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Author: Adam, Juliette
Title: The Schemes of the Kaiser
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Schemes of the Kaiser, by Juliette Adam,
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Title: The Schemes of the Kaiser


Author: Juliette Adam



Release Date: February 9, 2006  [eBook #17737]

Language: English

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


***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE SCHEMES OF THE KAISER***


E-text prepared by Al Haines



THE SCHEMES OF THE KAISER

From the French of Juliette Adam

by J. O. P. Bland







New York
E. P. Dutton & Company
1918
Printed in Great Britain





TRANSLATOR'S INTRODUCTION

More fortunate than the majority of the prophets who cannot speak
smooth things, Madame Adam has lived to find honour in her own country:
_La grande Francaise_ has come into her own.  God willing, she should
live to see that _revanche_ for which, through good and evil report,
she has laboured unceasingly these forty-five years, to see the
arrogant Prussian humbled to the dust and Alsace-Lorraine restored to
France.  1917, she firmly believes will revenge and reverse the tragedy
of 1871.  More fortunate than the great British soldier who spent his
veteran days in warning his countrymen of the ordeal to come, Madame
Adam, now in her eighty-first year, may yet hope to see the banners of
the Allies crowned with victory, the black wreaths on the statue of
Strasburg in the Place de la Concorde changed to garlands of rejoicing.

There have been dark days in these forty-five years, times when, even
to herself, the struggle for _la patrie_ seemed almost a forlorn hope.
It was so at the time of the Berlin Congress in 1878, when, after his
visit to Germany, Gambetta abandoned the idea of _la revanche_.  It was
so in 1891, when she realised that the influence of Paul Deroulede's
Ligue des Patriotes had ceased to be a living force in public opinion,
when France had become impregnated with false doctrines of
international pacifism and homeless cosmopolitanism, when (as she wrote
at the time) there were left of the faithful to wear the forget-me-not
of Alsace-Lorraine only "a few mothers, a few widows, a few old
soldiers, and your humble servant."  But never, even in the darkest of
dark days, was the flame of her ardent patriotism dimmed.  After her
breach with Gambetta, determined not to be defeated by the Government's
abandonment of a vigorous anti-German policy of preparation, she
founded the _Nouvelle Revue_, to wage war with her brain and pen
against Bismarck and the ruler of Germany.  The objects with which she
created that brilliant magazine, as explained by herself to Mr.
Gladstone in 1879, were threefold--"to oppose Bismarck, to demand the
restoration of Alsace-Lorraine, and to lift from the minds of young
French writers the shadow of depression cast on them by national
defeat."  The fortnightly "Letters on Foreign Politics" which she
contributed regularly to the _Nouvelle Revue_, for twenty years were
not only persistently and violently anti-Teuton: they became a powerful
force in educating public opinion in France to the necessity for an
effective alliance with Russia, and to the cause of nationalism, in the
Balkans, in Egypt, and wherever the liberties of the smaller nations
were endangered by the earth-hunger of the great.  She disliked and
feared the policy of colonial expansion inaugurated by Gambetta and
pursued by Jules Ferry, because she felt that it must weaken France in
preparing for the great and final struggle with Teutonism which she
knew to be inevitable.  Thus, when Ferry requested her to cease from
attacking Germany, she defied him, assuring him that nothing less than
imprisonment would stop her, and that no honour could be greater than
to be imprisoned for attacking Bismarck.

Juliette Adam has always been intensely sure of herself and her
opinions.  She has the virile fighting spirit of a super-suffragette.
"Always out of rank," as Gambetta described her, "Madame Integrale" has
displayed throughout her political and literary work a contempt for
compromise of every kind, which occasionally leads her into untenable
positions and exaggerations.  Like her friend George Sand, she has ever
been an inveterate optimist and in the clouds, and this defect of her
very qualities has tended to make her proficient in the gentle art of
making enemies.  Thus she broke with Anatole France for espousing the
cause of Dreyfus, because, in spite of her keen sense of justice, she
identified the Army with France and was instinctively opposed to Jews,
because she regarded their "cosmopolitan" influence as incompatible
with patriotism.  For her, all things and all men have been subordinate
to the sacred cause, to her watch-word and battle-cry of _Vive la
France_!  Nobly has she laboured for France, confident ever in the
_renaissance_ of _la Grande Nation_, and of her country's final
triumph.  And to-day her unswerving faith is justified, and her life
work has been recognised and crowned with honour in her own land.

With one exception, all the articles collected in this book have been
taken from Madame Adam's "Letters on Foreign Politics" in _La Nouvelle
Revue_.  Together they constitute a remarkable testimony to the
political foresight and courage of _la grande Francaise_, and an
equally remarkable analysis of the policy and character of Germany's
ruler.





AUTHOR'S PREFACE

Modesty is out of fashion nowadays: what is wanted is the glorification
of every kind of courage.  That being so, I hold myself entitled to
claim a Military Cross, for my forty-five years of hand-to-hand
fighting with Bismarck and with William the Second, and to be mentioned
in despatches for the past.

JULIETTE ADAM.




CHAPTER I

1890


William II, the "Social Monarch"--What lies beneath his declared
pacifism--His journey to Russia--The German Press invites us to forget
our defeat and become reconciled while Germany is adding to her army
every day.


April 12, 1890. [1]

What an all-pervading nuisance is William!

To think of the burden that this one man has imposed upon the
intelligence of humanity and the world's Press!  The machiavelism of
Bismarck was bad enough, with its constant demands on our vigilance,
but this new omniscient German Emperor is worse; he reminds one of some
infant prodigy, the pride of the family.  Yet his ways are anything but
kingly; they resemble rather those of a shopkeeper.  He literally fills
the earth with his circulars on the art of government, spreads before
us the wealth of his intentions, and puffs his own magnanimity.  He
struggles to get the widest possible market for his ideas: 'tis a petty
dealer in imperial sovereignty.

There is nothing fresh about his wares, but he does his best to
persuade us that they are new; one feels instinctively that some day he
will throw the whole lot at our heads.  I am quite prepared to admit
that, if he had any rare or really superior goods to offer, his
advertising methods might be profitable, but William's stock-in-trade
has for many years been imported, and exported under two labels, namely
the principles of '89 and Christian Socialism.

The German Emperor has mixed the two, after the manner of a
prentice-hand.  His organ, the _Cologne Gazette_, with all the honeyed
adulation of a suddenly converted opponent, [2] has called this mixture
"Social Monarchism."  Therefore, it seems, the German Emperor is
neither a constitutional sovereign nor a monarch by divine right.  He
has restored Caesarism of the Roman type, clinging at the same time to
the principle of divine right--and the result is our "Social Monarch"!

Rushing headlong on the path of reform--full steam ahead, as he puts
it--he is prepared to change the past, present and future in order to
give happiness to his own subjects.  But France is likely to pay for
all this; sooner or later some new rescript will tell us that the
valley of tribulation is our portion and inheritance.

It is one of his ambitions to put an end to class warfare in Germany.
To this end he begins, with his usual tact, by denouncing the
capitalists (that is to say; the wealth of the middle class) to the
workers, and then holds up the scandalous luxury of the aristocracy in
the army to the contempt of the bourgeois.

One of his most brilliant and at the same time most futile efforts, is
his rescript on the subject of the shortage of officers for the army.
As the army itself is steadily increasing every day, it should have
been easy in each regiment for him, gradually and quite quietly, to
increase the number of officers drawn from the middle-class; indeed,
the change would have practically effected itself, for the Minister of
War had a hundred-and-one means of bringing it about.  But this
rescript has put a check on what might otherwise have been a natural
process of change, and unless William now settles matters with a high
hand, it will cease.  In every regiment the aristocracy provides the
great majority of officers; bourgeois candidates for admission to the
service are liable to be black-balled, just as they might be at any
club; it is now safe to predict that they will henceforward be regarded
with less favour than ever, and that generals, colonels, majors and the
rest will form up into a solid phalanx, to prevent the Emperor's
platonic _proteges_ from getting in.

William II appeals to the higher ranks of officers, who are tradition
personified, to put an end to tradition.  It is really wonderful what a
genius he has for exciting cupidity in one class and resistance in the
other.  And he has done the same thing with the working class as with
the army.

What a strange riddle his character presents--this quietist, this
worshipper of an angry and a jealous God, with a mania for achieving
the happiness of his people in the twinkling of an eye!  A strange
figure, this Emperor of country squires, who despises the bourgeois and
who threatens to despoil the aristocracy of the very privileges which
have been the safeguard of the Hohenzollerns' throne for centuries.

These peculiarities are due to an occult influence which weighs on the
mind of William II, an influence which, while it points the way to
action, blinds him to its consequences.  The dead hand is upon him!

Frederick III, that liberal, bourgeois monarch, compels his
reactionary, Old-Prussian-school son, to do those things which he would
have done himself, had he not been victimised by Bismarck and his pupil.

I wonder whether the ever-mystical William II sometimes reflects on the
ways by which God leads men into His appointed ways?  Such thoughts
might do more to enlighten him than his way of gazing at the heavens in
the belief that all the stars are his.

There is one piece of advice that William's friends should give
him--not to restore the sixty millions of Guelph money to the Duke of
Cumberland.  This ultra-modern young Emperor will very soon have
greater need of the services of the reptile Press than even Bismarck
himself; for every one of his latest rescripts adds new public
difficulties to the number of those secret ones which the
ex-Chancellor, with his infinite capacity for intrigue, will hatch for
him.

Bismarck, of the biting wit, who accepts the title of Duke of
Lauenburg, because, as he says, "it will enable him to travel
incognito," sends forth from Friedrichsruhe winged words which sink
deep into the mind of the people.  This phrase, for example, which sums
up the whole of William's policy: "The Emperor has selected his best
general to be Chancellor and made of his Chancellor a field marshal."
And Bismarck begs his readers to insert the adjectives, good and bad,
where they rightly belong.



April 28, 1890. [3]

Emperor William continues to increase the list of his excursions into
every field of mental activity.  Intellectually divided between the
Middle Ages and the late nineteenth century, it would seem as if he
were trying to forget the infirmity of his one useless arm by assuming
a prominent role modelled on men of action.  He tries to combine in his
person the effects of extreme modernism with those of the days of
Charlemagne.  Because of his very impotence, his desire to grasp and
clasp all history is the fiercer, and this emphasises and aggravates
the cruelty he showed in relegating Bismarck to compulsory inaction.
Just imagine if some power stronger than himself were to compel this
ever restless monarch to quiescence!  What would be the cumulative
effect of want of exercise at the end of a year?


And just because the German Emperor is pleased, amongst the innumerable
costumes of his wardrobe, to don that of a socialist sovereign, the
same people who before 1870 believed in the liberalism of Bismarck, now
believe in the socialism of William II.  They go on saying the same old
things.  In different words they ask: "Isn't the young Emperor
amusing?" (tis' a great word with us French people), and before long,
they will be appealing to the gullible weaklings among us by suggesting
"After all, why shouldn't he give us back Alsace-Lorraine?"  And thus
are being sown the seeds of our national enervation.

The dangers that threaten us from the hatred that the Prussian bears us
are all the greater now that Germany is ruled by this man-chameleon.
Let William do what he will, let him change colour as he likes, our
hatred for Prussia remains unshaken and immutable.  But acquiescence in
his performances will draw us into his orbit and expose us to those
same dangers which he incurs, dangers which, were we wise, we should
know how to turn to our own profit.



May 12, 1890. [4]

Amidst the ruins of his fallen fortunes, Bismarck can still erect a
magnificent monument to his pride.  If the results pursued by his
once-beloved pupil stultify the old man's immediate intentions, they
constitute nevertheless a testimonial to the Bismarckian doctrine in
its purest form, to those immortal principles based on lies and the
exploitation of "human stupidity," which the ex-Chancellor raised to
such heights in German policy, from the commencement of his career to
the date of his fall.

Let us, in the first place, inquire how it has come to pass that
William II has been able to convince a certain number of people, either
through their "human stupidity" or their cowardice, that he is striving
for and towards peace, when every single act of his proves the
opposite.  Is it enough that, because he declares himself a pacifist,
men should go about saying "Thank God that he, who seemed most eager
for war, now sings the praises of peace"?  And there are others who
earnestly implore us to think no more or war "now that William of
Germany no longer dreams of it."

Now I ask, is there a single reason to be found, either in the
tradition of his race, or in his own character, or in the logic of
Prussian militarism, which can justify any clear-thinking mind in
believing that William is a pacifist?

During the past fortnight a pamphlet has been published in Germany
under the title _Videant Consules_ (a pamphlet having all the
appearance of a Berlin semi-official, or officious, document) which
gives us the key (my readers will agree that I have already placed it
in the lock) of William II's sudden affection for paths of peace.

The illuminating pages of this work are written with the object of
preparing the honorable members of the Reichstag to vote an annual
credit of twenty millions (it is said that the Minister of War and the
Chief of the General Staff originally asked for fifty).  This money
will be asked for to provide 474 new batteries, to bring up to 700 the
number of the German battalions on the Vosges frontier and to increase
the peace footing strength of the army.  According to a statement made
by William II, in his speech at the opening of the Reichstag, the
special object of those twenty millions is to strengthen the defences
of the eastern and western frontiers.

_Videant Consules_ tells us that Bismarck created the Empire by war,
but that his later policy threatened to destroy it by peace; for this
reason the young Emperor deprived him of power.  According to this
pamphlet, the ex-chancellor allowed France to recover and Russia to
prepare her defences, whereas he should have crushed us a second time
in order to have only one enemy--Russia--to deal with later on.

Therefore, Germany's present task is to prepare in haste for the
struggle against Russia and France united, and for this reason it
behoves her (says _Videant Consules_) to increase her forces by a
superhuman effort.  As matters stand, in spite of the Triple Alliance,
in spite of the sympathy and support of Austria and Italy (ruinous for
them) William II is by no means confident in the future success of his
arms.

Now this hero is not taking any chances.  In order that might may
overcome right, he wants to be quite sure of superior numbers.  And
this explains why the Emperor of Germany is a "pacifist" to-day!

But things are likely to be different by October 1.  I would have the
dupes of pacifism read carefully the following extract from his speech;
if they remain deaf to its meaning, it can only be because, like the
man in the fable, they do not wish to hear.

"It is true," says the German Emperor, "that we have neglected none of
the measures by which our military strength may be increased within the
limits prescribed by the law, but what we have been able to effect in
this direction has not been sufficient to prevent the changes which
have taken place in the general situation from being unfavourable to
us.  We can no longer postpone making additions to the peace footing of
the army and to effective units, more especially the field artillery.
A Bill will be brought before you which will provide for the necessary
increase of the army to take place on the first of October of this
year."

According to _Videant Consules_, the last _favourable_ date for
attacking France would have been in 1887.  Bismarck sinned beyond
forgiveness in not provoking a war at that time.  More than that, his
manoeuvres to undermine the credit of Russia and his policy of
intimidation towards France, by exciting the hatred of both countries
against Germany, only served to unite them.

In the position in which he finds himself, William II has therefore no
alternative; he must vastly increase his forces, while assuming the
pacifist role.  He must pretend to be severe with the aristocracy of
his army--the apple of his eye--and to be full of sympathetic concern
for the welfare of the working classes and peasantry, whom he fears or
despises, and who are nothing but cannon fodder to him.  And he does
these things in order to sow seeds of mutual distrust between France
and Russia.

He will use every possible expedient of trickery and guile, and, even
more confident than his teacher Bismarck in the eternal gullibility of
human nature, he will exploit it for all it is worth.

Take this example of our gullibility, as displayed in the question of
passports for Alsace-Lorraine.  A section of the European Press, well
primed for the purpose (the Guelph funds not having been restored, so
far as we know, to their proper owner), continues unceasingly to
implore William II to consent to a relaxation of the regulations in
regard to these passports.  The idea is, that when our credulous fools
come to learn that this relaxation has been granted, there will be
absolutely no limit to their enthusiasm for him.  Already they speak of
him good-naturedly as "this young Emperor."

(Is it not so, that, every day, old friends whose rugged patriotism we
thought unshakable, meet us with the inquiry, "Well, and what have you
got to say now of this young Emperor?")

This young Emperor piles falsehood upon falsehood.  If he permits any
relaxation of the passport regulations, you may be perfectly certain
that he will give orders that the _permis de sejour_ are to be more
severely restricted than before.  Once a passport is issued, it is of
some value; but the _permis de sejour_ is a weapon in the hands of the
lower ranks of German officialdom, which they use with Pomeranian
cruelty.  Every German bureaucrat in Alsace-Lorraine aims at preventing
Frenchmen from residing there, at getting them out of the country; and
nothing earns them greater favour in the eyes of their chiefs.
Therefore, if this "young Emperor" is to be asked to grant anything,
let it be a relaxation of the _permis de sejour_.

To be allowed to _travel_ amongst the brothers from whom we are
separated, can only serve to aggravate the grief we feel at not being
allowed to _live_ amongst them.

William's socialism is all of the same brand.  His first display of
affection for the tyrant lower down was due to the fact that he used
him to overthrow a tyrant higher up: it was the socialist voter who
broke the power of Bismarck.  When we see William embarking upon so
many schemes of social reform all at once, we may be sure that he has
no serious intention of carrying out any one of them.  After having
made all sorts of lavish promises to the industrial workers, he is now
busy giving undertakings to make the welfare of the peasantry his
special care!

In his speech to the Reichstag there is no mention even of the one
definite benefit that the workers had a right to expect--namely, a
reduction of the hours of labour; but the threat of shooting "them in
the back" reappears in a new guise.  William II warns the working
classes of "the dangers which they will incur in the event of their
doing anything to disturb the order of government."

"My august confederates and I," adds the Emperor, "are determined to
defend this order with unshakable energy."

Delicious to my way of thinking, this expression "my august
confederates."  Is there not something astounding about the use of the
possessive pronoun in connection with the word "august," implying
sovereignty?  One wonders what part can they have to play, these
confederates, led and dominated by a personality as jealous and
self-centred as this "young Emperor."

There is only one thing about which William II really concerns himself,
over and above his blind passion for increasing the forces of Germany,
and that is, other people's morals--the morals of working men or
officers.  The devil has always had his days for playing the monk.



May 20, 1890. [5]

Do my readers remember my last article but one, written at a moment
when the whole Press was singing the praises of William the Pacifist,
on the eve of the day when _The Times_ published its despatch,
proclaiming the complete agreement between Tzar and Kaiser, the
_entente_ that assures the world of the peace that shall come down from
William's starry heavens?  It was then that I wrote--

"Is there a single reason to be found, either in the traditions of his
race, or in his own character, or in the logic of Prussian militarism,
which can justify, any clear-thinking mind in believing that William is
a Pacifist?"

Hardly had that number of May 1 appeared when the German Emperor made
his speech at Koenigsberg!  In his cups, the King of Prussia reveals his
true nature, just as a champagne cork flies from a badly wired bottle.
After giving expression once again to his animosity towards France, he
borrows from us one of the famous dicta of Monsieur Prudhomme--

"The duty of an Emperor," he declared, "is to keep the peace, and I am
determined to do it; but should I be compelled to draw the sword to
preserve peace, Germany's blows will fall like hail upon those who have
dared to disturb it."

Next, in the neighbourhood of the Russian frontier, he used the
following provocative language: "I will not permit that any one should
touch my eastern provinces and he who tries to do so, will find that my
power and my might are as rocks of bronze."

Sire, beware!  The God of the Hohenzollern will prove to you before
long that your power and your might, those rocks of bronze, are no more
in His hands than a feather tossed in the wind; He will show you that a
tricky horse can unseat you, regardless of your dignity, when you take
your favourite ride, the road to Peacock island, with your august
brother-in-law.

Say what you will, the Prussians have not yet acquired either wit or
good taste!  There is proof of this not only in the speeches of William
II at Konigsberg, but even more convincing, in that which was delivered
before the Reichstag by that famous strategist, our conqueror de
Moltke, on the subject of the proposed increase in the peace-footing
effectives.

One must read the whole speech to get an idea of the sort of nonsense
that "honorable" Germans are prepared to listen to.  In urging the vote
of credit, "the Victor" said: "Confronted with the fundamental problem
of the army, the question of money is of secondary importance; for what
becomes of your prosperous finances in war-time?"

Having proved that conquerors are the greatest benefactors of the human
race, M. de Moltke goes on to declare that it is not the rulers, but
the peoples, who want war to-day.  In Germany, it is "the cupidity of
the classes whom fate has neglected"; it is also the socialists who
decline to vote more soldiers because they desire to trouble the
world's peace and expect "to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of lives
in the next war and to threaten the existence of morality and
civilisation."

I do not know whether my readers can make head or tail of this
speech--I certainly cannot--but its intention is plain enough.  William
II has been careful to emphasise it, by declaring that the increase in
the peace strength of the army is intended to reinforce the eastern and
western frontiers.  Several officious newspapers (we no longer call
them reptile, but to do so would make them more authoritative) sum up
the matter in these words--

"The nearer the peace-footing of the troops on our frontiers approaches
to war-strength, the more effectively these troops are provided with
everything necessary to enable them to leave within _three hours_ of
receiving marching orders, the more secure becomes Germany's position."

Quite so!  By next October there will be 200,000 men in
Alsace-Lorraine.  As you see, the new law adds to the security of
Germany precisely what it takes from ours.



June 12, 1890. [6]

My readers will recollect that after a journey in Switzerland, two
years ago, I proved by statements which could not be (and never were)
refuted, that the Russian Nihilists established in Switzerland before
the Federal Government's inquiry, were all either deliberate or
unconscious tools of the German police.

On the one hand, M. de Puttkamer, Minister of the Interior, unable to
refute the evidence brought forward by the socialist deputy, Bebel, had
then been compelled to confess that the socialist agitators Haupt and
Schneider were his agents in Switzerland.  On the other hand, at the
inquiry into the proceedings of these socialists, there was the
evidence furnished by letters seized on Schmidt and Friedmann,
associates of Haupt and Schneider, that Schmidt had been commissioned
by M. Krueger of the Berlin Police to commit a crime.  In one of the
seized letters, the following words were actually used by Krueger: "The
next attempt upon the life of the Emperor Alexander must be prepared at
Geneva.  Write to me; I await your reports." [7]

Whenever the alleged liberalism of William II finds its expression in
anything else but speeches, it is easy to take its measure.  He has
just shown once more what it really amounts to, in the Treaty of
Establishment with Switzerland, wherein restrictions are placed upon
the issue of good moral character certificates by German parishes to
their parishioners.  These will no longer be available to enable a
German to take up his residence in Switzerland.  Henceforward it will
be the business of the German Legation to pick and choose those whom it
considers eligible to reside in Switzerland, either to practise a
profession or to conduct an export business there.  It will be for
Germany to decide whether or not her subjects are dangerous abroad.
This would be well enough if it were only a question of restraining
rogues, but it is anything but reassuring when we come to deal with the
ever advancing phalanx of German spies.



July 9, 1890. [8]

It seems to me that this Wagnerian Emperor, pursuing his legends to the
uttermost parts of the earth, is doing his utmost to darken our
horizon.  Everywhere, always he confronts us, appearing on the scene to
deprive us of the last remnants of good-will left to us in Europe.

In the Scandinavian States, even after 1870, we had preserved certain
trusty friendships: of these William II now tries to rob us.  He
appears and, to use his own expression, draws men to him by magic
strings.  To the people who are offshoots of Germany he figures as "the
Emperor," unique, mysterious, he who goes forward in the name of the
fables of mythology, gathering and uniting anew in his slumbering
people the instincts of vassalage.  "Super-German virtues," he calls
them, "ornaments of old-time Germany."  This monarch who, in his own
land, is pleased to pose as a Liberal!

Can it be that this same William who, on the Bosphorus held communion
with the stars, who, writing to Bismarck, said, "I talk with God,"
finds the celestial responses so inadequate that his mind must needs
invoke a retinue of Teutonic deities?

"Let the Latins, Slavs and Gauls know it," says he, "the German Emperor
bears to Germans the glad tidings which promise them the sovereignty of
the world!"

Have not even the Anglo-Saxons bowed before the sovereign will of
William II, so that before long the island of Heligoland will see the
German flag floating over its rocky shores?

Yes, let her Press and public men say what they will, proud Albion has
delivered herself over to Germany.  She has made surrender to our enemy
in the hope that we shall thus become for her an easier victim, that
she will be able to recover at our expense what Germany has taken from
her.  Lord Salisbury hopes, in return for the plum he has yielded, to
be able to help himself to ours, to those of Italy and Portugal, and to
share others with Germany.

But such is the character of William II that he despises those who
serve him or who yield to his will.  Like Don Juan, he seeks ever new
worlds to conquer, new resistances to overcome, and neglects no means
to secure his desired ends.  England and Austria to-day count for less
than nothing in his schemes.  These countries have had a free hand in
Bulgaria, and they have used it to indulge in every sort of intrigue.
Screened by Bismarck, they have advised, upheld and exalted Stamboulof,
they have set up the Prince of Coburg.  And William, not having
inspired any of this policy, would like to see it end in complications
shameful for his associates.

As to the King of Sweden, he thinks it due to the dignity of his people
to make some show of resistance, but one feels that this is only done
to save appearances.  He also has delivered himself, bound hand and
foot, just as they have all done, the Emperor Francis Joseph, the King
of Italy, the Hohenzollern who reigns at Bucharest, Stamboulof, Lord
Salisbury and Leopold II.



July 29, 1890. [9]

The Imperial bagman travelling in Germanophil wares conceals under his
flag a very mixed cargo.  He makes a Bernadotte to serve as speaking
trumpet for Prussian Conservatism at the same time that he subsidises
_agents provocateurs_ for the purpose of misleading and
internationalising the social reform programme of the Danes.

And all the time, in every direction, he comes and goes--this ever
restless, universal disturber--creating and perpetuating instability on
all sides, so as to increase the price of his peace stock, he
controlling the market.  It is Bismarck's old game, played with
up-to-date methods.



August 12, 1890. [10]

Does it not seem to you, dear reader, that the voyage of William II to
Russia suggests in more ways than one the scene of the Temptation on
the Mount?

At St. Petersburg there reigns a sovereign whose life, directed by the
inspirations of his soul, is one long act of virtuous self-denial; who
prefers the humble and the lowly to fortune's favourites; whose works
are works of peace, and whose intentions are always those of a man
ready to appear before Him Who only tolerates the great ones of this
earth when their power is balanced by a due sense of their moral
responsibility, by devotion to duty and truth.

At Berlin there reigns a man of ungovernable pride, who aspires to be
torch-bearer to the world.  Restless, like the spirit of evil,
tormented by his inability to do good, he has dedicated his soul to
wickedness and lies.

Alexander III regarded his accession to the throne as an ordeal, the
sacrifice of his life.  He would have given his own blood to spare his
father the pangs of death.  William II seized fiercely on the reins of
power, after having committed a crime, at least in his heart; after
having wished for the death of his father and increased his sufferings
by his conduct.

By the tragic end of two martyrs, God has brought face to face those
who are destined to be the champions of good and of evil respectively
in these last years of the century.

The German Emperor goes to Russia to say to the Tzar, "Divide with me
the kingdoms of the earth, always on condition that I receive the
lion's share."

The Emperor of Russia will reply: "Let us endeavour, my brother, to
work for the welfare of the nations, let us calm their hatreds and
follow the rugged paths of justice; above all, let us regard the power
which the God of hosts has confided into our hands as an instrument of
sovereignty, whose only purpose should be to keep the nation's honour
unsullied and safeguard the blessings of peace."

"Words, nothing but words," replies the Tempter.  "Say, Yes or No, wilt
thou go with me to the conquest of the world?  On all sides your
influence, which I have undermined, is waning: you and your followers
are caught in a ring of iron from which before long you will be unable
to escape.

"In Germany, all things are subject to my unfettered rule.  Henceforth
nothing can ever check or stop my triumphal march.  Throughout the
humbly listening world, which will soon be at my feet, I break that
which will not bend before me.  I overthrow all those that stand, and
that which comes to me, I keep.  Even the Church, which treated with my
forefathers on a footing of equality, now bows the knee before me and
humbly votes the money for my great slaughters.

"Socialism, that bogey of Bismarck's, is an easily tamed monster.  I
have only to sow discord amongst its leaders to make it serve my ends
of policy like the veriest National Liberal party.

"In Austria, my grandfather and I created financial troubles, entangled
things, let loose envy and hatred and sowed the seeds of quarrels,
which have delivered her into my hands.  Let them try as they will to
free themselves from the fetters with which I have bound them; I shall
create such obstacles to all these efforts that the future shall be
mine, like the present.

"In Hungary, Prussian diplomacy has found a way to turn the people's
hatred of Austria into hatred of Russia, and to make them forgive the
House of Hapsburg for a policy of coercion so cruel than even a
Romanoff denounced it.

"Everywhere I create dissension amongst my allies so that the final
decision may be mine.

"In Italy I have my _ame damnee_, the only one who understands me, an
ambitious tyrant, mad like Bismarck with the lust of power, who serves
my purposes at Rome as effectively as Bismarck hampered them in Berlin.

"I have stifled and destroyed the spirit of brotherhood in the cradle
of the Latin race.  I have made history a liar, bringing a false
morality to the interpretation of the most brilliant days and deeds.  I
have reduced to servility a Royal House that once was proud.  I have
cheated and deceived the cleverest and most suspicious race on earth.

"At Rome, I have insulted the traditional and sacred majesty of the
Head of the Christian religion!

"In England, I have done even more.  I have compelled proud Albion to
serve the ends of my personal policy.  I have forced the most jealous
of nations to yield the leading place to me, to work, in her own
colonies and against her own interests, for the benefit of my growing
rivalry, sacrificing to me her dreams of supremacy in the four quarters
of the globe.

"As to America, I will deal with her later.  I have my plans.

"Despite Lord Salisbury's make-believe of caution and reserve (about
which, I may say, we quite understand each other) England is so
completely delivered into my power that, after the Conservatives the
Liberals, in the person of the young leader John Morley, now proffer me
their services, and no matter what changes may take place in the
English parties my influence will soon prevail.

"My journeys to the Scandinavian States have been fruitful.  In
Denmark, O Tzar! your own father-in-law has become almost associated
with my destiny.

"I have linked with my fortunes a king of French stock in Sweden, and I
will prove it at Alsen Island, where I shall compel him to take part in
the manoeuvres of my fleet.

"As to Norway, a few words from my Imperial lips have overcome the old
republicanism of these brother Teutons.

"So as to keep closer watch over the submission of my new allies, I
have wrested Heligoland from England; and there I shall build an
eagle's nest from which I shall be able to swoop down upon them, should
they attempt to escape me.  Those who had any doubts as to the
importance of this surrender, have learned it from the speeches that I
made when taking possession.

"By this means I have closed the German Ocean _for ever_, and that
which is closed gives access to something.

"What need I say of Turkey that you do not know already?  All her
thoughts, movements and actions are regulated by one man, and he a
vassal of German policy.  Turkey's army, trade and finances, the
direction of her ruling minds, are either in my hands or in those of
England.  And England, say what you will, is hypnotised by me.

"I can afford at my pleasure to challenge her policy indefinitely.

"The diplomas which she conferred upon the Bulgarian bishops after the
execution at Panitza have shown you, my brother, how greatly I am
pleased to favour those whom you have condemned!  Stamboulof, the
inveterate foe of Russia, now dominates the elections in Bulgaria and
Roumelia, thanks to the irade on the bishoprics.  He goes in triumph
through the land, so that even the Russophile candidates invoke the
protection of this man, who shoots the country's heroes and reduces its
prince to the level of an ordinary public servant.  His audacity, his
impunity, the length of his tether, have no limits except those which
will be imposed upon him by my power should you turn a deaf ear to my
proposals.

"And just as British policy has served the ends of Prussian statecraft
in Bulgaria and Roumelia, even so it serves them at this moment in
Armenia.

"It was I who willed and inspired the indulgence of the Sultan for the
bloodthirsty Moussa Bey.  Massacred by the Kurds on the one hand, and
on the other observing the success of the revolution in Roumelia, the
Armenians will inevitably be led from one revolt to another and, helped
by a few timely suggestions, will come to believe that they can win
their autonomy.

"Herein lies another difficulty which disturbs your mind, and of which
my hands hold the threads; another people, to whom you might have
looked for help in the event of my allies going to war with you, but
which England and I will be able to remove from your influence.

"In Roumania, a Hohenzollern guards all the keys which open the doors
of his frontiers.

"In Serbia, I am working by sure means to destroy the last remaining
sympathies for Russia.  To attain this end I will leave no stone
unturned, even as I am doing in Greece against France.

"With an eye to the future interests of my African colonies, I have
compelled England to keep Portugal quiet.  I do not wish any
revolutionary upheaval to react upon Spain, that indomitable nation
which still resists me, but in whose mouth nevertheless, I have put an
invisible bit.  I shall know how to drive her headlong into the trap
that awaits her in Morocco.

"With the help of Italy, Switzerland is mine.  And Holland will fall to
me through the little Duchy of Luxembourg, which will come to me by the
marriage of one of my sisters with the heir of Nassau.

"My last master stroke was the way of my coming into Belgium.  Therein
I was artful.  The Belgians affected to believe in the neutrality of
their microscopic kingdom.  I played up to the joke and entered their
country by way of the sea.

"In all the splendour of my power, I came to Ostend on the
_Hohenzollern_, and I made it my business to invest my appearance with
every feature calculated to impress the mob, in these days when outward
show appeals most powerfully to the popular imagination.  And I was,
moreover, determined that nothing should be lacking to the full
effectiveness of this demonstration.

"Belgium had intimated by a revolution her objections to becoming
German.  Well and good: I imposed myself upon her as German Emperor.
With wearisome reiteration she had manifested her sympathy for France.
In order to challenge these sentiments the more effectively, I
compelled King Leopold to take his seat beside me as the Colonel of one
of my Alsatian regiments!

"And do you suppose that the Belgians protested?  Not a bit of it!  No,
the trick is played.  No longer in secret, but openly, Belgium will
play my waiting game, in the Congo and at the gates of France.

"My visit to Belgium is destined to produce such important results in
days to come, that I have neglected not the smallest detail in order to
produce a legendary impression upon Europe.  Nothing have I forgotten:
costumes for each part, words, good seed sown broadcast in the public
mind, communications to the Press, advice given to sovereigns of a
nature to please the people, and elsewhere (as in England) popularity
with the military caste!

"An individual of the name of Van der Smissen, having dared to argue in
the ranks, got broken for his pains.

"At the same time, in order to cast into stronger relief the loftiness
and majesty of my countenance, I invested it, amongst these good
Belgians, with certain new features of good nature and cordiality.

"As to France, Russia's only possible ally to-day, her artless
simplicity protects me from all risks that I might otherwise run.  I
shall compel her to accept the neutralisation of Alsace-Lorraine,
whenever the provinces shall have become thoroughly Germanised.

"For the present I leave England to deal with her: England who keeps
her busy with childish things, and soothes her vanity with illusory
diplomatic successes, such as the _exequatur_ of the Madagascar Consuls
(which the settled policy of the residents would have achieved in time)
and with useless concessions amidst the fogs of Lake Chad, or on the
Niger, or in regions whose possession none disputed.

"Lord Salisbury evoked much mirth, over these concessions at the Lord
Mayor's banquet, joking somewhat cynically at his own policy in
disposing of territories over which he had no rights.  One country,
amongst others, given to France, has provided my good English friends
with an inexhaustible source of merriment.

"Concerning Egypt, Lord Salisbury has clearly intimated to France that
England will _never_ give it up.

"Thus, the Salisbury Ministry has still at its disposal, to keep busy
my fiery but easily duped neighbours, the Egyptian problem, with a
French Minister at Cairo, who is more of a help than a hindrance to
England; the Newfoundland question, with the Anglo-American Waddington,
more yielding for the purposes of the British Foreign Office than one
of its own agents.

"Moreover, whenever I choose, the rulers of France can be made to
believe in a francophile reincarnation of M. Crispi!  I have many
things in store for them in that quarter.

"Deceived by the infinite resources of my diplomacy, led astray by my
agents who have taken on less reptilian disguises, the guileless French
nation remains a prey to ignorance and ambitions as countless as the
sands on the shore of her democracy.

"To sum up; England, through India; England and Germany, through China,
we hold in our hands that question of an Asiatic war, a scourge which
will exhaust the strength of your Empire, O Tzar! and which may finally
weaken France.  I have said!"


'Tis a long tale, and were it all told at one time, Alexander III would
certainly not listen to half of it.  But William II spent a fortnight
in Russia, and I have only an hour to summarise his argument.

Have the wings of the German Emperor the span of those of Lucifer, as
he believes?  He may play the part, but he will never be able to carry
it through!



August 28, 1890. [11]

Although for the meeting of these two powerful Emperors (whose
destinies, as history proves, are so frequently commingled) there was
no real necessity, other than the desire of the young and restless King
of Prussia, to keep the whole world guessing as to the object of his
multifarious designs, their coming together has its undeniable
importance and significance, for it has been the means of increasing
the resistance and strengthening the determination of the Tzar.
Alexander III, whose mind reflects the great and untroubled soul of
Russia, is well able to estimate at its true worth the insatiable greed
of Germany and the ever-encroaching character of her ruler.  Because of
his own self-control and disinterestedness, the Tzar must have been
able to gather from William's words and works a very fair idea of his
unbounded self-conceit; of that vanity which, like its emblem the eagle
of the outspread wings, aspires to cover the whole earth.

Even though William has offered to the Emperor of Russia the prospect
of a general disarmament; even though, with his present mania for
speech-making he may have suggested a Congress for the settlement of
Europe's disputes, his success must have been of the negative kind.

If the Tzar were to agree to a conference, it could only lead to one of
two results.  Either it would embitter those disputes which threaten to
embroil the nations in a fierce struggle, and bring France and Russia
together in resistance to the same greedy foes, or it would end in the
imposition of a lasting peace, which would mean that the Prussian and
military fabric of the German State would be dissolved, as by a
miracle, to the benefit of French and Russian influences in Europe.

Let then the German Emperor have his head.  God is leading him straight
on the path of failure.  It is this still-vague feeling, that he will
never have power to add to the Prussian birthright, that makes him rush
feverishly from one scheme to another; stirring up this question and
that, ever testing, ever striving.  It is this foreboding that has
driven him to pursue fame, fortune and glory, and so to weary them with
his importunities and haste, that they flee from him, unable and
unwilling to bear with him any longer.

Sire, if it be your ambition to become, immediately and by your own
endeavours, greater than any one on earth, allow me to express the
charitable wish without hoping to dissuade you--that you may break your
neck in the attempt!



September 12, 1890. [12]

It was just at the time that I was writing my last article, that the
Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia (who has a perfect obsession for
being in the middle of the picture), was carrying out at the army
manoeuvres at Narva, a certain strategic design, long-prepared and
tested, by means of which he proposed to fill with amazement and
admiration not only the Russian army but the Imperial Court--nay, all
Russia, and the whole wide world!

William's idea was to repeat the exploit performed by the troops of
Charles XII (with the aid of the Russian Viborg Regiment, of which he
is Colonel) and to pass through the heavy mass of a regiment of cavalry
with light infantry battalions.  The future Commander-in-Chief of the
German Army wished to show the world that he would know how to add the
_elan_ of the French and the impetuosity of the Slav to the qualities
of method and strength perfected by leaders like Von Moltke or
Frederick Charles.  Therefore, several weeks before, William II had
asked the Tzar to be allowed to take part in the manoeuvres and to
command in person the Viborg Regiment.

And so it came to pass that, having cast himself for a part of
invincible audacity, he came to cut a very sorry and ridiculous figure.
Surrounded by the Hussars, he was made to see that what may be done
with German infantry against Uhlans, cannot be accomplished, even with
Russian soldiers, against Russian cavalry.

This incident shows that the Tzar had something akin to second sight
when he gave orders that the length of the manoeuvres would be
optional.  Thanks to this, the Kaiser was free to take home the sooner
his pretty jacket (no, his tunic, I mean) from Narva.

What an interesting broadsheet might be made on the subject of "William
II a prisoner"!

In the long winter evenings to come, how many a Russian peasant--gifted
with imagination as they are--in telling again the tale of the Viborg
Regiment's attack, will see in it an omen of the destiny of the German
Emperor!  And they will add, with bated breath, that the
_Hohenzollern_, on leaving the shores of Russia narrowly missed being
cut in two by another vessel.  And one more sign of evil omen--a
fearful tempest shook the Imperial yacht in Russian waters.

Let us, whose Emperor was a prisoner of the Germans in 1871, pray that
some day a German Emperor may be taken prisoner by the Russian
army--not like at Narva, but in all seriousness.

I said in my last letter that it might well be that William's journey
to Russia might result in stiffening the resolution of the Emperor
Alexander.  And so it has proved, for scarcely had his Imperial guest
returned to Berlin, than a ukase raised the Russian Customs tariff and
imposed a new duty of 20 per cent. on German imports.  A fine result
this, of that which the German Press, before William's departure,
described as the Russo-German Economic Entente, at a moment when, even
for the Berlin newspapers, the prospects of a political _entente_ were
somewhat dubious.

For this reason, Professor Delbrueck says quite bluntly, in the
"Prussian Annals," that William II's journey to Russia has been a
lamentable fiasco; that the Tzar declined to listen to any diplomatic
conversation; that he ridiculed and entertained his Imperial guest with
a series of military parades whilst the Russian general staff was
carrying out important manoeuvres on the western frontiers.

In the same spirit as that of the ex-deputy Professor, the whole German
and Austrian Press have been demanding that, for the peace of Europe,
the German and Austrian troops should be withdrawn from their
respective frontiers, so as to compel the Russian forces to do the same.

That is all very well, but inasmuch as the military zones of the Great
Russian Empire are separated by enormous distances, and the movement of
troops being very much easier for Germany and Austria than for Russia,
one would like to know precisely what is the idea at the back of these
demands.  As soon as ever he returned to Germany, two very significant
ideas occurred to William II: one, to make a display of the warmest
sentiments for his august _pis-aller_, the Emperor of Austria; the
other, to have his faithful ally Italy play some scurvy trick on
France, Russia's friend.

To this end, the German Emperor proceeded to hold a review of the
Austro-Hungarian Fleet and went beyond the official programme by going
aboard the ironclad _Francis Joseph_, flying the flag of Admiral
Sterneck.  After this, inviting himself to luncheon with the Archduke
Charles Stephen, commanding the Austrian squadron, he made a fervent
speech, wishing health and glory to his precious ally the Emperor of
Austria.



September 27, 1890. [13]

When Germany agreed to withdraw her armies from the soil of France, she
replaced them by other soldiers: crossing-sweepers, clerks, workmen,
bankers (industrials or "reptiles" as the case might be), as well
organised, linked up and drilled as her best troops.  Unceasingly,
therefore, and without rest, it behoves us to be on our guard and to
defend ourselves.

A good many amiable Frenchmen will shrug their shoulders at this, but
if we act otherwise we shall be delivered over to our enemies, bound
hand and foot, at the psychological moment.

And now, dear reader, to return to William II.  You will grant, I
think, that since we have followed the interminable zig-zags of his
wanderings throughout Europe, we are entitled to coin and utter a new
proverb:  "A rolling monarch gathers no prestige."



November 1, 1890. [14]

For mastodons like Bismarck, William II prepares a refrigerating
atmosphere which freezes them alive.  Splendid mummies like Von Moltke
he smothers with flowers.  The men whom William dismisses and discards
are great men in the eyes of Germany, even though in history they may
not be so, because the ex-Chancellor is of inferior character, and
because certain successes of Von Moltke were due rather to luck than
design.  Nevertheless, they are in William's way and he gets rid of
them, by different means.  He needs about him men of a different stamp
to those of the iron age; for the present, he is satisfied with
courtiers, later he will demand valets.  All those who are of any
worth, all those who stand erect before his shadow, will be sacrificed
sooner or later.  His autocratic methods will end by producing the same
results as those of the most jealous of democracies.

Let us bear in mind how often, under Bismarck and William I, the German
Press made mock of our fatal French mania for change, pointing out to
Europe how the everlasting see-saw of Ministers of War was bound to
reduce our national defences to a position of inferiority.  In two
years William is at his fourth!

Soon, no doubt, William II will be able to score a personal success in
the matter of his intrigues against Count Taaffe.  His benevolence
spares not his allies.  We know the measure of his good-will towards
Italy.  Lately, it seems, the Emperor, King of Prussia, said to the
Count of Launay, King Humbert's Ambassador at Berlin, "Do not forget
that, sooner or later, Trieste is destined to become a German port."
And it was doubtless with this generous idea in his mind that he had
his compliments conveyed to M. Crispi for his anti-irridentist speech
at Florence.

That the Triple Alliance is the "safeguard of peace," has become a
catchword that each of the allies repeats with wearisome reiteration.
But there!  It is not that William II does not wish for war: it is
Germany which forbids him to seek it.  It was not M. Crispi who
declined to seek a pretext for attacking France: it was Italy that
forbade him to find it.  It is not the Germanised Austrians who
hesitate to provoke Russia: it is the Slavs who threaten that if a
provocation takes place they will revolt.

Let me add that the official organs in Germany, Italy and Vienna only
raise a smile nowadays when they describe Russia and France as
thunderbolts of war.



November 12, 1890. [15]

At the outset of the reign of William II, referring to his father, I
spoke of the "dead hand" and its power over the living.  Now, what has
the young King of Prussia done since his accession to the Throne?  He,
the flatterer of Bismarck, this disciple of Pastor Stoeker, this
out-and-out soldier, this hard and haughty personage, who was wont to
blame his august parents for their bourgeois amiability and their
frequent excursions?  He carries out everything that his father
planned, but he does it under impulse from without and he does it
badly, without forethought, without the sincerity or the natural
quality which is revealed in a man by a course of skilful action
legitimate in its methods.

He smashed Von Bismarck in brutal fashion.  His father, on the other
hand, was wont to say: "I will not touch the Chancellor's statue, but I
will remove the stones, one by one, from his pedestal, so that some
fine day it will collapse of itself."

It is a curious thing that these reforms and ideas, not having been
applied by the monarch whose character would have harmonised perfectly
with their conception and execution, now possess no reversionary value.
They lose it completely by being subjected to a false paternity.

It is true that occasionally William II envoys some real satisfaction,
such as that which he has derived from the coming of the King of
Belgium.  So impatient was His Majesty to return his visit, that he
could not wait for the good season and therefore he came in the bad.
At Ostend, Leopold II had caused sand to be strewn at William's coming
(the beach being conveniently handy).  The King of Prussia only spread
mud.  Why was the King of Belgium in such a hurry?  After the visit of
General Pontus to Berlin and his three days in retirement with the
German headquarters staff, people at Brussels are still asking what
more King Leopold could possibly have to settle in person with Messrs.
Moltke and Waldersee at these same headquarters?

The _Courier de Bruxelles_ informs us that certain proposals for an
alliance were made to Leopold II during his stay at Potsdam.  What!
Could Prussia possibly have dared to think of laying an impious hand
upon Belgian neutrality!  But if not, why should they have been at such
pains formerly to prove to me that the thing was inconceivable?
Prussia wants a Belgian alliance and the King refuses.  Splendid!  But
let him tell us so himself!  I confess that such a document would
interest me far more than all that I have published on the subject!
May not the explanation of King Leopold's journey be, that William II
would like a mobilisation in Belgium just as he wants one in Italy?  M.
Bleichroder will supply the cash.  He has already got his bargain
money, viz. Pastor Stoecker in disgrace, and the repudiation of
anti-Semitism by its ex-partisan, William II.



November 27, 1890. [16]

How can one avoid taking an interest in William II of Hohenzollern?  He
is one of those people who, by every means and in every way, insist on
being noticed.  This up-to-date Emperor is obsessed by the idea of
making profit, for purposes of advertisement, out of every sensation;
he loves to upset calculations and produce every kind of astonishment.
He believes that he has not fulfilled his part, until he has made a
number of people lift their arms to heaven at least once a day and
exclaim: "William is marvellous!"  He wants to hear this cry arise from
the humblest and the highest, from the miner's gallery and the palace
of his "august confederates," from the workman's cottage and the homes
of the middle-class, from the officers' club, from church and chapel,
from the Parliament of the Empire and the House of Peers.

Being _blase_ himself, it pleases him to tickle public opinion with
spicy fare; his lack of mental balance compels him to these endless and
senseless choppings and changes, to all these schemes projected,
proclaimed and cast aside.

The former Court of his grandfather is already in ruins, the work of
Bismarck crumbling in the dust; in less than no time he has reduced the
old aristocratic and feudal Prussian monarchy to the purest kind of
democratic Caesarism.

Perched above every political party in Germany, William the Young wants
to be the one and only ruler and judge of all.  Among themselves let
them differ as and when they will, it being always understood that all
these separate opinions must equally be sacrificed to the Emperor.

Before long the King of Prussia will endeavour to be at one and the
same time the spiritual head of the Lutheran Church and the temporal
Pope of the Catholic Church, the leader of economists, the cleverest of
stategists, the one and only socialist, the most marvellous incarnation
of the warrior of German legends, the greatest pacifist of modern
times, explorer in his day and soothsayer whenever he likes.  In his
own eyes, William is all these.

Have not the delegates of the old House of Peers ingenuously complained
during these last few days that they no longer possess any initiative
of legislation?  But they have just as much or as little as the
honourable members of the Prussian Diet.

All schemes of reform emanate from the Emperor.  The people have no
right to be Emperor.  Surely that is simple enough?

To bulk larger in the public eye, William dwells apart; he can no
longer endure that any one should presume to think himself useful or
agreeable to him or to give him advice.  He is fulfilling the
prediction that he made of himself when he was twenty-one: "When I come
to reign I shall have no friends; I shall only have dupes."

More infatuated with himself than ever, the Emperor wears his mystic
helmet _a la_ Lohengrin, tramples the purple underfoot and has the
throne surrounded by his life-guards, wearing the iron-plated bonnets
of the days of Frederick II.  Thus he deludes himself with the dream of
absolute authority.  His mania for power is boundless, his pride knows
no limits.  He recognises only God and Himself.

To his recruits, he says: "After having sworn fidelity to your masters
upon earth, swear the same oath to your Saviour in Heaven!"

But in his moments of solitude, in the privacy of the potentate's
toilet-chamber, must it not be dreadful for him to reflect that his
silver helmet rests on ears that suppurate, that his voice comes from a
mouth afflicted with fistula of the bone, and that there are days when
his sceptre is at the mercy of the surgeon's knife?



December 11, 1890. [17]

The rumour has spread, and has not yet been authoritatively
contradicted, that William is suffering from disease of the brain.  Is
not this in itself good and sufficient reason to make him wish to prove
that no one in his Empire can do as much brain work as he can?  We,
whose minds are so confused in the endeavour to follow William's
movements at a distance, where little things escape us, can imagine
what it must be to observe them from close at hand!

One of the chief glories of his reign will be to have produced the
diagnosis of a new disease, "locomotor Caesarism" of the restless type.
Before his case, these symptoms were always associated with paralysis.
Here is a discovery that may turn out to be more genuine that that of
Dr. Koch.

The unfortunate Koch is one more of William's victims.  It was his
Imperial will that Germany should wake up one morning to find herself
possessed of a Pasteur of her own.  He could not even wait long enough
to allow the necessary experiments to be made with a remedy which is so
violent that it may well be mortal.  At the word of command "Forward,
march," Koch found himself propelled by His Majesty into the position
of a benevolent genius.


Dr. Henri Huchard has expressed his opinion of Koch's method in the
following words: "In therapeutics, daring is always permissible, so
long as it preserves its respect for human life."

A few days ago, the German Emperor was thrusting his advice on a man of
science, to-day he is overthrowing the most venerable traditions of the
Prussian monarchy with the scheme of M. Miguel, the new system, for
taxing incomes and legacies, opening a campaign against the nobility
and the old conservatives.  With the help of an official of the
"younger generation"--for thus is he pleased to describe his Minister
of Finance--he begins to make war on the "old school."

With the "old school" in his mind's eye, he conceives another idea,
namely, that of a new method of teaching in the elementary, secondary
and high schools, upon which it will be unnecessary to improve for the
next hundred years.  He sets the faithful M. Hinzpeter to work, and
compels him to toil night and day to prepare a complete programme in
all haste--whereupon behold the Emperor holding forth to the collegians
just as he does to the recruits.

"Down with Latin!" cries William.  "Let us make Germans instead of
Greeks and Romans!  Let us teach our children the practical side of
life."  All of which does not prevent him from adding: "Let us teach
them the fabulous history of our race."

William insists that his name shall be on every lip--that he be
recognised as father of his workmen, father of collegians, father of
the country at large.  It is his ambition to look upon all his subjects
as his sons.  Much good may it do them!



December 27, 1890. [18]

The Emperor of Germany, determined supporter of triumphant militarism,
and, therefore, the deadly enemy of every permanent and beneficial
social reform, has suddenly stopped short in his attempts to improve
the condition of the masses.

If you ask: To whom does William II give satisfaction? the only
possible answer is: Himself!  For it matters nothing to him whether
these plans of his succeed or fail.  The thing that does matter to him
is, that he should have left his mark everywhere, and that, after a
quarter of a century or more, legislators shall inevitably find, in
every project of law, the sacred mark, the holy seal of William's mind.



[1] From _La Nouvelle Revue_, of April 15, 1890, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."

[2] This paper had been, till then, in the service of Prince Bismarck.

[3] _La Nouvelle Revue_, May 1, 1890, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[4] _La Nouvelle Revue_, May 15, 1890, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[5] _La Nouvelle Revue_, June 1, 1890, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[6] _La Nouvelle Revue_, June 15, 1890, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[7] Several pages of the "Letters on Foreign Policy" of June 12 give
proofs, undeniable and complete, that the preparation of crimes
committed by anarchists in Europe was instigated at Berlin, William
knowing and approving the fact.

[8] _La Nouvelle Revue_, July 16, 1890, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[9] _La Nouvelle Revue_, August 1, 1890, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[10] _La Nouvelle Revue_, August 16, 1890, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[11] _La Nouvelle Revue_, September 1, 1890, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."

[12] _La Nouvelle Revue_, September 15, 1890, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."

[13] _La Nouvelle Revue_, October 1, 1890, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[14] _La Nouvelle Revue_, November 1, 1890, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[15] _La Nouvelle Revue_, November 16, 1890, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."

[16] _La Nouvelle Revue_, December 1, 1890, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[17] _La Nouvelle Revue_, December 15, 1890, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."

[18] _La Nouvelle Revue_, January 1, 1891, "Letters on Foreign Policy."




CHAPTER II

1891-1892


The danger to France of a _rapprochement_ with Germany--The Empress
Frederick's visit to Paris--William II as _summus episcopus_ of the
German Evangelical Church--Reception of the Alsace-Lorraine deputation in
Berlin--The law against espionage in Germany: every German is a spy
abroad--Christening of the Imperial yacht, the _Hohenzollern_--Further
increase of the military effective force in peace-time--The _Youth of
William the Second_, by Mr. Bigelow.


January 12, 1891. [1]

The Berlin _Post_ thinks that we should be able to get on very well
without Alsace-Lorraine, and that the best thing for us to do, if we are
"reasonable souls," is simply to become reconciled with Germany.  The
reasonable ones among us are directed to prove to us others (who must
needs be "gloomy lunatics") the folly of believing in the Russian
alliance, and gently to prepare us for a last and supreme act of cowardly
surrender--namely, to give William II a friendly reception at Cannes or
in Paris.

The chief argument with which they would persuade us is, that Berlin is
quite willing to receive our philosophers and our doctors.  But we are
more than quits on this score, seeing the number of Germans that we
entertain and enrich in Paris.  To prove that we owe them nothing in the
matter of hospitality, it should be enough to ascertain on the 27th inst.
how many Germans will celebrate the birthday of William II in one of our
first-rate hotels.

Heaven be praised, hatred of the Hohenzollerns is not yet dead in France!
If it be true that the corpse of an enemy always smells sweet, the person
of a living enemy must always remain hateful.

Before we discuss the possibility of the King of Prussia visiting Paris,
however, let us wait until M. Carnot has been to Berlin.



January 29, 1891. [2]

The nearer we approach to 1900, the less desire have I to be up-to-date.
I persist in the belief that the solution of the problems of European
policy in which France is concerned, would have been more readily
attainable by an old fashioned fidelity to the memory of our misfortunes
than by scorning to learn by our experience.

Certain well-meaning, end-of-the century sceptics may be able lightly to
throw off that past in which they have (or believe they have) lost
nothing, whilst we of the "mid-century" are borne down under its heavy
burden.  These people neglect no occasion to advise us to forget and they
do it gracefully, lightly showing us how much more modern it is to crown
oneself with roses than to continue to wear tragically our trailing
garments of affliction and mourning.

I should be inclined to judge with more painful severity those witty
writers who advise us to light-hearted friendship with Bismarck the
"great German," with William the "sympathetic Emperor", with Richard
Wagner "the highest expression of historical poetry and musical art,"
those men who prepared and who perpetuate Prussia's victories--I should
judge them differently, I say, were it not that I remember my former
anger against the young decadents and the older _roues_ in the last days
of the Empire.

All of them used to make mock of patriotism in a jargon mixed with slang
which greatly disturbed the minds of worthy folk, who became half ashamed
at harbouring, in spite of themselves, the ridiculous emotions "of
another age."

But these same decadents and _roues_, after a period of initiation
somewhat longer than that which falls to the lot of ordinary mortals,
behaved very gallantly in the Terrible Year.

True, in order to convince them that they had been wrong in regarding the
theft of Schleswig-Holstein as a trifle, wrong in applauding the victory
of Sadowa, and declaring that each war was the last, it required such
disasters, that not one of us can evoke without trembling the memory of
those events, whose lurid light served to open the eyes of the blindest.

"Understand this," Nefftzer was wont to insist (before 1870), "we can
never wish that Prussia should be victorious without running the risk of
bringing about our own defeat; we must not yield to any of her
allurements nor even smile at any of her wiles."

If the people of Paris applaud Wagner, he who believed himself to be the
genius of victorious Germany personified, it can only be in truth that
Paris has forgotten.  And in that case, there will only be left, of those
who rightly remember, but a few mothers, a few widows, a few old
campaigners and your humble servant!

So that we may recognise each other in this world's wilderness, we will
wear in our button-holes and in our bodices that blue flower which grows
in the streams of Alsace-Lorraine, the forget-me-not!

And we shall vanish, one by one, disappearing with the dying century,
_that is, unless some surprise of sudden war, such as one must expect
from William II, should cure us of our antiquated attitude_.

Need I speak of these rumours of disarmament, wherewith the German Press
now seeks to lull us, rumours which spread the more persistently since,
at last, we have come to believe in our armaments?

"Germany is satisfied and seeks no further conquests," says William II.
But does it follow that we also should be satisfied with the bitter
memories of our defeats, and resolved that, no matter what may happen, we
shall never object to Prussia's victories?  I never forget that William
II, as a Prince, in his grandfather's time, said, "When I come to the
Throne I shall do my best to make dupes."  This rumour of disarmament is
part of his dupe-making.  The real William reveals himself in his true
colours when he awakens his aide-de-camp in the middle of the night, to
go and pay a surprise visit to the garrison at Hanover.

In Militarism the German Emperor finds his complete expression and the
emblem of his character.  His empire is not a centralised empire and only
the army holds it together.

And for this reason William has favoured the army this year at the
expense of all the other public services, by increasing its peace-footing
strength and the number of its officers, by ordering more than two
hundred locomotives and a corresponding amount of rolling stock intended
to expedite mobilisation.  Seventy new batteries have been formed.  The
artillery has been furnished with new ammunition, the infantry with new
weapons, and the strategic network of railways has been completed!

Abroad, every one, friends and enemies alike, think as I do on the
subject of disarmament.

"This plaything of William the Second's leisure moments," says _The
Standard_ (although a fervent admirer of Queen Victoria's grandson),
"this disarmament idea, is a myth."  Our faithful and loyal supporter,
the _Sviet_, says the same thing: "Disarmament is a myth, Germany talks
of it unceasingly, but she strengthens her frontiers, east and west.  On
the north," adds the Russian organ, "she is converting Heligoland into a
fortress; on the south-east, she is increasing the defences of Breslau,
and holds in readiness two thousand axle-trees _of the width of the
Russian railways_."

It is only in France that a few up-to-date journalists take this
disarmament talk of the German Emperor quite seriously.  To them, we may
reply by a quotation from the official organ of the "great German."

"The course of historic events," says the _Hamburger Nachrichten_, "is
opposed to any realisation of the idea of disarmament, and justifies the
opinion expressed by Von Moltke, who declared war to be in reality a
necessary element in the order of things, of itself natural and divine,
which humanity can never give up without becoming stagnant and submitting
to moral and physical ruin."

There you have the genuine style of Bismarck, of the man who invented the
formula--"the Right of Might."

One thing--and one thing only--might possibly lead William II to
entertain seriously this idea of disarmament, and that would be for
Bismarck to oppose it.  Truly, there is something extremely pleasant in
this duel between the two ex-accomplices!  Bismarck terrorising
socialism, William coaxing and wheedling it, for no other tangible
purpose than to act in opposition to him whose power he has overthrown.

What an eccentric freak is this German Emperor!  One day he sends the
Sultan a sword of honour, a bitter jest for one who has never known
anything but defeat!  The next, he proposes to take back the command of
the fleet from his brother Henry, and in order to get rid of him
conceives the plan of making Alsace-Lorraine and Luxembourg into a new
kingdom.

At the same time he proposes to provide the Grand Duke of Luxembourg with
a guard of honour, a guard _a la Prudhomme_, whose business it would be
to defend and to fight him.  The State Council of the patriotic Grand
Duchy is aroused, and denies the right of Prussia on any pretext to
interfere in its affairs.  Boldly it reminds the Powers signatory to the
Convention of 1867 of their pledges.

And with all his mania for governing the world at large, William II would
seem to be possessed of the evil eye, and to bring misfortune to all whom
he honours with his friendship for any length of time.



February 10, 1891.

It looks as if poor Bismarck were about to be treated just as he treated
Count von Arnim.  Can it be that everything must be paid for in this
world, and that a splendid retributive justice rules the destiny even of
super-men and punishes them for committing base actions?  It is rumoured
that the Duke of Lauenbourg (Bismarck) is threatened with prosecution on
a charge of _lese majeste_, which the lawyers of the Crown will not have
very much trouble in proving against him.  That any one should dare to
criticise the Emperor's policy, even though it be Bismarck, or that any
one, even be it Count Waldersee, should express a personal opinion in his
presence, is more than William II will tolerate.

The "sympathetic Emperor" has a cruel way of doing things.  Before
striking his victims it is his wont to give them some public mark of his
esteem and good-will.  Small and great, they pass before him, sacrificed
each in his turn, so soon as they have come to believe themselves for a
moment in the enjoyment of his favour.  Thus Colonel Kaissel,
aide-de-camp to the Emperor, is about to be shelved.  Lieutenant von
Chelin has been removed from the Court, General von Wittich has already
lost his fleeting favour, and the moderating influence of Major de Huene,
erected on the ruins of that of Von Falkenstein, proves to be equally
short-lived.  Three generals in command of army corps are now
threatened--that is, of course, unless a fortnight hence they should
prove to have reached the highest pinnacle of favour.

Three months ago Von Moltke declared that he and Bismarck would live long
enough to be able to say "Farewell to the Empire."

On the other hand, Von Puttkamer seems to be regaining something of
favour, and Prince Battenberg has been welcomed to the old Castle;
strange plans concerning him are being hatched in the brain of William II.

Prince Henry has been brought back, ostensibly to take part in the
Councils of the Government, but in reality that he may be watched the
more closely.  He also has received a letter in which he is publicly
thanked for the services he has rendered.  If I were in his place I
should be very uneasy, seeing the kind of brother that he was, the most
changeable the most jealous, and the most suspicious of men.  There is a
false ring about this letter to Prince Henry, just as there was in those
which the Emperor addressed to Count Waldersee and to Bismarck.
Gratitude is a word that William often thinks fit to use, but it is a
sentiment that he is careful never to indulge in.

It is impossible to discover any sign of a heart in the actions of the
German Sovereign.  One may therefore predict that he will continue to
show an ever increasing preference for distinguished personalities, whom
it may please him to destroy, or creatures who would be the butts of his
malicious sport, rather than to encourage the kind of public servants who
strive continually to increase their efficiency, so as to serve him
better.  Instead of being simply good and ruling benevolently, he aspires
to be first a sort of pope, imposing upon his people a social state
composed of servility and compulsory comfort, and again a leader of
crusades, drawing his people after him to the conquest of the world.

Spiritual and material interests, military organisation, he mixes and
confuses them like everything else which occurs to his mind, and every
day he does something to destroy the results of that marvellous
continuity, which did more to establish the power of William I than the
victories of Sadowa and Sedan.  Ever more and more infatuated with the
idea of military supremacy, he now pretends to be greatly concerned with
the idea of disarmament.  And he, the avowed protector of socialists,
looks as if he were about to accept from Mr. Dryander, the protestant
presidency of that association of workmen, which is being organised for
the purpose of fighting socialism.

Wherever we look, it is always the same, false pretences, trickery,
lying, love of mischief-making and of persecution, innumerable and
unceasing proofs given by William that his sovereign soul, irretrievably
committed to restless agitation, will never know the higher and divine
joys of peace.



March 1, 1891. [3]

For some months past, my dear readers, I have predicted that William II
will not be satisfied without paying a visit to France.  The visit of the
Empress Frederick should have prepared us for this amiable surprise.  But
because the august mother of the German Emperor was received by us with
nothing more than cold politeness, the _Cologne Gazette_ gives us a sound
drubbing, as witness the following--


"The French have no right to be offensive towards the august head of the
German Empire and his noble mother, by insulting them after the manner of
blackguards (polissons).  Every German who has the very least regard for
the dignity of the nation must feel mortally insulted in the person of
the Emperor."

"The German people have the right to expect that the French Government
and the French nation will give them ample satisfaction, and will wipe
out this stain on the honour of France, by sternly calling to order the
wretches in question, creatures whom we Germans consider to be the refuse
of human society."

And we who belong to this "refuse," who flatter ourselves that we have
made extraordinary efforts of self-control when we refrained from saying
to the Empress Frederick: "Madame, spare us; let it not be said that you
went one day to Saint-Cloud, and on the next to Versailles, lest our
resolution to be calm should forsake us"--we, I say, now perceive, that
all our prudence has been wasted, and that we are still "refuse," the
refuse of human society.


The character of William II continues to develop its series of
eccentricities.  With him, one may be sure of incurring displeasure, but
his favours are shortlived.  His mania for change is manifested to a
degree unexampled since the days of the decay of the Roman Empire.  His
freakishness, the suddenness of his impulses, are becoming enough to
create dismay amongst all those who approach him.  One day he will
suddenly start off to take by surprise the garrisons of Potsdam and of
Rinfueld; he gives the order for boots and saddles, which naturally leads
to innumerable accidents.  Next day you will find him issuing a decree
that, a play written by one of his _proteges_, entitled _The New
Saviour_, is a masterpiece, which he would compel the public to applaud.
The best he can do with it is to prevent its being hissed off the stage.
Another day he has a room prepared for himself at the Headquarters of the
General Staff, where he interferes in the preparation of strategic plans,
without paying the least attention to the new chief who has replaced
Count Waldersee.  Then, again, he connects his private office with the
entire Press organisation, so as to be able to manipulate the reptile
fund himself, and to dictate in person the notices he requires,
concerning all his proceedings, in the newspapers which he pays in
Germany and in those which he buys abroad.

All of a sudden it occurs to him that six more war-ships would round off
the German Fleet; and so he demands that they be built on the spot.  His
Minister resists, pointing out that the approval of the Reichstag is
required, William II flies into a passion, and the wretched Minister
obeys.  Suddenly it occurs to him also to remember the existence of a
certain Count Vedel, greatly favoured by the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar.
He summons him by telegraph, and makes him his favourite of an hour.
When it pleases him to remove a superior officer, or to put one on the
shelf, nothing stops him, neither the worth of the man, nor the value of
the services he may have rendered.  One can readily conceive that German
generals live in a state of perpetual fright.  Add to all this that
William is becoming impecunious.  He has taken to borrowing, and is
reduced to making money out of everything.  What will the Sultan Abdul
Hamid say when he learns that the Grand Marshal of the German Court has
put up for sale the presents which he offered to the Emperor, his guest,
and which are valued at four millions!

These things bring to mind the threat which William II uttered a few days
before the fall of Bismarck: "Those who resist me I will break into a
thousand pieces."



March 12, 1891. [4]

The many and varied causes which led to the journey of the Empress
Frederick to Paris, and the equally numerous results that the Emperor,
her son, expected from that visit, are beginning to stand out in such a
manner that we can appreciate their significance more and more clearly.
This proceeding on the part of William II, like all his actions, was
invested with a certain quality of suddenness, but at the same time, it
reveals itself as the result of a complicated series of deliberate plans.
The object of these last was, as usual, the young monarch's unhealthy
craving for making dupes.  To this I shall return later on.  Let us first
examine the causes of William's sudden impulses.

He has acquired, and is teaching his people to acquire, the taste and
habit of sudden and unexpected happenings.  It having been the habit of
Bismarck to speculate on things foreseen, it was inevitable that his
jealous adversary should speculate on things unforeseen.  Moreover, the
King-Emperor is dominated by that law of compensation, from which neither
men nor things can escape, and from which it follows logically that
Germany, after having profited by methods of continuity, is now condemned
to suffer, in the same proportion, her trials of instability.

In determining upon the journey of his august mother to Paris, the
Emperor took no risks other than those which pleased him, and which
served the purposes of his grudges and his policy.  In the first place,
this journey would serve for a moment to divert attention in Germany from
a policy which the great industrials and the workmen, the party of
progress and the conservatives, all unite in condemning.  In the next
place, Berlin, having for a long time made ready to be amiable to Paris,
was bound to resent all the more acutely any failure to reciprocate her
kind advances.  These results could not fail to be favourable to the vote
of credits for military purposes, which are always the last credits asked
for by the Government (whether under Bismarck or under Caprivi) and which
are always voted under stress of an appeal to the eternal but utterly
non-existent dangers, that are supposed to threaten Germany from France.

If our capital, then, should extend a cold welcome to the august mother
of the German Sovereign, the result could not fail to be of immediate
advantage to the vote of military credits.  I ask my readers to notice,
by the way, the deliberate coincidence of the journey of the Empress with
the demand for these credits, and also with the anniversary of the Treaty
of Versailles.  Finally, it was to be expected that if she were badly
received, the mistake thus committed by the Empress Frederick would make
"the Englishwoman" more unpopular in Germany; and, so far as one knows,
her Imperial son has never been passionately devoted to her.  Moreover,
she afforded Bismarck an opportunity of getting rid of a little of his
venom, as witness the following words of his--


"Only an Englishwoman," the ex-Chancellor declared during a visit to Mr.
Burckardt, "could possibly have inspired the Emperor with the idea of
sending her to Paris as a challenge to the French.  A German woman would
have had too much respect for her own dignity to go and visit Versailles
and Saint-Cloud.  The nobility of her feelings would have forbidden her
to make a triumphal appearance amidst the ruins of the houses and castles
destroyed by our troops, and her pride would have prevented her from
seeking the homage and the favours of the vanquished.  The Empress is
English, and English she will remain."


But if France were to welcome with enthusiasm--or even with favour--the
Empress Frederick, William II might justifiably conclude (without making
allowance for the sympathy which the widow of the Emperor-Martyr inspires
in Frenchwomen) that France had accepted the accomplished fact, abandoned
her claims to Alsace-Lorraine, and the defence of her future interests in
common with Russia.  In that case, he would have treated France as he
treats those who show him the greatest devotion.  In order to get a clear
idea of the object pursued by William II, it is sufficient to read two
short extracts from the _Etoile Belge_, a blind admirer of the Emperor of
Germany, and to read them separately from the enthusiastic articles which
this paper published at the commencement of the journey of the Empress
Frederick.

The correspondent of the _Etoile Belge_ wrote as follows--


"In confiding his mother and his sister to the hospitality of Paris,
William II committed an act as clever as it was courageous.  Let him
continue in this policy of pacific advances, and the idea of a
reconciliation with Germany will soon become more popular than the
Russian Alliance."


The Berlin correspondent of the same _Etoile_ wrote--


"Germany has at least as much as England to gain in bringing it about
that Russia should not feel too sure of French support."


Is not this clear enough?  There you have it: the real object which
underlay the visit incognito of the Empress Frederick for the furtherance
of the interests of Germany,  It meant a reconciliation with Germany,
which would have separated us from Russia, from which England had
everything to gain, which would once more have surrendered our credit to
Italy unconditionally, and would have compelled us to renounce
Alsace-Lorraine for good and all.

What then would have been the results had she paid us an official visit?
We have already seen that none of the alternative schemes for this
journey could work to Germany's detriment; we need, therefore, not be
astonished at the publicity given by the Count von Muenster to all the
comings and goings of the Empress, and at the determination shown by Her
Majesty to investigate the quality of our patriotism in all its various
aspects.  The memories which the Empress went to recall at Saint-Cloud
and at Versailles were the same as those which she compelled us to call
from the past: memories glorious for her but unforgettably sad for us,
memories which, in reminding her of victory, were meant to remind us of a
defeat to which our conquerors have added cruelty.

I watch with fervour the expression of our patriotism.  A race which
forgets the brutal insults of superior force deserves slavery.  Italy
would never have reconquered Milan and Venice had she resigned herself to
see them pass under the yoke of the stranger.  Forty years and more had
passed since the 2nd of May, [5] when Prince Napoleon thought fit to send
Prince Jerome as Ambassador to Madrid.  He was forced to leave it.
Princess Murat was in no way responsible for what the French Generals had
done.  She came in the suite of the Empress Eugenie, but Spain found a
way to make her displeasure manifest without any lack of courtesy.  To
the Empress Frederick, France has shown a melancholy kind of astonishment
rather than dislike, and has displayed an infinite courtesy.  Not a
single demonstration, not a gesture, not a word from the population of
Paris has done anything to detract from the city's world-wide reputation
for hospitality.

The Emperor William I and Bismarck, who pretended to make war only
against the Empire, would have shown themselves to be great and
far-seeing political minds had they left Republican France in possession
of the whole of her territory.  Although beaten at Sedan, she would have
remembered Jena, and Germany's revenge would have quickly been forgotten.

Let us remember the words of the Emperor of Germany--


"I would rather that all my people should fall upon the field of battle
than give back to France a single clover-field of Alsace-Lorraine."


The _Post_ of Strasburg, recalling this declaration, adds--


"The French _bourgeoisie_ is too cowardly to begin a war.  It is willing
to smile at the words of Deroulede, but does not move.  The people of
Alsace-Lorraine have done quite rightly in turning away from these
talkers.  We have _permitted_ them to become Germans, why then, should
they refuse the privilege?"


But William II continues to evoke the red vision of France militant, in
order to obtain the vote for his military credits.  It would seem that
his liberalism has gone to join his socialism.  At the dinner of the
Brandenburgers he said "God inspires me; the people and the nation owe me
their obedience."  No matter whether he bungles or blunders, God alone is
responsible, and it is not for the people or the nation to argue.  And
what is more, has not the new President of the Evangelical Church just
proclaimed William II as _summus episcopus_?  Just as William claims to
decide infallibly every political question he will now decide all
theological questions, without asking any help from the supreme council
of the Evangelical Church.

Pope, Emperor and King--but does anybody suppose that this will satisfy
him?



March 27, 1891. [6]

The reception of the delegates from Alsace-Lorraine at Berlin is
characteristic.  William II, eternally pre-occupied with stage-effects,
has on this occasion accentuated the disproportion between the framework
and the results obtained.  He insisted upon it that the proceedings
should be as imposing as the refusal of the delegates' request was to be
humiliating.  All the pomp and circumstance of State was displayed for
the occasion, with the result of producing a scene, carefully prepared in
advance, worthy of a Nero.  The Emperor of Germany surrounded by his
military household, in the hall of his Knights of the Guard, receives the
complaints of the representatives of Alsace-Lorraine, who have come to
ask for a relaxation of the laws imposed on them by conquest.  To them,
William II made answer: "The sooner the population of Alsace-Lorraine
becomes convinced that the ties which bind her to the German Empire will
never be broken, the sooner she proves more definitely that she is
resolved henceforward to display unswerving fidelity towards _me_ and
towards the Empire, the sooner will this hope of hers be realised."

Above the Imperial Palace, during this scene, the yellow flag of the
Emperors of Germany floated side by side with the purple banner of
Prussia.

Another picture--

The Emperor gives a banquet to the delegates of Alsace-Lorraine, after
having refused to hear their complaints.  At the same table with them he
invites Herr Krupp to sit, in order to remind the people of the annexed
provinces of the cannons which defeated France and will defeat her again.
Here we have a reproduction of the Roman Empire in decay.  The power of
the conqueror, imposed in all its pomp upon the vanquished, with the
cruelty of a bygone age.


The all-absorbing personality of William grows more and more jealous.  He
would like to fill the whole stage of the theatre of the empire and of
the world itself.  More than that, he even demands that the past should
date from himself, and he turns history inside out, having it written to
begin with his reign, and reascending the course of time.  First himself,
then the house of Hohenzollern, then Prussia, and let that suffice.  The
other dynasties, other kingdoms of Germany, count for so little that it
is sufficient merely to mention their existence.  The history of which I
speak, written for the German Army, will be prescribed later on for use
of the high schools.

From each department of the public service William lifts an important
part of its business.  From the Department of Education he takes the
direction of public worship, which, in his capacity as _summus
episcopus_, he proposes to control in person.  From the War Department he
takes the section having control of maps and fortresses, which, he
proposes to place under the general staff and his own direction.  He is
planning to make a province of Berlin, so that he himself may govern it
in military fashion, etc., etc.  Is it possible that the mind of such a
man, thus inflated with pride, should not succumb to every temptation of
ambition?  Is there any one of those about him, or amongst his subjects,
who can say where these ambitions will end?  When one thinks of the mass
of ambitions and emotions that William II has exhausted since he came to
the throne, when one thinks of the difficult questions he has raised, the
obstacles he has created and the enterprises he has undertaken, how is it
possible not to _fear_ the future?

Germany is beginning to be oppressed by a feeling of uneasiness.  She is
beginning to realise that her Emperor, by designing the orbit of his
activity on too large a scale, is producing the contrary effect, with the
result that sooner or later, the narrowing circumference of that orbit
will close in upon him, and he will only be able to break its barriers by
violent repression from within _and by a sudden outbreak of war without_.
Militarism and militarism only, the passion for which is ever recurrent
with William II, can satisfy his morbid craving for movement and action.
Thus we see him celebrating the Anniversary of William I by a review of
his troops and by a speech, so seriously threatening a breach of the
peace, that even the newspapers of the opposition hesitate to reproduce
it.  All France should realise that _the German Emperor will make war
upon her without warning and without formal declaration, just as he
surprises his own garrisons_.  By his orders, the statement is made on
all sides that the rifle of the German army is villainously bad.  Let us
not believe a word of it.  On the contrary, we should know that the
greater part of the Prussian artillery is superior to ours; let us be on
our guard against every surprise and ready.



April 28, 1891. [7]

On the occasion of the presentation of new standards to his troops, the
Emperor observed that the number 18 is one of deep significance for his
race, that it corresponds with six important dates in the history of
Prussia.  "For this reason," he added, "I have chosen the 18th of April
as the day on which to present the new standards."  As William II himself
puts it, this day, like all the "eighteenths" that went before it, has
its special significance.

The strange words uttered by the monarch on this occasion--always
intoxicated with the sense of his power, and sometimes by
_Kaiserbier_--are denied to-day, or perhaps it would be more correct to
say that the _Monitor of the Empire_ has not published them.  "Let our
soldiers come to me," he proclaimed in the White Hall, to "overcome the
resistance of the enemies of the Fatherland, abroad as well as at home."

On the one hand, after the manner of the Middle Ages, he reveals to us
the ancient mysteries of the Cabal, on the other, as an up-to-date
emperor, he compels his brother Henry to become a sportsman like himself.
On occasion he will don the uniform of the Navy, interrupt a
post-captain's lecture, and throw overboard the so-called plan of
re-organisation, so as to substitute a new strategy of his own making for
the use of the German fleet.


So Field-Marshal von Moltke is dead at last.  His place is already filled
by the Emperor, who is willing to be called his pupil, but a pupil equal
in the art of strategy to his master and a better soldier.  The
remarkably peaceful death of Von Moltke only reminds me of the violent
deaths that he brought about.  It was to him that we owed the bombardment
of Paris.  Only yesterday, Marshal Canrobert said "he was our most
implacable foe, and in that capacity, we must continue to regard him with
hatred and contempt."  Von Moltke himself was wont to say "when war is
necessary it is holy."  He leaves behind him all the plans in readiness
for the next war.

William II, you may be sure, will proceed to depreciate the military work
of Von Moltke, just as he tries to depreciate his diplomatic and
parliamentary work.  He has reached a pitch of infatuation unbelievable;
and is becoming, as I have said before, more and more of a Nero every
day.  At the present moment he is instigating the construction of an
arena at Schildorn where spectacles after the ancient manner will be
given.  These, according to William, are intended to afford instruction
to the masses as well as to the classes.  A very fitting conclusion this,
to the fears which he has expressed about seeing the youth of the German
schools working too hard and overloading its memory.  For the same
reason, no doubt, he has made Von Sedlitz Minister of Public
Instruction--it is an unfortunate name--an individual who has never been
to College, who has never studied at any University, and who only
attended school up to the age of twelve.

Now, it seems, William II is bored with the Palace of his forefathers.
For the next two years he is going to establish his Imperial Residence at
Potsdam;  consequently all his ministers and high officials are compelled
to reside partly at Potsdam.  His mania for change leads him to destroy
the historic character of the old castle; his scandalised architects have
been ordered to restore it in modern style.  And Berlin, his faithful
Berlin, is abandoned.  It is said that at a gala dinner the other day the
Emperor uttered these words: "The Empire has been made by the army, and
not by a parliamentary majority."  But it is also said that Bismarck
observed to the Conservative Committee at Kiel: "It is best not to touch
things that are quiet, best to do nothing to create uneasiness, when
there is no reason for making changes.  There are certain people who seem
singularly upset by the craving to work for the benefit of humanity."  It
requires no special knowledge to interpret this sentence as a thinly
veiled criticism of the character of William II.



May 12, 1891. [8]

There is an attitude frequently adopted by William II, that German
socialists are in the habit of describing, as "the whipping after the
cake."  He has now had the socialist deputies arrested, and he is
introducing throughout the country a system of espionage and
intimidation, which is only balanced to a certain extent by his fondness
for sending abroad a class of reptiles who go about preaching, writing
and imparting to others the doctrines which he endeavours to strangle at
birth in his own country.  In spite of his brief flirtation with
socialism (in which he indulged merely to copy the man whom he opposes in
everything and cordially detests), William II has now come to persecute
it.  One of his amiable jokes is to try and lead people to believe that
the order which he has given, for the dispositions of his troops on the
frontier _en echelon_, has no other object but to prevent Belgian
strikers, from coming into Germany.  But can it be also to repel this
invasion of Belgian strikers that the entire German army now receives
orders just as if it were actually preparing to begin a campaign?

Sentinels of France, be on your guard!

It goes without saying that during the past fortnight we have had our
regular supply of speeches from William II.  At Duesseldorf he said three
things.

The first, coming from the lips of a sovereign known all the world over
for his mania for change, is calculated to raise a smile--

"From the paths which I have set before me, I shall not swerve a single
inch."

The second was a threat--

"I trust that the sons of those who fought in 1870 will know how to
follow the example of their fathers."

The third and last was meant for Bismarck--

"There is but one master, myself, and I will suffer none other beside me."

For the future William will only make his appearances accompanied by
heralds clad in the costumes of the Middle Ages, bodyguards drawn from
the nobility, surrounding the _summus episcopus_, pope and khalif of the
Protestant Church.

The extremely curious mixture which unceasingly permeates the character
of William II may be observed in the orders which he, the mystic, the
pious, has recently given to the chaplains of the Court, viz. that they
are never to preach in his presence for more than twenty minutes.
Naturally enough, the Prussian pastors are extremely indignant at the
cavalier way in which the _summus episcopus_ treats the Holy Word.



May 29, 1891. [9]

The business of a Sovereign is not a bed of roses, and causes of
discomfiture are just as frequent in the palaces of kings as in the
humblest cottages.  William II has just had more than one experience of
this humiliating truth, but it must be admitted he fully deserves most of
the lessons he receives.

Instead of saying, as he used to say, "my august confederates and
myself," he has suddenly conceived the pretension that he and he alone is
the sole master in Germany.  Accordingly the august confederates by
common consent, although invited by the Grand Marshal of the Palace,
Count Eulenberg, have refused to take part in the trifling folly of the
Golden Throne that William is having made for himself.  Kings, Grand
Dukes and Senators of the Free Cities, all have unanimously declared that
they will never assist "in the erection of a throne which is the sign and
attribute of sovereignty."

But to continue the list: At Strelitz, a clergyman refused the request of
the Prussian colonel of the 89th Regiment to allow his church to be used
for a thanksgiving service in honour of the birth of William II, and
preached a sermon declaring that the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz,
and he alone, had the right to have a divine service and a sermon in
honour of his birthday.

And yet another instance: The Emperor has organised a regatta to be held
on Lake Wannsee on May 30 for all yachts and pleasure boats owned by
princes and by the German aristocracy.  The Archduke, heir to the
Austrian Throne, has refused to honour the occasion with his presence.

The toast at Dusseldorf, "Myself the only Master," has been very
generally condemned; equally that which the Emperor addressed to the
students at Bonn, when he said to them "Let your jolly rapiers have full
play," or in other words, "Indulge to the top of your bent, and without
regard to the laws, in your orgies of brutality."  People in Germany are
beginning to think that William reminds them a little too much of the
incoherencies of his great-uncle, Frederick William, who was undoubtedly
clever in all sorts of ways, but who died insane.

At the shipyards of Elbing, William II narrowly escaped being wounded by
the fall of the large mast of the ship _Kohlberg_, which had been sawn
through in several places.  He has just had his coachman, Menzel,
arrested, who very nearly brought him to his death by driving him into a
lime tree in a _troika_ presented to him by the Tzar.

At present it is his wish that Holland and Belgium should receive him.
The Queen Regent and Leopold II (in spite of the latter's violent love
for Germany) are hesitating, by no means certain as to the welcome which
their peoples would extend to him.  William II proposes to strike the
imagination of the Dutch, as he did that of the Belgians, and to make his
appearance before them, aboard his yacht, the _Hohenzollern_, which Dutch
vessels are to go to meet and escort.  To make the thing complete (and it
may well be that the idea is germinating in his mind) it would only
require him to visit the fortifications on the Meuse.  The _Berliner
Tageblatt_ in a long article informs us that the Emperor declares them to
be _perfect_.  'Tis a good word. . . .

When the Imperial traveller shall have exhausted all pretexts for rushing
about on this Continent, he will go to Africa.  There is a _but_ about
this; it arises from the question whether he will be able to obtain from
his Ministers that they should ask the Reichstag or the Landtag for the
800,000 francs that he needs for the voyage, the Constitution forbidding
the King of Prussia to leave Europe.  But what does the Constitution
matter to William II?  He, the master, will put an end to it!



August 1, 1891. [10]

What are the qualities which have distinguished the Government of Germany
since the victories of Moltke?  The patient tenacity of William I, and a
continuous policy of trickery raised by Bismarck to the level of genius.

William II is a mind diseased, infatuated with itself.  His actions are
dominated by pride, and all the most childish off-shoots of that
weakness, love of noise, of attitudes, of pomps and vanities and
jewellery; his mind is a thing of somersaults, and his will is subject to
capricious whims and sudden outbursts of temper.



August 11, 1891. [11]

May we not flatter ourselves that the torments of William II are now
beginning?  He, who only yesterday proclaimed himself to be the
triumphant personification of the German Empire, is now compelled to
inaction as the result of a fall.  Whilst the Great Tzar is received with
acclamation on board of the French _Marengo_, he goes awkwardly stumbling
about on the deck of his yacht.

The German Emperor composed for himself a prayer, which he is accustomed
to have said in his presence, and in which God is implored "to grant His
protection to the Emperor William, to give him health and inspiration for
the fulfilment of his mission _towards the nations_."  To-day, reduced to
inactivity by his illness and by the consequences of his folly, he has
ample leisure to reflect on the psalm which he is so fond of singing,
with the mitre of the _summus episcopus_ on his head: "The kings of the
earth are the instruments of God."

Yes, Sire, they are instruments which God breaks as easily as He bends a
reed before the wind.  He is pleased to humble the proud, and He reserves
defeat and death as the portion of the parricide.



August 29, 1891. [12]

Germany's luck is running out. . . .

The Emperor certainly lacks neither the youth nor the audacity to compel
fortune, but he drives her too hard, and ignores all her warnings.  His
fall is a clear warning, which he appears to be quite unwilling to
notice; more mechanical than ever in his movements, he is now taking to
riding again.  By his orders, his illness and even his fall are alike
contradicted.  His reason for withdrawing himself so long from the gaze
of his adoring subjects is to let his beard grow, after the fashion of
Boulanger.  But he hasn't wasted his time; his furious impatience under
activity has brought about a fresh attack.



September 11, 1891. [13]

William II makes every effort to keep the Triple Alliance on its legs (it
being as lame as himself) whilst he continues to give vent to his triple
_hoch!_ and resumes once more his rushing to and fro, so wearisome to his
faithful subjects, which compels the European Press to groan so loudly
that his pennon (Imperial in Austria, or Royal in Bavaria) waves madly
about his excited person.  Meanwhile the Emperor Alexander III, calm in
the serenity of his nature, takes his rest in the pleasant retreat of
Fredensborg, where he finds contented virtues and the joys of family life.

It really looks as if a certain deviltry were at work against William II.
His splendid statecraft now revolves about questions of rye bread,
Russian geese, and American pork; he struggles amidst a mass of
difficulties more comic than sublime.  He has imposed a system of rigid
protection in order to entangle his allies in a net of tariffs favourable
only to Germany, and now behold him, all of a sudden, removing the duties
off diseased pork, all for the profit of the McKinley Bill, the scourge
of Germany.  Only the future can say what dangers await a policy of
fierce protection and dangerous favouritism.  How much simpler and
cleverer it would have been to remove the duties on cereals!  As far as
the people are concerned, cheap pork will never appeal to them as cheap
bread would have done.  The progressive party had asked for both; the
satisfaction they have received appeases them for the moment, but the
socialists will still be able to say that William's Government takes off
the duties on foodstuffs that poison the people, and leaves them on those
which would afford them healthy nourishment.



September 27, 1891. [14]

William II has decidedly no luck when he puts the martial trumpet to his
lips.  It was at Erfurt that he learned that the tribes of the Wa Hehe
had massacred Zalewski's expedition into East Africa.  It is said that,
on hearing this news, the German Emperor, seized with one of those sudden
outbursts of rage which throw him into convulsions, swore to avenge in
torrents of blood the insult thus suffered by the ever-victorious banner
of Prussia.  Are we, then, to see the Reichstag in its turn, like the
French and Italian Parliaments, wasting its millions and its men in
colonial adventures?

At Muenich, William II has declared that the wretched condition of the
artillery in the Austrian army, the lack of cohesion in its infantry, and
the inexperience, not to say incapacity, of its officers, render it unfit
for war in the near future, and that no hope of its improvement is to be
entertained, so long as it shall have as its head a man so completely
worn out as Francis Joseph.  Germany's armament is to be completely
changed and renewed, and it is even said that William will go down in
person to the Reichstag during the autumn session to demand the enormous
credits which the situation requires.  The _Neue Muenchen Tageblatt_ has
been seized at Muenich for having published an attack upon "the mania for
armaments and for military pomp which possesses William II, a mania which
is exhausting Germany and will leave her completely ruined after the next
war."



November 12, 1891. [15]

The unfortunate Constitution of the German Empire, like the Emperor
himself, doesn't know which way to turn.  Legislation, administration,
the army; the universities, the Church and the administration of justice:
everything is being passed through a sieve, and transformed, first in
order that it may retransform itself and then become more readily
accessible to the rising generation.  Anything that savours of a ripe age
is extremely displeasing to William II.  Ripeness is a thing which he
disdains to acquire.  All that is youthful finds favour in his eyes, with
the sole exception of a class of youth with which he is disposed to deal
severely, viz. the _souteneurs_.  Against them the _summus episcopus_ is
extremely wroth.  Here the virtue of chaste Germany is at stake, and he
proposes to cauterise the disease with a red-hot iron.  For the future,
the scandalous discussion of these things will be forbidden to the Press,
and thus, even if private morals continue the same, public morality will
not be offended.  Hypocrisy, at least, will be saved.

There is much talk at Vienna of a plan whispered at headquarters in
Berlin, which has to do with converting the capital of Austria into an
entrenched camp, so that an army driven back from the Austro-Russian
frontiers might there be re-formed.  William means to throw Austria
against Russia, and to take his precautions in case of defeat,
precautions which would at the same time, safeguard the rear of the
German Empire.



November 29, 1891.

Germany is becoming uneasy; she has heard the rustling of the wings of
defeat.  Accustomed to victory, she is suffering, as rich people suffer
under the least of privations.  Bankruptcies, one after another, are
spreading ruin in Berlin.  Bismarck and William, united in a very
touching manner on this subject, conceived the idea of bringing about
Russia's financial ruin, and of importing into the Prussian capital the
vitality of the Paris market.  The fall in Russian securities was unlucky
for the German Bank, and all the scrip that the Berlin Bourse so greedily
devoured, for the sole purpose of preventing Paris from getting it, does
not seem to have been easily digested.  The middle class is suffering
from the bad condition of the market, and the increase of taxation; the
lower classes are hungry.

Impassive in his majesty, the Emperor contemplates himself upon the
throne.  Now you will find him copying Louis XIV and writing in the
golden book of the city of Muenich _Regis volontas suprema lex_.  And
again he will imitate St. Louis, but not finding any oak tree within his
reach, he administers justice on the public highway, as in the
Skinkel-Platz.  He is having his own statue made of marble, to be placed
alongside of his throne.  Great Heavens!  If some day, this were to be
for him the avenging Commander's statue! [16]

But no, it cannot be, for has he not been converted?  Is he not the
_summus episcopus_, who conducts the service in person?  Has he not
composed psalms?  Could anybody be more pious, a more resolute foe of
those vices which he pursues with such energy?  Could any one be more
determined to be a pillar of the Church?  In his interviews with the
delegates of the synod of the United Prussian Church, has not the
_summus_ said that the Reformation drew its strength from the hearts of
princes?  True, you may say, that this does not sound very like a humble
Christian; but then humility had never anything to do with William.

At the administration of the oath to new recruits, after having held
forth to them on the subject of the hardships at the beginning of a
soldier's life, he added, "It shall be your reward when you have learnt
your trade, to manoeuvre before me."



December 13, 1891. [17]

The nations of Europe desire peace, and it has been so often proved to
them that they also desire it, who have been accused of furbishing their
weapons unceasingly, that it would be dangerous even for William II to
seem to be preparing for war, or rather that, having made ready for it,
he should be working to let it loose.  And so it comes to pass that the
fire-eating Emperor and King of Prussia himself is compelled to play the
part of a bleating sheep "admiring his reflection in the crystal stream,"
and that he cannot even have recourse to the expedient, now exhausted, to
make it appear that either France or Russia are ravening wolves in search
of adventure.  But the role of a sheep sits badly on William, and the
_mot d'ordre_, which he dictates is so evidently opposed to the condition
of affairs for which he is responsible, that Messrs. Kalnoky and Caprivi,
in spite of their appearance of rotund good nature, have shown distinct
signs of intractable irritation.

People have been asking what can be the meaning of all these pacific
assurances, so hopelessly at variance with everything that one sees and
knows, at a moment when the Monarch of Berlin is furious at the visit of
the Tzar to Kronstadt?  Well, the truth is out, and it is M. de Kalnoky
who, by proxy, shall reveal it to you.

"The reception at Kronstadt and its consequences have effected no change
in the situation."  There you have the secret.  It is necessary to prove
that the diplomacy of the Triple Alliance has not been checked at any
point or in any way; that the "excellent impression," to quote the words
of M. de Caprivi, left in Russia by the visit of William II did not allow
the Tzar any alternative; he was compelled to show attention to some
other country than Germany.  Moreover, the appearance of Alexander III on
the _Marengo_ was nothing more than a simple desire for a sea trip;
France, going like Mohammed to the mountain, bore in her flanks nothing
larger than a mouse.  Finally, that Peace never having been threatened by
the Loyal League of Peace, there could be no possible reason left to
France and Russia for wanting to defend it, etc., etc.

William II is working hard to control and direct the diplomacy of the
Triple Alliance.  Nevertheless, all his scaffolding work is liable to
sudden collapse, overthrown by the most insignificant of events.
Regarding his speech to the recruits, the German Press has pluckily
voiced its condemnation by the public.  It is impossible to deny that his
observations on that occasion were a perfect masterpiece of
self-glorification.  This is what he said--

"You have just taken the oath of fidelity to myself.  From this day
forward there exists for you one order and one order only, that of my
majesty.  Henceforth you have only one enemy, mine, and should it be
necessary for me some day (which God forbid) to order you to shoot your
own parents, yes, to fire on your own brothers and sisters, fathers and
mothers, on that day remember your oath."

Those who wish to form an accurate idea of William's loquacity and
self-conceit should read a few passages, selected haphazard from "The
Voice of the Lord upon the waters," a sermon by His Majesty, the
Emperor-King, for use in polar voyages.  There they will find a strange
hotch-potch of all sorts of ideas, religious, political and heathen, all
half digested.  But the dominant note in the sermons preached by William
II lies in his tendency to diminish the Infinite, to hold it within the
measure of his own mind, to bring down God to his own stature.  All his
comparisons tend to show God as an Emperor, built in the image in which
William sees himself.  When he draws you a picture, in which he brings
God face to face with himself, there is about him a certain splendour of
pride, something in his utterance that suggests an Imperial Lucifer.  But
beyond these relations between God and the German Emperor, his utterances
reveal nothing beyond commonplace self-conceit.  In his perpetual and
personal contact with the Divinity, William's morality becomes more
exacting than even that of God Himself towards His saints, who have long
enjoyed His sanction to sin seven times a day.  William II will not allow
of a single sin.  Everywhere and in everything he must interfere.  Well
may his subjects say, who have just received their catechism: "He is on
heaven, on earth, and within us."



January 1, 1892. [18]

I, who have so long been devoted to the Franco-Russian Alliance, have
followed with acute distress the intrigues of Bismarck in Bulgaria
(intrigues of which the _Nouvelle Revue_ revealed one proof in the
letters of Prince Ferdinand of Coburg to the Countess of Flanders).  I
have known that William, in spite of his actual dislike for the
proceedings of his ex-Chancellor, is pleased to approve the impertinences
of a Stamboulof.  Nevertheless, I confess I am seized with anxiety at
seeing France enter into diplomatic proceedings with the so-called
Government of Bulgaria.  It is very often more dignified to despise and
ignore the enterprises of certain people, then to endeavour to obtain
satisfaction from them.  There are certain complicated circumstances in
which the manifestation of a sense of honour or loyalty becomes a
weakness: at all costs one should avoid being led into it.

The Emperor of Germany possesses a special talent for adding new
complications to a difficult situation, so as to render it impossible of
solution.  He has now so completely tangled up the parliamentary skein,
that in a little while it will be impossible for Parliament to govern.
Can one conceive of a majority of the Chamber rallying around the
Catholic centre, or the socialists, for the same reason, increasing in
number at the bye-elections?  In such a case William II, equally unable
to surrender in favour of the clericals or to submit to the socialists,
will find himself, as others have been before him, driven to adopt the
ultimate remedy of war.



February 12, 1892. [19]

If the States of Germany, in joining themselves on to Prussia, have
thereby increased in power, they have gained very little in humanity.
The circular, secretly issued by Prince George of Saxony, commanding the
12th Army Corps, reveals something of the brutalities and exquisite
torture which German soldiers have to suffer.  This circular was
addressed to the commanders of regiments, and has been published by a
socialist newspaper, the _Vorwaerts_.  This Prince of Saxony is indignant
at these things, doubtless because he is a Saxon; Bavaria, we are told,
declines to accept the application of the Prussian Military Code.  By
common consent, the House of Peers and the Chamber of Deputies at Muenich
have voted against subscribing to a condition of things which permits men
to behave like real savages.  Military Germany takes pleasure in cruelty,
sentimental Germany is moved by the tortures inflicted on her children.
Brutality and sentiment rub elbows, and are so strangely intermingled
amongst our neighbours that I, for one, abandon all attempts at
understanding them.

It was Von Moltke who said one day that the army was the school of all
the virtues.  Next day the same Field-Marshal put into circulation
certain formulas for the infliction of cruelty, intended for the use of
commanding officers.

"If a superior officer should order an inferior to commit a crime, the
inferior must commit it."  Thus says William II, who in the very next
breath expresses his sentimental concern over the unfortunate lot of a
woman of loose life handed over to the tender mercies of a bully!


William's latest quarrel, it seems, is with liberty of conscience.  The
_summus episcopus_ of the evangelical religion becomes the protector of
clericalism in Germany.  He, the elect of God, has discovered the power
of the Catholic Church.  This was the power that broke Bismarck, but it
will not break William II, for he intends to assimilate it.  He dreams of
establishing his Protectorate over Catholicism in Europe, America, Africa
and in the East; his destiny lies in a world-wide mission, which only
Catholicism can support.  He will, therefore, dominate the papacy, and
through it will govern the world.



February 26, 1892. [20]

The list of Emperor William's vagaries continues to grow.  He, who was
once the father of socialists, now pursues them with all manner of
cruelty, in order to be revenged for their opposition to the scholastic
law.  This law is his dearest achievement.  He produced it under the same
conditions as his socialist rescripts, all by himself, without consulting
his Minister.  It seems that Von Sedlitz was instructed to bring it
forward without discussing its terms.  This is a reactionary _coup
d'etat_ in the same way that the rescripts on socialism were a democratic
stroke.  Will this "new course" of Imperial policy, as they call it in
Germany, last any longer than its predecessor?  I presume so, for it
corresponds more closely than the old one to the autocratic instincts of
William II.

The National, Liberal and Progressive parties, and even the Socialists,
who had turned full of hope towards their Liberal Emperor, now vie with
each other in turning their backs on the Sovereign, who fulfils the
policies of a Von Kardoff or a Baron von Stumm, the most determined
Conservatives of the extreme party.

The Universities of Berlin and Halle, together with all the other
educational institutions, have addressed petitions to the Landtag,
protesting against the re-organisation of the primary schools, which it
is proposed to hand over to the Church.  Sixty-nine professors out of
eighty-three, six theologians out of eight, including amongst them
certain members of the Faculty, have signed this protest.  The greatest
names of German science and literature have here joined forces.  Liberals
like Herr Harnack have made common cause with such anti-Semite
Conservatives as Professor Treitschke.  Mommsen, Virchow, Curtius
Helmholtz, stand side by side in defence of the rights of liberty of
thought.  William is becoming irritated by the lessons thus administered
to him and the opposition thus displayed, and his nervousness continues
to assume an aggressive form.

Alsace-Lorraine is undisturbed, and all Europe bears witness to its
pacific tendencies; nevertheless, the German Emperor is bringing forward
a Bill before the Reichstag for declaring a state of siege in
Alsace-Lorraine, which includes even a threat of war, and opens the door
to every abusive power on the part of the civil authority.  The speech
which he addressed to the members of the Diet of Brandenburg is the most
complete expression which the Emperor, King of Prussia, has yet given of
his latest frame of mind.

How dare they criticise him, or discuss his policy!  Let them all go to
the devil!  He, whose policy it is to block emigration, now wishes for
nothing better than that all his opponents should leave Germany.  But it
is impossible to revoke public opinion wholesale, like an edict.  If it
is difficult now to expel all malcontents from Prussia, what will it be
when their number is legion?  William II has promised to his people a
glorious destiny, happiness, and the protection of Heaven.  Truly these
Germans must be insatiable if they ask for more!



March 12, 1892. [21]

William II aims at concentrating all power, and, to organise the work of
espionage, in the hands of the military authorities.  If the Prussian law
of 1851 is still effective, the Emperor in case of need will be able to
dispense with a vote of the Reichstag.  This law confers on every general
and on his representative, who may be an officer of eighteen years of
age, the right to declare a state of siege in the event of war
threatening.  On the other hand, the projected Bill against espionage
meets with very general approval.  Your German has got spies on the
brain.  He wishes to be able to indulge in spying in other countries, but
to prevent it in Germany.  The _Frankfurter Zeitung_ and the _Vorwaerts_
assert that the proposed law against the revealing of military secrets
was inspired by the publication of the report by Prince George of Saxony,
containing revelations of a kind which the Emperor does not wish to occur
again.  One of the articles of this law against spying reveals the
Prussian character in all its beauty.  One has only to read it, in order
to understand the inducements which the Government of William II holds
out to informers.  The end of this article runs as follows: "Every
individual having knowledge of such an infringement, and who shall fail
to notify the authorities, is liable to imprisonment."

To hear these Germans, one would think that France and Russia are
flooding the Empire with spies, whilst Germany never sends a single one
of them to France or Russia.  In the first place, all these statements
are purely cynical; and in the second Germany can very well afford to
dispense with professionally selected spies, inasmuch as every German
prides himself on being one at all times in the service of the Fatherland.



April 12, 1892. [22]

William II makes a solemn promise to his august grandmother, Queen
Victoria, and to the "best beloved" of his Allies, the Emperor of
Austria, that he will restore the Guelph Fund.  Francis Joseph has
obtained from the Duke of Cumberland the somewhat undignified letter of
renunciation, which we have all read, and now it is either up to Rogue
Scapin or Bre'r Fox, just as you please!  William II says that he never
meant to give back the capital, but only the interest!  It is easy to
imagine the effect produced on those concerned by the revelation of this
astonishing mental reservation.  But this is not all!  The King of
Prussia--always short of money, always in debt on account of his
extravagant fancies and expensive clothes, and half ruined by his mania
for running to and fro--had made certain arrangements for meeting his
creditors by means of the Guelph Fund, but with the proviso, needless to
say, that they affected only the interest!!

It is said that the heir of the House of Hanover has written a second
letter which evoked a sickly smile from William II, and of which
Councillor Roessing has suppressed the publication with some difficulty.


Amongst other things, William II has had quick-firing guns, supplied to
the people of Dahomey by slave merchants.  The Berlin _Post_, directly
inspired by the Emperor, tells us exactly what is his object in so doing--


"England and Russia will not help France to settle her difficulties in
her colonies.  These two Powers are far too pre-occupied with the
struggle for supremacy in Asia.  France is, therefore, reduced to looking
to Germany as her sole support.  If France consents to work together with
Germany, Africa will be won for civilisation, and for the best
civilisation of all, the Franco-German, but so long as France pursues
this task single-handed, she will not attain her end, and will find in
Africa nothing but disappointment."


Such evidences of effrontery remind us that William II is the pupil of
Bismarck.  We are, therefore, justified in concluding that the Germans
realise that it is not Aristides the Just who has been exiled, but a
master rogue, whom his pupil now imitates.



April 29, 1892. [23]

William II continues to expel from Berlin all unemployed workmen, quite
regardless of the cause of their temporary or continuous idleness.  He
sends them back to their native parishes, without caring in the least
whether they will find there the work which they are unable to secure at
the capital.  The "Workmen's Emperor" compels an emigration into the
interior of all the most discontented, the most irritated and wretched,
thus sowing throughout all the land the evil seed of the most dangerous
kind of propagandist.  The spirit of Germany is full of surprises for any
one who takes the trouble to observe it carefully, and it is not only in
the acts of the Emperor that we perceive its contradictions.

To take one instance out of a thousand.  Five non-commissioned officers
of dragoons have just been tried at Ulm, accused of having beaten
recruits with sticks until they drew blood.  They have been acquitted,
after having proved that they acted under the orders of their captain.
In this connection it is interesting to read the following--

"The Court of Saverne has just condemned a carrier named Schwartz to six
weeks' imprisonment and a fine of ten marks for ill-treating his horse."

The unstable grandson of the steadfast William I threatens before long to
get between his teeth a fourth war minister; he has already devoured
three chiefs of the general staff, and, in a few years, as many ministers
as his grandfather had during the whole course of his long reign.

It remains to be seen whether, after the withdrawal of the scholastic
law, William II will still find a majority willing to accept his new and
disturbing schemes.



May 28, 1892. [24]

As the German Empire has no other force of cohesion except such as lies
in militarism, William is necessarily compelled to do everything to
magnify and increase it.  Whereas we in France are free to develop the
quality rather than the quantity of our army, Germany, finding the
elements of cohesion only in her military agglomerations is compelled to
increase unceasingly the number of her soldiers.

At this very moment William is planning to add a permanent effective of
40,000 men to the tactical units.  In return, he will promise Parliament
and the country a provisional two years' service, being quite capable of
withdrawing his promise so soon as the vote has been secured.

Numbers, always numbers!  It is the German Emperor's only ideal, and he
becomes further and further removed from any principle of selection. . . .


The German newspapers make a speciality of the fabrication of sensational
rumours.  I could not ask any better vengeance for our beloved country
than to have their stories placed before the most loyal of Sovereigns,
the most far-seeing of diplomats, of the politician the furthest removed
from sordid calculations that the world knows or has ever known, that is
to say, of the Emperor Alexander III. . . .

But all this is just a manoeuvre of the enemy who plays his own game, and
it has no importance whatsoever beyond that which credulous and anxious
people choose to give it.  Inasmuch as the renewal of the Triple Alliance
has produced a definite situation, which affords no opportunity for any
of the combinations which might have resulted had it been broken up into
independent parts, the Tzar with his usual foresight was naturally led to
proclaim his _rapprochement_ with France, and this he has done.  What
change has there been in the situation since Kronstadt?  None at all,
unless it be that Lord Salisbury has revealed something more of the
nature of his intrigues at Sofia, and of the anti-Russian intentions of
his Bulgarian policy.  The King of Italy has surrendered himself a little
more into the hands of the King of Prussia, placing at the disposal of
William's diseased restlessness further and inexhaustible sources of
trouble and uneasiness for Europe.



July 9, 1892. [25]

It seems to me that the speech addressed by William to his new Admiralty
yacht at the port of Stettin has not attracted sufficient notice.  It is
simply beautiful, a very choice morsel indeed.  To show how little I
exaggerate, I will ask my readers to study it in the actual text, and I
would like to engage the services of the King of Prussia to collaborate
in the _Nouvelle Revue_ for a page in precisely the same style.  Here is
this little masterpiece of classic purity--


"Thou art ready to glide into thy new element, to take thy place amidst
the Imperial war-ships, and thou art destined to carry our National Flag.
Thine elegant construction, thy light sides, showing no sign of the heavy
threatening defensive turrets, such as are carried by our war-ships
destined to fight the foe, indicate that thou art consecrated to works of
peace.  Lightly, as on the wing, to cross the seas, bringing distant
lands closer to each other, giving rest and recreation to workers,
happiness to the Imperial children, and to the august mother of the
country,--that is thine appointed task.  May thy light artillery be worn
by thee as an ornament and not as a weapon of war.

"It is for me now to give thee a name.  Thou shalt carry that which my
Castle bears, whose towers rise so high towards Heaven, that which, lying
amidst the beautiful country of Suabia, has given its name to my family.
It is a name which recalls to my Fatherland centuries full of labour, of
work done with and for the people, of life devoted to the people, of good
examples set in leading the people in paths of literature and in many
struggles.  The name which thou shall bear means all this.  Mayest thou
do honour to thy name, and to thy flag, to the great Elector who, first
of all men, taught us our Mission on the sea, and to my great ancestors
who, by works of peace as in fierce warfare, knew how to keep and
increase the glory of our fatherland.  I baptize thee _Hohenzollern_!"



August 29, 1892. [26]

William II, claiming as usual to be ahead of every change of opinion in
Europe, and to direct it, has chosen a very singular pretext to make
profession of his faith as a pacifist, at the moment when Lord Rosebery
was doing the same, and when the visit of our squadron to Genoa was about
to emphasise a relaxation of tension in the relations between France and
Italy.

On June 24, 1890, the following motion was adopted by the Reichstag--


"The Governments of the Confederated German States are requested to take
into serious consideration the introduction of the two years' period of
military service for the Infantry."


Without deigning to remember this, and without bothering his head as to
the discomfiture of the peasantry, who believed the Emperor to be really
favourable to a scheme which he had openly patronised hardly six months
before, on the ground that he had been greatly impressed by General
Falkenstein's report; indifferent also to the difficulty of the situation
in which he was placing Von Caprivi, advocate of the two years'
system--the Emperor-King (apparently just because on that day it had
pleased him to make a declaration in favour of peace) made a speech to
his officers after the last review of the Guards, and summarily condemned
any reduction in the term of military service.  Moreover, he requested
his hearers to repeat his words and to let people know the motives which
impelled him thus to set his face against a reform, which, not having
secured his approval, must remain in the limbo of fantastic schemes.

Much stir and commotion follows, and as usual a great deal is said about
the most changeable and the most feather-headed of Sovereigns; then we
have a new interpretation of his speech by the Press, contradictions of
the original text, withdrawal by the Emperor himself of his original
words, and finally, as net result: a great deal of noise, and the
attention of all Europe directed towards William II.  What more could he
ask?

Soon, thanks to the insidious activities of Austria in Servia, and thanks
to that of his own police on the Franco-Belgian frontier, William will be
able to threaten Europe with War.



September 12, 1892. [27]

William has given up the idea of his trip to Hamburg, cholera being the
sort of jest for which he has no relish.  To make up, he has rushed off
to Canossa.  The Black Alliance, as the Liberals call it, is an
accomplished fact.  The price paid to the Catholics for their assistance
has been a matter of bargaining; what William II wants is an increase in
the peace-footing of the army, and of the annual contingent of recruits,
so that Germany's army of 300,000 men may always be ready.

In twenty years the War budget has been raised from 309 to 700 millions,
as the result of these new plans.  The _Freisinnige Zeitung_ wonders what
will happen on the day when the opposition of the Catholic Centre shall
cease, which has always been a check upon military expenditure and which,
nevertheless, has not prevented Germany from spending 11,597 millions
upon armaments since 1871.

Will Austria follow once more the lead of Berlin?  The object of William
II's visit to Vienna, accompanied by Von Caprivi, is to decide her to do
so.  In the Empire of the Hapsburgs, as in Germany, people are asking;
"What is going to be the end of all this expenditure?"  The _Vaterland_,
discussing William's voyage, says that "the pact between the three great
powers appears to be beginning to be very shaky."



September 29, 1892. [28]

William II thinks that War is impending and close at hand; he feels that
Italy is inclined to argue, and Austria to assert herself.  According to
the tradition of Von Moltke, he wishes to be ready at the hour of his own
choosing.

In the last volume of the Field-Marshal's memoirs, there is a letter
addressed by him to the deputy, Count de Bethusy Huc, dated March 29,
1869, in which the following words occur--


"After a war like that which we have just ended, one can hardly wish for
another.  I desire, however, to profit by the occasion which now offers
to make war on France, for, unfortunately, I consider this war to be
absolutely necessary, and indispensable within a period of five years;
after that, our organisation and armament, which are to-day superior, may
be equalled by the efforts of France.  It is therefore to our interest to
fight as soon as possible.  The present moment is favourable; let us
profit by it."



November 12, 1892. [29]

If you would take the measure of the hatred which the Emperor-King of
Prussia, has towards Russia, read the _Youth of William the Second_ by
Mr. Bigelow, his companion in childhood, the friend of his youth, and the
passionate admirer of his imperial greatness.

In the eyes of Mr. Bigelow, William II is endowed with all the virtues,
all the qualities, and a hatred of evil; he is a complete master of every
conceivable kind of science.  He is a person of tact, foresight, and
superior feelings, he possesses the noblest qualities of courage and
sense of honour.  He knows better than any one else everything concerning
government, business, trade and industry.  Of his military art, it were
needless to speak; it is conspicuously evident.  A brilliant talker and a
fine orator, his lucidity of observation, his judgment, and his rapidity
of decision are all alike, incomparable.

Mr. Bigelow's William has a complete knowledge of the history of Europe
and of the character of its peoples.  There is nothing that he does not
know of the upper and lower foundations of the views of European
statesmen, past and present.  A frank and loyal fellow withal, good to
children, he feels keenly the sufferings of soldiers ill-treated by their
officers, and the hardships of the working classes exploited by their
masters.

Frederick the Great is the only one who in any way approaches him.  Then,
as to his magnanimity, he proved it to M. Jules Simon, by offering him
the musical works of the said Frederick the Great, with a letter which,
according to Mr. Bigelow, should have made France give up her foolish
ideas about Alsace-Lorraine, were it not for the fact that "from the
drawing-rooms of the Faubourg Saint Germain to the garrets of Montmartre,
all Frenchmen suffer from an incorrigible mania for revenge."

To the great satisfaction of Mr. Bigelow, however, it has been given to
England to understand, and she knows how to promote William's mission.
On August 9, 1890, she ceded to him Heligoland, the Gibraltar of Germany.
It is not I who put these words into the mouth of the friend of the King
of Prussia!  "Since Waterloo," adds Mr. Bigelow, "England has not been on
such good terms with Germany."

A very touching confession for us to remember!  Hatred of Russia finds
expression in a hundred ways under the pen of Mr. Bigelow.  Nothing that
is Russian can find favour in his sight; the least of the sins of Russia
are barbarism, corruption, vice of every kind, cruelty and ignorance.
After having piled up all the usual accusations, he stops, and one might
think that it was for lack of materials.  But not at all!  He could, but
will not say more about it; and this "more" assumes most fabulous
proportions "so as not to compromise my German friends."  I imagine that
some of those friends of his must figure on the margin of the Russian
budget, for if it were not so, why should they be liable to be
compromised?

Travelling down the Danube by boat, Mr. Bigelow was able to make use
everywhere of the German language.  Every intelligently conducted
enterprise which he found on his way was in the hands of Germans.
"Sooner or later," said he, "the Danube will belong to Germany."

According to Mr. Bigelow, all the people who have the misfortune to live
in the neighbourhood of the frontiers of Russia only dream of becoming
Germans, in order to escape her.

There is one remarkable quality which William II possesses and which Mr.
Bigelow has forgotten, and that is his talent as a scenic artist and
_impresario_ for any and every kind of ceremony; in this he is past
master.  For the 375th Anniversary of October 31, 1517, the day on which
the famous theses, which inaugurated the Reformation, were posted by
Martin Luther on the door of the chapel at Wittenberg, the Emperor-King
surpassed himself.  The Imperial procession aroused the greatest
enthusiasm in the little town by its successful reconstruction of the
historic picture.  The speech of the _summus episcopus_ cast all sermons
into the shade by its lofty tone and spirit of tolerance.



[1] _La Nouvelle Revue_, January 16, 1891, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[2] _La Nouvelle Revue_, February 1, 1891, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[3] _La Nouvelle Revue_, March 1, 1891, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[4] _La Nouvelle Revue_, March 15, 1891, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[5] Spanish insurrection against the French invasion under the first
Empire.

[6] _La Nouvelle Revue_, April 1, 1891, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[7] _La Nouvelle Revue_, May 1, 1891, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[8] _La Nouvelle Revue_, May 15, 1891, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[9] _La Nouvelle Revue_, June 1, 1891, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[10] _La Nouvelle Revue_, August 1, 1891, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[11] _Ibid._, August 15, 1891.

[12] _La Nouvelle Revue_, September 1, 1891, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[13] _Ibid._, September 15,1891.

[14] _La Nouvelle Revue_, October 1, 1891, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[15] _La Nouvelle Revue_, November 15, 1891, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[16] An allusion to the Commander's statue in "Don Juan."

[17] _La Nouvelle Revue_, December 15, 1891, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[18] _La Nouvelle Revue_, January 1, 1892, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[19] _La Nouvelle Revue_, February 15, 1892, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[20] _La Nouvelle Revue_, March 1, 1892, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[21] _La Nouvelle Revue_, March 15, 1892, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[22] _La Nouvelle Revue_, April 15, 1892, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[23] _La Nouvelle Revue_, May 1, 1892, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[24] _La Nouvelle Revue_, June 1, 1892, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[25] _La Nouvelle Revue_, July 15, 1892, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[26] _La Nouvelle Revue_, September 1, 1892, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[27] _La Nouvelle Revue_, September 15, 1892, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[28] _La Nouvelle Revue_, October 1, 1892, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[29] _La Nouvelle Revue_, November 16, 1892, "Letters on Foreign Policy."




CHAPTER III

1893


William II receives the Tzarewitch--Germany would rather shed the last
drop of her blood than give up Alsace-Lorraine--William's journey to
Italy--The German manoeuvres in Alsace-Lorraine.


January 13, 1893. [1]

Being too weak a man to accept such responsibility as that involved in
the scheme of military reforms, Von Caprivi has, so to speak, by his
suppliant attitude towards the parties in the Reichstag, forced William
II to assert himself.  In spite of his leanings towards prudent reform,
the Emperor-King, whose pride we know, has found himself all of a
sudden in a sorry plight on the question of the increase of the
standing army.  The rising tide of public censure, mounting to the foot
of the throne itself, found no one to hold it back but a bewildered
lock-keeper.  And so the Emperor, with his helmet on his head, appeared
upon the scene, to take charge of the damming operations.  On January 1
he addressed his generals, his enthusiastic officers (who, like all
soldiers, have a holy horror of politicians), and said to them, "I
shall smash the obstacles that they raise against me."

Thus it happens that it is no longer Von Caprivi who confronts the
Reichstag, no longer the hesitating successor of Bismarck, whom the
country accuses of leading it on the path to ruin: the Emperor-King
takes charge in person.  Instead of being a question of policy and
bargaining between the political parties, the question becomes one of
loyalty.  In Parliament, the resistance of the country, instead of
being a legitimate opposition intended to enlighten the sovereign,
becomes revolutionary.  So now the Reichstag is compelled either to
vote the scheme of military reform, or to be dissolved; Germany must
either confirm her representatives in their obedience, or take the
consequences of her hostility towards the Emperor and his army.  The
Reichstag will submit, and Germany will humbly offer to her Sovereign
an additional million of troops in the next five or six years.  William
II will hasten their general submission by threats of war and
revolution, as unlimited as is the field of his falsehood.



February 12, 1893. [2]

William II has left no stone unturned, and has displayed the utmost
skill, in endeavouring to enfold in his influence the heir to the
throne of Russia.  He has devoted to this end all the splendour that an
Imperial Sovereign can display in the entertainment of his guest, all
the resources of enthusiasm which he can lead his people to display in
welcoming him, all his tricks of apparent good-will, all the
fascination of a mind which is apt to dazzle those who meet it for the
first time (although later on it is apt to inspire them with weariness
by its very excesses), every manifestation of a wistful friendship
which proclaims itself misunderstood.

The whole Germany of tradition displayed itself before the eyes of the
Tzarewitch, all its treacherous appearance of good nature, all its
dishonest methods, composed of a mixture of vanity and apparent
simplicity, whose object it is to make people believe in a sort of
unconsciousness of great strength.  The German Emperor made an appeal
for a union of princes to resist the restless democracy of our times,
and repeated it with urgency, and in the usual stock phrases.  In a
word, William II laid under contribution, to charm the son of the Tzar,
all his arts and spells of fascination.  Why wonder that he succeeded,
when we remember that M. Jules Simon, a French Republican, member of
the Government of National Defence in 1870, came back from Berlin
singing the praises of the King of Prussia?  Also, that the entire
Press of our country, with the sole exception of the _Nouvelle Revue_,
was wont, at the commencement of William's reign, to speak with
sympathy of the genial character of the "young Emperor," to praise his
schemes of social reform, and to express its belief in the superiority
of a mind which, as a matter of fact, is remarkable only for its
excesses and disorder?  But all Germany, like M. Jules Simon and the
French Press, will find out the truth.  The country may have gone into
ecstasies over the first acts and first speeches of its young
sovereign, but it will soon learn to know how little connection there
is between the words and assurances of William of Hohenzollern and his
deeds.

At the outset, during the sojourn of the Tzarewitch at Berlin, whilst
he was being carefully coddled by the Emperor, the chancellor, Von
Caprivi (who boasts of having no initiative of his own and of acting
only under the orders of his master), was inspiring accusations, and
making them himself before the military commission, charging the war
party in Russia with secretly plotting against Germany.  One would like
to know where the war party in Russia can possibly be at the present
moment?

At the same time that William II was endeavouring to recover and
restore amicable relations with the Tzar, he had every intention of
carrying through his schemes of military re-organisation and the
increase of the army, which, as Von Caprivi was wont to say after His
Majesty, constitute essential safeguards against a Russian invasion.
Now, the good Germans welcomed the son of Alexander III; they meant to
prove to William II how useless they considered the increase of the
army, inasmuch as the Tzar, with whom lies the final arbitrament of
war, had shown his desire for peace by sending his son to Berlin.  The
Tzar, whose statecraft is great and profound, had clearly foreseen what
the German people would think of the presence of his son in their
midst; he showed them by this means that the increase of the army is
useless, and that all the agitation and complications which William
provokes, the oppositions and the struggles which he himself creates
amongst the forces that he lets loose, give rise to dangers, far
greater than any with which Russia could ever threaten Germany.

William II wears blinkers; he can sometimes see in front of him, but
never around him nor behind.  He believed that the Tzar and the Russian
Press were going to be affected by the same sort of enthusiasm which he
had inspired in the Tzarewitch, but the Tzar, Russia, and the Russian
Press considered matters dispassionately and saw them in their right
light; they were even of opinion that William II had displayed far too
much vanity in his reception of the Tzarewitch and too little dignity.
Consequently, after the departure of the Tzarewitch, the Emperor-King
of Prussia, had a fit of rage, furious with disappointment at not
having been able to follow up the success which he had obtained with
the Tzarewitch himself.  In one of those fits of ungovernable temper
which lead him to commit so many irreparable mistakes, and which are
the despair of his Government and his Court, he caused Von Caprivi's
Press to publish the news of an attempt upon the life of the Tzar.  But
the methods of reptile journalism are now thoroughly understood and the
Emperor Alexander, guessing the source of this lie, demanded an
immediate apology, which Admiral Prince Henry hastened to convey, in
the name of his brother, to the Russian Embassy.  At the same time that
he invented this story of the attempt on the life of the Tzar, the King
of Prussia, German Emperor, proposed a toast in honour of the Duke of
Edinburgh, Commander-in-Chief of the British Fleet, in which he looked
forward to "the glorious day when the British fleet should fight the
common enemy."  The common and double enemy of England and Germany, as
every one is aware, is France and Russia.



March 11, 1893. [3]

Until quite recently, the proposed military law was heatedly discussed
in Germany.  Realising that the Military Commission was on the point of
rejecting it, William II finished his speech in the following words--


"The supporters of the proposed Sedlitz Law accused the Government of
weakness, when it withdrew the Bill in the face of the clearly declared
opposition of a majority of the nation.  Well, then, the proposed
military law provides us with an opportunity of showing that my
Government is not a weak one, and that the firm will of my grandfather,
the Emperor William, lives again in me."


A few days before the vote in the Reichstag, Herr Bebel had raised the
question of International Arbitration wherein, he said, lay Germany's
best means of proving her love for peace, even should it involve the
risk of having the question of Alsace-Lorraine brought before an
International Tribunal.  Hereupon, Von Caprivi, Chancellor of the
Prusso-German Empire, replied to the applause which had come from
almost the entire Reichstag, as follows--


"The deputy Bebel advises us to adopt a tribunal of International
Arbitration.  He admits the possibility that such a tribunal might
raise some day the question of Alsace-Lorraine; he insinuates that we
were to blame for the outbreak of war in 1870, and that there are those
who maintain this idea with even greater strength and assurance than
himself.  Well, then, if such a tribunal should come together, and
should express, no matter in what connection, its opinion on the
question of Alsace-Lorraine, and if that opinion should be to the
effect that Germany should hand back Alsace-Lorraine, I am convinced
that Germany would never submit to such a decision, and that she would
rather shed her blood to the last drop than to hand back these
provinces."


To which Herr Bebel naturally replied--


"When one holds ideas of this kind, it is perfectly evident that one
cannot admit of International tribunals."


Before his little speech, His Majesty the German Emperor had made a big
one, from which we learned yet once again that William I had been
entrusted with a mission, and had handed it down to William II; and
then we heard once more the phrase with which Bismarck had deafened our
ears, on one of his blustering days, and which the King of Prussia has
re-issued in a new form and on his own account: "We Germans fear God
and nothing else in this world."

Well, Sire, I for my part believe that your Majesty fears something
else besides God, and that is the disintegration of the Triple Alliance.



March 29, 1893. [4]

William II is ever at pains to invest those occasions in which his
personality plays a part, with all the glamour of Imperial pomp.  Once
again, accompanied this time by an enormous retinue of Germans glad of
the occasion of a free trip to a sunny land, William II is about to
remind the Romans at Rome of the majesty of the Caesars.  May their
King not be reminded at the same time, by certain aspects of this
triumphal procession, of Rome's captive kings.  In binding herself to
Germany, has not Italy given herself over into bondage to the Teuton
and especially to Austria, her hereditary foe?  I could readily answer
this question in the affirmative by looking back into the past, I who
have so often shared in the patriotic emotions of Italy in bygone days;
but every people is entitled to be the sole judge of its own destinies,
and its best friends abroad have no right to endeavour to enlighten it
by any rays which do not fall from its own heaven above.  One can
easily lead a nation astray, even by means of truths that have been
clearly demonstrated beyond its frontiers.  One is compelled to admit
that the most extraordinary events may occur amongst one's neighbours.

William II, after having sent General Loe to congratulate Leo XIII on
his Episcopal Jubilee, has just made a speech on the occasion of the
silver wedding of King Humbert I and Queen Margaret.  It will please
the Italians, but this ambiguous policy seems to me anything but
flattering, either for the Italian Kingdom or for the Papacy.  As in
1888 and with the same ceremonies, Leo XIII will receive the
Emperor-King of Prussia at the Vatican, and William II, as on that
previous occasion will be able to split his sides with laughter on
returning to the Quirinal, mimicking the Holy Father and boasting that
he has befooled him once more.



April 27, 1893. [5]

The wisdom of the nations is now enriched with a new proverb, "A
rolling Emperor gathers moss, and gathers nothing more."  Before long
the tumult and the shouting of the fetes at Rome will die down, and
with them the popular excitement of enthusiasm for the all-powerful
German Emperor.  The Italian people will then find itself confronted by
the exhaustion imposed upon it by the compulsory militarism of the
so-called pacific Triple Alliance.  Even if cavalcades, reviews and
tournays, should awaken again in the heart of the Roman people that
love of the circus, which this people has inspired in all the latinised
races, the economic question still remains, the question of money and
of bread, implacable.  I know not why it is, but the brilliancy of
William II's visit to Italy gives me the impression of a fire of straw.
What object had he in going there, and what has he attained?  I can see
none.  All his fervent protestations appear to me in bad taste, when
compared with the correct dignity of the Court of Austria, third of the
Allied Powers.



May 12, 1893. [6]

How can our German Caesar, who has just made a journey to Rome after
the manner of Barbarossa, continue to suffer an assembly of talkers, of
political commercial travellers, of people who allow their minds to be
dominated by the vulgar thing called economics?  It is not possible,
and therefore Caesar calls to witness the first Military Staff that he
comes across at the Tempelhof and makes it judge of the matter.  "I
have had to order the dissolution of the Reichstag," says William to
his officers and generals, "and I trust that the new Parliament will
sanction the re-organisation of the Army.  But if this hope should not
be realised, I fully intend to leave no stone unturned to attain the
end which I desire.  No stone unturned, gentlemen, and you understand,
I hope, that it is to you that I am speaking, and you who are
concerned.  You are the defenders of the past, and of the prerogatives
of the Imperial and Royal Power."

If the new Reichstag meets in the same spirit of resistance to the
excesses of Prussian militarism, William II will be condemned to
constitutional government and then, little by little, to the surrender
of everything that he believes to be his proper attributes, and of all
his tastes.  No further possibility then of an offensive war, to escape
from domestic difficulties; no more parades with the past riding behind
him; no more finding a way out by some sudden headlong move, for he
would drag behind him only a people convinced against its will and too
late.  The only thing then left to the King of Prussia, face to face
with a new majority opposed to militarism, would be the dangerous
resource of a _coup d'etat_.

Dr. Lieber, an influential deputy, has defined the actual situation
with a clearness which leaves nothing to be desired--

"We perceive," he said, "that the Prussian principle of government is
developing more and more, and tending to become the idea of the German
Empire.  The policy to be pursued in the German Parliament should be
purely German."

The dilemma is clear.  Will Germany continue to become Prussianised or
will she remain German?  If she is Prussian, that is to say,
militarist, socialism will grow and increase; if she is German, the
development and expansion of her political and social organism, having
free play, will come about normally and surely.  Therefore, the
solidity of German unity should consist in resistance to Prussianism or
militarism, to William II, and to the past.  On the other hand,
submission of the old Confederation to Prussia must inevitably lead to
disintegration.



May 29, 1893. [7]

William II has told us, on the occasion of the unveiling of the statue
of William I at Gorlitz, that the question which brought about the
dissolution of the Reichstag, that like which confronts the impending
election, is that of the Military Bill, and that this question
dominates all others.

"That which the Emperor, William I, has won, I will uphold," says the
present Emperor; "we must assure the future of the Fatherland.  In
order to attain this object, the military strength of the country must
be increased and fortified, and I have asked the nation to supply the
necessary means.  Confronted by this grave question, on which the very
existence of the country depends, all others are relegated to the
background."

Should we conclude, with the _Frankfurter Zeitung_, that "that which
oppresses our minds in this struggle is the reflection, that no
possible benefit is to be attained through victory, nor any remedy for
defeat"?

Will Germany yield, or will she resist the will of the Emperor thus
clearly expressed?  Herein lies a question which, in one way or
another, must have the gravest consequences.



July 1, 1893. [8]

One day, on the occasion of a first performance of a play called
"Cadio," by George Sand, I was with a woman, my best friend, in the
wings of the theatre, Porte-Saint-Martin.  I saw Melingue stamping on
the floor with his feet and jumping and twisting about, and upon my
asking him what was the meaning of these extraordinary antics, he
replied; "It is because, when I come upon the scene, I am supposed to
have galloped several miles on horseback and it would not do for me,
therefore, to present the appearance of a gentleman who has just come
out of a room or from the garden."  I do not quite know why I should
have remembered this far-off incident on learning that the German
Emperor, King of Prussia, had come on horseback from Potsdam to open
the new Reichstag.  As a comedian, William II does not follow the
methods of Melingue.  He rides, in order to present a calmer appearance
at his entry upon the scene.  Clad in the uniform of a Hussar, he read
the speech from the throne with an evangelical mildness.  He was
playing the part of a soldier-clergyman.  The soldier said--


"My august allies agree with my conviction that the Empire, in view of
the development of military institutions by other Powers, can no longer
delay to give to its armed forces such increase as shall guarantee the
security of its future."


The clergyman had upon his lips the honey of promises of concessions,
and he concluded with these words, added to the speech from the throne--


"And now, gentlemen, may the Lord grant His blessing to every one of
us, for the successful issue of a meritorious work in the interests of
our country.  Amen!"


In the course of the latest discussion of the military law in the
Reichstag, we have been able to gather certain unforgettable
information.  In the first place, Von Caprivi has told us that the
increase of the army is directed really and more especially against
France.  Herr Richter declares that Germany, single-handed, can carry
through victoriously any struggle against us.  Liebknecht says that
Turkey can hold Russia in check together with Poland, and finally,
that: "Germany counts upon England as surely as upon Austria and upon
Italy."



September 13, 1893. [9]

The Emperor, King of Prussia, has addressed to our brothers that are
cut off from us, the following words--


"You are Germans, and Germans you will remain; may God and our good
German sword help us to bring it to pass."


To which words, every Frenchman has replied--


"They are French and French they shall remain, God and our good French
sword helping us."


Calmly we await the final provocation.  The German manoeuvres have only
served to teach us one thing more, viz. that William II wishes us to
know that the moment is at hand for a last challenge.  All the German
Sovereigns who were present at the manoeuvres in Alsace-Lorraine,
appeared to be weary of the supremacy which William, the hot-headed,
asserts throughout all the territory of the Empire.  Certain of their
number stated in the presence of several people whose sympathies are
with the French, that the Emperor of Germany was no more master of the
proceedings than they themselves, and that they had no intention of
figuring either as members of his suite or of his general staff, in
accordance with the wish which he had expressed to Von Caprivi.

(Before the Emperor of Germany, Talma had played a part in the presence
of an audience of kings.)

The gift offered by the German subjects of the city of Metz, by way of
thanksgiving for the extraordinary performance given by William II,
proves by its very nature that not a single Frenchman had anything to
do with its selection.  In its form and substance, and in the taste
which it displayed, it is a typically German present, this casket of
green plush full of candied fruits.  No doubt, the Empress will be
delighted and all the little princes too.



[1] _La Nouvelle Revue_, January 15, 1893, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[2] _La Nouvelle Revue_, February 15, 1893, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[3] _La Nouvelle Revue_, March 15, 1893, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[4] _La Nouvelle Revue_, April 1, 1893, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[5] _La Nouvelle Revue_, May 1, 1893, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[6] _Ibid._, May 15, 1893.

[7] _La Nouvelle Revue_, June 1, 1893, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[8] _La Nouvelle Revue_, July 1, 1893, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[9] _La Nouvelle Revue_, September 16, 1893, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."




CHAPTER IV

1894-1895


Treaty of Commerce between Germany and Russia--Opening of the Kiel
Canal; why France should not have sent her ships there--Germany
proclaims her readiness to give us again the lesson which she gave us
in 1870.


March 29, 1894. [1]

William II is triumphant in Germany, and his officious newspapers vie
with each other in proclaiming the grandeur of his ideas.  Meanwhile,
the people of Berlin hiss him and sing rebel songs about him on the
review ground at Tempelhof.

Beyond all doubt the King of Prussia got the better of much opposition
when he secured the vote for his commercial treaty with Russia.  Our
friends of the north cannot doubt that they have our best wishes, that
their commercial and agrarian position may be improved thereby, but the
more favourable the treaty proves for them, the more we would beg them
to profit by its advantages, but not to allow themselves to be
entangled in its dangerous consequences.  If they act thus, if
Germany's sacrifices should prove of benefit only to her neighbours, if
the advantages of influence and penetration aimed at by William II
under cover of this treaty, should be revealed to Russian patriotism,
Germany may prove to be the party deceived.

If William II is clever it is only because of our lack of cleverness
and foresight.  It is because we leave the door open that he is able to
make his way in.  Prussian policy is completely lacking in honesty.  It
forces an entry by all possible means, keeps listening ears at every
door, and weakens its rivals by the dissensions which it creates,
maintains and fosters.

Neither French influence in Russia, nor Russian influence in France,
has ever made use of such methods of procedure as Germany employs in
both our countries.  The unwholesome and dangerous penetration of
reptile influences and of espionage, in all its multitudinous forms,
produce effects on our two allied nations, whose consequences are
impossible to over-estimate.  Only an unceasing vigilance against every
one of the foreign intruders, salaried and enlisted in our midst, can
protect Russia and France against their insidious influences.  Our
enemies labour to weaken us with the desperation inspired in them by
the dangers which they must face, if only we remain staunch, united and
strong.

Is it generally known that the German subjects of the poorer class who
inhabit Paris, receive an annual subsidy of 100 marks?  This amounts to
putting a premium on a form of emigration useful to Germany and
constitutes for us a grave danger.  Proof of this is to be found in the
report of a recent meeting of the municipal council at Metz.  Instead
of sending back distressed German subjects in France to their own
country, Germany sends them money.  The Alsatian newspaper which
affords us this information adds with perfect accuracy: "What would
Germany say if French municipalities were to subsidise officially
Frenchmen living in Berlin?"



April 12, 1894. [2]

I am one of those French people who have hoped, up to the very last
moment, for a continuation of good commercial relations (which means
good political relations) with Italy; I am one of those who first
believed in the possibility of re-establishing a good understanding
under both these headings; but for this very reason I retain a certain
susceptibility and pride which others, less sincere in the pursuit of a
definite reconciliation, certainly do not possess.  Sadly I have
followed the cavalcade of the Prince of Naples to Metz.  I can find no
joy in the words of King Humbert, which M. Gaston Calmette has
reproduced so wittily and with such good nature, in the _Figaro_.  From
my point of view, both these actions of the King of Italy were inspired
by William II; and both had the same object in view, viz. to prove at
Metz that he could wound us cruelly through his ally, and to prove at
Venice that the good-will of Humbert I was subject to his control,
dictated in his own good time, and sanctioned at his pleasure.  The
Emperor of Germany has inaugurated in Europe the policy of
right-about-face, a policy which bewilders diplomacy, astonishes the
_bourgeoisie_ and fills the nations with fear.



April 27, 1894. [3]

The revelations published by Mr. Valentin, Comptroller of Stores in the
Cameroons, deserve to be quoted in their entirety.  In the _Neue
Deutsche Rundschau_ he has described the atrocities committed by
governors of German colonies, or by their representatives.  Wholesale
butcheries, slow and horrible tortures, a new and ingenious method of
scalping, the imprisonment of wives snatched from their husbands and of
young girls taken from their mothers (to minister to the debaucheries
of these governors and their officers) and then brought back to tell
the terrible story to other unfortunate creatures destined to the same
fate; the horrible brutality of sentences, by virtue of which the flesh
of the victims was reduced to pulp under the eyes of the judges--the
revelation of all these things leaves one's mind possessed with
feelings of terror and horror, sufficient in themselves to justify any
reprisals that negro races might inflict upon white people.



July 23, 1894. [4]

One of these days I shall tell how the house of Krupp (in which William
II has so large a personal interest over and above his public interest)
is about to create for itself a formidable position in China, which is
likely to overthrow many calculations and may end in turning Asia
upside down.  The great commercial houses of Hamburg, encouraged and
supported by the government at Berlin, are in telegraphic communication
with every market in China.  Germany's economic life is developing with
frightful rapidity in Asia.



September 11, 1894. [5]

Amongst the list of surprises with which the Emperor of Germany is
pleased to supply the makers of small-talk in Europe, one often finds,
since the journey of the Empress Frederick to Paris (although that was
hardly to be called a success) that he is by way of making advances to
France.  From time to time William II, in a carefully premeditated pose
(as, for that matter, all his poses are), extends towards us, across
the frontiers of Alsace-Lorraine, the hand of generous friendship.
Sometimes, for an entire day he will be good enough to forget that he
is heir to the victories won from us in 1870.  Next day, it is true, we
shall find him celebrating in splendour our defeat at Sedan; but none
the less he will have satisfied his great soul by thus inviting us to
forget the past.  Why is it that William II wearies not in thus
renewing his attempts at reconciliation with France?  The reason is,
that he has nothing to lose by continual failures, whilst he has
everything to gain if he succeeds, even for a moment, in deceiving our
vigilance, and in diverting us from those feelings which alone can
honour and raise the vanquished, that is to say, fidelity to the
brothers we have lost, and the proud belief that, sooner or later, we
shall re-enter into possession of the conquered territory.

Last on the list of the intermittent advances which William II has made
to France, there appeared lately the following in the _Allegemeine
Norddeutsche Zeitung_, official organ of the German government:--


"There is no reason for misunderstanding, or for failure to appreciate,
the increasing signs which go to show that public opinion in France is
favourable to reconciliation with us, and that this opinion is growing,
not only amongst the higher classes in France, but amongst the people.
It is beginning to be recognised that it is to the interest of both
nations to shake hands, as is fitting between neighbours, no matter
what may have been their _former differences_.  On the part of Germans
the tendency towards an _entente_ has gained in strength since we have
noticed the tendency of the French to judge impartially a personality
like that of our Emperor, as befits a nation so cultured and richly
endowed as the French."


What say you, veteran soldiers, who fought in the Terrible Year?  What
say you, Parisians of the Siege, Frenchmen who have seen the Prussian
conqueror dragging his guns and booty along the roads of our France?
What say you, men of Alsace-Lorraine, heroes all?  (No matter whether,
like some, you have sacrificed situation, home and your little
fatherland, so as not to forsake the greater, or, like others, you have
consented to become Prussians in order that the land you worship may
remain in hands that are still French.)  What say you, when our
dreadful defeat, our piled-up ruin, and the spoliation of a portion of
France, become for a German official organ our _former differences_?
What words are these in which to speak of 1870-71, of that
unforgettable and tragic invasion, of the terrible anguish of our
ravished provinces, and what a proof they afford of the great gulf
which separates the mind of Germany from that of France!



September 26, 1894.

The German Emperor does not forget that he is before all things a
Prussian.  Having administered a reprimand to the nobility, he proceeds
to give to the five new fortresses at Koenigsberg, the five greatest
family names of the Prussian nobility.

At Thorn he declared--

"Only they can count upon my royal favour who shall regard themselves
as absolutely and entirely Prussian subjects."  The Germans have not
yet realised that the German Empire will be Prussian, before ever
Prussia consents to lose herself in a united Germany.



October 28, 1894.

The German Emperor, King of Prussia, with that love of peace for which
even Frenchmen are pleased to praise him, is now chiefly occupied in
displaying his passion for militarism.  In the case of William II, it
will be necessary to modify a hallowed phrase, and to say to him:
"Seeing you in uniform, I guessed that you were no soldier."

The Emperor, King of Prussia, insists on continually reminding the
German peoples that he is the commander-in-chief of the armies of the
Empire, and he never misses an opportunity of emphasising the fact.  At
the presentation of flags to the 132 new battalions created by the new
military law, (and doubtless with a view to peace, as usual) the
Emperor with his own hand hammered 132 nails, fixing the standards to
their flag-staffs.  This sort of thing fills me with admiration, and if
it were not for my stupid obstinacy, it might convert me to share the
opinion of M. Jules Simon, who holds that we should entertain the King
of Prussia at the Exhibition in 1900, and welcome him as the great
_clou_[6] on that occasion.  But I should not jest about those feelings
which transcend all others in the heart of the French people.  Germany
owes us Alsace-Lorraine; she has every interest in trying to make us
forget the debt.  What would one think of a creditor who allowed the
debtor to persuade him that the debt no longer existed?  A nation which
reserves its rights against the victor, and maintains its claims to
conquered territory, may be despoiled but is not vanquished.  Would
Italy have recovered Lombardy and Venice had she not unceasingly
protested against the Austrian occupation?  Excessive politeness
towards those who have inflicted upon us the unforgettable outrage of
defeat is not a sign of good manners, but of culpable weakness, for it
inflicts suffering upon those who have to put up with the material
consequences of Germany's conquest, and might end in separating them
from their old and unforgotten mother country.

When William II conducted the Prince of Naples to Metz he was only
acting in accordance with his usual ideas as an insolent conqueror.
But if we were to receive the German Emperor at the Exhibition of
1900--if at that time he is still master of Alsace-Lorraine--we should
be committing the base act of a people defeated beyond all hope of
recovery.



December 12, 1894. [7]

As day by day one follows the proceedings of William II, one gradually
experiences a feeling of weariness and of numbness, such as one gets
from watching the spectacle of waves in motion.

Before his speech from the throne, and in order to prepare his public
for a surprise, William II had directed the King of Saxony, on the
occasion of a presentation of standards, to tell France to her face
that she had better behave, that the Saxon heroes of 1870 had sons
worthy of them, and that the glorious, triumphant march from Metz to
Paris might very easily begin all over again.  Whereupon, general alarm
and feverish expectation of the speech of William II, which of course,
turned out to be pacific.  The following sentence should suffice to
prove it:

"Our confidence in the maintenance of peace has again been
strengthened.  Faithful to the spirit of our alliances, we maintain
good and friendly relations with all the powers."

One can discern, however, a little trumpet note (of which he would not
lose the habit), in the speech which he made at the opening of the new
Reichstag building, whose construction was begun at the time of the
Prussian victories: "May this building remind them (the deputies) that
it is their duty to watch over that which their fathers have
conquered."  But this is a pure and simple melody compared to the
war-march of the Saxons.



January 12, 1885. [8]

William II, in search of a social position, has become lecturer.  At
his first lecture, he announced to the whole world that our commercial
marine no longer holds the second place, that this second place belongs
to Germany, and it is now necessary that Germany's Navy should also
take our place.  And in his usual chameleon way, the German Emperor,
who until quite recently refused to admit that there lay any merit
whatsoever in the Bismarckian policy, now adds: "And Prince Bismarck
may rejoice, for the policy which he introduced has triumphed."



March 12, 1895. [9]

On a certain day, in 1871, the defenders of Paris and its patriotic
inhabitants learned from the silence of our guns, that the Prussian
enemy's victory over them was complete.  And now it seems we are going
to Kiel, to take part in the triumphant procession of H.M. William II,
King of Prussia, and to add the glory of our flag to the brilliant
inauguration of his strategic waterway.  Why should we go to Kiel?  Who
wanted our government to go there?  Nobody, either in France or Russia.
The great Tzars are too jealous of the integrity of their own splendid
territory, to refuse to allow that a nation should remember its lost
provinces.  We were indignant when the Prince Royal of Italy, the ally
of Germany, went to take part in the German military cavalcades, and
now we ourselves, whom Prussia defeated, are going, in the train of the
despoiler of Schleswig-Holstein, to assist at the opening of a canal,
which penetrates and bleeds Danish provinces, annexed by the same
conqueror who took from us Alsace-Lorraine.  Will Denmark, whom William
II has had the audacity to invite, go to Kiel?  No, a thousand times
no! and neither should we go there ourselves, to applaud this taking
possession of Danish waters.  Denmark, though invited, will not go to
Kiel; yet we know what are the ties which bind her Sovereigns to
Russia.  It has been said, in order to reassure consciences that are
easily quieted, that our war-ships will go to Kiel sheltered by those
of Russia, and, so to speak, hidden beneath their shadow.  Our dignity
is at stake, as much in the truth as in the falsehood of this news.
The French Government is not a monarchy.  By declining this invitation
of our conquerors, it would have placed the whole question on its
proper footing, which should be that of the situation created by the
Treaty of Frankfort.  We should have said to Germany, France desires
peace.  Our Chauvinists will remain quiet, so long as the German
Government gives us no provocation.  If we refrain from going to Kiel,
it is in order to maintain the peaceful condition of our relations.
Germany's chief interest is to lead Europe to believe that we have come
to accept the loss of Alsace-Lorraine, and to make the people of those
provinces believe that we have forgotten them.

The King of Prussia, German Emperor, just to keep his hand in,
stimulates the military virtues of his recruits, and for the hundredth
time presides over the taking of the oath of fidelity.  He teaches the
recruits that the eagle is a noble bird, which soars aloft into the
skies and fears no danger; also, that it is the business of the said
recruits to imitate the eagle.  He adds that the German navy is the
only real one, that all others are spurious imitations, and he
concludes by saying that "the German Navy will achieve prosperity and
greatness along paths of peace, for the good of the Fatherland, as it
will in war, so as to be able, if God will, to crush the enemy."
William II never speaks of conquering the enemy or being superior to
him; it is always "crush."  It is this crushing German navy that our
sailors are to go and salute at Kiel.

It looks as if our artists were lending a hand to William, and
gratifying this passion of his for crushing people.  An Alsatian friend
of mine, who knows his Germany well, said to me the other day that, in
sending their pictures for exhibition at Berlin, our painters are
likely to ruin their own market.  For a long time the King of Prussia
has wanted to have a _salon_ at Berlin, and he looks to French painters
to give it brilliancy and to attract those foreign artists who are
accustomed to French exhibitions.  Once it has become the fashion to go
to Berlin, French artists will find that they have helped to ruin their
own business.  How can anybody suppose that William II really wishes to
do honour to French art?  Do not let us forget that Frederick III said
"France must have her industrial Sedan, as she has had her military
Sedan."



March 28, 1895. [10]

It seems then, that Germany's proudest ambitions are about to be
realised at the fetes at Kiel.  That patriotic hymn of theirs, which up
to the present has been a dead letter for those peoples who have not
yet been incorporated in the Prussianised Empire, will now become a
living thing.  Henceforward all Europe must hear and accept the
offensive utterance which the Germans shout: "Deutschland ueber Alles!"
Yes, Germany over all things.

That her Emperor should have willed it, is enough to bring together in
his triumphant procession all the following--


Russia, despoiled of her triumph at Constantinople by the Congress of
Berlin, and exposed on her flank by the Baltic Canal.

England, tricked at Heligoland and at Zanzibar, and whose power is
threatened by the very fleet which she is going to salute.

Spain, threatened in the Carolines, who has only been protected from
Prussian presumption by her own indomitable pride.

Denmark, cynically robbed of Schleswig-Holstein.

Italy, from whom the German navy, when it has become the equal of the
German army and fulfilled the dream of William II, will take Trieste.
It is true that, to make up for Trieste, diplomacy at Berlin is putting
Salonika in pickle with a good deal of English pepper, intending to
offer it as a _hors d'oeuvre_ to Austria, Germany's advanced and
submissive sentinel in the East.

France, the most deeply injured and despoiled, whom the German conquest
has plundered to the utmost, she also will take part in the procession,
and in order that our humiliation be the more complete, so that the
French army may be unable to forgive the French navy for it, our Flag,
our beloved colours, will doubtless salute one of those Prussian
vessels which carry the name of one of our defeats, for instance, the
_Woerth_!


After that, William II, King of Prussia, will be unable to descry a
single cloud on the German horizon.  And Germany, Germany will be above
and over all!  The glory and the splendour of the Hohenzollerns will
shine upon the entire universe, and the German Emperor, Emperor of
Emperors, like the King of Kings, will have nothing to fear until the
Heavens fall.

And we, who have forgotten nothing of the Terrible Year and what it
took from us, we, who can see under the left breast of our beloved
France, her bleeding heart, ravished Alsace-Lorraine, we shall lift our
eyes unto Heaven, our last hope, beseeching it to strike down the
presumptuous one, since men are afraid of him.



April 10, 1895. [11]

It has always been a dream of mine to see a newspaper founded under the
title _Foreign Opinion_, a sheet confined to information, in which
would be presented, clearly, simply, and held together by an
intelligent sequence of ideas, quotations from the principal organs of
those countries in which we have interests, either identical or
opposed.  Statesmen and Members of Parliament would be compelled to
read such a paper.  A knowledge of foreign opinion would render the
greatest services to public opinion in this country, for it would
compel our somewhat self-centred mind to take into consideration the
judgment of others, to determine the justice or the harshness of the
criticism directed against us, and to draw, from the study of these
things, warnings and rules of conduct.

To take an immediate instance, let me give my readers an extract from
the _Muenchner Nachtrichten_, a newspaper, which as a rule does not
share the brutal harshness of the Berlin Press with regard to our
feelings and their expression in French newspapers--


"These foolishly vain Frenchmen, sitting in their meagre little thicket
of laurels, contemplate with evident displeasure the stirring of the
winds in the great forest of German oaks, and their discontent finds
expression in ways that are frequently comical.  The _Figaro_ for
example, has expressed it in an article which is particularly silly
(with a kind of foolishness not often found even in a French newspaper,
which is saying a good deal).  It denies to Germans the right to
remember the glorious years of 1870 and '71, for the reason that French
people might thereby be hurt.  Does it mean to say that the French
would threaten us with war if we continue to celebrate our victories
over them?  Well, if these gentlemen are of that opinion, we will
answer them that Germany is peacefully inclined, but that, if the
French are not satisfied with the severe lesson that we gave them in
1870-71, we are quite prepared to begin it all over again."


And these are the people, mind you, who would have said that we were
trying to provoke them if, faithful to the memory of our defeat, as
they are to the memory of their victory, we had abstained from going to
Kiel to sing the glories of the conqueror.  Like William II, their
Sovereign and Lord, Germany will never admit that our actions should be
a counterpart to their own, even though such actions should include
recognition of their former victories.  They wish to impose upon us,
not only the acceptance of defeat, but a definite recognition of their
conquest, a final sacrifice of our ancient rights, together with
unlimited scope for their new ambitions.  The German Emperor, King of
Prussia, has never made two consecutive speeches in which one did not
contain some threat for us, long or short-dated.  If one were to add
together all the words of peace which William has spoken and all his
war-like utterances, the mass of the latter would irretrievably swamp
all the rest.



October 28, 1895. [12]

His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, seems to be quite
incapable of understanding that, in love as in hate, it is wisest not
to be overfond of repeating either the word "always" or the word
"never."  It is the intention of William II, that Germany should for
ever and ever remain the gate of Hell for France, and he has continued
to din into our ears his _lasciate speranza_ every year for the last
twenty-five.  He never misses an opportunity of showing us France
humiliated and Germany magnified and glorified.  The monument at Woerth
has been unveiled with such a noisy demonstration, that it has for ever
banished from our minds the figure, softened by suffering, of that
Emperor Frederick, who had made us forget "Unser Fritz" of
blood-stained memory.  William II noisily recalls to our mind the
conqueror, when we wished to see in him only the martyr.  This is what
the German Emperor now tells the world at large: "Before the statue of
this great Conqueror, let us swear to keep what he conquered, to defend
this territory against all comers and to keep it German, by the aid of
God and our good German sword."

To do him justice, William II has rendered to us patriots a most
conspicuous service.  At a word he has set us back in the position from
which the luke-warm, the dreamers, and the cowards were trying to drive
us.  By saying that Alsace-Lorraine is to remain Prussian for ever and
for ever, he has compelled France either to accept her defeat for
centuries to come, or to protest against it every hour of her national
existence.



November 2, 1895.

William II suffers from a curious kind of obsession, which makes him
want to astonish the world by his threats, every time that his recruits
take the oath.  On the present occasion he said, that the army must not
only remember the Watch on the Rhine but also the Watch on the Vistula.



[1] _La Nouvelle Revue_, April 1, 1894, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[2] _La Nouvelle Revue_, April 16, 1894, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[3] _Ibid._, May 1, 1894.

[4] _La Nouvelle Revue_, August 1, 1894, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[5] _La Nouvelle Revue_, September 15, 1894, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."

[6] A pun on the word _clou_, a nail.

[7] _La Nouvelle Revue_, December 15, 1894, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[8] _La Nouvelle Revue_, January 15, 1895, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[9] _Ibid._, March 16, 1895.

[10] _La Nouvelle Revue_, April 1, 1895, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[11] _La Nouvelle Revue_, April 15, 1895, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[12] _La Nouvelle Revue_, November 1, 1895, "Letters on Foreign Policy."




CHAPTER V

1896-1897


Telegram from William II to President Krueger--The Emperor Nicholas II
visits France--William II and Turkish affairs; he becomes Protector of
the Sultan--Why the condolences of William II preceded those of the
Tzar on the occasion of the fire at the Charity Bazaar--"Germany, the
Enemy": Skobeleff's word remains true--We have been, and we still are,
gulls--Peace signed between Turkey and Greece.


January 11, 1896. [1]

As the result of his telegram to President Krueger, William II has
recovered the popularity of the early days of his reign.  The German
Emperor had undoubtedly very powerful reasons for making a chivalrous
display on behalf of the Transvaal, from which he anticipated deriving
the greatest advantages.  He expected to produce a moral effect by
undertaking the defence of the weaker side (a role that once belonged
to France).  He saw a way to flatter Holland, deeply touched by these
manifestations of German sympathy for Dutchmen, who were represented by
others as barbarians.  He saw also an opportunity for acquiring and
keeping admirable outlets into the Transvaal, which had threatened to
become for ever closed to German emigrants.  Finally, he expected to
produce a feeling of admiration for his magnanimous attitude, which
would divert the German people from socialism and make them forget the
Hammerstein affair.  Truly, the Transvaal is for William II one of
those lucky finds from which all sorts of good things may spring.

The educated classes in Germany, as well as the lower orders, were
beginning to get very weary of the everlasting celebrations in memory
of 1870-71, which continually fed the flames of French hatred.  A
Silesian journal had just informed us that the 25th anniversary of the
proclamation of the German Empire at Versailles would be celebrated by
a great fete in all the German schools.  The German artillery of the
Siege of Paris had arranged for a commemorative banquet, to be held in
Berlin on January 5.  The senate and the _bourgeoisie_ of Hamburg had
made a gift of nearly 200,000 marks on behalf of the regiment of
Hanseatic infantry which fought at Loigny on December 2, and for
distressed veterans of that regiment.

Germany was in great need of something to distract her attention by a
stroke of exotic brilliancy and by the creation of some new object of
hatred.  Enmity for ever directed against France, was beginning
somewhat to pall.  This continually living on the strength of one's old
triumphs, made Germany to appear like some much-dyed old dandy, seeking
to gain recognition for past conquests by means of art and cosmetics.
The time had come to create a diversion.  The German Emperor, King of
Prussia, has found it with his usual headlong impetuosity, the quality
which impels him always to seize things on the wing, to display
alternately the capacity of a genius, and that of a stupid
blunderer. . . .



March 1, 1896. [2]

German opinion persists in expressing its severe criticisms on the
subject of the Transvaal business and continues to display its sympathy
for the Boers.  There is every reason to expect that German interests
will now be able to create for themselves numerous outlets in the
Transvaal.

William II has made another speech on the subject of the war of 1870;
in this he is like the tide, which the waves carry away only to bring
it back.  Lord, Lord, deliver us from this torture!  I, for one, can
bear it no longer.  My eyes are filled with tears of rage as I listen
and listen again, for ever, unceasingly and without end, to the tale of
our defeat and to the glorification of the army which conquered us, to
the tale of the German Empire born of these Prussian victories.  Will
it ever be finished, this tale?  When will they have done, once and for
all, with inscribing these cruel records of theirs in the golden book
of Germany, and shut the clasp upon it?


We know that William II either painted himself, or had painted, a
picture, which was all the rage in Germany and which represented Europe
invaded by the Chinese.  It would look as if William II really believed
in the danger of this impending invasion, to judge by the inscription
on the engraving of this picture, reproduced by the thousand; "Nations
of Europe, take care for your most sacred treasures!--WILLIAM I.R."

But if this be so, how comes it that the German Emperor is sending
hundreds of military instructors to the Chinese, who are supposed to be
threatening his country?


June 1, 1896. [3]

William II believes that the victories of 1870 were due to Prussia
alone, and that it was she who made the Empire; and this explains why
he takes such complete possession of the Empire, and makes the
celebrations of these victories so personal a matter.  The people of
Bavaria, Wuertemberg and Saxony are herein exposed to humiliation of a
kind which they decline to accept.  There is no doubt that all Germans
hate us with an equal hatred, and all have united with the same
enthusiasm to crush our unfortunate France; nevertheless, we may derive
some profit from the antipathy inspired in them by Prussia's grasping
claims to glory and authority.



September 1, 1896. [4]

Do you remember, my faithful friends, and you, my earliest readers,
what were the sentiments of hatred, love and fidelity, that inspired
the letters which I addressed to you nearly eighteen years ago--the
violence of my hatred for the most tyrannical, and at the same time,
the most dangerously vindictive, of European statesmen, viz. Von
Bismarck?

Have you not often smiled, when I then denied the strength of the
Colossus and asserted his fragility, when I used to say: "He must not
die with a halo of glory; let him witness rather the bankruptcy of his
moral estate and give proof of the pettiness of his character and
evidence of his unbridled lust for power.  Let the effrontery of his
lies return to him in bitterness?"  And together, you and I, we have
now seen Prince Bismarck, not hurled down, but slowly crumbling to
ruin; there has been nothing great about his fall, neither the shout
that he gave, nor his way of falling, nor the words which he said when
he picked himself up.

And at the same time when I showed you, in the far distant future, this
idol of blood-thirstiness broken, I preached to you the love of Russia.
I saw her freeing herself from German influence and drawing closer to
us.  Hardly had the Emperor Alexander III come to the throne, than I
said to you: "He will be a popular Emperor, and the more he loves his
own people the more he will love ours."  For a long time you thought
that my hatred of Prince Bismarck was blind, but from the outset you
regarded my love of Russia as enlightened.  How many strengthening and
encouraging letters have I not received from you?

And now, Nicholas II, son of Alexander III, the well-beloved Emperor,
who represents in his own person the highest expression of great, holy
and mystical Russia, is coming to Paris officially, as the ally of
France, so that all the ambitions of our patriotism, all our dreams of
the last twenty-five years, are coming true together.  Am I not
entitled to say to you, dear readers, "I have fulfilled the mission
that I set before myself, my work amongst you is accomplished"?  But
there remains still a tie between us, our common fidelity to Alsace!
How could we forget those who have not ceased to remember?  Shall it be
said that we failed those who rather than yield have suffered every
form of torture?  Let us endeavour together to prove in a more active
manner our devotion to the brethren who are separated from us.  Now
that Prince Bismarck has one foot in the grave, now that the Russian
Alliance is in the hands of the Government of France, let us devote all
our strength and all the resources of our advocacy, all our love of
justice, to the cause of Alsace-Lorraine. . . .

William II is sick, nervous and irritable.  He has lost all patience
with the question of the reform of military organisation; he did not
raise that question, it would seem, and has plenty of other things to
worry him.  He is going to ask Parliament, on its re-assembling, to
vote large sums for the increase of the navy, his own particular care.
After all, he received the army triumphant from the hands of Moltke and
of Bismarck, but the navy is his own personal achievement; he believes
this, and says so repeatedly.  But the German navy has no luck.  This
year, besides the _Iltis_, the _Frauenlob_, and the _Amazone_, which
swallowed up a large number of junior officers of the Prussian navy, it
has lost the _Kurfurstin_ (as the result of an error of navigation)
with 300 sailors, also the _Augusta_, the _Undine_, and other vessels.



February 22, 1897. [5]

William II has announced himself as the enemy of Greece, and the prop
of the Ottoman Empire.  At the subscription ball given at the Opera in
Berlin, did he not walk arm-in-arm with Ghalik Bey, the Turkish
Ambassador, and authorise him to telegraph to the Sultan that, under
existing conditions, he might count upon his sense of justice and his
good-will?  Does not this constitute an insolent challenge to the
decision which the Powers are supposed to have taken for the
observation of neutrality?

When William II is insolent, he does not do things by halves; now, he
repeats to all concerned: "One does not argue with Greece, one gives
her orders," and on every occasion that has offered, he has displayed
sentiments hostile to Greece and favourable to the Sultan.  For these
reasons, Abdul Hamid is devoted to William II.  He is tied to him, and
bound by all his sentiments, by all his admiration and his fear, to the
Germans.  Messrs. Cambon and de Nelidoff believed that they had
detached the Sultan from Germany, but illusions on that score are no
longer possible.  Germany possesses his entire confidence.  Did not he,
the most nervous and suspicious of men, allow on one occasion the
German military mission to take _effective_ command of his troops,
whereas no other military mission has ever been allowed anything more
than the right to put them through their drill?  Germany, which in case
of need can count upon the Turkish army, is fundamentally interested in
preventing Turkey from being either weakened or divided up.  A war in
the East, in which Germany might get Russia deeply involved, at the
same time that she kept her busy in Asia, is too great an advantage to
risk losing, without doing everything possible to protect it. . . .



April 28, 1897. [6]

William II, the God of war and of force, is in every way responsible
for events in the East.  Only his friendship, and the many consequences
of that friendship, have given to Abdul Hamid the courage of his
massacres, of his resistance to all efforts at reconciliation, and of
his military proceedings in Greece.  The German Emperor had been able
to persuade the simple-minded Government of France of his peaceful and
humanitarian intentions.  It only needed a few of us to revolt and to
express our indignation, to unmask him, and to show in its true, lurid
light, the real nature of his actions, so as to enable the nations to
know him for what he is.  To-day he is the master of Europe; but let
the power of the Kaiser be what it may (and it is a power no more
capable of honesty than that of Bismarck, who lied without ceasing,
forfeited without ceasing his honour, and accepted responsibility for
crime), whatever conquests hereafter William II may achieve, even
should we be defeated again, we shall be able to stand up before him
and to his face to say, "You will never achieve greatness!"  Material
greatness turns again to dust, like all matter, but moral greatness is
eternal, an intangible thing, which surrounds men, invisible, and which
emanates from the best amongst them.

We will leave to history, which shall surely record it, the judgment of
_human_ men, of real peace-lovers, concerning William II, concerning
this protector of the Red Sultan, this renegade and denier of his
faith, who has sold his soul in order to govern the world through evil,
through trickery, through force and through war.  You have only to read
the German legends, to analyse the souls of the traditional heroes of
Germany, to see that they are indeed much more closely allied to the
Turks (who have only understood Islamism under its aspects of conquest)
than they are to the traditions which Europe has inherited from Greece
and from her daughters, Rome and Byzantium.

The struggle of to-day lies between these two spirits: one the
barbarian spirit, the spirit of conquest, which knows no other law but
force, the spirit which subdues and kills, represented by Turkey and by
Germany; the other, the spirit of civilisation, of love, which knows no
other law than the right, the spirit which emancipates and vivifies,
the spirit of Greece, from which European civilisation is drawn,
excepting always that of the Germans and Turks.  Either the East will
resist the Turks, and Europe will resist Germany, or else both will
relapse into barbarism, and be condemned to war without ceasing, to
butcheries, to the brutality of force and all its works.



May 27, 1897. [7]

At all events they have not yet won their bet in Berlin that they would
make us look ridiculous and hateful.  Those very wise and well-bred
people, who have been advising us to revise our national education, so
as to welcome the Kaiser in 1900, have had but meagre success.  As to
the golden stream, which brought us the 8000 marks of the King of
Prussia,[8] thank Heaven, it has not been able to drown our patriotism.
Brother Frenchmen, it is still lawful for lunatics and ill-bred people
like ourselves to remember Sedan, Metz, Strasburg and Paris, as well as
Kronstadt and Toulon.  Then let us not forget either the first rays of
sunlight which reach us from Russia, or the darkness of 1870. [9]

There is not a single German journalist (_and I wish to emphasise this
fact most clearly_), even in the ultra-Prussian party, who would have
dared to put his signature to such an article as one of our greatest
newspapers has published concerning William II, whom it describes as "a
humanitarian thinker, a gentle philosopher, thinking only of the
happiness of the human race, of appeasing ancient hatreds and removing
old grudges.  How joyfully would he not have restored Metz and
Strasburg had he not been prevented in performing this act by the
historical necessities of his position."  In proof of all which things,
this article cites his telegrams of sympathy, the splendid bouquets
which he has sent to our illustrious dead, his wish to pay homage to
France in 1900, etc., etc.

The journalist grown old in harness, who has dared to write such
monstrous things as well as such nonsense, will no doubt be greatly
astonished when I inform him that no foreign reporter, however
inexperienced, of any nation great or small, is ignorant of the fact
that William II is relentlessly determined to achieve the
re-establishment of absolute autocracy as it was conceived by certain
Emperors of Rome and Byzantium.  His motto is _Voluntas Regis Supremo
Lex_, which, on the occasion of his first visit to Muenich, he wrote
there with his own Imperial hand.  On the first occasion of the opening
of the States of Brandenburg, he declared that he counted on their
fidelity to help him to crush and destroy everything that might oppose
his personal wishes.  Is it necessary to say once more for the
hundredth time that he never has the oath taken by his recruits without
telling them that "they must ever be ready to fire on those who oppose
his rule, even though they should be their own fathers, mothers and
brothers"?  The other day, did he not make his brother Prince Henry
read a letter to the sailors of his war-ship the _Wilhelm Imperator_
(the vessel appointed to attend the Jubilee of Queen Victoria), in
which letter he held up to the execration of the army and navy those
"unpatriotic" Germans who refused to provide him with millions for his
wild scheme of increasing the navy, that is to say, about nine-tenths
of the Reichstag?  There is in Germany one institution which commands
very general respect, and enjoys traditional liberty, viz. the
University.  For the last year William II has opened a campaign against
the liberties of University education, and the scandalous manner in
which he has attacked the professors at Berlin because of the dignity
with which they have defended their rights of scientific research, are
known to every one except "this brilliant Chronicler of the Boulevards."

From one end of Germany to the other they go into ecstasies whenever,
either before, during, or after his acts of politeness to France,
William finds some new pretext for humiliating, humbling, or
threatening us. [10]

A German pamphlet published two years ago, entitled _Caligula; a Study
of Caesarian Madness_, by Mr. Quidde, achieved such a success, that
hundreds of thousands of copies were bought up in a few days by the
faithful subjects of the German Emperor.  This pamphlet, ingeniously
compiled by means of quotations from Suetonius, Dion Cassius, Philo,
etc., gives a marvellous analysis of the character of William II.  I
cannot resist the pleasure of giving a few extracts from this little
work, for it would appear that William II is endeavouring, since its
publication, to emphasise the resemblance between himself and Caligula
and Nero.

"The dominant feature in the actions of Caligula lies in a certain
nervous haste, which led him spasmodically from one obsession to
another, often of a self-contradictory nature; moreover, he had the
dangerous habit of wanting to do everything himself.  Caligula seems to
have a great fondness of the sea.  The strolling-player side of his
character was by no means limited to his military performances.  He was
passionately devoted to the theatre and the circus, and would
occasionally take part himself on the stage, led thereto by his
peculiar taste for striking costumes and frequent changes of clothing.
He was always endeavouring to shine in the display of eloquence; and
was fond of talking, often in public.  We know that he developed a
certain talent in this direction, and was particularly successful in
the gentle art of wounding people.  His favourite quotation was the
celebrated verse of Homer--

  There is only one Master, only one King.

Sometimes he loved the crowd, and sometimes solitude; at other times he
would start out on a journey, from which he would return quite
unrecognisable, having allowed his hair and beard to grow."


Just as the names of Caligula and Nero are daily affixed in Germany to
the name of William II, Herr Hinzpeter is called Senecus, General von
Hahnke is known as Burrhus; there is also an Acte and a Poppea at
Berlin.  Frederick III is Germanicus and Prince Bismarck is called
Macro, after the powerful prefect of the praetorium in disgrace.  Like
Nero, William II has been cruel to his mother; he is cruel to his
sister, the Princess of Greece.  He hates England, just as Caligula
hated Brittany.  With a mind like that of Nero, William II derives the
greatest pleasure from the thought of degrading the French people by
making them receive him with acclamation.  What a triumph it must be
for this grandson of William I (who defeated us but left us our honour)
thus to bring us to dishonour: us, the descendants of the France of
1789, republicans in the service of a Prussian Caesar!



June 10, 1897. [11]

It should have been to the interest of France and, of Russia, and a
policy of skilful strategy, to oppose Turkey when supported by the
Triple Alliance, and to create around and about her, in Greece as in
the Balkans, such a force of resistance as would have put a stop to her
schemes of expansion, resulting from those of the Powers of the Triple
Alliance.  By so doing, France and Russia might have taken them in the
rear and upset their plans.  We were already in a position of
considerable advantage, in that we could leave to the King of Prussia,
the German Emperor, all the responsibility for the crimes of the
Sultan, observing at the same time all those principles which would
have maintained, in their integrity, the moral and Christian traditions
of France and Russia.  But our policy has been that of children
building castles in the sand.  Confronted by a triumphant Turkey,
leaning on the Triple Alliance, and by a Sultan suffering from the
dementia of blood-lust, certain of the faithful friendship of William
II, and confident in his victorious army (already 720,000 strong, and
commanded by a German General Staff); confronted by such fears and
threats, we have chosen to place all our hopes upon the balanced mind
of William II, the generosity of the Sultan, and the loyalty of
oriental statecraft!  I have said it so repeatedly that I may have
wearied my readers, but I say it again; "_To their undoing, France and
Russia have sacrificed their policy to Turkey, protected by Germany_."
They are now confronted by German policy, evasive and at the same time
triumphant, that is to say, in full command of the situation which it
has brought about.  William II is at last revealed, even to the
blindest eyes, as the instigator and sole director of everything that
has taken place in the East since his visit to Constantinople.  He
takes pleasure in advising the Sultan day by day, for he makes him do
everything that he himself is prevented from doing, and he enjoys the
satisfaction of being a tyrant in imagination when he cannot be one
actually.



June 25, 1897. [12]

The Sultan's million of armed men, organised under a German General
Staff, in a country where Germany is making every effort to possess
herself of every kind of influence and every source of wealth, is not
this the chief danger which Russia has to fear, and whose imminence she
should clearly foresee, in dealing with a Sultan like Abdul Hamid, a
man of nervous fears and bloodthirsty instincts, bound to furtherance
of the sudden or premeditated schemes of William II?



July 27, 1897. [13]

Although Germany has commemorated her victories for the last
twenty-five years, and will doubtless continue to commemorate them for
the next six months and then for evermore, it seems that we are to be
compelled, in deference to "superior orders" revealed at the Council of
Ministers, to postpone the official consecration of a monument intended
to prove our devotion to our mutilated country, and our incurable grief
at the defeat of Sedan.  It seems that we have not the right, a free
people, to give to sorely oppressed Alsace-Lorraine (which never ceases
to give proofs of her fidelity to France) a proof in our turn, that we
remember the disaster which has separated us, that we lament this
disaster, and hope one day to repair, if not to avenge it.  Our pride
is being systematically humiliated in every direction!  The nature and
consequences of victory have indeed been cruelly modified, if one must
submit to the law of the conqueror after having been delivered from him
for twenty-five years.  The glorious resistance of the past thus
becomes an ignominious surrender and makes us shed tears of shame, even
more bitter than those which we shed over our saddest memories.

Gentlemen of the Government of France, I would ask you to read the
German newspapers; go to Berlin, go wherever you like in Germany or in
Alsace-Lorraine, and you will find there hundreds and hundreds of
monuments which have been inaugurated by the Imperial German
Government.  For these, the smallest event, ancient or modern, affords
sufficient pretext. [14]

In all things and in every direction we yield today to the authority of
a monarch who emphasises our defeat more severely than those who
actually conquered us.  Our strict national duty towards him who did
not overcome us with his own sword, was to hold ourselves firmly
upright before him and to protect our brethren, victims of the war.
Alas! we have been obedient to Bismarck, and we shall be submissive to
William II.  But why, and to what end?  Had we met the liar and cheat
with honesty, had we remained calm in presence of this nerve-ridden
individual, we should have been able to recover, morally at first and
then actually, all the advantages that Prussia gained by her victory.

The Imperial victim of restlessness, whose nerves are so unhealthily
and furiously shaken when he goes abroad, has a craving for disturbing
the nerves of others; this in itself makes him the most dangerous of
advisers.  William II never allows to himself or to others any
relaxation of the brain; like all spirits in torment, he must needs
find, forthwith, to the very minute, a counter-effect to every thing
that confronts him.  With him, even a sudden calm contains the threat
of a storm, excitement lurks beneath his moods of quietness.  The
bastard peace which he has authorised Turkey to conclude, conceals a
new revolution in Crete: such is his will.  No sooner is there evidence
of an improvement in our relations with Italy, than he invites King
Humbert to be present at the German military manoeuvres, in order to
create dissension between the two countries.  And so it is in
everything.  He makes it his business to inspire weariness and vexation
of spirit, to destroy those hopes and feelings which restore vitality
to the soul of a people.  He is for ever stretching out a hand that
would fain control by itself the rotation of the globe, and he sets it
all awry.


The glorification of William II at Kiel is founded upon shifting sands.
Schleswig remains Danish and resists the Germanising process with a
force of energy at least equal to that of Alsace-Lorraine.  The Danes
of Schleswig are still Danes, they have not bowed the knee in
admiration of German _Kultur_, any more than the Alsatians, Schleswig
says: "Let them ask us by a _plebiscite_ and they shall see what we
want, what civilised men have the right to ask: light and air and the
right to dispose of themselves."  The people of Alsace-Lorraine say:
"If you would know what Alsace-Lorraine, which was never consulted,
thinks of the Treaty of Frankfort, ask her."


I blush, and my soul is filled with shame, when I think of the
degradation of French patriotism contained in the utterances
of . . . ., of those words which, to our lasting sorrow, evoked in _the
Centre_ of the Chamber an outburst of enthusiasm.  May our patriots
never forget this cowardly session of the French Parliament!  Thus,
then, twenty-seven years after the war, when we have spent countless
millions on the remaking of our army and navy, when every Frenchman has
bled himself to the bone to make France so strong and independent that
she might cherish the brightest hopes, a President of the French
Council has the unutterable weakness, from the tribune, to threaten
France with the German cane, should she dare to follow any other policy
than that desired by Berlin!

And French deputies have applauded these shameful words, that are
reproduced, with such joy as may be imagined, by the whole German
Press!  That Press has every reason to be delighted and to find in
these words clear proof that the official class in France has always
looked upon the Russian Alliance as a show-piece, never relying upon
it, and that since the Berlin Congress (how often have I said it!) this
official class has never ceased to gravitate towards Germany.

And I, a Republican, a fanatic for the Russian Alliance, such as it
might and should have been, a Frenchwoman, blind worshipper of my
vanquished country--how can I hold my head up in the face of such a
shameful collapse!


In placing his services at the disposal of the Grand Turk for the
persecution of Christians, in supporting those in Russia whose policy
it is to urge their country into war with Japan and China and to divert
it from its natural sphere of action in Europe, our Minister for
Foreign Affairs has ruined one of the finest political situations in
which France has ever found herself.  If the conduct of our foreign
affairs had been entrusted to a real statesman, France might have
recovered her position in Europe instead of going, with giant strides,
down the path of hopeless decadence.


Are not the intentions of Germany plain enough now and sufficiently
proved?  They must be stupidly foolish who cannot see that a great
German war is being prepared against the Slavs and Gallo-Latins, under
most disastrous conditions for us and for Russia.  It needs all the
blindness of King Humbert, of Leopold II and of the Hungarian
Centralists, to believe that if and when it comes, a German victory
would confer any benefits on anything that is not German.



September 8, 1897. [15]

The mind of Germany is everlastingly concerned with the toasts proposed
by William II.  We know the toast proposed after his review of the 8th
Army Corps.  First of all, come his remarks on the subject of foreign
policy.  "It rests with us to maintain in its integrity the work
accomplished by the great Emperor and to defend it against the
influences and claims of foreigners."  On such an occasion, after the
remarks on "justice and equity," which he made on board the _Pothuau_,
the hot-headed Emperor was bound to deliver himself in some such strain.

The next toast was that which he proposed at Hamburg in honour of King
Humbert and Queen Marguerita.  This one is emphatic and at the same
time gracious, for William II cultivates every style and all the arts.
On this occasion the King of Prussia, Emperor of Germany, referred as
usual to the solidity of the Triple Alliance and to the mandate which
it has assumed for the preservation of peace.  He spoke as the grandson
of William I.  King Humbert replied as the grandson of Victor Emmanuel
(_sic_), skilfully gliding over the question of the indissoluble nature
of the Triple Alliance and reminding his hearers that Germany has no
monopoly in the pursuit of peace, but that all the Governments of
Europe are equally concerned in endeavouring to attain it.

A movement is taking shape in Italy, full of danger and of promise, as
events will prove.  The clericals and the republicans have sketched the
outline of an understanding, which looks as if it might be approved by
Leo XIII.  The danger of this union between the parties will lead King
Humbert back to a more national, a more peninsular, policy.  The strong
opposition that it has to face is useful, in that it will oblige the
country's rulers to pay more attention to home affairs and to the
nation's interests than to the glorification of the dynasty.



September 28, 1897. [16]

"Germany is the enemy," Skobeleff used to say at Paris in 1882,
speaking to the younger generation of Slavs in the Balkans.  These
prophetic words were inspired in the hero of Plevna by Germany's
intrigues at the Berlin Congress, intricate intrigues, full of menace
for the future of the East.  They should have haunted the spirit of
every chancellery ever since, and become the formula around and about
which European diplomacy should have organised its forces to resist
Prussia's invading tendencies.

Until 1870 the liberal, philosophic, learned and federalist genius of
Germany, was spreading all over the world through its literature,
science, poetry and music, a genius whose attitude and equilibrium were
the fruit of an equal fusion of the mind of North Germany with that of
the South.  By the victories and conquest of 1870, this genius became
suddenly and entirely absorbed in Prussian militarism, and has now
grown to be a force hostile to all other races.  The power of the
intellect in all its forms, recognises reciprocity and scientific
research; the power of brute force only recognises the idea of
predominance and the subjection of others.  The genius of Prussianised
Germany to-day combines the lust of conquest and power with the
shopkeeping spirit, but even in this last, there is no idea of
reciprocity but only of exclusive encroachment.  Her international
misdeeds are past all number; she saps and undermines all that has been
laboriously built up by others.  Germanisation carries with it the
seeds of disintegration; it is a sower of hatred, proclaiming for its
own exclusive benefit the equity of iniquity, the justice of injustice.

Only less extraordinary than the audacity of Prussia is Europe's
failure to realise these truths.  In 1870 Napoleon III was deluded,
fooled and compromised, led into war by means of lies.  Nameless
intrigues set our generals one against the other.  At a moment when
victory was possible, the treachery of Bazaine made defeat inevitable
for France, whom the so-called genius of Moltke and Frederick-Carl
would never have vanquished.  Having overthrown the Empire, the King of
Prussia, who had declared that he was fighting against it alone, made
war on France, well aware that sufficient vitality remained in the
broken pieces to enable them to come together again, and that, under
the threat of a French _revanche_, Prussia would be able to keep
Germany exercised in such a state of mind as would reconcile her to
remaining under the military yoke of the Hohenzollerns.  And Europe,
without protest, accepts this condition of things, fatal to her
interests and security, created for the sole profit of the lowest of
nations.  By her self-effacement, indeed, she increased fivefold the
influence and power of that nation.



September 31, 1897. [17]

You and I, all of us, we French people in particular, who think that we
were born clever, we are all a pack of credulous fools.  Let any one
take the trouble to put a little consistency, a little continuity, into
the business of fooling us--especially about outside matters whose
origins we ignore, or people whose history we have not closely
followed--and we will swallow anything!

All of us Republicans, all the Liberals of the Second Empire, Edmond
Adam, our friends, our group,--great Heavens! how we swallowed German
republicanism and liberalism!  With what brotherly emotion did we not
sympathise with the misfortunes of those who, like ourselves, were the
vanquished victims of tyranny!  We, Frenchmen and Germans alike, were
defending the same principles, the same cause; we were fighting the
same good fight for the emancipation of ideas, for the levelling of
intellectual frontiers, etc., etc.

How well I remember the friendly _abandon_ of Louis Bamberger in our
midst!  Truly these Prussian Liberals and ourselves held the same
opinions concerning everything, far or near, which bore upon
intellectual independence, upon progress and civilisation.  And since
we were united by such a complete understanding, such identity of
ideas, it was our duty to work together: our German friends for the
triumph of liberalism in France, and we, for the triumph of liberalism
in Germany.  As to such questions as those of territorial frontiers, or
the banks of the Rhine, Bamberger used to ask, "Who thinks of such
things in Germany?  No one!  They had other things to think about!"
The heart's desire of the sons of the German revolution of 1848-49 was
a universal republic, universal brotherhood, and nothing else.  We
believed him, but for what an awakening!  Hardly were the Germans in
France, than all the orders dictated by Bismarck were translated into
French by Louis Bamberger.

A book by Dr. Hans Blum, which has just been published in Berlin under
the title of "_The German Revolution of 1848-1849_," throws even more
light on the "brotherly" sentiments of German republicans.  In this
book Dr. Blum recalls a speech made in the Palatinate on May 27, 1832.
This is what the orator said: "There can only be one opinion amongst
Germans, and only one voice, to proclaim that, on our side, we would
not accept liberty as the price of giving the left bank of the Rhine to
France.  Should France show a desire to seize even an inch of German
territory, all internal dissensions would cease at once and all Germany
would rise to demand the retrocession of Alsace-Lorraine, for the
deliverance of our country."

That is how German Republicans thought, as far back as 1832.  In
1868-69 they made us swallow once again ideas of brotherhood from
beyond the Rhine, by lulling our perspicacity, by enervating the
courage we used to display towards _foreigners_, and it was several
weeks before we realised in 1870 that _all Germany_, from one end to
the other, was of the same type of honesty, the same character as the
Ems telegram.

We are nothing but fools, credulous fools, if we believe that any
German can think otherwise than as a member of united, that is to say
Prussianised, Germany, or if we imagine that Prussia is anything but
the complete, total, unique, fully accepted, assimilated and admired
expression of German patriotism.  Prussia is the fine flower, the ripe
fruit of German unity.  A few Bavarians, a few so-called German
liberals, may pretend to be restive under the despotism of the King of
Prussia, but they accept unreservedly the authority of the German
Emperor.  And what is more, it is just as he is, that they wish their
Emperor to be, thus they have imagined, thus they have made him.  He is
like unto them in their own image, he governs them according to their
own mind.  There may be some who, as a matter of personal inclination,
might prefer to have more liberalism, but whenever Germanism is in
question it is personified in William II, King of Prussia.  Berlin is
the capital of all the Germans upon earth.

During these past few days, in the Vienna Parliament, whilst an orator
on the Government side was singing the praises of the Emperor Francis
Joseph, a German Austrian exclaimed--an Austrian, mark you--"_Our_
Emperor is William II."

The credulous fools of the moment in France are the Socialists.  Just
as we believed in the liberalism of German Liberals before 1870, so
French Socialists now believe in the internationalism of German
Socialists.  With greater sincerity than anything displayed by the old
German Liberals of before 1870, the Socialists of Hamburg have taken
the trouble to enlighten their French brethren with regard to their
real sentiments.  Herr Liebknecht himself has explained their attitude;
his words may be summed up as follows: "The Socialists of France are
our brothers, but if they wanted to take back Alsace-Lorraine, we
should regard them as enemies."

There is nothing more remarkable than these German Socialists and their
congresses, these fellows who always preach to other nations against
patriotism, and never come together except to make speeches about the
Fatherland.  At the Hamburg Congress, Auer, the socialist deputy,
looked into the future and saw "the Cossacks trampling underfoot all
the liberties of Western Europe."  What tyranny of barbarians could be
more cruel than the tyranny of Germany which, wherever it extends,
oppresses the racial instincts of mankind, ruins and absorbs a people,
reducing it to servitude by the assertion of the rights of a superior
race over its inferiors.

Has the Hamburg Congress disabused the minds of French Socialists on
the brotherhood of their German brethren?  Let us hope that it will not
be necessary for them, as it was for us, to hear the thunder of German
guns to understand that all parties in Germany are included in the
_German party_, and that those who believe anything else are nothing
but poor deluded dupes.



October 26, 1897. [18]

Those amongst us who, hour by hour, have devoted their lives to the
service of our mutilated country, have for their object, each within
the humble limits of his individual efforts, the glorification of
France and that of Russia, the greatness of the one being dependent on
the greatness of the other.  This twofold devotion, and dual service
keep our fears perpetually alert in two directions; how great are those
two commingled sources of fear when patriotic Frenchmen, like patriotic
Russians, come to consider the bewildering development of Prussian
power--a veritable process of absorption.

German policy knows no laws except those of which Prussia is sole
beneficiary.  Only that which is profitable to Prussia is good; the
rest, all the rest, is a negligible quantity.  Moral precepts,
religious brotherhood, higher education by force of example, a sense of
justice applied to the fair apportioning of influence, vested rights,
and a reasonable idea of reciprocity--all such things are moonshine for
Prussia.  The sole object that Prussian Germany pursues is brutal
conquest in all its forms.  By all conceivable means to get a footing
for herself, here, there and everywhere; by the most energetic and
methodical diplomacy possible, by military science, by trade and
manufactures, by emigration and the race-spirit, and at the same time
by subterranean methods of allurement and by insolent threats; these
are her purposes and she accomplishes something of them every day.
When one reflects what Germany's objects were, and what she has
achieved in the Eastern question, to what humiliations and cross
purposes she has exposed and reduced Europe, to what contempt for her
own interests, what bewilderment and impotence, then, I repeat, the
stoutest heart may have good cause for fear.

Turkey, galvanised by Germany, has become a force to inspire terror
amongst Christians in the East and throughout the whole range of
European civilisation, where it comes into contact with Mussulmans, in
all parts of the world.  All the slow-moving patience of Russian and
French diplomacy for centuries, all the long struggles of the Crusades
have been robbed of their garnered fruits in a few months.  German
policy has overthrown all their influence, destroyed all their approach
works, released Europe's vassal from all his promises and obligations.
The Sick Man, cured by a quack who holds his health in pawn, has bound
himself body and soul to his healer.

Greece, frequently hesitating in her policy between British and French
sympathies, has nothing to hope for in the future from Turkophil
Germany.  William II will make her recovery a matter of limitations and
bargaining.  And who knows but that the strange proceedings of Prince
Constantine and of the royal princes, his brothers, may not be
explained by secret promises for the future--promises made by the
German Emperor in return for blind submission to his will?

William II holds Turkey in the hollow of his hand.  Byzantium and Rome
are vassals of a German monarch.  If Rome is threatened with ruin by
her alliance with the King of Prussia, Byzantium is restored by a new
Caraculla.  William II is, therefore, twice entitled to wear the sphere
with the Imperial crown atop, as the emblem of his sovereign power and
as the imitator of the Roman Emperor.  And notwithstanding the
Anti-Christ protection which he extends to the infidel, he can also
affix the Cross to his sphere.  Is he not about to take possession, in
theatrical fashion, of the Holy Places?

Turkey has been restored by the Kaiser of Berlin.  He is her Emperor,
her Khalif, Master of the Holy Places, for the reason that his most
humble servant is Emperor, Khalif and Master of the Holy Places.  So
long as all these titles and powers lay in weak hands, the dangers of
Turkish policy, if not the anxieties it created, might be disregarded.
But today the military strength of Turkey is firmly established and it
is supported by another tremendous Power.  Russia and France have never
committed an act of graver imprudence than to allow these two forces to
unite.  Germany, Germany, ever and ever greater!  The German song is no
longer a dead letter.


It was by guile that simulated liberal and democratic ideas, that
Bismarck prepared public opinion in the German Confederation for union
with Prussia.  We, too, believed in the liberalism of Germans and of
Bismarck before 1870, and herein we proved ourselves to be just as
easily gullible as French socialists are to-day, who believe in the
genuine internationalism of German socialists.


For those whose interest lies in this direction, the Imperial
Statistical Bureau of Berlin provides information of an astounding
kind.  Germany's exports in 1896 reached the value of 3754 millions of
marks.  German exports to England and her colonies amounted to 808
million marks, whilst England and her colonies supplied Germany with
produce to the amount of 931 million marks. [19]

Henceforth William II knows that he has at his command the tools with
which to bite into England, industrially and commercially.  He has
already had a large bite, and he looks forward to eating up proud
Albion, slowly but surely.



November 26, 1897. [20]

We must always remember and incessantly repeat: Germany's paths
throughout the whole world are widening and lengthening horribly.  The
latest Roman invader profits at the same time by all the headway that
Carthage and Athens lose.  England and France, alike responsible for
their spoliation, are the more to blame in that they allow themselves
to be smitten with blindness at a time when they are not yet smitten
with impotence.  In the East, both might have done what they liked,
with the help and the interested support of Russia.  But what have they
done?  Less than nothing, since they have worked in servile
fashion--one for the greater glory of her military conqueror, the other
for the glory of her commercial conqueror.  The European Concert,
whether it retreated or advanced, whether it took up a question or
discussed it, has done all things under the exclusive direction of
German interests.

With a haughty contempt and disdain for the dignity of all Europe
outside the Triple Alliance, which should have been met by emphatic
protests, William II has compelled Russia, England and France to give
public sanction to the crimes of the hyena of Stamboul, to build up
with their own hands the supremacy of Prussia in the East and that of
Austria in the Balkans.

Baron Marshal von Bieberstein, Germany's new Ambassador, has been
welcomed at the Court of the Grand Turk as the envoy of his chief
counsellor, his only friend, as the sacrosanct representative of the
Emperor-King, over-lord of the East.  Thus all the delays, evasions and
subterfuges of the Sultan are sanctioned by William II.

The King of Prussia, Emperor of Germany, takes pleasure in a
self-contradictory policy, whereby he misleads and confuses the world.
He is the same to-day as he was when, as prince heir to the throne, he
declared that he "would never have any friends, only dupes."  Through
him the Sultan, whom he delights to honour, becomes a conqueror, his
crimes are condoned and cynically absolved before the outraged
conscience of all Europe.  Yes, all these things have been done by
William II; Abdul Hamid looks upon the German Emperor as the main
pillar of the temple of his glory!


One cannot speak of the East without feelings of shame and heartfelt
indignation.  In Turkey's stolid resistance to reform, in her
massacres, in the Cretan revolt, and in the war between her and Greece,
William II has seen only an opportunity of gain for himself.  He has
cynically pursued his policy of profit-snatching.  Just as certain
quacks demand a higher fee when they prescribe for a patient whose life
is in serious danger, so William II exacts heavier payment from his
client.  His demands are exorbitant: trade, finance, armaments,
concessions, sale of arms, renewal of munitions of war, rebuilding of
the fleet, etc., etc.


The King of Prussia continues, without ceasing and at his own sweet
will, to utter defiance to common sense and to the general direction of
civilised opinion.  Whilst by his policy he supports the foul murderer
of Christians and prepares the way for fresh butcheries on the return
of the victorious Turks from Thessaly, William II has addressed these
astounding words to the recruits of his Royal Guards: "He who is not a
good Christian, is not a brave man, nor a worthy Prussian soldier, and
can by no means fulfil the duty required of a soldier in the Prussian
army."



December 10, 1897. [21]

Germanism, which up till 1870 had a certain sense of decent restraint,
and took the trouble to disguise itself skilfully under Bismarck, no
longer knows either limitations or scruples.  It displays itself
without shame, secure in the hesitancy of the Slav and the weakness of
the Latin peoples.  Who could fail to be roused to indignation by the
display of German fanaticism which has taken place at Vienna?  To think
that in the capital of an ally of William II, a faction, relying on
advice publicly given in Berlin should shout in the Reichsrath,
overthrow a ministry, disturb the public peace in the streets, and
accompany these manifestations with Prussia's national song, "Die Wacht
am Rhein," and the display of the German flag!  If scandalous
proceedings such as these make no difference in the relations of the
Triple Alliance, why wonder at the audacity and pride of the Teutons?

Everything is a matter of exclusive right for the German.  There are no
other rights but German rights, and when Germany claims the exercise of
a right, neither numbers, nor nationalism, nor races have any
existence, confronted by the individuality, the nationalism, of the
German race.  Mommsen, the leading historian of Prussian Germany, wrote
in the _Neue Freie Presse_ of Vienna, "Pummel the heads of the Czechs
with your fists," whereat all the Austrians of German race applauded,
loudly declaring that if it came to a question between the Germans of
Prussian Germany and Austrian subjects of Slav extraction, their
sympathies would not be in doubt, for they, although Austrians, saw on
the one side their brethren of a superior _Kultur_, and, on the other,
barbarians only fit to remain for ever oppressed.

On another occasion, Mommsen wrote: "We are twin brothers; we became
separated from you in former days, but soon we must be united again."
The linguistic map of Germany, widespread wherever German is spoken,
reveals very clearly what are the ambitions of "Alt-Deutschland."  The
lion's maw of the "Slav-eaters" is always wide open.  Sometimes the
devouring beast walks delicately, at others he hurls himself savagely
on his prey.

The opening of the Reichstag has provided us with a very important
speech from the throne by William II, for it emphasises the lack of
agreement which prevails between Sovereign, Parliament and people.  The
Emperor-King has announced his plan for a seven-years' period for naval
service, similar to that in force in the army.  The Bill will come
before the Reichstag during its present session.  As William has
declared more than once, he intends that the naval strength of Germany
shall equal that of her army.  As for the German people, while ready to
accept all the sacrifices required to maintain the supremacy of its
military forces, it has no hankerings after naval supremacy.  Its
proudest hopes lie in the direction covered by the "Drang nach Osten"
formula.  It wants to advance upon Austria, while retaining the ground
already won.  Mommsen and the Duke of Baden between them sum up
Germany's ambitions.

In Germany at the present moment, public opinion would appear to be
satisfied with preserving the work of William I and pushing on towards
the East; but how little will these things satisfy William II!  It is
the will of the German Emperor, King of Prussia, to be a law-giver to
the East, to dispute with England the sovereignty of the seas, to take
bites out of China, to display the ever-victorious flag of Germany all
over the world.  It is true that, to accomplish this will of his, will
require an additional 500 millions, and it will require, in particular,
that the Reichstag should vote them in one lump sum.  William II is
like his teacher Bismarck in the matter of dogged obstinacy.  Like him,
he will present his scheme in a hundred different guises, until its
opponents become weary and give in.


Germany has just been giving the European Concert a lesson in the
policy of energy.  She displays as much bluntness in her sudden claims
as she displayed skill in having the Concert brought to ridicule by
Turkey.  Haiti and China have yielded on the spot to her direct
threats.  If they reflect, will not the Powers of the Concert realise
that Germany's every act is either a challenge or a lesson?  The German
expedition to Kiao-chao, 4000 strong, is so greatly in excess of the
requirements of her claims to compensation for injuries suffered, that
it reveals a definite intention on the part of William II to take
advantage of the first plausible pretext to acquire a naval station in
China.

Peace has been signed between Turkey and Greece, but let us not regard
it as a settlement of outstanding questions, for the Ambassadors were
only able to come to an agreement by eliminating questions in dispute,
one by one.  Germany now appears to dominate the Eastern question to
such a degree that, in his Speech from the Throne, William II did not
even allude to it.  What would have been the good?  Turkey is already a
province of Germany!  William II and his Ambassador are the rulers
there and govern the country as sovereigns.  The flood-gate of German
emigration, secretly unlocked, will soon be thrown wide open; 200,000
Germans will be able to make their way into the Ottoman Empire every
year.  Before long their numbers will tell, they will assert their
rights, and the Slav provinces in the Balkans and in Austria will find
themselves out off by the flood.

Is Russia beginning to realise that it would have been better for her
to protect the Christians against Turkey rather than to allow them to
be slaughtered--that it would have been a more humane and far-seeing
policy to defend Greece and Crete instead of abandoning them to the
tender mercies of Turco-German policy?  It is over-late to set the
clock back and to challenge the pre-eminent control which William II
has established over everything in the East.



December 25, 1897. [22]

None but the author of _Tartarin_ and his immortal "departures" could
have described for us the setting-forth of Prince Henry of Prussia for
China.  The exchange of speeches between William and his brother makes
one of the most extravagant performances of modern times, when read in
conjunction with the actual facts, reduced by means of the telegraph to
their proper proportions, which may be summed up as follows: Taking up
the cause of two German missionaries who have suffered ill-treatment in
China, the Emperor of Germany sends an ultimatum to the Son of Heaven,
who yields on every point and carries his submission so far that he
runs the risk of compromising his relations with other Powers.
Consequently, there is an end of the dispute.  The facts, you see, are
simple.  But Prince Henry has made him ready to receive his solemn
investiture at the hands of his brother, the Emperor, by going to kiss
Prince Bismarck on his forehead and cheek ("forehead and cheek," as
Prince Henry unctuously remarks, "so often kissed by my grandfather,
William I").  Next Prince Henry goes to seek the blessing of General
Waldersee; then he has himself blessed by his mother, and by his aunt,
and later he will go and get blessed by his grandmother, Queen
Victoria.  Slowly and solemnly each act and formality is accomplished
in accordance with the rites prescribed by William.  The Imperial
missionary, the sailor transformed into a sort of bishop, sets forth.
The quest of the pirate-knight is to conquer all China, to become its
emperor, to fall upon it, inspired by the God of battles.  What matters
it that the Chinese will not resist, that they will fall prostrate
before him?  The grandeur of Tartarin's setting forth has nothing to do
with his getting there.

At Kiel all was prepared.  Germany trembled with impatience and this is
what she heard:--


"Imperial power means sea power: the existence of the one depends upon
the other.  The squadron which your ships will reinforce must act and
hold itself as the symbol of Imperial and maritime power; it must live
on good terms of friendship with all its comrades of the fifteen
foreign fleets out yonder, so as energetically to protect the interests
of the Fatherland against any one who would injure a German.  Let every
European over them, every German merchant, and, above all, every
foreigner in the land to which we are going, or with whom we may have
to do, understand that the German Michael has firmly planted on this
soil his shield bearing the Imperial Eagle, so as to be able, once and
for all, to give his protection to all those who may require it of him.
May our fellow-countrymen out yonder be firmly convinced that, no
matter what their situation, be they priests or merchants, the
protection of the German Empire will be extended to them with all
possible energy by means of the warships of the Imperial fleet.  And
should any one ever infringe our just rights strike him with your
mailed fist!  If God so will He shall bind about your young brow
laurels of which none, throughout all Germany, shall be jealous!

"Firmly convinced that, following the example of good models (and
models are not lacking to our house, Heaven be praised!), you will
fulfil my wishes and my vows, I drink to your health and wish a good
journey, all success, and, a safe return!  Hurrah for Prince Henry!"


Prince Henry's incredible reply was as follows--


"As children we grew up together.  Later, when we grew to manhood, it
was given to us to look into each other's eyes and to remain faithfully
united to each other.  For your Majesty the Imperial Crown has been
girt with thorns.  Within my narrower sphere and with my feeble
strength strengthened by my vows, I have endeavoured to help your
Majesty as a soldier and a citizen. . . .

"I am very sincerely grateful to your Majesty for the trust which you
place in my feeble person.  And I can assure your Majesty that it is
not laurels that tempt me, nor glory.  One thing and one only leads me
on, it is to go and proclaim in a foreign land the gospel of the sacred
person of your Majesty and to preach it as well to those who will hear
it as to those who will not.  It is this that I intend to blazon upon
my flag and wherever I may go.  Our comrades share these sentiments!
Eternal life to our well-beloved Emperor!"


Such gems must be left intact.  One should read them again and again,
line by line.  Ponderous eloquence, fustian bombast, and mouldy pathos
combine with the display of pomp, to excite world-wide admiration.
This play of well-rehearsed parts is given before an audience of
generals, high officials and politicians, and the scene is set at Kiel,
that moving pedestal which the King of Prussia inaugurated when he made
all the fleets of Europe file past him.

William II looks upon history as a vulgar photographic plate designed
for the purpose of "taking" him in all his poses and in such places as
he may select and appoint.

A crusade is afoot: they go, they are gone, to preach "the gospel of
the sacred person of William II."  A holy war is declared, to be waged
against a people which declines to fight.  Never mind, they will find a
way to glory, be it only in the size of the slices of territory which
they will seize.


The two great conceptions of our Minister of Foreign Affairs are to act
as the honest broker in China between St. Petersburg and Berlin, and to
put the European Concert to rights.  How often have I not told him that
all he has to gain by playing this game is a final surrender on the
part of France?  Alas! my prophecy, already fulfilled in the East, is
very near to coming true in the Far East.  If it should prove
otherwise, it would not be to anything in our foreign policy that our
good luck would be due, but to the fact that all Russia has come to
realise that she is likely to be Germany's dupe in the Far East, as she
has been in the East.

During the reign of the Emperor Alexander III and the Presidency of M.
Carnot, the Franco-Russian Alliance possessed a definite meaning,
because both these rulers understood that any pro-German tendencies in
their mutual policy must have constituted an obstacle to the perfect
union of the national policies of their two countries.  France had
ceased to indulge in secret flirtations with Germany when the latter
was no longer Russia's ally.  The plain and inevitable duty of our
Government was to promote an antagonism of interests between Germany
and Russia and to prove to the latter that France was loyally working
to promote her greatness above all else, on condition that she should
help us to hold our own position.  If France had been governed as she
should have been, had we possessed a statesman at the Quai d'Orsay, our
diplomatic defeats at Canea, Athens and Constantinople, though possibly
inevitable, might have found a Court of Appeal; and France would
finally have been in a position of exceptional advantage in securing a
judgment favourable to our alliance.

Germany's brutal seizure in China of a naval station that the Chinese
Government had leased to Russia for the purposes of a winter harbour
for her fleet, foreshadows the sort of thing that William II is capable
of doing, under cover of an _entente_, so soon as Japan comes to
evacuate Wei-hai-wei, upon China's payment of the war indemnity.
Germany's scruples in dealing with "sick men," remind one of the
charlatans who either kill or cure, according to their estimate of
their prospects of being able to grab the inheritance.



[1] _La Nouvelle Revue_, January 15, 1896, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[2] _La Nouvelle Revue_, March 1, 1896, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[3] _La Nouvelle Revue_, June 1, 1896, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[4] _Ibid._, September 1, 1896.

[5] _La Nouvelle Revue_, March 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[6] La Nouvelle Revue, May 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[7] _La Nouvelle Revue_, June 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[8] William II had just sent 8000 marks to the fund for the victims of
the fire at the Charity Bazaar.

[9] Since Parisian journalists have dared to sing their cynical praises
in honour of the German Emperor, no considerations need restrain our
pen in defending the Tzars from the charges that have been brought
against them.  These people ask: How is it that _your_ Emperor of
Russia has delayed so long in expressing to us his condolence?  Why?
Let me explain.  The fire at the Charity Bazaar broke out at 4 p.m. on
May 4, but the Russian Ambassador in Paris only telegraphed the news to
Count Mouravieff on the evening of May 5.  The Emperor can only have
heard of the disaster on the 6th; it was then too late for him to
telegraph a direct message, and it was therefore thought best to send
instructions to the Russian Embassy.  The blame in this matter falls
therefore upon M. de Mohrenheim.  It was due to his methods of
proceeding that the Emperor learnt the news forty-eight hours late.
_Le Gaulois_, in a somewhat officious explanation, informs us that the
Russian Ambassador kept back his telegram because May 5 is the birthday
of the Empress, and because there is a superstition in Russia that it
is bad luck to get bad news on one's birthday.  This explanation is
untrue; there is no such superstition.  Did they conceal from Nicholas
II, on the day of his coronation, the terrible catastrophe at
Khadyskaje, which cost the lives of thousands of Russians; and did this
disaster prevent the Tzar from attending M. de Montebello's ball that
same evening?  Moreover, M. de Mohrenheim should have telegraphed on
May 4 to Count Mouravieff, leaving to him the choice as to the hour for
communicating the information to the Tzar.  M. de Mohrenheim is in the
habit of doing this sort of thing; when he chooses, his instincts are
dilatory.  He behaved in exactly the same way, and with the same
object, on the day when M. Carnot was assassinated.

As soon as the news of that dreadful event reached the Quai d'Orsay,
the _Chef du Protocole_, (then Count Bourqueney) went in all haste to
the Russian Embassy, woke up the Ambassador, and informed him
officially of the disaster which had just overtaken France.  It was
then two o'clock in the morning.  Instead of telegraphing the news at
once to Alexander III, M. de Mohrenheim only did so at eleven o'clock
on the following day.  Now, he knew perfectly well that, as the result
of this delay, the Tzar could only learn the news two days later
because, on the following day in the early morning, Alexander III was
starting with the whole Imperial family for Borki, where he was about
to open a memorial chapel on the spot where several years before an
attempt had been made on his life.  The journey takes about forty-eight
hours, and as the destination of the Imperial train is always kept
secret, the Tzar could not receive the telegram until after his arrival
at Borki.  It will be remembered that the delay which thus took place,
in the communication of the Tzar's sympathy with France in her
mourning, created an unfortunate impression, and enabled the German
Emperor to get in ahead of him by two days.  The explanation of the
delay which occurred on that occasion should have been communicated to
the Havas Press Agency, and the Tzar's journey mentioned.  This was
done by all foreign newspapers, but good care was taken that no word of
the sort should be published in Paris.  It is, therefore, evident that,
if the Kaiser has been twice placed in the position which has enabled
him to get in well ahead of Alexander III and Nicholas II, the blame
must not be ascribed to any indifference, or lukewarm feelings on the
part of the friends of France.  The most one can reproach them with is
to have retained at Paris an Ambassador about whose sentiments both
Tzars were fully informed long ago.

[10] "Truly, this man must be devoted to France," M. Emile Hinzelin
writes me, "he must love her dearly, since he keeps a strip of her, cut
from the living flesh, which still palpitates and bleeds.  Whom can he
possibly hope to deceive?  Muelhausen is not far from Paris, neither is
Colmar, nor Strasburg, nor Metz.  It is from this unhappy town of Metz,
the most cruelly tortured of all, that he sends us his condolences and
his bag of money.  As is usual with complete hypocrites, he is by no
means lacking in impudence.  Never have the French people of
Alsace-Lorraine been accused with more bitter determination,
prosecuted, condemned and exploited by all possible means and
humiliated in every way.  Never has William himself displayed such
unrestraint and wealth of insult in his speeches to the Army.  I came
across him during a journey of mine some months ago, just as he was
unveiling a monument, commemorating the fatal year of 1870.  With his
head thrown back, his eyes rolling in frenzy and rage, shaking his fist
towards France and with his voice coming in jerks, he uttered
imprecations, challenges and threats in wild confusion.  Next day the
German Press published his speech, very carefully arranged, toned down,
and even changed in certain respects; but it still retained, in spite
of this diplomatic doctoring, an unmistakable accent of fierce and
determined hatred.  There you have him in his true light, and in his
real sentiments, this man of sympathetic telegrams, of flowers, and
easy tears."

[11] _La Nouvelle Revue_, June 16, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[12] _La Nouvelle Revue_, July 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[13] _La Nouvelle Revue_, August 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[14] Amongst the latest proofs of this, here is one, I quote from a
German newspaper: "In 1870, when war was declared, the _Koelnische
Zeitung_ offered a reward of 500 thalers for the first capture of a
French gun.  This prize was won by some soldiers of the first Silesian
Battalion of the 5th Regiment of Chasseurs, who, in their first fight
at Wissemburg, took possession of a cannon which bore the name of Le
Douay, after the commander-in-chief of a French Army Corps.  It
occurred to these soldiers to erect a monument at the spot where this
gun was captured.  The monument itself, consisting of a large rock from
the Vosges, was the gift of one of them, and on June 20 the
presentation of the monument took place, in the presence of Chasseurs
who had come from all parts of the country and of a large number of
officers.  Twenty-seven years ago, the Chasseurs were there, on the
same spot, facing the enemy; to-day, they hail the heights of
Wissemburg as part of the great German Fatherland, reconquered after a
fierce and bloody struggle."  It is evident that the Emperor is not the
only one to celebrate these anniversaries, that new ones are always
being invented, and that no humiliation will be spared us in
Alsace-Lorraine.

[15] _La Nouvelle Revue_, September 15, 1897, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."

[16] _La Nouvelle Revue_, October 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[17] This article appeared in the _Petit Marseillais_ under the title
of "The Gulls."

[18] _La Nouvelle Revue_, October 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[19] A friend writes to me from Germany: "You cannot conceive the
effects produced upon me by the _incredible_ development of industrial
enterprise throughout all Germany.  Factories seem to spring out of the
ground; in all the large towns that one visits, smoke ascends from
hundreds of chimneys.  The workshops that manufacture steam-engines are
so overloaded with work, that orders take more than a year to fill.  I
went all over the offices of the Patents Bureau in Berlin--a place as
large as our Ministry of Commerce, with a library more complete than
that of our poor Conservatoire of arts and trades.  Alas, we are but
pigmies beside these giants!  Everywhere one sees evidence of order,
discipline and patience, qualities in which we are somewhat lacking.
But I am not down-hearted, and with the help of a few colleagues, we
are going to try and propagate some of the ideas we have learned from
our neighbours and which may be of benefit to our country."

[20] _La Nouvelle Revue_, December 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[21] _La Nouvelle Revue_, December 15, 1897, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."

[22] _La Nouvelle Revue_, January 2, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."




CHAPTER VI

1898


The encroaching expansion of Germany--When will there be a determined
coalition against Germany?--The crime of Jules Ferry--William II
checked in his attempt to obtain a representative of the Holy See at
Constantinople--Leo XIII confirms France in her protectorate over
Christians in the East--William's journey to Palestine.


January 9, 1898. [1]

Shall I be told that I repeat myself if, once a fortnight, I say to
every good citizen, anxious about the many dangers that threaten his
country, "Beware of this Germany, whose numbers and wealth and strength
are ever-increasing and multiplying?"

Let each one of us do all that lies in his power not to assist in any
way the industry and commerce of Germany, which devour and destroy our
own.  Let us enlighten those near to us who in their turn will
enlighten their neighbours, and let us stimulate a movement of
resistance to the invasion of German produce of every kind; let every
one of us contribute his share to the strengthening of public opinion
for the struggle against the spirit of Germanism, which is gradually
undermining the national spirit of France.  May the voter insist that
his representative should not keep his eyes fixed within the narrow
semi-circle of parliamentary affairs and that he should observe beyond
it the continual retreat of our diplomacy before the advance of German
predominance.

Even the most limited intelligence can now perceive that, even if we
felt ourselves powerless to pursue our secular policy for the defence
and protection of Christians in the East, nothing compelled us to
witness the marriage contract between Germany and the Grand Turk, to
overwhelm them both with good wishes for their perfect union, to lend
them our aid in establishing their perfect understanding.

What need is there for us to seek to reconcile Germany and Russia in
China?  Germany could not have rendered any valuable assistance to our
ally in the Middle Kingdom, for she brings to Asia nothing but her
insatiable greed, and had it not been for her reconciliation with
Russia, she would never have dared to gratify it.  Once sure of the
confidence of the young Tzar, with what haste and brutality did William
II proceed to display his long teeth!  So there he is, definitely in
possession of Kiao-chao Bay, for only the utterly credulous will
believe in any retrocession of this so-called leased territory, in
recovering from Germany this admirable commercial harbour, this
marvellous strategical position.



February 6, 1898. [2]

Lies, insolence, polite hypocrisy, underhand plotting, audacity,
cynicism and cruelty, these are the ingredients that go to the making
of Prussian statecraft.

It must be admitted that the Emperor-King of Prussia is growing.
Cutting himself clear from the timid souls who are still possessed of a
sense of right, he assumes the proportions of a Machiavelli and a
Mephistopheles combined.  William the Incalculable, as his subjects
call him, develops to his own advantage the influences and the power of
evil.  What new distress will he bring to Christian souls, this
applauder of the Armenian massacres, when, after having covered with
his favour, supported by his strength, guided by his advice and
encouraged by his friendship, the assassin who reigns at
Constantinople, he makes his pilgrimage to Palestine, escorted in
triumph by the same soldiers who, by order of the Red Sultan, have
killed, tortured and tormented Christians?  We shall see him kneeling
before the tomb of Christ, surrounded by Turks with bloodstained hands,
when he goes to take possession of those much-coveted Holy Places,
which shall make him, the prop and stay of the exterminator of
Christians, sole arbiter of Christianity in the East.  Can the heavens
that look down on Mount Sinai smile on William II, sheltering in the
shadow of Turkish bayonets?  When, at Jerusalem, he celebrates the
opening of the Prussian Church (whose corner-stone was laid by
Frederick III, repentant of his military glory), will not this man of
insatiable pride receive some sign of warning from above?  No, it
sufficeth perhaps that he should go forward to meet his fate.  Is it
not the same for all evil-doers, no matter to what heights they may
attain, who only climb that they may be hurled to lower depths?

The challenges that men fling at the ideal structure of the principles
of humanity are like the stones that children throw at monuments.  They
accumulate and serve to consolidate that which they were meant to
destroy.

No one can reproach William II with inactivity, and in this the monarch
at Berlin is of one mind with Germany.  He draws the nation after him;
it follows blindly on dizzy paths of adventure and the pursuit of
wealth.

There is this about Germany to inspire us with fear--and one wonders
how it is that Russia and France have not been so terrified long ago as
to make them leave no stone unturned in the Near and Far East, to
exorcise the perils with which her earth-hunger threatens them--that
she is just as greedy as England in the politics of business, has just
the same jealous desires for financial and commercial expansion, but
that, in addition, she has hankerings of another sort: for glory, for
conquests, for the annexations necessary to feed and satisfy her
imperious military spirit.  When we consider the innumerable objects
for which Germany is working in the Near and Far East, we are compelled
to astonishment at the narrow limits of the field of action that she
leaves for other nations.

Prior to 1870, every country in Europe possessed its own distinguishing
features, its power, its ambition, or its dominating influences.
England was the first, of commercial and industrial nations.  Russia
was the great leader of Oriental policy, the predestined heir to Asia.
Austria was the supreme German power.  France was a military nation and
at the same time the eldest daughter of the Church; she was the
undisputed protector of Catholic Missions all over the world and umpire
in most of the great international quarrels.  To-day, Germany is at
once all that England, Russia, Austria and France were.  She holds
every monopoly, centralises power of every kind, and destroys all power
of movement in others.  When shall we have a determined coalition
against Germany?  Herein lies the only hope of liberating Europe from
the claws of Prussia and recovering something of the lion's share which
William takes to himself.



February 22, 1898. [3]

By what process of mental aberration has it come to pass that our
Minister of Foreign Affairs has placed himself under the wing of
William II at Constantinople?  His one object should have been to
combine every effort on the part of Russia and France to keep Germany
out of the East.

There would be no parallel to such a deplorable lack of foresight, if
our diplomacy had not provided it in the Far East, if it had not helped
to prove to Germany, there also, that she was becoming indispensable in
China, that the prestige of Russia combined with that of France was
insufficient to cope with the situation and to solve the difficulties
that had arisen with the Son of Heaven, with Japan and England.

The blindness which has characterised our foreign policy, which, since
Jules Ferry took it in hand, has made us labour continuously with our
own hands for the greatness of Germany, as if to justify our humility
in her eyes, this will remain the crime of the initiator of an
anti-national policy, the crime of M. Jules Ferry.  It will also remain
the irreparable fault committed by those who have adopted the
lamentable policy which consists in following in the train of the
conqueror once the ransom has been paid.



March 9, 1898. [4]

William II will have his sea-going fleet, and be able to challenge the
fleets of the Great Powers and meet them on equal terms.  He had meant
to carry with a high hand his seven years' naval construction plan, in
the same way that Bismarck obtained his seven years' military programme
in spite of the opposition of the German Catholics.  And now behold the
German Budget Committee has sanctioned the raising of the money for his
warships in six years!

As to the projected reform of the military code and the complete
re-organisation of the army on a homogeneous basis, the Emperor-King of
Prussia is not in the least disturbed.  No doubt Bavaria, Wuertemberg
and certain other Confederated States will claim to keep their
autonomous armies by virtue of the Constitution of 1871, but the King
of Prussia is quite determined, on his part, to administer the German
army under a single military code.  Bavaria, they tell us, will never
yield.  Bavaria will yield.  The German victories of 1870-71 created
the German Empire and every Empire must of necessity be centralised or
else become once more a Confederation.

United Teutondom, Germany, is embodied in Prussia.  The Bavarians, like
all the other Saxons, sing the national hymn "Germany, Germany, ever
and ever greater."  What, then, is the good of all their talking at
Muenich?  If Germany is to grow ever greater, she cannot have several
centres of influence.  Therefore Bavaria will submit.



April 1, 1898. [5]

Notwithstanding the fact that he is a Protestant, William is impressed
by the greatness of the role that Leo XIII might play in Christianity;
and, therefore, brings all the influences at his command to bear upon
him.  Through all his official and officious agents he tells him that
atheistic France, in the hands of laymen, can no longer be the eldest
daughter of the Church; that the Holy Father is the Head of
Christianity throughout the world, and that in the East and Far East he
should make use of those who are most Christian; that an Emperor who is
a believer, even though he be a Protestant, is much better fitted to be
the protector of Christians in China and in Turkey than a Republic
without faith.  The only possible influences in China and in Turkey are
religious influences, but economic questions follow in their wake, and
the German Emperor, King of Prussia, means to appear before the peoples
of the Near and Far East, in the light of his spectacular proceedings
at Kiel, of the triumphant audacity of Kiao-chao, and of the splendour
with which he is going to invest his journey in Palestine, as the
Controller of their destinies, the defender of their rights and the
supplier of such goods as they may wish to purchase.

It is possible that William II may be able to persuade Leo XIII that he
should entrust him with the Holy Places and work together with him in
China.  In any event, the Catholics of Germany are now a long way from
the _Kulturkampf_; they will vote the naval budget by an ample majority
and Germany will become the great Naval Power, and at the same time the
great Military Power, so that in the end she may become the wealthiest
of the Commercial Powers: this is the dream of William, King of Prussia!



June 5, 1898. [6]

William II has become attached to the East, the scene of his chief
diplomatic successes, a part of the world in which his Imperial word is
law.  He will continue to shower his favours upon it, and disturb
everything there, so as to be able to fish in troubled waters.  He will
ransack everything for his purposes, even that very vague thing,
homogeneous Turkey, based on the Mussulman faith.  At this moment, he
is planning I know not what kind of acceptance of the Cross by the
Crescent, just as he planned Prince Henry's Chinese crusade.  If the
Cuban war did not detain him in Europe, he would have gone to
Palestine, with a cavalcade of some sort which would have been an event
in the history of Christianity.  And he will do it yet.

What does Russia, so jealous for the Holy Places, think of the
intrusion into them of the German Kaiser?  He is master there.  Here is
one of the most striking proofs of the fact: the Mussulmans have a
perfect horror of bells, but the new German Church erected at Jerusalem
is equipped with a fine peal of them.  That which neither Christian
kings, nor even Tzars, were able to obtain, William II has achieved.
And such is the idea of force with which the German Emperor is
associated in their minds, that even the most fanatical Mussulmans have
bent the knee in submission to this sacrilege.



July 12, 1898. [7]

The unseverable unity of Pan-Germanism is the ruling formula with the
Germans of Austria.  Are they not continually threatening the Hapsburgs
that they will secede if the supremacy of their German minority over
the Slav majority is not maintained?  They do not even take the trouble
to lower their voices when they cry to the neighbouring Empire: "Before
very long we shall be yours."

Since the defeat of France, Germany's ambitions have grown to a height
out of all proportion even to the importance of her conquest.  On all
sides she has cast covetous eyes, stretched out her grasping hand in
all directions.  For only France, while still intact, possessed the
courage to protect other nations from the all-consuming German appetite.

That Germany should have captured the monstrous friendship of a French
Minister for the Christian-slaying Sultan!  Can any one possibly find
any absolution, any excuses, for such a deplorable mismanagement of our
material and moral interests in the East?

Gradually, unless something can be done to check these unfortunate
tendencies of our diplomacy, William II will announce that the time has
come for the apotheosis, _a la turque,_ of a Protestant Emperor.

And then, all of a sudden after this gradual preparation, the Catholics
and the Holy Places of the Orthodox will be delivered over to one of
the only forces of Christianity, to that which gives absolution for
murder and protects the slayer of Christians.

Race, nationality, politics, trade, influence and guarantees, all may
be summed up in Oriental countries in a single word: Religion!  Must,
then, a government seek to advance the cause of its State religion, not
from religious conviction, but in the spirit which seeks to retain the
privileges and wealth it has acquired and its powers of self-defence?

Our new Minister of Foreign Affairs understands these things--he has
pondered over them long: will he not, therefore, seek and find in the
complexities of Oriental policy the factor of immediate and personal
advantage which is calculated to minister to boundless self-conceit?
He will endeavour quietly to untie the least compact of the knots tied
at Stamboul and Berlin; he will replace them by other knots, tied more
closely by himself.  He will display the cleverness of those who make
no effort to be clever, and he will not lack clearness of sight and
precision for the simple reason that he loves his country better than
himself.



July 25, 1898. [8]

The high approval bestowed by Germany upon all the subterfuges of the
diplomacy of Abdul Hamid, the bankruptcy of the European Concert, the
embarrassment in which each one of the Governments that compose this
strange Concert finds itself when confronted with the machiavelism of
the Turk, all these have produced a situation intolerable for those
statesmen who have any regard for the dignity of their country.

Our new Minister of Foreign Affairs, upon coming to the Quai d'Orsay,
felt keenly the humiliation inflicted upon France by the persistent
weakness of our policy.  From the outset he succeeded in foiling the
Sultan's dangerous scheme for securing a representative of the Holy See
at Constantinople which would have abolished at one stroke the whole
French protectorate over Christians in the East.

Cardinal Ledochowsky, Prefect of Propaganda, with the help of the
prospective Nuncio at Constantinople, and in order to emphasise the
collapse of French influence in the East, was making his plans in
readiness for William II to assume, solemnly and definitely, a
protectorate over the Christians.  Already the Kaiser's trusty friend
at the Vatican had decided to instruct the Catholic clergy in Palestine
to render exceptional honours to the German Emperor on the occasion of
his journey to the Holy Places.  But the Council of the Congregation,
in plenary session, has opposed the wishes of Cardinal Ledochowsky, and
so there will be no nomination of a representative of the Holy See at
the Court of the Grand Turk.  The German Emperor must needs be content
with the honours "usually accorded to reigning princes."  This is the
kind of rebuff that neither Abdul Hamid nor William II readily forgives.


One of the German Emperor's chief joys is to break things.  To bewilder
people by the suddenness of his resolutions, to court all risks, to
proclaim his power, to sow the wind and reap the whirlwind: these are
the pleasures of the German Emperor, King of Prussia.  There is no need
for me to repeat the strange Neronian stories that are whispered in
Germany concerning certain incidents of William's sea-voyages and
journeys in Norway.  A number of mysterious deaths following one upon
the other provide sufficient material for these tales.  For those who,
like myself, have never ceased to regard William II as a creature of
unbridled pride, it is enough from time to time to note one of his
actions, so as to form our judgment of the man and to be able to
predict to what heights of complacent admiration for himself and of
severity for others he is likely to attain hereafter.



August 10, 1898. [9]

Created by force, the unity of Germany is maintained by force.  On the
day that another force arises, Germany will collapse, for her cohesion
has only been attained and cemented by cunning and contempt for the
truth; she has lived by the sword and she shall perish by the sword.

It is said that Bismarck was the real obstacle to an understanding
between England and Germany.  It is certainly true that neither France
nor Russia has anything to gain by England's throwing herself into the
arms of Germany.  Mr. Chamberlain is ready to do all in his power to
draw England into the Triple Alliance, and William II, no longer
dreading the criticisms of Varzin, would now accept with pleasure the
proposals which he seemed to disdain.  Nevertheless, the real rival
that threatens England's future is Germany.

The German peril, industrial and commercial, inspires England with
fear, and we should know how to turn this situation to our advantage.
Let us do all we can to prevent an _entente_ being arranged which would
deprive us of a card and add one to the enemy's hand.

A war in China between Russia and Great Britain, no matter how it might
end, would fulfil Germany's dream of being delivered from Russia in the
East and the Balkans.  This is precisely what William II desires and
seeks--herein pursuing Bismarckian tactics.  France and Russia must,
therefore, exercise all their skill to prevent it, and go exceeding
warily amidst the intrigues that are now afoot.

What has been the result of the Note which the representatives of the
Powers have handed to the Porte, on the initiative of France and
Russia, stating that they will never permit the landing of new Turkish
forces in Crete?  Merely to prove that Austria and Germany refuse to be
parties to these proceedings, and to speak plainly, support the Sultan.
Ah, if Russia could only be kept busy in China!  What a godsend if
France could be left alone to play the part of this admirable European
Concert, the genial notion of our last Minister of Foreign Affairs!

Germany alone secures her ends, profits by all the disturbances she
creates, waxes and grows fat, and William II smiles at the thought of a
world-wide kingdom ruled by himself alone.  Once master of the whole
earth, he may come to stand face to face with God.



September 11, 1898. [10]

On the occasion of a gala dinner at Hanover, William II, always in a
hurry to display his likes and everlastingly parading his dislikes, did
not fail to seize the opportunity of being polite to England and
uncivil to France.  He proposed a toast to the health of the 10th Army
Corps, recalling to memory the brotherhood of arms between Englishmen
and Germans at Waterloo; he glorified the victory of the Sirdar,
Kitchener, in the Soudan.

A few days later, speaking of peace, the German Emperor, King of
Prussia, let fly his Parthian arrow at his august brother, the Tzar.
At Porta, in Westphalia, he said: "Peace can only be obtained by
keeping a trained army ready for battle.  May God grant that 'e may
always be able to work for the maintenance of peace by the use of this
good and sharp-edged weapon."

Nothing could have been more bluntly expressed; it is now perfectly
clear that the reduction of armaments has no place in the dreams of
William II.  I know not by what subterfuge he will pretend to approve
of a Congress "to prepare for universal peace," but I know that, for
him, the dominating and absorbing interest of life lies in conquest, in
victories, in war.  Turkey victorious, America victorious, England
victorious--these are the lights that lead him on.  He excels at
gathering in the inheritance won for him by his own people, and he
likes to have a share also in the successes of others.  He has had his
share in Turkey and has filed his application in America.  He is
already beginning with England in China and speculating with Great
Britain in Delagoa Bay, under the eyes of his greatly distressed
friends of the Transvaal.

Amidst a hundred other schemes, the German Emperor, King of Prussia, is
by no means neglecting his apotheosis at Jerusalem.  We are told even
the details of his clothes, which combine the military with the civil,
"An open tunic of light cloth, brown coloured; tight trousers, boots
and sword-scabbard of yellow leather, the insignia of a German General
of the Guards, a helmet winged with the Prussian eagle."  A truly pious
rig-out forsooth, in which to go and kneel before the tomb of Christ!
They say that, in order to judge of the effect of this costume, William
II has posed for his photograph forty times.

The German Church in Palestine certainly never expected to see the
_summus episcopus_ adopting an attitude of extreme humility in that
country.  If any simple-minded Lutheran were to address the Kaiser in
the streets of Jerusalem, after the manner of the Hungarian workman,
who saw the archbishop primate, all glittering with gold in his gala
coach, passing over the Buda bridge, William II would answer him in the
same style as did the archbishop: "That is just the sort of carriage in
which Jesus used to drive," exclaimed the workman.  The archbishop
heard him, and leaning from the carriage door, replied: "Jesus, my good
fellow, was the son of a carpenter.  I am the son of a magnate, and
Archbishop Primate of Hungary."

William II undoubtedly believes that he does Christ an honour in going
to visit Him.  He goes in the full pride of a personality which sees in
itself all the great events of the past, gathered together as in an
historic procession.  He goes, with all the pomp and circumstance of a
glorious omnipotence, he, whose diplomacy has made a protege of the
Khalif and a footstool of the Crescent--he goes, I say, to manifest
himself as the Emperor of Christianity.

Was all then to be lost to us at a stroke--the Crusades, all the moral
and economic interests of France in the East, that secular protectorate
of which we, the possessors, make so light whilst William II devotes to
its conquest all the resources of his skill and cunning?  Not so!  Our
Minister of Foreign Affairs was on the alert.  William XI, who is an
artistic walking advertisement, designed, like a Mucha or a Cheret, for
the German market, has now had evidence of the fact that, if religion
is an article of export for him, anti-clericalism is nothing of the
kind for us.  Our interests in the East have been protected and
preserved.  The Pope of Lutheranism has not been able to silence the
Pope of Rome.  The radical Republic which represents France remains the
grand-daughter of Saint Louis.  On hearing the authoritative news of
William II's journey to Jerusalem, Cardinal Langenieux, Archbishop of
Rheims, begged Leo XIII for "a reassuring word."  Up to the present,
the Holy See has recognised our Protectorate in the East as a simple
fact; to-day it is recognised as a right.  Here is the "reassuring
word," the answer given by Leo XIII to Cardinal Langenieux:--

"We know that for centuries the French nation's protectorate has been
established in Eastern Countries and that it has been confirmed by
treaties between governments.  Therefore no change whatsoever should be
made in this matter.  This nation's protectorate, wherever it is
exercised, should be religiously maintained and missionaries must be
notified accordingly, so that, if they have need of help, they may have
recourse to the Consuls and other agents of the French nation."

At their last Congress the German Catholics--we know that the Catholics
constitute a third of the population of Germany and that their
representatives can hold in check the Imperial policy in the
Reichstag--openly expressed their sympathy for Leo XIII, for the "noble
exile at Rome, who is compelled, from the day of his elevation to the
Papacy, to pledge himself never to cross the threshold of the Vatican
alive."  When William II is compelled hereafter to make concessions to
the Centre in the Reichstag, his allies, the Italians, will be well
advised to give the matter their attention.



September 26, 1898. [11]

All the actions of that modern Lohengrin, William II, derive their
inspiration from a Wagnerian theory concerning the harmony of discords.
This friend of the Sultan, soon to be the guest of the Khedive,
congratulates Kitchener, the Sirdar, whose deeds are the blood-stained
consecration of England's machinations in Mussulman territory.

Almost at the identical moment that he sent his telegram to the Sirdar
to celebrate a British victory, he said at the opening of the new
harbour at Stettin: "I rejoice that the ancient spirit of Pomerania is
still alive in the present generation, urging it from the land towards
the sea.  _Our future lies on the water_."

Queen of the Seas, take warning!


We know how William II is wont to express his pacific ideas and what is
his conception of the reduction of armaments--with blustering threats
and hosannahs in praise of rifles and cannons.  On the subject of
peace, the German mind has long since been fixed in its ideas.  One
cannot sum them up better than in the following quotation from a Berlin
newspaper.

"At the Paris Salon in 1895 there was a great picture by Danger
entitled 'The Great Authors of Arbitration and Peace,' depicting all
those, from Confucius and Buddha down to the Tzar Alexander III, who
have laboured in the cause of peace.  In a note which explained the
painter's work, it was said to be impossible to depict all the friends
of arbitration and peace.  It seems to me that such friends of peace as
William II and Prince Bismarck should not have been forgotten, for, by
the Treaty of Frankfort, they have brought about a lasting peace and
have obtained the power required to maintain it."


Between this German conception of peace and ours, is there not a gulf
that nothing can ever bridge?



October 23, 1898. [12]

William II is in the seventh heaven.  One by one he dons his shining
garments, which the eastern sun gladdens with silver and gold.  He has
made another trip on his swan, that is to say, on the white
_Hohenzollern_, which carries Lohengrin to the four corners of the
earth.  The German Emperor's departure from Venice was a master-stroke
of scenic effects, one of those subversions of history, to which the
eccentric monarch of Berlin is so passionately addicted.  Nothing
indeed could have been more original than to make the sons of the
ancient Venetians, hereditary foes of the Turk, welcome a Protestant
monarch who is the friend of the chief slaughterer of Catholics.

A Christian Emperor landing at Stamboul accompanied by his Empress,
obtaining permission from the Sultan to hold a review of troops on a
_Selamlik_ day, acclaimed by the Mussulman people and soldiery, exalted
amidst all the pomp and splendour of the East, feasting his eyes on
magic colours, the hero of unrivalled entertainments, surely it is
enough to raise to a frenzy of pride the potentate who has made such
things possible.

But amidst these pomps and vanities, William is by no means neglectful
of his skilful and lucrative business schemes.  It is said that he has
secured a concession for a commercial harbour at Haidar Pasha, near
Scutari.  Haidar Pasha is the railhead of the Anatolian line, which
belongs to a German company.  Will the great commercial traveller,
William II be able to persuade his sweet friend the Slayer, to make him
a grant of the coaling station which he covets at Haifa?  The Sultan
will refuse him nothing.  Will France and Russia have time to spare for
lodging protests, their attention having been so skilfully diverted to
Fashoda on the one hand and to China on the other?  Is it not written
that the two nations must unite forces if they would check the schemes
of him who aspires to world-wide dominion over religion and commerce?

Though France and Russia have sometimes quarrelled over the question of
the Holy Places, they cannot regard without anxiety the triumphant
entry of the third thief upon the scene.

England, too, is busy with Fashoda and does not seem to be in such a
position, diplomatically speaking, at Constantinople, as to be able to
oppose the cession by Turkey to Germany of a Mediterranean harbour.
Moreover, the manner in which she has grabbed Cyprus leaves her without
much voice to talk of the _status quo_ in the Mediterranean.

William II in Palestine!  This man with his mania for glittering pomp
and grandeur going to kneel at the stable in Bethlehem; the proudest
and most conceited of men, the most puffed up with vainglory, treading
the paths trodden by the feet of the Humblest; the most egotistical and
least brotherly, coming to bow before Him who is brotherhood
personified: could any spectacle be sadder for true Christians?



November 10, 1898. [13]

The Imperial pilgrim has left the Holy City, _El Cods_, as the Turks
themselves have it.  Amidst the silence of its holy places his
turbulent majesty manifested itself in every direction.  He prayed,
discoursed, telegraphed, wrote and conducted inaugural functions.  He
made all the Stations of the Cross and preached to the German Colony in
Jerusalem, telling them that amidst such surroundings "they should be
possessed of a perpetual inclination to do good."  And forthwith he
proceeded to speak of his great friendship for the Sultan, for the
individual who methodically suppresses Christians in his empire by
killing them.

William has seen the tomb of David, which infidels may not approach,
and whose stones only Mussulmans may lawfully tread.  The very dear
friend of Abdul Hamid, he whom the Turkish troops salute with the same
words as they use for the Sultan, has written to the Holy See,
announcing his gift of a plot of land to the German Catholic
Association in the Holy Land and adding "that he was happy to have been
able to prove to Catholics that their religious interests lie very near
to his heart."

Leo XIII might have replied: "Sire--Let your Majesty do even more for
Catholics; persuade your friend the Sultan to cease from killing them."



November 24, 1898. [14]

William II's journey to Palestine has completely proved the thorough
understanding which he has established with Abdul Hamid--that he should
take possession of the Holy Places, as head of the Lutheran religion
and as representative of the Catholics of his Empire.  France is,
therefore, no longer _de facto_ protector of Christians in the East,
since she is not required to protect the German Catholics, now directly
protected by their Emperor.  In the Far East, William II had already
refused to allow France to protect his Catholic subjects.  The
advantages which he derived from this decision were too great for him
to abandon them elsewhere, since the murder of a single missionary had
brought him Kiao-ohao.

Thus, then, ended this journey, accomplished in pomp and splendour,
applauded at the same time by German Christians and by the slayers of
Christians.  William II has attained his object in the matter of
religious influence and of the emigration of German colonists, whom the
Sultan will be pleased to receive with open arms.  The Kaiser paid his
reckoning liberally by proposing the health of the Sultan at Damascus
and by declaring his intention to help and sustain the Master and the
Khalif of 300 million Mussulmans.  The seed of the words thus spoken
will sprout and will inspire encouragement for every kind of revolt in
the Mussulman subjects of France--and, for that matter, of England also.

Whilst William II was paying his devotions at the Holy Places, giving
all the impression of a pious benevolent Head of the Church, a number
of horrible evictions were being carried out in Schleswig in his name
and by his orders.  Hundreds of families, dragged from their native
soil, from their homes and kindred, were led away to the frontier on
the pretext that they still clung to their belief in a "Southern
Jutland."  Day after day, for the last thirty-four years, on one
pretext or another--and sometimes without any--the Danes have been
discouraged from living in Schleswig.  Either life has gradually been
made impossible for them, or else they have been suddenly compelled to
leave the house where they were born, where their elders hoped to die
in peace, and their places have been filled by German colonists.  A
terrible exodus, shameful cruelty!  But "Germany for the Germans" is an
axiom before which all must bow, big and little, rich and poor.



December 10, 1898. [15]

Mr. Chamberlain's coquetting with Germany has ceased for the time
being.  _The Times_, in contrast with its former hymns of praise, now
contents itself with asking William II not to make difficulties for
England in Europe or beyond the seas, and it adds that a friendly
attitude would serve the interests of German subjects in the Colonies
much better than one of hostility.

The passage in the German Emperor's Speech from the Throne which refers
to China is not calculated, it would seem, to appease Great Britain's
irritation.  "Germany's Colonies," said the Kaiser, "are in a state of
prosperous development.  At Kiao-chao steps have already been taken to
improve the economic conditions of the protectorate.  The frontier has
been definitely settled by agreement with the Chinese Government.  A
free port has been opened and work upon it has begun.  The construction
of the railway which will link up the Protectorate with the Hinterland,
will be commenced in the near future.  Relying on the old treaties
still in force, and on the new rights acquired under the treaty
concluded with China on March 6, 1898, my Government will also
endeavour in future, whilst carefully respecting the lawful rights
acquired by other Powers, _to develop economic relations with China,
which, year by year, will become more important, and to secure to
German subjects their full share in the activities directed towards
opening the Far East to Europe, from the economic point of view_."

Nor is the influence acquired by William II and his subjects in the
Ottoman Empire, emphasised by this same Speech from the Throne, of a
nature to reassure England with regard to her projects in the East.  In
the Near, as in the Far, East she sees herself being supplanted by
Germany, and this by methods identical with her own, against which,
therefore, she fights more disadvantageously than against France and
Russia, more foolishly chivalrous.

William II, who had replied with insolent sharpness to a legitimate
claim advanced by a certain princeling of the Confederated States--the
Regent of Lippe-Detmold, Count Ernest von Lippe-Biesterfeld, has had
occasion to see that public opinion severely condemns his unjustifiable
action.  The Confederated Sovereigns and Princes perceive therein a
menace to themselves, and have rallied energetically in defence of one
of their number.  The masses, seeing an insignificant princeling
oppressed and threatened by the biggest of them, have sided with the
weaker.  On his return from Jerusalem, William found the situation
extremely strained, and he endeavoured to relieve it by concessions of
various kinds.  None of them, however, were regarded as adequate.
Thereupon, with the suppleness which costs him so little when it is a
question of sacrificing his most devoted and valuable servant, the
Emperor, King of Prussia, sacrificed Herr von Lucanus, the head of his
private household, an almost legendary personage who had had a hand in
every important act of William's life.  It was he who carried the
Imperial ultimatum to Von Bismarck and escaped unhurt from the hands of
the infuriated giant.

Herr von Lucanus had not been sacrificed to the violent sarcasms of the
Chancellor after his reconciliation with William II; he seemed to be
unassailable until, simply for having addressed a few improper lines,
at the Emperor's dictation, to a minor prince, he is removed from the
anonymous post which was one of the occult powers of Potsdam.  The
august Confederates may consider themselves satisfied.



[1] _La Nouvelle Revue_, January 15, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[2] _La  Nouvelle Revue_, February 16, 1898, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."

[3] _La Nouvelle Revue_, March 1, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[4] _La Nouvelle Revue_, March 16, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[5] _La Nouvelle Revue_, April 1, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[6] _La Nouvelle Revue_, June 16, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[7] _La Nouvelle Revue_, July 16, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[8] _La Nouvelle Revue_, August 1, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[9] _La Nouvelle Revue_, August 16, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[10] _La Nouvelle Revue_, September 15, 1898, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."

[11] _La Nouvelle Revue_, October 1, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[12] _La Nouvelle Revue_, November 1, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[13] _La Nouvelle Revue_, November 15, 1898, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."

[14] _La Nouvelle Revue_, December 1, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[15] _La Nouvelle Revue_, December 15, 1898, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."




CHAPTER VII

1899


Our diplomatic situation in 1899--William II visits the
_Iphigenie_--The Hague Conference--Germany the only obstacle to the
fulfilment of the humanitarian plans of the Tzar.


January 11, 1899. [1]

Impelled by a simplicity of mind that suggests vacuity, a great many
French patriots imagine that our country cannot be equally hated by two
nations at once.  Seeing England threatening France every day in every
way and by all the means at her disposal, these hypnotised patriots
with fixed and staring eyes, see only England and nothing else!  No
matter what misdeeds Germany may commit, they scarcely trouble to turn
towards her their inattentive gaze.  Some of them, even, whose lips are
tightened with anger when they think of London, smile with a vague
feeling of good-will at the thought of Berlin.  And yet the other
enemy, the German, emboldened by our absorption, is more ready to
oppress the weak, reveals himself as bolder and greedier, more cynical
and exclusive, more violent in denying to others their rights.  German
influence may spread all over the world, but refuses to allow any other
influence whatsoever to penetrate Germany.  Prussia introduced the law
of force because she was strong; she is now inaugurating a new system
of human rights to the exclusive advantage of Germany.  One newspaper,
the _Vossische Zeitung_, has dared to say: "This system is unworthy of
a civilised state and must lead to our being morally humiliated before
the whole world."  But that is all.

When Germany perpetrates some particularly monstrous act, she is only
"a civilising power spreading the greatest of all languages."
Moreover, Germany is the only nation that possesses a secular history;
other nations have nothing more than a succession of irregular
proceedings, tolerated by German generosity or indifference.

The German Emperor, King of Prussia, wages a victorious war against
everything that is not German.  He has just put to the sword the French
terms in the Prussian military vocabulary.  In vain these poor words
pleaded the authority of the great Frederick, who introduced them into
Prussia.  In spite of his fondness for imitating Frederick the Great,
William II has slaughtered the French expressions "_officier
aspirant_," "_porte epee_," "_premier lieutenant_," "_general_," etc.,
etc.  The massacre is complete, their exclusion wholesale; he leaves no
trace of the enemy's tongue.  William II follows with marked
satisfaction the anti-French movement of opinion in England.  "England
will chastise France," he said to his Officers' Club, "and then she
will come and beg me to protect her."  Germany hates us with all her
own hatred, added to that of England.  She hopes for our defeat, but if
we should win, she would come hypocritically to claim from us her
vulture share of the spoil for her so-called neutrality.



February 9, 1899.

Bismarck's interest in things was never keenly aroused unless they were
worth lying about.  When he said "the Eastern question is not worth the
bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier," he was formulating in his mind
the programme of the "Drang nach Osten," the great push towards the
East.  The Russo-Turkish war; the humbling of the victorious Slav
colossus by the Congress of Berlin; the diabolical treachery contained
in the Resolutions of the said Congress (not one of which but contains
the germ of some revolt or movement on the part of the races of the
Turkish Empire); the separation of Bulgaria and Roumelia, united by the
Treaty of San Stefano; the subsequent reunion, directed against Russia,
of these two countries; the handing over of Bulgaria to a Coburg, bound
by ties to Austria--all these things were brought about by the
treachery and guile of the super-liar who ruled at Berlin.  And since
then, William II has done everything possible to advance this "Drang
nach Osten," Prussia's favourite scheme.

And whilst the menace of this "push towards the East" is steadily
growing, whilst he who directs it from Berlin holds in his hand all the
strings of the puppets who can help to advance it or pretend (as part
of the conspiracy) to oppose it, what is great Russia doing, the mighty
Tzar, and France?

They tell us that Russia is abandoning her interests in the East and
that the Tzar is dreaming of giving Europe a lasting peace--a peace
chiefly favourable to the economic and commercial development of
Germany and to the increase of her influence.

Russia and France seem scarcely to realise that the only force which
can drive back the tide of Germanic invasion is the Slav power,
organised and firmly established in Europe.  A Balkan league including
Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro, a southern Slav kingdom, a
Bohemia-Moravia, these might hold the German power in check and give to
Europe the necessary equilibrium.  France has an interest as great as
Russia's in the organisation of this opposing force, but she does not
realise the fact.  Just as the Athenians stretched out their hands
towards the power of Rome, deadly in its fascination, even so there are
culpably blind patriots among us who dream the monstrous dream of an
_entente_ with Germanism.  As well might one, to escape the flood,
throw oneself into the rising ravening torrent.  Before long, Germany
will be the ruler of Austria, of Hungary, Turkey and Holland, and we
shall have prepared no counterpoise to this encroachment, we, the
Allies of the great Russian people, who, even though they may
eventually succumb to the fatal attraction of Asia, might first help us
to secure our racial psychology and to establish bonds between our
Gallo-Latin soul and the soul of the Slavs.


The Germans are establishing themselves comfortably and permanently in
China.  There lies before me an extract from the first number of a
newspaper published by the Germans in China under the title of _The
German Asiatic Sentinel_.  This official organ of the Kiao-chao
territory appears every week with six pages of articles and
advertisements.  It is strange to find in it advertisements of the most
diverse description, from that which commends brown Kulmback beer, to
that in which two young German merchants seek to correspond, with a
view to marriage, with good-looking young German girls of good family.

When one remembers the solemn investiture at Kiel of Prince Henry of
Prussia, as leader of the crusade which was to spread the sacred words
of Christianity amongst the barbarian followers of Confucius, and when
one sees this investiture finding its expression in the initiation of
the Chinese into the mysteries of Kulmback beer and the search for
exportable Gretchens, the association of the two pictures reminds one
somehow of tight-rope dancing.  But ridicule is unknown in Germany.


It seems to me that the Kaiser's latest speech, at the banquet of the
provincial Landtag of Brandenburg, is in somewhat doubtful taste.  On
this occasion, he spoke first of the divine right and responsabilities
of the Hohenzollerns on a footing of familiarity with God, and next he
compared the functions of a sovereign with those of a gardener, who
stirs up the earth, smokes the roots and hunts out noxious insects.
True, the German Emperor has got to cultivate the tree of 1870-71 and
to destroy "hostile animals," which I take to mean our good
simple-minded Frenchmen!

The campaign in favour of a _rapprochement_ between France and Germany
continues to be cleverly managed and directed in our midst.  There is
talk of a visit of the Tzar, who would come to Antibes and who would
there receive William II at the same time as M. Felix Faure.  The
formula with which this arrangement is commended to us is "we have
sulked long enough."  In other words, they would convert a great,
strengthening and enduring hatred into a trivial grudge.  That, since
Fashoda they should regard Sedan as a peccadillo is strange, to say the
least of it.

The _Kolnische Zeitung_, which opened the discussion with regard to a
_rapprochement_ with France, now closes it by observing--

"That if ever the French should feel impelled to seek a reconciliation
with Germany, it could only be sincerely effected on the condition that
they abandon once and for all the idea of a reckoning to be settled
between the two countries for the war of 1870-71."


When we have estimated the nature and extent of Germany's greed,
calculated the number of her demands and ambitions, reflected by the
light of history and German exaggerations, on the character of the
German race and its unbridled lust of domination, then the National,
Colonial and Continental interests of France (considered
dispassionately and without hatred for the conqueror or resentment for
the cruel and humiliating past) do not lie in the direction of a
_rapprochement_ with Germany.  They lie in the establishment and
combination of the Slav States in Europe, in a more effective alliance
with Russia, and a _rapprochement_ between the Latin nations.



March 27, 1899. [2]

By our resistance, since the national defeat of 1871, we have pledged
ourselves not to accept it.  Our moral position and the dignity of our
claims to restitution have been worthy of our history because we
inveterate Frenchmen have never ceased to maintain that our power over
Alsace-Lorraine has been overthrown by force, but that our rights
remain undiminished.  Austria, to Germany, and Italy, to Austria, have
sacrificed this moral position and the dignity of their respective
claims, in return for an alliance which, besides being treacherously
false, has brought them neither wealth nor honour.

But alas! even whilst our rights became strengthened by our very
faithfulness and constancy, our rulers were yielding to the insidious
counsels of the enemy.  M. Ferry listened to Bismarck and slowly, drop
by drop, we wasted the blood with which we should have reconquered
Alsace-Lorraine.  Bismarck, seeing us regaining our strength too
quickly for his liking, and becoming a danger to Germany, and prevented
by the Tzar from stopping our recovery by striking at us again, played
his hand so as to throw us headlong into a policy of colonial
adventures.  But the Great Iron Chancellor, the would-be genial fellow,
had not foreseen that his pupil William II would be inspired by
ambitions entirely different from his own: that of a relentless
colonial policy, that of commercial and industrial development, on
broad lines of encroachment, and that of a navy.  All these things
however, followed logically, one from the other; for profitable
colonisation one must have a market for one's produce, and to protect a
mercantile marine one must have a navy.  Therefore, under these
conditions, which Bismarck did not foresee, the danger to France became
an immediate and equal danger to Germany, for England would be free to
sweep the seas of Germany's merchantmen as well as those of France.

Certain misguided people, moved by their extravagant feelings either of
hatred towards England or of fear, seized the opportunity of the hour
of danger under cover of the well-worn word (which leads so many worthy
folk to lose their heads, even when it represents just the opposite of
what it means) pleading our _interests_, I say, seized the opportunity
to lower France by making overtures to the Kaiser and to Prussia.  Our
interest, our twofold interest, was not to have a war with England, and
to let Germany see that it was to her interest that we should not be
deprived of our maritime power which _protects_ the free development of
German expansion.

We possess at this moment a third of Africa, a portion of Asia and
Madagascar; before trying to add to these possessions, let us endeavour
to make the most of their wealth.

To sum up: our position has never been better, if we _know how to wait_
and not to make ourselves cheap.  As the faithful Allies of Russia,
either England or Germany will have need of us.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

And so, the German Emperor, King of Prussia, has added another chapter,
and not the least astounding, to the volume of his swift changes and
contradictions.  The author of the telegram to President Krueger has
received at Berlin Mr. Cecil Rhodes, the instigator of Jameson, invader
of the Transvaal!  William II has been negotiating with him in the
matter of the telegraph line and the railway.  If any one had foretold,
on the day that he sent his famous telegram concerning the rights of
the South African Republic, that the paladin who signed this chivalrous
message would come to discuss "business" with Sir [_sic_] Cecil Rhodes,
or that the latter would have dared to present himself, in a check
suit, before the Kaiser wearing his winged helmet--such a prophet would
have been regarded as a dangerous lunatic.  Nevertheless, so it is.
Mr. Rhodes entered the Imperial Palace quite simply and naturally,
conveying to the Emperor the affectionate regards of Queen Victoria.  I
do not know whether they shook hands.  Between business men,
shopkeepers ready for a deal, etiquette is superfluous and a ready
understanding easy.  Shake!

Herr von Buelow, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs communicated the
news to the Reichstag, promising further information on the subject
before long.  And now, what becomes of the hope of a rupture with
England, anticipated by our worthy apostles of the Franco-German
Alliance against perfidious Albion?  Not only does William II flirt
with old England and give her pledges, but he opens his arms to the
most dangerous, the most enterprising, the most compromised of
Englishmen, the Napoleon of the Cape!



April 27, 1899. [3]

Were it not for Alsace-Lorraine, we should be the ally of colonial
Germany.  Were it not for Alsace-Lorraine, we should be the most ardent
disciples of the noble, truly humane, and admirable work of disarmament
undertaken by the Emperor Nicholas II.  Alsace-Lorraine has made us the
irreconcilable enemies of Germanism and at the same time the faithful,
devoted and ever loyal friends of every Slav cause.

Familiar with the work of these causes, attached to the greatness of
our allies, those of us who were the first to seek that mighty
alliance, will ever labour to strengthen and extend it by all the
resources which can add to its glory, but at the same time we are
anxious that nothing should be said or done to diminish our own first
claims to restitution.  An article in the _Novae Vremya_ contains a
protest against the idea (disseminated by the German Press) that Russia
is working to bring about a reconciliation between Germany and France.
The Russian organ declares that such a _rapprochement_ would deprive
France of all the advantages of her alliance with Russia.  The St.
Petersburg newspaper adds a sentence which appeals to us, because we
can adapt it to our own case.  "A Franco-German _entente_," says the
_Novae Vremya_, "would erect a cross on the Franco-Russian _entente_."
A Russo-German _entente_ would erect a cross on the Franco-Russian
_entente_.

Needless to say, the _Kolnische Zeitung_ informs us that the _Novae
Vremya_ only represents middle-class opinion in Russia.  Well, that
isn't so bad, considering that we are sure of the antipathy of the
whole Russian people for the Germans.  The _Kleine Zeitung_, already
reckoning on the conclusion of the _rapprochement_ between Germany and
France, adds that it will be received with sympathy throughout the
whole German Empire.  I believe you, _O Kleine Zeitung_!  And the more
so when, with a mixture of haughtiness and careless indifference, you
add "with the exception of the question of Alsace-Lorraine, _which for
us does not exist_, there is no difference which should separate
Germany from France!"

O most generous _Kleine Zeitung_! it is sweet to differ.  On condition
that we do not ask you to give us back the flesh that you have torn
from our side, you are willing to extend to us your mild greetings of
disinterested friendship, and I have no doubt that you are ready to
forgive us the crime you have committed against us!



May 23, 1899. [4]

Amongst the most definite impressions produced by the general
proceedings of the Peace Conference there are two which stand out: one,
that the diplomats invariably assert that it will not lead to any
practical result, either as regards disarmament or the creation of an
arbitration tribunal; the other, that all patriots who are enemies of
Germany are filled with anguish at the sight of Germany endeavouring to
direct its discussions.  In its practical results, the Conference will
not go further than the splendidly magnanimous proposal of Nicholas II,
having for its object the humanising of war, the development of
arbitration as a remedial measure, and the possibility of conditional
and partial disarmament.  All that will be accomplished might have been
attained by the Tzar alone in case of war, in the event of proposals
for arbitration, or by way of leading the Powers to recognise the
economic dangers to which they expose their peoples by ever-increasing
armaments.



June 27, 1899. [5]

We know what a struggle William II had to face on the subject of the
canal from the Elbe to the Rhine, and what concessions he was compelled
to make to the Prussian Chamber.  Moreover he had a stiff fight in the
Parliament of the Empire with regard to the new relations with
[Transcriber's note: which?] he proposes to establish between Germany
and England and her colonies.  The agrarians of the Right and the
Socialists found themselves united in violent opposition.  Herr von
Buelow required genuine skill to avert the storm.

The Kaiser met with a very decided rebuff in the matter of what is
called in Germany the "convicts' law."  It will be remembered that last
autumn, in Westphalia, the Emperor had threatened the socialists that
those who incited to strikes would be condemned to hard labour.  Such a
threat is easily uttered, but difficult to enforce by process of law.
Under the conditions existing nowadays it does not do to speak of
forced labour in connection with trades unions and strikes;
nevertheless, in order to make good the word of the German Emperor, his
Ministers tried to snatch a vote for a fight with the workers.  Baron
Stumm, a factory king possessed of great influence with the Kaiser, had
inspired him with hatred against industrial workers, just as others had
inspired him with love for them at the beginning of his reign.  With
all his swagger and bluster, William II is more a creature of impulse
than of constancy.  All parties united to oppose his scheme, except
those who are known in every Parliament as Mamelukes.  The former
"Father" of the working classes, suddenly become their enemy, has
experienced a personal defeat in this matter which is all the greater
for the fact that the Socialists, while they rejoice at seeing it
inflicted upon him by the Reichstag, will not forgive him for his
"convicts' law."



July 8, 1899. [6]

The wretched policy, which sent French ships to Kiel to salute the flag
of the King of Prussia, continues to be honoured--no, dishonoured--by
the Government of the Republic of to-day.  For this Government, the
least of William's wishes is an order.

So the Emperor William II has set foot upon the soil of France by
paying a visit aboard of the _Iphigenie_ (for every one of our ships is
a bit of the mother-country).  The Waldeck-Rousseau Cabinet, the ideal
of M. Urbain Gohier, has allowed this monstrous thing to be done almost
immediately after William II had laid the first stone of his fortresses
on the Moselle, fortresses intended (to use his own aggressive words)
to hold _the enemy_ under Germany's guns.  So we are the enemy for
Germany and yet, oh shame! even while she slashes us with this word, we
seek to show her that she is our friend.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

It certainly looks as if the present Prussian Ministry has neither the
prestige nor the strength of will to control successfully the conduct
of the ex-Mamelukes.  Its failure at the last session of Parliament was
complete.  It is amongst the strongest supporters of the monarchy that
the most determined opposition was offered to the proposed law for the
construction of the canal from the Elbe to the Rhine, an enterprise
dear to the heart of the Emperor, once the father of his working men
and now the father of German manufacturers.

Where the political impediments block his path William II cuts and
hacks away as it may please him.  There is proof of this in the
feverish haste with which he is lowering the age of officers in the
army.  On the 10th of June, six Prussian generals were allowed to
retire; on the 15th, ten more were placed on the unattached list, and a
further movement in the same direction is expected to take place after
the great Imperial manoeuvres.



July 25, 1899. [7]

THE HAGUE CONFERENCE

I desire to convince my readers by indisputable facts--

(1) That the pacifist agitation in Europe, in all its various forms, is
inspired and sustained by the most uncompromising military Power on
this Continent, that is to say, by Germany;

(2) That if the magnanimous humanitarian idea, so sincerely conceived
by Nicholas II, has not been fulfilled, its failure is entirely due to
the treachery of Germany.

For that matter, Germany has been providentially punished for her
machiavellian ways.  Firstly, because she has been unable to conceal
the fact that she is primarily responsible for this failure; and
secondly (the fact is important in other ways and has proved in a most
striking manner), because the Hague Conference has clearly
demonstrated, that which the initiated have long suspected, that
Germany is completely isolated in Europe!

As a matter of fact neither Austria nor Italy were with her, only one
Power voted solidly with Germany--the Power which is not content with
war and supplements it by massacres--the Turkey of Abdul Hamid.  This
isolation (an indirect result of the Franco-Russian alliance, which has
compelled Austria to come to a complete understanding with Russia in
regard to affairs in the Balkans, and led Italy to draw closer to
France), this isolation is a great and inestimable victory, whose
benefit must be frankly recognised by every honest mind in the two
allied countries, a victory for those who, like myself, have worked
heart and soul for the Franco-Russian alliance.

And it is now, now that these things are clearly proved, now, when
Germany finds but one servile nation in Europe--Turkey--that the French
Government thinks fit to seek to draw closer to Germany!  The thing is
unthinkable, unbelievable!

_For years, acting upon an evil policy which I propose to elucidate
hereafter, the Government of the Republic first set itself to oppose
the alliance with Russia, preferring an alliance with Germany; later,
this Government saw in the Russian alliance nothing but a means to gain
public applause, to acquire popularity.  Now that the strength and
worth of this alliance have been revealed in all their truth by the
isolation of Germany, this same Government of the Republic compels our
sailors to suffer the courtesy of William II and prepares us, by
diplomatic communiques, for an entente with Germany_.

Only super-simpletons can believe in William II's sham bluster against
England on behalf of the Transvaal and of that Africa concerning which
he has just concluded a binding treaty with Albion.  One must either be
hopelessly ignorant or wilfully blind not to see through the game of
William II and to be fooled by his ingratiating ways.

His only object is to compel England to throw herself into his arms and
to bring about a great common alliance of the Anglo-Saxon races.  Will
not the cynical supporters of the "policy of interest" experience a
revulsion of conscience if they know whither they are leading us, or a
sudden enlightenment, if they do not know?  If not, then to those who,
through cowardice or treachery, have lightly ruined the noblest of all
causes, I shall say, "I wash my hands" of this crime of ignorance or
base surrender.  Weary, sick at heart and indignant I shall say it, in
my own name and in the name of those who have died, suddenly or
mysteriously, for the Franco-Russian cause.

Any one who followed carefully the successive events of the performance
given under the direction of M. de Staal, any one familiar with the
secret manoeuvres that led to the convening of the Peace Conference,
could have had no difficulty in predicting what its end would be.  From
some of these secret manoeuvres in the wings, I propose to lift the
veil; my readers will then be in a position to understand more clearly
why it is that the truly Christian act of the Tzar (apart from certain
unimportant improvements of the Brussels Convention) did not attain the
result which might have been expected from the initiative of a powerful
and generous sovereign.

For the past year we have repeatedly been told, in more or less
sensational revelations, that the influence which chiefly determined
Nicholas II in his action, was his reading of a famous book on war by
M. de Bloch.  This is no doubt true and the fact may be admitted.  Much
moved by the eloquent description, given by the great financial writer
of Warsaw, of the heavy burdens imposed on the nations by the
extravagant armaments of the Continent, and terrified at the thought of
the calamities which the next war would let loose upon all Europe,
Nicholas II, full of Christian pity for the sufferings of humanity,
directed Count Mouravieff to send the famous circular to the Powers,
which resulted in the convening of the Hague Conference.


But I would ask, how are we to reconcile the hostile attitude of
William II's delegates to the Russian proposals with his solemn
declaration that he was absolutely in agreement with his friend
Nicholas II?  Why did the German Emperor first give his approval to De
Bloch's campaign in favour of disarmament and then make Von
Schwartzkopf publicly repudiate the most important arguments of that
writer's book?  Was it that William II was in the first instance
seduced by the lamentable picture which De Bloch gives of France and
the organisation of her army, or (and this seems far more likely) did
he simply approve of the intrigue set on foot by the author of this
work on war, an intrigue which aimed at casting a shadow over the
patriotic hopes that France placed on the Russian alliance, by inciting
Nicholas II to call for a general disarmament?

It must be confessed that the Franco-Russian alliance struck a bitter
blow at the hopes of Polish patriots.  The contempt and hostility
towards France which inspire M. de Bloch's book are proof sufficient of
the grudge its author bears us.  It is perfectly evident that they must
have been delighted in Berlin at the chief object of his work.  But
there were other objects in view.

For years William II has unceasingly laboured to persuade England that
she has every interest to join the Triple Alliance.  His perseverance
in this direction is quite natural.  But if Germany succeeded last year
in concluding an agreement with England on a few special questions, the
Hague Conference has proved that it does not involve an agreement in
matters of general policy.

Nevertheless, William II counted on this Congress to produce closer
relations with Great Britain.  He hoped that the Congress would result
in sharp antagonism between England and Russia and he reckoned on this
antagonism to help him to inflict a severe defeat on Russia, which in
its turn would have enabled him to draw one or other of these two
Powers into the orbit of his policy.  Great then was the disappointment
of the German Emperor _when, from the very outset of the Conference,
England, performing a most unexpected volte-face, made proposals on the
subject of arbitration, which went a great deal farther than the
Russian proposals laid before, the Congress.  This master-stroke of
British diplomacy compelled Germany to come out into the open and to
reveal herself in her true light: that is to say, as the only obstacle
to the fulfilment of the Tzar's humanitarian designs_.

The Stengels, Zorns and Schwartzkopfs completed the success of British
diplomacy by the brutal violence of their opposition and the cynicism
of their proposals.  It was not only on the two committees that dealt
with arbitration and disarmament that German opposition (always
supported by Turkey alone) wrecked the magnanimous attempt of Nicholas
II to minimise the horrors of war.  The committee presided over by M.
de Martens succeeded in effecting certain improvements in the terms of
the Brussels Convention; if the labours of its President and members
were not successful in doing more to lessen the evils of war upon land,
the fact is again due to the opposition of the German representatives.
Thus, for instance, the humane measures proposed in forbidding the
bombardment of open towns and private dwellings unoccupied by troops,
or the destruction of unfortified villages, were not adopted because
the German delegate insisted on the impossibility of limiting the
powers of a commander-in-chief, who must remain the sole judge of the
utility of such destruction in the general interest of military
operations.  It was the same in the case of the article whereby it was
proposed that provinces occupied by enemy forces should be guaranteed
in the maintenance of their autonomous administration and in certain
rights against the demands of invasions, Germany declared her
unwillingness to fetter in any way the decision of her army commanders.

I would ask those amongst us who rejoice at the idea of seeing William
II take part in the Exhibition of 1900, to let their thoughts dwell a
little on the attitude of the Prussian delegates at the Peace
Conference.  William I took part in the Exhibition of 1867 and we know
what that visit cost France three years later.

Now that all the perfidious plans inspired by Berlin have come to
nought, now that the defenders of German policy at St. Petersburg,
Warsaw and elsewhere have come to grief, and that the Peace
Congress--even though it may not have fulfilled the generous hopes of
Nicholas II--has nevertheless led to a great advance in the opinion of
the public as in that of governments, on the subjects of arbitration
and disarmament, William II shifts his rifle on to the other shoulder.
In order to clear Germany of the blame for the failure of the
Conference in the eyes of the Tzar, the same individuals who
constituted themselves the protectors and sponsors of M. de Bloch at
the Russian Court and who had assured the Tzar of the absolute support
of William II, have now started a campaign of intrigue against Count
Mouravieff.

That faithful minister and servant of the Tzar, who undertook with
great skill to carry out the initiative of his sovereign, and who has
devoted himself whole-heartedly to the task of winning over to the
Tzar's ideas not only the sympathy of the entire civilised world, but
even the vast majority of the sceptical diplomats, who are leaving the
Conference with the conviction that they have done useful work--well,
it is this same Count Mouravieff that the German Press is now trying to
hold responsible for the misdeeds of the Stengels, the Zorns and the
Schwartzkopfs.

By way of a first attempt at abolishing the horrors of war by means of
international agreements, the Hague Conference has given very
satisfactory results, and the honour for these is due to M. de Staal,
Count Mouravieff and M. de Martens.  The Tzar has reason to be equally
satisfied in that he has compelled his very good friend William II to
throw off his mask and to reveal all his hostility towards Russia.

It is now for those who had pledged themselves to guarantee the
unconditional support of Germany for the Tzar, to bear the load of
responsibility which is properly theirs for having unworthily deceived
their Sovereign.  Many other hopes, bearing on internal affairs in
Russia, had been created by the authors of the intrigue which I have
endeavoured to expose.  We know how deeply rooted is the religious and
pacific character of the Russian masses.  No initiative could stir
their hearts so profoundly as that which seeks to lessen the horrors of
war and to relieve the people of the crushing burden of armaments.  One
has only to remember the sects which exist in Russia which are opposed
to military service and duties.  Such an initiative coming from their
adored Tzar was bound to produce far-reaching results.


After our experiences of 1868 and 1869--and even 1870--how can we be
guilty of running the same risks again?  Was not William I, King of
Prussia, amiable enough?  Did he not do everything to lull the
suspicions of Napoleon whilst he himself was arming to the teeth?  We
all allowed ourselves to be sufficiently fooled by Bismarck's agents
and spies in 1870 to be able to recognise the secret agents of William
II to-day.

It is not only a shameful thing, that the _Iphigenie_ should have
hoisted at her mainmasthead the Imperial flag, bearing the insulting
device of 1870, it is also an encouragement to William II in the
treachery which he is plotting against us.  One's heart is heavy with
the grief of hopelessness when one thinks of our easy-going short
memories, and the suffering courage of the people of Alsace-Lorraine.
During the past few days, whilst our Parisian newspapers have been
discussing the probability of the obnoxious presence of the Kaiser in
Paris for the Exhibition, the _Strasburger Post_ has been heaping
bitter reproaches on the inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine for their lack
of enthusiasm and meagre contributions towards the proposed statue in
honour of the late Emperor William.  In spite of all the pressure
applied, the subscriptions have hardly produced a few hundred marks.
The German Press describes the Alsatians as ungrateful and
short-sighted.



August 9, 1899. [8]

The mania for autocracy dominates the mind of the German Emperor, King
of Prussia, and leaves no room therein for anything but exactions of a
disturbing kind.  We know how numerous are the crimes of
_lese-majeste_; also that William II wishes the Reichstag to pass a law
punishing with hard labour those who incite strikes.  A lecturer at the
University of Berlin, M. Arons, having dared to proclaim himself a
socialist--needless to say, from the theoretical point of view--the
Emperor required his Minister of Public Education to have M. Arons
brought for trial before the Council of the University, consisting of
forty-five professors.  These acquitted the accused, who, in their
opinion, had not indulged in any propaganda and was within his strict
rights in expressing his personal opinions.  The Emperor had their
judgment heard on appeal before a court consisting of officials of the
Public Education Department.  To make such an appeal possible, the
Reichstag was required to pass a new law in June 1898, known as the
Arons Law.

Whenever the occasion offered, I have shown how deep is the hatred
which William II bears towards the old liberalism of the German
Universities.  Yet it is for this same William that certain
Germanophils amongst our French Universities entertain such a
disgraceful weakness.  Whilst French newspapers are continually
discussing, with evident sympathy, the possibility of the Kaiser's
paying a visit to France during the Exhibition, it brings the tears to
our eyes to read the following in the _Journal de Colmar_:--

"The possibility of a _rapprochement_ between Frenchmen and Germans
should not lead the latter to suppose that the Alsatians are likely to
forget their country in order to be reconciled with the conquerors.
The Alsatian will never give up his own individual character, he will
never lightly consent to be merged in a homogeneous whole.  The
Alsatian remains French, and such is the rigour of his nationality that
it has resisted every attempt to destroy it."


In order to make us believe the more easily that a reconciliation with
Germany is possible, and that we may come to forget 1870 and the loss
of Alsace-Lorraine, they are continually telling us that Germany has
never been on better terms with Russia.  I showed in my last letter
what were the steps taken by the Germans to minimise the great,
imperishable, humanitarian success of Tzar Nicholas II in bringing
about the Hague Conference.  I showed that his efforts resulted in
leading all the diplomats accredited to the Peace Congress to recognise
that the foundation had been laid, not only of the possibility of
eliminating needless horrors from the wars of the future, but also of
action by the Powers in common, to be brought to bear, in the form of
advice and arbitration proposals, on the minds of rivals, adversaries
and enemies preparing to settle their quarrels by the arbitrament of
war.

Germany realises the defeat at the Hague so completely that now she
thinks only of new armaments and of arming Turkey, her only ally, to
the teeth.  Herein she finds numerous advantages; such as supplying
rifles and guns, sending out new military instructors, and threatening
Russia with a formidable army commanded by German generals.

Germany knows every inch of Russia, by land and by water, and has
calculated her resources to a nicety.  German spies are legion in
Russia as they are in France.  She may hope to make easy-going people
like us believe that she is on the best of terms with our ally, but she
will find it far more difficult to make Russia herself believe it.  One
has only to study the Russian Press to be convinced of this, and
particularly a long article in the _Novae Vremya_, which proves that,
as a matter of policy and of material facts, it is absolutely
impossible for Russia and France to admit Germany into their Alliance
without risking the destruction of that Alliance, inasmuch as its
fundamental objects are diametrically opposed to those of Germany.



[1] _La Nouvelle Revue_, January 15, 1899, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[2] _La Nouvelle Revue_, April 1, 1899, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[3] _La Nouvelle Revue_, May 1, 1899, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[4] _La Nouvelle Revue_, June 1, 1899, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[5] _Ibid._, July 1, 1899.

[6] _La Nouvelle Revue_, July 16, 1899, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[7] _La Nouvelle Revue_, August 1, 1899, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[8] _La Nouvelle Revue_, Aug. 15, 1899, "Letters on Foreign Policy."



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