observer. Life for the poorer classes in Germany is apt to be more
monotonous and dull than for the poorer classes of any country which
nature has blessed with more fertility, more sunshine, more diversity
of hill and dale, and where people are more mutually sociable and
accommodating. Social Democracy offers something by way of remedy to
this: a field of interest in which the workers can organize and make
processions and public demonstrations and can talk and theorize and
dispute, and in which the woman can share the interest with the man;
or a club, a social club with the largest membership in the world
except freemasonry.

We must return, however, to the Emperor. During this period, in
December, 1890, he, like every one else with his own ideas on
education as well as on art and religion, delivered his views on
popular instruction. At this time--he was then thirty--he called
together forty-five of the ablest educational experts of the country
and addressed them on the subject of high-school education. His
Minister of Education, Dr. von Grossler, had drawn up a programme of
fourteen points for discussion, and the Emperor added to these a few
others he wished to have considered.

German high-school education, be it remarked, is a different thing
from English public-school education, and ought rather to be spoken of
as German information than as German education. We have seen that the
spirit of the German university differs largely from that of the
English university, in that it is not concerned with the formation of
character or the inculcation of manners. The same may be said of the
German gymnasium, or high school, the institution from which the
German youth, as a rule, goes to college. No teaching institution,
English or German, be it further said on our own account, makes any
serious attempt to teach what will prepare youth for intercourse with
the extremely complicated world of to-day, to give him, to take but
one example, the faintest notion of contract, which, if he possessed
it, would save him from many a foolish undertaking and protect him
from many a business betrayal, Far from it. All the disagreeable, and
many of the painful incidents of his subsequent life, all equally
avoidable if knowledge regarding them had been instilled into him in
his early years, he must buy with money and suffering and disgust in
after-years.

But the Emperor is waiting to be heard. His entire speech need not be
quoted, but only its chief contentions. In introducing his remarks he
claimed to speak with knowledge as having himself sat on a
public-school bench at Cassel.

The Social Democracy being to the Emperor what King Charles's head was
to Mr. Dick, it is not surprising to find almost his first statement
being to the effect that if boys had been properly taught up to then,
there would be no Social Democracy. Up to 1870, he said, the great
subject of instruction for youth was the necessity for German unity.
Unity had been achieved, the Empire was now founded, and there the
matter rested. "Now," said the Emperor, "we must recognize that the
school is for the purpose of teaching how the Empire is to be
maintained. I see nothing of such teaching, and I ought to know, for I
am at the head of the Empire, and all such questions come under my
observation. What," he continues,

     "is lacking in the education of our youth? The chief fault
     is that since 1870 the philologists have sat in the high
     schools as _beati possidentes_ and laid chief stress upon
     the knowledge to be acquired and not on the formation of
     character and the demands of the present time. Emphasis has
     been put on the ability to know, not on the ability to
     do--the pupil is expected to know, that is the main thing,
     and whether what he knows is suitable for the conduct of
     life or not is considered a secondary matter. I am told the
     school has only to do with the gymnastics of the mind, and
     that a young man, well trained in these gymnastics, is
     equipped for the needs of life. This is all wrong and can't
     go on."

Then the Empire-builder speaks--what is wanted above all is a national
basis.

     "We must make German the foundation for the gymnasium: we
     must produce patriotic young Germans, not young Greeks and
     Romans. We must depart from the centuries-old basis, from
     the old monastic education of the Middle Ages, when Latin
     was the main thing and a tincture of Greek besides. That is
     no longer the standard. German must be the standard. The
     German exercise must be the pivot on which all things turn.
     When in the exit examination (_Abiturientenexamen_) a
     student hands in a German essay, one can judge from it what
     are the mental acquirements of the young man and decide
     whether he is fit for anything or not. Of course people will
     object--the Latin exercise is very important, very good for
     instructing students in other languages, and so on. Yes,
     gentlemen, I have been through the mill. How do we get this
     Latin exercise? I have often seen a young man get, say 4-1/2
     marks, for his German exercise--'satisfactory,' it was
     considered--and 2 for his Latin exercise. The youngster
     deserved punishment instead of praise, because it is clear
     he did not write his Latin exercise in a proper way; and of
     all the Latin exercises we wrote there was not one in a
     dozen which was done without cribbing. These exercises were
     marked 'good,' but when we wrote an essay on 'Minna von
     Barnhelm' (one of Lessing's dramas) we got hardly
     'satisfactory.' So I say, away with the Latin exercise, it
     only harms us, and robs us of time we might give to German."

The Emperor goes on to recommend the study of the nation's history,
geography, and literature ("Der Sage," poetry, he calls it).

     "Let us begin at home," he says; "when we have learned
     enough at home, we can go to the museums. But above all we
     must know our German history. In my time the Grand Elector
     was a very foggy personage, the Seven Years' War was quite
     outside consideration, and history ended with the close of
     the last century, the French Revolution. The War of
     Liberation, the most important for the young citizen, was
     not taught thoroughly, and I only learned to know it, thank
     God, through the very interesting lectures of Dr. Hinzpeter.
     This, however, is the _punctum saliens_. Why are our young
     men misled? Why do we find so many unclear, confused
     world-improvers? Why is our government so cavilled at and
     criticized, and so often told to look at foreign nations?
     Because the young men do not know how our conditions have
     developed, and that the roots of the development lie in the
     period of the French Revolution. Consequently, I am
     convinced that if they understood the transition period from
     the Revolution to the nineteenth century in its fundamental
     features, they would have a far better understanding of the
     questions of to-day than they now have. At the universities
     they can supplement their school knowledge."

The Emperor then turned to other points. It was "absolutely necessary"
to reduce the hours of work. When he was at school, he said, all
German parents were crying out against the evil, and the Government
set on foot an inquiry. He and his brother (Henry) had every morning
to hand a memorandum to the head master showing how many hours it had
taken them to prepare the lessons for the day. In the Emperor's case
it took, "honestly," from 5-1/2 to 7 hours' home study. To this was to
be added 6 hours in school and 2 hours for eating meals--"How much of
the day," the Emperor asks, "was left? If I," he said, "hadn't been
able to ride to and from school I wouldn't have known what the world
even looked like." The result of this, he continued, was an

     "over-production of educated people, more than the nation
     wanted and more than was tolerable for the sufferers
     themselves. Hence the class Bismarck called the
     abiturienten-proletariat, all the so-called hunger
     candidates, especially the Mr. Journalists, who are often
     broken-down scholars and a danger to us. This surplus, far
     too large as it is, is like an irrigation field that cannot
     soak up any more water, and it must be got rid of."

Another matter touched on by the Emperor was a reduction in the amount
to be learned, so that more time might be had for the formation of
character. This cannot be done now, he remarks, in a class containing
thirty youngsters, who have such a huge amount of subjects to master.
The teacher, too, the Emperor said, must learn that his work is not
over when he has delivered his lecture. "It isn't a matter of
knowledge," he concludes "but a matter of educating the young people
for the practical affairs of life."

The Emperor lastly dealt with the subject of shortsightedness. "I am
looking for soldiers," he said.

     "We need a strong and healthy generation, which will also
     serve the Fatherland as intellectual leaders and officials.
     This mass of shortsightedness is no use, since a man who
     can't use his eyes--how can he do anything later?"

and he went on to mention the extraordinary facts that in some of the
primary classes of German schools as many as 74 per cent, were
shortsighted, and that in his class at Cassel, of the twenty-one
pupils, eighteen wore spectacles, while two of them could not see the
desk before them without their glasses.

The Englishman in Germany often attributes German shortsightedness to
the Gothic character of German print. It is more probable that the
long hours of study spent poring over books without fresh-air
exercise, judiciously interposed, is responsible for it.

It has been said that every one, like the Emperor, has his own theory
of education, but there is one passage in the Emperor's speech with
which almost all men will agree--that, namely, in which he urges that
knowledge is not the only--perhaps not the chief--thing, but that
young people must be educated for the practical affairs of life.
Unfortunately, as to how we are successfully to do this, the Emperor
is silent; and it may be that there is no certain or exact way. One
could, of course--but we are concerned with the Emperor.

The difference of opinion between the Emperor and Bismarck regarding
the Emperor's visit to Russia seems to have left no permanent ill-will
in the Emperor's mind, for on returning in October, 1889, from visits
to Athens, where he attended the wedding of his sister Sophie with the
Heir-Apparent of Greece, Prince Constantine (now King Constantine),
and Constantinople, where he was allowed to inspect the Sultan's
seraglio, he sent a letter to the Chancellor praying God to grant that
the latter's "faithful and experienced counsel might for many years
assist him in his difficult and responsible office." In January, 1890,
however, the question of renewing the Socialist Laws, which would
expire shortly, came up for settlement. A council of Ministers, under
the Emperor's presidency, was called to decide it. When the council
met, Bismarck was greatly surprised by a proposal of the Emperor to
issue edicts developing the principles laid down by his grandfather
for working-class reform instead of renewing the Socialist Laws. The
Reichstag took the Emperor's view and voted against the renewal of the
Laws. It only now remained to give effect to the Emperor's edicts.
They were considered at a further council of Ministers, at which the
Emperor exhorted them to "leave the Social Democracy to me, I can
manage them alone." The Ministers agreed, and Bismarck was in a
minority of one. This, however, was only the beginning of the end.
Bismarck decided to continue in office until he had carried through
Parliament a new military Bill, which was to come before it in May or
June. Meanwhile fresh matters of controversy between the Emperor and
the Chancellor arose regarding the grant of imperial audiences to
Ministers other than the Chancellor. Bismarck insisted that the
Chancellor alone had the right to be received by the Emperor for the
discussion of State affairs.

The quarrel was accentuated by a lively scene which occurred between
the Emperor and the Chancellor about this period in connexion with a
visit the leader of the Catholic Centre party had paid the Chancellor,
and on March 17th the Emperor sent his chief Adjutant, General von
Hahnke, to say he awaited the Chancellor's resignation. Bismarck
replied that to resign at this juncture would be an act of desertion;
the Emperor could dismiss him. At the same time the Chancellor
summoned a meeting of Ministers for the afternoon, but while they were
discussing the situation a message was brought from the Emperor
telling them he did not require their advice in such a matter and that
he had made up his mind about the Chancellor. The messenger on the
same occasion expressed to Bismarck the Emperor's surprise at not
having received a formal resignation. Bismarck's reply was that it
would require some days to prepare such a document, as it was the last
official statement of a "Minister who had played a meritorious part in
the history of Prussia and Germany, and history should know why he had
been dismissed." Three days later, on March 20th, an hour or two after
the formal resignation reached the palace, the Emperor's letter
granting the Chancellor's request for his release, naming him Duke of
Lauenburg and announcing the appointment of General von Caprivi as his
successor, was put into the old Chancellor's hands.




VI.



THE COURT OF THE EMPEROR

While the ex-Chancellor is bitterly meditating on the unreliability
and ingratitude of princes, yet having in his heart, as the records
clearly show, the loyal sentiments of a Cardinal Wolsey towards his
royal master, even though that master had cast him off, we may be
allowed to pause awhile in order to give some account of the Court of
which the Emperor now became the centre and pivot.

Human imagination, in its worship of force as the source of ability to
achieve the ends of ambition and desire, very early conceived the
courts of kings as fairylands of power, wealth, luxury, and
magnificence--in a word, of happiness. The same imagination represents
the Almighty, whose true nature no one knows, as a monarch in the
bright court of heaven, and his great antagonist, Satan, who stands
for the king of evil, is enthroned by it amid the shades of hell. The
fiction that courts are a species of earthly paradise is still kept up
for the entertainment of children; while the adult, whom the annals of
all countries has made familiar with a long record of monarchs, bad as
well as good, is disposed to regard them as beneficial or otherwise to
a country according to the character and conduct of the occupant of
the throne, and to believe that they are at least as liable to produce
examples of vice and hypocrisy as of virtue and honesty.

The court of the German Emperor in this connexion need not fear
comparison with any court described in history. True, courts all over
the world have improved wonderfully of recent years. Their monarchs
are more enlightened, they are frequented by a very different type of
man and woman from the courts of former times, their morale and
working are more closely scrutinized and more generally subjected to
criticism, and they are occupied with a more public and less selfish
order of considerations. The Court of the Emperor is, so far as can be
known to a lynx-eyed and not always charitably thinking public,
singularly free from the vices and failings the atmosphere of former
courts was wont to foster. There is at all times, no doubt, the
competition of politicians for influence and power acting and reacting
on the Court and its frequenters, but of scandal at the Court of
Berlin there has been none that could be fairly said to involve the
Emperor or his family. Dame Gossip, of course, busied herself with the
Emperor in his youth, but whatever truth she then uttered--and it is
probably extremely little--on this head, there is no question that
from the day he mounted the throne his Court and that of the Empress
has been a model for all institutions of the kind.

The life of courts, the personages who play leading parts in them,
their wealth and luxury, and the currents of social, amorous, and
political intrigue which are supposed to course through them have in
all countries and in all ages strongly appealed to writers, fanciful
and serious. Perhaps one-third of the prose and poetic literature of
every country deals, directly or indirectly, with the subject, and
determines in no small degree the character of its rising generations.
The great architects of romance, depicting for us life in high places,
and often nobly idealizing it, or working the facts of history into
the web of their imaginings and thus pleasantly combining fact with
fiction, aim at elevating, not at debasing, the mind of the reader. A
second valuable source of information on the topic are the memoirs of
those who have set down their observations and recorded experiences
made in the courts to which they had access. Among this class,
however, are to be found unscrupulous as well as conscientious
authors, the former obviously cherishing some personal grievance or as
obviously actuated by malice, while the latter are usually moved by an
honest desire to tell the world things that are important for it to
know, and at the same time, it is not ill-natured to suspect, enhance
their own reputation with their contemporaries or with posterity. The
multitudinous tribe of anecdote inventors and retailers must also be
taken into account. In our own day there is still another source of
information, which, agreeably or odiously according to the temperament
of the reader, keeps us in touch with courts and what goes on
there--the periodical press; while afar off in the future one can
imagine the historian bent over his desk, surrounded by books and
knee-deep in newspapers, selecting and weighing events, studying
characters, developing personalities, and passing what he hopes may be
a final judgment on the court and period he is considering.

For a study of the Emperor's life, as it passes in his Court, a large
number of works are available, but not many that can be described as
authoritative or reliable. Among the latter, however, may be placed
Moritz Busch's "Bismarck: Some Secret Pages of His History," three
volumes that make Busch almost as interesting to the reader as his
subject; Bismarck's own "Gedanke und Erinnerungen," which is chiefly
of a political nature; and the "Memorabilia of Prince Chlodwig
Hohenlohe-Schillingsfuerst," who was for several years Statthalter of
Alsace-Lorraine and subsequently became Imperial Chancellor in
succession to General von Caprivi. These works, with the collections
of the Emperor's speeches and the speeches and interviews of
Chancellor Prince von Buelow, may be ranked in the category of serious
and authentic contributions to the Court history of the period they
cover. Then there are several German descriptions of the Court,
reliable enough in their way which is a dull one, to those who are not
impassioned monarchists or hide-bound bureaucrats. In the category of
works by unscrupulous writers that entitled "The Private Lives of
William II and His Consort," by a lady-in-waiting to the Empress from
1888 to 1898, easily takes first place. Certainly it gives a lively
and often entertaining insight into the domestic life of the palace,
but it is so clearly informed by spite that it is impossible to
distinguish what is true in it from what is false or misrepresented.
Finally, for the closer study of individual events and the impressions
they made at the time of their happening, the daily press can be
consulted. For the Bismarck period the biography of Hans Blum is of
exceptional value.

What may be termed the anecdotic literature of the Court is
particularly rich and trivial, and this is only to be expected in a
country where the monarchy and its representative are so forcibly and
constantly brought home to the people's consciousness. Yet it has its
uses, and is referred to, though sparingly, in the present work. "The
Emperor as Father of a Family," "The Emperor and His Daughter's
Uniform," "The Amiable Grandfather," "The Emperor as Husband," "The
Emperor as Card Player," "How the Emperor's Family is Photographed,"
"What does the Emperor's Kitchen Look Like," "Adieu, Auguste"
("Auguste" is the Empress), "The English Lord and the Emperor's
Cigarettes," "When My Wife Makes You a Sandwich," "What the Emperor
Reads," "The Emperor's Handwriting," "Can the Emperor Vote?" (the
answer is, opinions differ), "Washing Day at the Emperor's," "The
Emperor and the Empress at Tennis," "Emperor and Auto," are the sort
of matters dealt with. Literature of this kind is beyond question
intensely interesting to vast numbers of people, but helps very little
towards understanding a singularly complex human being placed in a
high and extraordinarily responsible position.

Strictly speaking, there is no Imperial Court in Germany, since the
King of Prussia, in accordance with the Imperial Constitution, always
succeeds to the imperial throne, and therefore officially the Court is
that of the King of Prussia only. The distinction is emphasized by the
fact that the Court is independent of the Empire as regards its
administration and finance. It is a state within a state, an _imperium
in imperio_. In all that pertains to it the Emperor is absolute ruler
and his executive is a special Ministry. At the same time it is almost
needless to add that the Court of Berlin is practically that of the
Empire. It is this character, apart from Prussia's size and
importance, that distinguishes it from other courts in Germany and
reduces them to comparative insignificance in foreign, though by no
means in German, consideration.

The Court of the Empire and Prussia--and the same thing may be said of
the various other courts in Germany--engages popular interest and
attention to a much larger extent than is the case in England. The
fact is almost wholly due to the nature of the monarchy and of its
relations to the people. In England a great portion of the popular
attention is concentrated on Parliament and the fortunes of its two
great political parties. The attention given to the Court and its
doings is not of the same general and permanent character, but is
intermittent according to the occasion. The Englishman feels deep and
abiding popular interest at all times in Parliament, whether in
session or not, because it represents the people and is, in fact, and
for hundreds of years has been, the Government.

The reverse may fairly be said to be the case in Germany. In Germany
popular attention has been from early times concentrated on the
monarch, his personality, sayings and doings, since in his hands lay
government power and patronage. Monarchy of a more or less absolute
character was accepted by the people, not only in Germany but all over
the Continent, as the normal and desirable, perhaps the inevitable,
state of things; and it is only since the French Revolution that
parliaments after the English pattern, that is by two chambers elected
by popular vote, yet in many important respects widely differing from
it, were demanded by the people or finally established. Up to
comparatively recent times the monarch in Prussia was an absolute
ruler. Frederick William IV, after the events of 1848, was compelled
to grant Prussia a Constitution which explicitly defined the
respective rights of the Crown and the people in the sphere of
politics; and the Imperial Constitution, drawn up on the formation of
the modern Empire, did the same thing as regards the Emperor and the
people of the Empire; but neither Constitution altered the nature of
the monarchy in the direction of giving governing power to the people.
Both secured the people legislative, but not governing power.
Government in the Empire and Prussia remains, as of old, an appanage,
so to speak, of the Court, and the fact of course tends to concentrate
attention on the Court.

It has been said that the Court is a state within a state, an
_imperium in imperio_. In this state, within Prussia or within the
Empire, it is the same thing for our purpose, there are two main
departments, that of the Lord Chamberlain (_Oberstkammeramt_) and that
of the Master of the Household (_Ministerium des Koeniglichen Hauses_).
The first deals with all questions of court etiquette, court
ceremonial, court mourning, precedence, superintendence of the courts
of the Emperor's sons and near relatives, and of all Prussian court
offices. The second deals with the personal affairs of the Emperor and
his sons, the domestic administration of the palace, the management of
the Crown estates and castles, and is the tribunal that decides all
Hohenzollern differences and disputes that are not subject to the
ordinary legal tribunals. Connected with this Ministry are the
Herald's office and the Court Archives office. The chief Court
officials include, beside the Lord Chamberlain and the Master of the
Household, a Chief Court Marshal. The Master of the Household is also
Chief Master of Ceremonies, with a Deputy Master of Ceremonies who is
also Introducer of Ambassadors, two Court Marshals, a Captain of the
Palace Guards, a Court Chaplain, Court Physician, an Intendant in
charge of the royal theatres, a Master of the Horse who has charge of
the royal stables, a House Marshal, and a Master of the Kitchen. All
these officials are princes (_Fuerst_) or counts (_Graf_), with the
title Highness (_Durchlaucht_) or Excellency.

Court officials also include the various nobles in charge of the royal
palaces, castles, and hunting lodges at Potsdam, Charlottenburg,
Breslau, Stettin, Marienburg, Posen, Letzlingen, Hohkoenigsberg,
Homberg von der Hoehe, Springe, Hubertusstock, Rominten, Korfu (the
"Achilleion"), Wiesbaden, Koenigsberg, etc., to the number of thirty
or more. The Empress has her own Court officials, including a Mistress
of the Robes and Ladies of the Bedchamber, also with the title of
Excellency, the Ladies being chosen from the most aristocratic
families of Germany. The Empress has her own Master of the Household,
physician, treasurer, and so on. Similarly with the households of the
Crown Prince, other royal princes and the Emperor's near relatives.

Every order the Emperor gives that is not of a purely domestic kind
passes through one of his three cabinets--the Civil Cabinet, the
Military Cabinet, or the Marine Cabinet. The cost of the first, with
its chief, who receives L1,000 a year, and half a dozen subordinate
officials on salaries of L200 to L350, is budgeted at about L10,000 a
year. The Military Cabinet is a much larger establishment, having
several departments and a staff of half a hundred councillors and
clerks. The Naval Cabinet, on the other hand, is composed of only
three upper officials and five clerks. The Emperor's "civil list" is
returned in the Budget as L860,000 roughly. His entire annual revenue
does not exceed L1,000,000. Out of this he has to pay the expenses of
his married sons' households and make large contributions to public
charities. He was left, however, a very considerable sum of money by
the Emperor William. The Crown Prince, as such, receives a grant of
L20,000 a year, chiefly derived from the royal domain of Oels in
Silesia. Like all fathers of large families, the Emperor has been more
than once heard to complain that he finds it difficult to make both
ends meet.

The Emperor's staff of adjutants are exceptionally useful and
important people. At their head is the chief of the Emperor's Military
Cabinet. Not less important are the members of the Emperor's Marine
Cabinet, consisting of admirals, vice-admirals, and wing-admirals. The
personal adjutants divide the day and night service between them, so
that there may always be three adjutants at the Emperor's immediate
disposal. The adjutant announces Ministers or other visitors to the
Emperor, telegraphs to say that His Majesty has an hour or an hour and
a half at his disposal at such-and-such a time, or intimates that an
audience of half an hour can be given in the train between two given
points. They act as living memorandum books, knock at the Emperor's
door to announce that it is time for him to go to this or that
appointment, remind him that a congratulatory telegram on some one's
seventieth birthday or other jubilee has to be sent, or perhaps
whispers that Her Majesty the Empress wishes to see him. All the
Emperor's correspondence passes through their hands. They accompany
the Emperor on his journeys and voyages, and when thus employed are
usually invited to his table. The Emperor reads of some new book and
tells an adjutant to order it, and the latter does so by communicating
with the Civil Cabinet.

Court society in Berlin includes the German "higher" and "lower"
nobility, with the exception of the so-called Fronde, who proudly
absent themselves from it; the Ministers; the diplomatic corps; Court
officials; and such members of the burghertum, or middle class, as
hold offices which entitle them to attend court. The wives, however,
of those in the last category are not "court-capable" on this account,
nor is the middle class generally, nor even members of the Imperial or
Prussian Parliaments as such. Members of Parliament are invited to the
Court's seasonal festivities, but as a rule only members of the
Conservative parties or other supporters of the Government. The
nobility, as in England, is hereditary or only nominated for life, and
the hereditary nobility is divided into an upper and lower class. To
the former belongs members of houses that were ruling when the modern
Empire was established, and, while excluding the Emperor, who stands
above them, includes sovereign houses and mediatized houses. Some of
the ancient privileges of the nobility, such as exemption from
taxation, and the right to certain high offices, have been abolished,
but in practice the nobility still occupy the most important charges
in the administration and in the army. The privileges of the
mediatized princes consist of exemption from conscription, the
enjoyment of the Principle called "equality of birth," which prevents
the burgher wife of a noble acquiring her husband's rank, and the
right to have their own "house law" for the regulation of family
disputes and family affairs generally. No increase to the high
nobility of Germany can accrue as no addition will ever be made to the
once sovereign and mediatized families. With the exception of these
houses the rest of the German nobility, hereditary and non-hereditary,
is accounted as belonging to the lower nobility. That part of the
German aristocracy who refuse to go to court, and are accordingly
called by the name Fronde, first given to the opponents of Cardinal
Mazarin, in the reign of Louis XIV, consist chiefly of a few old
families of Prussian Poland, Hannover (the Guelphs), Brunswick,
Nassau, Hessen, and other annexed German territories, and of some
great Catholic houses in Bavaria and the Rhineland. Their dislike is
directed not so much against the Empire as against Prussia. The
Kulturkampf had the effect of setting a small number of ancient
Prussian ultramontane families against the Government.

Not much that is complimentary can be said of the German aristocracy
as a whole. "Serenissimus" is to-day as frequently the subject of
bitter, if often humorous, caricature in the comic press as ever he
was. A few of the class, like Prince Fuerstenberg, Prince Hohenlohe,
Count Henkel-Donnersmarck and some others engage successfully in
commerce; many are practical farmers and have done a good deal for
agriculture; several are deputies to Parliament; but on the whole the
foreigner gets the impression that the class as such contributes but a
small percentage of what it might and should in the way of brains,
industry, or example to the welfare and the progress of the Empire.

It is difficult to communicate an impression of the Court, whether at
the Schloss in Berlin or the New Palace in Potsdam, and at the same
time avoid the dry and dusty descriptions of the guide-books. If the
reader is not in Berlin, let him imagine the fragment of a mediaeval
town, situated on a river and fronted by a bridge; and on the bank of
the river a dark, square, massive and weather-stained pile of four
stories, with barred windows on the ground floor as defence against a
possibly angry populace, and a sentry-box at each of its two lofty
wrought-iron gates. It may be, as Baedeker informs us it is, a
"handsome example of the German renaissance," but to the foreigner it
can as equally suggest a large and grimy barracks as the
five-hundred-years-old palace of a long line of kings and emperors.
And yet, to any one acquainted with the blood-stained annals of
Prussian history, who knows something of the massive stone buildings
about it and of the people who have inhabited them, who strolls
through its interior divided into sombre squares, each with its cold
and bare parade-ground, who reflects on the relations between king and
people, closely identified by their historical associations, yet
sundered by the feudal spirit which still keeps the Crown at a
distance from the crowd, above all to the German versed in his
country's story--how eloquently it speaks!

When one thinks of the Court of Berlin one should not forget that the
New Palace, the Emperor's residence at Potsdam, sixteen miles distant
from the capital, is as much, and as important, a part of it as the
royal palace in Berlin itself. The Emperor divides his time between
them, the former, when he is not travelling, being his more permanent
residence, and the latter only claiming his presence during the winter
season and for periods of a day or so at other parts of the year, when
occasion requires it. It is only during the six or eight weeks of the
winter season that the Empress and her daughter, Princess Victoria
Louise (now Duchess of Brunswick), go into residence at the Berlin
royal palace. There is a railway between Potsdam and Berlin, but since
the introduction of the motor-car the Emperor almost always uses that
means of conveyance for the half-hour's run between his Berlin and
Potsdam palaces.

The other section of the Court, if Potsdam may be so described, is
hardly less rich in memories than the old palace by the Spree. Indeed
it is richer from the cosmopolitan point of view, for though Frederick
the Great was born in the Berlin Schloss and spent some of his time
there, it was at Potsdam that, when not campaigning, he may be said to
have lived and died. To this day, for the foreigner, his personality
still pervades the place, and that of the Emperor sinks,
comparatively, into the background. The tourist who has pored over his
Baedeker will learn that Potsdam has 53,000 inhabitants and is
"charmingly situated"--it depends on your temperament what the charm
is, and to guide-book framers all tourists have the same
temperament--on an island in the Havel "which here expands into a
series of lakes bounded by wooded hills." He will learn that the old
town-palace, which few visitors give a thought to, was built by the
Great Elector, that Frederick the Great lived here in "richly
decorated apartments with sumptuous furniture and noteworthy pictures
by Pater, Lancret, and Pesne"; that it contains a cabinet in which the
dining-table could be let up and down by means of a trap-door, and
"where the King occasionally dined with friends without risk of being
overheard by his attendants"; that the present Emperor, then Prince
William, lived here with his young wife when he was still only a
lieutenant. He will drive to the New Palace--now old, for it was built
by Frederick the Great in 1769, during the Seven Years' War, at a cost
of nearly half a million sterling--and gaze with interest at the
summer residence of the Emperor. If he is an American he may think of
his multi-millionaire fellow-citizen, Cornelius Vanderbilt, who, when
driving up to call on his erstwhile imperial schoolfellow and friend,
was nearly shot at by a sentry for whom the name Vanderbilt was no
"Open Sesame." He will see before him a main building, seven hundred
feet in length, three stories high, with the central portion
surmounted by a dome, its chief facade looking towards a park. The
whole, of course--for Baedeker is talking--forms an "imposing pile,"
with "mediocre sculptures, but the effect of the weathered sandstone
figures against the red brick is very pleasing." Here the Emperor's
father, Frederick III, was born, lived as Crown Prince, reigned for
ninety-nine days, and died. Here, too, are more "apartments of
Frederick the Great," with pictures by Rubens, including an "Adoration
of the Magi," a good example of Watteau and a portrait of Voltaire
drawn by Frederick's own hand. In the north wing are situated the
present Emperor's suite of chambers, where distinguished men of all
countries have discussed almost every conceivable topic, political,
social, religious, martial, artistic, financial, and commercial, with
one of the most interesting talkers of his time. No bloody tragedy has
defiled the palace, as did the murder of Lord Darnley at Holyrood,
that of the Duke of Guise (Sir Walter Scott's "Le Balafre") the
chateau of Blois, the execution of the Bourbon Duc d'Enghien the
palace of Vincennes, or the murder of the boy princes the Tower of
London. But bloodless tragedy, and exquisite comedy, and farce too,
have doubtless had their hour within the walls. One such incident of
the politico-tragic kind was that which passed only two years ago
between the Emperor and his Imperial Chancellor, when Prince von Buelow
went as deputy from the Federal Council, the Parliament, and the
people to pray the Emperor to exercise more caution in his public, or
semi-public statements; and the historian may possibly find another,
and not without its touch of comedy, in the reception by the Emperor
of the Chinese prince, who headed the "mission of atonement" for the
murder of the Emperor's Minister in Pekin during the Boxer troubles.

From the New Palace our foreigner will probably drive to the Marble
Palace, which (for Baedeker is ever at one's elbow with the facts) he
will mark was built in 1796 by Frederick William II, who died here,
was completed in 1845 by Frederick William IV, and was the residence
of the present Emperor at the time of his accession.

But while our foreigner has been hurrying from one palace to another,
with his mind in a fog of historical and topographical confusion--if
he is an American, half-hoping, half-expecting to meet the Emperor or
Empress and secure a bow from one or other, or--why not?--one of
William's well-known vigorous _poignees de main_, there is always one
thought predominant in his mind--Sans Souci. That is the real object
of his quest, the main attraction that has brought him, all
unconscious of it, to Berlin, and not the laudable, but wholly
mistaken efforts of the "Society for the Promotion of Tourist
Traffic," which seeks to lure the moneyed and reluctant foreigner to
the German capital. Our foreigner enters the Park of Sans Souci and
his spirit is at rest. Now he knows where he really is--not in the
wonderful new German Empire, not in modern Berlin with its splendid
and to him unspeaking streets, its garish "night-life," its
faultily-faultless municipal propriety, not in Potsdam, "the true
cradle of the Prussian army," as Baedeker, deviating for an instant
into metaphor, describes it, but simply in Sans Souci. He is now no
longer in the twentieth century, but the eighteenth--one hundred and
fifty years ago or more--in Frederick's day, the period of pigtails,
of giant grenadiers in the old-time blue and red coats, the high and
fantastic shako made of metal and tapering to a point, of
three-cornered hats resting on powdered wigs, of yellow top-boots, and
exhaling the general air of ruffianly geniality characteristic of the
manners and soldiers of the age.

As our foreigner advances through the park, where, as he is told, the
Emperor makes a promenade each Christmas Eve distributing ten-mark
pieces (spiteful chroniclers make it three marks) to all and sundry
poor, he will notice the fountain "the water of which rises to a
height of 130 feet," with its twelve figures by French artists of the
eighteenth century, and ascend the broad terraced flight of marble
steps up which the present Crown Prince is credited with once urging
his trembling steed--leading to the Mecca of his imagination, the
palace Sans Souci itself. The building is only one story high, not
large, reminding one somewhat of the Trianon at Versailles, though
lacking the Trianon's finished lightness and elegance, yet with its
semicircular colonnade distinctly French, and impressive by its
elevated situation. The chief, the enduring, the magical impression,
however, begins to form as our foreigner commences his pilgrimage
through the rooms in which Frederick passed most of his later years.
As he pauses in the Voltaire Chamber he imagines the two great
figures, seated in stiff-backed chairs at a little table on which
stand, perhaps, a pair of cut Venetian wine-glasses and a tall bottle
of old Rheinish--the great man of thought and the great man of action,
the two great atheists and freethinkers of Europe, with their earnest,
sharply featured faces, and their wigs bobbing at each other,
discussing the events and tendencies of their time. And how they must
have talked--no wonder Frederick, though the idol of his subjects,
withdrew for such discourse from the society of the day, with its
twaddle of the tea-cups and its parade-ground platitudes.

As in our own time, there was then no lack of stimulating topics. The
influence of the old Catholicism and the old feudalism was rapidly
diminishing, the night of superstition was passing, and the age of
reason, that was to culminate with such tremendous and horrible force
in the French Revolution, was beginning to dawn. The encyclopaedists,
with Diderot and d'Alembert in the van, were holding council in
France, mobilizing the intellects of the time, and, like Bacon, taking
all knowledge for their province, for a fierce attack on the old
philosophy, the old statecraft, the old art, and the old religion. Are
such topics and such men to deal with them to be found to-day, or have
all the great problems of humanity and its intellect been started,
studied, and resolved? And are motor-cars, aeroplanes, dances,
Dreadnoughts, millinery, rag-time reviews, auction bridge, the rise
and fall of stocks, and the last extraordinary round of golf, all that
is left for the present generation to discuss?

However, the guardian of the palace has moved on, the other members of
the party are getting bored, and our foreigner follows the guardian's
lead. Thus conducted, he passes through half a dozen rooms, each a
museum of historical associations--the dining-room with its round
table made famous by Menzel's picture (now in the Berlin National
Gallery) in which Frederick and his guests are seen seated, but in
which it is difficult if not impossible to be certain which is the
host; the concert-room with the clock which Frederick was in the habit
of winding up, and which "is said to have stopped at the precise
moment of his death, 2.20 a.m., August 17th, 1786"; the death-chamber
with its eloquent and pathetic statue, Magnussen's "Last Moments of
Frederick the Great"; the library and picture gallery. Strangely
enough, Baedeker has no mention of a female subject portrayed in the
concert-room in all sorts of attitudes and in all sorts and no sort of
costume. Yet every one has heard of La Barberini, the only woman, the
chroniclers (and Voltaire among them) assure us, Frederick ever loved.
She was no woman of birth or wit like the Pompadour, Recamier or
Stael, but of merely ordinary understanding and the wife of a
subordinate official of the Court. She charmed Frederick, however, and
may have loved him. If so, let us remember that the morals of those
days were not those of ours, and not grudge the lonely King his
enjoyment of her beauty and amiability.

One thing only remains for our foreigner to see--the coffin of
Frederick in the old Garrison Church. It lies in a small chamber
behind the pulpit and looks more like the strong box of a miser than
the last resting-place of a great king. For such a man it seems poor
and mean, but probably Frederick himself did not wish for better. He
must have known that his real monument would be his reputation with
posterity. In fact the chroniclers agree, and the noble statue of
Magnussen confirms the impression, that at the close of his stormy
life he was glad finally to be at rest anywhere. "_Quand je serai
la_," he was wont to say, pointing to where his dogs were buried in
the palace park, "_je serai sans souci_."

In every court there is a disposition on the part of courtiers to
agree with everything the monarch says, to flatter him as dexterously
as they can, to minister to princely vanity, if vanity there be, to
"crawl on their bellies," in the choice language of hostile court
critics, or "wag their tails" and double up their bodies at every bow;
show, in short, in different ways, often all unconsciously, the
presence of a servile and self-interested mind. The disposition is not
to be found in courts alone. It is one of the commonest and most
malignant qualities of humanity, and can any day and at any hour be
observed in action in any Ministry of State, any mercantile office,
any great warehouse, any public institution, in every scene, in fact,
where one or many men are dependent for their living on the favour or
caprice of another. On the other hand, let it not be forgotten that
this innate tendency of human nature is at times replaced by another
which has frequently the same outward manifestations, but is not the
same feeling, the sentiment, namely, of embarrassment arising from the
fear of being servile, and the equally frequent embarrassment arising
from that principle which is always at work in the mind, the
association of ideas, which in the case of a monarch presents him to
the ordinary mortal as embodying ideas of grandeur, power, might, and
intellect to which the latter is unaccustomed. Education, economic
changes, and the art of manners have done much to conceal, if not
eradicate, human proneness to servility, and the Byzantinism of the
time of Caligula and Nero, of Tiberius, Constantine, or Nikiphoros, of
the Stuarts and the Bourbons, has long been modified into respect for
oneself as well as for the person one addresses. There are, however,
still traces of the old evil in the German atmosphere, and in especial
a tendency among officials of all grades to be humble and submissive
to those above them and haughty and domineering to those below them.
The tendency is perhaps not confined to Germany, but it seems, to the
inhabitant of countries where bureaucracy is not a powerful caste, to
penetrate German society and ordinary life to a greater degree--yet
not to a great degree--than in more democratic societies.

The Emperor naturally knows nothing of such a thing, for there is no
one superior to him in the Empire in point of rank, and he is much too
modern, too well educated, and of too kindly and liberal a nature to
encourage or permit Byzantinism towards him on the part of others.
Indeed Byzantinism was never a Hohenzollern failing. In his able work
on German civilization Professor Richard tells of some Silesian
peasants who knelt down when presenting a petition to Frederick
William I, and were promptly told to get up, as "such an attitude was
unworthy of a human being." Only on one occasion in the reign has an
action of the Emperor's afforded ground for the suspicion that he was
for a moment filled with the spirit of the Byzantine emperors--namely,
when he demanded the "kotow" from the Chinese Prince Tschun, who led
the "mission of atonement" to Germany. This, however, was not really
the result of a Byzantine character or spirit, but of the excusable
anger of a man whose innocent representative had been treacherously
killed.

Of affinity with the idea of Byzantinism is that as frequently
occurring idea in German court and ordinary life conveyed by the word
"reaction." Here again we have one of those qualities to be found
among mankind everywhere and always: the instinct opposed to change,
even to those changes for the good we call progress, the disposition
that made Horace deride the _laudator temporis acti se puero_ of his
day, the feeling of the man who laments the passing of the "good old
times" and the military veteran who assures us that "the country, sir,
is going to the dogs." In political life such men are usually to be
found professing conservatism, owners of land, dearer to them often
than life itself, which they fear political change will damage or
diminish. In Germany the Conservative forces are the old agrarian
aristocracy, the military nobility, and the official hierarchy, who
make a worship of tradition, hold for the most part the tenets of
orthodox Protestantism, dread the growing influence of industrialism,
and are members of the Landlords' Association: types of a dying
feudalism, disposed to believe nothing advantageous to the community
if it conflicts with any privilege of their class. Under the name of
Junker, the Conservative landowners of the region of Prussia east of
the Elbe, they have become everywhere a byword for pride, selfishness,
in a word--reaction. They and men of their kidney are to be
distinguished from the German "people" in the English sense, and hold
themselves vastly superior to the burghertum, the vast middle class.
They dislike the "academic freedom" of the university professor, would
limit the liberty of the press and restrain the right of public
meeting, and increase rather than curtail the powers of the police. On
the other hand, if they are a powerful drag on the Emperor's Liberal
tendencies--Liberal, that is, in the Prussian sense--towards a
comprehensive and well-organized social policy, they are at least
reliable supporters of his Government for the military and naval
budgets, since they believe as whole-heartedly in the rule of force as
the Emperor himself. The German Conservative would infinitely prefer a
return to absolute government to the introduction of parliamentary
government. At the same time it should not be supposed that the
Emperor or his Chancellor, or even his Court, are reactionary in the
sense or measure in which the Socialist papers are wont to assert. It
is doubtful if nowadays the Emperor would venture to be reactionary in
any despotic way. Given that his monarchy and the spirit that informs
it are secure, that Caesar gets all that is due to Caesar, and that he
and his Government are left the direction of foreign policy, he is
quite willing that the people should legislate for themselves, enjoy
all the rights that belong to them under the _Rechtsstaat_ established
by Frederick the Great, and, in short, enjoy life as best they can.




VII.



"DROPPING THE PILOT"

Heinrich von Treitschke, the German historian, writing to a friend,
speaks of the dismissal of Prince Bismarck as "an indelible stain on
Prussian history and a tragic stroke of fate the like of which the
world has never seen since the days of Themistocles."

Opinions may differ as to the indelibility of the stain--which must be
taken as a reflection on the conduct of the Emperor; and parallels
might perhaps be found, at least by students of English history, in
the dismissal of Cardinal Wolsey by Henry VIII, or that of the elder
Pitt by George III. But there may well be general agreement as to the
tragic nature of the fall, for it was a struggle between a strong
personality and the unknown, but irresistible, laws of fate.

The historic quarrel between the Emperor and his Chancellor was not
merely the inevitable clash between two dispositions fundamentally
different, but between--to adapt the expression of a modern poet--"an
age that was dying and one that was coming to birth." Old Prussia was
giving place to New Germany. The atmosphere of war had changed to an
atmosphere of peace. The standards of education and comfort were
rising fast. The old German idealism was being pushed aside by
materialism and commercialism, and the thoughts of the nation were
turning from problems of philosophy and art to problems of practical
science and experiment. Thought was to be followed by action. Mankind,
after conversing with the ancients for centuries, now began to
converse with one another. The desire for national expansion, if it
could not be gratified by conquest, was to be satisfied by the spread
of German influence, power, activity, and enterprise in all parts of
the world. Such a collision of the ages is tragedy on the largest
scale, for nothing can be more tragic--more inevitable or
inexorable--than the march of Progress.

The natures of the two men were, in important respects, fundamentally
different. Bismarck's nature was prosaic, primitive, unscrupulous,
domineering: a type which in an English schoolboy would be described
as a bully, with the modification that while the bully in an English
school is always depicted as a coward at heart (a supposition,
however, by no means always borne out in after-life), Bismarck had the
courage of a bull-dog. Moreover, Bismarck was a Conservative, a
statesman of expediency. The Emperor is a man of principle; and as
expediency, in a world of change, is a note of Conservatism, so, in
the same world, is principle the _leit-motiv_ of Liberalism. To call
the Emperor a man of principle may appear to be at variance with
general opinion as founded on exceptional occurrences, but these do
not supply sufficient material for a fair judgment, and there are many
acts of his reign which show him to be Liberal in disposition.

Not, it need hardly be said, Liberal in the English political sense.
Liberalism in England--the two-party country--usually means a strong
desire to vote against a Conservative on the assumption that the
Conservative is nearly always completely wrong and never completely
right. As will be seen later, there is no political Liberalism in the
English sense in Germany. The Emperor's Liberalism shows itself in his
sympathy with his people in their desire for improvement as a society
of which he is the head, selected by God and only restricted by a
constitutional compact solemnly sworn to by the contracting parties.
Proofs of this sympathy might be adduced--his determination to carry
through his grandfather's social policy against Bismarck's wish,
however hostile he was and is to Social Democracy; his steadfast peace
policy, however nearly he has brought his country to war; his
encouragement of the arts among the lower classes, however limited his
views on art may be; his friendly intercourse with people of all
nationalities and occupations.

The characters also of the two men were different. Bismarck's was the
result of civilian training; the Emperor's of military training.
Bismarck had small regard for manners, and would have scoffed had
anyone told him "manners makyth man"; the Emperor is courtesy itself,
as every one who meets him testifies. Bismarck was fond of eating and
drinking, with the appetite of a horse and the thirst of a drayman,
until he was nearly eighty, and smoked strong cigars from morning to
night--a very pleasant thing, of course, if you can stand it. The
Emperor has never cared particularly for what are called the pleasures
of the table, is fond of apples and one or two simple German dishes,
and has never been what in Germany is called a "chain-smoker."
Bismarck appears not to have had the faintest interest in art; the
Emperor, while of late disclaiming in all art company his lack of
expert knowledge, has always found delight in art's most classical
forms.

Yet the two men had some deeply marked traits of character in common.
The Emperor, as was Bismarck, is Prussian, that is to say mediaeval,
to the core, notwithstanding that he had an English mother and
lived in early childhood under English influences. He has always
exhibited, as Bismarck always did, the genuine qualities of the
Prussian--self-confidence, tenacity of purpose, absolute trust in his
own ideals and intolerance of those of other people, impatience of
rivalry, selfishness for the advantage of Prussia as against other
German States, as strong as that for the newly born Empire against
other countries. Finally, the Emperor is convinced, as Bismarck was
convinced, that in the first and last resort, a society, a people, a
nation, is based on force and by force alone can prosper, or even be
held together. Neither Bismarck nor the Emperor could ever sympathize
with those who look to a time when one strong and sensible policeman
will be of more value to a community than a thousand unproductive
soldiers.

Long before he became Imperial Chancellor Bismarck had done masterly
and important work for the country. In 1862 he began his career by
filling the post of interim Minister President of Prussia at a time
when the present Emperor was still an infant. It was on taking up the
position that he made the celebrated statement that "great questions
cannot be decided by speeches and majority-votes, but must be resolved
by blood and iron." Born in April, 1815, two months before the battle
of Waterloo, at Schoenhausen, in the Prussian Province of Saxony, not
far from Magdeburg, he studied at the universities of Gottingen and
Berlin and passed two steps of the official ladder--Auscultator and
Referendar--which may be translated respectively protocolist and
junior counsel. His parliamentary career began in 1846, two years
before the second French Revolution. At that time Prussia was an
absolute monarchy, without a Constitution or a Parliament. There was
no conscription, that foundation-stone of Prussian power and of the
modern German Empire. Then came the agitated days of 1848, the
sanguinary "March Days" in Berlin. Frederick William IV was on the
throne, and in 1847 permitted the calling of a Parliament, the
forerunner of the present Reichstag; but only to represent the
"rights," not the "opinions," of the people. "No piece of paper,"
cried the King, "shall come, like a second Providence, between God in
heaven and this land!" That, too, was Bismarck's sentiment,
courageously expressed by him when the Diet was debating the idea of
introducing the English parliamentary system, and proved by him in
character and conduct until the day of his death. He would have made a
splendid Jacobite!

The three "March Days," the 18th, 19th, and 20th of March, 1848, form
one of the few occasions in Prussian or German history on which Crown
and people came into direct and serious conflict. According to German
accounts of the episode the outbreak of the revolution in France was
followed by a large influx into Berlin of Poles and Frenchmen, who
instigated the populace to violence. Collisions with the police
occurred, and on March 15th barricades began to be erected. Traffic in
the streets was only possible with the aid of the military. The King
was in despair, not so much, the accounts say, at the danger he was in
of losing his throne as at the shedding of the blood of his folk, and
issued a proclamation promising to grant all desirable reforms,
abolishing the censorship of the press, and summoning the Diet to
discuss the terms of a Constitution. The citizens, however, continued
to build barricades, made their way into the courtyards of the palace,
and demanded the withdrawal of the troops. The King ordered the
courtyards to be cleared, the palace guard advanced, and, either by
accident or design, the guns of two grenadiers went off. No one was
hit, but cries of "Treason!" and "Murder!" were raised. Within an hour
a score of barricades were set up in various parts of the town and
manned by a medley of workmen, university students, artists, and even
men of the Landwehr, or military reserve.

At this time there were about 14,000 troops at the King's disposal,
and with these the authorities proceeded against the mob. A series of
scattered engagements between mob and military began. They lasted for
eight hours, until at midnight General von Prittwitz, who was in
command of the troops, was able to report to the King that the
revolution was subdued.

Next morning, however, the 19th, numerous deputations of citizens
presented themselves at the palace, and assuring the King that it was
the only means of preventing the further effusion of blood, renewed
the request for the withdrawal of the troops. The King consented,
notwithstanding the opposition of Prince, afterwards Emperor, William,
and the troops were drawn off to Potsdam. The citizens thereupon
appointed a National Guard, which took charge of the palace, and in
the evening a vast crowd appeared beneath the King's windows bearing
the corpses of those who had fallen at the barricades during the two
preceding days. The dead bodies were laid in rows in the palace
courtyard, and the King was invited out to see them. He could not but
obey, and bowed to the crowd as he stood bareheaded before the bodies.

It is clear from the occurrences in Berlin in 1848 that while the
Prussian idea of monarchy is deeply rooted in the German mind, the
possibility of a sudden change in public sentiment and a radical
alteration of the relations between Crown and people are never at any
time to be wholly disregarded. Hence it is that the Emperor and his
Government are so insistent on the doctrine of Heaven-granted
sovereignty, so ready to support more or less autocratic monarchies in
other parts of the world, and so sensitive to popular movements like
Anarchism and Nihilism in Russia, or the always-smouldering Polish
agitation and the propaganda of the Social Democracy in Germany. When
King Frederick William IV said to his assembled generals at Potsdam a
week after the "March Days," "Never have I felt more free or more
secure than when under the protection of my burghers," his words were
drowned in the buzz of murmurs and the angry clanking of swords. The
Emperor to-day might, or might not, endorse the words of his ancestor.
Most probably he would not; for, judging by his speeches, his care for
the army, the military state with which he surrounds himself, and his
habitual appearance in uniform, he, though in truth far more a civil
monarch than the War Lord foreign writers delight in painting him, is
evidently determined to rely only on his soldiers for every
eventuality at home as well as abroad.

Perhaps the best German authorities on Bismarck's falling-out with the
young Emperor are the statements regarding it to be found in the
memoranda supplied at the time by Prince Bismarck himself to Dr.
Moritz Busch; the Memoirs of Prince Hohenlohe-Schillingsfuerst,
subsequently Imperial Chancellor; and the monograph on Bismarck by Dr.
Hans Blum, one of the Chancellor's confidants. The memoranda supplied
to Busch make regrettably few references to the subject, beyond giving
the terms of the official resignation and some scanty addenda thereto;
but enough is said generally by Busch concerning Bismarck's
conversations to show that the Chancellor was deeply mortified by his
dismissal. Bismarck indeed expressly denies this in a conversational
statement quoted by an able Bismarckian writer of our own time, Dr.
Paul Liman; but in view of subsequent events and statements the denial
can hardly be taken as sincere. The passage referred to is as
follows:--

     "I bear no grudge against my young master, who is fiery and
     lively. He wishes to make all men happy, and that is very
     natural at his age. I, for my part, believe perhaps less in
     this possibility, and have told him so too. It is very
     natural that a mentor like myself does not please him, and
     that he therefore rejects my advice. An old carthorse and a
     young courser go ill in harness together. Only politics are
     not so easy as a chemical combination: they deal with human
     beings. I wish certainly that his experiments may succeed,
     and am not in the least angry with him. I stand towards him
     like a father whom a son has grieved; the father may suffer
     thereby, but all the same he says to himself, 'He is a fine
     young fellow.' When I was young I followed my King
     everywhere: now that I am old I can no longer accompany my
     master when he travels so far. Accordingly it is unavoidable
     that counsellors who remained closer to him should win his
     confidence at my expense. He is very easily influenced when
     one puts before him ideas which he supposes will happily
     affect the condition of the people, and he can hardly wait
     to put them into operation. The Kaiser will achieve
     reputation at once: I have my own to watch over, to defend.
     I have sacrificed myself for renown and will not place it in
     jeopardy."

Prince Hohenlohe's Memoirs are much more valuable in respect of
positive information, and especially in supplying an account of the
incident taken from the lips of the Emperor himself. The Prince was
without his great predecessor's ability, but was much more amiable and
sincere. He was, moreover, a friend of both the parties concerned, and
he impartially jotted down events at the time they occurred. Lastly,
if he was a courtier at heart, he was that not wholly unknown thing,
an honest one. Dr. Hans Blum is obviously a partisan of the great
Chancellor's, but he may also be referred to for a fairly connected
account of the fall and the events that succeeded it up to the time of
Bismarck's death on July 30, 1898.

Apart from the differences in the ages and temperaments of the Emperor
and the Chancellor, there were differences in their views as to
certain measures of policy. There was a difference of opinion as to
German policy regarding Russia. Friendship with that country had been
the policy of both Emperor William I and Bismarck, and the latter had
effected a reinsurance treaty with Russia, stipulating for Russian
neutrality in case of a war between Germany and France,
notwithstanding the subsistence of the Triple Alliance between
Germany, Austria, and Italy. The reinsurance treaty, which had been
made for a period of three years, was now about to expire, and while
Bismarck desired its renewal, the Emperor, in a spirit of loyalty to
Austria, was against the renewal, and the treaty was not renewed. This
was the "new course" as it regarded Russia. The difference with regard
to the anti-Socialist Laws has been referred to in our chapter on the
accession.

The Royal Order of September, 1852, which has been mentioned as
leading immediately to the resignation, regulated intercourse between
the Prussian Ministers and the Crown, its chief provision being that
only the Minister President, and not individual Ministers, should have
audience of the Emperor regarding matters of home and foreign policy.
The Emperor desired the abrogation of the Order, for he wished to
consult with the Ministers individually. The text of Bismarck's
official resignation, after describing the origin of the Order,
continues:

     "If each individual Minister can receive commands from his
     Sovereign without previous arrangement with his colleagues,
     a coherent policy, for which some one is to be responsible,
     is an impossibility. It would be impossible for any of the
     Ministers, and especially for the Minister President, to
     bear the constitutional responsibility for the Cabinet as a
     whole. Such a provision as that contained in the Order of
     1852 could be dispensed with under the absolute monarchy and
     could also be dispensed with to-day if we returned to
     absolutism without ministerial responsibility. But according
     to the constitutional arrangements now legally in force the
     control of the Cabinet by a President under the Order of
     1852 is indispensable."

The Emperor replied to Prince Bismarck's resignation in a
communication which the reader, according to his disposition, will
regard as an effusion of the heart, immensely creditable to its
composer, a model of an official reply as demanded by circumstances, a
striking example of the art of throwing dust in the public eye, or an
equally striking contribution to the literature of excusable
hypocrisy. It was as follows:--

     "MY DEAR PRINCE,--With deep emotion I learn from your
     request of the 18th instant that you have decided to retire
     from the offices which you have filled for long years with
     incomparable success. I had hoped not to have been compelled
     to entertain the thought of separation during our lives.
     While, however, in full consciousness of the important
     consequences of your retirement, I am forced to accustom
     myself to the thought. I do so, it is true, with a heavy
     heart, but in the strong confidence that the grant of your
     request will contribute as much as possible to the
     protection and preservation for as long as possible of a
     life and strength of unreplaceable value to the Fatherland.

     "The grounds you offer for your resignation convince me that
     any further attempt to induce you to reconsider your
     determination would have no prospect of success. I
     acquiesce, therefore, in your wish by hereby graciously
     releasing you from your offices as Imperial Chancellor,
     President of my State Ministry, and Minister of Foreign
     Affairs, and trust that your counsels and energy, your
     loyalty and devotion, will not be wanting to me and the
     country in the future also.

     "I have considered it as one of the most valued privileges
     in my life that at the commencement of my reign I had you at
     my side as my first counsellor. What you have done and
     achieved for Prussia and Germany, what you have done for my
     House, my ancestors, and me, will remain to me and the
     German people in grateful and imperishable memory. But also
     in foreign countries your wise and energetic peace policy,
     which I, too, in the future also, as a result of sincere
     conviction, decide to take as the guiding line of my
     conduct, will be always gloriously recognized. It is not in
     my power to requite your services as they deserve. I must
     rest satisfied with assuring you of my own and the country's
     ineffaceable thanks. As a sign of this thanks I confer on
     you the rank of a Duke of Lauenburg. I will also send you a
     life-sized picture of myself.

     "God bless you, my dear Prince, and grant you still many
     years of an old age undisturbed and blessed with the
     consciousness of duty faithfully done.

     "In this disposition I remain to you and yours in the future
     also your sincere, obliged, and grateful Emperor and King,

     "WILLIAM I.R."

The Emperor has never, so far as is publicly known, issued, or caused
to be issued, an official account of the episode and its _peripeties_,
but the story he poured, evidently out of a full heart, into the ears
of Prince Hohenlohe, then Statthalter of Alsace-Lorraine, during a
midnight drive from the railway station at Hagenau to the hunting
lodge at Sufflenheim, is an historical document of practically
official authenticity. It appears as follows in the Prince's
Memoirs:--

"STRASBURG, 26 _April_, 1890.

     "On the evening of the 23rd, nine o'clock, I drove with
     Thaden and Moritz to Hagenau, there to await the arrival of
     the Emperor. We spent the evening with circle-officer Klemm.
     I went to bed at eleven o'clock in the guest-room, and slept
     until half-past twelve. Moritz and Thaden drove to the
     station with a view to changing their clothes in the train.
     At one o'clock I was again at the station, when the Emperor
     punctually arrived. I presented the gentlemen to him, and
     turned over General Hahnke to Baron Charpentier and
     Lieutenant Cramer, for them to conduct him to the hunting
     ground. Our journey lasted about an hour, during which the
     Emperor related without a pause the whole story of his
     quarrel with Bismarck. According to this the coolness had
     already begun in December. The Emperor then demanded that
     something should be done about the Working Class Question.
     The Chancellor was against doing anything. The Emperor held
     the view that if the Government did not take the initiative,
     the Reichstag, _i.e_. the Socialists, Centre and
     Progressives, would take the matter in hand, and then the
     Government would lag behind. The Chancellor wanted to lay
     the anti-Socialist Bill with the expulsion paragraph again
     before the Reichstag, dissolving the chamber if it did not
     accept the Bill, and then, if it came to disturbances, to
     take energetic measures. The Emperor objected, saying that
     if his grandfather, after a long and glorious reign, were
     forced to repress disturbances no one would think ill of
     him. It was different in his case, who had as yet
     accomplished nothing. People would reproach him with
     beginning his reign by shooting down his subjects. He was
     ready to act, but he wished to do it with a good conscience
     after endeavouring to redress the well-founded grievances of
     the workmen, or at least after doing everything to meet
     their justifiable claims.

     "The Emperor therefore demanded at a ministerial conference
     the submission of ministerial edicts which should contain
     what subsequently they in fact did contain. Bismarck would
     not hear of it. The Emperor then laid the question before
     the Council of State, and eventually obtained the edicts in
     spite of Bismarck's opposition. Bismarck, however, secretly
     continued his opposition, and tried to persuade Switzerland
     to persevere with its idea of an International Labour
     Conference. The attempt was rendered nugatory by the loyal
     attitude of the Swiss Minister in Berlin, Roth. At the very
     same time Bismarck was trying to influence the diplomatists
     against the conference.

     "The relations between the Emperor and Bismarck, already
     shaken by these dissensions, were still further embittered
     by the question of the Cabinet Order of 1852. Bismarck had
     often advised the Emperor to summon the Ministers to him.
     This the Emperor did, and as the intercourse became more
     frequent Bismarck took it ill, was jealous, and dragged out
     the Order of 1852 so as to keep Ministers from the Emperor.
     The Emperor resisted and acquired the abrogation of the
     Cabinet Order. Bismarck at first agreed, but gave no further
     sign in the matter. The Emperor now demanded either that the
     recission of the Order should be laid before him, or that
     Bismarck should resign--a demand which the Emperor
     communicated to Bismarck through General von Hahnke. The
     Chancellor delayed, but at length gave in the resignation on
     March 18th. It should be added that already, at the
     beginning of February, Bismarck had told the Emperor that he
     would retire. Afterwards, however, he declared that he had
     thought the position over and would remain--a thing not
     agreeable to the Emperor, though he made no remonstrance
     until the affair of the Cabinet Order came in addition. The
     visit of Windthorst to the Chancellor also gave rise to
     unpleasantness, though it was not the deciding factor. In
     any case the last three weeks were filled with disagreeable
     conversations between the Emperor and the Chancellor. It
     was, as the Emperor expressed it, a 'devil of a time,' and
     the question was, as the Emperor himself said, whether the
     dynasty Bismarck or the dynasty Hohenzollern should reign.
     The Emperor spoke very angrily, too, about the article in
     the _Hamburg News_. In foreign policy Bismarck, according to
     the Emperor, went his own way, and kept back from the
     Emperor much of what he did. 'Yes,' he said, 'Bismarck had
     it conveyed to St. Petersburg that I wanted to adopt an
     anti-Russian policy. But for that,' the Emperor added, 'he
     had no proofs.'

     "This conversation," concludes Prince Hohenlohe, "between
     the Emperor and myself was told partly on the way to the
     lodge and partly on the way back. Between came the shooting;
     but there was no sport, as the Emperor took his stand in the
     dark under a tree on which was a cock that did not 'call.'"

The following further extracts from the Hohenlohe Memoirs are given
rather with the object of showing the state of the political and
social atmosphere in which the quarrel took place than as throwing any
fresh light on its course. In June of the preceding year (1889) occurs
an entry which registers the first signs of the coming storm. Prince
Hohenlohe is telling of a visit he made in June to the Grand Duke of
Baden, whom he found irritated by Bismarck's proposal, made in
connection with the arrest of a Prussian police officer by the Swiss,
to close the frontier against the canton Aargau. The Grand Duke, the
Prince relates, quoted Herbert Bismarck as saying he "could not
understand his father any longer and that people were beginning to
believe he was not right in his head."

The next entry in the Journal is dated Strasburg, August 24th. It
concerns another meeting with the Grand Duke, who now told him that
Bismarck had changed his views and that these oscillations had puzzled
the Emperor and at the same time heightened his self-consciousness;
moreover, that the Emperor noticed that things were being kept back
from him and was becoming suspicious. There had already been a
collision between the Emperor and the Chancellor and the latter might
have to go. What then? Probably the Emperor thought of conducting
foreign policy himself--but that, added the Grand Duke, would be very
dangerous.

The feeling at Court regarding Bismarck's fall is shown by a passage
in the Memoirs about this time. It runs:

     "At 1.30 p.m. dinner (at the palace) at which I sat between
     Stosch and Kameke. The former told me much about his own
     quarrel with Bismarck, and was as gay as a snow-king that he
     can now speak freely and that the great man is no longer to
     be feared. This comfortable sentiment is obvious here on all
     sides."

The anecdote still current in Berlin, that Bismarck actually threw an
inkstand at the Emperor's head is reduced to its proper proportions by
the following entry:

     "The Grand Duke of Baden, with whom I was yesterday, knows a
     good deal about the recent crisis. He says the cause of the
     breach between the Emperor and Chancellor was a question of
     power, and that all other differences of opinion about
     social legislation and other things were only secondary. The
     chief ground was the Cabinet Order of 1852, which Bismarck
     pressed on the attention of the Ministers without the
     Emperor's knowledge, and so hindered them from going to make
     their reports to the Emperor. The Emperor wanted the Order
     rescinded, while Bismarck was against it. Nor had the
     conversation with Windthorst led to the breach. A talk
     between the Emperor and Bismarck about this conversation is
     said to have been so tempestuous that the Emperor
     subsequently said when describing it, 'He (Bismarck) all but
     threw the inkstand at me.'" To Hohenlohe Bismarck said, as
     Hohenlohe remarked that the resignation had surprised him,
     "Me also," and that three weeks before he did not think
     things would end as they had. Bismarck added: "However, it
     was to be expected, for the Emperor is now quite determined
     to rule alone."

Finally the Prince's Journal has the following:

     "Two things struck me in these last three days: one that no
     one has any time and every one is in a greater hurry than
     before; and secondly, that individualities have expanded.
     Every individual is conscious of himself, while before,
     under the predominating influence of Prince Bismarck,
     individualities shrank and were kept down. Now they are all
     swollen like sponges placed in water. That has its
     advantages, but also its dangers. The single-minded will is
     lacking."

The period between the great Chancellor's fall and his death nine
years later was marked by so many incidents as to make it almost as
_mouvemente_ as the period of the fall itself. He retired to
Friedrichsruh, all the more immediately as the new Chancellor, General
von Caprivi, showed such indecent haste in taking possession of the
official residence that a portion of Bismarck's furniture was broken
and rendered useless. That Bismarck retired with the angry feelings of
a Coriolanus in his heart, or, as Anglo-Saxon slang would have it, of
a "bear with a sore head," became evident only a few weeks later. He
was visited by the inevitable interviewer, and chose the _Hamburg
News_ as the medium of communicating to the world his opinion of the
new _regime_ and the men who were conducting it; and made use of that
paper with such instant vigour and acerbity that little more than two
months from his retirement elapsed before the new Chancellor thought
it advisable to issue instructions to Germany's diplomatic
representatives warning them carefully to distinguish between the
"present sentiments and views of the Duke of Lauenburg and those of
the erstwhile Prince Bismarck," and to pay no serious attention to the
former. Bismarck replied in the _Hamburg News_ that he would not allow
his mouth to be closed, and set about proving that he meant what he
said. Nothing the men of the "new course" could do met with his
approval. The first thing he fell foul of was the Anglo-German
agreement of July 1, 1890, which gave Germany Heligoland in exchange
for Zanzibar, deploring the badness of the bargain for Germany, and
evidently not foreseeing the importance that island's position,
commanding the approaches to the mouths of the Elbe and the Weser, was
afterwards to possess. Besides the friendliness with England, the
detachment of Germany from Russia in favour of Austria, also a feature
of the "new course," did not please him as tending to drive Russia
into the arms of France.

His prescience, however, in this respect was demonstrated when a year
later the Czar saluted a French squadron in the harbour of Cronstadt
to the strains of the "Marseillaise" and signed a secret agreement
that was alluded to four years later by the French Premier, M. Ribot,
in the French Chamber of Deputies, who spoke of Russia as "our ally,"
and was publicly announced in 1897, on the occasion of President Felix
Faure's visit to St. Petersburg, by the Czar's now famous employment
of the words "_deux nations amies et alliees_."

The ex-Chancellor was as little satisfied with the new tariff treaties
entered into by General Caprivi with Austria, Italy, Belgium, and
other countries, which the Emperor, wiser, as events have shown, than
his former Minister, characterized on their passage by Parliament as
the country's "salvation" (_eine rettende Tat_). The ex-Chancellor's
caustic but mistaken criticism was punished by the calculated neglect
of the Berlin authorities to invite him to the ceremonies attending
the celebration of the ninetieth birthday of his old comrade, General
von Moltke, in October, 1890, and that of his funeral in the following
April: still more publicly punished in connexion with the marriage of
his son Herbert.

The wedding of the latter to Countess Marguerite Hoyos was to take
place in Vienna on June 21, 1892, and on the 18th Prince Bismarck
started with his family to attend it. The journey was a species of
triumphal progress to Vienna, but it was to end in disappointment and
chagrin. As the result of representations from Germany, made doubtless
with the Emperor's assent, if not at his suggestion, Bismarck was met
on his arrival with the news that the German Ambassador, Prince Reuss,
and the Embassy staff had orders to absent themselves from the
wedding, that the widow of the Crown Prince Rudolph, who had accepted
a card of invitation to it, had suddenly left Vienna, and that the
Emperor Franz Joseph would not receive him. The German action was
explained by the publication two months later of the edict,
stigmatized by Bismarck as an "Urias Letter," in which Caprivi warned
foreign Governments against attaching any importance to the utterances
of the Duke of Lauenburg. The Bismarckian and anti-Bismarckian storm
came up afresh in Germany. Bismarck was reproached by the Government
as "injuring monarchical feeling," and by his enemies as a traitor to
his country; while the angry statesman published a statement
expressing the opinion that

     "the control of private social intercourse abroad, and the
     influencing of dinner invitations, were not tasks for which
     high officers of State were selected nor public money for
     the payment of diplomatic representatives voted":

doubting, at the same time, "if the foreign archives of any other
country than Germany could show a parallel to the incident."

The storm, notwithstanding, had a good effect, for it brought out in
bold relief the immense regard and respect the overwhelming majority
of his countrymen entertained for the chief architect of their Empire;
and when Bismarck fell ill at Kissingen in 1893 the Emperor,
subordinating his political animosities to the chivalrous instincts of
his nature, telegraphed his sorrow to the patient and offered to lend
him one of the royal castles for the purpose of his convalescence.
Bismarck declined, but not ungratefully, and the way to a
reconciliation was opened. Next year, 1894, Bismarck suffered from
influenza, and when this time the Emperor sent an adjutant to
Friedrichsruh to express his regret, invited him to attend the
festivities on the forthcoming royal birthday, and sent along with the
invitation a flask of Steinberger Cabinet from the imperial cellar in
characteristic German proof of the sincerity of his feelings, the
country was delighted. Bismarck accepted the invitation and doubtless
drank the Steinberger; and the visit to Berlin followed in due time.

The reconciliation was completed amid sympathetic popular rejoicing.
The Emperor sent his brother, Prince Henry, to bring the ex-Chancellor
from the railway station to the palace, where the Emperor himself,
surrounded by a brilliant staff, stood to welcome the guest. Bismarck
spent the day at the palace with the Royal Family and was taken back
to the railway station in the evening by the Emperor. A few days later
the Emperor returned the visit at Friedrichsruh.

The quiet of the ex-Chancellor's last years was once unpleasantly
affected by the Reichstag in 1895, at the instance of his
parliamentary enemies, rejecting, to its everlasting discredit, a
proposal for an official vote of congratulation to the ex-Chancellor
on his eightieth birthday; but against this unpleasantness may be set
his gratification at the receipt of a telegram from the Emperor
expressing his "deepest indignation" at the rejection.

Prince Bismarck died on July 30th, 1898, and was laid to rest at
Friedrichsruh in the presence of the Emperor and Empress, while the
world paused for a moment in its occupations to discuss with
sympathetic admiration the dead man's personality and career.
Bismarck's spirit is still abroad in Germany, and the popular memory
of him is as fresh now as though he died but yesterday. It is more
than probable, much rather is it certain, that all trace of irritation
with the proud old Chancellor has long faded from the Emperor's mind:
indeed at no time does there seem to have been sentiments of personal
or permanent rancour on one side or the other. The episode, in short,
was an inevitable collision of ages, temperaments, and times,
regrettable no doubt as a possibly harmful example of political
discord among the leaders of the nation, but--with due respect for the
judgment of so capable an historian as von Treitschke--leaving no
"indelible stain" either on the pages of German history or on the
reputations of Bismarck or the Emperor.




VIII.



SPACIOUS TIMES



1891-1899

A great English poet sings of the "spacious days" of Queen Elizabeth.
From the German standpoint the decade from the fall of Bismarck to the
end of the century may not inaptly be described as the spacious days
of William II and the modern German Empire. To the Englishman the
actual territorial acquisitions of Germany during the period must seem
comparatively insignificant, but, taken in connection with the
Emperor's speeches, the building of the German navy, the Caprivi
commercial treaties, the growth of friendly relations and of trade and
intercourse with America, North and South, they mean the opening of a
new era in the history of the Empire--the era of Weltpolitik.

Heligoland was obtained in exchange for Zanzibar in 1890, and is now
regarded by Germans much as Gibraltar or Malta is regarded by
Englishmen. The first Kiel regatta, due solely to the initiative of
the Emperor, and starting the development of sport in all fields which
is a feature of modern German progress, ethical and physical, was held
in 1894. The Caprivi commercial treaties were concluded within the
period. The Kiel Canal, connecting the Baltic and North Sea, and
giving the German fleet access to all the open waters of the earth,
was opened in 1895. In 1896 the Kruger telegram testified to imperial
interest in South African developments. The Hamburg-Amerika Line now
sent a specially fast mail and passenger steamer across the Atlantic.
The district of Kiautschau was leased from China in 1898, securing
Germany a foothold and naval base in the Far East. In the same year
the modern Oriental policy of the Empire was inaugurated by the
Emperor's visit to Palestine and his declaration in the course of it
that he would be the friend of Turkey and of the three hundred
millions of Mohammedans who recognized the Sultan as their spiritual
head. To this year also belongs the measure, the most important in its
consequences and significance of the reign hitherto, the passing of
the First Navy Law. Finally, in 1899 Germany acquired the Caroline
Islands by purchase from Spain, and certain Samoan Islands by
agreement with England and America.

Nothing was more natural as a result of the new world-policy than a
change in the mental outlook of the people. It inaugurated in Germany
an era somewhat analogous to the era inaugurated in England by the
widening and brightening of the Englishman's horizon under Elizabeth.
The analogy may not be closely maintainable throughout, but, generally
speaking, just as the eyes of Englishmen suddenly saw the
possibilities of expansion disclosed to them by Drake, Raleigh, and
Frobisher, so the Emperor's appeals, with the pursuance of German
colonial policy and the attempt to develop Germany's African
possessions, led to an awakening in Germany of a similar, if weaker,
kind. To this awakening the building of the German navy contributed;
and though it did not appeal to the German imagination as did the
deeds of the old navigators to that of Elizabethan Englishmen, it
widened the national outlook and fired the people with new imperial
ambitions. Hitherto, moreover, Germany's attention had been confined
almost solely to trade within continental boundaries: henceforth she
was to do business actively and enterprisingly with all parts of the
world.

The Emperor's thoughts on the subject were expressed in January, 1896,
at a banquet in the Berlin palace given to a miscellaneous company of
leading personalities of the time. The occasion was the celebration of
the twenty-fifth year of the modern Empire's foundation. He said:

     "The German Empire becomes a world-empire. Everywhere in the
     farthest parts of the earth live thousands of our
     fellow-countrymen. German subjects, German knowledge, German
     industry cross the ocean. The value of German goods on the
     seas amounts to thousands of millions of marks. On you,
     gentlemen, devolves the serious duty of helping me to knit
     firmly this greater German Empire to the Empire at home."

The expression "greater German Empire" immediately reminded the
Englishman of his own "Greater Britain," and he concluded that the
Emperor was secretly thinking of rivalling him in the extent and value
of his colonial possessions. Possibly he was, and doubtless he
ardently desired to see Germany owning large and fertile colonies; but
it is quite as probable he was thinking of his economic Weltpolitik,
and knew as well then as he does now that it must be left to time and
the hour to show whether they fall to her or not.

In the same order of ideas may be placed, though it is anticipating
somewhat, the Emperor's utterances at Aix in 1902 and three years
later at Bremen. At Aix, after describing the failure of Charlemagne's
successors to reconcile the duties of a Holy Roman Emperor with those
of a German King, he continued:

     "Now another Empire has arisen. The German people has once
     more an Emperor of its own choice, with the sword on the
     field of battle has the crown been won, and the imperial
     flag flutters high in the breeze. But the tasks of the new
     Empire are different: confined within its borders it has to
     steel itself anew for the work it has to do, and which it
     could not achieve in the Middle Ages. We have to live so
     that the Empire, still young, becomes from year to year
     stronger in itself, while confidence in it strengthens on
     all sides. The powerful German army guarantees the peace of
     Europe. In accord with the German character we confine
     ourselves externally in order to be unconfined internally.
     Far stretches our speech over the ocean, far the flight of
     our science and exploration; no work in the domain of new
     discovery, no scientific idea but is first tested by us and
     then adopted by other nations. This is the world-rule the
     German spirit strives for."

At Bremen he said:

     "The world-empire I dream of is a new German Empire which
     shall enjoy on all hands the most absolute confidence as a
     quiet, peaceable, honest neighbour--not founded by conquest
     with the sword, but on the mutual confidence of nations
     aiming at the same end."

The Emperor's world-policy was referred to more than once about this
time by Chancellor Prince Buelow in the Reichstag. "It is," he said on
one occasion, "Germany's intention and duty to protect the great and
ever-growing oversea interests which she has acquired through the
development of conditions." "We recognize," he continued,

     "that we have no longer interests only round our own
     fireside or in the neighbourhood of the church clock, but
     everywhere where German industry and Germany's commercial
     spirit have penetrated; and we must foster these interests
     within the bounds of possibility and good sense."

"Our world-policy," he said on another occasion in the same place,

     "is not a policy of interference, much less a policy of
     intervention: had it interfered in South Africa (he was
     alluding to the Boer War) it must have intervened, and
     intervention implies the use of force."

On yet another occasion he explained that a prudent world-policy must
go hand in hand with a sound protective policy for home industry, and
that its basis must be a strong national home policy.

There is nothing in all this, even supposing Germany's interests at
that time were purposely exaggerated, to which the foreigner could
reasonably object. The foreigner felt perhaps slightly uncomfortable
when the same statesman, departing for a moment from his usual
objective standpoint, spoke of the German "traversing the world with a
sword in one hand and a spade and trowel in the other"; but otherwise
no act of Germany's world-policy need have inspired alarm, or need
inspire alarm at the present time, in sensible foreign minds. The
rapidity of its action probably helped to excite a feeling that it
could not be altogether honest or above-board; but it should be
remembered that the new Empire had much leeway to make up in the race
with other nations, and that quick development was rendered necessary
by her commercial treaties, by her protective system, by the
unexpected growth of industry and trade, by the continuous increase of
population, the development of the mercantile marine, and the growing
consciousness of national strength.

And if there is nothing in Germany's development of her world-policy
to which the foreigner can reasonably object, there is much in it at
which he can reasonably rejoice. Competition is good for him, for it
puts him on his mettle. A large and prosperous German population
extends his markets and means more business and more profit. The minds
of both Germans and the foreigner become broader, more mutually
sympathetic and appreciative. The elder Pitt warned his
fellow-countrymen against letting France become a maritime, a
commercial, or a colonial power. She has become all three, and what
injury has occurred therefrom to England or any other nation?

Germany's colonial development dates from about the year 1884, the
period of the "scramble for Africa." The first step to acquiring
German colonies for the Empire was taken in 1883, when a merchant of
Bremen, Edouard Luderitz, made an agreement with the Hottentots by
which the bay of Angra Pequena in South-West Africa, with an area of
fifty thousand square kilometres, was ceded to him. Luderitz applied
to Bismarck for imperial protection. Bismarck inquired of England
whether she claimed rights of sovereignty over the bay. Lord Granville
replied in the negative, but added that he did not consider the
seizure of possession by another Power allowable. Indignant at what he
called a "monstrous claim" on all the land in the world which was
without a master, Bismarck telegraphed to the German Consul at the
Cape to "declare officially to the British Government that Herr
Luderitz and his acquisitions are under the protection of the Empire."

The Bremen pioneer was fated to gain no advantage from his enterprise,
as he was drowned in the Orange River in 1886. His example as a
colonist, however, was followed by three Hanseatic merchants,
Woermann, Jansen, and Thormealen, of Hamburg, who acquired land in
Togo, a small kingdom to the east of the British Gold Coast, and in
the Cameroons, a large tract in the bend of the Gulf of Guinea,
extending to Lake Chad, and applied for German imperial protection.
Bismarck sent Consul-General Nachtigall with the gunboat _Moewe_ in
1884 to hoist the German flag at various ports. Five days after this
had been done the English gunboat _Flirt_ arrived, but was thus too
late to obtain Togoland and the Cameroons for England.

Dr. Carl Peters, the German Cecil Rhodes, now arrived at Zanzibar, and
on obtaining concessions from the Sultan founded the German East
Africa Company, with a charter from his Government. German hopes of
great colonial expansion began to run high, but they were dashed by
the Anglo-German agreement of June, 1890, delimiting the spheres of
England, Germany, and the Sultan of Zanzibar, and stipulating that
Germany should receive Heligoland from England in return for German
recognition of English suzerainty in Zanzibar and the possession of
Uganda, which had recently been taken for Germany by Dr. Peters. At
that time Germans thought very little of Heligoland, but there was
then no Anglo-German tension, and no apprehension of an English
descent on the German coast.

The lease for ninety-nine years of Kiautschau, a small area of about
four hundred square miles on the coast of China, was obtained from the
Chinese in connexion with the murder of two German missionaries in
1897 in the Shantung Province, of which Kiautschau forms a part. Herr
von Buelow, then only Foreign Secretary, referred to the transaction in
the Reichstag in words that may be quoted, as they describe German
foreign policy in the Far East. "Our cruiser fleet," he said,

     "was sent to Kiautschau Bay to exact reparation for the
     murder of German Catholic missionaries on the one hand, and
     to obtain greater security for the future against a
     repetition of such occurrences. The Government,"

he continued,

"has nothing but benevolent and friendly designs regarding China, and
has no wish either to offend or provoke her. We are ready in East Asia
to recognize the interests of other Great Powers in the certain
confidence that our own interests will be duly respected by them. In
one word--we desire to put no one in the shade, but we too demand our
place in the sun. In East Asia, as in the West Indies, we shall
endeavour, in accordance with the traditions of German policy, without
unnecessary rigour, but also without weakness, to guard our rights and
our interests."

In mentioning the West Indies the Foreign Secretary was alluding to a
quarrel Germany had at this time with the negro republic of Haiti,
owing to the arrest and imprisonment of a German subject in that
island. Kiautschau is administratively under the German Admiralty.

The Caroline, Marianne, and Palau Islands, including the Marschall
Islands and the islands of the Bismarck archipelago, were bought from
Spain this year for twenty-five million pesetas, or about one million
sterling. The islands are valuable in German eyes, not only for their
fertility and capacity for plantation development, but as affording
good harbourage and coaling stations on the sea-road to China, Japan,
and Central America. By the agreement with England and America, which
in this year also put an end to the thorny question of Samoan
administration, Germany acquired the Samoan islands of Upolu and
Sawaii in the South Sea.

The ten years we are now concerned with were perhaps the most
strenuous and picturesque of the Emperor's life hitherto. He was now
his own Chancellor, though that post was nominally occupied by General
von Caprivi and Prince Chlodwig Hohenlohe successively. He was
Chancellor, too, knowing that not a hundred miles off the old pilot of
the ship of State was watching, keenly and not too benevolently, his
every act and word. He was conscious that the eyes of the world were
fixed on him, and that every other Government was waiting with
interest and curiosity to learn what sort of rival in statecraft and
diplomacy it would henceforward have to reckon with. Naturally many
plans coursed through his restlessly active brain, but there were
always, one may imagine, two compelling and ever-present thoughts at
the back of them. One of these was a determination to promote the
moral and material prosperity of his people so as to make them a model
and thoroughly modern commonwealth; the other, the resolve that as
Emperor he would not allow Germany to be overlooked, to be treated as
a _quantite negligeable_, in the discussion or decision of
international affairs.

The Chancellorship of General von Caprivi, who had been successively
Minister of War and Marine, lasted from March, 1890, to October, 1894.
He may have been a good commanding general, but he has left no
reputation either as a man of marked character or as a statesman of
exceptional ability. Nor was either character or ability much needed.
He was, as every one knew, a man of immensely inferior ability to his
great predecessor, but every one knew also that the Emperor intended
to be his own Chancellor, pursue his own policy, and take
responsibility for it. Taking responsibility is, naturally, easier for
a Hohenzollern monarch than for most men, since he is responsible to
no one but himself. With the appointment of Caprivi the Emperor's
"personal regiment" may be said to have begun.

During General von Caprivi's term of office some measures of
importance have to be noted, among them the Quinquennat, which
replaced Bismarck's Septennat and fixed the military budget for five
years instead of seven; the reduction of the period of conscription
for the infantry from three years to two; and the decision not to
renew Bismarck's reinsurance treaty with Russia.

The chief event, however, with which Chancellor Caprivi's name is
usually associated, is the conclusion of commercial treaties between
Germany and most other continental countries. Other countries had
followed Germany's example and adopted a protective system, and with a
view to the avoidance of tariff wars, Caprivi, strongly supported, it
need hardly be said, by an Emperor who had just declared that "the
world at the end of the nineteenth century stands under the star of
commerce, which breaks down the barriers between nations," began a
series of commercial treaty negotiations.

The first agreements were made with Germany's allies in the Triplice,
Austria and Italy. Treaties with Switzerland and Belgium, Servia and
Rumania, followed. Russia held aloof for a time, but as a great
grain-exporting country she too found it advisable to come to terms.
With France there was no need of an agreement, since she was bound by
the Treaty of Frankfurt, concluded after the war of 1870, to grant
Germany her minimum duties. One of the regrettable results of the
Empire's new commercial policy was an antagonism between agriculture
and industry which now declared itself and has remained active to the
present day. The political cause of Caprivi's fall from power, if
power it can be called, was the twofold hostility of the Conservative
and Liberal parties in Parliament, that of the Conservatives being due
to the injury supposed to be done to landlord interests by the
commercial treaties, and that of the Liberals by an Education Bill,
which, it was alleged, would hand the Prussian school system
completely over to the Church. Perhaps the main cause, however, was
the general unpopularity he incurred by attacking, officially and
through the press, his predecessor, Bismarck, the idol of the people.

It was in the Chancellorship of Prince Hohenlohe, which ended in 1900,
that the most memorable events of this remarkable decade occurred;
but, as was to be expected, and as the Emperor himself must have
expected, the Prince, now a man of seventy-five, played a very
secondary part with regard to them. The Prince was what the Germans
call a "house-friend" of the Hohenzollern family and related to it. He
was useful, his contemporaries say, as a brake on the impetuous temper
of his imperial master, though he did not, we may be sure, turn him
from any of the main designs he had at heart. Prince Hohenlohe, in
character, was good-nature and amiability personified. He was beloved
by all classes and parties, and no foreigner can read his Memoirs
without a feeling of friendliness for a Personality so moderate and
calm and simple. A note he makes in one of his diaries amusingly
illustrates the simple side of his character. He is dining with the
Emperor, when the Emperor, catching the Prince's eye, which we may be
sure was on the alert to gather up any of the royal beams that might
come his way, raises his glass in sign of amity. "I felt so overcome,"
notes the Prince, "that I almost spilt the champagne."

The famous "Kruger telegram" episode occurred during the
Chancellorship of Prince Hohenlohe.

For many years the sending of the telegram was cited as a convincing
proof of the Emperor's "impulsive" character, and it was not until
1909 that the truth of the matter was stated by Chancellor von Buelow
in the Reichstag. In March of that year he said:

     "It has been asked, was this telegram an act of personal
     initiative or an act of State? In this regard let me refer
     you to your own proceedings. You will remember that the
     responsibility for the telegram was never repudiated by the
     directors of our political business at the time. The
     telegram was an act of State, the result of official
     consultations; it was in nowise an act of personal
     initiative on the part of his Majesty the Kaiser. Whoever
     asserts that it was is ignorant of what preceded it and does
     his Majesty completely wrong."

The Emperor's telegram to President Kruger, despatched on January 3,
1896, ran as follows:--

     "I congratulate you most sincerely on having succeeded with
     your people, and without calling on the help of foreign
     Powers, by opposing your own force to an armed band which
     broke into your country to disturb the peace, in restoring
     quiet and in maintaining the independence of your country
     against external attack."

The echoes of this historic message were heard immediately in every
country, but naturally nowhere more loudly than in England; and the
reverberation of them is audible to the present day. In Germany,
however, for a day or two, the telegram seems to have surprised no
one, was indeed spoken of with approval by deputies in the Reichstag,
and seems not to have occurred to any one in the light of a serious
diplomatic mistake. This state of feeling did not last long, and when
the English newspapers arrived an entirely new light was thrown on the
matter. The _Morning Post_ concluded an article with the words: "It is
not easy to speak calmly of the Kaiser's telegram. The English people
will not forget it, and in future will always think of it when
considering its foreign policy."  The British Government's comment on
the telegram was to put a flying squadron in commission and issue an
official statement _urbi et orbi_, calling attention to the Convention
made with President Kruger in London in 1884, reserving the
supervision of the foreign relations of the Transvaal to the British
Government.

The Emperor himself appears to have recognized that he and his
advisers had made a serious blunder, and that a gesture which, it is
highly probable, was partly prompted by the chivalrous side of his
character, was certain to be gravely misunderstood. At any rate his
policy, or that of his Government, changed, and instead of following
up his encouraging words with mediation or intervention, he assumed an
attitude of neutrality towards the war which soon after began.
Subsequently, in the Reichstag, Chancellor von Buelow described the
course the German Government pursued immediately before and during the
war; and there seems no reason to discredit his account. The speech
was made apropos of the projected visit of President Kruger to Berlin,
when on his tour of despair to the capitals of Europe while the war
was still in progress. He was cheered by boulevard crowds in Paris,
itself a thing of no great significance, and was received at the
Elysee and by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, M. Delcasse. The
visitor was very reserved on both occasions, and confined himself to
sounding his hosts as to whether or not he could reckon on their good
offices.

From Paris he started for Berlin, where he had engaged a large and
expensive first-floor suite of rooms in a fashionable hotel. At
Cologne, however, shortly after entering Germany, a telegram from
Potsdam awaited him, announcing the Emperor's refusal to grant him
audience. The imperial telegram consisted of a few words to the effect
that the Emperor was "not in a position" to receive him. Nor in truth
was he. An audience at that moment would have meant war between
Germany and England.

As to German policy with regard to the Boer War, Prince Buelow
explained that the German Government deplored the war not only because
it was between two Christian and white races, that were, moreover, of
the same Germanic stock, but also because it drew within the evil
circle of its consequences important German economic and political
interests. He went on to describe their nature, enumerating under the
one head the thousands of German settlers in South Africa, the
industrial establishments and banks they had founded there, the busy
trade and the millions sterling of invested capital; while, as
regarded the other head, the Government had to take care that the war
exercised no injurious influence on German territory in that region.

The Government, the Chancellor claimed, had done everything consistent
with neutrality and the conservation of German interests to hinder the
outbreak of the war. It had "loyally" warned the two Dutch republics
of the disposition in Europe, and left them in no doubt as to the
attitude Germany would adopt if war should come. These communications
were not made directly, but through the Hague authorities and the
Consul-General of the Netherlands in Pretoria. At that time the United
States Government had come forward with a proposal for a submission of
the quarrel to its arbitration, but the proposal had been rejected by
President Kruger.

A little later the President changed his mind, but it was then too
late and war was declared. Once the die was cast, Germany could only
with propriety have interfered, provided she had reason to believe her
mediation would be accepted by both parties: otherwise her conduct
would not be mediation, but be regarded, in accordance with diplomatic
usage, as intervention with coercive measures in the background. For
such a policy Germany had no disposition, for it meant running the
risk of a diplomatic defeat on the one hand and of an armed conflict
with England on the other.

As regards the visit of the President to Berlin and the Emperor's
refusal to receive him, the Chancellor asked would a reception have
done any good either to the President or to Germany, and he answered
his own question with an emphatic negative. To the President an
audience would have been of no more use than the ovations and
demonstrations he was greeted with in Paris. To Germany a reception
would have meant a shifting of international relations to the
disadvantage of the country: in other words, would have meant the
risk, almost the certainty, of war. "Wars," said the Chancellor in
this connexion,

     "are much more easily unchained through elementary popular
     passions, through the passionate excitation of public
     opinion, than in the old days through the ambitions of
     monarchs or through the jealousies of Ministers."

And he concluded:

     "With regard to England we stand entirely independent of
     her: we are not a hair's-breadth more dependent on England
     than England is on us. But we are ready on the basis of
     mutual consideration and complete equality--about this
     obvious preliminary condition for a proper relation between
     two Great Powers we have never left any Power in doubt: I
     say, we are ready on this basis to live with England in
     peace, friendship, and harmony. To play the Don Quixote and
     to lay the lance in rest and attack wherever in the world
     English windmills are to be found, for that we are not
     called upon."

But just then there was little prospect of "peace friendship, and
harmony" with England. The world remembers, and unfortunately the
English people do not forget, that they had nowhere more bitter and
offensive critics than in Germany. One refined method of opprobrium
was the unprohibited sale in the main streets of Berlin of spittoons
bearing the countenance of the English Colonial Minister, Mr.
Chamberlain. A war with England would at that moment have been highly
popular in Germany, but as the Chancellor wisely reminded the
Parliament, it was the duty of the statesman to protect international
relations from disturbance by intrigue or by popular demonstration.

Finally the Chancellor dealt with a report widely current in England
and Germany at the time, to the effect that the Emperor's refusal to
receive President Kruger was due to the influence of his uncle, King
Edward. The Chancellor emphatically denied that any pressure of the
kind from the English Court, or from any other source, had been
employed, and ended by saying:

     "To suppose that his Majesty the Kaiser could allow himself
     to be influenced by family relations shows little
     understanding of his character, or of his love of country.
     For his Majesty solely the national standpoint is decisive,
     and if it were otherwise, and family relations or dynastic
     considerations determined our foreign policy, I would not
     remain Minister a day longer."

A precisely similar and unfounded charge, it will be remembered, was
made against King Edward VII in 1902, to the effect that it was Court
influence, not the deliberate judgment of the Cabinet, that was the
efficient cause of the co-operation of the British with the German
fleet in the demonstration off the coast of Venezuela.

A recent writer, Dr. Adolf Stein, gives an account of the sending of
the famous telegram which corroborates that of Prince von Buelow. The
telegram, according to this version, was a well-considered answer to a
question from the Transvaal Government put to the German Government a
month before the Raid occurred, and when the Transvaal Government got
the first inkling of the preparations being made for it. President
Kruger asked what attitude Germany would adopt in case of a war
between England and the Boer republics. The answer given to the person
who made the inquiry on behalf of the Transvaal Government was that
President Kruger might rest assured of Germany's

     "diplomatic support in so far as it was also Germany's
     interest that the independence of the Boer States should be
     maintained, but that for anything beyond this he should not
     reckon on Germany's assistance or that of any Great Power."

This answer, Dr. Stein says, was in course of transmission by the post
when the Raid occurred.

The Raid was made on January 1st. The event was at once telegraphed to
Berlin, where Prince Hohenlohe was Chancellor, with Freiherr Marschall
von Bieberstein, afterwards German Ambassador in Constantinople and
London, as his Foreign Secretary. According to Dr. Stein, they drew up
a telegram to President Kruger, and on the morning of the 3rd laid it
before the Emperor, who had come early from Potsdam for consultation
on the matter. The Chancellor, it should be mentioned, had been at
Potsdam the day previous, but at that time the news of the Raid had
not reached the Emperor. The Emperor, Chancellor, and Foreign
Secretary now decided that a telegram congratulating President Kruger
for having repulsed the Raid "without foreign aid" was the best
non-committal form to adopt. The Emperor, Dr. Stein continues, raised
some objections, but was over-persuaded by Prince Hohenlohe and von
Bieberstein.

As confirming this version, a little note in Lord Goschen's Biography
may be recalled, in which Lord Goschen confides to a friend a few
weeks before the Raid that the "Germans were taking the Boers under
their wing, as the Americans had done with the Venezuelans."

Enough perhaps has been said to show that the sending of the telegram
had nothing to do with the Emperor's "impulsive" character, and it
will only be fair to him to let the notion that it had drop finally
out of contemporary history. As an act of State it was in consonance
with German policy at the time. That policy, if it did not look to
acquiring possession of the Transvaal, may very well have looked to
enlisting the sympathies and friendship of the Dutch in South Africa,
and finding in them and their country a field for German enterprise
and a market for German goods; and there was therefore nothing
impulsive, however mistaken the act may have been as a matter of
foreign policy, in the German Government's congratulating President
Kruger on successful resistance to a private raid.

We have suggested that the telegram was partly due to a certain
element of chivalry in the Emperor's character. The Emperor was well
acquainted with other forms of government and other social systems
besides his own, and though a Hohenzollern could put himself in the
position of the chief of the little Boer republic, threatened as he
was with annihilation by a mighty and powerful opponent. Moreover,
there is always to be remembered the sympathy of view, particularly of
religious view, that existed in the two men as regarded their attitude
and duties to their respective "folk." The President had appealed to
the Emperor for help. The Emperor had had to refuse it, but had wired
that he would do all he could "diplomatically." He knew that this was
but a poor sort of assistance, but it was something, and when the Raid
occurred he gave the diplomatic assistance he had promised by sending
a telegram of congratulation. In any case--_tempi passati_. Foreign
policy is not concerned with sympathies or antipathies, and the whole
episode should be ignored, or, better still, forgotten.

The Kruger telegram, it turned out, was to usher in a long period of
tension between two countries of the same race, singularly alike in
their ideals of whatever is sound and praiseworthy in Christian
civilization, and almost equally mutual admirers of the fundamental
features of each other's national character. Unfortunately, along with
these fundamental features of the English and German national
characters, the love of money, the _auri sacra fames_, has to be
reckoned with, and in the race of nations for wealth and power the
fundamental qualities are apt, for a time, to be overborne and cease
to act. The rise of the modern German Empire to power and prosperity,
and the new world-situation thus created, largely by the Emperor, is
at the bottom of Anglo-German tension. As a main contributory cause of
both the power and the prosperity, was the creation of the German navy
at the period of which we write.

The following is a parable which he who runs may read:--

     In a certain town, with a large and heterogeneous
     population, there was once a "monster" shop. The firm (there
     were three partners) had been established for hundreds of
     years, had thrown out several branches, and by hard work,
     enterprise, and honesty had acquired a leading position in
     the trade of the town: so much so, indeed, that as time went
     on it had also come to do the carriage and delivery of goods
     for most of the smaller shops, though some of these were
     large houses themselves and the majority of them in a fair
     way of business. The smaller shops were naturally a little
     jealous of the "monster," and it was the dream of every
     owner of them to enlarge his premises and become the
     proprietor of an equally great emporium as the "monster."
     One day, therefore, a little cluster of shops, at some
     distance from the "monster," suddenly resolved to form a
     combination, and after settling a dispute with a neighbour
     in consideration of a sum of money and a fruitful tract of
     land, issued the prospectus of the new company and began to
     do business on modern lines.

     Almost from the very beginning the new company was a great
     success: its situation was central; the company inspired its
     members with enterprise and spirit; it was industrious,
     energetic, and splendidly organized; and at last it began to
     cut into the trade of the old-established "monster."
     Competition might have gone on in the ordinary way had not
     the new company made a departure in business methods that
     gradually roused special uneasiness among the members of the
     "monster" firm. Hitherto the latter had its delivery vans
     travel all over the town, and so well was this part of its
     system carried on that the firm acquired all but a monopoly
     of carrying and delivery. The new company, however, now
     began to do a little in the same line, whereupon the
     "monster" took to building a superior type of van much more
     powerful and imposing, if also much more expensive, than the
     one previously in use. The new company naturally followed
     suit, and in a surprisingly short time had built, or had
     under construction, several vans of an exactly similar kind.
     The "monster" saw the new departure of their rivals at first
     with curiosity, then with contempt, then with anxiety, and
     finally with suspicion and alarm. At the time of writing the
     alarm appears to have abated, but a good deal of the
     suspicion remains. The town is the world, the "monster"
     Great Britain, and the rival company the modern German
     Empire.

It would require the Emperor himself properly to tell the story of his
creation of the modern German navy, and if he has a right to call any
part of his people's property his own, he is justified in speaking, as
he invariably does, of "my navy." As Prince William, his interest in
the subject may have been originally due, as has been seen, to his
partly English parentage, his frequent visits to England, and the fact
that his physical disability threatened to prevent him taking an
active part in the more strenuous duties of the soldier. It is very
probable that it was in the region that cradled the British navy the
idea of a great German navy was conceived by him. We have seen that
the Emperor, as Prince William, showed his enthusiasm in the matter by
delivering lectures on it in military circles, though it was not his
lot, but that of his brother Henry, to be assigned the navy as a
profession. In his Order to the Navy on ascending the throne, he spoke
of the "lively and warm interest" that bound him to the navy, shortly
afterwards issued directions for a new marine uniform on the English
model, and caused the introduction into the Lutheran Church service of
a special prayer for the arm. He gave a parliamentary soiree at the
New Palace in Potsdam, and before allowing his Conservative and
National Liberal guests to sit down to supper, made them listen to a
lecture which occupied two hours, giving particular attention, with
the aid of maps and plans, to the battle of the Yalu between the
fleets of China and Japan. He founded the Technical Shipbuilding
Society, and took, and takes, an animated part in its proceedings,
suggesting positions for the guns, the disposition of armour, the
dimensions of submarines, and a hundred other details. In 1908 he
delivered an after-dinner lecture at the "Villa Achilleion" in Corfu
on Nelson and the battle of Trafalgar, based on the writings of
Captain Mark Kerr of the _Implacable_, at which the situations of the
French, English, and Spanish fleets were sketched by the imperial
hand. To his admiration for the writings of Captain Mahan his
persistence in enlarging the fleet is said largely to be due. He is,
of course, assisted by a host of able experts, among whom Admiral von
Tirpitz--the ablest German since Bismarck, many Germans say--is the
most distinguished; but as he is his own Foreign Minister and own
Commander-in-Chief, he is, in the fullest sense, his own First Lord of
the Admiralty.

The Emperor closed one of his naval lectures with an anecdote which
the papers reported next day as being received with "stormy
amusement." It was about the metacentrum, the centre of gravity in
ship construction. The Emperor told of his having asked an old sea
lieutenant to explain to him the metacentrum. "I received the answer,"
said the Emperor, "that he did not know very exactly himself--it was a
secret. 'All I can say is,' the old seaman went on, 'that if the
metacentrum was in the topmast, the ship would over-turn.'" The
success of a jest, one is told, lies in the ear of the hearer.
Possibly something of the "stormy amusement" may have been called
forth by the reflection that the imperial metacentrum had on occasion
got misplaced.

In addition to the natural and accidental predispositions of the
Emperor, certain general considerations, which imposed themselves
irresistibly on all men's attention as the century drew to its close,
impelled him to more energetic action. A student of the history of
other countries as well as his own, and a watchful observer of the
tendencies of the time, he felt that the young Empire was incomplete
as long as it was without a navy corresponding in size and power to
its army, the organization of which had been completed. With its army
alone he regarded the Empire as a colossus, no doubt, but a colossus
standing on one leg, and was convinced that if the Empire was to be a
success it must have a navy at least able to withstand attack by any
of his continental neighbours and potential enemies.

On ascending the throne the Emperor was naturally most occupied with
the internal situation of his new inheritance, and spent a good deal
of his time railing at Social Democracy and the press, explaining the
nature of his Heaven-appointed kingship, and rousing his somewhat
lethargic people to a sense of their power and possibilities; but he
found a moment in 1891 to write under a photograph he gave the
retiring Postmaster-General Stephan:

     "The world, at the end of the nineteenth century, stands
     under the star of commerce; commerce breaks down the
     barriers which separate the peoples and creates new
     relations between the nations."

Then the idea slumbered in his mind for a few years, while he
continued to make his own people restless with criticism, perhaps
deserved, of their sluggishness, their pessimism, their party strife,
and foreign peoples equally restless with phrases like "_nemo me
impune lacessit_"; until the idea came suddenly to utterance in 1897,
when, on seeing the figure of Neptune on a monument to the Emperor
William, he broke out: "The trident should be in our grip!" From this
time, and for the next few years, the growth of the navy may be said
to have never long been far from his thoughts. In sending Prince Henry
to Kiautschau at the close of 1898 he made the remark that "imperial
power means sea power, and sea power and imperial power are dependent
on each other." Nine months afterwards at Stettin he used a phrase
alone sufficient to keep his name alive in history: "Our future lies
on the water!"

At Hamburg, in 1899, he laid emphasis on the changes in the world
which justify a naval policy one can see now was almost inevitable.

"A strong German fleet," he said, "is a thing of which we stand in
bitter need." And he continued:

     "In Hamburg especially one can understand how necessary is a
     powerful protection for German interests abroad. If we look
     around us we see how greatly the aspect of the world has
     altered in recent years. Old-world empires pass away and new
     ones begin to arise. Nations suddenly appear before the
     peoples and compete with them, nations of whom a little
     before the ordinary man had been hardly aware. Products
     which bring about radical changes in the domain of
     international relations, as well as in the political economy
     of the people, and which in old times took hundreds of years
     to ripen, come to maturity in a few months. The result is
     that the tasks of our German Empire and people have grown to
     enormous proportions and demand of me and my Government
     unusual and great efforts, which can then only be crowned
     with success when, united and decided, without respect to
     party, Germans stand behind us. Our people, moreover, must
     resolve to make some sacrifice. Above all they must put
     aside their endeavour to seek the excellent through the ever
     more-sharply contrasted party factions. They must cease to
     put party above the welfare of the whole. They must put a
     curb on their ancient and inherited weakness--to subject
     everything to the most unlicensed criticism; and they must
     stop at the point where their most vital interests become
     concerned. For it is precisely these political sins which
     revenge themselves so deeply on our sea interests and our
     fleet. Had the strengthening of the fleet not been refused
     me during the past eight years of my Government,
     notwithstanding all appeals and warnings--and not without
     contumely and abuse for my person--how differently could we
     not have promoted our growing trade and our interests beyond
     the sea!"

Perhaps; but perhaps, too, it was as well for the peace of the world
that Germany had no great war fleet during those eight years of
troubled international relations, and that the gentle and adjusting
hand of Providence, not the mailed fist of the Emperor, was guiding
the destinies of nations.

Previous to the opening of the reign a German navy can hardly be said
to have existed. Yet it should not be forgotten that Germany also has
maritime traditions of no small interest, if of no great importance,
to the world. The Great Elector, the ancestor of the Emperor who ruled
Brandenburg from 1640 to 1688, was fully conscious of the profit his
people might acquire by sea commerce, and the little navy of high-sea
frigates which he built stood manfully, and often successfully, up to
the more powerful navies of Sweden and Spain. This fleet was known,
too, far away from Brandenburg, for the records tell how the Pope and
the Maltese Knights and Louis XIV willingly admitted it to their
harbours.

But there was lacking what until lately has always hemmed German
progress--money; and the commercially-minded Dutch, a people
themselves with many German characteristics, kept the Germans from the
sea. Then came Frederick the Great, who ruled from 1740 to 1786, and
those Germans who are fond of claiming Shakespeare for their own will
also tell you that the plan drawn up by Frederick for Pitt's seven
years' struggle with France--that plan so unfortunately imitated
afterwards by the Emperor in his correspondence with Queen Victoria
during the Boer War--was the foundation-stone of British naval
supremacy! Frederick, too, saw the advantage of possessing a fleet,
but he had his hands full with France and Russia, and reluctantly had
to decline the offer of the French naval hero, Labourdonnais, to build
him a battle-fleet. At this period, and in the Great Elector's time,
Emden was the Plymouth of Prussia. When Frederick died, there followed
that time of which Germans themselves are ashamed--the hole-and-corner
time, the time when the parochial spirit was abroad and no German
burgher saw beyond the village church and the village pump; the
Biedermeier time (that comic figure of the German _Punch_), the time
of genuine German philistinism, when the people were lapped in an
idyllic repose and were content, as many are to-day, with the smallest
and simplest pleasures.

This spirit continued until the early quarter of the nineteenth
century, when Professor Frederick List roused the attention of his
countrymen, and notably that of Bismarck, to the necessity of an
independent national existence and a national economic policy. In 1836
a committee recommended naval coast protection, but it was not until
1848, when Denmark blockaded the German coast, that anything was done
to provide for it. In that year the National Assembly of delegates
from various German Diets, which met at Frankfort, voted for the
marine a million sterling to be levied on the German States, but only
one-half of the money could be collected. Still, three steam frigates,
one large and six small steam corvettes, and two sailing corvettes
were got together, but in 1852, owing to the poverty of the States,
two of the ships were sold to Prussia for L60,000 and the rest
disposed of by auction at less than a fourth of their value. The
officers and men were disbanded with a year's pay.

To this humiliating state of things Bismarck refers in his "Gedanken
und Erinnerungen." "The German fleet," he writes,

     "and Kiel harbour as a foundation for its institution, were
     from 1848 on one of the most burning thoughts at whose fire
     German aspirations for unity were accustomed to warm
     themselves and to concentrate. Meanwhile, however, the
     hatred of my parliamentary opponents was stronger than the
     interest for a German fleet, and it seemed to me that the
     Progressive party at that time preferred to see the
     newly-acquired rights of Prussia to Kiel, and the prospect
     of a maritime future founded on its possession, rather in
     the hands of the auctioneer, Hannibal Fischer, than in those
     of a Bismarck Ministry."

From this on naval development in Prussia was slow; there was no
interest for a marine either among the governing classes or the
people; but it was not wholly neglected, for Wilhelmshaven was
acquired from the Duchy of Oldenburg, a small fleet was sent to the
Orient with a view to obtaining commercial treaties and concessions,
and a sum of L320,000 was devoted annually to naval requirements.
During the Danish War of 1864 a fleet of three screw corvettes, two
paddle steamers, and a few gunboats was considered sufficient to
protect the coasts and make a blockade impossible.

From 1885 onwards there had been several Navy Proposals, but it was in
that of 1889, a year after the Emperor's accession, that the beginning
of Germany's naval policy is to be found. In that Proposal it was
announced that the Government intended to depart from the previous
principles of naval policy which had "become antiquated owing to the
progress of science and the character of future naval warfare, as also
owing to the extension of Germany's oversea relations." Up to this
time German maritime needs had invariably been postponed to military
requirements. The necessity for a fleet was indeed recognized, but
only for purposes of coast defence and the prevention of a blockade of
the ports on the North Sea and Baltic. To this end no large fleet was
considered needful, particularly as the war with France had
demonstrated the futility of coast attack. During that war two small
fleets were sent from Cherbourg to blockade the North Sea and Baltic
coasts, but the admirals in charge found the task "impossible" and
returned to France after a few single engagements with divided honours
had occurred. At that time the German people felt entirely secure on
the score of invasion. The numerous espionage incidents of more recent
times prove that this feeling of security has entirely passed away,
and all countries are now armed as though they were to be invaded
to-morrow.

Emperor William I did something, though not much, for the German navy.
Moltke was interested in it and proposed an armoured cruiser fleet,
but he was thinking chiefly of coast defence. Roon also took up the
matter and laid a Navy Bill before the Diet in 1865, but it was
rejected because, in Virchow's words, the Diet thought "the
Constitution more important than the development of the army and
navy." The war of 1866 showed the necessity of a fleet, and this time
the Diet accepted Roon's proposals. Still, however, the object was
coast defence; and when Emperor William I died the navy was relatively
of no consideration. In the ten years between 1881 and 1891 only one
armoured cruiser, the _Oldenburg_, was launched. With the accession of
the Emperor, however, began a new, and for the Emperor and the
Empire--why not candidly admit it?--a glorious chapter in German naval
history.

An incident during the reign which really touched German national
pride, and was one of the reasons which caused the Emperor to
accelerate the building of a powerful fleet, was the eviction, if the
term is not too strong, of the German admiral, Diedrich, by the
Americans from the harbour of Manila in the course of the
Spanish-American War. Admiral Dewey was in command of a blockading
fleet at Manila. The ships of various nationalities, and among them
some German warships, were in the harbour. Various causes of
irritation arose between the Germans and Americans. There was talk of
Spain's being desirous of selling the Philippines to Germany, and the
impression got abroad in America that the Germans were inclined to
behave as if they were already the new masters of the islands. The
German warships kept going in and out of the harbour of Millesares, a
village close to Manila, in connexion with the exchange of
time-expired men, using search-lights, the American admiral thought,
in an unnecessary way, and doing other acts which he considered might
give information to blockade-running vessels.

In accordance with custom, the Germans, had at first supplied
themselves with permits from the American admiral for crossing the
blockade lines, but as time went on the German ships began to cross
the line without them. Admiral Dewey thereupon issued an order that
permits must be obtained. The German admiral sent his flag-lieutenant
to Admiral Dewey to protest, on the ground that warships are exempt
from blockade regulations. The American admiral's reply was to bring
his fist down on his cabin table and say,

     "Tell Admiral Diedrich, with my compliments, that he must
     obtain permits, and that if a German ship breaks the
     blockade lines without one it spells war, for I shall fire
     on the first vessel that attempts it."

The flag officer went back with the message, and Admiral Diedrich took
his ships, which were greatly inferior in number to those of the
Americans, out of the harbour.

The German navy, in contrast to the army, is a purely imperial
institution--an institution, according to the Constitution, "entirely
under the chief command of the Kaiser," consequently in no respect
administered or controlled by the federated kingdoms and states. One
speaks of the "royal" army, but of the "imperial" navy. The Emperor is
officially described as the navy's "Chef," superintends its
organization and disposition, with his brother Prince Henry as
Inspector-General, and appoints its officials and officers. He
exercises his functions through the Marine Cabinet, a creation of his
own, which serves as a connecting link between the Emperor and the
Admiralty.

The legislative stages of the growth of the German navy have so far
been five in number. The first Navy Law passed the Reichstag on third
reading, on March 28, 1898, 212 members voting for it and 139 against,
in a Parliament of 397 members. It provided for the building of a
fleet of seventeen battleships within a certain time, and fixed the
age of the ships at twenty-five years. The new ships were divided into
ships-of-the-line (a new designation), large armoured cruisers, and
small armoured cruisers. This fleet, however, was not large enough to
have any influence on sea politics or seaborne trade, and the
occurrences of the Spanish-American War, just now begun and finished,
determined the Emperor to make further proposals. A great agitation
for the navy was started throughout the Empire, and on January 25,
1900, Admiral Tirpitz laid the second Navy Bill (a "Novelle," as it is
called) before the Reichstag.

The new measure demanded a doubling of the fleet. The first fleet was
intended chiefly with a view to coast defence, while the new fleet was
to assure "the economic development of Germany, especially of its
world-commerce." If the first Navy Bill had excited surprise and
uneasiness in England, the sensations roused by the second may be
imagined, not altogether because of the increase of German naval
power, but of the power that would result when the new German navy was
combined with the navies of Germany's allies of the Triplice. The
third Navy Bill was a consequence of the Russo-Japanese War and of the
lesson taught by the sea-fight of Tsuschima. It was laid before the
Reichstag on November 28, 1905, for "a stronger representation of the
Empire abroad." Its main object was to increase by almost one-half the
size of the battleships, thus following the lead of England, which had
decided on the new and famous "Dreadnought" class of vessel,
remarkable for its five revolving armoured turrets (instead of two
previously) and the number of its heavy guns. Hitherto English
warships had had an average tonnage of about 14,000 tons: the tonnage
of the original "Dreadnought" was 18,300 tons. Notwithstanding the
enormous nature of the financial demand (L47,600,000 within eleven
years) the Reichstag passed the Bill on May 19, 1905. A torpedo fleet
of 144 boats, in 24 divisions, was additionally provided for in this
Bill.

The fourth Navy Bill was brought in in 1908, with the diminution of
the age of the German battleship from twenty-five to twenty years as
its principal aim. As a result the number of new ships to be built by
1912 was raised from six to twelve. The fifth and last Navy Bill was
passed last year, 1912, creating a third active squadron as reserve,
made up of existing vessels and three new battleships. The German navy
now consists of 41 battleships of the line, 12 large armoured
cruisers, and 30 small armoured cruisers, the cruisers being for
purposes of reconnaissance; the foreign-service fleet of 8 large and
10 small armoured cruisers; and an active reserve fleet of 16
battleships, 4 large and 12 small armoured cruisers.

Like sailors everywhere, the German sailor is a frank and hearty type
of his race, and welcome wherever he goes. The German naval officer is
usually of middle-class extraction, while a slightly larger proportion
of the officers of the army is taken from the _noblesse_. He is a
fine, frank, and manly fellow as a rule, and, like the Emperor,
perfectly willing to admit that his navy is closely modelled on that
of Great Britain. Moreover, in addition to a thorough knowledge of his
profession, he is able, in two cases out of three, to converse with
useful fluency in English, French, and in some cases Italian as well.

The navy, like the army, is recruited by conscription, but active
service is for three years, as in the German cavalry and artillery,
while only two years in the German infantry. Naturally young men of an
adventurous turn of mind frequently elect for the navy, as they hope
thereby to see something of the world. At the end of their third year
of service they may go back to civil life as reservists or may
"capitulate," that is, continue in active service for another year,
and renew their "capitulation" thenceforward from year to year. The
ordinary sailor receives (since 1912) the equivalent of 14s. 6d. in
cash monthly and 9s. for clothing, but when at sea additional pay of
6s. a month. The result of the system of conscription is that about 40
per cent. of the fleet's crews consist of what may be called seasoned
sailors, the remainder being three-year conscripts. The officer class
is recruited from young men who have passed a certain school standard
examination and enter the navy as cadets. The one-year-volunteer
system (_Einjaehriger Dienst_) only partially obtains in the navy, for
purposes, namely, of coast defence and other services on land. After
two years the cadet becomes a midshipman, and with five or six other
middies serves for a year or so on board ship, when he becomes a
sub-lieutenant and is promoted by seniority to full lieutenant,
captain-lieutenant (the English naval lieutenant with eight
years' service), corvette-captain (the English naval commander,
with three stripes), frigate-captain (corresponding in rank to a
lieutenant-colonel in the English army), and finally captain-at-sea
(with four stripes), when he may get command of a battleship. To reach
this great object of the German naval officer's ambition takes on an
average twenty-four years, or about the same period as in the British
navy.

The upper ranks, in ascending order, are contre-admiral (the English
rear-admiral), vice-admiral, admiral, grand-admiral (English Admiral
of the Fleet). There are only four grand-admirals in Germany, namely,
the Emperor (as "Chef" of the navy), his brother Prince Henry (as
inspector-general), retired Admiral von Koester (president of the Navy
League), and Admiral von Tirpitz (Secretary of Admiralty and the only
"active" grand-admiral). King George V of England is an admiral of the
German navy, as the Emperor is an admiral of the British navy.

Salutes are a matter of international agreement. They are: 33 guns
(simultaneously from all ships) for the Emperor and foreign monarchs,
21 for the Crown Prince of Germany or of a foreign country, 19 for a
grand-admiral or an ambassador, 17 for an admiral, the Secretary of
Admiralty or inspector-general, 15 for a vice-admiral, 13 for
contre-admiral, and so descending. 101 guns are fired on the Emperor's
birthday or on the birth of an imperial prince. 66 guns is the salute
when a German monarch ascends the imperial throne, and 101 when a
German Emperor dies.

The yearly salaries of German naval officers are as follows: Admiral,
L1,294 (of which L699 is "pay"), vice-admiral, L897 (L677 "pay"),
contre-admiral, L772 (L677 "pay"), captain-at-sea, L520 (L438 "pay"),
corvette-captain, L396 (L280 "pay"), full lieutenant, L174 (L120
"pay"), and so on downwards. Jews are not allowed to become officers
of the navy, thus following the practice in the army. There is no law
to prevent Jews becoming officers in either army or navy, but, as a
matter of tradition or prejudice, no regimental or naval commander is
willing to accept an Israelite among his officers.

It is time, however, to return to the personal doings of the Emperor.
He is responsible for Germany's foreign policy, and his duties in
connexion with it and with the navy must often have suggested to him
the desirability of seeing with his own eyes something of the Orient,
the new battlefield of the world's diplomacy, and possibly a new
Eldorado for European merchants and engineers. His journey to the
East, now undertaken, was, however, chiefly a religious one, though it
had also something of a chivalric character, since much of every
German's imagination is concerned with the Crusades, the Order of
Knight Templars, and similar historical or legendary incidents and
personalities in the early stages of the struggle between the
Christian and the Saracen. The birthplace of Christ has special
interest for a Hohenzollern who holds his kingship by divine grace,
and in the Emperor's case because his father had made the journey to
Jerusalem thirty years before. The Emperor, lastly, cannot but have
been glad to escape, if only for a time, such harassing concerns as
party politics, scribbling journalists, long-winded ministerial
harangues, and Social Democrats.

The journey of the Emperor and Empress to Palestine occupied about a
month from the middle of October, 1898, to the middle of the following
November, and while it was one of the most delightful and picturesque
experiences of the Emperor, it entailed some unforeseen and not
altogether agreeable consequences. It was very much criticized in
Germany as an exhibition of a theatrical kind, of the "decorative in
policy," as Bismarck used to say, who saw no utility in decoration,
and evidently did not agree with Shakspeare that the "world is still
deceived by ornament." It was objected that the Emperor should have
stayed at home to look after imperial business, that such a journey
must excite suspicion in England and France--in the former because
England is an Oriental power, and in the latter because France is
supposed to claim special protective rights over Christianity in the
East.

The Englishman who reads what German writers say about the journey
gets the impression that the criticism was an expression of
jealousy--jealousy, as we know from Bismarck and Prince Buelow, being a
national German failing. Every German ardently desires to see Italy
and the Orient, but until of late years few Germans had the means of
gratifying the wish. In one point, however, the critics were right.
The Emperor, when in Damascus, after saying that he felt "deeply moved
at standing on the spot where one of the most knightly sovereigns of
all times, the great Sultan Saladin, stood," went on to say that
Sultan Abdul "and the three hundred million Mohammedans who, scattered
over the earth, venerated him as their Caliph, might be assured that
at all times the German Emperor would be their friend." It was a
harmless and vague remark enough, one would think, but political
writers in all countries have made great capital out of it ever since
whenever Germany's Oriental policy is discussed. At the risk of
repetition it may be said that that policy is, in the East as
elsewhere, a purely economic one. The Emperor's mistake perhaps
chiefly lay in raising hopes in Turkish minds which were very unlikely
to be realized.

The Emperor's allusion to Saladin as the most knightly sovereign of
all times was a bad blunder. He was doubtless carried away by a
combination, in his probably at this time somewhat excited
imagination, of the chivalrous figures of the crusading times with
thoughts of the German Knight Templars and other soldierly characters.
Saladin was a brave man physically, and fond of imperial magnificence,
as is only natural and necessary for an Oriental potentate to be; and
a good deal of Eastern legend grew up about him on that account.
Legend was enough for the Emperor in his then romantic mood. He
forgot, or did not know, that Saladin, from the point of view of a
modern and in reality far more knightly age, was a sanguinary
and fanatic ruffian, who showed no mercy to his Christian
prisoners--killed, in fact, one of them, Rainald de Chatillon, with
his own hand, sacked Jerusalem, turned the Temple of Solomon into a
mosque, after having it "disinfected" with rose-water, and killed Pope
Urban III, who died, the chronicles tell, of sorrow at the news.

The journey was, as has been said, a delightful and picturesque
experience for the Emperor and the Empress. They passed through Venice
with its marble palaces, sailed over the sapphire waters of the
Adriatic, and were received with great demonstrations of welcome by
the Sultan in Constantinople. When they were leaving, the Sultan gave
the Emperor a gigantic carpet, and the Emperor gave the Sultan a gold
walking-stick, an exact imitation of the stick Frederick the Great
used to lean on, and sometimes, very likely, apply to the backs of his
trusty but stupid lieges.

Before disposing of the events of this period of the Emperor's life
mention may be made of two or three occurrences which must have been a
source of political interest or social entertainment to him. From
among them we select the Dreyfus case and the historic scene arranged
for the painter, Adolf Menzel, in Sans Souci.

The Dreyfus case, though its investigation brought to light no fact
implicating the German authorities, naturally aroused interest
throughout Germany. The interest was felt equally in the army,
notwithstanding that it contains no Jewish officer, and among the
civil population. In France, it will be remembered, the case acquired
its importance from the charge, made by the anti-Semite Drumont and
his journal _La Libre Parole_, that the Jews were exploiting the
Government and the country. There is an anti-Semite party in Germany,
founded by the Court preacher Stoecker in 1878, but possibly owing to
the prudence and good citizenship of the Jews in Germany, it has
gained little weight or momentum since.

The "affaire," as it was universally known, was only once referred to
in the German Parliament, in January, 1898, when Chancellor von Buelow
declared "in the most positive way possible" that there had "never
been any traffic or relations of any kind whatsoever between Dreyfus
and any German authority," adding that the alleged finding of an
official German communication in the wastepaper basket of the German
Embassy in Paris was a fiction. The Chancellor concluded by saying
that the case had in no respect ever troubled relations between
Germany and France.

The incident most often cited as evidence of the Emperor's love of
recalling the days of his great ancestor, Frederick the Great, is the
concert he arranged at Sans Souci on June 13, 1895, to gratify, we may
be sure, as well as surprise, the famous painter. The incident and its
origin are described in a work already mentioned, the "Private Lives
of William II and His Consort," by a lady of the Court. The account
given below is illustrative of the unfriendly sentiments which are
evident throughout the work, but the lady is probably fairly accurate
as regards the incident, and in any case her gossip will give the
reader some notion, though by no means an entirely faithful one, of
the Court atmosphere at the time. Talk at the palace during afternoon
tea having turned on the fact that Adolf Menzel, the painter, would
shortly celebrate his eightieth birthday, some one remarked on the
refusal by the Court marshal in the previous reign to allow him to see
the scene of his celebrated "Flute Concert at Sans Souci," which he
was then composing, lighted up. The conversation, according to the
lady writer, continued thus:--

     "'Maybe he was frightened at the prospect of furnishing a
     couple of dozen wax candles,' sneered the Duke of Schleswig.

     "'More likely he knew nothing of Menzel's growing
     reputation,' suggested Begas, the sculptor.

     "The Emperor overheard the last words. 'Are you prepared to
     say that my grand-uncle's chief marshal failed to recognize
     the genius of the foremost Hohenzollern painter?' he asked
     sharply.

     "'I would not like to libel a dead man,' answered Begas,
     'but appearances are certainly against the Count. I have it
     from Menzel's own lips that the Court marshal refused him
     all and every assistance when he was painting the scenes of
     life in Sans Souci. The rooms of the chateau were accessible
     to him only to the same extent as to any other paying
     visitor or the hordes of foreign tourists, and he had to
     make his sketches piece-meal, gathering corroborative and
     additional material in museums and picture-galleries.'

     "Quick as a flash the Kaiser turned to Count Eulenburg. 'I
     shall repay the debt Prussia owes to Menzel,' he spoke, not
     without declamatory effect. 'We will have the representation
     of the Sans Souci flute concert three days hence. Your
     programme is to be ready tomorrow morning at ten. Menzel,
     mind you, must know nothing of this: merely command him to
     attend us at the Schloss at supper and for a musical
     evening.' And, turning round, he said to her Majesty: 'You
     will impersonate Princess Amalia, and you, Kessel' (Adjutant
     von Kessel, then Commander of the First Life Guards),
     'engage all your tallest and best-looking officers to enact
     the great King's military household.'

     "Again the Kaiser addressed Count Eulenberg: 'Be sure to
     have the best artists of the Royal Orchestra perform
     Frederick the Great's compositions, and let Joachim be
     engaged for the occasion.' Saying this, he took her
     Majesty's arm, and bidding his guests and the Court a hasty
     good-night, strode out of the apartment."

A description of the Empress's costume for the concert follows.

     "Her Majesty's dress consisted of a petticoat of sea-green
     satin, richly ornamented with silver lace of antique pattern
     and an overdress of dark velvet, embroidered with gold and
     set with precious stones. On her powdered hair, amplified by
     one of Herr Adeljana, the Viennese coiffeur's, most
     successful creations, sat a jaunty three-cornered hat having
     a blazing aigrette of large diamonds in front, the identical
     cluster of white stones which figured at the great
     Napoleon's coronation, and which he lost, together with his
     entire equipage, in the battle of Waterloo. In her ears her
     Majesty wore pearl ornaments representing a small bunch of
     cherries. Like the aigrette, they are Crown property, and
     that Auguste Victoria thought well enough of the jewels to
     rescue them from oblivion for this occasion was certainly
     most appropriate."

The Emperor's costume is also described.

"He wore the cuirassier uniform of the great Frederick's period, a
highly ornamented dress that suited the War Lord, who was painted and
powdered to perfection, extremely well, especially as Wellington
boots, a very becoming wig and his strange head-gear really and
seemingly added to his figure, while his usually stern face beamed
pleasantly under the powder and rouge laid on by expert hands."

The arrival of Menzel is then narrated and the reception by the
Emperor, who took the part of an adjutant of Frederick the Great's,
and in that character "bombarded the helpless master," as the
chronicler says,

     "with forty stanzas of alleged verse, in which the deeds of
     Prussia's kings and the masterpieces that commemorate them
     were extolled with a prosiness that sounded like an
     afterclap of William's Reichstag and monument orations."

A real concert followed, and supper was taken in the Marble Hall
adjoining. The authoress concludes as follows:--

     "I was contemplating these reminiscences (the pictures of La
     Barberini) in silent reverie when the door opened and the
     Kaiser came in with little Menzel.

     "'I have a mind to engage Angeli to paint her Majesty's
     picture in the costume of Princess Amalia,' said the Emperor
     'What do you think of it?'

     "'Angeli is painter to many emperors and kings,' replied the
     Professor, and I saw him smile diplomatically as he moved
     his spectacles to get a better view of the allegorical
     canvas on the left wall that exhibits the nude figure of the
     famous mistress in its entirety.

     "'I am glad you agree with me on that point,' said the
     Emperor, impatient to execute the idea that had crossed his
     mind. 'I will telegraph to him to-night.'

     "And when, five minutes later, Menzel bent over my hand to
     take formal leave, I heard him murmur in his dry,
     absent-minded manner--'Pesne ... Angeli ... Frederick the
     Great ... William II!"

We have spoken of the Court atmosphere of this time. The following
extracts from the Memoirs of ex-Chancellor Prince Hohenlohe will
assist the reader, perhaps even better than a connected account, to
enter, in imagination at all events, into it. The conversations cited
between the Emperor and the Prince turn on all sorts of topics--the
pass question in Alsace (where Hohenlohe was then Statthalter), the
possibility of war with Russia, pheasant shooting, projected
monuments, the breach with Bismarck, the Triple Alliance, and a
hundred more of the most different kinds. Once talking domestic
politics, the Emperor said:

     "It will end by the Social Democrats getting the upper hand.
     Then they will plunder the people. Not that I care. I will
     have the palace loop-holed and look on at the plundering.
     The burghers will soon call on me for help;"

and on another occasion, in 1889, Hohenlohe tells of a dinner at the
palace, and how after dinner, when the Empress and her ladies had gone
into another _salon_, the Emperor, Hohenlohe, and Dr. Hinzpeter (the
Emperor's old tutor) conversed together for an hour, all standing.
"The first subject touched on," relates the Prince, was the gymnasia
(high schools), the Emperor holding that they made too exacting claims
on the scholars, while Hohenlohe and Hinzpeter pointed out that
otherwise the run on the schools would be too great and cause danger
of a "learned proletariat." Prince Hohenlohe concludes:

     "In the whole conversation, which never once came to a
     standstill, I was pleased by the fresh, lively manner of the
     Emperor, and was in all ways reminded of his grandfather,
     Prince Albert."

Next year the Prince was present at an official dinner in the Berlin
palace. He writes:--

     "BERLIN, 22 _March_, 1890.

     "At seven, dinner in the White Salon (at the palace). I sat
     opposite the Empress and between Moltke and Kameke. The
     former was very communicative, but was greatly interfered
     with by the continuous music, and was very angry at it. Two
     bands were placed facing each other, and when one ceased the
     other began to play its trumpets. It was hardly endurable.
     The Emperor made a speech in honour of the Queen of England
     and the Prince of Wales (afterwards King Edward, present on
     the occasion of the investiture of his son Prince George,
     now King George V, with the Order of the Black Eagle), and
     mentioned his nomination as English admiral (whose uniform
     he was wearing) and the comradeship-in-arms at the battle of
     Waterloo; he also hoped that the English fleet and the
     German army would together maintain peace. Moltke then said
     to me: 'Goethe says, "a political song, a discordant song."'

     "He also said he hoped the speech wouldn't get into the
     papers."

(It did, however.)

The next extract describes a conversation Prince Hohenlohe had with
the Emperor at Potsdam the following year. It gives an idea of the
ordinary nature of conversations between the Emperor and his high
officials on such occasions.

     "BERLIN, 13 _December_, 1891.

     "Yesterday forenoon was invited to the New Palace at
     Potsdam. Besides myself were the Prince and Princess von
     Wied, with the Mistress of the Robes and the Court marshal.
     Emperor and Empress very amiable. The Emperor spoke of his
     hunting in Alsace, and supposed it would be some years
     before the game there would be abundant. Then he expressed
     his satisfaction at my acquisition of Gensburg, and when I
     told him there was not much room in the castle he said, no
     matter, he could nevertheless pass a few days there with a
     couple of gentlemen very pleasantly. Passing to politics, he
     gave vent to his displeasure at the attitude of the
     Conservative party, who were hindering the formation of a
     Conservative-monarchical combination against the
     Progressives and Social Democrats. This was all the more
     regrettable as the Progressives, if now and then they
     opposed the Social Democrats, still at bottom were with
     them. The Emperor approves of the commercial treaties and
     seemed to have great confidence in Caprivi generally. As we
     came to speak of intrigues and gossip, the Emperor hinted
     that Bismarck was behind them. He added that people were
     urging him from many quarters to be reconciled with
     Bismarck, but it was not for him to take the first step. He
     seemed well informed about the situation in Russia and
     considered it very dangerous. When I asked the Emperor how
     he stood now with the Czar, he replied 'Badly. He went
     through here without paying me a visit, and I only write him
     ceremonious letters. The Queen of Denmark prevented him
     coming to Berlin, for fear he should go to Potsdam. She has
     gone now with him to Livadia on the pretext of the silver
     wedding, but in reality to keep him away from Berlin.'"

Writing of a lunch at Potsdam, under date Berlin, November 10, 1892,
the Prince notes:--

     "The Emperor came late and looked tired, but was in good
     spirits. We went immediately to table. Afterwards the
     conversation turned on Bismarck. 'When one compares what
     Bismarck does with that for which poor Arnim had to suffer!'
     He would do nothing, he said, against Bismarck, but the
     consequences of the whole thing were very serious. Waldersee
     and Bismarck couldn't abide one another. They had, however,
     become allies out of common hatred of Caprivi, whose fall
     Bismarck desired. What might happen afterwards neither
     cared."

The following was penned after the old Chancellor's visit of
reconciliation:--

     "BERLIN, 27 _January_, 1894.

     "To-night gala performance at the opera. Between the acts I
     talked first with different monarchs, the King of
     Wuerttemberg, the King of Saxony, the Grand Duke of
     Oldenburg, and so on. Then I was sent for by the Empress, of
     whom I took leave. The Emperor came shortly afterwards. We
     spoke of Bismarck's visit the day before and the good
     consequences for the Emperor it would have. 'Yes,' said the
     Emperor, 'now they can put up triumphal arches for him in
     Vienna and Munich, I am all the time a length ahead. If the
     press continues its abuse it only puts itself and Bismarck
     in the wrong.' I mentioned that red-hot partisans of
     Bismarck were greatly dissatisfied with the visit, and said
     the Emperor should have gone to Friedrichsruh (Bismarck's
     estate near Hamburg). 'I am well aware of it,' said the
     Emperor,'but for that they would have had a long time to
     wait. He had to come here.' On the whole the Emperor spoke
     very sensibly and decisively, and I did not at all get the
     impression that he now wants to change everything."

Prince Hohenlohe was summoned to Potsdam in October, 1894, by a
telegram from the Emperor. All the telegram said was that "important
interests of the Empire" were concerned. Hohenlohe was only aware of
the dismissal of Caprivi from a newspaper he read in Frankfort on his
way to Potsdam. The Emperor met him at the station (Wildpark) and
conveyed him to the New Palace, where the Prince agreed to accept the
Chancellorship "at the Emperor's earnest request." Princess Hohenlohe
was decidedly against her husband, who was now seventy-five, accepting
the post, and even ventured to telegraph to the Empress to prevent it.

The Prince has a note on his intercourse with his imperial master. He
is writing to his son, Prince Alexander:--

     "BERLIN, 17 _October_, 1896.

     "It is a curious thing--my relations to his Majesty. I come
     now and then to the conclusion, owing to his small
     inconsideratenesses, that he intentionally avoids me and
     that things can't continue so. Then again I talk with him
     and see that I am mistaken. Yesterday I had occasion to
     report to him, and he poured out his heart to me and took
     occasion in the friendliest way to ask my advice. And thus
     my distrust is dissipated."

Hunting with the Emperor:--

     "15 _December_, 1896.

     "Yesterday I obeyed the royal invitation to hunt at Springe.
     I had to leave Berlin as early as 7 a.m. to catch the royal
     train at Potsdam. From Springe railway station we passed
     immediately into the hunting district. Only sows were shot.
     I brought down six. Then we drove to the Schloss, rested for
     a few hours and then dined. The Emperor was in very good
     humour and talked incessantly; in addition the Uhlan band
     and the usually noisy conversation."

When presenting his resignation to the Emperor at Hamburg in October,
1900, the Prince, who had evidently been for some time aware that his
term of office was drawing to a close, describes his conversation with
the Emperor:--

     "At noon, as I came to the Emperor, he received me in a very
     friendly way. We first settled about summoning the
     Reichstag, and then his Majesty said, 'I have received a
     very distressing letter'--an allusion to the Chancellor's
     official letter of resignation, which he had placed in the
     Emperor's hands through Tschirschky, Foreign Minister. 'As I
     then,' continued Hohenlohe, 'explained the necessity of my
     resignation on the ground of my health and age the Emperor,
     apparently quite satisfied, agreed, so that I could see he
     had already expected my request and consequently that it was
     high time I should make it. We talked further over the
     question of my successor, and I was agreeably surprised when
     he forthwith mentioned Buelow, who certainly at the moment is
     the best man available. His Majesty then said he would
     telegraph to Lucanus (Chief of the Civil Cabinet) to bring
     Buelow to Homburg so that we might consult about details. I
     breakfasted with their Majesties and went calmly home.'"

Writing to his daughter next day Prince Hohenlohe, in words that do
equal credit to himself and the imperial family, says:

     "It is always a pleasure to me when on such occasions I can
     convince myself of the Christian disposition of the imperial
     family. In our for the most part unbelieving age this family
     seems to me like an oasis in the desert."

Prince Hohenlohe was succeeded as Chancellor by Prince von Buelow, who
had held the office of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs for the
preceding two years, and practically conducted the Emperor's foreign
policy during that time. He had served as Secretary of Embassy in St.
Petersburg, Vienna, and Athens, was a Secretary to the Congress of
Berlin, fought in the war with France and after seven years as
Minister in Bucharest spent four years as Ambassador in Rome. Here he
married a divorced Italian lady, the Countess Minghetti. After acting
as deputy Foreign Secretary for the late Baron Marschall von
Bieberstein, he was appointed permanent Foreign Secretary, and on
October 17, 1900, was called by the Emperor to the most responsible
post in the Empire next to his own, that of Imperial Chancellor. The
Emperor's choice was fully justified, for the new Chancellor proved
himself to be the most brilliant diplomatist and parliamentarian since
Bismarck.




IX



THE NEW CENTURY



1900-1901

German writers, commenting on the turn of the century, claim to
discover a change in the Emperor's character about this period. He has
lost much of his imaginative, his Lohengrin, vein, and has become more
practical, more prosaic and matter-of-fact. To use the German word, he
is now a _Realpolitiker_, one who deals in things, not words or
theories, and drawing his gaze from the stars makes them dwell more
attentively on the immediate practical considerations of the world
about him. His nature has not changed, of course, nor his manner, but
he has begun to see that he must employ means and ways different from
those he employed previously. He has not become a Bismarck, for he
still pursues his aims more in the spirit of the colonel of a regiment
leading his men to the attack with banners flying, drums beating,
swords rattling in their scabbards and mailed gauntlets held
threateningly aloft, than in that of the cool and calculating
politician ruminating in his closet on the tactics of his opponents,
and deliberating how best to meet and confound them; but he gives more
thought to what is going on about him, to party politics, to the
economic necessities of the hour, and to modern science and its
inventions.

What strikes the Englishman perhaps as much as anything in the
Emperor's character at this time is the Cromwellian trait in it. This
is a side of his Protean nature which never seems to have been
adequately recognized in England, yet in a singularly baffling
character-composition it is one of the fundamental elements. The view
of Prussian monarchy, inherited from one Hohenzollern to another for
generation after generation, that the race of people to which he
belonged (with any other race he could include by conquest in it) has
been handed over by Heaven for all eternity to his family, naturally
predisposes him to take a religious, a patriarchal, one might say an
Hebraic, view of government; but in addition we find the warrior
spirit at all times going hand in hand with the religious spirit,
almost as strongly as in the case of Mahomet with the Koran in one
hand and the sword in the other.

There was nothing in the Emperor's youth to show the existence of
deeply religious conviction, but as soon as he mounted the throne, and
all through the reign up to the close of the century, indeed some
years beyond it, his speeches, especially when he was addressing his
soldiery, were filled with expressions of religious fervour. "Von
Gotten Gnaden," he writes as a preface for a Leipzig publication
appearing on January 1, 1900,

     "is the King; therefore to God alone is he responsible. He
     must choose his way and conduct himself solely from this
     standpoint. This fearfully heavy responsibility which the
     King bears for his folk gives him a claim on the faithful
     co-operation of his subjects. Accordingly, every man among
     the people must be thoroughly persuaded that he is, along
     with the King, responsible for the general welfare."

It may be noted in passing that Cromwell and the Emperor are alike in
being the founders of the great war navies of their respective
countries.

On the date mentioned (New Year's Day), in the Berlin arsenal when
consecrating some flags, he addressed the garrison on the turn of the
year:

     "The first day of the new century finds our army, that is
     our folk in arms, gathered round its standards, kneeling
     before the Lord of Hosts--and certainly if anyone has reason
     to bend the knee before God, it is our army."

"A glance at our standards," the Emperor continued,

     "is sufficient explanation, for they incorporate our
     history. What was the state of our army at the beginning of
     the century? The glorious army of Frederick the Great had
     gone to sleep on its laurels, ossified in pipeclay details,
     led by old, incapable generals, its officers shy of work,
     sunk in luxury, good living, and foolish self-satisfaction.
     In a word, the army was no longer not only not equal to its
     task, but had forgotten it. Heavy was the punishment of
     Heaven, which overtook it and our folk. They were flung into
     the dust, Frederick's glory faded, the standards were cast
     down. In seven years of painful servitude God taught our
     folk to bethink itself of itself, and under the pressure of
     the feet of an arrogant usurper (Napoleon) was born the
     thought that it is the highest honour to devote in arms
     one's life and property to the Fatherland--the thought, in
     short, of universal conscription."

The word for conscription, it may be here remarked, is in German
_Wehrpflicht_, the duty of defence. To most people in England it means
simply "compulsory military service." It is important to note the
difference, as it explains the German national idea, and the Emperor's
idea, that all military and naval forces are primarily for defence,
not offence. This is, indeed, equally true of the British, or perhaps
any other, army and navy; but how many Englishmen, when they think of
Germany, can get the idea into the foreground of their thoughts or
accustom themselves to it?

However, we have not yet done with the Emperor's baffling character.
There was a third element that now developed in it--the modern, the
twentieth-century, the American, the Rockefeller element. It is
intimately connected with his Weltpolitik, as his Weltpolitik is with
his foreign policy in general--indeed one might say his Weltpolitik is
his foreign policy--a policy of economic expansion, with a desperate
apprehension of losing any of the Empire's property, and a
determination to have a voice in the matter when there is any loose
property anywhere in the world to be disposed of. To the Hebraic
element and the warrior element (an entirely un-Christlike
combination, as the Emperor must be aware) there now began to be added
the mercantile, the modern, the American element--the interest in all
the concerns of national material prosperity, in the national
accumulation of wealth, the interest in inventions, in commercial
science, in labour-saving machinery, the effort to win American
favour, to facilitate intercourse and establish close and profitable
relations with that wealthy land and people.

We know that the Emperor has English blood in him, greatly admires
England, and is immensely proud of being a British admiral. We have
seen him exhibiting traits of character that remind one of Lohengrin
or Tancred. He has played many parts in the spirit of a Hebrew prophet
and patriarch, of a Frederick the Great, a Cromwell, a Nelson, a
Theodore Roosevelt. Preacher, teacher, soldier, sailor, he has been
all four, now at one moment, now at another. We shall find him anon as
art and dramatic critic, to end--so far as we are concerned with
him--as farmer. Is it any wonder if such a man, mediaeval in his nature
and modern in his character, defies clear and definite portrayal by
his contemporaries?

Taking the year 1900 as the first year of the new century, not as some
calculators, and the Emperor among them, take it, as the last year of
the old, the twentieth century may be said to have opened with a
dramatic historical episode in which the Emperor and his Empire took
very prominent parts--the Boxer movement.

Little notice has been taken in our account of Germany's spacious days
of her relations to China and the Far East generally. They were,
nevertheless, all through that period intimately connected with her
expansion or dreams of expansion. About 1890 the Flowery Land awoke to
the benefits of European civilization and in particular of European
ingenuity; and in 1891, for the first time in Chinese history, foreign
diplomatists were granted the privilege of an annual reception
at the Chinese Court. So exclusive was the Manchu dynasty--the
Hohenzollerns of China in point of antiquity; yet not a score of
years later the Manchu monarchy had been quietly removed from its
five-thousand-year-old throne, and China, apparently the most
conservative and monarchical people on earth, proclaimed itself a
republic--a regular modern republic!--an operation that among peoples
claiming infinite superiority to the Chinese would have cost thousands
of lives and a vast expenditure of money.

Naturally, once China showed a willingness to abandon its axenic
attitude towards foreign devils and all things foreign-devilish, the
European Powers turned their eyes and energies towards her, and a
strenuous commercial and diplomatic race after prospective concessions
for railways, mines, and undertakings of all kinds began. Each Power
feared that China would be gobbled up by a rival, or that at least a
partition of the vast Chinese Empire was at hand. Consequently, when
China was beaten in her war with Japan, and made the unfavourable
treaty of Shimonoseki, the European Powers were ready to appear as
helpers in time of need. Russia, Germany, and France got the
Shimonoseki Treaty altered, and the Laotung Peninsula with Port Arthur
given back, and in return Russia acquired the right to build a railway
through Manchuria (the first step towards "penetration" and
occupation), French engineers obtained several valuable mining and
railway concessions, and Germany got certain privileges in Hankow and
Tientsin.

Meantime the old, deeply-rooted hatred of the foreign devil, the
European, was spreading among the population, which was still, in the
mass, conservative. Missionaries were murdered, and among them, in
1897, two German priests. Germany demanded compensation, and in
default sent a cruiser squadron to Kiautschau Bay. Russia immediately
hurried a fleet to Port Arthur and obtained from China a lease of that
port for twenty-five years. England and France now put in a claim for
their share of the good things going. England obtained Wei-hai-Wei,
France a lease of Kwang-tschau and Hainan. China was evidently
throwing herself into the arms of Europe, when, in 1898, the Dowager
Empress took the government out of the hands of the young Emperor and
a period of reaction set in. The appearance of Italy with a demand for
a lease of the San-mun Bay in 1899 brought the Chinese anti-foreign
movement to a head, and the Boxer conspiracy grew to great dimensions.

The movement was caused not merely by religious and race fanaticism,
but by the popular fear that the new European era would change the
economic life of China and deprive millions of Chinese of their wonted
means of livelihood. The Dowager Empress and a number of Chinese
princes now joined it. Massacres soon became the order of the day, and
it is calculated that in the spring of 1900 alone more than 30,000
Christians were barbarously done to death. Among the victims were
reckoned 118 English, 79 Americans, 25 French, and 40 of other
nationalities. The Ambassadors and Ministers of all nations, conscious
of their danger, applied to the Tsungli Yamen (Foreign Office),
demanding that the Imperial Government should crush the Boxer
movement. The Government took no steps, the diplomatists were
beleaguered in their embassies, and were only saved by friendly police
from being murdered.

This, however, was but a temporary respite, and it became necessary to
bring marines from the foreign ships of war lying at the mouth of the
Pei-ho River just out of range of the formidable Taku Forts. These
troops, 2,000 in all, were led by Admiral Seymour. They tried to reach
Pekin, but failed owing to the destruction of the railway, and retired
to Tientsin, from whence, however, on June 16th, a detachment set out
to capture the Taku Forts. The capture was effected, the German
gunboat _Iltis_, under Captain Lans, playing a conspicuously brave
part. Tientsin was now in danger from the Boxer bands, but was
relieved by a mixed detachment of Russians and Germans under General
Stoessel, the subsequent defender of Port Arthur.

The alarm meantime at Pekin was intense. The Chinese Government,
throwing off all disguise, ordered the diplomatists to leave the city.
They refused, knowing that to leave the shelter of the embassies meant
torture and death. One of them, however, the German Minister, Freiherr
von Ketteler, ventured from his Legation and was killed in broad
daylight on his way to the Chinese Foreign Office. Only one of the
Minister's party escaped, to stagger, hacked and bloody, into the
British Legation with the news. This Legation, as the strongest
building in the quarter, became the refuge of the entire diplomatic
corps, with their wives, children, and servants. It was straightway
invested and bombarded by the Boxers, and as the days and weeks went
on the other Legation buildings were burned, and the refugees in the
British Legation had to look death at all hours in the face.

The murder of von Ketteler excited anger and horror throughout the
world, and in no breast, naturally, to a stronger degree than in that
of the German Emperor. All nations hastened to send troops to Pekin.
Japan was first on the scene with 16,000 men under General
Yamagutschi. Russia followed next with 15,000 under General Lenewitch,
then England with 7,500 under General Gaselee, then France with 5,000
under General Frey, then America with 4,000 under General Chaffee,
Germany with 2,500 under von Hopfner, Austria and Italy with smaller
contingents--in all more than 50,000 men, with 144 guns. A little
later the expeditionary corps from Germany, 19,000 strong, under
General von Lessel, and that from France, 10,000 strong, arrived. At
the suggestion, it is said, of Russia, and by agreement among the
European Powers, united by a common sympathy and in face of a common
danger, the German Field-Marshal, Count Waldersee, was appointed to
the supreme command of all the European forces. At the same time naval
supports were hurried by all maritime nations to the scene, and within
a short period 160 warships and 30 torpedo boats were assembled off
the Chinese coast.

The march to Pekin and the relief of the imprisoned Europeans are
incidents still fresh in public memory. In the crowded British
Legation fear alternated with hope, and hope with fear, until, on the
forenoon of August 14th, a boy ran into the Legation crying that
"black-faced Europeans" were advancing along the royal canal in the
direction of the building. In a few minutes a company of Sikh cavalry,
part of some Indian troops diverted on their way to Aden, galloped up,
all danger was over, and the refugees were saved.

The Boxer troubles ended on May 13, 1901, with the signature by Li
Hung Chang in the name of the Emperor of China of a treaty of peace,
the main conditions of which were the payment by China within thirty
years of a war indemnity to the Powers of 450 million taels
(L66,000,000) and an agreement to send a mission of atonement to the
Courts of Germany and Japan--for among the foreign victims of the
Boxers in the previous year had been the Japanese representative in
China, Baron Sugiyama.

For two or three weeks the action of the Emperor with regard to the
Chinese mission of atonement brought him into universal ridicule.
Prince Chun, a near relative of the Chinese Emperor, who had been
appointed to conduct the mission, reached Basle in September, 1901, on
his way to Berlin. Here he lingered, and it soon became known that a
hitch had occurred in his relations with Germany. It then transpired
that the delay was caused by the Emperor's having suddenly intimated
that he expected Prince Chun to make thrice to him, as he sat on his
throne at Potsdam, the "kotow" as practised in the Court of China. In
view of the surprise, laughter, and criticism of Europe, the Emperor
modified his demand for the "kotow" to its symbolic performance by
three deep bows. Prince Chun thereupon resumed his journey. An
impressive, if theatrical, scene was prepared in the New Palace at
Potsdam, where the Emperor, seated on the throne, his marshal's baton
in his hand, and flanked by Ministers and the officers of his
household, received the bearer of China's expressions of regret.
Whatever one may think of the scenic effect provided, the reply the
Emperor made to Prince Chun, after the three bows arranged upon had
been made, is a model of its kind--general not personal, sorrowful
rather than angry, warning rather than reproachful. The Emperor said--

     "No pleasing nor festive cause, no mere fulfilment of a
     courtly duty, has brought your Imperial Highness to me, but
     a sad and deeply grave occurrence. My Minister to the Court
     of his Majesty the Emperor of China, Freiherr von Ketteler,
     fell in the Chinese capital beneath the murderous weapons of
     an imperial Chinese soldier, who acted by the orders of a
     superior, an unheard-of outrage condemned by the law of
     nations and the moral sense of all countries. From your
     Imperial Highness I have now heard the expression of the
     sincere and deep regret of his Imperial Majesty the Emperor
     of China regarding the occurrence. I am glad to believe that
     your Imperial Highness's royal brother had nothing to do
     with the crime or with the further acts of violence against
     inviolable Ministers and peaceful foreigners, but all the
     greater is the guilt which attaches to his advisers and his
     Government. Let these not deceive themselves by supposing
     that they can make atonement and receive pardon for their
     crime through this mission alone, and not through their
     subsequent conduct in the light of the prescriptions of
     international law and the moral principles of civilized
     peoples. If his Majesty the Emperor of China henceforward
     directs the government of his great Empire in the spirit of
     these ordinances, his hope that the sad consequences of the
     confusion of last year may be overcome, and permanent,
     peaceful and friendly relations between Germany and China
     may exist as before, will be realized to the benefit of both
     peoples and the whole of civilized humanity. In the sincere
     wish that it may be so, I welcome your Imperial Highness."

The Emperor's other speeches referring to the Boxer movement at this
period have been adversely commented on as showing him in the light of
a cruel and blood-thirsty seeker after revenge. This is an unjust, at
least a hard, judgment. A passage in his address at Bremerhaven to the
expeditionary force when setting out for China is the main proof of
the charge--in which, after referring to the murder of von Ketteler,
he said:

     "You know well you will have to fight with a cunning, brave,
     well-armed, cruel foe. When you come to close quarters with
     him remember--quarter ('Pardon' is the German word the
     Emperor used) must not be given: prisoners must not be
     taken: manage your weapons so that for a thousand years to
     come no Chinaman will dare to look sideways at a German. Act
     like men."

It is difficult, of course, to reconcile such an address with
Christian humanity practised, so far as humanity can be practised, in
modern war, but it should be remembered that the Emperor was speaking
in a state of great excitement, and that, according to Chancellor
Prince Buelow's statement in the Reichstag subsequently, confirmation
of the news of the murder of his Minister to China had only reached
the Emperor ten minutes before he delivered the speech.

There is one incident, however, though not a very important one, in
connexion with the troubles, which may fairly be made a matter of
reproach to the Emperor--the seizure, on his order, of the ancient
astronomical instruments at Pekin and their transference to Sans
Souci, in Potsdam, where they are to be seen to the present day. The
troops of all nations, it is known, looted freely at Pekin; but the
Emperor might have spared China and his own fair fame the indignity of
such public vandalism.

While writing of China it may not be superfluous to add that the
Emperor's foreign policy in the Orient cannot be expected to present
exactly the same features, or proceed quite along the same lines, as
his foreign policy in Europe. By far the greater part of Europe is now
as completely parcelled out and as permanently settled as though it
were a huge, well-managed estate. The capacities of its high roads,
its railways, its great rivers, with their commercial and strategic
values and relations are perfectly ascertained; and the knowledge, it
is not too much to say, is the common property of all important
Governments. It is not so, or not nearly to the same extent, in the
Orient. In Europe there is little or no difficulty in distinguishing
between enterprises that are political and those that are commercial,
or in recognizing where they are both; and if a difficulty should
arise it can be arranged by diplomatic conversations, by a conference
of the Powers interested, or in the last resort--short of war--by
arbitration. This is not so simple a matter in the Orient, where
conditions are at once old and new, where interests of possibly great
magnitude are as yet undetermined or unappropriated, where possibly
great mineral sources are undeveloped and the capacities of new
markets unascertained; where, in short, the decisive factors of the
problem are undiscovered, it may be unsuspected.

In such cases there is often no certain and readily recognizable line
of demarcation between the two kinds of enterprise; and an undertaking
that may present all the appearance of being a purely commercial
scheme, and be solemnly asseverated to be such by the Power or Powers
promoting it, may turn out on closer examination to be one of great
political significance and incalculable political consequence. Of such
enterprises two immediately spring to mind, the Cape to Cairo railway
and the Baghdad railway, not to mention a score of problematic
undertakings in other parts of Africa or Asia. It will be useful to
keep this general consideration in view when forming an opinion
regarding the Emperor's Oriental policy. That policy is, so far,
almost entirely commercial. Long ago wars used to be made for the sake
of religion, then for the sake of territory. Now they are made for the
sake of new markets.

Yet the Far East is changing with the change in conditions everywhere
in modern times, and it is evident that the premises for any
conclusion as to German foreign policy there may, at any given moment,
be subject to modification. Partly owing to the growth of Germany's
European influence, and to the increase in her navy which has helped
her to it, she is to be found of recent years playing a role in the
Far East which would have been unintelligible to the German of the
last generation. There are many Germans to-day, as in Bismarck's time,
who ridicule the notion that the possibilities of trade in Oriental
countries justify the national risk now run for it and the national
expenditure now made upon it; but it is sometimes forgotten that,
apart from the chance of obtaining concessions for the building of
railways, for the establishment of banks, for the leasing of mines and
working of cotton plantations, there is a large German export of
beads, cloth, and, in short, of hundreds of articles which appeal to
barbarian or only semi-civilized tastes.

Germany, too, looks hopefully forward to a future in which she will be
supplied with the raw material of her manufactures by her colonies, or
failing that by her subjects trading abroad in the colonies of other
nations. This is one of the main objects of her Weltpolitik. As Prince
von Buelow said: "The time has passed when the German left the earth to
one neighbour and the sea to another, while he reserved heaven, where
pure doctrines are enthroned, to himself;" and again: "We don't seek
to put anybody in the shade, but we demand our place in the sun;" and
the idea finds technical expression in the phrase on which Germany
lays so much stress, the "maintenance of the open door." Her policy in
the Far East, as in Europe, is thus on the whole a commercial one; she
seeks there as elsewhere new markets, not new territory. Accordingly
she supports the principle of the _status quo_ in China, and therefore
raised no objection to the Anglo-Japanese Agreement of 1902 which,
among other objects, secured it.

In January, 1901, the Emperor was called to England by the sudden,
and, as it was to prove, fatal illness of his grandmother, Queen
Victoria. His journey to Osborne, where he arrived just in time to be
recognized by the dying Queen, and his abandonment of the idea,
impressive and almost sacred to a Prussian King and the Prussian
people, of being present on his birthday, January 27th, at the
bicentenary celebration of the foundation of the Prussian Kingdom,
made a deep and sympathetic impression on the people of England.
Usually on State occasions the Emperor does not display a countenance
of good humour, or indeed of any sentiment save perhaps that of a
sense of dignity; but on the occasion in question, as he rode in the
uniform of a British Field-Marshal beside Edward VII, his looks were
those of genuine sorrow. Public sympathy was not lessened when it
became known that he had mentioned the pride he felt in being
privileged to wear the uniform of two such soldiers of renown as the
Duke of Wellington and Lord Roberts; and added that the privilege
would be highly estimated by the whole German army. It was a
chivalrous remark, the offspring of a chivalrous disposition.

The Emperor had hardly returned to Germany when, on February 6th, the
only attack ever made on his person occurred in Bremen. He had been at
a banquet in the town hall, and was being driven through the
illuminated streets to the railway station to return to Berlin, when a
half-witted locksmith's apprentice of nineteen, Dietrich Weiland by
name, flung a piece of railway iron at him with such good aim that it
struck him on the face immediately under the right eye, inflicting a
deep and nasty, but not dangerous wound. The Emperor proceeded with
his journey, the doctors attending to his injury in the train, and in
a few weeks he was well again. Weiland was sent to a criminal lunatic
asylum. The attempt had, apparently, nothing to do with Anarchism or
Nihilism or the Social Democracy. When the Emperor alluded to it
afterwards in his speech to the Diet, he referred it to a general
diminution of respect for authority.

"Respect for authority," he said to the Diet,

     "is wanting. In this regard all classes of the population
     are to blame. Particular interests are looked to, not the
     general well-being of the folk. Criticism of the measures of
     the Government and Throne takes the coarsest and most
     injurious forms--and hence the errors and demoralization of
     our youth. Parliament must help here, and a change must be
     made, beginning with the schools."

It was natural enough that a few days after, addressing the Alexander
Regiment of Guards, who were taking up quarters in a new barracks near
the palace in Berlin, he should tell them the barracks were like a
citadel to the palace, and that, as a sort of imperial bodyguard, the
regiment "must be ready, day and night as once before"--he was
referring to the "March Days"--"to meet any attack by the citizens on
the Emperor."

At Bonn in April the Emperor attended the matriculation
(immatriculation, the Germans call it) of his eldest son, the Crown
Prince, at the university. He was in civil dress, one of the rare
public occasions during the reign when he has not been in uniform, but
this did not prevent him delivering a martial address to the
Borussians. "I hope and expect from the younger generation," he said
to the students,

     "that they will put me in a position to maintain our German
     Fatherland in its close and strong boundaries and in the
     congeries of German races--doing to no one favour and to no
     one harm. If, however, anyone should touch us too nearly,
     then I will call upon you and I expect you won't leave your
     Emperor sitting."

A great shout of "Bravo!" went up when the Emperor ceased, and the
students doubtless all thought what a fine thing it would be if he
would only lead them straightway against those cheeky Englanders.

At the end of June, on board the Hamburg-American pleasure-steamer
_Princess Victoria Luise_, the Emperor pronounced the famous
sentence--"Our future lies on the water." The year before he had said
something like it, and it is worth quoting as the Emperor's first
explicit allusion to Weltpolitik. "Strongly," he exclaimed,

     "dashes the beat of ocean at the doors of our people and
     compels it to preservation of its place in the world, in a
     word, to Weltpolitik. The ocean is indispensable for
     Germany's greatness. The ocean testifies that on it and far
     beyond it no important decision will be taken without
     Germany and the German Emperor."

His words on the present occasion were:

     "My entire task for the future will be to see that the
     undertakings of which the foundations have been laid may
     develop quietly and surely. We have, though as yet without
     the fleet as it should be, achieved our place in the sun. It
     will now be my task to hold this place unquestioned, so that
     its rays may act favourably on trade and industry and
     agriculture at home inside, and on our sail-sports on the
     coast--for our future lies on the water. The more Germans go
     on the sea--whether travelling or in the service of the
     State--the better. When the German has once learned to look
     abroad and afar he will lose that 'hang' towards the petty,
     the trivial, which now so often seizes him in daily life."

And he closed: "We must now go out in search of new spots where we can
drive in nails on which to hang our armour."

Early in August the Emperor was called to the death-bed of his mother,
the Empress Frederick, at her castle in Cronberg. She died on the
afternoon of her son's arrival, on August 5th. The Emperor ordered
mourning throughout the Empire for six weeks, and forbade all "public
music, entertainments, theatrical or otherwise" until after the
funeral. The Empress was buried in the mausoleum attached to the
Friedenskirche in Potsdam on the 13th of the month.

The delivery of a famous speech on art by the Emperor in December
brings the chronicle of 1901 to a close, but perhaps it will not
displease the reader if a new chapter is opened for the purpose of
quoting it and of considering the Emperor in what is a traditional
Hohenzollern relationship.




X.



THE EMPEROR AND THE ARTS

Art is a favourite subject of conversation on the Continent, where it
is more popularly discussed than in England and where authorities of
all kinds are more alive to its educative capabilities. It is
eminently "safe" ground, does not savour of gossip, and no one need
leave the field of discussion with the feeling that he has been driven
from it. Hence it is the salvation of diplomatists who are
apprehensive of committing their Governments or themselves when mixing
in general society, and it doubtless does good service for the Emperor
also upon occasion. Indeed it is a topic on which he speaks willingly
and well.

Unfortunately for precision of thought and speech, though useful for
the man in the street, the word "art" has been pressed into the
service of metaphor more than almost any other word in language. We
are told in turn that everything is an art--hair-dressing,
salad-dressing (a different kind), lying, flying, dying. The Germans
are trying to make an art of life. Whistler wrote about the "Gentle
Art of Making Enemies." One hears of "artful hussies" and "artful
dodgers." People are described as "artful" in the small diplomacies of
intercourse. Jugglers, acrobats, sword-swallowers, "supers" at the
theatre, the men who play the elephant in the pantomime would all be
mortified if they were not addressed as "artists," In short,
everything may be called an art.

But what, truly, is art? The question is as hard to answer
satisfactorily as the questions what is truth or what is beauty? The
notion "art" usually occurs to the mind as contrasted with the notion
"nature"; the word is derived from the Sanskrit root _ar_, to plough,
to make, to do; and accordingly art may be taken to be something made
by man, as contrasted with something made, or grown, or given by God.
How art came into existence it is of course impossible to do more than
conjecture. The necessities of primitive man may have stimulated his
inventive powers into originating and developing the useful arts for
his physical comfort and convenience; and his desire for recreation
after labour, or the mere ennui of idleness, may have urged the same
powers into originating and developing the fine and plastic arts for
the entertainment of his mind. Or, lastly, if no better reason can be
found, and though Sir Joshua Reynolds laid it down that all models of
perfection in art must be sought for on the earth, it may be that
seeing and feeling instinctively the glory and beauty of the Creation,
mankind began gradually, as its intelligence improved, to burn with a
longing to imitate, reproduce, and represent them.

However art arose, it seems true to say, as a German writer has well
said, that when a work of art, whether a poem or a picture or a
statue, causes in us the thought that so, and in no other way, would
we ourselves have expressed the idea, had we the talent, then we may
conclude that true art is speaking to us, whatever the idea to be
expressed may be. Everything demands thought, but our thoughts are an
unruly folk, which never keep long on the same straight road, and love
to wander off to left and right, here finding something new and there
throwing away something old. The artist, when he conceives a plan, has
to fight with the host of his thoughts and find a way through them.
They often threaten to divert him from it, but on the other hand they
often lead him to his goal by novel paths along which he finds much
that is new and valuable.

This is a doctrine that, sensible though it is, would hardly be
subscribed to by the Emperor, to whom no new movement in art strongly
appeals, and who thinks that such movements, unless founded on the old
classical school, the Greek and Roman school of beauty, ought, in the
public interest, to be discouraged. However, let him speak for
himself. He set forth his art creed in a speech which he delivered on
December 18, 1901, to the sculptors who had executed the Hohenzollern
statues in the famous Siegesallee at Berlin, and which ran
substantially as follows:--

     "I gladly seize the occasion, first of all, to express my
     congratulations and then my thanks for the manner in which
     you have assisted me to carry out my original plan. The
     preparation of the plan for the Siegesallee has occupied
     many years, and the learned historiographer of my House,
     Professor Dr. Poser, is the man who put me in a position to
     set the artists clear and intelligible tasks. Once the
     historic basis was found the work could be proceeded with,
     and when the personalities of the princes were established
     it was possible to ascertain those who had been their most
     important helpers. In this manner the groups originated and,
     to a certain extent, conditioned by their history, the forms
     of them came into existence.

     "The next most difficult question was--Was it possible, as I
     hoped it was, to find in Berlin so many artists as would be
     able to work together harmoniously to realize the programme?

     "As I came to consider the question, I had in view to show
     the world that the most favourable condition for the
     successful achievement of the work was not the appointment
     of an art commission and the establishment of prize
     competitions, but that in accord with ancient custom, as in
     the classical period, and later during the Middle Ages, was
     the case, it lay in the direct intercourse of the employer
     with the artists.

     "I am therefore especially obliged to Professor Reinhold
     Begas for having assured me, when I applied to him, that
     there was absolutely no doubt there could be found in Berlin
     a sufficiency of artists to carry out the idea; and with his
     help, and in consequence of the acquaintances I have made by
     visiting exhibitions and studios in Berlin, I succeeded in
     getting together a staff, the majority of whom I see around
     me, with whom to approach the task.

     "I think you will not refuse me the testimony that, in
     respect of the programme I drew up I have made the treatment
     of it as easy as possible, that while I ordered and defined
     the work I gave you an absolute freedom not only in the
     combination and composition, but precisely the freedom to
     put into it that from himself which every artist must if he
     is to give the work the stamp of his own individuality,
     since every work of art contains in itself something of the
     individual character of the artist. I believe that this
     experiment, if I may so call it, as made in the Siegesallee,
     has succeeded.

     "... I have never interfered with details, but have
     contented myself with simply giving the direction, the
     impulse.

     "But to-day the thought that Berlin stands there before the
     whole world with a guild of artists able to carry out so
     magnificent a project fills me with satisfaction and pride.
     It shows that the Berlin school of art stands on a height
     which could hardly have been more splendid in the time of
     the Renaissance.

     "Here, too, one can draw a parallel between the great
     artistic achievements of the Middle Ages and the
     Italians--that, namely, the head of the State, an art-loving
     prince, who offered their tasks to the artists also found
     the master round whom a school of artists could gather.

     "How is it, generally speaking, with art in the world? It
     takes its models, supplies itself from the great sources of
     Mother Nature, who, spite of her apparently unfettered,
     limitless freedom, still moves according to eternal laws
     which the Creator ordained for himself and which cannot be
     passed or violated without danger to the development of the
     world.

     "Even so it is in art; and at the sight of the beautiful
     remains of old classical times comes again over one the
     feeling that here too reigns an eternal law that is always
     true to itself, the law of beauty and harmony, of the
     aesthetic. This law is given expression to by the ancients
     in so surprising and overpowering a fashion, in so
     thoroughly complete a form that we, with all our modern
     sensibilities and with all our power, are still proud, when
     we have done any specially fine piece of work, to hear that
     it is almost as good as it was made nineteen hundred years
     ago.

     "But only almost! Under this impression I would earnestly
     ask you to lay it to heart that sculpture still remains
     untainted by so-called modern tendencies and currents--still
     stands high and chastely there! Keep her so, don't let
     yourselves be misled by human criticism or any wind of
     doctrine to abandon the principles on which she has been
     built up.

     "An art which transgresses the laws and limits I have
     indicated is art no more. It is factory work, handicraft,
     and that is a thing art should never be. Under the often
     misused word 'freedom' and her flag one falls too readily
     into boundlessness, unrestraint, self-exaggeration. For
     whoever cuts loose from the law of beauty, and the feeling
     for the aesthetic and harmonious, which every human breast
     feels, whether he can express it or not, and in his thought
     makes his chief object some special direction, some specific
     solution of more technical tasks, that man denies art's
     first sources.

     "Yet again. Art should help to exercise an educative
     influence on the people. She should offer the lower classes,
     after the hard work of the day, the possibility of
     refreshing themselves by regarding what is ideal. To us
     Germans great ideals have become permanent possessions,
     whereas to other peoples they have been more or less lost.
     Only the German people remain called to preserve these great
     ideas, to cultivate and continue them. And among these
     ideals is this, that we afford the possibility to the
     working classes to elevate themselves by beauty, and by
     beauty to enable them to abstract themselves and rise above
     the thoughts they otherwise would have.

     "When Art, as now often occurs, does nothing more than
     represent misery as still more unlovely than it is already,
     by so doing she sins against the German people. The
     cultivation of the ideal is at the same time the greatest
     work of culture, and if we wish to be and remain an example
     in this to other nations the whole people must work together
     to that end; if Culture is to fulfil her task she must
     penetrate to the lowest classes of society. That she can
     only do when art comes into play, when she raises up,
     instead of descending into the gutter.

     "As ruler of the country I often find it extremely bitter
     that art, through its masters, does not with sufficient
     energy oppose such tendencies. I do not for a moment fail to
     perceive that many an aspiring character is to be found
     among the partisans of these tendencies, who are perhaps
     filled with the best intentions but who are on the wrong
     path. The true artist needs no advertisement, no press, no
     patronage. I do not believe that your great protagonists in
     the domain of science, either in ancient Greece or in Italy
     or in the Renaissance period ever had recourse to a
     _reclame_ such as nowadays is often made in the press in
     order to bring their ideas into prominence, but worked as
     God inspired them and let others do the talking.

     "And so must an honest, proper artist act. The art which
     descends to _reclame_ is no art be it lauded a hundred or a
     thousand-fold. A feeling for what is beautiful or ugly has
     every one, be he ever so simple, and to educate this feeling
     in the people I require all of you. That in the Siegesallee
     you have done a piece of such work, I have specially to
     thank you.

     "This I can even now tell you--the impression which the
     Siegesallee has made on the foreigner is quite an
     overpowering one; everywhere respect for German sculpture is
     making itself perceivable. May you always remain on these
     heights, may such masters stand by my sons and sons' sons,
     should they ever come into existence! Then, I am convinced,
     will our people be in a position to love the beautiful and
     honour lofty ideals."

At the Berlin Art Museum next year, after praising the devotion of his
parents to art, and especially of his mother, "a nature," he said,
"about which poesy breathed," he continued:--

     "The son of both stands before you as their heir and
     executor: and so I regard it as my task, according to the
     intention of my parents, to hold my hand over my German
     people and its growing generation, to foster the love of
     beauty in them, and to develop art in them; but only along
     the lines and within the bounds drawn strictly by the
     feelings in mankind for beauty and harmony."

The Emperor's speech to the sculptors, if it contains some
questionable statements, is a thoughtful address by one who is himself
an artist, though not perhaps an artist of a high class. His artistic
endowments, transmitted from his parents, have been already indicated.
In reference to them he said to the official conducting him over the
Marienburg in later years, when the official expressed surprise at the
Emperor's art-knowledge:--

     "There is nothing wonderful in it. I was brought up in an
     artistic atmosphere. My mother was an artist, and from my
     earliest youth I have been surrounded by beautiful things.
     Art is my friend and my recreation."

The highest praise of a work of art is to say of it that it pleased,
or would have pleased; his mother. Of her he said, "Every thought she
had was art, and to her everything, however simple, which was meant
for the use of life, was penetrated with beauty." When giving his
sanction to a plan, a park, a statue or a building he always
thinks--"Would it have pleased my parents--what would they have said
about it?" The Kaiser Friedrich Museum and the Kaiser Friedrich
Memorial Church, both in Berlin, testify to the Emperor's gratitude to
his parents for their artistic legacy.

He went, as we have seen, through the ordinary art drudgery of the
school, recognizing, no doubt, with Michael Angelo, with all good
artists, that correct drawing is the foundation of every art into
which drawing enters and applying himself industriously to it. As a
young soldier at Potsdam he spent a good deal of his time, during the
three years from 1880 to 1883, practising oil-painting under the
guidance of Herr Karl Salzmann, a distinguished Berlin painter. Among
the results of this instruction was a picture which the princely
artist called "The Corvette--Prince Adalbert in the Bay of Samitsu,"
now hanging in the residence of his brother, Prince Henry, at Kiel;
and two years later, as his interest in the navy grew, a "Fight
between an Armoured Ship and a Torpedo-boat." Innumerable aquarelles
and sketches, chiefly of marine subjects, were also the fruit of this
period.

The Emperor has constantly cultivated free and friendly intercourse
with the best artists of his own and other nations, and been
continually engaged devoting time and money to the art education of
his people. The admirable art exhibitions in Berlin of the best
examples of painting by English, French, and American artists, which
he personally promoted and was greatly interested in, may be recalled
as instances. If his efforts in encouraging art among his people have
not been so successful as his imperial activities in other directions,
the reason is not any fault on his part, but simply that art refuses
to be, in Shakespeare's phrase, "tongue-tied by authority."

This was shown by the chorus of unfavourable criticism which the
speech to the sculptors drew forth. No one questioned the sincerity of
the Emperor or the magnanimity of his aims, nor was the criticism
wholly caused by the suspicion that it savoured of the "personal
regiment" under which the people were growing impatient; but many
thought he was pushing the dynastic principle too far and unduly
interfering with liberty of thought and judgment, and that there was
something Oriental as well as selfish in occupying with a gallery of
his ancestors, the majority of whom were, after all, very ordinary
people, one of the fairest spots in the capital. Perhaps, however,
what was most objected to was his trying to drive the art of the
nation into a groove, the direction given by himself: in trying to
inspire it with a particular spirit and that an ancient not a modern
spirit, when he ought to let the spirit come of its own accord out of
the mind of the people--the mind of many millions, not the mind of one
man, however high his rank. Politics and government might be things in
which he had a right to an authoritative voice, but art, like
religion, the people considered to be a matter for individual taste
and judgment.

Yet something may be advanced in favour of the Emperor. His
recommendation, for in fact it was and could be only that, was quite
in keeping with the traditions of his office and the people's own view
of royal government. The speech, as was admitted, was suggested by no
mere dilettante's vanity, but, as is evident from his words at the Art
Museum, by the conviction that just as it is the imperial duty to
provide an efficient army and navy, so it is the imperial duty to use
every personal and private, as well as every public and official,
effort to provide the people with an art as efficient, as honest, and
as clean; and it was inevitable that the art the Emperor recommended
was that which he believed, and still believes, to be in conformity
with the ideals, as he interprets them, or would have them to be, of
the Germanic race.

The speech itself is interesting as showing the Emperor's attitude
towards art and artists and his personal conception of art and its
nature. His attitude is evidently that of the art-loving prince of
whom he speaks in the address, a royal Maecenas or di Medici, who
gathers artists round him; but he means to use them, not so much
perhaps for art's sake, as for the instruction and elevation of his
folk. A very laudable aim; only, as it happens, the folk in this
matter desire themselves to decide what is improving and elevating for
them and what is not. They are not willing to leave the exclusive
choice to the Emperor.

The Emperor, again, would give the artist the freedom to put into his
work "that from himself which any artist must, if he is to give the
work the stamp of his own individuality." This attitude, too, is
admirable, but on the other hand lies the danger, such is poor human
nature, that the individuality will be that which the Emperor wishes
it to be, not the artist's independent individuality To the foreign
eye all the Hohenzollern statues in the Siegesallee, with the
exception possibly of two or three, seem to have much the same
individuality, though that again may be due to the nature of the
subject and the foreigner's inherent and ineradicable predispositions.

Thirdly, art, the Emperor says, can only be educative when it elevates
instead of descending into the gutter. Hogarth descended into the
gutter. Gustav Dore depicts the horrors of hell. Yet both Hogarth and
Dore were great artists, and educative too. The Emperor was here
thinking of the Berlin Secession, a school just then starting,
eccentric indeed and far from "classical," but which nevertheless has
since produced several fine artists. The Emperor, it would appear,
thinks that the antique classical school is the true and only good
school for the artist. Very likely most artists will agree with him--
at least as a foundation; but the belief, it also appears, is not
considered in Germany, or outside of it, to justify the Emperor, as
Emperor, in discouraging all other schools and particularly the
efforts of modern artists in their non-classical imaginings.

The Emperor says art "takes its models, supplies itself from the great
sources of Mother Nature." With all courtesy to the Emperor one may
suggest that art, and sane art, takes its models not only from Mother
Nature, but also from an almost as prolific a maternal source, namely
imagination; and that imagination is limited by no eternal laws we
know of, or can even suspect. Accordingly it is useless to check, or
try to check, the imagination by telling it to work in a certain
direction--so long, naturally, as the imagination is not obviously
indecent or insane.

Again, the Emperor says that in classical art there reigns an eternal
law, the "law of beauty and harmony, of the aesthetic" which is
expressed in a "thoroughly complete form" by the ancients. It is
admittedly a delightful and admirable form, but is it thoroughly
complete? Is it the last and only form; and may not the very same law
be found by experiment to be at work in future art that cannot be
called classical, as it was found to be at work in the various noble
schools since classical times? One must agree with the Emperor that
the Greeks and Romans illustrated the "law of beauty and harmony, of
the esthetic, in a wonderful manner." But it was wonderfully done for
their age and intellect. They did not exhaust the beautiful and
harmonious: far from it.

Neither the world nor mankind has been standing still ever since;
certainly the mind of man has not, even though his senses have
undergone no elemental change. Paganism was succeeded by Christianity,
and with Christianity came a new art canon, new forms of beauty and
harmony--the Early Italian. The age of reason followed, bringing with
it the Baroque and Rococo canons: and as time went on, and the world's
mind kept working, came other canons still. The most recent canon
appears to be that of naturalism (the Emperor's "gutter ") with which
artists are now experimentalizing. None of the canons, be it noticed,
destroyed the canon that preceded, because beauty and harmony are
indestructible and imperishable. "A thing of beauty is a joy for
ever."

But not only the mind of man kept changing: the world itself and its
civilization--by war, by treaty, by science, by invention, by art
itself--kept changing, and is changing now. Development, physical as
well as social, has been constant, and the changes accompanying it
have inspired, and are inspiring, artists with new ideas to which they
are always trying to give expression. The subjects of art have
enormously multiplied. Those introduced by sport of all kinds, by the
development of the theatre, by the newly-found effects of light and
colour, need only be mentioned as examples capable of suggesting
beauties and harmonies unknown to and unsuspected by the ancients.
Hence, in addition to the classical art of the day, there is room for
the "new art," the secessionist, the futurist, the impressionist, even
the cubist, or whatever the experimental movement may call itself. And
any day any of these movements may lead to the establishment of a new
and admirable school of genuine art as beautiful as the classical, if
in a different manner. The world has no idea of the surprises in all
directions yet in store for it.

The Emperor, too, is at one with all the world in assuming that art,
to deserve the name, must possess the quality of beauty. He speaks of
"beauty and harmony," but let it be taken that he understands beauty
to include harmony. Now, as has been suggested, to answer the
question, what is beauty, satisfactorily, is no easy matter. In
immediate proximity to it lies the question, what is ugliness? It
might be argued that nothing in nature is ugly, and that the word was
introduced to express what is merely an inability on the part of
mankind to perceive the beauty which constitutes nature; and it
certainly is possible that, were man endowed with the mind of God,
instead of with only some infinitesimal and mysterious emanation of
it, he would find all things in creation, all art included, beautiful.
The author of the Book of Genesis asserts that when God had finished
making the world He looked upon His handiwork and saw that it was
good. There is one advantage in adopting this view, and no small one,
that a belief in its truth must impel us to look for beauty and
goodness in all things, whether in art or nature--and even in the
Secession. Perhaps, however, we shall not be far from the truth in
saying, as regards art, that all things in creation are beautiful,
that there are degrees in beauty of which ugliness is the lowest, and
that the truly inspired artist can make all things, ugliness included,
beautiful.

The Emperor thinks the appreciation of beauty is one of our innate
ideas, like the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, which
we call conscience. There is no agreement among thinkers on the point,
and it may be that both beauty and conscience are relative, and simply
the result of environment and education. Certainly there is no
standard of beauty, and more certainly still, not of feminine beauty.
The Mahommedan admires a woman who has the nose of the parrot, the
teeth of the pomegranate seed, and the tread of the elephant.

But though there is no complete standard of beauty about which all
people, at all times, in all countries, are agreed, there are two
elements of beauty which may be said to have been standardized, at
least for the civilized world, by the early Greeks and Romans. These
elements are simplicity and harmony, simplicity being the forms of
things most directly and pleasingly appealing to the eye and most
easily reaching the common understanding, while harmony is the
combination of parts most nearly identical with the lines, contours,
and proportions of nature. These are two essentials of good sculpture,
and the Emperor was talking to sculptors and perhaps thinking only of
sculpture.

Yet simplicity and harmony alone do not constitute beauty, while on
the other hand beauty may take very complicated forms. A third element
one may suggest is essential, and its indescribable nature causes all
the difficulty there is in defining beauty. This third element
is--charm. A work of art, to be beautiful, must charm, and to
different people different things are charming. Plato's theory is that
the sense of beauty is a dim recollection of a standard we have seen
in a heavenly pre-existence. Accepting it as as good an explanation of
charm as we can get, we may conclude by defining beauty as, in its
highest form, a combination of simplicity and harmony, resulting in
charm.

The Emperor says: "To us Germans great ideals have become permanent
possessions, whereas to other peoples they have been more or less
lost." The remark is not one of those best calculated to promote
friendly feelings on the part of other peoples towards Germany or its
Emperor. It is like his declaration that Germans are the "salt of the
earth," and of a piece with the aggressive attitude of intellectual
superiority adopted by many Germans towards other nations--one reason,
by the way, for German unpopularity in the world. But is it true?
Germany has great ideals in permanent possession, but are they more or
less lost to other peoples? It is at least doubtful. Great ideals are
the permanent possession of every great people; it is these ideals
that have made them great; and they are no less great if they differ
according to the nature and conditions of each great people. One might
go further, indeed, and say that great ideals are the common property
and permanent possession of all great peoples. It is a hard saying
that any one people has a monopoly of them. The contribution of every
great nation to the common stock of great ideals is incalculable, and
it would be interesting to investigate which nation is most
successfully working out its great ideals in practice.

The truth is the German ideal of beauty in art is not, generally
speaking, the same as that of the Anglo-Saxon or Latin foreigner. The
art ideals of the Anglo-Saxon and Latin races in this respect are for
the most part Greek, while those of the German race are for the most
part Roman; and in each case the ideals are the outcome of the spirit
which has had most influence on the mind and manners of the different
races. The Greek philosophic and aesthetic spirit has chiefly
influenced Anglo-Saxon and Latin art ideals: the Roman spirit,
particularly the military spirit and the spirit of law, have chiefly
influenced German ideals: and, as a result, arrived at through ages
during which events of epoch-making importance caused many successive
modifications, while the Anglo-Saxon and Latin races are most
impressed by such qualities as lightness and delicacy of outline,
round and softly-flowing curves and elegance of ornamentation, the
German appears, to the Anglo-Saxon and Latin, to be more impressed by
the elaborate, the gigantic, the Gothic, the grotesque, the hard, the
made, the massive, and the square. In both styles are to be found
"beauty and harmony, the aesthetic," to quote the Emperor, but they
appeal differently to people of different national temperaments. To
the Anglo-Saxon and Latin in general, therefore, German art, and
particularly German sculpture and architecture, while impressive and
admirable, lack for most foreigners the entirely indescribable quality
we have called "charm."

The true artist, the Emperor says, needs no advertisement, no press,
no patronage. The Emperor is right. The true artist, once he begins to
produce first-rate work, will obtain instant recognition, and his work
will begin to sell, not perhaps at prices the same kind of work may
bring later, but at prices sufficient to support the artist and his
family in reasonable comfort. If it does not, he is not producing good
work and had better turn his attention to something else. As a matter
of fact very few true artists do advertise, use the press, or seek
patronage. The artist does not go to the press or the patron, for
nowadays, the moment the artist does excellent work, the press and the
patron go to him, and, when he is very exceptionally good, he is
advertised and patronized until he is sick of both advertisement and
patronage.

Naturally it is different in the case of the artist who is not
excellently good, but the Emperor was not considering such. These
artists too, however, insist on living and must find a market for
their wares. It is an age of advertisement, the growth of new economic
conditions, for advertisement creates as well as reveals new markets.
Hence the vast host of mediocrities, not only in art but in almost
every field of human activity, nowadays advertise and seek patronage
because only in this way can they find purchasers and live. These
artists, often men of talent, dislike having to advertise; they would
rather work for art's sake, but having to do so need not hinder them
from working for art's sake, since all that is meant by that much
misused phrase is that while the artist is working he shall not think
of the reward of his work, but simply and solely of how to do the best
work he can.

Before leaving the Emperor's speech one is tempted to inquire what
should be the attitude of a sovereign towards art and artists. For the
Englishman the doctrine of Individualism--the thing he is so apt to
make a fetish of--gives an answer, and, it may be, the right one. The
Englishman will probably say that if in any one province of life more
than in another freedom should be allowed to originality of conception
regarding the form as well as the substance, the manner as well as the
matter, it is in the province of art, always provided, of course, that
the artist is sane and not guilty of indecency. The artist, like the
poet, is born not made; you cannot make an artist, you can only make
an artisan. The artist, who represents the Creator, the creative
faculty, can influence man: man cannot, and should not try to,
influence the artist, but can, and should only, offer him the
materials for his art, smooth the way for his endeavour, encourage him
in it by sympathetic yet candid criticism, and above all, when he can
afford it, by buying the result of his endeavour when it is
successful.

This should be the attitude of both monarch and Maecenas: it is an
attitude of benevolent neutrality. "I know," such a Maecenas might say
to the artist,

     "that your artistic faculties move in an atmosphere above as
     well as on the earth, as I know that above the atmosphere of
     oxygen and hydrogen which envelops the earth there is an
     ethereal, a rarefied atmosphere, which stretches to worlds
     of which all we know is that they exist. If your spirit can
     soar above this earthly atmosphere, well and good. I, for
     one, shall do nothing to limit or hinder it: I shall only
     welcome and applaud and reward whatever effort you make to
     bring our inner being a step, long or short, nearer to the
     source of celestial light. Consequently, I offer you no
     instructions and put no fetters on your imagination."

It takes all sorts of art to make an artistic world, as it takes all
sorts of people to make the human world: a world with only classic art
in it would be as uninteresting and unthinkable as a world in which
every one was of the same character, occupation, and dress.

But it is time to consider the Emperor a little more in detail in
relation to his connexion with the arts. If he were not a first-rate
monarch he would probably be a first-rate artist. He said once that if
he were to be an artist, he would be a sculptor. But if he is not a
professional artist he is a connoisseur, a dilettante in the right
sense, a lover of the arts, an art-loving prince. The painter Salzmann
tells us how he used to go to the Villa Liegnitz in Potsdam to give
Prince William lessons, and how the Empress, then Princess William,
used to sit with the pupil and his teacher, discussing technical and
art questions. A result of the teaching, in addition to the pictures
mentioned elsewhere, was an oil-painting, a sea-fight, which still
hangs in the Ravene Gallery in Berlin.

In the spring of 1886 the Prince sent his teacher a sketch for
criticism. Salzmann wired his opinion to Potsdam, and a telegram came
back, "What does 'wind too anxious' mean? is it so stormily painted
that you shuddered at it, or is it not stormy enough?" Salzmann is
also authority for the statement that the Prince sent in a sea-piece
to the annual Berlin Art Exhibition. It was placed ready to be judged,
but suddenly disappeared. The Emperor William, it appeared, had
decided that it would not do for a future Emperor to compete with
professional artists or run the risk of sarcastic public criticism.
Naturally since he came to the throne the Emperor has never had time
to cultivate his talent as a painter, but has always fed his eyes and
mind on the best kind of painting, and brings his sense of form and
colour to bear on everything he does or has a voice in.

That the Emperor's own taste in painting is of a "classical" kind in a
very catholic sense was shown by the personal interest he took in
getting together and having brought to Berlin the exhibition of old
English masters in 1908. At his request the English owners of many of
these treasures agreed to lend them for exhibition in Germany,
submitting thereby to the risk of loss or damage, displaying an
unselfish disposition to aid in elevating the taste of a foreign
people, and at the same time giving Germans a better and more tangible
idea of the nation which could produce artists of such nobility of
feeling and marvellous technical capacity. The Emperor paid several
visits to the exhibition and thousands of Berlin folk followed his
example, so that the beauty of the works of Gainsborough, Raeburn,
Lawrence, Hoppner, and Romney was for months a topic of enthusiastic
conversation in the capital.

Encouraged by this success, the Emperor next caused a similar
exhibition of French painters to be arranged. The Rococo period was
now chosen, many lovely specimens of the art of Watteau, Lancret,
David, Vigee, Lebrun, Fragonnard, Greuze, and Bonnat were procured,
and again the Berliner was given an opportunity not only of enjoying
an artistic treat of a delightful kind, but of comparing the
impressions made on him by the art spirits of two other nations. The
opening of this French exhibition was made by the Emperor the occasion
of emphasizing his conciliatory feelings towards France, for he
attended an evening entertainment at the French Embassy given
specially in honour of the occasion.

A third art exhibition followed in 1910--that of two hundred American
oil paintings brought to Berlin and shown in the Royal Academy of Arts
on the Panser Platz. They included works by Sargent, Whistler, Gari
Melchior, Leon Dabo, Joseph Pennell, and many others. The suggestion
for this exhibition did not proceed from the Emperor, but in all
possible ways he gave the exhibition his personal support. On
returning from inspecting it he telegraphed to the American Ambassador
in Berlin, Dr. D. J. Hill, to express the pleasure he had derived from
what he had seen. Nor was such a mark of admiration surprising. The
exhibition was nothing short of a revelation, going far to dissipate
the German belief--perhaps the English belief also--that America
possesses no body of painters of the first rank.

Again we have recourse to the marine painter, Herr Salzmann. Wired for
by the Emperor, the painter got to the palace at 10.15 PM. When he
arrived the Emperor cried out, "So, at last! Where have you been
hiding yourself? I have had Berlin searched for you." The Emperor and
Empress and suite had just returned from the theatre and were standing
about the room. It turned out that the Emperor wanted the painter to
help him sketch a battleship of a certain design he had in mind, to
see how it would look on the water. In the middle of the room an
adjutant stood and read out a speech made by a Radical deputy in the
Reichstag that day, and the Emperor made occasional remarks about it,
though at the same time he was engaged with the ship. The painter does
not forget to add that he "was provided with a good glass of beer."

The Emperor is reported to be a capital "sitter." He had the French
painter Borchart staying with him at Potsdam to paint his portrait.
Borchart describes him as an ideal model, so still and patiently did
he sit, and this at times for more than two hours. He talked freely
during the sittings. "I don't want to be regarded as a devourer of
Frenchmen," was a remark made on one of these occasions; on another he
praised President Loubet; and on a third he had a good word even for
the Socialist Jaures. When Borchart had finished and naively expressed
satisfaction with his own work the Emperor said, "Na, na, friend
Borchart, not so proud; it is for us to criticize."

As the Emperor is a lover of the "classical" in painting and
sculpture, it is not strange to find him an admirer of the classical
in music and recommending it to his people as the best form of musical
education. He holds that there is much in common between it and the
folk-songs of Germany. At Court he revived classical dances like the
minuet and the gavotte. He is devoted to opera and never leaves before
the end of the performance. Concerts frequently take place in the
royal palaces at Potsdam and Berlin, items on the programme for them
being often suggested by the Emperor. The programme is then submitted
to him and is rarely returned without alteration. Not seldom the
concert is preceded by a rehearsal, which the Emperor attends and
which itself has been carefully rehearsed beforehand, as the Emperor
expects everything to run smoothly. At these rehearsals he will often
cause an item to be repeated. Bach and Handel are his prime
favourites. He is no admirer of Strauss. Wagner he often listens to
with pleasure, and especially the "Meistersinger," which is his pet
opera. Of Italian operas Verdi's "Aida" and Meyerbeer's "Huguenots"
are those he is most disposed to hear.

He has been laughed at for once attempting musical composition. The
"Song to Aegir," which he composed in 1894 at the age of thirty-five
(when he should have known better), was, he told the bandmaster of a
Hannoverian regiment, suggested to him by the singing of a Hannoverian
glee society. It is a song twenty-four lines long, with the inevitable
references to the foe, and the sword and shield, and whales and
mermaids, and the God of the waves, who is called on to quell the
storm. The lady-in-waiting who wrote the "Private Lives of the Emperor
and His Consort" tells with much detail how the song was really
written, not by the Emperor, but almost wholly by a musical adjutant.
It does not greatly matter, but it is likely that the Emperor is
responsible for the text if he did not compose the music.

One of the best and most interesting descriptions of his kindly and
characteristic way of treating artists is that given by the late
Norwegian composer, Eduard Grieg.

"The other day," writes the composer,

     I had a chance to meet your Kaiser. He had already expressed
     a desire last year to meet me, but I was ill at that time.
     Now he has renewed his wish, and therefore I could not
     decline the invitation. I am, as you know, little of a
     courtier. But I said to myself, 'Remember Aalesund' (for
     which the Emperor had sent a large sum after a great fire),
     and my sense of duty conquered. Our first meeting was at
     breakfast at the German Consul's house. During the meal we
     spoke much about music. I like his ways, and--oddly
     enough--our opinions also agreed. Afterwards he came to me
     and I had the pleasure of talking with him alone for nearly
     an hour. We spoke about everything in heaven and
     earth--about poetry, painting, religion, Socialism, and the
     Lord knows what besides.

     "He was fortunately a human being, and not an Emperor. I was
     therefore permitted to express my opinions openly, though in
     a discreet manner, of course. Then followed some music. He
     had brought along an orchestra (!), about forty men. He took
     two chairs, placed them in front of all the others, sat down
     on one, and said, 'If you please, first parquet'; and then
     the music began--Sigurd Jorsalfar, Peer Gynt, and many other
     things.

     "While the music was being played he continually aided me in
     correcting the _tempi_ and the expression, although as a
     matter of course I had not wanted to do such a thing. He was
     very insistent, however, that I should make my intentions
     clear. Then he illustrated the impression made by the music
     by movements of his head and body. It was wonderful
     _(goettlich)_ to watch his serpentine movements _a la
     Orientalin_ while they played Anitra's dance, which quite
     electrified him.

     "Afterwards I had to play for him on the piano, and my wife,
     who sat nearest him, told me that here too he illustrated
     the impression made on him, especially at the best places.

     "I played the minuet from the pianoforte sonata which he
     found 'very Germanic' and powerfully built: and the 'Wedding
     Day at Troldhaugen,' which piece he also liked.

     "On the following day there was a repetition of these things
     on board the _Hohenzollern_, where we were all invited to
     dinner at eight o'clock. The orchestra played on deck in the
     most wondrously bright summer night while many
     hundreds--nay, I believe thousands--of rowboats and small
     steamers were grouped about us. The crowd applauded
     constantly and cheered enthusiastically whenever the Kaiser
     became visible. He treated me like a patient: he gave me his
     cloak and sent to fetch a rug, with which he covered me
     carefully.

     "I must not forget to relate that he grew so enthusiastic
     over 'Sigurd Jorsalfar,' the subject of which I explained to
     him as minutely as possible, that he said to von Hiilsen,
     the intendant of the royal theatres, who sat next to him:
     'We must produce this work! (This was not done, however.)

     "I then invited von Hiilsen to come to Christiania to
     witness a performance of it, and he said he was very eager
     to so. All in all this meeting was an event and a surprise
     in the best sense. The Kaiser, certainly, is a very uncommon
     man, a strange mixture of great energy, great self-reliance,
     and great kindness of heart. Of children and animals he
     spoke often and with sympathy, which I regard as a
     significant thing."

On the New Year's Day following the Emperor sent the composer a
telegram reading: "To the northern bard to listen to whose strains has
always been a joy to me I send my most sincere wishes for the new year
and new creative activity." In 1906, Grieg, having once more been the
Emperor's guest, writes to a friend:

     "He was greatly pleased with having become once more a
     grandfather. He called to me across the table (referring to
     'Sigurd'), 'Is it agreeable if I call the child Sigurd?' It
     must be something _Urgermanisch_."

The following anecdote may remind the reader of the amusing scene in
Offenbach's "Grand Duchesse of Gerolstein," where the Grand Duchess,
talking to the guardsman whose athletic proportions she admires,
addresses him with a rising scale of "corporal" ... "sergeant" ...
"lieutenant" ... "captain" ... "colonel," and so on, as she talks,
only, however, later cruelly to re-descend the scale to the very
bottom when her courtship is ineffectual. The Emperor is at an organ
recital in the Kaiser William Memorial Church; the recital is over and
the Court party are about to go when he greets the organist, Herr
Fischer: "My cordial thanks for the great pleasure you have given us,
Herr Professor." "Pardon, your Majesty," replies the organist, with
commendable presence of mind: "May I venture to thank your Majesty for
the great mark of favour?" "What mark of favour?" asks the Emperor, a
little puzzled. "The fact is your Majesty has more than once addressed
me as 'professor,' although--" "Why, that's good," exclaims the
Emperor, with a great laugh, "very good indeed;" and striking his
forehead in self-reproach with the palm of his hand: "so forgetful of
me! Then you are not professor, after all! Well, no matter; what is
not, may be--what I said, I said. Adieu, _Herr Professor_" and goes
off smiling. The very same evening--need it be added?--Herr Fischer
had his patent as Professor in his pocket.

The Emperor is particularly fond of "my Americans" among his operatic
artists. A good deal of jealousy has at times been shown by the German
employees of the opera towards the American artists entertained there
and a deputy has more than once protested in the Reichstag against the
number employed; but the jealousy rarely results in harm, and on the
whole harmony--as it should--prevails.

Every year brings hundreds of American girl students to Berlin,
Munich, or Dresden to learn singing and perhaps carry off the great
prize of a "star" engagement at one or the other of the German royal
opera houses. The experiences of some of these students are tragedies
on a small scale, and in one or two instances have been known to end
in death, destitution, or dishonour. The explanation is simple. Such
students, filled with the high hopes inspired by artistic ambition and
the artist's imagination, fail to ask themselves before going abroad
if nature has endowed them with the qualities and powers requisite for
one of the most laborious and, for a girl, exposed professions in the
world; and do not learn until it is too late that they lack the
resolute character, the robust health, and the talent which, not
singly but all three combined, are essential to success.

Such a girl often starts on her enterprise poorly supplied with means
to pay for her board, lodging, clothes, recreation, and instruction;
she changes from the dearer sort of _pension_ to the cheaper, finding
her company and surroundings at each remove more doubtful and more
dangerous; she grows disappointed and disheartened, perhaps physically
ill; comes under bad influences, male or female; until finally the
curtain falls on a sufferer rescued at the last moment by relatives or
friends, or on a young life blasted. Such tragic cases, it should be
said, are far from common, but they occur, and the possibility of
their occurrence ought to be taken into account at the outset by the
intending music or art student.

Happily there is another and brighter side to the picture, and the
intending student with money and friends will enjoy and gain advantage
from a few years of continental life, even though exceptional strength
and genuine talent be wanting. Perhaps this is the experience of the
great majority of art students in Germany. Freedom from the restraints
and conventions of life at home compensates for the inconveniences
arising from narrow means. Novelty of scenery and surroundings has a
charm that is constantly recurring. The kindness and helpfulness of
fellow-countrymen and countrywomen make the wheels of daily life roll
smoothly. The freemasonry of art, its optimism and hope, and the
pleasure and interest of its practice, investigation, and discussion
wing the hours and spur to effort.

But to return to the Emperor. As a lad at Cassel he was fond of
playing charades, and is reported to have had a knack of quickly
sketching the scenario and _dramatis personae_ of a play which he and
his young companions would then and there proceed to act. One of these
plays had Charlemagne for its subject, with a Saxon feudatory, whose
lovely daughter, Brunhilde, scorns her father for his submission. A
banquet, ending in a massacre of Charlemagne's followers, is one of
the scenes, and as Brunhilde is in love with Charlemagne's son she
helps him to escape from the massacre. The Play ends with the suicide
of Brunhilde. As he grew up the Emperor's interest in the theatre
increased, and, as has been seen, when he succeeded to the throne he
resolved to make use of it for educating and elevating the public
mind. As patriotism consists largely in knowing and properly
appreciating history he has always encouraged dramatists who could
portray historic scenes and events, particularly those with which the
Hohenzollerns were connected. Hence his support of Josef Lauff, Ernst
von Wildenbruch and Detlev von Liliencron. Not long ago he arranged a
series of performances at Kroll's Theatre intended for workmen only.
The performances were chiefly of the stirring historical
kind--Schiller's "Wilhelm Tell," Goethe's "Goetz von Berlichingen,"
Kleist's "Prince von Hornburg," and others that require huge
processions and a crowded stage. The general public were not supposed
to attend the performances, but tickets were sent to the factories and
workshops for sale at a low price.

In 1898 the Emperor publicly stated his views about the theatre. "When
I mounted the throne ten years ago," he said,

     "I was, owing to my paternal education, the most fervent of
     idealists. Convinced that the first duty of the royal
     theatres was to maintain in the nation the cultivation of
     the idealism to which, God be thanked, our people are still
     faithful, and of which the sources are not yet nearly
     exhausted, I determined to myself to make my royal theatres
     an instrument comparable to the school or the university
     whose mission it is to form the rising generation and to
     inculcate in them respect for the highest moral traditions
     of our dear German land. For the theatre ought to contribute
     to the culture of the soul and of the character, and to the
     elevation of morals. Yes, the theatre is also one of my
     weapons.... It is the duty of a monarch to occupy himself
     with the theatre, because it may become in his hands an
     incalculable force."

If the Emperor has any special gift it is an eye for theatrical effect
in real life as well as on the stage. He had a good share of the
actor's temperament in his younger years, and until recently showed it
in the conduct of imperial and royal business of all kinds. He still
gives it play occasionally in the royal opera houses and theatres. The
Englishman, whose ruler is a civilian, is not much impressed by
pageantry and pomp, except as reminding him of superannuated, though
still revered, historical traditions and events that are landmarks in
a great military and maritime past. He would not care to see his King
always, or even frequently, in uniform, as he would be apt to find in
the fact an undue preference for one class of citizens to another. His
idea is that the monarch ought to treat all classes of his subjects
with equal kingly favour. In Germany it is otherwise. The monarchy
relies on military force for its dynastic security, as much, one might
perhaps say, as for the defence of the country or the keeping of the
public peace, and consequently favours the military. Moreover, the
peoples that compose the Empire have been harassed throughout the long
course of their history by wars; a large percentage of their youth are
serving in the standing army or in the reserves, the Landwehr and the
Landsturm; finally the Germans, though not, as it appears to the
foreigner, an artistic people, save in regard to music, enjoy the
spectacular and the theatrical.

Accordingly we find the Emperor artistically arranging everything and
succeeding particularly well in anything of an historical and
especially of a military nature. The spring and autumn parades of the
Berlin garrison on the Tempelhofer Field--an area large enough, it is
said, to hold the massed armies of Europe--with their gatherings of
from 30,000 to 60,000 troops of all arms, serve at once to excite the
Berliner's martial enthusiasm, while at the same time it obscurely
reminds him that if he treats the dynasty disrespectfully he will have
a formidable repressive force to reckon with. Hence at manoeuvres the
Emperor is accompanied by an enormous suite; whenever he motors down
Unter den Linden it is at a quick pace, which impresses the crowd
while it lessens the chances of the bomb-thrower or the assassin. The
scene of the reception of Prince Chun at the New Palace was a great
success as an artistic performance, and the pageants at the
restoration of the Hohkoenigsburg and at the Saalburg festival were of
the same artistic order.

The Emperor's theatrical interest and attention when in Berlin are
concentrated on the Berlin Royal Opera and the Berlin Royal Theatre
(Schauspielhaus), and when in Wiesbaden on the Royal Festspielhaus at
that resort. When in his capital he goes very rarely to any other
place of theatrical entertainment. His interest in the royal opera and
theatre both in Berlin and Wiesbaden is personal and untiring, and he
has done almost as much or more for the adequate representation of
grand opera in his capital as the now aged Duke of Saxe-Meiningen did,
through his famous Meiningen players, for the proper presentation of
drama in Germany generally. The revivals of "Aida" and "Les Huguenots"
under the Emperor's own supervision are accepted as faultless examples
of historical accuracy in every detail and of good taste and harmony
in setting.

In a well-informed article in the _Contemporary Review_ Mr. G.
Valentine Williams writes:

     "Once the rehearsals of a play in which the Emperor is
     interested are under way he loses no time in going to the
     theatre to see whether the instructions he has appended to
     the stage directions in the MS. are being properly carried
     out. Some morning, when the vast stage of the opera is
     humming with activity, the well-known primrose-coloured
     automobile will drive up to the entrance and the Emperor,
     accompanied only by a single adjutant, will emerge. In three
     minutes William II will be seated at a big, business-like
     table placed in the stalls, before him a pile of paper and
     an array of pencils. When he is in the house there is no
     doubt whatever in anyone's mind as to who is conducting the
     rehearsal. His intendant stands at his side in the darkened
     auditorium and conveys his Majesty's instructions to the
     stage, for the Emperor never interrupts the actors himself.
     He makes a sign to the intendant, scribbles a note on a
     sheet of paper, while the intendant, who is a pattern of
     unruffled serenity, just raises his hand and the performance
     abruptly ceases. There is a confabulation, the Emperor, with
     the wealth of gesture for which he is known, explaining his
     views as to the positions of the principals, the dresses,
     the uniforms, using anything, pencil, penholder, or even his
     sword to illustrate his meaning. Again and again up to a
     dozen times the actors will be put through their paces until
     the imperial Regisseur is entirely satisfied that the right
     dramatic effect has been obtained.

     "All who have witnessed the imperial stage-manager at work
     agree that he has a remarkable _flair_ for the dramatic.
     Very often one of his suggestions about the entrances or
     exits, a piece of 'business' or a pose, will be found on
     trial to enhance the effect of the scene. A story is told of
     the Emperor's insistence on accuracy and the minute
     attention he pays to detail at rehearsal. After his visit to
     Ofen-Pest some years ago for the Jubilee celebration, which
     had included a number of Hungarian national dances, the
     Emperor stopped a rehearsal of the ballet at the Berlin
     opera while a Czardas was in progress and pointed out to the
     balletteuses certain minor details which were not correct.

     "In his attitude to the Court actors and actresses he
     displays the charm of manner which bewitches all with whom
     he comes in contact. He calls them 'meine Schauspieler,'
     which makes one think of 'His Majesty's Servants' of
     Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. This practice sometimes has
     amusing results. Once when the Theatre Royal comedian, Dr.
     Max Pohl, was suddenly taken ill the Emperor said to an
     acquaintance, 'Fancy, my Pohl had a seizure yesterday;' and
     the acquaintance, thinking he was referring to a pet dog
     replied, commiseratingly: 'Ah, poor brute!' After rehearsal
     the Emperor often goes on to the stage and talks with the
     actors about their parts.

     "A Hohenzollern must not be shown on the stage without the
     express permission of the Emperor, and in general, if
     politics are mixed up in an objectionable way with the
     action of the drama, the play will be forbidden. Above all
     the Emperor will not tolerate indecency, nor the mere
     suggestion of it, in the plays given at the royal theatres.
     An anecdote about Herr Josef Lauff's Court drama 'Frederick
     of the Iron Tooth,' dealing with an ancestor, an Elector of
     Brandenburg, and on which Leoncavallo, at the Emperor's
     request, wrote the opera 'Der Roland von Berlin,' shows the
     Emperor's strictness in this respect. Frederick of the Iron
     Tooth is a burgher of Berlin who leads a revolt against the
     Elector. In order to heighten Frederick's hate, Lauff wove
     in a love theme into the drama. The wife of Ryke,
     burgomaster of Berlin, figured as Frederick's mistress and
     egged on her lover against the Elector, because the latter
     had hanged her brothers, the Quitzows, notorious outlaws of
     the Mark Brandenburg. The Emperor cut out the whole episode
     when the play was submitted to him in manuscript. The
     marginal note in his big, bold handwriting ran: '_Eine
     Courtisane kommt in einem Hohenzollerstueck nicht vor_' (A
     courtesan has no place in a Hohenzollern drama)."

The Emperor's constant change of uniform is often said to be a sign of
his liking for the theatrical, and writers have compared him on this
account with lightning-change artists like the great Fregoli. Rather
his respect for and reliance on the army, a sense of fitness with the
occasion to be celebrated, a feeling of personal courtesy to the
person to be received, are the motives for such changes. The Paris
_Temps_ published the following incident apropos of the Emperor's
visit to England in November, 1902. When, on arriving at Port
Victoria, the royal yacht _Hohenzollern_ came in view, the members of
the English Court sent to welcome the Emperor saw him through their
glasses walking up and down the captain's bridge wearing a long
cavalry cloak over a German military uniform. When they stepped on
board they found him in the undress uniform of an English admiral.
They lunched with him, and in the afternoon, when he left for London,
he was wearing the uniform of an English colonel of dragoons. Arrived
in London, he left for Sandringham, and must have changed his dress
_en route_, for he left the train in a frock-coat and tall hat.

Perhaps the most notable theatrical event of the reign hitherto was
the production at the Royal Opera in 1908 of the historic pantomime
"Sardanapalus." The Emperor's idea, as he said himself, was to "make
the Museums speak," to which a Berlin critic replied, "You can't
dramatize a museum." The ballet, for it was that as well as a
pantomime, engrossed the Emperor's time and attention for several
weeks. He spent hours with the great authority on Assyriology,
Professor Friedrich Delitzsch, going over reliefs and plans taken from
the Kaiser Friedrich Museum or borrowed from museums in Paris, London,
and Vienna, decided on the costumes and designed the war-chariots to
be used in the ballet. The notion was to rehabilitate the reputation
of Asurbanipal, the second-last King of Assyria, whom the Greeks
called "Sardanapalus," who reigned in Nineveh six hundred years before
Christ, over Ethiopia, Babylon and Egypt, and whom Lord Byron,
accepting the Greek story, represented as the most effeminate and
debauched monarch the world had ever known.

Professor Delitzsch, with a wealth of recondite learning, showed, on
the contrary, that Sardanapalus was a wise and liberal-minded monarch,
who, rather than fall into the hands of the Medes, built himself a
pyre in a chamber of his palace and perished on it with his wives, his
children, and his treasure. The whole four acts, with the various
ballets, gave a perfectly faithful representation of the period as
described by Diodorus and Herodotus, and as plastically shown on the
reliefs discovered at Nineveh by Sir Henry Layard and subsequently by
German excavators. Over L10,000 was spent upon the production, and the
public were worked up to a great pitch of curiosity concerning it. But
it was a complete failure as far as the public were concerned.
"Heavens!" exclaimed one critic, "what a bore!" This, however, was not
the fault of the Emperor, but was due to want of interest on the part
of a public whose enthusiasm for the events and characters of times so
remote could only be kindled by a genius, and a dramatic one. The
Emperor is no such genius, nor had he one at command.




XI.



THE NEW CENTURY (_continued_)



1902-1904

King George V has hardly been sufficiently long on the English throne
for a contemporary to judge of the personal relations that exist
between his Majesty and the Emperor as chief representatives of their
respective nations. The King of England was, until June, 1913,
hindered by various circumstances from paying a visit to the Court of
Berlin, and rumours were current that relations between the two rulers
were not as friendly as they might and should be. There is now every
indication that though the relations of people to people and
Government to Government vary in degrees of coolness or warmth, the
two monarchs are on perfectly good terms of cousinship and amity.

A visit paid by King George, when Prince of Wales, to the Emperor in
Potsdam at the opening of 1902 testified to the goodwill that then
subsisted between them. It was the evening before the Emperor's
birthday, when the Emperor, at a dinner given by the officers of King
Edward's German regiment, the 1st Dragoon Guards, addressed the
English Heir Apparent in words of hearty welcome. The address was not
a long one, but in it the Emperor characteristically seized on the
motto of the Prince of Wales, "_Ich dien_" (I serve), to make it the
text of a laudatory reference to his young guest's conduct and career.
In its course the Emperor touched on the Prince's tour of forty
thousand miles round the world, and the effect his "winning
personality" had had in bringing together loyal British subjects
everywhere, and helping to consolidate the _Imperium Britannicum_, "on
the territories of which," as the Emperor said, doubtless with an
imperial pang of envy, "the sun never sets." The Prince, in his reply,
tendered his birthday congratulations, and expressed his "respect" for
the Emperor, the appropriate word to use, considering the ages and
royal ranks of the Emperor and his younger first cousin.

With 1902 may be said to have begun the Emperor's courtship (as it is
often called in Germany) of America. His advances to the Dollar
Princess since then have been unremitting and on the whole cordially,
if somewhat coyly, received.

The growth of intercourse of all kinds between Germany and the United
States is indeed one of the features of the reign. There are several
reasons why it is natural that friendly relationship should exist. It
has been said on good authority that thirty millions of American
citizens have German blood in their veins. Frederick the Great was the
first European monarch to recognize the independence of America.
German men of learning go to school in America, and American men of
learning go to school in Germany. A large proportion of the professors
in American universities have studied at German universities. The two
countries are thousands of miles apart, and are therefore less exposed
to causes of international jealousy and quarrel between contiguous
nations. On the other hand, the new place America has taken in the Old
World, dating, it may be said roughly, from the time of her war with
Spain (1898); the increase of her influence in the world, mainly
through the efforts of brave, benevolent, and able statesmen; the
expansion of her trade and commerce; the increase of the European
tourist traffic;--these factors also to some extent account for the
growth of friendly intercourse between the peoples.

Nor should the bond between the two countries created by intermarriage
be overlooked. If the well-dowered republican maid is often ambitious
of union with a scion of the old European nobility, the usually needy
German aristocrat is at least equally desirous of mating with an
American heiress notwithstanding the vast differences in
race-character, political sentiment, manners, and views of life--and
especially of the status and privileges of woman--that must
fundamentally separate the parties. Great unhappiness is frequently
the result of such marriages, perhaps it may be said of a large
proportion of international marriages, but cases of great mutual
happiness are also numerous, and help to bring the countries into
sympathy and understanding. Prince Buelow, when Chancellor, reminded
the Reichstag, which was discussing an objection raised to the late
Freiherr Speck von Sternburg, when German Ambassador to America, that
he had married an American lady, that though Bismarck had laid down
the rule that German diplomatists ought not to marry foreigners, he
was quite ready to make exceptions in special cases, and that America
was one of them. The Emperor is well known to have no objection to his
diplomatic representative at Washington being married to an American,
but rather to prefer it, provided, of course, that the lady has plenty
of money.

A difficulty between Germany and Venezuela arose in 1902 owing to the
ill-treatment suffered by German merchants in Venezuela in the course
of the civil war in that country from 1898 to 1900.

The merchants complained that loans had been exacted from them by
President Castro and his Government, and that munitions of war and
cattle had been taken for the use of the army and left unpaid for. The
amount of the claim was 1,700,000 Bolivars (francs), a sum that
included the damage suffered by the merchants' creditors in Germany.
Similar complaints were made by English and Italian merchants. After
several efforts on the part of Germany to obtain redress had failed,
negotiations were broken off, the diplomatic representative of Germany
was recalled, and finally the combined fleets of England, Germany, and
Italy established a blockade of the Venezuelan coast. The difficulty
was eventually referred to the Hague Court of Arbitration, which
allowed the claims and directed payment of them on the security of the
revenues of the customs ports of La Guayra and Puerto Cabella.

For a time the action of the Powers caused discussion of the Monroe
doctrine on both sides of the Atlantic. On this side it was pointed
out that American susceptibilities had been respected by the conduct
of the Powers in not landing troops, while on the other side there
were not wanting voices to exclaim that the naval demonstration went
too near being a breach of the hallowed creed--"hands off" the Western
Hemisphere. The Monroe doctrine, it may be recalled, was contained in
a message of President James Monroe, issued on February 2, 1823. It
was drawn up by John Quincey Adams, and declared that the United
States "regarded not only every effort of the Holy Alliance to extend
its system to the Western Hemisphere as dangerous to the peace and
freedom of the United States, but also every interference with the
object of subverting any independent American Government in the light
of unfriendliness towards America"; and it went on to declare that
"the Continents of America should no more be regarded as fields for
European colonization."

The day, of course, may come when the American claim to the control,
if not physical possession, of half the earth will be questioned by
the Powers of Europe; but at present, as far as Germany is concerned,
and notwithstanding the absurd idea that Germany plans the seizure one
day of Brazil, the doctrine is of merely academic interest. For a few
days four years later it became the subject of lively discussion in
Germany and America owing to the first American Roosevelt professor,
Professor Burgess, referring to it in his inaugural lecture before the
Emperor and Empress as an "antiquated theory." As soon, however, as it
became apparent that Professor Burgess was giving utterance to a
purely personal opinion, and was not in any sense the bearer of a
message on the subject from the President, the discussion dropped.

Another American episode of the year was the visit of Prince Henry,
the Emperor's brother, to the United States. Prince Henry left for
America in February. The visit was in reality made in pursuance of the
Emperor's world-policy of economic expansion, but there were not a few
politicians in England and America to assert that it was part of a
deep scheme of the Emperor's to counteract too warm a development of
Anglo-American friendship. However that may be, the visit was a
striking one, even though it gave no great pleasure to Germans, who
could not see any particular reason for it, nor any prospect of it
yielding Germany immediate tangible return for trouble and expense.
Prince Henry, it is said, though the most genial and democratic of
Hohenzollerns, was a little taken back at the American freedom of
manners, the wringing of hands, the slapping on the back, and other
republican demonstrations of friendship; but he cannot have shown
anything of such a feeling, for he was feted on all sides, and soon
developed into a popular hero.

One of the incidents of the visit, previously arranged, was the
christening of the Emperor's new American-built yacht, _Meteor III_,
by Miss Alice Roosevelt, the President's daughter. On February 25th
the Emperor received a cablegram from Prince Henry: "Fine boat,
baptized by the hand of Miss Alice Roosevelt, just launched amid
brilliant assembly. Hearty congratulations;" and at the same time one
from the President's daughter: "To his Majesty the Kaiser,
Berlin--_Meteor_ successfully launched. I congratulate you, thank you
for the kindness shown me, and send you my best wishes. Alice
Roosevelt."

During the visit the Emperor cabled to President Roosevelt his thanks
and that of his people for the hospitable reception of his brother by
all classes, adding:

     "My outstretched hand was grasped by you with a strong,
     manly, and friendly grip. May Heaven bless the relations of
     the two nations with peace and goodwill! My best compliments
     and wishes to Alice Roosevelt."

Reference to this cordial electric correspondence may close with
mention of a telegram sent in reply to a message from Mr. Melville
Stone, of the American Associated Press:

     "Accept my thanks for your message. I estimate the great and
     sympathetic reception (it was a banquet) given to my dear
     brother by the newspaper proprietors of the United States
     very highly."

Prince Henry returned to Germany on March 17th, a Doctor of Law of
Harvard University.

There have been moments when people in America were influenced by
other sentiments than those of entirely respectful admiration for the
Emperor. It was with mixed feelings that the American public heard the
news of his telegraphed offer to President Roosevelt in May, 1902,
when, as the telegram said, the Emperor was "under the deep impression
made by the brilliant and cordial reception" given to his brother,
Prince Henry, to present to the American nation a statue of--Frederick
the Great, and coupled with the offer a proposal that the statue
should be erected--of all places--in Washington! No one doubted the
Emperor's sincere desire to pay the highest compliment he could think
of to a people to whom he felt grateful for the honour done to Germany
in the person of his brother, but nearly every one smiled at the
simplicity, or, as some called it, the want of political tact shown by
offering the statue of a ruler whose name, to the vast majority of
Americans, is synonymous with absolute autocracy, to a republic which
prides itself on its civic ways and love of personal freedom. The gift
was accepted by the American Government in the spirit in which it was
offered, the spirit of goodwill. And why not? To the Emperor his great
ancestor's effigy is no symbol of autocracy, but the contrary, for to
the Emperor and his subjects Frederick the Great is as much the Father
of Prussia, the man who saved it and made it, as Washington was the
Father of America. Besides, the spirit in which a gift is offered, not
its value or appropriateness, is the thing to be considered.

Irritation in England was still strong against Germany on account of
the latter's easily understood race-sympathy with the Boers during the
war just over, but the fact did not prevent the Emperor from accepting
King Edward's invitation to spend a few days at Sandringham with him
in November this year on the occasion of his birthday. The Emperor
took the Empress and two of his sons with him. The hostile temper of
the time, both in England and Germany, was alluded to in a sermon
preached in Sandringham Church by the then Bishop of London. It was
notable for its insistence on the necessity of friendlier relations
between England, Germany, and America, the three great branches of the
Teutonic race. After the service the Emperor is reported to have
exclaimed to the Bishop: "What you said was excellent, and is
precisely what I try to make my people understand."

As a proof that this was no merely complimentary utterance, but the
expression of a thought which is constantly in the Emperor's mind, an
incident which happened at Kiel regatta in the month of June
previously may be recalled. The American squadron, under the late
Admiral Cotton, was paying an official visit to the Emperor during the
Kiel "week" as a return honour for the visit of the Emperor's brother,
Prince Henry of Prussia, to the United States the year before. There
was a constant round of festivities, and among them a lunch to the
Emperor on board the Admiral's flagship, the _Kearsarge_. Lunch over,
the Emperor was standing in a group talking with his customary
vivacity, but, as customary also, with his eyes taking in his
surroundings like a well-trained journalist. Suddenly he noticed a set
of flags, those of America, Germany, and England, twined together and
mingling their colours in friendly harmony. He walked over, gathered
the combined flags in his hand, and turning to the Admiral exclaimed
in idiomatic American: "See here, Admiral; that is exactly as it
should be, and is what I am trying for all the time."

While in England the Emperor, in company with Lord Roberts and Sir
Evelyn Wood, inspected his English regiment, the 1st Royal Dragoons. A
curious and amusing feature of the visit was a lecture before the
Royal Family at Sandringham by a German engineer, for whom the Emperor
acted as interpreter, on a novel adaptation of spirit for culinary,
lighting, and laundry purposes. The Emperor's practical illustration
of the use of the new heating system, as applied to the ordinary
household flatiron, is said to have caused great merriment among his
audience.

Germany's home atmosphere about this time was for a moment troubled by
an exhibition of the Emperor's "personal regiment" in the form of a
telegram to the Prince Regent of Bavaria, known in Germany as the
"Swinemunde Despatch." The Bavarian Diet, in a fit of economy, had
refused its annual grant of L5,000 for art purposes. The Emperor was
violently angry, wired to the Prince Regent his indignation with the
Diet and offered to pay the L5,000 out of his own pocket. It was not a
very tactful offer, to be sure, though well intended; and as his
telegram was not an act of State, "covered" by the Chancellor's
signature, while the Bavarians in particular felt hurt at what they
considered outside interference, Germans generally blamed it as a new
demonstration of autocratic rule.

One or two other art incidents of the period may be noted. A domestic
one was the gift to the Emperor by the Empress of a model of her hand
in Carrara marble, life-sized, by the German sculptor, Rheinhold
Begas. The Emperor, it is well known, has no special liking for the
companionship of ladies, but he confesses to an admiration for pretty
feminine hands. Another incident was the Emperor's order to the
painter, Professor Rochling, to paint a picture representing the
famous episode in the China campaign, when Admiral Seymour gave the
order "Germans to the Front." It is to the present day a popular
German engraving. The year was also remarkable for a visit to Berlin
of Coquelin _aine_, the great French actor. The Emperor saw him in
"Cyrano de Bergerac," was, like all the rest of the play-going world,
delighted with both play and player, and held a long and lively
conversation with the artist. Lastly may be mentioned a telegram of
the Emperor's to the once-famed tragic actress, Adelaide Ristori, in
Rome, congratulating her on her eightieth birthday and expressing his
regret that he had never met her. A basket of flowers simultaneously
arrived from the German Embassy.

We are now in 1903. During the preceding years the Emperor's thoughts,
as has been seen, were occupied with art as a means of educating his
folk, purifying their sentiments, and, above all, making them faithful
lieges of the House of Hohenzollern. By a natural association of ideas
we find him this year thinking much and deeply about religion; for,
though artists are not a species remarkable for the depth or orthodoxy
of their views on religious matters, art and religion are close
allies, and probably the greater the artist the more real religion he
will be found to have.

In this year, accordingly, the Emperor made his remarkable confession
of religious faith to his friend, Admiral Hollmann. He had just heard
a lecture by Professor Delitzsch on "Babel und Bibel," and as he
considered the Professor's views to some extent subversive of orthodox
Christian belief, he took the opportunity to tell his people his own
sentiments on the whole matter. In writing to Admiral Hollmann he
instructed him to make the "confession" as public as possible, and it
was published in the October number of the _Grenzboten_, a Saxon
monthly, sometimes used for official pronouncements. The Emperor's
letter to Admiral Hollmann contained what follows:--

     "I distinguish between two different sorts of Revelation: a
     current, to a certain extent historical, and a purely
     religious, which was meant to prepare the way for the
     appearance of the Messiah. As to the first, I should say
     that I have not the slightest doubt that God eternally
     revealed Himself to the race of mankind He created. He
     breathed into man His breath, that is a portion of Himself,
     a soul. With fatherly love and interest He followed the
     development of humanity; in order to lead and encourage it
     further He 'revealed' Himself, now in the person of this,
     now of that great wise man, priest or king, whether pagan,
     Jew or Christian. Hammurabi was one of these, Moses,
     Abraham, Homer, Charlemagne, Luther, Shakespeare, Goethe,
     Kant, Kaiser William the Great--these He selected and
     honoured with His Grace, to achieve for their peoples,
     according to His will, things noble and imperishable. How
     often has not my grandfather explicitly declared that he was
     an instrument in the hand of the Lord! The works of great
     souls are the gifts of God to the people, that they may be
     able to build further on them as models, that they may be
     able to feel further through the confusion of the
     undiscovered here below. Doubtless God has 'revealed'
     Himself to different peoples in different ways according to
     their situation and the degree of their civilization. Then
     just as we are overborne most by the greatness and might of
     the lovely nature of the Creation when we regard it, and as
     we look are astonished at the greatness of God there
     displayed, even so can we of a surety thankfully and
     admiringly recognize, by whatever truly great or noble thing
     a man or a people does, the revelation of God. His influence
     acts on us and among us directly.

     "The second sort of Revelation, the more religious sort, is
     that which led up to the appearance of the Lord. From
     Abraham onward it was introduced, slowly but foreseeingly,
     all-wisely and all-knowingly, for otherwise humanity were
     lost. And now commences the astonishing working of God's
     Revelation. The race of Abraham and the peoples that sprang
     from it regard, with an iron logic, as their holiest
     possession, the belief in a God. They must worship and
     cultivate Him. Broken up during the captivity in Egypt, the
     separated parts were brought together again for the second
     time by Moses, always striving to cling fast to monotheism.
     It was the direct intervention of God that caused this
     people to come to life again. And so it goes on through the
     centuries till the Messiah, announced and foreshadowed by
     the prophets and psalmists, at last appears, the greatest
     Revelation of God to the world. Then he appeared in the Son
     Himself; Christ is God; God in human form. He redeemed us,
     He spurs us on, He allures us to follow Him, we feel His
     fire burn in us, His sympathy strengthens us, His
     displeasure annihilates us, but also His care saves us.
     Confident of victory, building only on His word, we pass
     through labour, scorn, suffering, misery and death, for in
     His Word we have God's revealed Word, and He never lies.

     "That is my view of the matter. The Word is especially for
     us evangelicals made the essential thing by Luther, and as
     good theologian surely Delitzsch must not forget that our
     great Luther taught us to sing and believe--'Thou shalt
     suffer, let the Word stand.' To me it goes without saying
     that the Old Testament contains a large number of fragments
     of a purely human historical kind and not 'God's revealed
     Word.' They are mere historical descriptions of events of
     all sorts which occurred in the political, religious, moral,
     and intellectual life of the people of Israel. For example,
     the act of legislation on Sinai may be regarded as only
     symbolically inspired by God, when Moses had recourse to the
     revival of perhaps some old-time law (possibly the codex, an
     offshoot of the codex of Hammurabi), to bring together and
     to bind together institutions of His people which were
     become shaky and incapable of resistance. Here the historian
     can, from the spirit or the text, perhaps construct a
     connexion with the Law of Hammurabi, the friend of Abraham,
     and perhaps logically enough; but that would no way lessen
     the importance of the fact that God suggested it to Moses
     and in so far revealed Himself to the Israelite people.

     "Consequently it is my idea that for the future our good
     Professor would do well to avoid treating of religion as
     such, on the other hand continue to describe unmolested
     everything that connects the religion, manners, and custom
     of the Babylonians with the Old Testament. On the whole, I
     make the following deductions:--

     "1. I believe in One God.

     "2. We humans need, in order to teach Him, a Form,
     especially for our children.

     "3. This Form has been to the present time the Old Testament
     in its existing tradition. This Form will certainly
     decidedly alter considerably with the discovery of
     inscriptions and excavations; there is nothing harmful in
     that, it is even no harm if the nimbus of the Chosen People
     loses much thereby. The kernel and substance remain always
     the same--God, namely, and His work.

     "Never was religion a result of science, but a gushing out
     of the heart and being of mankind, springing from its
     intercourse with God."

It is anticipating by a few months, but part of a speech the Emperor
made in Potsdam at the confirmation of his two sons, August Wilhelm
and Oscar--two Hohenzollerns as yet not distinguished for anything in
particular--may be quoted in this connexion. Naturally he began by
comparing his sons' spiritual situation with that of a soldier on the
day he takes the oath of allegiance: they were _vorgemerkt_, that is,
predestined as "fighters for Christ." "What is demanded of you," the
imperial father went on, "is that you shall be personalities. This is
the point which, in my opinion, is the most important for the
Christian in daily life. For there can be no doubt that we can say of
the person of the Lord, that He is the most 'personal personality' who
has ever wandered among the sons of men.... You will read of many
great men--savants, statesmen, kings and princes, of poets also: but
nevertheless no word of man has ever been uttered worthy of comparison
with the words of Christ; and I say this to you so that you may be in
a position to bear it out when you are in the midst of life's turmoil
and hear people discussing religion, especially the personality of
Christ. No word of man has ever succeeded in making people of all
races and all people enthusiastic for the same cause, namely, to
imitate Him, even to sacrifice their lives for Him. The wonder can
only be explained by assuming that what He said were the words of the
living God, which are the source of life, and continue to live
thousands of years after the words of the wise have been forgotten.
That is my personal experience and it will be yours.

"The pivot and turning-point," he continued,

     "of our mortal life, especially of a life full of
     responsibility and labour--that is clearer and clearer to me
     every year I live--lies simply and solely in the attitude a
     man adopts towards his Lord and Saviour;"

and he concludes by exhorting his sons to disregard what people may
say about the cult of Christ being irreconcilable with the tasks and
responsibilities of "modern" life, but simply to do their best,
whatever their occupation, to become a personality after Christ's
example.

This is a sound and just statement of Christian faith, and it is
quoted here to justify the view that the Emperor's soldiers and his
Dreadnoughts, his mailed fist and shining armour, are built and put on
in the spirit of precaution and defence. The attitude, it cannot of
course be denied, is based on the un-Christlike assumption that all
men (and particularly all peoples and their governments and
diplomatists) are liars; but in his favour it may be urged that for
that saying the Emperor could cite Biblical authority. And yet there
is an inconsistency; for the saying is that of one of those same wise
men whose words, the Emperor admits, are transitory and mortal.

It is possible that the Emperor had a presentiment of some kind that
his life was now in danger, and that the presentiment may have attuned
his thoughts to meditation on Christ's life and teaching; for it is a
fact, well worthy of remark, that in the fear of death man's one and
only relief and consolation is the knowledge that there was, and is, a
mediator for him with his Creator. The address at his sons'
confirmation was delivered on October 17th, and on Sunday morning,
November 8th all the world, it is hardly too much to say, was
astonished and pained to learn, by a publication in the _Official
Gazette_, that the Emperor the day before had had to submit to a
serious operation on his throat. The announcement spoke of a polypus,
or fungoid growth, which had had to be removed; but all over the world
the conclusion was come to that the mortal affliction of the father
had fallen on the son and that the Emperor was a doomed man. Most
providentially and happily it was nothing of the sort. On the 9th the
Emperor was out of bed and signing official papers, on the 15th he was
allowed to talk in whispers, and on the 17th it was declared by the
physicians that all danger was over and that no more bulletins would
be issued. On December 14th the Emperor received a congratulatory
visit from the President of the Reichstag, who reported to Parliament
his impression that "the Emperor had completely recovered his old
vigour (great applause) and that his voice was again clear and
strong."

The Emperor had passed through what one may suppose to have been the
darkest hour of his life. He was naturally in high spirits, and a few
days after went to Hannover, where he made a martial speech in which
he toasted the German Legion for having "by its unforgettable heroism,
in conjunction with Bluecher and his Prussians, saved the English army
from destruction at Waterloo," a view, of course, which to an
Englishman has all the charm of novelty.

One or two further memorable incidents of 1903 may be recorded.
Theodore Mommsen, the now aged historian of Rome, the greatest scholar
of his time, died in November. He was in his day a Liberal
parliamentarian of no mean ability; but for such men there is no
career in Germany. However, as it turned out, the German people's loss
proved to be all the world's gain. A son of the historian now
represents a district of Berlin in the Reichstag. Two years before the
historian's death an exchange of telegrams in Latin took place between
him and the Emperor. The occasion was the Emperor's laying the
foundation-stone of a museum on the plateau where the old Roman
castle, known as the Saalburg, stands. The Emperor telegraphed:

     "Theodoro Mommseno, antiquitatum romanarum investigatori
     incomparabili, praetorii Saalburgensis fundamenta jaciens
     salutem dicit et gratias agit Guilelmus Germanorum
     Imperator."

To which the historian, with a modesty equal to his courtesy, replied:
"Germanorum principi, tam majestate quam humanitate, gratias agit
antiquarius Lietzelburgensis."

Mention may also be made of a very characteristic speech of the
Emperor's this year at Cuestrin, where he was unveiling a monument to a
favourite Hohenzollern, the Great Elector. Cuestrin, it will be
remembered, is the town where Frederick the Great, another of the
Emperor's favourites, was imprisoned by an angry father, along with
his friend Lieutenant Katte, when Frederick was trying to escape the
parental cruelty and violence.

Referring to Frederick's declaration that he was the "first servant of
the State," the Emperor said:--

     "He could only learn to be so by subordination, by
     obedience, in a word by what we Prussians describe as
     discipline. And this discipline must have its roots in the
     King's house as in the house of the citizen, in the army as
     among the people. Respect for authority, obedience to the
     Crown, and obedience to parental and paternal
     influence--that is the lesson the memories of to-day should
     teach us. From these attributes spring those which we call
     patriotism, namely the subordination of the individual ego,
     of the individual subject, to the welfare of all. It is what
     is particularly needed at the present time."

The Emperor was, of course, thinking of the Social Democrats. Having
finished his speech, he went and for a while stood thoughtfully at the
historic window of Cuestrin Castle, from which Frederick watched the
execution of his unfortunate companion, Katte.

Only the year 1904 separates us from the Emperor's Morocco adventure.
The economic ideas which have been referred to as the basis of German
foreign policy were germinating in his mind, and the plans for at
least a partial realization of them were working in his head.
Addressing the chief burgomaster of Karlsruhe in April, just a year
before he started for Tangier, he spoke of Weltpolitik. "You are
right," he told the burgomaster,

     "in saying that the task of the German people is a hard
     one.... I hope our peace will not be disturbed, and that the
     events that are now happening will open our eyes, steel our
     courage, and find us united, if it should be necessary for
     us to intervene in world-policy."

The Emperor had, no doubt, specially in mind the birth of the
Anglo-French Entente and the war between Russia and Japan, both events
forming the dominant factors of the political situation at this time.
The Russo-Japanese War arose primarily from the unwillingness of
Russia to evacuate Manchuria after the Boxer troubles in China. The
incidents of the war are still fresh in public memory.

It need only be recalled here that Germany was neutral throughout the
conflict, that both President Roosevelt and the Emperor offered their
services as mediators in its course, and that on the capture of Port
Arthur by Admiral Nogi, in January, 1905, the Emperor telegraphed his
bestowal of the _Ordre pour le Merile_ on General Stoessel, the
Russian defender of Port Arthur, and on Admiral Nogi.

In the troubled history of Anglo-German relations is to be recorded
the presence, in June of this year, of King Edward VII at Kiel with a
squadron of battleships to pay an official visit to his nephew. The
two fleets, those sunny days, formed a splendid spectacle--the two
mightiest police forces, the Emperor would probably agree in saying,
the world could produce. In fact, the Emperor had some such thought in
mind, for he addressed King Edward as follows:--

     "Your Majesty has been welcomed by the thunder of the guns
     of the German fleet. It is the youngest navy in the world
     and an expression of the reviving sea-power of the new
     German Empire, founded by the late great Emperor, designed
     for the protection of the Empire's trade and territory, and
     intended, equally with the German army, for the preservation
     of peace."

One or two other incidents of interest in the Emperor's life may close
the record of this year. One of them was the arrival of the Italian
composer, Leoncavallo, in Berlin, to hand the Emperor the text of the
opera "Der Roland von Berlin," Leoncavallo had composed at the
Emperor's express request. Roland was a "strong, valiant and pious"
knight of Charlemagne's time--like the Emperor, let us say--who
originally hailed from Brittany--that lone and lovely Cinderella of
France--and afterwards, for some unexplained reason, came to be the
type of municipal independence in Germany.

During the summer the Emperor and the Empress made an excursion, when
on the Saalburg, to the statues of the Roman Emperors Hadrian and
Severus. Did the Emperor recall, one wonders, as he stood before the
figure of Hadrian, that pagan monarch's address to his soul:--

     "Animula vagula, blandula,
     Hospes, comesque corporis,
     Quae nunc abibis in loca,
     Pallidula, rigida, nudula,
     Nee, ut soles, dabis jocos?"

It sounds a little gloomy as a quotation, but, fortunately for Germany
and the Emperor, for "nunc" can be put, _pace_ the poet, the
indefinite, yet all too definite, "aliquando."




XII.



MOROCCO



1905

The Emperor started for Tangier towards the end of March, but before
that he had got through imperial business of a miscellaneous kind
which exemplifies the life he leads practically at all times.

In January he had exchanged telegrams with the Czar and the Mikado
concerning his bestowal of the Order of Merit on Generals Stoessel and
Nogi, asking permission to bestow the Order and receiving expressions
of consent. Another telegram went to the composer Leoncavallo in
Naples, congratulating him on the success there of his "Roland von
Berlin." In February, the Emperor opened an international Automobile
Exhibition in Berlin, received Prince Charles, Infanta of Spain, and
the King of Bulgaria, unveiled a monument to his ancestor, Admiral
Coligny, who was killed in the Bartholomew massacre, listened to a
naval captain's lecture on Port Arthur, opened the new Lutheran
Cathedral (the "Dom") in Berlin, telegraphed thanks to the University
of Pennsylvania for its doctor's degree which the Emperor said he was
proud to know George Washington once held, attended a lecture by
Professor Delitzsch on "Assyria," and was present at a memorial
service for the painter Adolf von Menzel, who died this month. In
March he visited Heligoland, inspected the progress of some
alterations at the Royal Opera in Berlin, and sent the Gold Medal for
Science to Manuel Garcia, on the occasion of the latter's hundredth
birthday, as recognition of his invention of the laryngoscope, or
mirror for examining the throat.

Just before starting for Morocco the Emperor made the speech in which
he claimed that Germans are the "salt of the earth." In the same
speech he had previously declared that as the result of his reading of
history he meant never to strive after world-conquest. "For what," he
asked,

     "has become of the so-called world-empires? Alexander the
     Great, Napoleon the First, all the great warrior heroes swam
     in blood and left behind them subjugated peoples, who at the
     first opportunity rose and brought their empires to ruin.
     The world-empire which I dream of will be, above all, the
     newly established German Empire, enjoying on every side the
     most absolute confidence as a peaceable, honest, and quiet
     neighbour, not founded on conquest by the sword, but on the
     mutual confidence of nations, striving for the same
     objects."

While on the way to Morocco the Emperor put in at Lisbon to pay a
visit to the King of Portugal, and with the latter attended a meeting
of the Geographical Society. From Lisbon he went to Gibraltar, and
from thence, after a few hours' stay, he started for Tangier.

The Morocco incident, as it is often too lightly called, should rather
be regarded as a phase in the world's economic history and an
occurrence of moment for the future peace of all nations than the mere
game on the diplomatic chess-board many writers appear to consider it.
According to French critics, and they may be taken as representative
of the feeling everywhere prevalent during the seven years the
incident lasted, its origin was a matter of alliances and the balance
of power. Germany, according to these writers, wanted to preserve the
position of hegemony in Europe she had obtained under Bismarck, and
consequently felt annoyed by the Triple Entente, which robbed her of
her traditional friend Russia and set up an effective counterpoise to
the Triple Alliance of which Germany was the leading Power, and on
which she could, or believed she could, rely for support in case of
war with France. In going, therefore, to Tangier, at the moment when
her defeat by Japan rendered Russia for the time being of little or no
account in the considerations of diplomacy, the Emperor, according to
these writers, in reality was making a determined attempt to break the
Entente combination and protect his Empire from political isolation or
inferiority.

It is quite possible that such were the motives of the Emperor's
action, but if so he was building better than he knew. The
vicissitudes of the Moroccan episode are described briefly below, yet
some remarks of a general nature as to the whole episode considered in
its historical perspective may be permitted in advance. But first,
what is historical perspective? It may perhaps be defined as that view
of history which shows in its true proportions the relative importance
of an event to other events which strongly and permanently leave their
mark on the character and development of the period or generation in
which they occur. Regarded from this standpoint the Morocco incident
can claim an exceptional position, for it was the first occasion in
modern diplomatic history on which a Great Power officially proclaimed
_urbi et orbi_ the doctrine of the "open door," the doctrine of equal
economic treatment for all nations for the benefit of all nations, and
was willing to go to war in support of it.

It was not, of course, the first time the demand for the open door had
been made; loudly and bloodily, too; since most wars from those of
Greece and Rome to the war between Russia and Japan of recent years
were waged with the intention, or in the hope, of opening, by conquest
or contract, territory of the enemy to the mercantile enterprise of
the victors. But this was the open door in a very selfish and
restricted sense, and though many isolated events had occurred of late
years, the international agreements regarding China among them,
proving that the idea of the open door was gaining strength as a right
common to all nations, it was not until the Emperor went to Tangier
that a Great Power risked a great war in order to exemplify and
enforce it.

The Emperor and his advisers were probably not moved by any altruistic
sentiments in the matter, and their sole reason for action may have
been to see that German subjects should not be excluded from Moroccan
markets. It may also be that Germany was resolved that if there was to
be a seizure of Morocco she should get her share of the territory to
be distributed, notwithstanding her refusal, revealed by the late
Foreign Secretary, Kiderlen-Waechter, in the Reichstag's confidential
committee, to accede to Mr. Chamberlain's proposal, made some time
before the incident, for a partition of the Shereefian Empire. But the
acquisition of territory does not seem to have been the mainspring of
her policy, while from the beginning to the end of the incident,
however theatrical and questionable her diplomatic conduct may have
been at moments during the negotiations, she was throughout consistent
and successful in her demand for economic equality all round. This is
a great gain for the future, for, with the world nearly all parcelled
out, economic considerations, which are almost in all cases
adjustable, are now the most weighty factors in international
relations.

Apart from this view of the incident, it is clear that Germany was
pursuing her claim to a "place in the sun," and she did so to the
unconcealed annoyance of nations which up to then had never thought of
her in a role she appeared to be aspiring to, that of a Mediterranean
Power. To these nations she seemed an intruder in a sphere to which
she neither naturally nor rightfully belonged. Evidently she had no
political or historical claims in Morocco, while her commercial
interests were less than 10 per cent of Morocco trade.

A narration of the incident may, for the sake of convenience, though
involving some anticipation of the future, be dealt with in three
sections: from the Anglo-French Agreement of 1904, and the Emperor's
visit to Tangier in March, 1905, to the Act of Algeciras a year
subsequently; from the Act of Algeciras to the Franco-German Agreement
of 1909; and from that to the--let it be hoped--final settlement by
the Franco-German Agreement of November 5, 1911.

The Anglo-French Agreement of 1904 gave France a free hand in Morocco
in consideration of France giving England a similar position in Egypt
and the Nile Valley. The state of things in Morocco at this time was
one of discord and rebellion. In the midst of it, the Sultan, El
Hassan, died, and was succeeded by Abdul Aziz, a minor. On coming of
age Abdul Aziz showed his inability to rule, the country fell again
into disorder and Abdul turned for help to France. Meantime England
and France had been negotiating without the knowledge of Germany, and
in April, 1904, the Anglo-French Agreement was signed. It was
accompanied by an official declaration that France had no intention of
changing the political status of Morocco, but only contemplated a
policy there of "pacific penetration and reforms." Thereupon Prince
von Buelow, the German Chancellor, stated in the Reichstag that the
German Government had no reason to assume that the Agreement was
directed against any Power and that "it appeared to be an attempt by
England and France to come to a friendly understanding respecting
their colonial differences."

"From the standpoint of German interests," continued the Chancellor,
"we have no objections to raise to it." No parliamentary reference was
made to Morocco until March, 1905, when the Chancellor spoke of the
approaching visit of the Emperor to Tangier, and it became evident
that the Emperor and his advisers had come to the conclusion that, as
France seemed about assuming a full protectorate over Morocco, as she
had tried to do in Tunis, and that this, in accordance with French
policy, would result in the exclusion of other nationals from commerce
and the development of the country, Germany must take action. Prince
von Buelow explained that "his Majesty had, in the previous year,
declared to the King of Spain that Germany pursued no policy of
territorial acquisition in Morocco." He continued:

     "Independent of the visit, and independent of the
     territorial question, is the question whether we have
     economic interests to protect in Morocco. That we have
     certainly. We have in Morocco, as in China, a considerable
     interest in the maintenance of the open door, that is the
     equal treatment of all trading nations."

And he concluded by saying:

     "So far as an attempt is being made to alter the
     international status of Morocco, or to control the open door
     in the economic development of the country, we must see more
     closely than before that our economical interests are not
     endangered. Our first step, accordingly, is to put ourselves
     into communication with the Sultan."

The visit came off as announced, and the Emperor, on arriving at
Tangier, made a speech which caused a sensation in every diplomatic
chancellery; indeed, in all parts of the world. The Emperor's speech,
which was addressed to the German colonists on March 31, 1905, was as
follows:--

     "I rejoice to make acquaintance with the pioneers of Germany
     in Morocco and to be able to say to them that they have done
     their duty. Germany has great commercial interests there. I
     will promote and protect trade, which shows a gratifying
     development, and make it my care to secure full equality
     with all nations. This is only possible when the sovereignty
     of the Sultan and the independence of the country are
     preserved. Both are for Germany beyond question, and for
     that I am ready at all times to answer. I think my visit to
     Tangier announces this clearly and emphatically, and will
     doubtless produce the conviction that whatever Germany
     undertakes in Morocco will be negotiated exclusively with
     the Sultan."

The result of these unmistakable declarations was that the Sultan
rejected proposals made to him by the French, and shortly afterwards,
on the advice of Germany, came forward with suggestions for a European
conference. M. Delcasse, the French Foreign Minister, opposed the
proposal, and for a time war between France and Germany appeared
inevitable; but France was not in a military position to ignore
Germany's threatening language, M. Delcasse had to resign, the French
Cabinet under M. Rouvier agreed to the conference, and it met at
Algeciras in January, 1906. At the conference Great Britain, in
consonance with the Entente, supported France; Austria adhered loyally
to her Triplice engagements and proved the "brilliant second" to
Germany the Emperor subsequently described her; Italy, on the other
hand, gave her Teutonic ally only lukewarm support.

In fairness, however, should be quoted here the explanation of Italy's
attitude given by Chancellor von Buelow when discussing the conference
in Parliament next year. The impression is general, both in and out of
Germany, that Italy is only a half-hearted political ally. It is based
on the temperamental difference between the Latin and the Teutonic
races, on the popular sympathy between the French and Italian peoples,
and to the supposedly reluctant support lent by Italy to Germany
during the critical time of the conference, the extra-tour, as Prince
Buelow, using a metaphor of the ballroom, termed it, she took with
France on that occasion. Prince Buelow now endeavoured to dissipate or
correct the impression, at any rate, as regarded Algeciras. "Italy,"
he said,

     "found herself in a difficult position there. Various
     agreements between Italy and France regarding Morocco had
     come into existence anterior to the conference, but Germany
     was satisfied that they were not inconsistent with Italy's
     Triplice engagements; in fact, Germany had, several years
     ago, officially told Italy she must use her own judgment and
     act on her own responsibility in dealing with her French
     neighbour in Africa and the Mediterranean."

When it was settled that a conference should be held, Italy, the
Chancellor continued, "gave Germany timely information as to the
extent to which her support of Germany could go, and as a matter of
fact she supported Germany's views in the bank and police questions."
So far the German official explanation, but the impression of Italian
lukewarmness as a member of the Triplice has lost none of its
universality thereby. How well or ill founded the impression is, it
will be for the future to disclose.

The summoning of the conference had been a triumph for German
diplomacy, but its results were disappointing to her; for while the
proceedings showed that among all nations she could only fully rely on
the sympathy and support of Austria, they ended in an acknowledgment
by Germany of the special position of France in Morocco. The Act of
Algeciras, which was dated April 7, 1906, stated that the signatory
Powers recognized that "order, peace, and prosperity" could only be
made to reign in Morocco

     "by means of the introduction of reforms based upon the
     triple principle of the sovereignty and independence of his
     Majesty the Sultan, the integrity of his States, and
     economic liberty without any inequality."

Then followed six Declarations regarding the organization of the
police, smuggling, the establishment of a State bank, the collection
of taxes, and the finding of new sources of revenue, customs, and
administrative services and public works. For the organization of the
police, French and Spanish officers and non-commissioned officers were
to be placed at the disposal of the Sultan by the French and Spanish
Governments. Tenders for public works were to be adjudicated on
impartially without regard to the nationality of the bidder. The
effect of the Act was to give international recognition to the special
position of France and Spain in Morocco, while safeguarding the
economic interests of other Powers.

The attitude taken up by Germany relative to the conference was set
forth in a speech delivered by Prince von Buelow in the Reichstag in
December, 1905. It was based, he explained, on the provisions of the
Madrid Convention of 1880, in which all the Great Powers and the
United States had taken part. The Chancellor claimed that Germany
sought no special privileges in Morocco, but favoured a peaceful and
independent development of the Shereefian Empire. He denied that
German rights could be abrogated by an Anglo-French Agreement, and
pointing out that Morocco in 1880 had granted all the signatories to
the Madrid Convention most-favoured-nation treatment, claimed that if
France desired to make good her demand for special privileges, she
ought to have the consent of the special signatories to the Madrid
pact. Germany had a right to be heard in any new settlement of
Moroccan conditions; she could not allow herself to be treated as a
_quantite negligeable_, nor be left out of account when a country
lying on two of the world's greatest commercial highways was being
disposed of. She had a commercial treaty with Morocco, conferring
most-favoured-nation rights, and it did not accord with her honour to
give way.

The Act of Algeciras, however, proved to have brought only temporary
relief to European tension. Disturbances continued in Morocco, French
subjects were murdered at Marakesch in 1907, and France occupied the
province of Udja with troops until satisfaction should be given. Owing
to riots at Casablanca in 1908, in which French as well as Spanish and
Italian labourers were killed, she decided to occupy the place, and
sent a strong military and naval force thither. A French warship
bombarded the town, and by June, 1908, the French army of occupation
numbered 15,000 men. Meanwhile internal commotions and intrigues had
led to the deposition of Abdul Aziz and his replacement on the throne
by his brother, Muley Hafid, with the support of Germany. France and
Spain refused to recognize the new ruler unless he gave guarantees
that he would respect the Act of Algeciras. Muley gave the required
guarantees, and in March, 1909, France "declared herself wholly
attached to the integrity and independence of the Shereefian Empire
and decided to safeguard economic equality in Morocco." Germany on her
side declared she was pursuing in Morocco only economic interests and,
"recognizing that the special political interests of France in Morocco
are closely bound up in that country with the consolidation of order
and of internal peace," was "resolved not to impede those interests."

The German idea of not impeding French special political interests in
Morocco was disclosed little more than two years later by the dispatch
of the German gunboat _Panther_ (of "Well done, _Panther_!" fame) on
July 3, 1911, to the "closed" port of Agadir on the south Moroccan
coast.

It was as dramatic a coup as the Emperor's visit to Tangier and caused
as much alarm. The fact is that the march of French troops to Fez,
which had taken place a few months before, convinced the Emperor and
his Government that France, relying on the support of her Entente
friend England, was bent on the Tunisification of Morocco. The
Emperor, Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg, and Foreign Secretary
Kiderlen-Waechter met at the Foreign Office on May 21st, and it was
decided to send a ship of war, as at once a hint and a demonstration,
to Agadir or other Moroccan port. Germany, of course, in accordance
with diplomatic strategy, did not disclose the real springs of her
action, though they must have been patent to all the world. She
notified the Powers of the dispatch of her warship, explaining that
the sending of the _Panther_, which "happened to be in the
neighbourhood," was owing to the representations of German firms, as a
temporary measure for the protection of German proteges in that
region, and taken "in view of the possible spread of disorders
prevailing in other parts of Morocco."

In France, on the other hand, it was asserted that the step was not in
conformity with the spirit of the Franco-German Agreement of 1909, in
which Germany resolved not to impede French special interests, that
there were no Germans at Agadir, and that only nine months previously
Germany had angrily protested at the calling of a French cruiser at
the same port. The reference was to the visit of the French cruiser
_Du Chaylu_ in November, 1910, when the captain paid a visit to the
local pasha. The German Foreign Secretary eventually said Germany had
no objection to France using her police rights even in a closed port,
and the admission was taken as a fresh renunciation on the part of
Germany of any right to interference. Feeling ran high for a time both
in France and Germany, while the German action added to the sentiment
of hostility to Germany in England, and English political circles
perceived in it a design on Germany's part of acquiring a port on the
Moroccan coast. The word "compensation," which afterwards was to prove
the solution of Franco-German differences was now first mentioned by
Germany.

After England's determination to support France had been made plain by
ministerial statements, the entire Morocco episode was closed by the
Franco-German Agreement signed on November 5, 1911, as "explanatory
and supplementary" to the Franco-German Agreement of 1909. The effect
of the new Agreement was practically to give France as free a hand in
Morocco as England has in Egypt, with the reservation that "the
proceedings of France in Morocco leave untouched the economic equality
of all nations." The Agreement further gives France "entire freedom of
action" in Morocco, including measures of police. The rights and
working area of the Morocco State bank were left as they stood under
the Act of Algeciras. The sovereignty of the Sultan is assumed, but
not explicitly declared. The compensation to Germany for her agreement
to "put no hindrances in the way of French administration" and for the
"protective rights" she recognizes as "belonging to France in the
Shereefian Empire" was the cession by France to Germany of a large
portion of her Congo territory in mid-Africa, with access to the Congo
and its tributaries, the Sanga and Ubangi.

While the ground-idea of Germany's policy of economic expansion, and
the source of all her trouble with England, is her insistence on her
"place in the sun," the difficulty attending it for other nations is
to determine the place's nature and extent, so that every one shall be
comfortable and prosperous all round.

The alterations in conditions among civilized nations during the last
half-century, more especially in all that relates to international
intercourse--political, financial, commercial, social--makes it
reasonable to suppose that changes must follow in the conduct of their
foreign policies. The fact also, recognized by no country more clearly
than by Germany, that the profitable regions of the earth are already
appropriated makes an economic policy for her all the more advisable.
An economic policy, moreover, is, notwithstanding her apparent
militarism, most in harmony with the peaceful and industrious
character of her people. Unfortunately, the stage in progress where
the political and commercial interests of all nations have become
defined and adjusted has not yet been reached, though the numerous
agreements between the Great Powers of recent years go far towards
clearing the way for so desirable a consummation. Unfortunately, too,
it is in the very process of finding bases for such agreements that
international jealousies and misunderstandings arise; and hence in
securing peace, governments and peoples are at all times nowadays most
in jeopardy of war. This consideration alone might very well be used
to justify nations in keeping their military and naval forces strong
and ready. Perhaps some day such forms of force will not be wanted,
though admittedly the great majority of people still refuse to believe
that the changes which have occurred have altered the fundamental
attitude of countries to each other, and remain firmly convinced that
to-day, as yesterday and the day before, great nations are moved by an
irresistible desire to add to their territories and in every way
aggrandize themselves, by diplomacy if possible, and if diplomacy
fails, by force.

It is, of course, impossible to say with certainty what the real
designs of the Emperor and his Government in this regard were during
the Morocco episode, or are now. Some believe that their designs have
always aimed, and still aim, at depriving Great Britain of her
position of superiority in respect of territory, maritime dominion,
and trade. Others hold that they seek and will have, _coute que
coute_, new territory for Germany's increasing population, and look
with greedy eyes towards South America and even Holland. Others yet
again represent them as incessantly on the watch to seize a harbour
here or there as a coaling station for warships and a basis of attack.
But an unbiased survey of the annals of the Emperor's reign hitherto
does not bear out any of these assertions. A policy of territorial
expansion as such, mere earth-hunger, cannot be proved against him.
Prince Bismarck was no colonial enthusiast, though he passes for being
the founder of Germany's present colonial policy; and even to-day
the colonial party in Germany, though a very noisy, is not a very
large or influential one. Samoa--East Africa--Kiao-tschau--the
Carolines--Heligoland--the Cameroons: how can the acquisition of
comparatively insignificant and unprofitable places like these be used
for proving that the might of Germany is or has been directed towards
territorial conquest?

What, it may however be asked, of the Morocco adventure? Of the speech
at Tangier? Of the sending of the _Panther_ to Agadir? Of the demand
for compensation in Central Africa? Until the Morocco question arose,
all the quarrels amongst the Powers regarding territory were caused by
the territorial ambition of France, or Russia, or Italy--not of
Germany; and it was not until France showed openly, by sending her
troops to Fez, and thus ignoring the Act of Algeciras, that Germany
put forward claims for territorial compensation in connection with
Morocco. The visit of the Emperor to Tangier in 1905, a year after the
Anglo-French Agreement, was doubtless an unpleasant surprise for both
England and France. And not without good cause; for England and France
are naturally and historically Mediterranean Powers--the one as
guardian of the route to her Eastern possessions, the other as the
owners of a large extent of Mediterranean coast; while England, in
addition, was justified in seeing with uneasiness the possibility of a
German settlement at Tangier or elsewhere on the Morocco seaboard. But
the Tangier visit and all that followed it was the consequence, not of
an adventurous policy of territorial conquest, but of a legitimate,
and not wholly selfish, desire for economic expansion.

Taken, then, as a whole, the Emperor's foreign policy has been, as it
is to-day, almost entirely economic and commercial. The same might, no
doubt, be said in a general way of all civilized Occidental
governments, but there never has yet been a country of which the
foreign policy was so completely directed by the economic and
mercantile spirit as modern Germany. The foreign policy of England has
also been commercial, but it has been influenced at times by noble
sentiment and splendid imagination as well. The first question the
German statesman, in whose vocabulary of state-craft the word
imagination does not occur, asks himself and other nations when any
event happens abroad to demand imperial attention is--how does it
affect Germany's economic and commercial interests, future as well as
present? What is Germany going to get out of it? The manner in which
on various occasions during the reign the question has been propounded
has excited criticism bordering on indignation abroad, but it should
be recognized that it has invariably been answered in the long run by
Germany in the spirit of compromise and conciliation.

However, all civilized nations nowadays see that war is the least
satisfactory method of adjusting national quarrels, and the tendency
is happily growing among them to pursue a commercial, an economic
policy, a policy of peace. This is true Weltpolitik, true
world-policy. Time was when wars were the unavoidable result of
conditions then prevailing; but conditions have greatly altered, and
war, as there is abundant evidence to show, is to-day, in almost every
case, avoidable by all civilized peoples. Formerly war deranged and
disturbed at any rate for the time being, the commerce and industries
of the countries engaged in it; to-day, as Mr. Norman Angell
demonstrates, it deranges and disturbs commerce and industry all over
the world. The derangement and disturbance may, it is true, be only
temporary; but there is, as always, the loss of life among the youth
of the countries engaged in war to be remembered. Granted that it is
pleasant and honourable to die for one's country. Let us hope the time
is coming when it will be equally pleasant and honourable to live for
it.

We have done with Morocco, but to round off the record for 1905
mention should be made of an incident in the Emperor's life which was
a source of great pleasure to him after his return from his journey
thither. The marriage of his eldest son, the Crown Prince, took place
in the Chapel Royal of the Berlin palace on June 15, 1905, to the
young Duchess Cecile of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, whose character has been
alluded to elsewhere and whom all Germans look forward with pleasure
to seeing one day their Empress. The marriage naturally was attended
by rejoicings in Berlin similar to those shown when the Emperor was
married in 1881. Their chief popular feature, now as then, was the
formal entry into the capital, and its chief domestic feature a grand
wedding breakfast at the Emperor's palace. On the occasion of the
latter, the Emperor, rising from his seat and using the familiar _Du_
and _Dich_ (thou and thee), addressed his newly-made daughter-in-law
as follows:--

     "My dear daughter Cecilie,--Let me, on behalf of my wife and
     my whole House, heartily welcome you as a member of my House
     and my family circle. You have come to us like a Queen of
     Spring amid roses and garlands, and under endless
     acclamations of the people such as my Residence city has not
     known for long. A circle of noble guests has assembled to
     celebrate this high and joyful festival with us, but not
     only those present, but also those who are, alas, no more,
     are with us in spirit: your illustrious father and my
     parents.

     "A hundred thousand beaming faces have enthusiastically
     greeted you; they have, however, not merely shone with
     pleasure, but whoever can look deeper into the heart of man
     could have seen in their eyes the question--a question which
     can only be answered by your whole life and conduct, the
     question, How will it turn out?

     "You and your husband are about to found a home together.
     The people has its examples in the past to live up to. The
     examples which have preceded you, dear Cecilie, have been
     already eloquently mentioned--Queen Louise and other
     Princesses who have sat on the Prussian throne. They are the
     standards according to which the people will judge your
     life, while you, my dear son, will be judged according to
     the standard Providence set up in your illustrious
     great-grandfather.

     "You, my daughter, have been received by us with open arms
     and will be honoured and cherished. To both of you I wish
     from my heart God's richest blessings. Let your home be
     founded on God and our Saviour. As He is the most impressive
     personality which has left its illuminating traces on the
     earth up to the present time, which finds an echo in the
     hearts of mankind and impels them to imitate it, so may your
     career imitate His, and thus will you also fulfil the laws
     and follow the traditions of our House.

     "May your home be a happy one and an example for the younger
     generation, in accordance with the fine sentence which William
     the Great once wrote down as his confession of faith; 'My powers
     belong to the world and my country.' Accept my blessing for your
     lives. I drink to the health of the young married couple."

The record of this memorable year may be closed with mention of an
institution which is not only a special care of the Emperor's, but is
also a landmark in the relation of Germany and America which may prove
to be the forerunner, if it has not already done so, of similar
interchange of ideas and information between nations which only
require mutually to understand each other in order to be the best of
friends.

The system of an annual exchange of professors between America and
Germany was suggested, it is believed, to the Emperor in this year by
Herr Althoff, the Prussian Minister of Education. The Emperor took up
the idea with enthusiasm, and after discussing it with Dr. Nicholas
Murray Butler, President of Columbia University, who was invited to
Wilhelmshohe for the purpose, had it finally elaborated by the
Prussian Ministry of Education which now superintends its working.

The original idea of an exchange only between Harvard and Berlin
University professors was, thanks to the liberality of an American
citizen, Mr. Speyer, extended almost simultaneously by the
establishment of what are known as "Roosevelt" professorships. The
holders of these positions, unlike the original "exchange" professors
between Harvard and Berlin only, may be chosen by the trustees of
Columbia University from any American university and can exchange
duties for two terms, instead of one in the place of the exchange
professors, with the professors of any German University. Harvard
professors have been succesively: Francis G. Peabody, Theodore W.
Richards, William H. Scofield, William M. Davis, George F. Moore, H.
Munsterberg, Theobald Smith, Charles S. Minog; and Roosevelt
professors: J.W. Burgess, Arthur T. Hadley, Felix Adler, Benj. Ide
Wheeler, C. Alphonso Smith, Paul S. Reinsch, and William H. Sloane.

Writing to the German Ambassador in Washington, Baron Speck von
Sternburg, in November, 1905, the Emperor said:

     "Express my fullest sympathy with the movement regarding the
     exchange of professors. We are very well satisfied with
     Professor Peabody, the first exchange professor, and
     thankful to have him. He comes to me in my house, an
     honourable and welcome guest. My hearty thanks also to Mr.
     Speyer, for his fine gift for the erection of a
     professorship in Berlin. The exchange of the learned is the
     best means for both nations to know the inner nature of each
     other, and from thence spring mutual respect and love, which
     are securities for peace."

The idea of the exchange, as described by Professor John W. Burgess,
of Columbia University, the first Roosevelt professor to Germany, is

     "an exchange of educators which has for its purpose the
     bringing of the men of learning of one country into other
     countries and by a comparison of fundamental ideas to arrive
     at a world-philosophy and a world-morality upon which the
     world's peace and the world's civilization may finally and
     firmly rest."

The conception of a world-philosophy and a world-morality upon which
the world's peace and civilization may rest is not new, being now a
little over 1900 years old, and, moreover, educators and men of
science in all countries are constantly exchanging ideas by personal
visits, correspondence, and publications; but in any case, the
Emperor's exchange system has the advantage that it brings the
educators into touch with large numbers of the rising generation in
America and Germany and undoubtedly helps towards a better mutual
understanding of the relations, and in especial the economic
relations, of the two countries.

It has worked well, and the Emperor has encouraged it by showing
constant hospitality to the American professors who have come to
Berlin since the system was instituted. One or two episodes have given
rise to a diplomatic question as to whether or not exchange professors
and their wives have the privilege of being presented at Court. The
question has practically been decided in the negative. This, however,
does not prevent the Emperor entertaining the professors at his
palace, or making the acquaintance of the professors' wives on other
than Court ceremonious occasions.




XIII.



BEFORE THE "NOVEMBER STORM"



1906-1907

In the domestic life of the Emperor during these years fall two or
three events of more than ordinary interest. From the dynastic point
of view was of importance the birth of a son and heir to the Crown
Prince in the Marble Palace at Potsdam.

The Emperor was at sea, on his annual northern trip, when the birth
occurred. As the ship approached Bergen the town was seen to be gaily
decorated with flags. As it happened, everybody on board knew of the
birth except the Emperor, but none of the officers round him ventured
to congratulate him, because they supposed he knew of it already and
were waiting for him to refer to it. At Bergen the German Minister,
Stuebel, and German Consul, Mohr, came on board. The Minister, being a
diplomatist, said nothing, but the Consul, as Consuls will, spoke his
mind and ventured his congratulations. "What? I am a grandfather!"
exclaimed the Emperor. "Why, that's splendid! and I knew nothing about
it!" The captain of the ship then asked should he fire the salute of
twenty-one guns usual on such occasions. "No," said the Emperor, "that
won't do. Mohr is a great talker. Let us first see the official
despatches from Berlin." The party, including the Emperor, went down
into the cabin to await the despatches, which were being brought from
Bergen.

On their arrival a basketful of State papers was placed before the
Emperor. The first one he took out was a telegram from the Sultan of
Turkey with congratulations (great merriment); the second from an
unknown lady in Berlin, with a name corresponding to the English
"Brown," with four lines of congratulatory poetry; and it was not
until more than a hundred despatches had been opened that they came to
one from the Minister of the Interior and another from the Empress
announcing the birth. Popular reports at the time represented the
Emperor as boiling over with anger at his being kept or left in
ignorance of the happy event. As a matter of fact, he was in high
good-humour, and himself mentioned a similar occurrence at Metz in
1870, when an important movement of the French army was not reported
because it was assumed that it was already known to the Intelligence
Department. As a public sign of his satisfaction he amnestied the
half-dozen of his subjects who happened to be in gaol as punishment
for _lese majeste_.

Another domestic event at this time was the celebration by the Emperor
and Empress of their silver wedding. Berlin, of course, was
illuminated and beflagged. There was a great gathering of royal
relatives, a State banquet, and a special parade of troops. At the
latter were remarkable for their huge proportions two former
grenadiers of the regiment of Guards the Emperor commanded in his
youth. They were now settled in America, but came over to Germany on
the Emperor's particular invitation and, of course, at his private
expense.

The last item of domestic interest this year (1906) worth record was
the marriage of Prince Eitel Frederick, the Emperor's second son, with
Princess Sophie Charlotte of Oldenburg. In his speech to the bridal
pair on their wedding-day the Emperor referred to the personal
likeness the young Prince bore to his great-grandfather, Emperor
William, and expressed the hope that the Prince might grow more like
him in character from year to year.

Meantime the Emperor had to pass through a season of great annoyance
owing to the scandal which arose in connection with the so-called
"Camarilla." The existence of a small and secret group of viciously
minded men among the Emperor's entourage was disclosed to the public
by the well-known pamphleteer, Maximilian Harden, a Jew by birth named
Witowski, who as a younger man had been on semi-confidential terms
with Prince Bismarck and subsequently with Foreign Secretary von
Holstein. As a result of Harden's disclosures some highly placed
friends of the Emperor were compromised and had ultimately to
disappear from public life as well as from the Court. It was perfectly
evident throughout that the Emperor had been totally ignorant of the
private character of the men forming the "Camarilla," and nothing was
proved to show that the group which formed it had ever unduly, or
indeed in any fashion, influenced him.

An allusion made to the scandal by a deputy in the Reichstag brought
the Chancellor, Prince von Buelow, to his feet in defence of the
monarch. "The view," he said,

     "that the monarch in Germany should not have his own
     opinions as to State and Government, and should only think
     what his Ministers desire him to think, is contrary to
     German State law and contrary to the will of the German
     people"

("Quite right," on the Right). "The German people," continued the
Chancellor,

     "want no shadow-king, but an Emperor of flesh and blood. The
     conduct and statements of a strong personality like the
     Emperor's are not tantamount to a breach of the
     Constitution. Can you tell me a single case in which the
     Emperor has acted contrary to the Constitution?"

The Chancellor concluded:

     "As to a Camarilla--Camarilla is no German word. It is a
     hateful, foreign, poisonous plant which no one has ever
     tried to introduce into Germany without doing great injury
     to the people and to the Prince. Our Emperor is a man of far
     too upright a character and much too clear-headed to seek
     counsel in political things from any other quarter than his
     appointed advisers and his own sense of duty."

The Camarilla scandal was all the more painful as it was made a ground
for insinuations disgraceful to German officers as a body. Such
insinuations were, as they would be to-day, entirely unfounded.

Another thing that annoyed the Emperor this year was the publication
of ex-Chancellor Prince Hohenlohe's Memoirs. The publication drew from
him a telegram to a son of the ex-Chancellor in which he expressed his
"astonishment and indignation" at the publication of confidential
private conversations between him and Prince Hohenlohe regarding
Prince Bismarck's dismissal. "I must stigmatize," the Emperor
telegraphed,

     "such conduct as in the last degree tactless, indiscreet,
     and entirely inopportune. It is a thing unheard-of that
     occurrences relating to a sovereign reigning at the time
     should be published without his permission."

Germans as a people are passionately fond of dancing, and though
everybody knows that the people of Vienna bear away the palm in this
respect, claim to be the best waltzers in the world. The Emperor,
accordingly, won great popularity among the dancers of his realm this
year by lending a favourable ear to the sighing of the young ladies of
the provincial town of Crefeld for a regiment which would provide them
with a supply of dancing partners. The Emperor took occasion to visit
the town, and brought with him a regiment of the Guards from
Duesseldorf to form part of the new garrison. He was received by the
city authorities, and was at the same time, doubtless, greeted from
balcony and window by multitudes of fair-haired Crefeld maidens, who
looked with delightful anticipations on the gallant soldiers, who were
to relieve the tedium of their evenings, riding by. "To-day," the
Emperor told the assembled city fathers, "I have kept my word to the
town of Crefeld, and when I make a promise I keep it too (stormy
applause). I have brought the town its garrison and the young ladies
their dancers." The "stormy applause" was again renewed--amid, one may
imagine, the enthusiastic waving of pocket-handkerchiefs from the
windows and the balconies.

The salient feature of foreign politics just now was, naturally, the
close on March 31st of the Conference of Algeciras. Its results have
been referred to in the chapter on Morocco, and mention need only be
made here of the famous telegram regarding it sent by the Emperor on
April 12th of this year (1906) to the Foreign Minister of Austria,
Count Goluchowski. "A capital example of good faith among allies!" he
telegraphed to the Count, meaning Austria's support of Germany at
Algeciras. "You showed yourself a brilliant second in the tourney, and
can reckon on the like service from me on a similar occasion."

Internal affairs, and particularly the parliamentary situation in
Germany, had during the three or four years before that of the
"November Storm" demanded a good deal of the Emperor's attention. The
everlasting fight with the rebel angels of the Hohenzollern heaven,
the Social Democracy, had been going on all through the reign. Now the
Emperor would fulminate against it, now his Chancellor, Prince von
Buelow, would attack it with brilliant ability and sarcasm in
Parliament. Still the Social Democratic movement grew, still the
_Vorwaerts_, the party organ, continued to rail at industrial
capitalists and the large landowners alike, still Herr Lucifer-Bebel
bitterly assailed every measure of the Government. The fact seems to
be that the people were getting restive under the imperial burdens the
Emperor's world-policy entailed. The cost of living, partly as a
result of the new German tariff, with maximum and minimum duties,
which now replaced the Caprivi commercial treaties, was steadily
rising. The Morocco episode had ended without territorial gain, if
with no loss of national honour or prestige. The Poles were
antagonized afresh by a stricter application of the Settlement Law for
Germanizing Prussian Poland. Colonial troubles in South-west Africa
with Herero and other recalcitrant tribes were making heavy demands on
the Treasury.

The parliamentary situation was, as usual, at the mercy of the Centrum
party, which, with its hundred or more members, can always make a
majority by combining with Liberal parties of the Left (including the
Socialists) or Conservative parties of the Right. In December, 1906,
when the Budget was laid before Parliament, it was found to contain a
demand for about L1,500,000 for the troops in South-west Africa. The
Centrum refused to grant more than L1,000,000, and required, moreover,
an undertaking that the number of troops in the colony should be
reduced. The Social Democrats, with a number of Progressives and other
Left parties sufficient to form a majority, joined the Centrum, and
the Government demand was rejected by 177 to 168 votes. On the result
of the voting being declared, Chancellor von Buelow solemnly rose and
drew a paper from his pocket. It was an order from the Emperor
dissolving Parliament.

The general elections were to be held in January following, and great
efforts were made by the Emperor and Chancellor to secure a Government
majority against the combined Centrists and Socialists. The country
was appealed to to say whether Germany should lose her African
colonies or not; a patriotic response was made, and, though the
Centrum, as always, came back to Parliament in undiminished strength,
the Socialists lost one-half of their eighty seats.

The Emperor, needless to say, was tremendously gratified. On the night
the final results were announced he gave a large dinner-party at the
Palace, and read out to the Royal Family and his guests the bulletins
as they came in. Towards one o'clock in the morning the official
totals were known. The streets were knee-deep in snow, but the people
were not deterred from making a demonstration in their thousands
before the palace. By and by lights were seen moving hurriedly to and
fro along the first floor containing the Emperor's apartments. A
general illumination of the suite of rooms followed, a window was
thrown up, and the Emperor, bare-headed, was seen in the opening.
Instantly complete stillness fell on the vast square, and the Emperor,
leaning far out over the balcony, and evidently much excited, spoke in
stentorian tones and with a dramatic waving of his right arm as
follows: "Gentlemen!"--the "gentlemen" included half the hooligans of
Berlin, but such are the accidents of political life--

     "Gentlemen! This fine ovation springs from the feeling that
     you are proud of having done your duty by your country. In
     the words of our great Chancellor (Bismarck), who said that
     if the Germans were once put in the saddle they would soon
     learn to ride, you can ride and you will ride, and ride
     down, any one who opposes us, especially when all classes
     and creeds stand fast together. Do not let this hour of
     triumph pass as a moment of patriotic enthusiasm, but keep
     to the road on which you have started."

The speech closed with a verse from Kleist's "Prince von Homburg," a
favourite monarchist drama of the Emperor's, conveying the idea that
good Hohenzollern rule had knocked bad Social-Democratic agitation
into a cocked hat.

The result of the elections enabled the Chancellor to form a new
"bloc" party in Parliament, consisting of conservatives and Liberals,
on whose united aid he could rely in promoting national measures. As
the Chancellor said, he did not expect Conservatives to turn into
Liberals and Liberals into Conservatives overnight nor did he expect
the two parties to vote solid on matters of secondary interest and
importance; but he expected them to support the Government on
questions that concerned the welfare of the whole Empire.

Before 1907, the year we have now reached, Franco-German and
Anglo-German relations had long varied from cool to stormy. They had
not for many years been at "set-fair," nor have they apparently
reached that halcyon stage as yet. During the Moroccan troubles it was
generally believed that on two or three occasions war was imminent
either between France and Germany or between Germany and England. That
there was such a danger at the time of M. Delcasse's retirement from
the conduct of French foreign affairs just previous to the Algeciras
Conference is a matter of general conviction in all countries; but
there is no publicly known evidence that danger of war between England
and Germany has been acute at any time of recent years. Nor at any
time of recent years has the bulk of the people in either country
really desired or intended war. There has been international
exasperation, sometimes amounting to hostility, continuously; but it
was largely due to Chauvinism on both sides, and was in great measure
counteracted by the efforts of public-spirited bodies and men in both
countries, by international visits of amity and goodwill, and by the
determination of both the English and German Governments not to go to
war without good and sufficient cause.

Among the most striking testimonies to this determination was the
visit of the Emperor to England in November, 1907.

The visit was made expressly an affair of State. The Emperor was
accompanied by the Empress, and the visit became a pageant and a
demonstration--a pageant in respect of the national honours paid to
the imperial guests and a demonstration of national regard and respect
for them as friends of England. Nothing could have been simpler, or
more tactful or more sincere than the utterances, private as well as
public, of the Emperor throughout his stay. His very first speech, the
few words he addressed to the Mayor of Windsor, displayed all three
qualities. "It seems to me," he said, "like a home-coming when I enter
Windsor. I am always pleased to be here." At the Guildhall
subsequently, referring to the two nations, he used, and not for the
first time, the phrase "Blood is thicker than water."

At the Guildhall, on this occasion, the Emperor reminded his hearers
that he was a freeman of the City of London, having been the recipient
of that honour from the hands of Lord Mayor Sir Joseph Savory on his
accession visit to London in 1891. He then referred to the visit of
the Lord Mayor, Sir William Treloar, to Berlin the year previous, and
promised a similar hearty welcome to any deputation from the City of
London to his capital. "In this place sixteen years ago," continued
the Emperor,

     "I said that all my efforts would be directed to the
     preservation of peace. History will do me the justice of
     recognizing that I have unfalteringly pursued this aim. The
     main support, however, and the foundation of the world's
     peace is the maintenance of good relations between our two
     countries. I will, in future also, do all I can to
     strengthen them, and the wishes of my people are at one with
     my own in this."

The procession that followed upon the visit to the Guildhall made a
special impression on the Emperor. "I was so close to the people," he
said afterwards,

     "who were assembled in hundreds of thousands, that I could
     look straight into their eyes, and from the expression on
     their faces I could see that their reception of the Empress
     and myself was no artificial welcome but an out-and-out
     sincere one. That stirred us deeply and gave us great
     satisfaction. The Empress and I will take back with us
     recollections of London and England we shall never forget."

While at Windsor the Emperor received a deputation of sixteen members
of Oxford University, headed by Lord Curzon, who came to present him
with the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws voted him by the University
while he was still on his way to England. It was a picturesque scene:
the members of the University in their academic robes were surrounded
by a brilliant company representing the intellect of the country; and
the Emperor, with the doctor's hood over his field-marshal's uniform,
was the cynosure of all eyes.

The Emperor's reply to Lord Curzon's address, highly complimentary to
the University though it was, was perhaps chiefly remarkable for the
expression of his expectations from the Rhodes' Scholarship
foundation. "The gift of your great fellow-countryman, Cecil Rhodes,"
he said,

     "affords an opportunity to students, not only from the
     British colonies, but also from Germany and the United
     States, to obtain the benefits of an Oxford education. The
     opportunity afforded to young Germans during their period of
     study to mix with young Englishmen is one of the most
     satisfactory results of Rhodes's far-seeing mind. Under the
     auspices of the Oxford _alma mater_, the young students will
     have an opportunity of studying the character and qualities
     of the respective nations, of fostering by this means the
     spirit of good comradeship, and creating an atmosphere of
     mutual respect and friendship between the two countries."

The Emperor had always admired the Colossus of South Africa,
discerning in him no doubt many of those attributes which he felt
existed in himself or which he would like to think existed; and the
admiration stood the test of personal acquaintance when Cecil Rhodes
visited Berlin in March, 1899, in connexion with his scheme for the
Cape to Cairo railway. It does not sound very complimentary to his own
subjects, the "salt of the earth," but it is on record that the
Emperor then said to Rhodes that he wished "he had more men like him."
At the close of the visit the Empress returned to Germany, while the
Emperor took a much needed rest-cure for three weeks at Highcliffe
Castle, a country mansion in Hampshire he rented for the purpose from
its owner, Colonel Stuart-Wortley.

In the course of this work, it may have been noticed, no particular
attention has been devoted to the Emperor in his military capacity.
The reason is, because it is taken for granted that all the world
knows the Emperor in his character as War Lord, that he is practically
never out of uniform, and that his care for the army is only
second--if it is second--to that for the stability and power of his
monarchy. The two things in fact are closely identified, and, from the
Emperor's standpoint, on both together depend the security, and to a
large extent the prosperity, of the Empire. He knows or believes that
Germany is surrounded by hordes of potential enemies, as a lighthouse
is often surrounded by an ocean that, while treacherously calm, may at
any time rage about the edifice; that round the lighthouse are
gathered his folk, who look to it for safety; and that the monarchy is
the lighthouse itself, a _rocher de bronze_, towering above all.

In this connexion it may be noted that the army in Germany is not a
mercenary body like the English army, but is simply and solely a
certain portion of the people, naturally the younger men, passing for
two or three years, according as they serve in the infantry or
cavalry, through the ranks. The system of recruiting, as everybody
knows, is called conscription; it ought rather to be described as a
system of national education, whereby the rude and raw youth of the
country is converted into an admirable class of well-disciplined,
self-respecting and healthy, as well as patriotic, citizens. The
Emperor believes, contrary to the opinion of many English army
officers, that a man to be a good soldier must also be a good
Christian, and thus we find him enforcing, or trying to enforce, among
his officers the moral qualities which Christianity is meant to
foster.

Among these qualities is simplicity of life, and as a result of
simplicity of life, contentment with simple and not too costly
pleasures. We saw the Emperor as a young colonel forbidding his
officers to join a Berlin club where gambling was prevalent. This
year, after a luxurious lunch at one of the regimental messes, he
issues an order, or rather an edict, expressing his wish that officers
in their messes should content themselves with simpler food and wines,
and in particular that when he himself is a guest, the meal should
consist only of soup, fish, vegetables, a roast and cheese. Ordinary
red or white table-wine, a glass of "bowl" ("cup"), or German
champagne should be handed round. Liqueurs, or other forms of what the
French know as "chasse-cafe," after dinner were best avoided. The
edict of course caused amusement as well as a certain amount of
discontent with what was felt to be a kind of objectionable paternal
interference, and it is doubtful whether it has had much lasting
effect. Even now, the German officer laughingly tells one that when
the Emperor dines at an officers' mess either French champagne (which
is infinitely superior to German) is poured into German champagne
bottles, or else the French label is carefully shrouded in a napkin
that swathes the bottle up to the neck. Apropos of German champagne, a
story is current that Bismarck, one day dining at the palace, refused
the German champagne being handed round. The Emperor noticed the
refusal and said pointedly to Bismarck: "I always drink German
champagne, because I think it right to encourage our national
industries. Every patriot should do so." "Your Majesty," replied the
grim old Chancellor, "my patriotism does not extend to my stomach."

In the domain of aesthetics this year the Emperor had some pleasant and
some painful experiences. Joachim, the great violinist, and a great
favourite of his, died in August, and his death was followed next
month, September, by that of the composer Grieg, the "Chopin of the
North," as the Emperor called him, whose friendship the Emperor had
acquired on one of his Norwegian trips. Quite at the end of the year
his early tutor, Dr. Hinzpeter, for whom he always had a semi-filial
regard, passed away.

On the other hand, among the Emperor's pleasant experiences may be
reckoned the visit of Mr. Beerbohm Tree and his English company to the
German capital. Their repertory of Shakespearean drama greatly
delighted the Emperor, who expressed his pleasure to Mr. Tree and his
fellow-players personally, and did not dismiss them without
substantial tokens of his appreciation.

Earlier in the year the French actress, Suzanne Depres, visited Berlin
and appealed strongly to the Emperor's taste for the "classical" in
music and drama. Inviting the actress to the royal box, he said to
her:

     "You have shown us such a natural, living Phaedra that we
     were all strongly moved. How fine a part it is! As a
     youngster I used to learn verses from 'Phaedra' by heart. I
     am told that in France devotion to classical tradition is
     growing weaker, and that Moliere and Racine are more and
     more seldom played. What a pity! Our people, on the
     contrary, remain faithful to their great poets and enjoy
     their works. After school comes college, and after
     college--the theatre. It should elevate and expand the soul.
     The people do not need any representation of reality--they
     are well acquainted with that in their daily lives. One must
     put something greater and nobler before them, something
     superior to 'La Dame aux Camelias.'"

A month later, however, he made one of his extremely rare visits to an
ordinary Berlin theatre to see--"The Hound of the Baskervilles"!

Meanwhile in domestic politics Chancellor von Buelow's famous "bloc"
continued to work satisfactorily, notwithstanding difficulties arising
from the conflicting interests of industry and agriculture, Free Trade
and Protection and differences of creed and race. At the end of this
year it was near falling asunder in connection with the question of
judicial reform, but Prince von Buelow kept it together for a while by
an impassioned appeal to the patriotism of both parties. In the course
of the speech he told the House how, when he was standing at
Bismarck's death-bed, he noticed on the wall the portrait of a man,
Ludwig Uhland, who had said "no head could rule over Germany that was
not well anointed with democratic oil," and drew the conclusion from
the contrast between the dying man of action and the poet that only
the union of old Prussian conservative energy and discipline with
German broad-hearted, liberal spirit could secure a happy future for
the nation. The "bloc," as we shall see, broke up in 1909 and Prince
von Buelow resigned. The Chancellor afterwards attributed his fall
entirely to the Conservatives, but it is possible, even probable, that
it was in at least some measure due to the events of the _annus
mirabilis_, 1908, which now opened.




XIV



THE NOVEMBER STORM



1908

The "November Storm" was a collision between the Emperor and his folk,
a result of his so-called "personal regiment."

In a general way the latter phrase is intended to describe and
characterize the method of rule adopted by the Emperor from the very
beginning of his reign, especially as exhibited in his semi-official
utterances, public and private, in his correspondence, private
conversation, and public and private conduct generally. According to
the popular interpretation of the Imperial Constitution--the nearest
thing to a Magna Charta in Germany--the Emperor should observe, in his
words and acts, a reserve which would prevent all chance of creating
dissension among the federated States and in particular would secure
the avoidance of anything which might disturb Germany's relations to
foreign countries or interfere with the course of Germany's foreign
policy as carried on through the regular official channel, the Foreign
Office. The ground for this popular interpretation is a constitutional
device which to an Englishman, if it be not offensive to say so, can
only recall the well-known definition of a metaphysician as "a blind
man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat, _which is not there_."

The device is known as the Chancellor's "responsibility," which was
regarded, and is still regarded in Germany, as at once "covering" the
Emperor and offering to his folk a safeguard against unwisdom or
caprice on his part. The nature of this responsibility which is
evidenced by the Chancellor signing the Emperor's edicts and other
official statements, is so frequently discussed by German politicians,
the position of the Chancellor--the Grand Vizier of Germany he has
been picturesquely called--is so influential, and the intercourse
between the Emperor and the Chancellor is so close, exclusive, and
confidential, that an examination of the meaning of the term
"responsibility" in this connexion is desirable.

Whenever the Emperor does anything important or surprising, especially
in foreign policy, the first question asked by his subjects is, has he
taken the step with the knowledge, and therefore with the joint
responsibility, of the Chancellor? If the answer is in the negative,
it is the "personal regiment" again, and people are angry: if the
latter, they may disapprove of the step and grumble at it, but it is
covered by the Chancellor's signature and they can raise no
constitutional objection. Hence the demand usually made on such
occasions for an Act of Parliament once for all defining fully and
clearly the Chancellor's responsibilities. According to Prince von
Buelow, and it is doubtless the Emperor's own view, the responsibility
mentioned in the Constitution is a "moral responsibility," and only
refers to such acts and orders of the Emperor as immediately arise out
of the governing rights vested in him, not to personal expressions of
opinion, even though these may be made on formal occasions; and the
Prince goes on to say that if a Chancellor cannot prevent what he
honestly thinks would permanently and in an important respect be
injurious to the Empire, he is bound to resign.

The Chancellor, then, takes responsibility of some kind. But
responsibility to whom? To the Emperor? To the Parliament? To the
people? The answer is, solely to the Emperor, for it is the Emperor
who appoints and dismisses him as well as every other Minister,
imperial or Prussian, and the Emperor is only responsible to his
conscience. In parliamentarily ruled countries like England Ministers
are responsible to Parliament, which expresses its disapproval by the
vote of a hostile majority, or in certain circumstances by a vote of
censure or even impeachment. In Germany, where the parliamentary
system of government does not exist, and where there is no upsetting
Ministries by a hostile majority, and no parliamentary vote of censure
or impeachment, no Minister, including the Chancellor, is responsible,
in the English sense of the word, to Parliament; accordingly, a German
Chancellor may continue in office in spite of Parliament, provided of
course the Emperor supports him. At the same time the Chancellor
to-day is to some indefinable extent responsible to Parliament, and
therefore to the people, in so far as they are represented by it, for
he must keep on tolerable terms with Parliament as well as with the
Emperor, or he will have to give up office. How he is to keep on terms
with a Parliament consisting of half a dozen powerful parties and as
many more smaller fractions and factions is probably the part of his
duties that gives him most trouble and at times, doubtless, very
disagreeably interferes with the placidity of his slumbers.

There is no struggle for government in Germany between the Crown and
the people: Germans have no ancient Magna Charta, no Habeas Corpus, no
Declaration of Rights to look back to on the long road to liberty. In
the protracted struggle for government between the English people and
their rulers, the people's victory took the form of parliamentary
control while retaining the monarch as their highest and most honoured
representative. Socially he is their master, politically their
servant, the "first servant of the State." In Germany there has never,
save for a few months in 1848, been any struggle of a similar
political extent or kind. German monarchs including the Emperor, have
applied the expression "first servant of the State" to themselves, but
they did not apply it in the English sense. They applied it more
accurately. In Germany the State means the system, the mechanism of
government, inclusive of the monarch's office: in England the word
"State" is more nearly equivalent to the word "people." To serve the
system, the government machinery, is the first duty of the monarch,
and government is not a changing reflection of the people's will, but
a permanent apparatus for maintaining the power of the Crown,
harmonizing and reconciling the sentiments and interests of all parts
of the Empire, and for conducting foreign policy.

It may be objected that legislation is made by the Reichstag, that the
Reichstag has the power of the purse, and that it is elected by
universal suffrage; but in Germany the Government is above and
independent of the Reichstag; legislation is not made by the Reichstag
alone, since it requires the agreement of the Federal Council and of
the Emperor, and--what is of great practical importance--Government
issues directions as to how legislation shall be carried into effect.
The law of 1872 passed against the Jesuits forbade the "activity" of
the Order, but the interpretation of the word "activity," and with it
the effects of the law, were left to the Government.

Kings of Prussia and German Emperors have never shown much affection
for their Parliaments: Parliaments are apt to act as a check upon
monarchy, and in Prussia in particular to interfere with the carrying
out of the divinely imposed mission. This is not said sarcastically;
and the Emperor, like some of his ancestors, has more than once
expressed the same thought. Parliaments in Germany only date from
after the French Revolution. After that event there came into
existence in Germany the Frankfurt Parliament (1848), the Erfurt
Parliament (1850), and the Parliament of the German Customs Union
(1867). These, however, were not popularly elected Parliaments like
those of the present day, but gatherings of class delegates from the
various Kingdoms and States composing the Germany and Austria of the
time. Since the Middle Ages there had always been quasi-popular
assemblies in Prussia, but they too were not elected, and only
represented classes, not constituencies. The present Parliaments in
Prussia and the Empire are Constitutional Parliaments in the English
sense, elected by universal suffrage, the one indirectly, the other
directly.

The present Prussian Diet dates from the "First Unified Diet,"
summoned by Frederick William IV in 1847, which was transformed next
year under pressure of the revolutionists into a "national assembly."
This was treated a year after by General Wrangel almost exactly as
Cromwell treated the Rump. The General entered Berlin with the troops
which a few weeks before had fought against the revolutionists of the
"March days." He passed along the Linden to the royal theatre, where
the "national assembly" was in session, and was met at the door by the
leader of the citizens' guard with the proud words, "The guard is
resolved to protect the honour of the National Assembly and the
freedom of the people, and will only yield to force."

Wrangel took out his watch--one can imagine the old silver
"turnip"--and with his thumb on the dial replied:

     "Tell your city guard that the force is here. I will be
     responsible for the maintenance of order. The National
     Assembly has fifteen minutes in which to leave the building
     and the city guard in which to withdraw."

In a quarter of an hour the building was empty, and next day the city
guard was dissolved. A month later the King, Frederick William IV,
granted his _octroyierte_ Constitution--that is, a concession of his
own royal personal will--which established the Diet as it is to-day.

Emperor William I, as King of Prussia, had a good deal of trouble with
his Parliament, and in 1852 wanted to abdicate rather than rule in
obedience to a parliamentary majority--it was the "conflict time"
about funds for army reorganization. Bismarck dissuaded him from doing
so by promising to become Minister and carry on the government, if
need were, without a parliament and without a budget. He actually did
so for some years, but there was no change in the Constitution as a
result.

Nor has there been any constitutional change in the relations of Crown
to Parliament during the present reign. As a young man, the Emperor
had of course nothing to do with Parliament, Prussian or Imperial, and
since his accession, though there is always latent antagonism and has
been even friction at times, he has, generally speaking, lived on
"correct," if not friendly terms with it. There is little, if any, of
the devoted affection one finds for the monarch in the English
Parliament.

And not unnaturally. Early in his reign, in 1891, he made a reference
to Parliament little calculated to evoke affection. "The soldier and
the army," he said to his generals at a banquet in the palace, "not
parliamentary majorities and decisions, have welded together the
German Empire. My confidence is in the army--as my grandfather said at
Coblenz: 'These are the gentlemen on whom I can rely.'" Again, a year
or two afterwards he dissolved the Reichstag for refusing to accept a
military bill and did not conceal his anger with the recalcitrant
majority. In 1895 he telegraphed to Bismarck his indignation with the
Reichstag for refusing to vote its congratulations on the old
statesman's eightieth birthday. In 1897, speaking of the kingship "von
Gottes Gnaden" he took occasion to quote his grandfather's declaration
that "it was a kingship with onerous duties from which no man, no
Minister, no Parliament, no people" could release the Prince. In 1903
his Chancellor, Prince Buelow, had to defend in Parliament his action
in the case of the Swinemunde despatch already mentioned. Attention
was called to the telegram in the Reichstag and the Chancellor
defended the Emperor. He denied that the telegram was an act of
State--it was a personal matter between two sovereigns, the statement
of a friend to a friend. "The idea," said the Chancellor, who
contended that the Emperor had a right to express his opinions like
any citizen,

     "that the monarch's expression of opinion is to be limited
     by a stipulation that every such expression must be endorsed
     with the signature of the Chancellor is wholly foreign to
     the Constitution."

Next day the Chancellor had again occasion to defend his imperial
master against a charge of being "anti-social," brought by the
Socialist von Vollmar, who coupled the charge with insinuations of
absolutism and Caesarism. Prince Buelow said:

     "Absolutism is not a German word, and is not a German
     institution. It is an Asiatic plant, and one cannot talk of
     absolutism in Germany so long as our circumstances develop
     in an organic and legal manner, respecting the rights of the
     Crown, which are just as sacred as the rights of the
     burgher; respecting also law and order, which are not
     disregarded 'from above,' and will not be disregarded. If
     ever our circumstances take on an absolute, a Caesarian,
     form, it will be as the consequence of revolution, of
     convulsion. For on revolution follows Caesarism as W follows
     U--that is the rule in the A B C of the world's history."

There is no harm in reminding Prince Buelow that the letter V--which
may be a very important link in the chain of events--comes between U
and W. It is clear also that the Chancellor must have forgotten his
English history for the moment, for though Cromwell's rule may be
called Caesarism of a kind, the reign of William III, of "glorious,
pious, and immortal memory," which followed the revolution of 1688,
could not fairly be so named.

Three years later, in 1906, Prince Buelow found it necessary to defend
the Emperor on the score of the "personal regiment." "The view,"
Prince Buelow said,

     "that the monarch should have no individual thoughts of his own
     about State and government, but should only think with the heads
     of his Ministers and only say what they tell him to say, is
     fundamentally wrong--is inconsistent with State rights and with
     the wish of the German people";

and he concluded by challenging the House to mention a single case in
which the Emperor had acted unconstitutionally. None of these
bickerings between Crown and Parliament went to the root of the
constitutional relations between them, but they betrayed the existence
of popular dissatisfaction with the Emperor, which in a couple of
years was to culminate in an outbreak of national anger.

An occurrence calls for mention here, not only as a kind of harbinger
of the "storm," but as one of the chief incidents which in the course
of recent years have troubled Anglo-German relations. The incident
referred to is that of the so-called "Tweedmouth Letter," which was an
autograph letter from the Emperor to Lord Tweedmouth, First Lord of
the British Admiralty at the time, dated February 17, 1908, and
containing among other matters a lengthy disquisition on naval
construction, with reference to the excited state of feeling in
England caused by Germany's warship-building policy. The letter has
never been published, but it is supposed to have been prompted by a
statement made publicly by Lord Esher, Warden of Windsor Castle, in
the London _Observer_, to the effect that nothing would more please
the German Emperor than the retirement of Sir John Fisher, the
originator of the Dreadnought policy, who was at the time First Lord
of the Admiralty; and to have contained the remark that "Lord Esher
had better attend to the drains at Windsor and leave alone matters
which he did not understand." The Emperor was apparently unaware that
Lord Esher was one of the foremost military authorities in England.

The sending of the letter became known through the appearance of a
communication in the London _Times_ of March 6th, with the caption
"Under which King?"--an allusion to Shakespeare's "Under which king,
Bezonian, speak or die"--and signed "Your Military Correspondent." The
writer announced that it had come to his knowledge that the German
Emperor had recently addressed a letter to Lord Tweedmouth on the
subject of British and German naval policy, and that it was supposed
that the letter amounted to an attempt to influence, in German
interests, the Minister's responsibility for the British Naval
Estimates. The correspondent concluded by demanding that the letter
should be laid before Parliament without delay. The _Times_, in a
leading article, prognosticated the "painful surprise and just
indignation" which must be felt by the people of Great Britain on
learning of such "secret appeals to the head of a department on which
the nation's safety depends," and argued that there could be no
question of privacy in a matter of the kind. The article concluded
with the assertion that the letter was obviously an attempt to "make
it more easy for German preparations to overtake our own." The
incident was immediately discussed in all countries, publicly and
privately.

Everywhere opinion was divided as to the defensibility of the
Emperor's action; in France the division was reported by the _Times_
correspondent to be "bewildering." All the evidence available to prove
the Emperor's impulsiveness was recalled--the Kruger telegram, the
telegram to Count Goluchowski, the Austrian Minister of Foreign
Affairs, after the Morocco Conference, characterizing him as a
"brilliant second (to Germany) in the bout at Algeciras," the
premature telegram conferring the Order of Merit on General Stoessel
after the fall of Port Arthur, and other evidence, relevant and
irrelevant. Reuter's agent in Berlin telegraphed on official authority
that the Emperor "had written as a naval expert."

On the whole, continental opinion may be said to have leaned in favour
of the Emperor. Mr. Asquith, the English Prime Minister, at once made
the statement that the letter was a "purely private communication,
couched in an entirely friendly spirit," that it had not been laid
before the Cabinet, and that the latter had come to a decision about
the Estimates before the letter arrived.

All eyes and ears were now turned to Lord Tweedmouth, and on March
10th he briefly referred to the matter in the House of Lords. He
received the letter, he said, in the ordinary postal way; it was "very
friendly in tone and quite informal"; he showed it to Sir Edward Grey,
who agreed with him that it should be treated as a private letter, not
as an official one; and he replied to it on February 20th, "also in an
informal and friendly manner." A discussion, in which Lord Lansdowne
and Lord Rosebery took part, followed, the former--to give the tone,
not the words of his speech--handing in a verdict of "Not guilty, but
don't do it again," against the Emperor, and laying down the principle
that "such a communication as that in question must not be allowed to
create a diplomatic situation different from that which has been
established through official channels and documents"; and Lord
Rosebery, while he recognized the importance of the incident, seeking
to minimize its effects by an attitude of banter. The treatment of the
incident by the House of Commons as a whole gave considerable
satisfaction in Germany, where all efforts were directed to showing
malevolent hostility to Germany on the part of the _Times_.

Prince von Buelow dealt with the letter in a speech on the second
reading of the Budget on March 24, 1908. After referring to the Union
Internationale Interparlementaire, which was to meet in a few months
in Berlin, and to the "very unsatisfactory situation in Morocco," he
said:--

     "From various remarks which have been dropped in the course
     of the debate I gather that this honourable House desires me
     to make a statement as to the letter which his Majesty the
     Kaiser last month wrote to Lord Tweedmouth. On grounds of
     discretion, to the observance of which both the sender and
     receiver of a private letter are equally entitled, I am not
     in a position to lay the text of the letter before you, and
     I add that I regret exceedingly that I cannot do so. The
     letter could be signed by any one of us, by any sincere
     friend of good relations between Germany and England (hear,
     hear). The letter, gentlemen, was in form and substance a
     private one, and at the same time its contents were of a
     political nature. The one fact does not exclude the other;
     and the letter of a sovereign, an imperial letter, does not,
     from the fact that it deals with political questions, become
     an act of State ('Very true,' on the Right).

     "This is not--and deputy Count Kanitz yesterday gave
     appropriate instances in support--the first political letter
     a sovereign has written, and our Kaiser is not the first
     sovereign who has addressed to foreign statesmen letters of
     a political character which are not subject to control. The
     matter here concerns a right of action which all sovereigns
     claim and which, in the case of our Kaiser also, no one has
     a right to limit. How his Majesty proposes to make use of
     this right we can confidently leave to the imperial sense of
     duty. It is a gross, in no way justifiable
     misrepresentation, to assert that his Majesty's letter to
     Lord Tweedmouth amounts to an attempt to influence the
     Minister responsible for the naval budget in the interests
     of Germany, or that it denotes a secret interference in the
     internal affairs of the British Empire. Our Kaiser is the
     last person to believe that the patriotism of an English
     Minister would suffer him to accept advice from a foreign
     country as to the drawing up of the English naval budget
     ('Quite right,' hear, hear). What is true of English
     statesmen is true also of the leading statesmen of every
     country which lays claim to respect for its independence
     ('Very true'). In questions of defence of one's own country
     every people rejects foreign interference and is guided only
     by considerations bearing on its own security and its own
     needs ('Quite right'). Of this right to self-judgment and
     self-defence Germany also makes use when she builds a fleet
     to secure the necessary protection for her coasts and her
     commerce ('Bravo!'). This defensive, this purely defensive
     character of our naval programme cannot, in view of the
     incessant attempts to attribute to us aggressive views with
     regard to England, be too often or too sharply brought
     forward ('Bravo!'). We desire to live in peace and quietness
     with England, and therefore it is embittering to find a
     portion of the English Press ever speaking of the 'German
     danger,' although the English fleet is many times stronger
     than our own, although other lands have stronger fleets than
     us and are working no less zealously at their development.
     Nevertheless it is Germany, ever Germany, and only Germany,
     against which public opinion on the other side of the
     Channel is excited by an utterly valueless polemic ('Quite
     right').

     "It would be, gentlemen,"

the Chancellor continued,

     "in the interests of appeasement between both countries, it
     would be in the interest of the general peace of the world,
     that this polemic should cease. As little as we challenge
     England's right to set up the naval standard her responsible
     statesmen consider necessary for the maintenance of British
     power in the world without our seeing therein a threat
     against ourselves, so little can she take it ill of us if we
     do not wish our naval construction to be wrongly represented
     as a challenge against England (hear, hear, on the Right and
     Left). Gentlemen, these are the thoughts, as I judge from
     your assent, which we all entertain, which find expression
     in the statements of all speakers, and which are in harmony
     with all our views. Accept my additional statement that in
     the letter of his Majesty to Lord Tweedmouth one gentleman,
     one seaman, talks frankly to another, that our Kaiser highly
     appreciates the honour of being an admiral of the British
     navy, and that he is a great admirer of the political
     education of the British people and of their fleet, and you
     will have a just view of the tendency, tone, and contents of
     the imperial letter to Lord Tweedmouth. His Majesty
     consequently finds himself in this letter not only in full
     agreement with the Chancellor--I may mention this specially
     for the benefit of Herr Bebel--but, as I am convinced, in
     agreement with the entire nation. It would be deeply
     regrettable if the honourable opinions by which our Kaiser
     was moved in writing this letter should be misconstrued in
     England. With satisfaction I note that the attempts at such
     misconstruction have been almost unanimously rejected in
     England ('Bravo!' on the Right and Left). Above all,
     gentlemen, I believe that the admirable way in which the
     English Parliament has exemplarily treated the question will
     have the best effect in preventing a disturbance of the
     friendly relations between Germany and England and in
     removing all hostile intention from the discussions over the
     matter (agreement, Right and Left).

     "Gentlemen, one more observation of a general nature.
     Deputies von Hertling and Bassermann have recommended us, in
     view of the suspicions spread about us abroad, a calm and
     watchful attitude of reserve, and for the treatment of the
     country's foreign affairs consistency, union, and firmness.
     I believe that the foreign policy we must follow cannot be
     characterized better or more rightly (applause)."

A German saying has it that one is wiser coming from, than going to,
the Rathaus, the place of counsel. It is easy to see now that it would
have been better had the Emperor not written the letter, better had
the _Times_ not brought it to public notice, better, also, had the
Emperor or Lord Tweedmouth or Sir Edward Grey--for one of them must
have spoken of it to a third person--not let its existence become
known to anyone save themselves, at least not until the international
situation which prompted it had ceased. As regards the Emperor in
particular, judgment must be based on the answer to the question, Was
the letter a private letter or a public document? The _Times_ regarded
it as the latter, and many politicians took that view, but probably
nine people out of ten now regard it as the former. For such, the
reflection that it was part of a private correspondence between two
friendly statesmen, both well known to be sincere in their views that
a country's navy--that all military preparations--are based on motives
of national defence, not of high-handed aggression, must absolve the
Emperor from any suspicion of political immorality. It was unfortunate
that the letter was written, unfortunate that it was made known
publicly, but, as it is an ill wind that blows nobody good, the
episode may profit monarchs as well as meaner folk as an object lesson
in the advantages of discretion.

Discussion of the Tweedmouth letter had hardly ceased when the whole
question of the "personal regiment" was again, and as it now, five
years after, appears, finally thrashed out between the Emperor and his
folk. Before, however, considering the _Daily Telegraph_ interview and
the Emperor's part in it, something should be said as to the state of
international ill-feeling which caused him to sanction its
publication.

The ill-feeling was no sudden wave of hostility or pique, but a
sentiment which had for years existed in the minds of both nations--a
sentiment of mutual suspicion. The Englishman thought Germany was
prepared to dispute with him the maritime supremacy of Great Britain,
the German that England intended to attack Germany before Germany
could carry her great design into execution. The proximate cause of
the irritation--for it has not yet got beyond that--was the decision,
as announced in her Navy Law of 1898, to build a fleet of battleships
which Germany, but especially the Emperor, considered necessary to
complete the defences, and appropriate for affirming the dignity, of
the Empire.

This was the _origo_, but not the _fons_. The source was the Boer War
and the Kruger telegram, though the philosophic historian might with
some reason refer it in a large measure also to the surprise and
uneasiness with which the leading colonial and commercial, as well as
maritime, nation of the world saw the material progress, the waxing
military power, and the longing for expansion of the not yet
forty-year-old German Empire. Forty years ago the word "Germany" had
no territorial, but only a descriptive and poetical, significance;
certainly it had no political significance; for the North German
Union, out of which the modern German Empire grew, meant for
Englishmen, and indeed for politicians everywhere, only Prussia.
Prussia was less liked by the world then than she is now, when she is
not liked too well; and accordingly there was already in existence the
disposition in England to criticize sharply the conduct of Prussia and
to apply the same criticism to the Empire Prussia founded. In this
condition of international feeling England's long quarrel with the
Transvaal Republic came nearer to the breaking-point; at the same time
there was an idea prevalent in England that Germany was coquetting
with the Boers--if not looking to a seizure of Transvaal territory, at
least hoping for Boer favour and Boer commercial privileges. The
Jameson Raid was made and failed; the Emperor and his advisers sent
the fateful telegram to President Kruger; and the peace of the world
has been in jeopardy ever since!

The "storm" arose from the publication, in the London _Daily
Telegraph_ of October 28, 1908, of an interview coming, as the editor
said in introducing it, "from a source of such unimpeachable authority
that we can without hesitation commend the obvious message which it
conveys to the attention of the public." As to the origin and
composition of the interview a good deal of mystery still exists. All
that has become known is that some one, whose identity has hitherto
successfully been concealed, with the object of demonstrating the
sentiments of warm friendship with which the Emperor regarded England,
put together, in England or in Germany, a number of statements made by
the Emperor and sanctioned by him for publication. Whether the Emperor
read the interview previous to publication or not, no official
statement has been made; it is, however, quite certain that he did. At
all events it was sent, or sent back, to England and published in due
course. The immediate effect was a hubbub of discussion, accompanied
with general astonishment in England, a storm of popular resentment
and humiliation in Germany, and voluminous comment in other countries,
some of it favourable, some of it unfavourable, to the Emperor.

The text of the interview in the _Daily Telegraph_ was introduced, as
mentioned, with the words:--

     We have received the following communication from a source
     of such unimpeachable authority that we can without
     hesitation commend the obvious message which it conveys to
     the attention of the public.

And continued as follows:--

     Discretion is the first and last quality requisite in a
     diplomatist, and should still be observed by those who, like
     myself, have long passed from public into private life. Yet
     moments sometimes occur in the history of nations when a
     calculated indiscretion proves of the highest public
     service, and it is for that reason that I have decided to
     make known the substance of a lengthy conversation which it
     was my recent privilege to have with his Majesty the German
     Emperor. I do so in the hope that it may help to remove that
     obstinate misconception of the character of the Kaiser's
     feelings towards England which, I fear, is deeply rooted in
     the ordinary Englishman's breast. It is the Emperor's
     sincere wish that it should be eradicated. He has given
     repeated proofs of his desire by word and deed. But, to
     speak frankly, his patience is sorely tried now that he
     finds himself so continually misrepresented, and has so
     often experienced the mortification of finding that any
     momentary improvement of relations is followed by renewed
     out-bursts of prejudice, and a prompt return to the old
     attitude of suspicion.

As I have said, his Majesty honoured me with a long conversation, and
spoke with impulsive and unusual frankness. "You English," he said,

     "are mad, mad, mad as March hares. What has come over you
     that you are so completely given over to suspicions quite
     unworthy of a great nation? What more can I do than I have
     done? I declared with all the emphasis at my command, in my
     speech at Guildhall, that my heart is set upon peace, and
     that it is one of my dearest wishes to live on the best of
     terms with England. Have I ever been false to my word?
     Falsehood and prevarication are alien to my nature. My
     actions ought to speak for themselves, but you listen not to
     them but to those who misinterpret and distort them. That is
     a personal insult which I feel and resent. To be for ever
     misjudged, to have my repeated offers of friendship weighed
     and scrutinized with jealous, mistrustful eyes, taxes my
     patience severely. I have said time after time that I am a
     friend of England, and your Press--or, at least, a
     considerable section of it--bids the people of England
     refuse my proffered hand, and insinuates that the other
     holds a dagger. How can I convince a nation against its
     will?"

"I repeat," continued his Majesty,

     "that I am the friend of England, but you make things
     difficult for me. My task is not of the easiest. The
     prevailing sentiment among large sections _of_ the middle
     and lower classes of my own people is not friendly to
     England. I am, therefore, so to speak, in a minority in my
     own land, but it is a minority of the best elements, just as
     it is in England with respect to Germany. That is another
     reason why I resent your refusal to accept my pledged word
     that I am the friend of England. I strive without ceasing to
     improve relations, and you retort that I am your arch-enemy.
     You make it very hard for me. Why is it?"

Thereupon I ventured to remind his Majesty that not England alone, but
the whole of Europe had viewed with disapproval the recent action of
Germany in allowing the German Consul to return from Tangier to Fez,
and in anticipating the joint action of France and Spain by suggesting
to the Powers that the time had come for Europe to recognize Muley
Hand as the new Sultan of Morocco.

His Majesty made a gesture of impatience. "Yes," he said,

     "that is an excellent example of the way in which German
     action is misrepresented. First, then, as regards the
     journey of Dr. Vassel. The German Government, in sending Dr.
     Vassel back to his post at Fez, was only guided by the wish
     that he should look after the private interests of German
     subjects in that city, who cried for help and protection
     after the long absence of a Consular representative. And why
     not send him? Are those who charge Germany with having
     stolen a march on the other Powers aware that the French
     Consular representative had already been in Fez for several
     months when Dr. Vassel set out? Then, as to the recognition
     of Muley I Hand. The Press of Europe has complained with
     much acerbity that Germany ought not to have suggested his
     recognition until he had notified to Europe his full
     acceptance of the Act of Algeciras, as being binding upon
     him as Sultan of Morocco and successor of his brother. My
     answer is that Muley Hafid notified the Powers to that
     effect weeks ago, before the decisive battle was fought. He
     sent, as far back as the middle of last July, an identical
     communication to the Governments of Germany, France, and
     Great Britain, containing an explicit acknowledgment that he
     was prepared to recognize all the obligations towards Europe
     which were incurred by Abdul Aziz during his Sultanate. The
     German Government interpreted that communication as a final
     and authoritative expression of Muley Hand's intentions, and
     therefore they considered that there was no reason to wait
     until he had sent a second communication, before recognizing
     him as the _de facto_ Sultan of Morocco, who had succeeded
     to his brother's throne by right of victory in the field."

I suggested to his Majesty that an important and influential section
of the German Press had placed a very different interpretation upon
the action of the German Government, and, in fact, had given it their
effusive approbation precisely because they saw in it a strong act
instead of mere words, and a decisive indication that Germany was once
more about to intervene in the shaping of events in Morocco. "There
are mischief-makers," replied the Emperor,

     "in both countries. I will not attempt to weigh their
     relative capacity for misrepresentation. But the facts are
     as I have stated. There has been nothing in Germany's recent
     action with regard to Morocco which runs contrary to the
     explicit declaration of my love of peace which I made both
     at Guildhall and in my latest speech at Strassburg."

His Majesty then reverted to the subject uppermost in his mind--his
proved friendship for England. "I have referred," he said,

     "to the speeches in which I have done all that a sovereign
     can to proclaim my goodwill. But, as actions speak louder
     than words, let me also refer to my acts. It is commonly
     believed in England that throughout the South African War
     Germany was hostile to her. German opinion undoubtedly was
     hostile--bitterly hostile. The Press was hostile; private
     opinion was hostile. But what of official Germany? Let my
     critics ask themselves what brought _to_ a sudden stop, and,
     indeed, to absolute collapse, the European tour of the Boer
     delegates who were striving to obtain European intervention?
     They were feted in Holland; France gave them a rapturous
     welcome. They wished to come to Berlin, where the German
     people would have crowned them with flowers. But when they
     asked me to receive them--I refused. The agitation
     immediately died away, and the delegation returned
     empty-handed. Was that, I ask, the action of a secret enemy?

     "Again, when the struggle was at its height, the German
     Government was invited by the Governments of France and
     Russia to join with them in calling upon England to put an
     end to the war. The moment had come, they said, not only to
     save the Boer Republics, but also to humiliate England to
     the dust. What was my reply? I said that so far from Germany
     joining in any concerted European action to put pressure
     upon England and bring about her downfall, Germany would
     always keep aloof from politics that could bring her into
     complications with a Sea Power like England. Posterity will
     one day read the exact terms of the telegram--now in the
     archives of Windsor Castle--in which I informed the
     Sovereign of England of the answer I had returned to the
     Powers which then sought to compass her fall. Englishmen who
     now insult me by doubting my word should know what were my
     actions in the hour of their adversity.

     "Nor was that all. Just at the time of your Black Week, in
     the December of 1899, when disasters followed one another in
     rapid succession, I received a letter from Queen Victoria,
     my revered grandmother, written in sorrow and affliction,
     and bearing manifest traces of the anxieties which were
     preying upon her mind and health. I at once returned a
     sympathetic reply. Nay, I did more. I bade one of my
     officers procure for me as exact an account as he could
     obtain of the number of combatants in South Africa on both
     sides, and of the actual position of the opposing forces.
     With the figures before me, I worked out what I considered
     to be the best plan of campaign under the circumstances, and
     submitted it to my General Staff for their criticism. Then I
     dispatched it to England, and that document, likewise, is
     among the State papers at Windsor Castle, awaiting the
     serenely impartial verdict of history. And, as a matter of
     curious coincidence, let me add that the plan which I
     formulated ran very much on the same lines as that which was
     actually adopted by Lord Roberts, and carried by him into
     successful operation. Was that, I repeat, the act of one who
     wished England ill? Let Englishmen be just and say!

     "But, you will say, what of the German navy? Surely that is
     a menace to England! Against whom but England are my
     squadrons being prepared? If England is not in the minds of
     those Germans who are bent on creating a powerful fleet, why
     is Germany asked to consent to such new and heavy burdens of
     taxation? My answer is clear. Germany is a young and growing
     Empire. She has a world-wide commerce, which is rapidly
     expanding, and to which the legitimate ambition of patriotic
     Germans refuses to assign any bounds. Germany must have a
     powerful fleet to protect that commerce, and her manifold
     interests in even the most distant seas. She expects those
     interests to go on growing, and she must be able to champion
     them manfully in any quarter of the globe. Germany looks
     ahead. Her horizons stretch far away. She must be prepared
     for any eventualities in the Far East. Who can foresee what
     may take place in the Pacific in the days to come--days not
     so distant as some believe, but days, at any rate, for which
     all European Powers with Far Eastern interests ought
     steadily to prepare? Look at the accomplished rise of Japan;
     think of the possible national awakening of China; and then
     judge of the vast problems of the Pacific. Only those Powers
     which have great navies will be listened to with respect
     when the future of the Pacific comes to be solved; and if
     for that reason only Germany must have a powerful fleet. It
     may even be that England herself will be glad that Germany
     has a fleet when they speak together on the same side in the
     great debates of the future."

Such was the purport of the Emperor's conversation. He spoke with all
that earnestness which marks his manner when speaking on deeply
pondered subjects. I would ask my fellow-countrymen who value the
cause of peace to weigh what I have written, and to revise, if
necessary, their estimate of the Kaiser and his friendship for England
by his Majesty's own words. If they had enjoyed the privilege, which
was mine, of hearing them spoken, they would doubt no longer either
his Majesty's firm desire to live on the best of terms with England or
his growing impatience at the persistent mistrust with which his offer
of friendship is too often received.

There are more indiscretions than one in the interview, but the most
important and most dangerous was the Emperor's statement that at the
time of the Boer War the Governments of France and Russia invited the
German Government to join with them "not only to save the Boer
Republics, but also to humiliate England to the dust." Such a
revelation coming from the Emperor ought, one would suppose, to have
caused serious trouble between Great Britain and her Entente friends.
That it did not is at once testimony to the cynicism of Governments
and the reality and strength of the Entente engagement. In private
life, if a fourth person confidentially told one of the three partners
in a firm that the other two partners had invited him to join them in
humiliating him to the dust, there would have been a pretty brisk, not
to say acrimonious correspondence between the proposed victim and his
partners. Governments, it appears, look on things differently, and so
far as the public knows, England simply took no notice of the
Emperor's communication. Possibly, however, the Emperor had put the
matter too strongly and an explanation of some kind was forthcoming.
If so, it must be looked for among the secret archives of the Foreign
Office. It was at once suggested that the Emperor made the revelation
expressly to weaken, if not destroy, the Entente. One can conceive
Bismarck doing such a thing; but it is more in keeping with the
Emperor's character, and with the indiscreet character of the entire
interview, to suppose it to be a proof of deplorable candour and
sincerity.

The excitement in Germany caused by the publication of the interview
soon took the shape of a determination on the part of the Chancellor
and the Federal Council, for once fully identifying themselves with
the feelings of Parliament, Press, and people, that "something must be
done," and it was decided that the Chancellor should go to Potsdam,
see the Emperor, and try to obtain from him a promise to be more
cautious in his utterances on political topics for the future. The
Chancellor went accordingly, being seen off from the railway terminus
in Berlin by a large crowd of people, among whom were many
journalists. To Dr. Paul Goldmann, who wished him God-speed, he could
only reply that he hoped all would be for the best. He looked pale and
grave, as well he might, since he was about to stake his own position
as well as convey a mandate of national reproach.

What passed at Potsdam between the Emperor and his Chancellor has not
transpired. Naturally there are various accounts of it, one of them
representing the Emperor as flying into a passion and for long
refusing to give the required guarantees; but as yet none of them has
been authenticated. It should not be difficult to imagine the mental
attitudes of the two men on the occasion, and especially not difficult
to imagine the sensations of the Emperor, a Prussian King, on being
impeached by a people--his people--for whom, his feeling would be, he
had done so much, and in whose best interests he felt convinced he had
acted; but whatever occurred, it ended in the Emperor bowing before
the storm and giving the assurances required.

The Chancellor's countenance and expressions on his return to Berlin
showed that his mission had been successful, and there was great
satisfaction in the capital and country. The text of these assurances,
which was published in the _Official Gazette_ the same evening, was as
follows:

     "His Majesty, while unaffected by public criticism which he
     regards as exaggerated, considers his most honourable
     imperial task to consist in securing the stability of the
     policy of the Empire while adhering to the principle of
     constitutional responsibility. The Kaiser accordingly
     endorses the statements of the Imperial Chancellor in
     Parliament, and assures Prince von Buelow of his continued
     confidence."

After returning to Berlin, Prince Buelow gave in the Reichstag his
impatiently awaited account of the result of his mission, and made
what defence he could of his imperial master's action in allowing the
famous interview to be published. Before giving the speech, which was
delivered on November 10, 1908, it will be as well to quote the five
interpellations introduced in Parliament on the subject, as showing
the unanimity of feeling that existed in all parts of the House:--

1. By Deputy Bassermann (leader of the National Liberals):

     "Is the Chancellor prepared to take constitutional
     responsibility for the publication of a series of utterances
     of his Majesty the Kaiser in the _Daily Telegraph_ and the
     facts communicated therein?"

2. By Deputy Dr. Ablass (Progressive Party):

     "Through the publication of utterances of the German Kaiser
     in the _Daily Telegraph_, and through the communication of
     the real facts in the _Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung_
     caused by the Chancellor, matters have become known which
     demonstrate serious short-comings in the treatment of
     foreign affairs, and are calculated to influence
     unfavourably the relations of the German Empire to other
     Powers. What does the Chancellor propose to do to devise a
     remedy and to give full effect to the responsibility
     attributed to him by the Constitution of the German Empire?"

3. By Deputy Albrecht (Socialist):

     "What is the Chancellor prepared to do to prevent such
     occurrences as have become known through the _Daily
     Telegraph's_ communications regarding acts and utterances of
     the German Kaiser?"

4. By Deputy von Norman (Conservative Party):

     "Is the Chancellor prepared to submit further information
     regarding the circumstances which led to the publication of
     utterances of his Majesty the Kaiser in the English Press?"

5. By Prince von Hatzfeldt and Freiherr von Gamp (Imperial
Party--Conservative):

     "Is the Chancellor willing to take precautions that such
     occurrences as that brought to light by the publication in
     the _Daily Telegraph_ shall not recur?"

In reply to the interpellations Prince von Buelow said:--

     "Gentlemen, I shall not apply myself to every point which
     has just been raised by previous speakers. I have to
     consider the effect of my words abroad, and will not add to
     the great harm already caused by the publication in the
     _Daily Telegraph_ (hear, hear, on the Left and Socialists).

     "In reply to the interpellations submitted, I have to
     declare as follows:--

     "His Majesty the Kaiser has at different times, and to
     different private English personalities, made private
     utterances which, linked together, have been published in
     the _Daily Telegraph_. I must suppose that not all details
     of the utterances have been correctly reproduced (hear,
     hear, on the Right). One I know is not correct: that is the
     story about the plan of campaign (hear, hear, on the right).
     The plan in question was not a field campaign worked out in
     detail, but a purely academic (laughter among the
     Socialists)--Gentlemen, we are engaged in a serious
     discussion. The matters on which I speak are of an earnest
     kind and of great political importance--be good enough to
     listen to me quietly: I will be as brief as possible. I
     repeat therefore: the matter is not concerned with a field
     campaign worked out in detail, but with certain purely
     academic thoughts--I believe they were expressly described
     as 'aphorisms'--about the conduct of war in general, which
     the Kaiser communicated in his interchange of correspondence
     with the late Queen Victoria. They are theoretical
     observations of no practical moment for the course of
     operations and the issue of the war. The chief of the
     General Staff, General von Moltke, and his predecessor,
     General Count Schlieffen, have declared that the General
     Staff reported to the Kaiser on the Boer War as on every
     war, great or small, which has occurred on the earth during
     the last ten years. Both, however, have given assurances
     that our General Staff never examined a field plan of
     campaign, or anything similar, prepared by the Kaiser in
     view of the Boer War, or forwarded such to England (hear,
     hear, on the Right and Centre). But I must also defend our
     policy against the reproach of being ambiguous _vis-a-vis_
     the Boers. We had--the documents show it--given timely
     warning to the Transvaal Government. We called its attention
     to the fact that in case of a war with England it would
     stand alone. We put it to her directly, and through the
     friendly Dutch Government in May, 1899, peacefully to come
     to an understanding with England, since there could be no
     doubt as to the result of a war.

     "In the question of intervention the colours in the article
     of the _Daily Telegraph_ are too thickly laid on. The thing
     itself had long been known (hear, hear). It was some time
     previously the subject of controversy between the _National
     Review_ and the _Deutsche Revue_. There can be no talk of a
     'revelation.' It was said that the imperial communication to
     the Queen of England, that Germany had not paid any
     attention to a suggestion for mediation or intervention, is
     a breach of the rules of diplomatic intercourse. Gentlemen,
     I will not recall indiscretions to memory, for they are
     frequent in the diplomatic history of all nations and at all
     times ('Quite right,' on the Right). The safest policy is
     perhaps that which need fear no indiscretion ('Quite right,'
     on the Left). To pass judgment in particular cases as to
     whether or not a breach of confidence has occurred, one must
     know more of the closely connected circumstances than
     appears in the article of the _Daily Telegraph_. The
     communication might be justified if it were attempted in one
     quarter or another to misrepresent our refusal or to throw
     suspicion on our attitude; circumstances may have previously
     happened which make allusion to the subject in a
     confidential correspondence at least intelligible.
     Gentlemen, I said before that many of the expressions used
     in the _Daily Telegraph_ article are too strong. That is
     true, in the first place, of the passage where the Kaiser is
     represented as having said that the majority of the German
     people are inimically disposed towards England. Between
     Germany and England misunderstandings have occurred,
     serious, regrettable misunderstandings. But I am conscious
     of being at one with this entire honourable House in the
     view that the German people desire peaceful and friendly
     relations with England on the basis of mutual esteem (loud
     and general applause)--and I take note that the speakers of
     all parties have spoken to-day in the same sense ('Quite
     right'). The colours are also too thickly laid on in the
     place where reference is made to our interests in the
     Pacific Ocean. It has been construed in a sense hostile to
     Japan. Wrongly: we have never in the Far East thought of
     anything but this--to acquire and maintain for Germany a
     share of the commerce of Eastern Asia in view of the great
     economic future of this region. We are not thinking of
     maritime adventure there: aggressive tendencies have as
     little to say to our naval construction in the Pacific as in
     Europe. Moreover, his Majesty the Kaiser entirely agrees
     with the responsible director of foreign policy in the
     complete recognition of the high political importance which
     the Japanese people have achieved by their political
     strength and military ability. German policy does not regard
     it as its task to detract from the enjoyment and development
     of what Japan has acquired.

     "Gentlemen, I am, generally speaking, under the impression
     that if the material facts--completely, in their proper
     shape--were individually known, the sensation would be no
     great one; in this instance, too, the whole is more than all
     the parts taken together. But above all, gentlemen, one must
     not, while considering the material things, quite forget the
     psychology, the tendency. For two decades our Kaiser has
     striven, often under very difficult circumstances, to bring
     about friendly relations between Germany and England. This
     honest endeavour has had to contend with obstacles which
     would have discouraged many. The passionate partisanship of
     our people for the Boers was humanly intelligible; feeling
     for the weaker certainly appeals to the sympathy. But this
     partisanship has led to unjustified, and often unmeasured,
     attacks on England, and similarly unjust and hateful attacks
     have been made against Germany from the side of the English.
     Our aims were misconstrued, and hostile plans against
     England were foisted on us which we had never thought of.
     The Kaiser, rightly convinced that this state of things was
     a calamity for both countries and a danger for the civilized
     world, kept undeviatingly on the course he had adopted. The
     Kaiser is particularly wronged by any doubt as to the purity
     of his intentions, his ideal way of thinking, and his deep
     love of country.

     "Gentlemen, let us avoid anything that looks like
     exaggerated seeking for foreign favour, anything that looks
     like uncertainty or obsequiousness. But I understand that
     the Kaiser, precisely because he was anxious to work
     zealously and honestly for good relationship with England,
     felt embittered at being ever the object of attacks casting
     suspicion on his best motives. Has one not gone so far as to
     attribute to his interest in the German fleet secret views
     against vital English interests--views which are far from
     him. And so in private conversation with English friends he
     sought to bring the proof, by pointing to his conduct, that
     in England he was misunderstood and wrongly judged.

     "Gentlemen, the perception that the publication of these
     conversations in England has not had the effect the Kaiser
     wished, and in our own country has caused profound agitation
     and painful regret, will--this firm conviction I have
     acquired during these anxious days--lead the Kaiser for the
     future, in private conversation also, to maintain the
     reserve that is equally indispensable in the interest of a
     uniform policy and for the authority of the Crown ('Bravo!'
     on the Right).

     "If it were not so, I could not, nor could my successor,
     bear the responsibility ('Bravo!' on the Right and National
     Liberals).

     "For the fault which occurred in dealing with the manuscript
     I accept, as I have caused to be said in the _Norddeutsche
     Allgemeine Zeitung_, entire responsibility. It also goes
     against my personal feelings that officials who have done
     their duty all their lives should be stamped as
     transgressors because, in a single case, they relied too
     much on the fact that I usually read and finally decide
     everything myself.

     "With Herr von Heydebrand I regret that in the mechanism of
     the Foreign Office, which for eleven years has worked
     smoothly under me, a defect should on one occasion occur. I
     will answer for it that such a thing does not happen again,
     and that with this object, without respect to persons,
     though also without injustice, what is needful will be done
     ('Bravo!').

     "When the article in the _Daily Telegraph_ appeared, its
     fateful effect could not for a moment be doubtful to me, and
     I handed in my resignation. This decision was unavoidable,
     and was not difficult to come to. The most serious and most
     difficult decision which I ever took in my political life
     was, in obedience to the Kaiser's wish, to remain in office.
     I brought myself to this decision only because I saw in it a
     command of my political duty, precisely in the time of
     trouble, to continue to serve his Majesty the Kaiser and the
     country (repeated 'Bravo!'). How long that will be possible
     for me, I cannot say.

     "Let me say one thing more: at a moment when the fact that
     in the world much is once again changing requires serious
     attention to be given to the entire situation, wherever it
     is matter of concern to maintain our position abroad, and
     without pushing ourselves forward with quiet constancy to
     make good our interests--at such a moment we ought not to
     show ourselves small-spirited in foreign eyes, nor make out
     of a misfortune a catastrophe. I will refrain from all
     criticism of the exaggerations we have lived through during
     these last days. The harm is--as calm reflection will
     show--not so great that it cannot with circumspection be
     made good. Certainly no one should forget the warning which
     the events of these days has given us ('Bravo!')--but there
     is no reason to lose our heads and awake in our opponents
     the hope that the Empire, inwardly or outwardly, is maimed.

     "It is for the chosen representatives of the nation to
     exhibit the prudence which the time demands. I do not say it
     for myself, I say it for the country: the support required
     for this is no favour, it is a duty which this honourable
     House will not evade (loud applause on the Right, hisses
     from the Socialists)."

Prince Buelow's speech requires but little comment--its importance for
Germany is the fact that it brought to a head the country's feeling,
that if the Emperor's unlimited and unrestrained idea of his
heaven-sent mission as sole arbiter of the nation's destinies was not
checked, disaster must ensue. The speech itself is rather an apology
and an explanation than a defence, and in this spirit it was accepted
in Germany. It is fair to say that the Emperor has faithfully kept the
engagement made through Prince Buelow with his people so far, and
unless human nature is incurable there seems no reason why he should
not keep it to the end of the reign. More than four years have passed
since the incidents narrated occurred. The storm has blown over, the
sea of popular indignation has gone down, and at present no cloud is
visible on the horizon.

Besides the Tweedmouth Letter and the "November Storm" there were one
or two other notable events in the parliamentary proceedings of the
year. The Reichstag dealt with Prussian electoral reform and the
attitude of Germany towards the question of disarmament. As to the
first, the Government refused to regard it as an imperial concern,
though the popular claim was and is that the suffrage should be the
same in Prussia as in the Empire, viz., universal, direct, and secret.
This claim the Emperor will not listen to, on the ground that it would
injure the influence of the middle classes by the admission of
undesirable elements (meaning the Socialists); that the electoral
system for the Empire, with the latter's national tasks, should be on
a broader basis than in the case of the individual States, where the
electors are chiefly concerned with administration, the school, and
the Church; and that it would bring the Imperial and Prussian
Parliaments into conflict to the injury of German unity. The Emperor
has made only one reference to electoral reform in Prussia, a promise,
namely, he gave the Diet in October of this year, that the regulations
concerning the voting should experience

     "an organic further development, which should correspond to
     the economic progress, the spread of education and political
     understanding, and the strengthening of the feeling of State
     responsibility."

No reform, however, has yet been effected by legislation.

As to disarmament, Germany's position is simply negative, though it
may be noticed by anticipation that she has recently (1913) expressed
her disposition to accept the proportion of ten German to sixteen
English first-class battleships suggested by Sir Edward Grey in 1912
as offering the basis of a possibly permanent arrangement. At the time
now dealt with, however, Chancellor von Buelow asserted that no
proposal that could serve as a basis had ever been submitted to his
Government, and added that even if such a proposal were made it was
doubtful if it could be accepted. It was not merely the number of
ships, he said, that was involved; there were a host of technical
questions--standards, criteria of all sorts, which could not be
expressed in figures, economic progress abroad and the possible effect
of new scientific inventions--to be considered. Lastly there were the
navy laws, which the Government was pledged to carry out. As for
military disarmament, the Emperor and his advisers regard it as
impossible, considering the unfavourable strategic situation of
Germany in the midst of Europe, with exposed frontiers on every side.

This year the Emperor and his family took up their quarters for the
first time in their new Corfu spring residence "Achilleion." They were
met by the Royal Family of Greece, who showed them over the Castle,
and in the evening were welcomed by the mayor of Corfu, who, in a
flight of metaphor, said his people desired to wreathe the Emperor's
"Olympic brow" with a crown of olive. That the Emperor did not pass
his days wholly in admiring the beauty of the scenery was shown by the
fact that a few days after his arrival he delivered a lecture in the
Castle on "Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar," being prompted thereto
by a book on the subject by Captain Mark Kerr, of H.M.S. _Implacable_.
The Emperor illustrated his lecture with sketches drawn by himself of
the positions of the united French and Spanish fleets during the
battle.

Almost every year sees some specialty produced at the Royal Opera in
Berlin. This year it was Meyerbeer's "Les Huguenots," performed in the
presence of the French Ambassador in Berlin, Monsieur Jules Cambon,
and two directors of the Paris Opera. The Emperor told Monsieur
Messager, one of the latter, that he had taken an infinity of trouble
to get the right character, colour, and movement of the period of the
opera, and explained his interest in the work by the fact that he had
lost two of his ancestors, Admiral Coligny and the Prince of Orange,
in the historic massacre. This opera, with Verdi's "Aida," are still,
as given at the Royal Opera, the favourite operas of the Berlin
public.

Americans, like all other people, regard the Emperor with friendly
feelings, but for a time this year their respect for him suffered some
diminution owing to what was known as the Tower-Hill affair. When the
American Ambassador in Berlin, Mr. Charlemagne Tower, resigned his
post in 1908, the Washington authorities found difficulty in choosing
a suitable successor. Mr. Tower was a wealthy man, who by his personal
qualities, aided by a talented wife, whom the Emperor once described
as "the Moltke of society," and by frequent entertainments in one of
the finest houses of the fashionable Tiergarten quarter, had fully
satisfied the Emperor of his fitness to represent a great nation at
the Court of a great Empire. The Emperor has a high opinion of his
country, and, in small things as in great, will not have it treated as
a _quantite negligeable_: consequently a millionaire was not too good
for Berlin. The impression produced by Mr. Tower on Republican America
was not quite the same. When Ambassador in St. Petersburg, Mr. Tower
had invented a Court uniform for himself and staff of a highly ornate,
not to say fantastic, kind, and when in Berlin was thought to take too
little trouble to win popularity among his American fellow-colonists.
This non-republican attitude, as it seemed to be, met with a good deal
of adverse criticism in America, and the Washington authorities, for
that or for some other reason, considered it advisable to choose as
Mr. Tower's successor a man of another type. Their choice fell on Dr.
David Jayne Hill, American Minister at Berne, a former President of
Rochester University, the author of a standard work on the History of
Diplomacy, and as renowned for the amiability of his character as for
his academic attainments. A further reason for choosing him was that
he had been attached to the service of the Emperor's brother, Prince
Henry, during the latter's visit to the United States some years
before. Dr. Hill spoke German excellently, was able and distinguished,
and, if not a man of great means, was sufficiently well-to-do to
represent his country becomingly at the Court of Berlin. His selection
was in due course communicated for _agrement_ to the German Foreign
Office, and by it, also in due course, transmitted to the Emperor. The
Emperor without more ado signed the _agrement_ and the arrival of Dr.
Hill in Berlin was daily expected.

Just at this time, however, Mr. Tower gave a farewell dinner to the
Emperor, and invited to it specially from Rome the American Ambassador
to Italy, Mr. Griscom. Mr. Griscom was accompanied by his clever and
attractive wife. The dinner-party assembled, and Mr. Griscom and his
wife were placed in the immediate neighbourhood of the Emperor. Before
dinner was over it was evident that the Griscoms had made a most
favourable impression on the imperial guest. Accordingly, so the story
goes, when towards the end of dinner the Emperor, in his impulsive
way, exclaimed, "Now, why didn't America send me the Griscoms instead
of the Hills?" or words to that effect, the company was not completely
taken by surprise. When, however, the Emperor went on to suggest to
his host to telegraph to President Roosevelt to make the change, it
became evident that an international incident of exceptional delicacy
had been created. Mr. Tower, who would perhaps have acted with better
judgment had he declined to adopt the Emperor's suggestion, cabled to
President Roosevelt, and at the same Mr. Griscom wrote to him
privately. Before Mr. Griscom's letter arrived, perhaps before Mr.
Roosevelt was in possession of Mr. Tower's telegram, the words of the
Emperor had become known in Berlin, were cabled to the American Press,
and much indignation at the Emperor's conduct was aroused in all parts
of America. The two Governments, as well as Dr. Hill, were placed in a
position of great embarrassment. In view of the state of public
opinion in America, and in view also of the American Government's
engagement _vis a vis_ Dr. Hill, the Washington authorities could not
withdraw a nominee who had been already signalled to it from Germany
as _persona grata_. The only way possible out of the difficulty was to
employ the machinery of the official _dementi_, and this was
accordingly done. It was denied by the Foreign Office that the Emperor
had expressed dissatisfaction with Dr. Hill's appointment, and the
incident closed with the carrying out of the original arrangements and
the arrival of Dr. Hill in Berlin. Subsequent events proved that had
the Emperor known Dr. Hill personally he would never have thought of
expressing dissatisfaction at the prospect of seeing him as Ambassador
at his Court, for Dr. Hill, during the two years of his stay, fully
vindicated the wisdom of the Washington Government's choice, and
before he left his post had earned the Emperor's complete respect, if
not his cordial friendship.




XV.



AFTER THE STORM



1909-1913

Next year, 1909, was the year of the famous finance reform measure
which, though finally carried through, led to the resignation of
Chancellor von Buelow. It had been obvious for some years that a
reorganization of the imperial system of finance with a view to
meeting the growing expenses of the Empire, and in especial those of
the army and navy, was necessary if imperial bankruptcy was to be
avoided. The practice of taking what were known as matricular
contributions from the separate States to make up for deficits in the
imperial budgets, and of burdening posterity by State loans, had one
day to cease. At the beginning of the reign the National Debt was 884
million marks (L44,200,000), and in 1908 over 4,000 million marks
(L200,000,000). A year before this Prince Buelow had made his first
proposals for reform, including new taxes on beer, wine, tobacco, and
succession duties on property.

All parties in Parliament, except of course the Social Democrats,
admitted that fresh imposts were inevitable, but, very naturally, no
party was willing to bear them. The Conservatives would not hear of an
inheritance tax and the Liberals would not hear of duties on popular
consumption. The result was to make the Centrum masters of the
political field and place the Conservative-Liberal "bloc" at its
mercy. After long discussion, the Government proposals were put to the
vote on June 24th, and as the Centrum threw in its lot with the
Conservatives, the proposals were rejected by 195 votes to 187. Prince
Buelow thereupon went to Kiel and tendered his resignation to the
Emperor, but at the latter's urgent request consented to remain in
office until financial reform in one shape or another had been
effected. This result was attained a month later, after much
compromising and discussion. The Chancellor renewed his request for
retirement, and the Emperor agreed. On the same day, July 14th, that
the resignation took effect, it was officially announced that Herr von
Bethmann-Hollweg, who had hitherto been Minister of the Interior, was
appointed to succeed Prince von Buelow as Imperial Chancellor.

An impression prevails widely in Germany that Prince Buelow's
retirement was due to the loss of the Emperor's favour owing to the
Prince's attitude towards the monarch during the "November storm."
Prince Buelow, very properly, has always refused to say anything about
his relations with his royal master, but a lengthy statement he made
to a newspaper correspondent referring his resignation to the conduct
of the Conservatives, and a letter from the Emperor gratefully
thanking the Prince in the warmest terms for his "long and intimate
co-operation," and conferring upon him at the same time the highest
Order in the Empire, that of the Black Eagle, should be sufficient
evidence to disprove the supposition. It is more probable that the
Prince was weary of the cares of office and of the strife of party.
Moreover, he had, in the state of his health, a strong private reason
for retirement. Four years before, on April 5, 1906, he had fallen
unconscious from his seat on the ministerial bench during the
proceedings in the Reichstag, and although he was back again in
Parliament, perfectly recovered, in the following November, the attack
was an experience which warned him against too great a prolongation of
such heavy work and responsibility as the Chancellorship entails.

The retirement of Prince Buelow meant the disappearance of the most
notable figure in German political life since the beginning of the
century. In ability, wit, and those graces of a refined and richly
cultivated mind which have so often distinguished great English
statesmen, he was a head and shoulders above any of his
fellow-countrymen; while the mere fact that he was able to maintain
his position for almost twelve years (he had been, as Foreign
Secretary for over two years, the Emperor's most trusted counsellor
and the real executive in foreign policy) is a convincing proof of his
tact and diplomatic talent, as well as of his statesmanship.

His successor, the present Chancellor, Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg, is a
man of another and very different type. He incorporates the spirit of
Prussian patriotism of the most orthodox kind in its worthiest and
best manifestations, but as yet he has given no proofs of possessing
the breadth of view, the oratorical talent, or the urbanity which
distinguished his predecessor. Prince von Buelow's career as a German
diplomatist in foreign capitals made him an acute and highly polished
man of the world. The present Chancellor has spent all his life within
the comparatively narrow confines of Prussian administrative service.
It is, of course, too soon to pass final judgment on him as German
Prime Minister.

The visit of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra to Berlin in
February, 1909, disposed finally of the idea, which had prevailed in
Germany as well as abroad for two or three years, that England was
pursuing a policy aiming to bring about the "isolation" of Germany in
world-politics. The visit was an official one, paid, of course,
chiefly to the Emperor; but its most remarkable feature politics
apart, was the friendly relations which King Edward established with
the Berlin City Fathers at a reception in the Town Hall. It was not
that he said anything out of the way to the assembled burghers; but
his simple manner, genial remarks, and perhaps especially the
sympathetic way in which he handled the loving-cup offered by his
hosts, made an instantaneous and strong impression.

The controversy that raged round the so-called "Flora Bust"
contributed not a little to the gaiety of nations towards the close of
this year. The bust, an undraped wax figure, reproducing the features
of Leonardo da Vinci's famous "La Joconde," was bought by Dr. Wilhelm
Bode, Director of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin, for L8,000
from a London dealer as an authentic work of the celebrated Italian
painter, dating from about the year 1500. It was brought with a great
flourish of trumpets to Berlin, and a chorus of self-congratulation
was raised in Germany on the successful carrying off of such a prize
from England. The harmony, however, was rudely disturbed by the
publication of a letter from Mr. F.C. Cooksey, art critic of the
_Times_, stating that the bust was not by da Vinci at all, but was in
reality the work of Mr. R.C. Lucas, an artist of some note forty or
fifty years ago, and that it had for long occupied a pedestal in
Lucas's suburban garden.

The Emperor, whose curiosity as well as patriotism was aroused, spent
half an hour on November 11th discussing the bust with Dr. Bode and
examining an album containing photographs of the works of Lucas. At
the close of his inspection the Emperor expressed great delight at the
acquisition, as to the genuineness of which he declared he "had not
the slightest doubt," and said he did not regard the price paid as
extremely high. Unfortunately for the Emperor's conviction, a letter
now appeared in the _Times_ from Mr. A.C. Lucas, a son of R.C. Lucas,
who said he recollected the making of the bust, and suggested that
there might be found in its interior a piece of cloth, probably a part
of an old waistcoat of his father's, which had been used as a sort of
filling. In the presence of such a statement there was only one thing
left to be done: to examine the interior of the bust. First of all it
was subjected to the Roentgen rays, the result being to show that the
interior was not homogeneous. A few days after, there was a great
gathering of experts at the Museum, a hole was cut in the wax at the
back of the bust, a bent wire was introduced, and the search for the
famous piece of waistcoat began. It was a dramatic moment as Professor
Latghen with his wire explored the interior of the bust, and the
tension reached its highest point when the Professor, drawing from the
bust what was evidently a piece of cloth, exclaimed, "_Hier ist die
Veste!_" On being further withdrawn the substance proved to be about
two square inches of a grey, canvas-like material, feeling soft and
velvety to the touch. It was a disagreeable discovery for the Germans,
but it was got over by the suggestion that the original bust had been
entrusted to Lucas for repair, and that in this way the waistcoat had
got into it. The "poor English newspapers," Dr. Bode said, referring
to the sarcastic comments on the discovery from the other side of the
Channel, "had had, without any acquaintance with our bust or with the
work of its alleged forger, to give this particular form of expression
to their ill-humour at the sale." As a matter of fact, the bust,
whoever made it, is a lovely work of art, as every one who has seen it
readily admits.

The Emperor's friendship with Mr. Theodore Roosevelt, which was now to
be confirmed by personal acquaintance, throws a side light on his own
character, and testifies to his desire to keep in touch with the
rulers of other countries--another illustration, by the way, of his
consistency, since he laid down the policy of cultivating friendly
relations with foreign rulers at the very commencement of his reign.
Probably many letters in the large characteristic handwriting of both
men have passed between them, and there probably always existed a
desire on the part of the wielder of the mailed fist to make the
personal acquaintance of the advocate of the big stick. The meeting
occurred in May, 1910, after Mr. Roosevelt had shot wild beasts in
Africa, visited Egypt, London, Vienna, Rome, and other continental
cities, with a cohort of newspaper correspondents, and caused by his
speeches political, if fortunately harmless, disturbance almost
everywhere he went. When in Berlin he was to have lodged at the
Emperor's palace; but the Emperor's hospitable intent was frustrated
by the death of King Edward VII, which prevented all entertainment in
the home of his German nephew.

The Roosevelt party, consisting of the ex-President, Mrs. Roosevelt,
and Miss Ethel Roosevelt, arrived in Berlin on May 11th from
Stockholm, and at noon the same day were taken by royal train to
Potsdam. At the New Palace the party were heartily greeted by the
Emperor, whom they found standing on the steps waiting to receive
them. After shaking hands the Emperor led his guests into a small
reception-room, where they were introduced to the Empress, the Crown
Prince and Crown Princess, and other members of the imperial family.
The Emperor then took them to the Shell Room, so called from its being
inlaid with shells and rare stones, and here were found some of the
Emperor's high officials, including Admiral von Mueller, chief of the
Marine Cabinet, and one of the most able and amiable of the Emperor's
entourage, who had met Mr. Roosevelt when on his trip to America with
Prince Henry several years before. Luncheon followed at six small
tables in the Jasper Gallery, the Emperor taking his seat between Mrs.
Roosevelt and the Crown Princess, while the Empress had Mr. Roosevelt
on her left and her eldest son, the Crown Prince, on her right.
Princess Victoria Louise, the Emperor's only daughter, occupied a seat
on Mr. Roosevelt's left. After lunch was over the guests went back to
the Shell Room, and here the Emperor, taking Mr. Roosevelt apart,
began a conversation so long and animated that the shades of evening
began to fall before it ended. The Roosevelts did not return to Berlin
by train, but were first driven by the Emperor to inspect Sans Souci,
and were afterwards whirled back to Berlin in the yellow imperial
motors.

Only two other incidents of the visit need be mentioned. One of them
was a lecture on "The World Movement," delivered by Mr. Roosevelt in
very husky tones (for he was suffering badly from hoarseness) at
Berlin University, in the presence of the Emperor and Empress. The
other was a parade of 12,000 troops, arranged by the Emperor at
Doeberitz, the great military exercise camp near Potsdam, which Mr.
Roosevelt, clad in a khaki coat and breeches, and wearing brown
leather gaiters and black slouch hat, observed from horseback beside
the Emperor. As the troops went by at the close of the review the
Emperor and Mr. Roosevelt saluted in military fashion simultaneously.

Immediately after the visit of the Roosevelts, the Emperor was called
to England to attend the funeral of King Edward VII. The imperial
yacht _Hohenzollern_, with the Emperor on board, arrived in England on
May 19th. Next day the Emperor travelled to Victoria terminus, where
he was received and warmly embraced by King George. They proceeded to
Buckingham Palace, where the Emperor's first call was made on the
widowed Queen Alexandra. On the 21st took place the funeral of King
Edward, the procession to Westminster Abbey, where the service was
held, being headed by King George with the Emperor on his right and
the Duke of Connaught on his left. Both the Emperor and the Duke were
dressed in Field-Marshal's uniform and carried the batons of their
rank. The countenance of the Emperor is described by a chronicler of
the time (and the _Times_) as wearing "an expression grave even to
severity."

The procession moved slowly on to the famous Abbey, the Emperor riding
a grey horse, saluting at intervals as he rode along. On arrival at
the Abbey an incident occurred. As soon as Queen Alexandra's carriage
arrived and drew up, the Emperor, according to the accounts of
eyewitnesses, ran to the door of the carriage with so much alacrity
that he had reached it before the royal servants, and when it appeared
that her Majesty was not to alight from that side of the carriage, the
Emperor motioned the lacqueys round to the other door, and was there
before them to assist her Majesty. This he did, after himself opening
the door. The Emperor remained in England only a very few days after
the funeral, seeing old friends, among them Lord Kitchener.

As of interest to both Englishmen and Germans may be mentioned the
tour through India undertaken by the Crown Prince in November. Steele
once happily said of a Lady Hastings that "to love her was a liberal
education"; to make a tour through India, it might similarly be said,
is an education in the extent and character of British imperial power
and administration. The Crown Prince naturally devoted a goodly share
of his time to the delights of sport, including tiger-shooting and
pig-sticking, but he must also have learned much of England's fine
imperial spirit from his intercourse with an official hierarchy as
honest and conscientious as that of his own country. The Crown Prince,
on his return home, published a volume of hunting reminiscences which
does no small credit to him as an author.

The Emperor's "shining armour" political remark dates from this
period. He was on a visit to his Triplice ally, Kaiser Franz Josef, in
September, 1910, and made a speech at the Vienna Town Hall on the 21st
which contained a reference to the loyal conduct he claimed Germany
had observed when the action of Austria-Hungary in annexing Bosnia and
Herzegovina, despite the wording of the Treaty of Berlin, had raised
an outcry in other countries, and in particular strained Austrian
relations with Russia. After thanking his audience for the personal
reception given him, he continued:

     "On the other hand, it seems to me I read in your resolution
     the agreement of the city of Vienna with the action of an
     ally in taking his stand in shining armour at a grave moment
     by the side of your most gracious sovereign."

The outcry caused in the world by Austria's high-handed annexation,
and especially in Russia, theoretically always Austria's most probable
enemy, owing to conflicting interests in the Balkans, subsided, we
know, as suddenly as it was raised. The reason, it is currently
believed, and the form in which the rays of the shining armour acted,
was an intimation from the Emperor to the Czar that, if necessary,
Germany was prepared to fight for Austria.

Peoples are said to have the institutions, and husbands the wives,
they deserve; but if German cities, and especially Berlin, have the
police they deserve, the fact speaks very uncomplimentarily for their
inhabitants. Foreigners in Germany, coming from countries where
manners are more natural and obliging, frequently use the adjectives
"brutal" and "stupid" when speaking of the Prussian constable. The
proceedings of the Berlin police during the Moabit riots in the
capital in September this year are often quoted as an example of their
brutality, while, as to stupidity, it is enough to say that a stranger
in Berlin, discussing its mounted police, naively remarked that what
most struck him about them was the look of intelligence on the faces
of the horses. Judgments of this kind are too sweeping. It should be
remembered that Germany is surrounded by countries of which the
riff-raff is at all times seeking refuge in it or passing through it,
that polyglot swindlers of every kind, the most refined as well as the
most commonplace, abound, and that Anarchists are not yet an extinct
species. For the Prussian police, moreover, there is a Social Democrat
behind every bush.

Possibly to this condition of things, and to the suspicion that Social
Democratic organizers were about, was due the gallant charge made by
half a dozen policemen, with drawn swords in their hands and revolvers
at their belts, on four inoffensive English and American journalists
during the Moabit riots. Towards midnight of September 29th the
journalists were seated in an open taximeter cab, in a brilliantly
lighted square, which some little time before had been swept of
rioters--rioters from the Berlin police point of view being any one,
man, woman, or child, who is, with guilty or innocent intent, it makes
no difference, in or near a theatre of disturbance. Suddenly half a
dozen burly policemen, led on by a police spy, as he afterwards turned
out to be, charged the cab and laid about them with their swords. They
probably only intended to use the flat of their weapons, but one of
them succeeded in slashing deeply the hand of Reuter's representative,
who was of the party. The other journalists escaped with contusions
and bruises, thanks chiefly to the sides of the cab impeding the
sword-play of the attackers.

The journalists naturally complained to their Ambassadors, who took up
their cause with commendable readiness. Without immediate effect,
however; the authorities, though themselves very strong on the point
of duty, wondered much at journalists being in a place where duty
alone could have brought them, and refused any sort of apology or
other satisfaction. The Government, however, eventually expressed its
"regret," and a year or two after, possibly in the spirit of
conciliation and compensation, agreed to give foreign journalists in
Berlin the _passe-partout_, or _coupe-fil_, as it is known in France,
which is one of the privileges most valued by the journalist, native
and foreign, in Paris.

Among the international agreements of the year was a commercial one
between Germany and America. Commercial relations between the two
countries have never been quite satisfactory to either, and if there
is no tariff war, occasions of tariff tension, with consequent
disturbance of trade, constantly arise. Germany's European commercial
treaties have secured her a sufficiency of raw material for her
industry. Her chief object now is not so much perhaps to facilitate
imports of material from other countries as to find markets, in
America as elsewhere, for her industry's finished products.
Consequently she strongly dislikes the high tariff barriers of the
United States, inaugurated by the Dingley tariff of 1897, and has in
addition certain grievances against that country regarding customs
administration in respect of appraisement, invoices, and the like. Her
commercial connexion with America dates from the treaty of "friendship
and commerce" made by Frederick the Great, and having the
most-favoured-nation treatment as its basis; a regular treaty of the
same kind between Prussia and America was entered into in 1828; and
since then commercial relations have been regulated provisionally by a
series of short-term agreements which, however, America claims, do not
confer on Germany unrestricted right to most-favoured-nation
treatment. By the agreement now in force, concluded this year (1910),
America and Germany grant each other the benefit of their minimum
duties.

Since the "November storm" the Emperor had made no reference to the
doctrine of Divine Right, nor given any indication of a desire to
exercise the "personal regiment" which is the natural corollary to it.
It has been seen that the doctrine, viewed from the English
standpoint, is a species of mental malady to which Hohenzollern
monarchs are hereditarily subject. It recurs intermittently and
particularly whenever a Hohenzollern monarch speaks in Koenigsberg,
the Scone of Prussia, where Prussian Kings are crowned. When at
Koenigsberg this year the Emperor suffered from a return of the royal
_idee fixe_. "Here my grandfather," he said,

     "placed, by his own right, the crown of the Kings of Prussia
     on his head, once again laying stress upon the fact that it
     was conferred upon him by the Grace of God alone, not by
     Parliament, by meetings of the people, or by popular
     decisions; and that he considered himself the chosen
     instrument of Heaven and as such performed his duties as
     regent and as ruler."

Speaking of himself on the occasion he said:

     "Considering myself as an Instrument of the Lord, without
     being misled by the views and opinions of the day, I go my
     way, which is devoted solely and alone to the prosperity and
     peaceful development of our Fatherland."

The Emperor, by the way, on this occasion made what sounds like an
indirect reference to the Suffragette craze. "What shall our women,"
he asked, after mentioning the pattern Queen of Prussia, Queen Louise,

     "learn from the Queen? They must learn that the principal
     task of the German woman does not lie in attending public
     meetings and belonging to societies, in the attainment of
     supposed rights in which women can emulate men, but in the
     quiet work of the home and in the family."

The Emperor's reference to his divine appointment did not pass without
a good deal of popular criticism in Germany, but nearly all Germans
were at one with the Emperor in his view of the proper sphere for
womanly activities.

The Emperor's domestic life for the last two or three years, including
the early months of the present year, have passed without special
cause of interest or excitement, if we except the visit he and the
Empress made to London in May, 1911, to be present at the unveiling of
Queen Victoria's statue, and the announcement he was able to make a
few months ago that his only daughter, Princess Victoria Louise, had
become engaged to Prince Ernest August, Duke of Cumberland, the still
persisting claimant to the Kingdom of Hannover, absorbed by Prussia in
1866. The visit to London lasted only five days and produced no
incident particularly worthy of record. The engagement of Princess
Victoria Louise, while generally believed to be a love-match,
possesses also political significance for Germany, not indeed as
putting an end to the claim of the Duke of Cumberland, but as
practically effecting a reconciliation between the Hohenzollerns and
Guelphs. The young Duke of Brunswick had already implicitly renounced
his claim to Hannover by entering the German army and taking the oath
of allegiance to the Emperor as War Lord, so that, when his father
dies, the Guelph claim to Hannover will die with him.

It is difficult to determine whether the Government's abandonment of
its design to amend the Prussian franchise system in 1910, its
submissive attitude towards the Pope's Borromeo Encyclical in 1911,
the rapid rise in food prices which marked both years, or finally, the
Emperor's failure to secure a slice of Morocco for Germany had most
antagonizing effect on German popular feeling; but whatever the cause,
the general elections of January, 1912, proved a tremendous Socialist
victory, which must have been, and still remains, gall and wormwood to
the Emperor. Notwithstanding official efforts, over one-third of the
votes polled at the first ballots went for Social Democratic
candidates. The number of seats thus obtained was 64, and this number,
after the second ballots, rose to 110, thus making the Socialist party
numerically the strongest in the Reichstag. Up to the present,
however, Herr Bebel and his cohorts appear to be happy in possessing
power rather than in using it.

Before completing the Emperor's domestic chronicle of more recent
years, a few lines may be devoted to the role in which he has last
appeared before the public--that of farmer. On February 12, 1913, he
attended a meeting of the German Agricultural Council in Berlin, and
with only a few statistical notes to help him narrated in lively and
amusing fashion his experiences as owner of a farm, the management of
which he has been personally supervising since 1898. The farm is part
of the Cadinen Estate, bequeathed to him by an admirer and universally
known for the majolica ware made out of the clay found on the
property. The Emperor was able to show that he had achieved remarkable
success with his farm, and particularly with a fine species of bull,
_Bos indicus major_, he maintained on it. A year or two before, at a
similar meeting, when speaking of the same breed of bull, he caused
much hilarity among the military portion of his audience by jokingly
remarking that it had "nothing to do with the General Staff." On the
present occasion he also caused laughter by recounting how he had
"fired," to use an American expression exactly equivalent to the
German word employed by the Emperor, a tenant who "wasn't any use."
The Emperor, however, would, as it turned out, have done better by not
mentioning the incident, for the Supreme Court at Leipzig a few days
subsequently quashed the Emperor's order of ejectment on the tenant
and condemned him to pay all the costs in the case. The role of
farmer, it may be added, is one which, had he been born a country
gentleman like Bismarck, the Emperor would have filled with complete
success. But in what role would he not have done well?

Foreign politics everywhere for the last three or four years have been
full of incident, outcry, and bloodshed. The state of things, indeed,
prevailing in the world for some time past is extraordinary. A
visitant from another planet would imagine that normal peace and
abnormal war had changed places, and that civilized mankind now regard
peace as an interlude of war, not war as an interlude of peace. He
would be wrong, of course, but the race in armament, which threatens
to leave the nations taking part in it financially breathless and
exhausted, might easily lead him astray. On some of the situations
with which these politics are concerned we may briefly touch.

For the last three or four years the dominant note in the music of
what is called the European Concert, taking Europe for the moment to
include Great Britain, has been the state of Anglo-German relations.
There have been times, as has been seen, when public feeling in both
England and Germany was strongly antagonized, but all through the
period there has been evident a desire on the part of both Governments
to adopt a mutually conciliatory attitude, and if the war in the
Balkans does not lead to a general international conflagration, which
at present appears improbable, the two countries may arrive at a
permanent understanding. There was, and not so very long ago, a
similar state of tension, prolonged for many years, between England
and France. That tension not only ceased, but was converted into
political friendship by the Anglo-French Agreement of 1904. Parallel
with this tension between England and France was the tension between
England and Russia, owing to the latter's advance towards England's
Indian possessions. The latter state of things ended with the
Anglo-Russian Agreement of 1907, and it should engender satisfaction
and hope, therefore, to those who now apprehend a war between England
and Germany to note that neither of the tensions referred to, though
both were long and bitter, developed into war.

The tension between England and Germany of late years has been
tightened rather than relaxed by ministerial speeches as well as by
newspaper polemics in both countries. One of the most disturbing of
the former was the speech delivered by Mr. Lloyd George at the Mansion
House on July 21, 1911. Doubtless with the approval of the Prime
Minister, Mr. Asquith, Mr. Lloyd George said:

     "I believe it is essential, in the highest interest not
     merely of this country, but of the world, that Britain
     should at all hazards maintain her place and her prestige
     amongst the Great Powers of the world. Her potent influence
     has many a time been in the past, and may yet be in the
     future, invaluable to the cause of human liberty. It has
     more than once in the past redeemed continental nations,
     which are sometimes too apt to forget that service, from
     overwhelming disasters and even from national extinction. I
     would make great sacrifices to preserve peace. I conceive
     that nothing would justify a disturbance of international
     goodwill except questions of the gravest national moment.
     But if a situation were to be forced upon us in which peace
     could only be preserved by the surrender of the great and
     beneficent position Britain has won by centuries of heroism
     and achievement, by allowing Britain to be treated, where
     her interests are vitally affected, as if she were of no
     account in the cabinet of nations, then I say emphatically
     that peace at that price would be a humiliation intolerable
     for a great country like ours to endure."

These rhetorical platitudes were uttered at the time of the
"conversations" between the French and German Foreign Offices about
the compensation claimed by Germany for giving France, once for all, a
free hand in Morocco. Germany was apparently making demands of an
exorbitant character, and what Mr. Lloyd George really meant was that
if Germany persisted in these demands England would fight on the side
of France in order to resist them. As a genuinely democratic speaker,
however, he followed the rule of many publicists, who are paid for
their articles by the column and say to themselves, "Why use two words
when five will do?"

Another unfortunate remark that may be noted in this connexion was
that made by Mr. Winston Churchill in referring to the German navy as
"to some extent a luxury." The remark, though true (also to a certain
extent), was unfortunate, for it irritated public opinion in Germany,
where it was regarded as a species of impertinent interference.

As evidence of the desire on the part of the Emperor and his
Government for a friendly arrangement with England may be quoted the
statement made in December, 1910, by the German Chancellor, Herr von
Bethmann-Hollweg, _to_ the following effect:--

     "We also meet England in the desire to avoid rivalry in
     regard to armaments, and non-binding _pourparlers_, which
     have from time to time taken place, have been conducted on
     both sides in a friendly spirit. We have always advanced the
     opinion that a frank and sincere interchange of views,
     followed by an understanding with regard to the economic and
     political interests of the two countries, offers the surest
     means of allaying all mistrust on the subject of the
     relations of the Powers to each other on sea and land."

The Chancellor went on to explain that this mistrust had manifested
itself "not in the case of the Governments, but of public opinion."

With regard, in particular, to a naval understanding between England
and Germany, Chancellor von Buelow, in a Budget speech in March, 1909,
declared that up to that time no proposals regarding the dimensions of
the fleets or the amount of naval expenditure which could serve as a
basis for an understanding had been made on the side of England,
though non-binding conversations had taken place on the subject
between authoritative English and German personalities. In March last
year (1912) such proposals may be said to have been made in the form
of a suggestion by Sir Edward Grey during the Budget debate that the
ratio of 16 to 10 (i.e., 50 per cent. more and 10 per cent. over)
should express the naval strength of the two countries. The suggestion
was "welcomed" by Admiral von Tirpitz on behalf of Germany in
February, 1913. And there the matter rests.

A perhaps inevitable result of the tension between England and Germany
during the period under consideration has been the amount of mutual
espionage discovered to be going on in both countries. An incident
that attracted wide attention was the arrest in 1910 of Captains
Brandon and Trench, the former of whom was arrested at Borkum and the
latter at Emden. They were tried before the Supreme Court at Leipzig,
and were both sentenced to incarceration in a fortress for four years.
Many other arrests, prosecutions, and sentences have taken place both
in England and Germany since then, with the consequence that English
travellers in Germany and German travellers in England, particularly
where the travellers are men of military bearing and are in seaside
regions, are now liable, under very small provocation, to a suspicion
of being spies. An English lady recently made the acquaintance of a
German in England. He was a very nice man, she said, and went on to
relate how they were talking one day about Ireland. She happened to
mention Tipperary. "Oh, I know Tipperary," the German officer said;
"it is in my department." "It was a revelation to me," the lady
concluded when repeating the conversation to her friends. As a matter
of fact, the Intelligence Departments of the army in both Germany and
England are well acquainted with the roads, hills, streams, forts,
harbours, and similar details of topography in almost all countries of
the world besides their own.

In regard to 1911 should be recorded the journey of the Crown Prince
and Crown Princess to England to represent the Emperor at the
coronation of King George in June; the outbreak in September of the
Turco-Italian War, which placed the Emperor in a dilemma, of which one
fork was his duty to Italy as an ally in the Triplice and the other
his platonic friendship with the Commander of the Faithful; and,
lastly, the suspicion of the Emperor's designs that arose in connexion
with the fortification of Flushing at a cost to Holland of some
L3,000,000. The Emperor was supposed to have insisted on the
fortification in order to prevent the use of the Netherlands by Great
Britain as a naval base against Germany. Like many another scare in
connexion with foreign policy, the supposition may be regarded only as
a product of intelligent journalistic "combination."

Finally, among subsidiary occurrences, should be mentioned the meeting
of the Emperor and the Czar in July, 1912, at Port Baltic in Finnish
waters, accompanied by their Foreign Ministers, with the official
announcement of the stereotyped "harmonious relations" between the two
monarchs that followed; and the premature prolongation, with the
object of showing solidarity regarding the Balkan situation, of the
Triple Alliance, which, entered into, as mentioned earlier, in the
year 1882, had already been renewed in 1891, 1896, and 1902. The next
renewal should be in 1925, unless in the meantime an international
agreement to which all Great Powers are signatories should render it
superfluous.

The war in the Balkans need only be referred to in these pages in so
far as it concerns Germany. The position of Germany in regard to it,
so far, appears simple; she will actively support Austria's larger
interests in order to keep faith with her chief ally of the Triplice,
and so long as Austria and Russia can agree regarding developments in
the Balkan situation, there is no danger of war among the Great
Powers. People smiled at the declaration of the Powers some little
time ago that the _status quo_ in the Balkans should be maintained;
but it should be remembered that the whole phrase is _status quo ante
bellum_, and that, once war has broken out, the _status_, the position
of affairs, is in a condition of solution, and that no new _status_
can arise until the war is over and its consequences determined by
treaties. The result of the present war, let it be hoped, will be to
confine Turkey to the Orient, where she belongs, and that the Balkan
States, possibly after a period of internecine feud, will take their
share in modern European progress and civilization.

The amount of declaration, asseveration, recrimination (chiefly
journalistic), rectification, intimidation, protestation,
pacification, and many other wordy processes that have been employed
in almost all countries with the avowed object of maintaining peace
during the last four years is in striking contrast to the small
progress actually made in regard to a final settlement of either of
the two great international points at issue--the limitation of
armaments and compulsory arbitration.

Enough perhaps has been said in preceding pages to show the attitude
of the Emperor, and consequently the attitude of his Government,
towards them. A history of the long agitation in connexion with them
is beyond the scope of this work. The agitation itself, however, may
be viewed as a step, though not a very long one, on the way to the
desired solution, and it is a matter for congratulation that the two
subjects have been, and are still being, so freely and copiously and,
on the whole, so sympathetically and hopefully ventilated. The great
difficulty, apparently, is to find what diplomatists call the proper
"formula"--the law-that-must-be-obeyed. Unfortunately, the finding of
the formula cannot be regarded as the end of the matter; there still
remains the finding of what jurists call the "sanction," that is to
say, the power to enforce the formula when found and to punish any
nation which fails to act in accordance with it. Nothing but an
Areopagus of the nations can furnish such a sanction, but with the
present arrangements for balancing power in Europe, to say nothing of
the ineradicable pugnacity, greed, and ambition of human nature, such
an Areopagus seems very like an impossibility. Time, however, may
bring it about. If it should, and the Golden Age begin to dawn, an
epoch of new activities and new horizons, quite possibly more novel
and interesting than any which has ever preceded it, will open for
mankind.




XVI.



THE EMPEROR TO-DAY

What strikes one most, perhaps, on looking back over the Emperor's
life and time, are two surprising inconsistencies, one relating to the
Emperor himself, the other to that part of his time with which he has
been most closely identified.

The first arises from the fact that a man so many-sided, so impulsive,
so progressive, so modern--one might almost say so American--should
have altered so little either in character or policy during quarter of
a century. This is due to what we have called his mediaeval nature. He
is to-day the same Hohenzollern he was the day he mounted the throne,
observing exactly the same attitude to the world abroad and to his
folk at home, tenacious of exactly the same principles, enunciating
exactly the same views in politics, religion, morals, and art--in
everything which concerns the foundations of social life. He still
believes himself, as his speeches and conduct show, the selected
instrument of Heaven, and acts towards his people and addresses them
accordingly. He still opposes all efforts at political change, as
witness his attitude towards electoral reform, towards the
Germanization of Prussian Poland, towards the Socialists, towards
Liberalism in all its manifestations. He is still, as he was at the
outset of his reign, the patron of classical art, classical drama, and
classical music. He is still the War Lord with the spirit of a bishop
and a bishop with the spirit of the War Lord. He is still the model
husband and father he always has been. Most men change one way or
another as time goes on. With the Emperor time for five-and-twenty
years appears to have stood still.

The inconsistency relating to his time arises from the contrast
between the real and the seeming character of the reign. For,
strikingly and anomalously enough, while the Emperor has been steadily
pursuing an economic policy, a policy of peace, his entire reign, as
one turns over the pages of its history, seems to resound, during
almost every hour, with martial shoutings, confused noises, the
clatter of harness, the clash of swords, and the tramp of armies. From
moment to moment it recalls those scenes from Shakespearean drama in
which indeed no dead are actually seen upon the stage, but at
intervals the air is filled with battle cries, "with excursions and
alarms," with warriors brandishing their weapons, calling for horses,
hacking at imaginary foes, and defying the world in arms.

And yet in reality it has been a period of domestic peace throughout.
Though there has been incessant talk of war, and at times war may have
been near, it never came, unless the South West African and Boxer
expeditions be so called. Commerce and trade have gone on increasing
by leaps and bounds. The population has grown at the rate of nearly
three-quarters of a million a year. Emperor William the First's social
policy has been closely followed. The navy has been built, the army
strengthened, the Empire's finances reorganized; in whatever direction
one looks one finds a record of solid and substantial and peaceful
progress and prosperity. A great deal of it is owing, admittedly, to
the Germans themselves, but no small share of it is due to the
"impulsive" Emperor's consistency of character and conduct.

Probably the inconsistencies are only apparent. Germany and her
Emperor have grown, not developed, if by development is meant a
radical alteration in structure or mentality, and if regard is had to
the real Germany and the real Emperor, not to the Germany of the
tourist, and not to the Emperor of contemporary criticism. It has been
seen that the Emperor's nature and policy have not altered. The
Constitution of Germany has not altered, nor her Press, nor her
political parties, nor her social system, nor, indeed, any of the
vital institutions of her national life. With one possible
exception--the navy. The navy is a new organic feature, and, like all
organisms, is exerting deep and far-reaching influences. Germany, of
course, is in a process of development, a state of transition. But
nations are at all times in a state of transition, more or less
obvious; and it will require yet a good many years to show what new
forms and fruits the development now going on in Germany is to bring.
The Emperor, it is safe to say, will remain the same, mediaeval in
nature, modern in character, to the end of his life.

The main thing, however, to be noted both about Germany and the German
Emperor is what they stand for in the movement of world-ideas at the
present time. Germans cause foreigners to smile when they prophesy
that their culture, their civilization, will become the culture and
the civilization of the world. The sameness of ideas that prevailed in
mediaeval times about life and religion--about this life and the life
to come--was succeeded, and first in Germany, by an enormous diversity
of ideas about life and religion, beginning with the Rationalism (or
"enlightenment," as the Germans call it) which set in after the
Reformation and the Renaissance; and this diversity again
promises--let us at least hope--to go back, in one of the great
circles that make one think human thought, too, moves in accordance
with planetary laws, to a sameness of views among the nations in
regard to the real interests of society, which are peace, religious
harmony through toleration, commercial harmony through international
intercourse, and the mutual goodwill of governments and peoples. For
all this order of ideas the Emperor, notwithstanding his mailed fist
and shining armour, stands, and in this spirit both he and the German
mind are working.

More than half a century has passed over the Emperor's head; let us
look a little more closely at him as the man and the monarch he is
to-day. Time appears to have dealt gently with him; the heart, one
hears it said, never grows bald, and in all but years the Emperor is
probably as young and untiring as ever.

His personal appearance has altered little in the last decade. An
observer, who had an opportunity of seeing him at close quarters in
1902, describes him, as he then appeared, as follows:--

     "I was standing within arm's length of him at Cuxhaven,
     where we were waiting the landing of Prince Henry, his
     brother, on his return from America. The _Deutschland_ had
     to be warped alongside the quay, and the Emperor, in the
     uniform of a Prussian general of infantry, meanwhile mixed
     with the suite and chatted, now to one, now to another, with
     his usual bonhomie. I was speaking to the American attache,
     Captain H----, when the Emperor came up, and naturally I
     stood a little to one side.

     "The thing that most struck me was the Emperor's large grey
     eyes. As they looked sharply into those of Captain H---- or
     glanced in my direction, they seemed to show absolutely no
     feeling, no sentiment of any kind. Not that they gave the
     notion of hardness or falsity. They were simply like two
     grey mirrors on which outward things made no impression.

     "Two other features did not strike me as anything out of the
     ordinary, but the whole face had an air of ability,
     cleverness, briskness, and health. The Emperor is about
     middle height, with the body very erect, the walk firm, and
     is very energetic in his gestures. I did not notice the
     shortness of the left arm, but that may have been because
     his left hand was leaning on his sword-hilt. Captain H----
     told me he could not put on his overcoat without assistance,
     and that the hand is so weak he can do very little with it.
     There was nothing of a Hohenzollern hanging under-lip."

The following judgment was formed a year or two ago by an American
diplomatist: "I have often met him," the diplomatist said,

     "and only speak of the impression he made on me. I would
     describe him as intelligent rather than intellectual. He
     appreciates men of learning and of philosophic mind, and
     while not learned and philosophic himself, enjoys seeing the
     learned and philosophic at work, and gladly recognizes their
     merit when their labours are thorough and well done. His
     mind is marvellously quick, but it does not dwell on
     anything for long at a time. It takes in everything
     presented to it in, so to speak, a hop, skip, and jump.

     "In company he is never at rest, and surprises one by his
     lively play of features and the entirely natural and
     unaffected expression of his thoughts. He is sitting at a
     lecture, perhaps, when a notion occurs to him, and forthwith
     indicates it by a humorous grimace or wink to some one
     sitting far away from him. He is always saying unexpected
     things. On the whole, he is a right good fellow, and I can
     imagine that, though he can come down hard on one with a
     heavy hand and stern look, he does not do so by the instinct
     of a despot, but acting under a sense of duty."

Another diplomatist has remarked the Emperor's habit in conversation
of tapping the person he is talking to on the shoulder and of
scrutinizing him all over--"ears, nose, clothes, until it makes one
feel quite uncomfortable."

The next sketch of him is as he may be seen any day during the
yachting week in June at Kiel:--

     "The Emperor is in the smoking-room of the Yacht Club,
     dressed in a blue lounge suit with a white peaked cap. He is
     sitting carelessly on the side of a table, dangling his legs
     and discussing with fellow-members and foreign yachtsmen the
     experience of the day, now speaking English, now French, now
     German. He seems quite in his element as sportsman, and puts
     every one at ease round him. His expression is animated and
     his voice hearty, if a little strident to foreign ears. His
     right hand and arm are in ceaseless movement, emphasizing
     and enforcing everything he says. He asks many questions and
     often invites opinion, and when it differs from his own, as
     sometimes happens, he takes it quite good-humouredly."

To-day the Emperor is outwardly much the same as he has just been
described. He is perhaps slightly more inclined to stoutness. His
features, though they speak of cleverness and manliness, are forgotten
as one looks into the keen and quickly moving grey eyes with their
peculiar dash of yellow. He is well set up, as is proper for a soldier
ever actively engaged in military duties, and his stride continues
firm and elastic. He is still constantly in the saddle. His hair,
still abundant, is yet beginning to show the first touches of the
coming frost of age, and the reddish brown moustache, once famous for
its haughtily upturned ends, has taken, either naturally or by the aid
of Herr Haby, the Court barber, who attends him daily, a nearly level
form.

In public, whether mounted or on foot, he preserves the somewhat stern
air he evidently thinks appropriate to his high station, but more
frequently than formerly the features relax into a pleasant smile. The
colour of the face is healthy, tending to rosiness, and the general
impression given is that of a clever man, conscious, yet not
overconscious, of his dignity. The shortness of the left arm, a defect
from birth, is hardly noticeable.

The extirpation of a polypus from the Emperor's throat in 1903, which
must have been one of the severest trials of his life when the history
of his father's mortal illness is remembered, might lead one to
suppose that his vocal organs would always suffer from the effects of
the operation. It has fortunately turned out otherwise. His voice was
originally strong by nature, and remains so. It never seems tired,
even when, as it often does, it pleases him to read aloud for his own
pleasure or that of a circle of friends. It frequently occurs that he
will pick up a book, one of his ancient favourites, Horace or Homer
perhaps, Mr. Stewart Houston Chamberlain's "Foundations of the
Nineteenth Century"--a work he greatly admires--or a modern
publication he has read of in the papers, and read aloud from it for
an hour or an hour and a half at a time. Nor is his reading aloud
confined to classical or German books. He is equally disposed to
choose works in English or French or Italian, and when he reads these
he is fond of doing so with a particularly clear and distinct
enunciation, partly as practice for himself, and partly that his
hearers may understand with certainty. This is not all, for there
invariably follows a discussion upon what has been read, and in it the
Emperor takes a constant and often emphatic part. It has been remarked
that at the close of the longest sitting of this character his voice
is as strong and sonorous as at the beginning.

He is still the early riser and hard worker he has always been; still
devotes the greater part of his time to the duties that fall to him as
War Lord; still races about the Empire by train or motor-car,
reviewing troops, laying foundation-stones, unveiling statues,
dedicating churches, attending manoeuvres, encouraging yachting at
Kiel by his presence during the yachting week, or hurrying off to meet
the monarch of a foreign country. He still enjoys his annual trip
along the shores of Norway or breaks away from the cares of State to
pass a few weeks at his Corfu castle, dazzling in its marble whiteness
and overlooking the Acroceraunian mountains, or to hunt or shoot at
the country seat of some influential or wealthy subject. In fine, he
is still engaged with all the energy of his nature, if in a somewhat
less flamboyant fashion than during his earlier years, in his, as he
believes, divinely appointed work of guiding Prussia's destiny and
building up the German Empire.

It is because he is an Empire-builder that his numerous journeys
abroad and restlessness of movement at home have earned for him the
nickname of the "travelling Kaiser." The Germans themselves do not
understand his conduct in this respect. If one urges that Hohenzollern
kings, and none of them more than the Great Elector and Frederick the
Great, were incessant travellers, they will reply that their kings had
to be so at a time when the Empire was not yet established, when
rebellious nobles had to be subdued, and when the spirit of
provincialism and particularism had to be counteracted. Hence, they
say, former Hohenzollerns had to exercise personal control in all
parts of their dominions, see that their military dispositions were
carried out, and study social and economic conditions on the spot; but
nowadays, when the Empire is firmly established, when the
administration is working like a clock and the post and telegraph are
at command, the Emperor should stay at home and direct everything from
his capital.

The Emperor himself evidently takes a different view. He does not
consider the forty-year-old Empire as completed and consolidated, but
regards it much as the Great Elector or Frederick the Great regarded
Prussia when that kingdom was in the making. He believes in
propagating the imperial idea by his personal presence in all parts of
the Empire, and at the same time observing the progress that is being
made there. He is, finally, a believer in getting into personal touch,
as far as is possible, with foreign monarchs, foreign statesmen, and
foreign peoples, for he doubtless sees that with every decade the
interests of nations are becoming more closely identified.

In connexion with the subject of the Emperor's travelling, mention may
be made of the fact that many years ago he thought it necessary to
explain himself publicly in reference to the idea, prevalent among his
people at the time, that he was travelling too much. "On my travels,"
he said,

     "I design not only to make myself acquainted with foreign
     countries and institutions, and to foster friendly relations
     with neighbouring rulers, but these journeys, which have
     been often misinterpreted, have high value in enabling me to
     observe home affairs from a distance and submit them to a
     quiet examination."

He expresses something in the same order of thought in a speech
telling of his reflections on the high sea concerning his
responsibilities as ruler:

     "When one is alone on the high sea, with only God's starry
     heaven above him, and holds communion with himself, one will
     not fail to appreciate the value of such a journey. I could
     wish many of my countrymen to live through hours like these,
     in which one can take reckoning of what he has designed and
     what achieved. Then one would be cured of over
     self-estimation--and that we all need."

When the Emperor is about to start on a journey, confidential
telegrams are sent to the railway authorities concerned, and
immediately a thorough inspection of the line the Emperor is about to
travel over is ordered. Tunnels, bridges, points, railway crossings,
are all subjected to examination, and spare engines kept in immediate
readiness in case of a breakdown occurring to the imperial train. The
police of the various towns through which the monarch is to pass are
also communicated with and their help requisitioned in taking
precautions for his safety. Like any private person, the Emperor pays
his own fares, which are reckoned at the rate of an average of fifteen
shillings to one pound sterling a mile. A recent journey to
Switzerland cost him in fares L200. Of late years he has saved money
in this respect by the more frequent use of the royal motor-cars. The
royal train is put together by selecting those required from fifteen
carriages which are always ready for an imperial journey. If the
journey is short, a saloon carriage and refreshment car are deemed
sufficient; in case of a long journey the train consists of a buffer
carriage in addition, with two saloon cars for the suite and two
wagons for the luggage. The train is always accompanied by a high
official of the railway, who, with mechanics and spare guard, is in
direct telephonic communication with the engine-driver and guard. The
carriages are coloured alike, ivory-white above the window-line and
lacquered blue below.

All the carriages, with the exception of the saloon dining-car, are of
the corridor type. A table runs down the centre of the dining-car; the
Emperor takes his seat in the centre, while the rest of the suite and
guests take their places at random, save that the elder travellers are
supposed to seat themselves about the Emperor. If the Emperor has
guests with him they naturally have seats beside or in the near
neighbourhood of their host. Breakfast is taken about half-past eight,
lunch at one, and dinner at seven or eight. The Emperor is always
talkative at table, and often draws into conversation the remoter
members of the company, occasionally calling to them by their nickname
or a pet name. He sits for an hour or two after dinner, with a glass
of beer and a huge box of cigars before him, discussing the incidents
of the journey or recalling his experiences at various periods of his
reign.

The Emperor's disposition of the year remains much what it was at the
beginning of the reign. The chief changes in it are the omission of a
yachting visit to Cowes, which he made annually from 1889 to 1895,
and, since 1908, the habit of making an annual summer stay at his
Corfu castle, "Achilleion," instead of touring in the Mediterranean
and visiting Italian cities. January is spent in Berlin in connexion
with the New Year festivities, ambassadorial and other Court
receptions, drawing-rooms, and balls, and the celebration of his
birthday on the 27th. The Berlin season extends into the middle of
February, so that part of that month also is spent in Berlin. During
the latter half of February and in March the Emperor is usually at
Potsdam, occasionally motoring to Berlin to give audience or for some
special occasion. April and part of May are passed in Corfu. Towards
the end of May the Emperor returns to Germany and goes to Wiesbaden
for the opera and Festspiele in the royal theatre; but he must be in
Berlin before May has closed, for the spring parade of the Berlin and
Potsdam garrisons on the vast Tempelhofer Field. His return on
horseback from this parade is always the occasion of popular
enthusiasm in Berlin's principal streets. In early June the Emperor
stays at Potsdam or perhaps pays a visit to some wealthy noble, and at
the end of the month the yachting week calls him to Kiel. Once that is
over he proceeds on his annual tour along the coast of Norway.
September sees him back in Germany for the autumn manoeuvres. October
and November are devoted to shooting at Rominten or some other
imperial hunting lodge, or with some large landowner or industrial
magnate. The whole of December is usually spent at Potsdam, save for
an annual visit to his friend Prince Fuerstenberg at Donaueschingen.
Naturally he is in Potsdam for Christmas, when all the imperial family
assemble to celebrate the festival in good old German style.

In music, as we know, he retains the classical tastes he has always
cultivated and sometimes dictatorially recommended. Good music, he has
said, is like a piece of lace, not like a display of fireworks. He
still has most musical enjoyment in listening to Bach and Handel. The
former he has spoken of as one of the most "modern" of composers, and
will point out that his works contain melodious passages that might be
the musical thought of Franz Lehar or Leo Fall. He has no great liking
for the music of Richard Strauss, and his admiration of Wagner, if
certain themes, that must, one feels, have been drawn from the music
of the spheres, be excepted, is respectful rather than rapturous. Of
Wagner's works the "Meistersingers" is "my favourite."

A faculty that in the Emperor has developed with the years is that of
applying a sense of humour, not originally small, to the events of
everyday life. He is always ready to joke with his soldiers and
sailors, with artists, professors, ministers--in short, with men of
every class and occupation. Several stories in illustration of his
humour are current, but a homely example or two may here suffice. He
is sitting in semi-darkness in the parquet at the Royal Opera House.
"Le Prophete" is in rehearsal, and it is the last act, in which there
is a powder cask, ready to blow everything to atoms, standing outside
the cathedral. Fraulein Frieda Hempel, as the heroine, appears with a
lighted torch and is about to take her seat on the cask. Suddenly the
imperial voice is heard from the semi-gloom: "Fraulein Hempel, it is
evident you haven't had a military training or you wouldn't take a
light so near a barrel of gunpowder." And the _prima donna_ has to
take her place on the other side of the stage. Or he is presenting
Professor Siegfried Ochs, the famous manager of the Philharmonic
Concerts, with the Order of the Red Eagle, third class, and with a
friendly smile gracefully excuses himself for conferring an "Order of
the third class on a musician of the first class," by pleading
official rule. A third popular anecdote tells of a lady seated beside
him at the dinner-table. Salad is being offered to her, but she thinks
she is bound to give all her attention to the Emperor and takes no
notice of it. Thereupon the Emperor: "Gnadige Frau, an Emperor can
wait, but the salad cannot." Possibly the Emperor had in mind Louis
XIII, who complained that he never ate a plate of warm soup in his
life, it had to pass through so many hands to reach him.

The German takes his theatre as he takes life, seriously. To cough
during a performance attracts embarrassing attention, a sneeze almost
amounts to misdemeanour. To the German the theatre is a part of the
machinery of culture, and accordingly he is not so easily bored as the
Anglo-Saxon playgoer, who demands that drama shall contain that great
essential of all good drama, action. To the Anglo-Saxon, the more
plentiful and rapid the action is, the better. The German, differing
from most Anglo-Saxons, likes historical scenes, great processions,
costume festivals, the representation of mediaeval events in which his
monarchs and generals played conspicuous parts. The Emperor has the
same disposition and taste.

Yet both national taste and disposition, like other of the nation's
characteristics, are slowly altering with the growth of the modern
spirit, and Germans now begin to require something of a more modern
kind, a more social order, something that comes home more to their
business and bosoms. Greater variety in subject is asked for, more
laughter and tears, more representations of scenes and life dealing
with everyday doings and the fate of the people as distinguished from
the doings and fate of their rulers and the upper classes. The Emperor
has not followed his people in the new direction. He regards the stage
as a vehicle of patriotism, an instrument of education, a guider of
artistic taste, an inculcator of old-time morality. Its aim, he
appears to think, is not to help to produce, primarily, the good man
and good citizen, but the good man and good monarchist,
and--perhaps--not so much primarily the good monarchist as the liege
subject of the Hohenzollern dynasty. Having secured this, he looks for
the elevation of the public taste along his own lines. He assumes that
the public taste can be elevated from without, from above, when it can
only be elevated proportionately with its progress in general
education and its purification from within. Consequently he is for the
"classical," as in the other arts. But apart from its aims and uses,
the theatre has always appealed to him. His fondness for it is a
Hohenzollern characteristic, which has shown itself, with more or less
emphasis, in monarch after monarch of the line. Nor is it surprising
that monarchs should take pleasure in the stage, since the theatre is
one of the places which brings them and their subjects together in the
enjoyment of common emotions, and shows them, if only at second hand,
the domestic lives of millions, from personal acquaintance with which
their royal birth and surroundings exclude them.

The Emperor treats all artists, male and female, in the same friendly
and unaffected manner. There is never the least soupcon of
condescension in the one case or flirtation in the other, but in both
a lively and often unexpectedly well-informed interest in the play or
other artistic performance of the occasion, and in the actors' or
actresses' personal records. The nationality of the artist has
apparently nothing to do with this interest. The Emperor invites
French, Italian, English, American or Scandinavian artists to the
royal box after a performance as often as he invites the artists of
his own country, and, once launched on a conversation, nothing gives
him more pleasure than to expound his views on music, painting, or the
drama, as the case may be. "Tempo--rhythm--colour," he has been heard
to insist on to a conductor whom in the heat of his conviction he had
gradually edged into a corner and before whom he stood with
gesticulating arms--"All the rest is _Schwindel_." At an entertainment
given by Ambassador Jules Cambon at the French Embassy after the
Morocco difficulty had been finally adjusted, he became so interested
while talking to a group of French actors that high dignatories of the
Empire, including Princes, the Imperial Chancellor and Ministers,
standing in another part of the _salon_, grew impatient and had to
detach one of their number to call the Emperor's attention to their
presence. Since then, it is whispered, it has become the special
function of an adjutant, when the occasion demands it, diplomatically
and gently to withdraw the imperial _causeur_ from too absorbing
conversation.

Several anecdotes are current having reference to the Emperor as
sportsman. One of them, for example, mentions a loving-cup of
Frederick William III's time, kept at the hunting lodge of Letzlingen,
which is filled with champagne and must be emptied at a draught by
anyone visiting the lodge for the first time. This is great fun for
the Emperor, who a year or two ago made a number of Berlin guests,
including Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg, the Austrian Ambassador,
Szoghenyi-Marich, the Secretary for the Navy, Admiral von Tirpitz, and
the Crown Prince of Greece stand before him and drain the cup. As the
story goes, "the attempts of the guests to drink out of the heavy cup,
which is fixed into a set of antlers in such a way as to make it
difficult to drink without spilling the wine, caused great amusement."

The principles of sport generally, it may be here interpolated, are
not quite the same in Germany as in England, though no country has
imitated England in regard to sport so closely and successfully as
Germany. Up to a comparatively few years ago the Germans had neither
inclination nor means for it, and though always enthusiastic hunters,
hunting--not the English fox-hunting, but hunting the boar and the
bear, the wolf and the deer--was almost the sole form of manly sport
practised. _Turnen_, the most popular sort of German indoor
gymnastics, only began in 1861, a couple of years after the birth of
the Emperor. There are now nearly a dozen cricket clubs alone in
Berlin, football clubs all over the Empire, tennis clubs in every
town, rowing clubs at all the seaports and along the large rivers,
nearly all following English rules and in numerous cases using English
sporting terms. At the same time sport is not the religion it is in
England--indeed, to keep up the metaphor, hardly a living creed.

The German attitude towards sport is not altogether the same as the
English attitude. In England the object of the game is that the best
man shall win, that he shall not be in any way unfairly or unequally
handicapped _vis-a-vis_ his opponent, and the honour, not the
intrinsic value of the prize, is the main consideration. These
principles are not yet fully understood or adopted in Germany,
possibly owing to the early military training of the German youth
making the carrying off the prize anyhow and by any means the main
object. It is _Realpolitik_ in sport, and a _Realpolitik_ which is not
wholly unknown in England; but while the spirit of _Realpolitik_ is
still perceivable in German sport, it is equally perceivable that the
standard English way of viewing sporting competition is becoming more
and more approached in Germany.

The Emperor is an enthusiastic patron of sport of all healthy outdoor
kinds, not as sympathizing with the English youth's disposition to
regard play as work and work as play, to give to his business any time
he can spare from his sport, but because he estimates at its full
value its place in the national health-budget. His personal likings
are for bear-shooting, deer-stalking, and yachting, but he also wields
the lawn-tennis racket and the rapier with fair skill. The names of
several of his hunting lodges---Rominten, Springe, Hubertusstock, and
so on--are familiar to many people in all countries. Rominten preserve
is in East Prussia, and embraces about four square miles, with
little lakes and some rising ground. September is the Emperor's
favourite month for visiting it. Here one year he shot a famous
eight-and-twenty-ender antelope, which had come across from Russian
territory. Before the present reign the deer, or pig, or other wild
animal used to be beaten up to the royal sportsman of the day, but
that practice has long ceased, and the Emperor has to tramp many a
mile, and at times crawl on all fours for hundreds of yards, to get a
shot.

We have seen that the Emperor's position as King and Emperor renders
inevitable his adoption, either of natural bent, which is extremely
probable, or from a policy in harmony with the wishes of his people,
of a view of the monarch's office that to perhaps most Englishmen
living under parliamentary rule must seem antiquated, not to say
absurd. This attitude apart, the Emperor possesses, as it is hoped has
been sufficiently shown, as modern and progressive a spirit as any of
his contemporaries. His instant recognition of all useful modern
appliances, particularly, of course, those of possible service in war,
is a prominent feature of his mentality. He went, doubtless, too far
in heralding Count Zeppelin, in 1909, as "the greatest man of the
century," but the very words he chose to use marked his appreciation
of the new aeronautical science Count Zeppelin was introducing.
Similarly, the moment the automobile had entered on the stage of
reliability it won a place in the imperial favour, and is now his most
constant means of locomotion. He has never, it is true, emulated the
enterprise of his son, the Crown Prince, whom Mr. Orville Wright had
as a companion for a quarter of an hour in the air at Potsdam three
years ago, but his interest in the aeroplane is none the less keen
because he is too conscious of his responsibilities to subject his
life to unnecessary risk.

Before closing our sketch of the Emperor as a man by quoting
appreciations written by two contemporary writers, one German and the
other English, it may be added that there is a statesman still--it is
pleasant to think--alive who could, an he only would, draw the
Emperor's character perfectly, both as man and monarch. Indeed, as has
been seen, he has more than once sketched parts of it in Parliament,
but only parts--the whole character of the Emperor, on all its sides
and in all its ramifications, has yet to be revealed. Here need only
be quoted what Chancellor Buelow--and also, by the way, Princess
Buelow--publicly said about the Emperor as man. The Prince's most
noteworthy statement was made in the Reichstag in 1903, when, in
answer to Leader-of-the-Opposition Bebel, the Prince said, "One thing
at least, the Emperor is no Philistine," and proceeded to explain,
rather negatively and disappointingly, that the Emperor possesses what
the Greeks call megalopsychia--a great soul. One knows but too well
the English Philistine, that stolid, solid, self-sufficient bulwark of
the British Constitution. The German Philistine is his twin brother,
the narrow-minded, conservative burgher. Other epithets the Prince
applied to the imperial character were "simple," "natural," "hearty,"
"magnanimous," "clear-headed," and "straightforward"; while Princess
Buelow, during a conversation her husband was having with the French
journalist, M. Jules Huret, in 1907, interjected the remark that he
was "a person of good birth, _fils de bonne maison_, the descendant of
distinguished ancestors, and a modern man of great intelligence."

But let us see how the Emperor appears to his contemporaries. Dr. Paul
Liman, who has made the most serious attempt to sketch the character
of the Emperor that has yet appeared in German, writes:--

     "We see in him a nature whose ground-tone is enthusiasm,
     phantasy, and a passionate impulse towards action. Filled
     with the highest sense of the imperial rights and duties
     assigned to him, convinced that these are the direct
     expression of a divine will, he has inwardly thrown off the
     bonds of modern constitutional ideas and in words recently
     spoken, where he claimed responsibility for fifty-eight
     million people, converted these ideas into a formula that,
     while unconstitutional, is yet moral and deeply earnest.
     These words were doubly valuable as giving insight into the
     soul of a man who can be mistaken in his conclusions and
     means, but not in his motives, since these are directed to
     the general weal. Here, too, we find the explanation of the
     fact that at one time he comes before us surrounded with the
     blue and hazy nimbus of the romantic period, and at another
     as the most modern prince of our time. Out of the rise in
     him of the consciousness of majesty there grows a greater
     sense of duty, and instead of keeping watch from his turret
     over his people he loses himself in detail. And precisely
     here must he fail, because modern life with its development
     is far too rich in complications and activities to admit of
     its submitting to patriarchal benevolence. And because an
     artistic strain and a strong fantasy simultaneously work in
     him, he moves joyfully beyond the limits of the actual to
     raise before our eyes the highly coloured dream of the
     picture of a time in which all men, all nations, will be
     friendly and reconciled--an artist's dream. Here is
     something characteristic, something unusual, to give
     particular charm to a personality which has no parallel in
     the history of the dynasty hitherto. There may be concealed
     in it the seed of illustrious deeds, but only too often
     disappointment and contempt lie scornfully in wait when the
     deed is accomplished. For the heaven we erect on earth
     always comes to naught, and the idealist is always
     vanquished in the strife with fact."

So far, Dr. Liman. Mr. Sydney Brooks, in a sketch in _Maclure's
Magazine_ for July, 1910, writes:--

     "The drawback to any and to every _regime_ of paternal
     absolutism is that the human mind is limited. The Kaiser
     will not admit it, but his acts prove it. It is not given to
     one man to know more about everything than anybody else
     knows about anything; and the Kaiser, who is a good deal of
     a dilettante, and believes himself omniscient, at times
     speaks from a lamentable half-knowledge, and occasionally
     has to call in the imperial authority to back up his
     verdicts against the judgments of experts.

     "Unquestionably his mind is of an unusual order. It is a
     facile, quickly moving instrument; it works in flashes; it
     assimilates seemingly without effort, and it is at its best
     under the highest pressure. The Kaiser is not to be laughed
     at for wanting to know all there is to be known, but he may
     justly be criticized for failing to distinguish between the
     attempt and its failure....

     "Is it all charlatanerie? Is it all of a part with his
     speech in Russian to the regiment of which the Czar made him
     honorary colonel, a studied trumpery effort, designed for a
     momentary effect? Is the Kaiser just glitter and tinsel,
     impulse and rhapsody, with nothing solid beneath? Is it his
     supreme object to make an impression at any cost, to force,
     like another Nero, the popular applause by arts more
     becoming to a _cabotin_ than a sovereign? Vanity,
     restlessness, a consuming desire for the palm without the
     dust--an intense and theatrical egotism--are these the
     qualities that give the clue to his character and actions?

     "I do not think so altogether. The Kaiser has scattered too
     much. In an age of specialists on many subjects he speaks
     like an amateur. He is always the hero, and often the
     victim, of his own imagination; like a star actor, he cannot
     bear to be outshone; he is morbidly, almost pruriently,
     conscious of the effect he is producing. And on all matters
     of intellect and taste his influence makes for blatant
     mediocrity. But he is not meretricious; at bottom he is not
     by any means as superficial and insincere as he often seems.
     He is one of those men in whom an instinct becomes an
     immutable truth, an idea a conviction, and a suspicion a
     certainty, by an almost instantaneous process; and, the
     process completed, action follows forthwith. The Kaiser is
     always resolved to do the right thing; the right thing, by
     some quaint but invariable coincidence, is whatever he is
     resolved to do."

These appreciations from afar may be as sound as they are brilliant,
but they rather refer to the non-essential parts of the character of
the Emperor in the first flush of imperial glory than to the essential
character as it has developed with the years.

As a man--he will be dealt with as monarch presently--his essential
character must be judged from his conduct, and conduct extending over
a good many years. One might say, conduct and reputation, but that
reputation is so often the result of a confused mixture of superficial
observation, gossip, tittle-tattle, envy, hatred and uncharitableness,
and, in the case of an Emperor, of merely picturesque and effective
writing.

There is another source which would materially help us in forming a
judgment, but it is wholly wanting in the case of the Emperor. No
private correspondence of his is, as yet, available to the world.

Again, a man's character is determined by his motives, if it is not
the other way about; in any case, a man's motives are for the most
part inscrutable and can only be deduced from conduct, while the world
usually makes the mistake of explaining conduct by attributing its own
motives. Tried, then, by the standard of conduct, the only one
available, the Emperor, as a man, shows us a high type of humanity. It
may not, probably does not, appeal to Englishmen wholly, but there are
features of it which must command, and do command, the respect of
people of all nationalities. And, first of all, he is a good man; good
as a Christian, good as a husband, good as a father, good as a
patriot. With all the power and temptation to gratify his
inclinations, he has no personal vices of the baser sort. He is
moderate in the satisfaction of his appetites, whether for food or
wine. He is no debauchee, no voluptuary, no gambler. He is faithful to
old friends and comrades. He has high ideals, and is not ashamed of
them. He is neither indolent nor fussy; neither a cynic, nor an
intriguer, nor a fool; he is neither wrong-headed nor stubborn; he is
honest and sincere to a degree that does him honour as a man, if it
has sometimes proved perilous and blameworthy in him as a monarch. He
is optimistic, and on good grounds. He is no physical or intellectual
giant, but he is a man of more than average all-round intelligence and
capacity. If this appreciation is correct, or even approximately
correct, it is a testimonial, whatever may be its worth, to great
merit.

Yet the Emperor as man has his failings and drawbacks, though they are
such as time is almost sure to diminish or eradicate. Notably in his
earlier years he lacked judgment, the power of balancing
considerations and arriving at conclusions from them which men more
gifted with poise would endorse as logical and inevitable. He does
not, like spare Cassius, see quite through the deeds of men, as his
friendship for Count Phili Eulenburg and the malodorous "Camarilla" go
to show, and his choice of Imperial Chancellors, his grand viziers,
has not in every instance been happy. He has less tact than character,
as he showed once in Vienna, where he greatly pained the Foreign
Minister, Count Goluchowski, one day at a club by calling to him,
"Golu, Golu, come and sit beside your Kaiser." He has the German
masculine enjoyment in a kind of humour which would have delighted Fox
and the three-bottle men, but would sadly shock the susceptibilities
of an Oxford aesthete. He has a share of personal vanity, but it
springs from the desire to look the Emperor he is, not because he
supposes for a moment that he is an Adonis. He is theatrical in
exactly the same spirit--the desire imperially to impress his folk in
the sense of the German word _imponieren_, a word that needs no
translation. If he has lost much of Dr. Liman's "romantik," he still
retains the "scatteredness" of Mr. Sidney Brooks, though the Emperor
would rather hear it called "many-sidedness." _En resume_ he has the
defects of his qualities, but to no man or woman's unmerited loss or
injury, and if we weigh the good qualities with the bad, we find a
fine balance remaining to his credit as a man.

The fierce light which beats upon a throne, if it is apt to dazzle the
bystander, helps those at a distance, especially in these days of the
still fiercer light of modern publicity, to judge fairly the throne's
occupant. The character of the Emperor as monarch ought, therefore, as
far as is possible in the absence of archives marked "secret and
confidential" and yet lying in the ministries of all countries, to
disclose itself nowadays with reasonable clearness. Yet, even still,
different and conflicting opinions regarding it are to be gathered in
Germany and out of it.

Indeed, his own people are among the severest critics. One of them,
Professor Quidde, early in the reign, made an extraordinarily
ingenious, but quite unjustifiable, comparison of him to Caligula,
which, though only consisting of classical quotations and making no
mention of the Emperor, was seen by everybody to refer to him and has
caused discussion ever since. While many foreign critics have done the
Emperor justice, others in turn have made him out to be arrogant,
snobbish, bombastic, superficial, incompetent, and insincere. To
writers of this class he is always the German War Lord, ready to
pounce, like a highwayman or pirate, on any unprotected person or
property he may come across, regardless of treaty obligations, of
international disaster, or of the dictates of humanity. One day they
announce he is planning the annexation of Holland in order to get a
further set of naval bases, the next that he means to take Belgium to
make a road for his armies into France, a third that he is about to
set at naught the Monroe doctrine and with his Dreadnoughts seize
Brazil. All these things are conceivable and not impossible, but they
are in the very highest degree improbable, and, as yet at least, ought
not to be considered seriously. To sensible and better-informed people
everywhere he is a Prussian king of the best type, a sincere friend of
peace, with a mania for pushing the maxim "_Si vis pacem para bellum_"
to extremes, politically the most influential man in Europe, and, with
all his faults, one of the greatest Germans of his time.

The character of the Emperor, as monarch, is reflected very largely in
the character of the Germany of to-day.

Germany is optimistic, ardently desirous of peace, bent on worthily
maintaining the great place she has won, and deserved to win, among
the nations, and so materially prosperous as to make many Germans
tremble at the thought that the prosperity may be too great to last.
This, however, is not to assert that in Germany everything is _couleur
de rose_. There are not a few things in the Empire's social and
political conditions which are antiquated or promise no good. Noxious
as well as beneficial forces have been introduced into the social life
of the country and are beginning to make themselves felt. German
home-life is ceasing to be the admirable and exemplary thing it was
before the present era of class rivalry, commercialism, the parvenu
and the snob. The idealism which made the Empire a possibility is
passing away. There is need, and a general demand, for franchise
reform in Prussia, and a change in the spirit of Prussian bureaucratic
administration would be acceptable, though it is, perhaps, hopeless to
expect it. The opposition in Germany between the monarchic and the
democratic principle, if not more marked than it was twenty or thirty
years ago, is manifesting itself over a wider and perhaps deeper area.
The relations between capital and labour are far from satisfactory
adjustment. Social democracy is yearly gaining fresh adherents, and if
guilty of no political violence, is yet a constant source of danger to
domestic peace. The German middle class, that bourgeoisie which is the
backbone and strength of the Empire, is losing its Spartan simplicity
and its content with small and moderate pleasures; and the national
virtues of thrift and self-denial are yielding to the temptations of
wealth and luxury. Business credit is unduly stretched, speculation in
land has attained disturbing proportions, and the banking world is in
too many instances allied with hazardous or doubtful enterprises.
Nevertheless the country as a whole is sound, intellectually, morally,
and financially.

It would be difficult to mention any of the greater tasks of imperial
administration to which the Emperor does not continue to devote
personal attention. He is the life and soul of the army and navy,
though it should not be forgotten that as regards the latter he has in
Admiral Tirpitz an executive talent worthy of his own directive. His
interest in the mercantile marine remains what it was when in 1887, as
Prince William, he drew up an expert opinion which decided the
Hamburg-Amerika Company to build their fast ocean-going steamers at
home instead of abroad, and by the success of the experiment commenced
the modern development of Germany's shipbuilding industry. Indeed, his
attention to the Hamburg line, familiarly known as the "Hapag" line,
from the initial letters of its legal title, "Hamburg-Amerika
Packetfahrt-Aktien Gesellschaft," and to the Norddeutsche line from
Bremen, has given rise to the unfounded belief that he is heavily
interested in their financial success. Herr Albert Ballin, the
Director of the Hamburg line, though a Jew, is among his intimates and
advisers, and the Emperor is said to have caused umbrage more than
once to Court officials and the aristocracy by giving directors of
both lines precedence at his table. Without the Emperor's personal
support it is probable that neither the firm of Krupp at Essen nor the
splendid shipbuilding yards at Hamburg, Bremen, Stettin and elsewhere
would continue to progress as they are doing. He neglects no
opportunity of stimulating Germany's internal and external trade.
He is at all times ready to encourage the introduction of useful
achievements of modern science and invention. And lastly, by
tactful treatment of other German rulers, and a wise policy of
non-interference with their States, he is promoting a feeling of
federal solidarity.

The Emperor's conception of his relations to the people remains to-day
what he was brought up in and what it was when he mounted the throne.
In England, America, and France the people are the real rulers, and
their monarch or president is their highest official servant and
representative. The idea is not perhaps constitutionally expressed,
but it is universally and deeply felt in the countries named. In
Germany the opposite theory obtains--for how long it must be left to
the future to say. In Germany the Emperor is the real ruler, the
genuine monarch, and the people are his subjects, the country his
country. Hence, while an English king in an official document or
public statement would not think of putting himself first and the
people or country second, the German Emperor's official statements and
speeches constantly repeat such expressions as "I and my people," "I
and the army," "my capital," "me and the Fatherland," and a score
more; so that Anglo-Saxons and other foreigners acquire the impression
that the word "my" is no figure of rhetoric or pride, but a simple
claim of ownership or possession. And the official relation between
monarch and people is reflected in the people's ordinary life. To the
foreigner it continually appears that the public are the servants of
the official, not the contrary, whether officialism takes the shape of
a post-office clerk, a tramcar conductor, a shop salesman, a
policeman, or a waiter. All these functionaries are the possessors of
an authority which the citizen is expected to, and usually does, obey.
The explanation of such a state of things is a little abstruse, but an
attempt may be made at giving it.

The period immediately preceding the reign of Frederick the Great was
a period of absolute monarchy in Germany, a system introduced from
France, where Louis XIV had proclaimed the doctrine _L'etat, c'est
moi_, according to which the lives and property of the subject
belonged to the Prince, whose will was to be obeyed without question
or demur. There were now four hundred courts in Germany in imitation
of the Court of Versailles, and the smaller the principality the
greater the absolutism. Absolutism, however, required an army to
support it; hence the establishment of standing and mercenary armies
and the disuse of arms by the citizen. The result, to quote Professor
Ernst Richard's work on "German Civilization," was that

     "the pride of the burgher and the peasant was broken. A
     submissive servility hopelessly pervaded the masses, and
     even the best had lost all social and national feeling, all
     sense of being part of a greater body.... The luxurious life
     and the arrogance of the ruling classes were accepted as a
     matter of course, one might say as a divine institution.
     Thus those traits of character, which had come to light
     under the cruel stress of the Thirty Years War, fostered by
     the rule of despotism and the worst vices, took deeper root.
     To these belong that greed for social position, for titles
     and the smiles of the great; servility towards those who
     hold a higher position as bearers of official titles and
     dignity, a fear of publicity, above all a rather remarkable
     inclination to a peevish, petty, and sceptical attitude as
     regards the knowledge and ability of others. The exaltation
     of the position of the prince extended to his Court and his
     officials, as well as to the nobility, which had long since
     become a Court nobility."

But absolutism had to go with the changes in human thought under the
influence of Rationalism, which brought with it the idea of the State,
not the absolute prince, as ruler. This idea was embodied in the
_Rechtstaat_, or State based on law, which was introduced by Frederick
the Great, the "first servant of the State." The State, he said,
exists for the sake of the citizens. "One must be insane," he wrote,

     "to imagine that men should have said to one of their
     equals, 'We will raise you so that we may be your slaves, we
     will give you the power to guide our thoughts according to
     yours.' They rather said: 'We need you in order to execute
     our laws, that you show us the way, and defend us. But we
     understand that you will respect our liberties.'"

The _Rechtstaat_ exists in Germany to the present day, the Emperor is
at the head of it, and the people are content to live within its
confines. It is not, as has been seen, coterminous with the whole
liberty of the subject, but is yet a vast bundle of rights and
obligations which in public, and much of private, life leaves as
little as possible to the unaided or undirected intelligence or
goodwill of the citizen. It is an exaggeration, but still expresses a
popular feeling even in Germany itself--and certainly describes an
impression made on the Anglo-Saxon--to say that outside this bundle of
laws and regulations, which, clearly and logically paragraphed, orders
to a nicety all the public, and many of the private, relations of the
citizens, everything is forbidden or discouraged by authority. Yet, as
has been said, the people are satisfied with it, and it must be
admitted that if it confines individual liberty within what to the
Anglo-Saxon seem narrow limits, still, by directing the individual to
common ends, it works great public advantage. It is in truth a very
intelligent and practical form of Socialism, infinitely less
oppressive to the people than would be the socialism of the professed
Socialist.

It left, however, the German caste system of Frederick's day
undisturbed; as Professor Richard says:

     "The nobility retained its privileged position. It was
     considered a law of nature that the noblemen should assist
     the monarch in the administration of the State and as
     leaders of the army; the peasant should cultivate the fields
     and provide food; the commoner should provide money through
     industry and commerce."

To the Anglo-Saxon, of course, brought up with individualistic views
of life and demanding complete personal freedom, the German
_Rechtstaat_ would be galling, not to say intolerable. The Englishman,
however, has his _Rechtstaat_ too, but the limits it places on his
liberty are not nearly so restrictive in regard to public meeting,
public talking, public writing, in short, public action of all sorts,
as in Germany. Besides, the spirit of laws in England, as naturally
follows from the Englishman's political history, is a much more
liberal one than the German spirit, which is still to some extent
under the influence of the age of absolutism.

The German conception of the _Rechtstaat_ entails, as one of its
consequences, a sharp contrast between the rights and privileges of
the Crown and the rights and privileges of the people; and therefore,
while the Emperor is never without apprehension that the people may
try to increase their rights and privileges at the expense of those of
the Crown, the people are not without apprehension that the Crown may
try to increase its rights and privileges at the expense of the
political liberties of the people. To this apprehension on the part of
the people is to be attributed their widespread dissatisfaction with
the Emperor's so-called "personal regiment," which, until recently,
was the chief hindrance to his popularity. In truth the Emperor is in
a difficult position. To be popular with the people he must be popular
with the Parliament, but if he were to seek popularity with the
Parliament he would lose popularity and prestige with the aristocracy
and large landowners, who have still a good deal of the old-time
contempt for the mere "folk," the burgher, and he would lose it with
the military officer class, which is aristocratic in spirit, and is,
as the Emperor is constantly assuring it, the sole support of throne
and Empire. In addition to this it has to be remembered that a large
majority of South Germany is Catholic, and, generally speaking, no
great lover of Prussia, its people, and their airs of stiff
superiority.

The personal relations of the Emperor to his people, and in especial
to the vast burghertum, are precisely those to be expected from his
traditional and constitutional relations. He is not popular, but he is
widely and sincerely respected. His preference for the army,
intelligible though it is, and the cleavage that separates Government
and people, explain to some extent the want of popularity, using
that word in its "popular" sense; while the consciousness of all
the nation owes to his "goodwill," his initiative and energy, his
conscientiousness in all directions, is quite sufficient to account
for the respect. It is, in truth, in part at least, the respect which
excludes the popularity. No one is ever likely to be popular,
anywhere, who is constantly endeavouring to teach people how to live
and what to think, and at the same time seems to have no social
weaknesses to reconcile him with those--no small number--who are fond
of cakes and ale. Some of the Emperor's acts and speeches have
postponed, if not precluded, eventual popularity--his breach with
Bismarck, for example, the whole "personal regiment," and speeches
like that at Potsdam in 1891, when he told his recruits that if he had
to order them to shoot down their brothers, or even their parents,
they must obey without a murmur. Speeches of this last kind live long
in public memory. In his dealings with his people the Emperor is
neither arrogant--"high-nosed" is the elegant German expression:
"arrogant" is no German word, Prince Buelow would doubtless say--
towards his subjects, nor are they cringing towards him, though this
statement does not exclude the excusable embarrassment an ordinary
mortal may be expected to feel in the presence of a monarch. The
Emperor himself desires no "tail-wagging" from his subjects, and
though there is something of the autocrat in him, there is nothing of
the despot.

Certainly for the present, Germans, with rare exceptions, are
satisfied with him. They are prospering under him. The shoe pinches
here and there, and if it pinches too hard they will cry out and
perhaps do more than cry out. They do not consider the Emperor
perfect, but they forgive his errors, and particularly the errors of
his impetuous youth, even though on three or four occasions they
brought the country into danger. Monarchy has been defined as a State
in which the attention of the nation is concentrated on one person
doing interesting things: a republic, as a State in which the
attention is divided between many who are all doing uninteresting
things: Germans find their Emperor interesting, and that is a stage on
the road to popularity.

The imperial ego, which is quite consistent with the German view of
monarchical rule and conformity with the _Rechtstaat_, is specially
advertised by the pictures and statues of the Emperor which are to be
found all over Germany, to the apparent exclusion of the pictures and
statues of national and local men of distinction. The Emperor's
picture almost monopolizes the walls of every public and municipal
office, every railway-station refreshment-room, every shop, every
restaurant throughout the Empire. Wherever it turns the eye is
confronted by the portrait or bust of the Emperor, and if it is not
his portrait or bust, it is the portrait or bust of one or other of
his ancestors. An exception should be made in the case of Bismarck,
the reproduction of whose rugged features, shaggy eyebrows, and bulky
frame are not infrequent; statues and portraits, too, of Moltke and
Roon, though much more rarely met with than those of Bismarck, are to
be seen, while those of Goethe, Schiller, Kant, Lessing, Wagner, or
other German "Immortal," are still rarer. Only once, or perhaps twice,
in all Germany is there to be found a public statue of Heine--for
Heine was a Jew and said many unpleasant, because true, things about
his country. The travelling foreigner in Germany after a while begins
to wonder if he is not in some far Eastern country where
ancestor-worship obtains, and where one tremendous personality
overshadows, obscures, and obliterates all the rest. In truth,
however, this is not the lesson of the imperial images for the
foreigner. They teach him that he is in a country with a system of
government and views of the State different from his own, that the
Empire is ruled in a military, not a civic spirit, and that the
counterfeit presentment of the Emperor, always in dazzling uniform, is
the sign of the national acceptance of system, views, and spirit.

A similar lesson is taught by the Emperor's speeches. In England the
King rarely speaks in public, and then with well-calculated brevity
and reserve. In five words he will open a museum and with a sentence
unveil a monument. The Emperor's speeches fill four stout volumes--and
he is only fifty-four. The speeches deal with every sort of topic, and
have been delivered in all parts of the Empire--now to Parliament, now
to his assembled generals, now at the celebration of some national or
individual jubilee, now at the dedication of a building or the opening
of a bridge. The style is always clear and logical, in this respect
contrasting favourably with the German style of twenty years ago, when
the language wriggled from clause to clause in vermiform articulations
until the thought found final expression in a mob of participles and
infinitives. Metaphors abound in the speeches, some of them slightly
far-fetched, but others of uncommon beauty, appropriateness, and pith.
There is no brilliant employment of words, but not seldom one comes
across such terse and happy phrases as the famous "We stand under the
star of commerce," "Our future lies on the water," "We demand a place
in the sun."

On the English reader the speeches will be apt to pall, unless he is
thoroughly saturated with Prussian historic, military, and romantic
lore and can place himself mentally in the position of the Emperor.
The tone, never quite detached from consciousness of the imperial ego,
hardly ever descends to the level of familiar conversation nor rises
to heights of eloquence that carry away the hearer. With three or four
exceptions, there is no argumentation in the speeches, for they are
not meant to persuade or convince, but to enjoin and command. They do
not contain any of the important and interesting facts and figures of
which, nevertheless, the Emperor's mind must be full, and they are
wanting in wit and humour, though nature has endowed the Emperor with
both.

On the other hand, it should be remembered that they are the speeches
of an Emperor, not of a statesman. The speeches have no political
timeliness or object save that of rousing and directing imperial
spirit among the people by appeals to their imagination and
patriotism. Had the Emperor been actuated by the spirit of a Minister
or statesman, he would have been far more alive to the fact than he
appears to have been, that every word he uttered would instantly find
an echo in the Parliament, Press, and Stock Exchange of all other
countries.

The Emperor's fundamental mistakes, as disclosed by his speeches,
appear to an Englishman to have been in assuming when they were made
that the Empire was in a less advanced stage of consolidation and
settlement than it in fact was, and in underrating the intelligence,
knowledge, and patriotism of his people. From this point of view his
early speeches in particular sound jejune or superfluous. What would
the Englishman say to a king who began his reign by a series of
homilies on Alfred the Great or Elizabeth or Queen Victoria; by using
strong language about the Labour party or the Fabian Society; by
appeals to throne and altar; by describing to Parliament the chief
duties of the monarch; by recommending the London County Council to
build plenty of churches; by calling journalists "hunger-candidates";
by frequent references to the battles of Waterloo and Trafalgar? Yet,
_mutatis mutandis_, this is not so very unlike what the young Emperor
did, and not for a year or two, but for several years after his
accession. To an Englishman such addresses would appear rather
ill-timed academic declamation.

Yet there was much, and perhaps is still much, to account for, if not
quite justify, the Emperor's rhetoric. The peculiarity of Germany's
monarchic system placed, and places, the monarch in a patriarchal
position not very different from that of Moses towards the
Israelites--a leader, preacher, and prophet. Again, the Empire, when
the Emperor came to the throne, was not a homogeneous nation inspired
by a centuries-old national spirit, but suffered, as it still in a
measure suffers, from the particularism of the various kingdoms and
States composing it: in other words, from too local a patriotism and
stagnation of the imperial idea. Thirdly, the Empire had no navy,
while an Empire to-day without a navy is at a tremendous and dangerous
disadvantage in world-politics, and the mere conception that a navy
was indispensable had to be created in a country lying in the heart of
Europe and with only one short coast-line.

The Englishman is as loyal to his King as the German is to his
Emperor, and England, as little as Germany, is disposed to change from
monarchy to republicanism. But the Englishman's political and social
governor, guide, and executive is not the King, but the Parliament;
because while in the King he has a worthy representative of the
nation's historical development and dignity, in the Parliament he sees
a powerful and immediate reflection of himself, his own wishes, and
his own judgments. Moreover, with the spread of democratic ideas, the
position of a monarch anywhere in the civilized world to-day is not
what it was fifty years ago. The general progress in education since
then; the drawing together of the nations by common commercial and
financial interests; the incessant activity of writers and publishers;
the circulation and power of the Press--themselves almost threatening
to become a despotism--such facts as these tend to change the
relations between kings and peoples. Monarchs and men are changing
places; the ruler becomes the subject, the subject ruler; it is the
people who govern, and the monarch obeys the people's will.

Such is not the view of the German Emperor nor of the German people.
To both the monarch is no "shadow-king," as both are fond of calling
the King of England, but an Emperor of flesh and blood, commissioned
to take the leading part in decisions binding on the nation,
responsible to no one but the Almighty, and the sole bestower of State
honours. There are, it is true, three factors of imperial government
constitutionally--the Emperor, the Federal Council, and the Imperial
Parliament; but while the Council has only very indirect relations
with the people, the Parliament, a consultative body for legislation,
is not the depositary of power or authority, or an assembly to which
either the Emperor, or the Council, or the Imperial Chancellor is
responsible. It must be admitted that, while such is the
constitutional theory, the actual practice is to a considerable extent
different. The Emperor is no absolute monarch, even in the domain of
foreign affairs, as he is often said to be, but is influenced and
guided, certainly of late years, both by the Federal Council and by
public opinion, the power of which latter has greatly augmented in
recent times. Whether the Reichstag really represents public opinion
in the Empire is a moot-point in Germany itself. It can hardly be
denied that it does so, at least in financial matters, since with
regard to them it has all the powers, or almost all, possessed by the
English House of Commons in this respect. Where its powers fail, it is
said, is in regard to administration; for though it deliberates on and
passes legislation, it is left by the Constitution to the Emperor and
his Ministers to issue instructions as to how legislation is to be
carried into effect. The result is to throw excessive power over
public comfort and convenience into the hands of the official class of
all degrees, which naturally employs it to maintain its own dignity
and privileged position.

Towards one class of the population, and that a highly important and
exceptional one, the Emperor's attitude of unprejudiced goodwill has
never varied. Israelites form only a small proportion--about 1 per
cent.--of the whole people, and are to be found in very large numbers
only in Berlin and Frankfurt; but to their financial and commercial
ability Germany owes a debt one may almost describe as incalculable.
There is a strong national prejudice against them in all parts of the
Empire, as there probably is in all countries, and it must be admitted
that the manners and customs of the lower-class Jew, his unpleasant
and insistent curiosity, his intrusiveness where he is not desired,
his want of cleanliness, his sharpness at a bargain, his oily bearing
to those he wishes to propitiate and his ruthless sweating of the
worker in all fields when in his power, are all disagreeable personal
qualities. There is also, as a concomitant of the nation's growth in
wealth of every sort, and mostly perhaps to be found in the capital a
class of Jewish parvenu, remarkable for snobbishness, ostentation, and
affectation.

But one must distinguish; and of a large percentage of the educated
class of Jew in Germany it would be difficult to speak too highly.
Germans may be the "salt of the earth," as the Emperor once told them
they were, but Jewish talent can with quite as much, perhaps more,
justice be called the salt of German prosperity. And not alone in the
region of finance and commerce. Some of the best intellect, most of
the leading enterprise in Germany, in all important directions, is
Jewish. Many of her ablest newspaper proprietors and editors are Jews.
Many of her finest actors and actresses are Jews and Jewesses. Many of
her cleverest lawyers, doctors, and artists are Jews. The career of
Herr Albert Ballin, the Jewish director of the Hamburg-Amerika line,
the Emperor's friend, to whom Germany owes a great deal of her
mercantile marine expansion, is a long romance illustrative of Jewish
organizing power and success.

The Emperor's friendship for Herr Ballin is obviously not entirely
disinterested, but the interest at the root of it is an imperial one.
In this spirit he cultivates to-day, as he has done since he took over
the Empire, the society of all his subjects, German or Jew, who either
by their talents or through their wealth can contribute to the success
of the mighty task which occupies his waking thoughts, and for all one
knows, his sleeping thoughts--his dreams--as well. Accordingly, the
wealthy German is quite aware that if he is to be reckoned among the
Emperor's friends he must be prepared to pay for the privilege, since
the Emperor is neither slow nor shy about using his influence in order
to make the more fortunate members of the community put their hands
deeply into their pockets for national purposes. A little time ago he
invited a number of merchant princes and captains of industry, as
American papers invariably call wealthy Germans, to a _Bier-abend_ at
the palace. When the score or so of guests were seated, he announced
that he was collecting subscriptions for some public object--the
national airship fund, perhaps--and sent a sheet of paper to Herr
Friedlander Fuld, the "coal-king" of Germany, to head the list. Herr
Fuld wrote down L5,000, and the paper was taken back to the Emperor.
"Oh, this will never do, lieber Fuld," he exclaimed, on seeing the
amount. "At this rate people will be putting down their names for L50.
You must at least double it." And Herr Fuld had to do so. A few weeks
afterwards there was another invitation to the palace, and the same
sort of scene took place. A little later still Herr Fuld got a third
invitation, and as an imperial invitation is equivalent to a command,
he had to go. When he arrived he noticed his fellow-industrials
looking uneasy, not to say sad. The Emperor noticed it too, for his
first words were: "Dear gentlemen, to-night the beer costs nothing."

Throughout the reign Germany has made it her constant policy to
cultivate friendly relations with the United States. Chancellor von
Buelow, in 1899, apropos of Samoa, said in the Reichstag: "We can
confidently say that in no other country has America during the last
hundred years found better understanding and more just recognition
than in Germany." This is true of the educated classes, professional,
professorial, and scientific; but the ordinary European German, who
does not know and understand America, still displays no particular
love for the ordinary American. At the same time he probably prefers
him to the people of any other nation. American outspokenness in
politics, for example, must be refreshing to minds penned within the
limits of the _Rechtstaat_. He sees in them, too, millionaires, or at
least people who come from a country where money is so abundant that,
as many country-people still think, you have only to stoop to pick it
up. When it comes to business, however, he is a little afraid of their
somewhat too sanguine enterprise, and is given to suspect that a
"bluff" of some sort is behind the simplest business proposition. Much
of this, of course, is due to ignorance heightened by yellow
journalism, for as a rule only the vastly interesting, but mostly
untrue, "stories" regarding Germany printed in the yellow press come
back to the Fatherland.

The German, again, is made uneasy by what he thinks the hasty manners
of the Americans; he considers them uncivil. So, let it be admitted,
they sometimes appear to be to people of other nationalities; but then
as a rule Americans who jar on European nerves will be found to hail
from places where life, to use the American expression, is "woolly,"
or too strenuous to allow of the delicacies of real refinement. The
ordinary idea of the German in Germany, held by the stay-at-home
American, is a vague species of dislike, founded on the conviction
that the American, not the German, is the salt of the earth; that the
German regard for tradition makes them a slow and slowly moving race;
and that the Emperor as War Lord--for he is almost solely known to him
in that capacity--must be ever desirous of war, in particular wishes
to seize a coaling-station or even a country, in South America, and,
generally speaking, set at naught the Monroe doctrine. The Governments
on both sides, of course, know and understand each other better. In
November, 1906, Prince Buelow publicly thanked America for her attitude
at Algeciras, implying that it was due to her representative's
conciliatory and reconciliatory conduct that the Conference did not
end in a fiasco. "This," said the Chancellor, "was the second great
service to the world rendered by America; the other," he added, "being
the bringing about of peace between Russia and Japan."

A great deal of the increased intercourse between the two countries is
due to the personal endeavours of the Emperor. What his motives are
may be conjectured with fair accuracy from a general knowledge of his
"up-to-date" character, the commercial policy of his Empire, and the
events of recent years. He has a whole-hearted admiration for the
American character and genius, so akin in many ways to his own
character and genius; and if he refuses to recommend for Germans
similar institutions to those in States, federated in a manner
somewhat analogous to that of the kingdoms and States composing his
own Empire, it is not from want of liberality of mind, but because
they are wholly opposed to Prussian tradition, because his people do
not demand them, and because he honestly believes that in respect of
topographical situation, climate, historical development, and race
feelings and sentiment, the safeguards and requirements of Germany are
widely different from those of America.

As a young man he naturally had very little to do with America or
Americans, though among his schoolboy playmates was a young American,
Poulteney Bigelow, who afterwards wrote an excellent appreciation of
the fine traits in the Emperor's character. At the same time the
Emperor himself has stated that the country always interested him, and
recent visitors bear out the statement fully. In 1889, a year after
his accession, he expressed his admiration for America, when receiving
the American Ambassador, Mr. Phelps. "From my youth on," the Emperor
said,

     "I have had a great admiration for that powerful and
     progressive commonwealth which you are called on to
     represent, and the study of its history in peace and war has
     had for me at all times a special interest. Among the many
     distinguished characteristics of your people, which draw to
     them the attention of the whole world, are their
     enterprising spirit, their love of order, and their talent
     for invention. The predominant sentiment of both peoples is
     that of affinity and tested friendship, and the future can
     only strengthen the heartiness of their relations."

More than twenty years have elapsed since the words were uttered, and
the prediction has been fulfilled.

Scores of anecdotes, it need hardly be said, are current in connexion
with the Emperor and American friends. One of them is that of an
American, Mr. Frank Wyberg, the husband of a lady who, with her
children, used often to visit Mr. and Mrs. Armour on their yacht
_Uttowana_ at Kiel, there met the Emperor, and was invariably kindly
greeted by him. Mr. Wyberg was summoned with his friend, General
Miles, to an audience of the Emperor in Berlin. Before going to the
palace Mr. Wyberg went to a well-known picture-dealer in the city and
bought a small but artistic painting costing about L1,000. He had the
picture neatly done up, and carried it off under his arm to the hotel
where he was to meet General Miles. As they were leaving for the
palace the General asked Mr. Wyberg what he was carrying. "Oh, only a
trifle for the Kaiser!" was the reply. The General was horrified, and
tried to dissuade his friend from bringing the picture, telling him
that the proper procedure was to ask through the Foreign Office or the
American Embassy for the Emperor's gracious acceptance of it.
Otherwise the Emperor would be annoyed, he would think badly of
American manners, and so on. Mr. Wyberg, however, was not to be
deterred, and insisted that it would be "all right." While waiting in
the reception-room for the Emperor, Mr. Wyberg unwrapped the picture
and placed it leaning against the wall on a piano. By and by the
Emperor came in, and almost the first thing he said, after shaking
hands, was to ask what the presence of the picture meant. Mr. Wyberg
explained that it was a mark of gratitude for the kindness the Emperor
had shown his wife and children at Kiel. The Emperor smiled, said it
was a very kind thought, and willingly accepted the gift. The story
has a sequel. A day or two after a Court official called at the hotel,
to get from General Miles Mr. Wyberg's initials, and after another few
days had passed reappeared with a bulky parcel. On being opened the
parcel was found to consist of a large silver loving-cup, with Mr.
Wyberg's name chased upon it, and underneath the words, "From Wilhelm
II."

Another anecdote refers to an American naval attache, a favourite of
the Emperor's. Dinner at the palace was over, and the attache, wishing
to keep a memento of the occasion, took his large menu card and
concealed it, as he thought, between his waistcoat and his shirt.
Unfortunately, when taking leave of the Emperor, the card slipped down
and part of it became visible. The Emperor's quick eye immediately
noticed it. "Hallo! H----," he exclaimed; "look out, your dickey's
coming down!" The story shows the Emperor's acquaintance with English
slang as well as his geniality.

The Emperor seems to take pleasure in displaying himself to Americans
in as republican a light as possible, and when he desires the company
of an American friend, stands on no sort of ceremony. The American's
telephone bell may ring at any hour of the day or evening, and a voice
is heard--"Here royal palace. His Majesty wishes to ask if the Herr
So-and-So will come to the palace this evening for dinner." On one
occasion this happened to Professor Burgess. The telephone at the
Hotel Adlon in Berlin rang up from Potsdam about six in the afternoon,
and there was so little time for the Professor to catch his train that
he was forced to finish his dressing _en route_. Or the invitation may
be for "a glass of beer" after dinner, about nine o'clock.

If it is a dinner invitation, the guest, in evening clothes, with his
white tie doubtless a trifle more carefully adjusted than usual,
drives or walks to the palace. He enters a gate on the south side
facing the statue of Frederick the Great, and under the archway finds
a doorway with a staircase leading immediately to the royal apartments
on the first floor. In an ante-room are other guests, a couple of
Ministers, the Rector Magnificus of the university, and perhaps a
"Roosevelt" or "exchange" professor; and if the party is not one of
men only, such as the Emperor is fond of arranging, and the Empress is
expected, the wives also of the invited guests. Without previous
notice the Emperor enters, an American lover of slang might almost say
"blows in," with quick steps and a bustling air that instantly fills
the room with life and energy, and showing a cheery smile of welcome
on his face. The guests are standing round in a half or three-quarter
circle, and the Emperor goes from one to the other, shaking hands and
delivering himself of a sentence or two, either in the form of a
question or remark, and then passing on. When it is not a bachelors'
party, the Empress comes in later with her ladies. A servant in the
royal livery of red and gold, on a signal from the Emperor, throws
open a door leading to the dining-room, and the Emperor and Empress
enter first. The guests take their places according to the cards on
the table. If it is a men's party of, say, four guests, the Emperor
will seat them on his right and left and immediately opposite, with an
adjutant or two as makeweights and in case he should want to send for
plans or books. On these occasions he is usually in the dark blue
uniform of a Prussian infantry general, with an order or two blazing
on his breast. He sits very upright, and starts and keeps going the
conversation with such skill and verve that soon every one, even the
shyest, is drawn into it. There is plenty of argument and divergence
of view. If the Emperor is convinced that he is right, he will, as has
more than once occurred, jestingly offer to back his opinion with a
wager. "I'll bet you"--he will exclaim, with all the energy of an
English schoolboy. He enjoys a joke or witticism immensely, and leans
back in his chair as he joins in the hearty peal about him. When
cigars or cigarettes are handed round, he will take an occasional puff
at one of the three or four cigarettes he allows himself during the
evening, or sip at a glass of orangeade placed before him and filled
from time to time. When he feels disposed he rises, and having shaken
hands with his guests, now standing about him, retires into his
workroom. A few moments later the guests disperse.

Conversation, both in England and Germany, sometimes turns on the
question whether or not the Emperor will be known to future
generations as William "the Great." It is agreed on all sides that he
will not take a place among the mediocrities or sink into oblivion. We
have, though only negatively and indirectly, his own view of the
matter, if, that is, it may be deduced from the fact that he has more
than once tried to attach this _epitheton ornans_ to the memory of his
grandfather. At Hamburg in 1891 he desired a statue to the Emperor
William I to bear the inscription "William the Great." The cool common
sense of the cautious Hamburgers refused to anticipate the decision of
posterity and placed on the pedestal the simple words "William the
First." In deference to the Emperor's well-known wishes, if not at his
request, the Hamburg-Amerika line of steamers christened one of their
ocean greyhounds _Wilhelm der Grosse_. The mere fact that people
discuss the question in his lifetime is of happy augury for the
Emperor. Perhaps some other epithet will be found for him. "Puffing
Billy" is one of his titles among English officers, taken from the
name given locally to Stephenson's first locomotive. But history has
many ranks in her peerage and many epithets at her disposal--great,
good, fair, lionhearted, silent--_that_ the Emperor will not have--and
a host more. Maybe the greatest rulers were those whom history, as
though in despair of finding a single term with which to do them
justice, has refrained from decorating. Timur, Akbar, Attila, Julius
Caesar, Elizabeth, Victoria, Napoleon have no epithets, and need none.
However, it is clear that a verdict on the Emperor's deserts is
premature. Suppose him at the bar of history. The case is still
proceeding, the evidence is not complete, counsel have not been heard,
and--most obvious defect of any--the jury has not been impanelled.

More than half a century has passed since the Emperor was born. How
time flies!

     "Alas, alas, O Postumus, Postumus,
     The years glide by and are lost to us, lost to us."

But not the memories they enshrine. It is, let us imagine, the night
of the Emperor's Jubilee, and he lies in the old Schloss, still awake,
reflecting on the past. What a multitude of happenings, gay and grave,
throng to his recollection, what a glorious and crowded canvas unrolls
itself before his mental vision! The toy steamer on the Havel; the
games in the palace corridors, with the grim features of the Great
Elector betrayed, one is tempted to think, into a half-smile as he
watches the innocent gaiety of the romping children from the old
wainscoted walls; the irksome but disciplinary hours in the Cassel
schoolroom; the youthful escapades with those carefree Borussian
comrades at the university on the broad bosom of Father Rhine; the
excursions and picnics among the Seven Hills; the visits to England,
its crowded and bustling capital, its country seats with their
pleasant lawns and stately oaks; the war-ships in the Solent, with
their black mass and frowning guns, as they towered, like Milton's
Leviathan, above his head.

What a good time it was, and how rich in manifold and picturesque
impressions!

The canvas continues to unroll and a literary period opens--that age
between youth and manhood, of all ages most passionate and ideal, when
we are enthralled and moved by what we read--by those studies which

     "_adolescentiam agunt, senectutem oblectant, secundas res
     ornant, adversis perfugium ac solatium praebent, delectant
     domi, non impediunt foris; pernoctant nobiscum,
     peregrinantur, rusticantur_."

It was the Lohengrin period, when, filled with the ardour and
imaginativeness of high-souled youth, the future Emperor was dimly
thinking of all he would do in the days to come for the happiness and
prosperity of his people, nay, of all mankind.

Another tableau presents itself. Life has now become real and the
Emperor's soldiering days have begun--never to conclude! His regiment
is his world; parades and drills, the orderly-room and the barrack
square occupy his time; and would seem monotonous and hard but for the
little Eden with its Eve close beside them.

The Emperor turns uneasily, for his thoughts recur to the painful
circumstances of his accession; but calmness soon succeeds as the
curtain rises on the splendid panorama of the reign. He sees himself,
a young and hitherto unknown actor, leaving the wings and taking the
very centre of the stage, while the vast audience sits silent and
attentive, as yet hardly grasping the significance of his words and
gestures, emphatic though they are. And then he recalls the years of
_Sturm und Drang_, the growth of Empire in spite of grudging rivals
and of fellow-countrymen as yet not wholly conscious of their
destinies, which one can now see constituted a whole drama in
themselves, fraught with great consequences to the world.

But we are keeping the Emperor awake when he should be left to
well-deserved repose. He has doubtless half forgotten it all; the
Bismarck episode is one of those

     "... old, unhappy, far-off things
     And battles long ago"

of which the poet sings. One unquiet political care excepted, all the
rest must be pleasant for him to remember--the rising with the dawn,
the hurried little breakfast with the Empress, the pawing horses of
the adjutants and escort in the courtyard of the palace; the constant
travelling in and far beyond the Empire; the incessant speech-making,
with its appeals to the past and its promises, nobly realized, of
"splendid days" in the future--its calls to the people to arms, to the
sea, to the workshop, to school, to church, to anything praiseworthy,
provided only it was action for the common good; the dockyards in Kiel
and Danzig, with their noise of "busy hammers closing rivets up"; the
ever-swelling trade statistics; and the proud feeling that at last his
country was coming into her own.

Even the sensation the Emperor caused from time to time in other
countries must have had a certain charm for him--endless telegrams,
endless scathing editorials, endless movement and excitement. There is
no fun like work, they say. The Emperor worked hard and enjoyed
working. It was the "personal regiment," maybe, and it could not last
for ever; but while it did it was doubtless very gratifying, and,
notwithstanding all his critics say, magnificently successful.

Those strenuous times are long over, and if strenuous times have yet
to come they will find the Emperor alert and knowing better how to
deal with them. He has, one may be sure, no thoughts of well-earned
rest or dignified repose--he probably never will, with his strong
conception of duty and his interest in the fortunes of his Empire.
Still, he is a good deal changed. Time has taught him more than his
early tutor, worthy Dr. Hinzpeter, ever taught him; and if his spring
was boisterous, and his summer gusty and uncertain, a mellow autumn
gives promise of a hale and kindly winter.




INDEX


Abdul Aziz, 259.

Absolutism, 2, 295, 368 _seq_.

Accession, date, I; period, 69 _seq_.

Achilleion, 317.

Aegir, Song to, 224.

Agadir, 264 _seq_.

Alexandra, Queen, 327.

Algeciras Conference, 261 _seq_.;
  Act of, 262.

Alsace-Lorraine, 84 _seq_.

America,
  art exhibition, 222;
  Germany and, 238;
  Frederick the Great and, 242;
  squadron at Kiel, 244;
  commercial relations with, 331, 380 _seq_.

Anarchism, 42 _seq_.

Anglo-French Agreement, 1904, 259 _seq_.

Anglo-German Agreement,
  1890, 140;
  1904, 335;
  relations, 4-7, 243, 282, 335 _seq_.

Anglo-Japanese Agreement, 201.

Anti-Semites, 178.

Arbitration, compulsory, 340.

Aristocracy, German, 114.

Armament, limitation of, 340.

Army,
  accession speech to, 69;
  importance of, 71;
  true character of, 285;
  Emperor and, 294.

Art, Emperor on, 202, 205 _seq_.;
  speech to sculptors, 207;
  German ideals, 218.

Attempt on,
  Emperor, 202;
  on William I, 42.

Augusta, Empress, wife of William I, 43, 45.

Auguste, Victoria, present Empress, 37 _seq_.

"Babel und Bibel," 246.

Baghdad railway, 200.

Balkans, 339.

Ballin, 367.

Battenberg affair, 55.

Bebel, August, 58, 90, 359. _See_ Social Democracy

Bennigsen, von, 13.

Berlin palace (Schloss), 114.

Bethmann Hollweg, 322 _seq_.

Biedermeier time, 167.

Bismarck, 13;
  Empress Fred. and, 44;
  William I and, 43 _seq_.;
  on Divine Right, 60 _seq_.;
  on foreign policy, 76;
  resignation, 104,133;
  Emperor and, 49, 131;
  "blood and iron" speech, 128;
  Emperor's account of quarrel with, 135;
  journey to Vienna, 141;
  death, 143.

"Bloc" party, 281, 288, 322.

Boer war, German policy and, 156, 303.

Bonn, Emperor at, 29; address at, 203.

Borussia, 30, 36, 203.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, 329.

Boulanger, 52, 76.

Boxer troubles, 46, 194 _seq_.

Brandon, 338.

"Brilliant second" speech, 279.

Brooks, Sydney, 361.

Buelow, Prince von, 47;
  succeeds Hohenlohe, 187;
  fainting fit, 322;
  resignation, 322.

Burgess, Prof., 241.

Butler, Dr. Nicholas Murray, 272.

Byzantinism, 121 _seq_.

Cadinen, 334.

Camarilla, 277

Caprivi, von, 141;
  treaties, 141, 152 _seq_.;
  chancellorship, 151.

Caroline Islands, 151.

Casablanca, 264.

Centrum, 3, 280.

Chamberlain, Mr., 158, 258.

Chamberlain, Stewart, 348.

Chancellor, "responsibility," 289 _seq_.

China,
  relations with, 193;
  Boxer indemnity, 197.

Chun, Prince, 197 _seq_.

Churchill, Winston, 337.

Colonial development, 148 _seq_.

Commercial treaties, 152; American, 331.

Conscription, 191.

Constitution, German and British compared, 57.

Corps, student, 30 _seq_.

Crefeld, 278.

Crown Prince, 14, 18;
  income, 112;
  marriage, 270;
  Indian tour, 328;
  at English coronation, 339;
  in aeroplane, 359.

Court,
  comparison with English, 109;
  nobility, 113.

Cowes, 75.

_Daily Telegraph_,
  interview, 302 _seq_.;
  text of, 304;
  Buelow and, 311 _seq_.;
  Emperor's undertaking, 310.

Delcasse, 261, 282.

Delitzsch, Prof., 246.

Dewey, Admiral, 170.

Dictator Paragraph, 86.

Diedrich, Admiral, 170.

Dingley tariff, 331.

Disarmament, 317.

Divine Right, 331 _seq_.

Dreibund, _see_ Triple Alliance.

Dreyfus case, 178.

Dual Alliance.
  (Germany and Austria), 79;
  (Russia and France), 141.

Duel, _see_ Mensur.

Dynasty, _see_ Hohenzollern.

Education, Emperor on, 98 _seq_.

Edward VII,
  at Kiel, 253;
  visits Berlin, 323;
  funeral, 327.

Elector, Great, 64, 72.

Emperor,
  birth, 12;
  marriage, 37;
  brothers and sisters, 18;
  offspring, 40;
  first visit England, 20;
  at Bonn, 29;
  on Art, 207;
  and theatre, 355;
  on religion, 246;
  character, 363 _seq_.;
  and people, 368, 372.

Empress,
  present, marriage, 37;
  character, 39.

Farmer, Emperor as, 334.

Finance reform, 321.

Fleet, English, at Kiel, 253;
  American, 244. _See_ Navy.

Flora bust, 324 _seq_.

Foreign policy, in Orient, 199 _seq_.;
  Emperor's, 269.

France, and Germany, 51;
  Franco-German Agreement, 1911, 266.

Frankfort, treaty of, 153.

Frederick the Great,
  death, 120;
  tomb, 121;
  and navy, 167;
  statue, 242;
  Emperor and, 251.

Frederick III, 14;
  as Crown Prince, 45;
  last illness, 54.

Frederick, Empress, 15 _seq_.;
  Bismarck and, 44;
  death, 204.

Future, "Our future lies on the water," 203.

General Elections, 280, 333.

"Germans to the Front," 245.

Germany,
  "Greater," 146;
  to-day, 366;
  foreign policy, 199, 269.

George V, 174, 237, 339.

George, Lloyd, speech, 336.

Goluchowski, Count, 279.

Goschen, Lord, 160.

Government, dynastic not democratic, 56 _seq_.

Great Elector,
  Emperor and, 72;
  German navy and, 166.

Grey, Sir Edward, 338.

Grieg, composer, 225; death, 287.

Griscom, ambassador, 319.

Guelphs, 333.

Guildhall, speech at,
  1891, 75;
  1907, 283.

Hamburg-Amerika line, 367.

Hannover, 333.

Harvard University, 272.

Heine, 13, 374.

Heligoland, 150.

Henry, Prince, 18;
  sent Kiautschau, 165;
  visits America, 241.

Highcliffe Castle, 285.

Hill, Dr. D.J., 318 _seq_.

Hinzpeter, Dr., 287.

Hoedel, attempt, 43.

Hohenlohe-Schillingsfuerst, Prince, 47;
  character, 153;
  chancellor, 185;
  resigns, 187.

Hohenzollern, 2, 11, 17, 23, 41, 56, 72;
  Divine Right and, 62 _seq_., 332.

Iltis, gunboat, 195.

Italy, 261 _seq_.

Jameson raid,
  Emperor's telegram on, 154;
  date of, 159.

Jews, Emperor and, 378.

Journalists, attack on, 329.

Junker, 123.

Ketteler, von, murder of, 195.

Kiautschau, 145, 150.

Kiel, canal, 144;
  first regatta, do.;
  harbour, 168;
  American squadron at, 244;
  Edward VII at, 253.

Koenigsberg, speech at, 332.

Kruger, telegram, the, 154 _seq_.;
  European tour, 155.

_Kulturkampf_, Emperor and, 50.

Labourdonnais, 167.

Labour Party, 93.

Leoncavallo, 253.

Liberalism, Emperor and, 126.

Liman, Dr. Paul, 62, 360.

Limitation of armaments, 340.

List, Prof., 168.

Lloyd George, speech, 336.

Louise, Queen, 41.

Luderitz, 149.

Mackenzie, Sir Morell, 16, 54.

Madrid Convention, 263.

Magna Charta, Germany's, 1.

Mahan, Captain, 164.

Manila, 170.

Marakesch, 264.

Marble Palace, 118.

"March Days," 128 _seq_.

Mensur, 29 _seq_.

Menzel,
  painter, 179;
  death, 255.

Moabit riots, 329.

Mommsen, Emperor and, 251.

Monroe doctrine, 240.

Morocco, 255 _seq_.

Navy, German,
  First Navy Law, 145;
  Prince William and, 163;
  early history of, 166;
  auctioned, 168;
  early proposals, 169 _seq_.;
  legislative stages, 171;
  Grey's proposal, 317.

New Palace, Potsdam, 116.

Nobiling, attempt, 42, 90.
"November Storm," 289 _seq_.

Open door, The, 257.

"Our future lies on the water," 203.

Oxford university, 284.

Palestine, 145;
  journey to, 176.

Panther, 264.

Parliament, introduction;
  parliamentary rule, 58;
  chancellor and, 291;
  Emperor and, 294;
  _See_ Reichstag.

"Personal regiment," 289, 296, 371.

Peters, Carl, 149.

"Place in the sun," 204.

Polypus, removed, 250.

Potsdam, 199.

Prussia, at Emperor's birth, 12;
  Diet, 293;
  electoral reform in, 316.

Quinquennat, 152.

Raid, Jameson, 159.

Rationalism, 344, 369.

Reaction, 123.

_Realpolitik_, see _Weltpolitik_;
  in sport, 357.

_Rechtstaat_, 369 _seq_.

Reichstag, introduction, 280, 292 333, 377.

Reinsurance treaty, 133.

Religion, Emperor on, 246.

Rhodes, Cecil, 284.

Richard, Prof., 370.

"Roland von Berlin," 253.

Roosevelt, Alice, 241;
  president, 253;
  visits Berlin, 325 _seq_.;
  professorships, 272.

Russia and Germany, relations, 80.

Russo-Japanese war, 252.

Saladin, 177.

Samoa, 151.

Sans Souci, 119, 179.

Sardanapalus, 235.

Septennat, 53, 152.

Seymour, Admiral, 195.

Shimonoseki, treaty of, 193.

"Shining armour," 328.

Social Democracy, introduction;
  Emperor and, 87;
  history of, 89;
  programme, 91;
  causes of, 94.
  Socialist laws, 103, 279 _seq_.

Socialism, 92; _See_ Social Democracy.

Sport, in Germany, 357.

"Star of commerce," phrase, 165.

State, German interpretation of, 292.

Stein, Dr. Adolf, 158.

Stoessel, General, 195, 253.

Stone, Melville, 242.

Suffragettes, Emperor and, 332.

Sultan, promise to, 145, 177.

Swinemunde despatch, 244.

Taku Forts, 195.

Tangier, 256, 259;
  Emperor's speech at, 260, 268.

Theatre, Emperor on, 230;
  Germans and the, 254.

"Times," the, 297, 299, 301, 324.

Tirpitz, von, Admiral, 338.

Tower, ambassador, 318.

Trade Unionism, 92 _seq_.

Transvaal, 156 _seq_.; 303.

Tree, Sir Beerbohm, 287.

Treitschke, von, on Divine Right, 59;
  on Bismarck, 125.

Trench, Captain, 338.

Triple Alliance, Emperor on, 77;
  history of, 78;
  provisions, 79;
  renewals, 38, 339.

"Urias Letter," 142.

Universities, England and Germany compared, 98.

"Unser Fritz," 14.

Venezuela, 158, 239.

Victoria Louise, Princess, 333.

Victoria, Queen, 167;
  death, 201.

"Von Gottes Gnaden," 56 _seq_.;.
  doctrine to-day, 68.

Waldersee, Countess, 45;
  Count, 46, 196.

Weihaiwei, 194.

_Weltpolitik_, 51, 144;
  Buelow on, 147;
  open door and, 201;
  foreign policy and, 201, 192, 201, 203.

William I,
  career, 42;
  character, 43;
  death, 54;
  parliament and, 294.

Williams, George Valentine, 232.

Wyberg, Frank, 383.

Zeppelin, Count, 358.



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