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Title: Germany and the Germans - From an American Point of View
Author: Collier, Price, 1860-1913
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Copyright, 1913, by Charles Scribner's Sons

Published May, 1913

To MY WIFE KATHARINE whose deserving far outstrips my giving
















The first printed suggestion that America should be called America
came from a German. Martin Waldseemüller, of Freiburg, in his
Cosmographiae Introductio, published in 1507, wrote: "I do not see why
any one may justly forbid it to be named after Americus, its
discoverer, a man of sagacious mind, Amerige, that is the land of
Americus or America, since both Europe and Asia derived their names
from women."

The first complete ship-load of Germans left Gravesend July the 24th,
1683, and arrived in Philadelphia October the 6th, 1683. They settled
in Germantown, or, as it was then called, on account of the poverty of
the settlers, Armentown.

Up to within the last few years the majority of our settlers have been
Teutonic in blood and Protestant in religion. The English, Dutch,
Swedes, Germans, Scotch-Irish, who settled in America, were all, less
than two thousand years ago, one Germanic race from the country
surrounding the North Sea.

Since 1820 more than 5,200,000 Germans have settled in America. This
immigration of Germans has practically ceased, and it is a serious
loss to America, for it has been replaced by a much less desirable
type of settler. In 1882 western Europe sent us 563,174 settlers, or
87 per cent., while southern and eastern Europe and Asiatic Turkey
sent 83,637, or 13 per cent. In 1905 western Europe sent 215,863, or
21.7 per cent., and southern and eastern Europe and Asiatic Turkey,
808,856, or 78.9 per cent. of our new population. In 1910 there were
8,282,618 white persons of German origin in the United States;
2,501,181 were born in Germany; 3,911,847 were born in the United
States, both of whose parents were born in Germany; 1,869,590 were
born in the United States, one parent born in the United States and
one in Germany.

Not only have we been enriched by this mass of sober and industrious
people in the past, but Peter Mühlenberg, Christopher Ludwig, Steuben,
John Kalb, George Herkimer, and later Francis Lieber, Carl Schurz,
Sigel, Osterhaus, Abraham Jacobi, Herman Ridder, Oswald Ottendorfer,
Adolphus Busch, Isidor, Nathan, and Oscar Straus, Jacob Schiff, Otto
Kahn, Frederick Weyerheuser, Charles P. Steinmetz, Claus Spreckels,
Hugo Münsterberg, and a catalogue of others, have been leaders in
finance, in industry, in war, in politics, in educational and
philanthropic enterprises, and in patriotism.

The framework of our republican institutions, as I have tried to
outline in this volume, came from the "Woods of Germany." Professor H.
A. L. Fisher, of Oxford, writes: "European republicanism, which ever
since the French Revolution has been in the main a phenomenon of the
Latin races, was a creature of Teutonic civilization in the age of the
sea-beggars and the Roundheads. The half-Latin city of Geneva was the
source of that stream of democratic opinion in church and state,
which, flowing to England under Queen Elizabeth, was repelled by
persecution to Holland, and thence directed to the continent of North

In these later days Goethe, in a letter to Eckermann, prophesied the
building of the Panama Canal by the Americans, and also the prodigious
growth of the United States toward the West.

In a private collection in New York, is an autograph letter of George
Washington to Frederick the Great, asking that Frederick should use
his influence to protect that French friend of America, Lafayette.

In Schiller's house in Weimar there still hangs an engraving of the
battle of Bunker Hill, by Müller, a German, and a friend of the poet.

Bismarck's intimate friend as a student at Göttingen, and the man of
whom he spoke with warm affection all his life, was the American
historian Motley.

The German soldiers in our Civil War were numbered by the thousands.
We have many ties with Germany, quite enough, indeed, to make a bare
enumeration of them a sufficient introduction to this volume.

On more than one occasion of late I have been introduced in places,
and to persons where a slight picture of what I was to meet when the
doors were thrown open was of great help to me. I was told beforehand
something of the history, traditions, the forms and ceremonies, and
even something of the weaknesses and peculiarities of the society, the
persons, and the personages. I am not so wise a guide as some of my
sponsors have been, but it is something of the kind that I have wished
and planned to do for my countrymen. I have tried to make this book,
not a guidebook, certainly not a history; rather, in the words of
Bacon, "grains of salt, which will rather give an appetite than offend
with satiety," a sketch, in short, of what is on the other side of the
great doors when the announcer speaks your name and you enter Germany.





Eighty-one years before the discovery of America, seventy-two years
before Luther was born, and forty-one years before the discovery of
printing, in the year 1411, the Emperor Sigismund, the betrayer of
Huss, transferred the Mark of Brandenburg to his faithful vassal and
cousin, Frederick, sixth Burgrave of Nuremberg. Nuremberg was at one
time one of the great trading towns between Germany, Venice, and the
East, and the home later of Hans Sachs. Frederick was the lineal
descendant of Conrad of Hohenzollern, the first Burgrave of Nuremberg,
who lived in the days of Frederick Barbarossa (1152-1189); and this
Conrad is the twenty-fifth lineal ancestor of Emperor William II of
Germany. It is interesting to remember in this connection that when we
count back our progenitors to the twenty-first generation they number
something over two millions. When we trace an ancestry so far,
therefore, we must know something of the multitude from which the
individual is descended, if we are to gather anything of value
concerning his racial characteristics. The solace of all genealogical
investigation is the infallible discovery, that the greatest among us
began in a small way.

If you paddle up the Elbe and the Havel from Hamburg to Potsdam, you
will find yourself in the territory conquered from the heathen Wends
in the days of Henry I, the Fowler (918-935), which was the cradle of
what is now the German Empire.

The Emperor Sigismund, who was often embarrassed financially by reason
of his wars and journeyings had borrowed some four hundred thousand
gold florins from Frederick, and it was in settlement of this debt
that he mortgaged the territory of Brandenburg, and on the 8th of
April, 1417, the ceremony of enfeoffment was performed at Constance,
by which the House of Hohenzollern became possessed of this territory,
and was thereafter included among the great electorates having a vote
in the election of the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

It was Henricus Auceps, or Henry the Fowler, (so called because the
envoys sent to offer him the crown, found him on his estates in the
Hartz Mountains among his falcons), who fought off the Danes in the
northwest, and the Slavonians, or Wends, in the northeast, and the
Hungarians in the southeast, and established frontier posts or marks
for permanent protection against their ravages. These marks, or
marches, which were boundary lines, were governed by markgrafs or
marquises, and finally gave the name of marks to the territory itself.
The word is historically familiar from its still later use in noting
the old boundaries between England and Scotland, and England and
Wales, which are still called marks.

Henry the Fowler was also called Henry "the City Builder." After the
death of the last of the Charlemagne line of rulers, the Franks
elected Conrad, Duke of Franconia, to succeed to the throne, and he on
his death-bed advised his people to choose Henry of Saxony to succeed,
for the times were stormy and the country needed a strong ruler. The
Hungarians in the southeast, and the Wends, the old Slavonic
population of Poland, were pillaging and harrying more and more
successfully, and the more successfully the more impudently. Henry
began the building of strong-walled, deep-moated cities along his
frontier, and made one, drawn by lot, out of every ten families of the
countryside, go to live in these fortified towns. Their rulers were
burgraves, or city counts. Titles now so largely ornamental were then
descriptive of duties and responsibilities.

In the light of their future greatness, it is well to take note of
these two frontier counties, or marches. The first, called the
Northern March, or March of Brandenburg, was the religious centre of
the Slays, and was situated in the midst of forests and marshes just
beyond the Elbe. This March of Brandenburg was won from the Slays in
the first instance by the Saxons and Franks of the Saxon plain. When
the burgrave, Frederick of Hohenzollern, came to take possession of
his new territory he was received with the jesting remark: "Were it to
rain burgraves for a whole year, we should not allow them to grow in
the march." But Frederick's soldiers and money, and his Nuremberg
jewels, as his cannon were called, ended by gaining complete control,
a control in more powerful hands to-day than ever before.

The second, called the Eastern or Austrian March, was situated in the
basin of the Danube. These two great states were formed in lands that
had ceased to be German and had become Slav or Finnish territory. The
fighting appetite of the German tribes, and the spirit of chivalry
later, which had drawn men in other days in France to the East, in
Spain against the Moors, in Normandy against England, were offered an
opportunity and an outlet in Germany, by forays and fighting against
the Finns and Slays.

Out of the conquest and settlement of these territories grew, what we
know to-day, as the German Empire and the Austrian Empire. Out of
their margraves, who were at first sentinel officers guarding the
outer boundaries of the empire, and mere nominees of the Emperor, have
developed the Emperor of Germany and the Emperor of Austria, the one
ruling over the most powerful nation, the other the head of the most
exclusive court, in Europe.

When a man becomes a power in the world, these days, our first impulse
is to ask about his ancestry. Who were his father and his mother; what
and who were his grandfathers and grandmothers, and who were their
forebears. Where did they come from, what was the climate; did they
live by the sea, or in the mountains, or in the plains. We are at once
hot on the trail of his success. Be he an American, we wish to know
whether his people came from Holland, from France, from England, or
from Belgium; where did they settle, in New England, in New York, or
in the South. We no longer accept ability as a miracle, but
investigate it as an evolution. If the man be great enough, cities vie
with each other to claim him as their child; he acquires an Homeric
versatility in cradles.

Whatever one may think of William II of Germany, he is just now the
predominating figure in Europe, if not in the world. This must be our
excuse for a word or two concerning the race from which came his
twenty-fifth lineal ancestor.

It is exactly five hundred years since his present empire was founded
in the sandy plains about the Elbe, and a thousand years before that
brings us to the dim dawn of any historical knowledge whatever about
the Germans. When the Cimbrians and Teutonians came into contact with
the Romans, in 113 B. C., is the beginning of all things for these
people. In that year the inhabitants of the north of Italy awoke one
morning to find a swarm of blue-eyed, light-haired, long-limbed
strangers coming down from the Alps upon them. The younger and more
light-hearted warriors came tobogganing down the snow-covered
mountain-sides on their shields. They had been crowded out of what is
now Switzerland, and called themselves, though they were much alike in
appearance, the Cimbri and the Teutones. They defeated the Roman
armies sent against them, and, turning to the south and west, went on
their way along the north shores of the Mediterranean into what is now
France. They had no history of their own. Tacitus writes that they
could neither read nor write: "Literarum secreta viri pariter ac
feminae ignorant." Very little is to be found concerning them in the
Roman writers. The books of Pliny which treated of this time are lost.
It was toward the middle of the century before Christ that Caesar
advanced to the frontier of what may be called Germany. He met and
conquered there these men of the blood who were to conquer Rome, and
to carry on the name under the title of the Holy Roman Empire. Caesar
met the ancestors of those who were to be Caesars, and with an eye on
Roman politics, wrote the "Commentaries," which were really
autobiographical messages, with the Germans as a text and an excuse.

Tacitus, born just about one hundred years after the death of Caesar,
and who had access to the lost works of Pliny, was a moralist
historian and a warm friend of the Germans. Over their shoulders he
rapped the manners and morals of his own countrymen. "Vice is not
treated by the Germans" (German, the etymologists say, is composed of
Ger, meaning spear or lance, and Man, meaning chief or lord; Deutsch,
or Teutsch, comes from the Gothic word Thiudu, meaning nation, and a
Deutscher, or Teutscher, meant one belonging to the nation), he tells
his countrymen, "as a subject of raillery, nor is the profligacy of
corrupting and being corrupted called the fashion of the age." With
Rooseveltian enthusiasm he writes that the Germans consider it a crime
"to set limits to population, by rearing up only a certain number of
children and destroying the rest."

The republicanism of Europe and America had its roots in this Teutonic
civilization. "No man dictates to the assembly; he may persuade but
cannot command. When anything is advanced not agreeable to the people,
they reject it with a general murmur. If the proposition pleases, they
brandish their javelins. This is their highest and most honorable mark
of applause; they assent in a military manner, and praise by the sound
of their arms," continues our author.

The great historian of the Roman historians, and of Rome, Gibbon,
lends his authority to this praise of Tacitus in the sentence: "The
most civilized nations of modern Europe issued from the woods of
Germany; and in the rude institutions of those barbarians we may still
distinguish the original principles of our present laws and manners."

Rome, which was not only a city, a nation, an empire, but a religion;
Rome, which replied to a suggestion that the people of Latium should
be admitted to citizenship, "Thou hast heard, O Jupiter, the impious
words that have come from this man's mouth. Canst thou tolerate, O
Jupiter, that a foreigner should come to sit in the sacred temple as a
senator, as a consul?" Rome welcomed later the barbarians from the
woods of Germany not only as citizens and consuls, but as emperors;
and their descendants rule the world.

It was no Capuan training that finally distilled itself in a
Charlemagne, an Otho, a Luther, a Frederick the Great, and a Bismarck;
in an Alfred, a William the Conqueror, a Cromwell, a Clive, a Rhodes,
or a Gordon; in a Washington, a Lincoln, a Grant, a Jackson, and a

Beyond the certified beyond, we see dimly through the mists of
history, hosts of men marching, ever marching from the east, spreading
some toward Norway and Sweden, some skirting the Baltic Sea to the
south; driving their cattle before them, and learning the arts of
peace and war, and self-government, from the harsh school-masters of
pressing needs and tyrannical circumstances, the only teachers that
confer degrees of permanent value. They become fishermen and small
landholders in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. "Jeudi," or Jupiter's day,
becomes their god Thor's day, or Thursday; "Mardi," or Mars's day, is
their Tiu's day, or Tuesday; "Mercredi," or Mercury's day, is Odin's
or Woden's day, or Wednesday.

These men trained to solitude in small bands, owing to the
geographical exigencies of their northern country, become the founders
of the particularist or individualistic nations, Great Britain and the
United States among others. Those who had gone south, driven by
pressure from behind, follow the Danube to the north and west, find
the Rhine, and push on into what is now southwestern Europe.

It is worth noting that the Rhine and the Danube have their sources
near together, and form a line of water from the North Sea to the
Black Sea, a significant line in Europe from the beginning down to
this day. This line of water divides not only lands but nations,
manners, customs, and even speech, and what we call the North, and
what we call the South, may be said to be, with negligible exceptions,
what is north and what is south of those two rivers. It is and always
has been the Mason and Dixon's line of Europe.

All of these peoples mould their institutions, from the habits and
customs forced upon them by their surroundings. The members of the
tribe of the Suevi, now Swabians, were not allowed to hold fixed
landed possessions, but were forced to exchange with each other from
time to time, so that no one should become wedded to the soil and grow
rich thereby. Readers of history will remember, that Lycurgus
attempted similar legislation among the Spartans, hoping thus to keep
them simple and hardy, and fit for war.

How many hundreds of years, these various tribes were working out
their rude political and domestic laws, no man knows. The imaginative
historian pushes his way through the mists, and sees that the tribes
who lived in the Scandinavian peninsula were forced by their cramped
territory to become fishermen and sailors, and cultivators of small
areas of land, accustomed therefore to rule themselves in small
groups, and hence independent and markedly individualist. Such
historians divide even these rude tribes sharply between the
patriarchal and the particularist. The particularist commune developed
from the estate which was self-sufficient, isolated, and independent.
When they were associated together it was for special and limited
purposes, so that independence might be infringed upon to the least
possible extent. The patriarchal commune, on the other hand, proceeded
from the communal family which provided everything for everybody. It
was a general and compulsory partnership, monopolizing every kind of
business that might arise. The particularist group then, and their
moral and political descendants now, strive to organize public
authority, and public life in such a way, that they are distinctly
subordinate to private and individual independence. In the one the
Emperor is the father of the family--the Russian Emperor is still
called "Little Father"--the independence of each member of the family
is swallowed up in the complete authority of the head of the national
family; in the other the president, or constitutional king, is the
executive servant of independent citizens, to whom he owes as much
allegiance as they owe to him.

In Saxony, to-day, more than ninety per cent. of the agricultural
population are independent peasant proprietors, and the most admirable
and successful agriculturists in the world. It is said indeed that the
Curia Regis, which is the Latinized form of the Witenagemote, or
assembly of wise men, of the Norman and Angevin kings, is the
foundation of the common law of England, and the common law of England
is the law of more than half of the civilized world.

Whatever the varieties and distinctions of government anywhere in the
world, these two differences are the fundamental and basic
differences, upon which all forms of government have been built up and

In the one, everything so far as possible is begun and carried on by
individual initiative; in the other the state gradually takes control
of all enterprise. The philosophy of the one is based upon the saying:
love one another; the political philosophy of the other is based upon
the assumption that men are not brethren, but beasts and mechanical
toys, who can only be governed by legislation and the police. The
ideal of the one is the good Samaritan, the ideal of the other is the
tax-collector. The one depends upon the wine and oil of sympathy and
human brotherhood; the other claims that the right to an iron bed in a
hospital, and the services of a state-paid and indifferent physician,
are "refreshing fruit," as though sympathy and consideration, which
are what our weaker brethren most need, could be distilled from taxes!

It is claimed for these Teutonic tribes, that those of them which
drifted down from the Scandinavian peninsula, are the blood and moral
ancestors of the particularist nations now in the ascendant in the
world. The love of independent self-government, born of the
geographical necessities of the situation, stamped itself upon these
people so indelibly, that Englishmen and Americans bear the seal to
this day. This change from the patriarchal to the particularist family
took place in this German race, and took place not in those who came
from the Baltic plain, but in those who came from the Saxon plain.

The tribes from the Baltic plain, the Goths, for example, merely
overran the Roman civilization, spread over it; drowned it in superior
numbers, and with superior valor; but it was the Germans from the
Scandinavian peninsula who conquered Rome, and conquered her not by
force alone, but by offering to the world a superior social and
political organization. It was to this branch of the German race that
Varus lost his legions, at the place where the Ems has its source, at
the foot of the Teutoburger Wald. Charlemagne was of these, and his
name Karl, or Kerl, or peasant, and the fact that his title is the
only one in the world compounded of greatness and the people in equal
measure, is the pith of what the Germans brought to leaven the whole
political world. He made the common man so great, that the world has
consented to his unique and superlative baptismal title of Karl the
Great, or Carolus Magnus, or Charlemagne.

The pivotal fact to be remembered is that these German tribes saved
Europe by their love of liberty, and by their virility, from the
decadence of an orientalized Rome. Rome, and all Rome meant, was not
destroyed by these ancestors of ours; on the contrary, they saved what
was best worth saving from the decline and fall of Rome, and made out
of it with their own vigorous laws a new world, the modern western
world. Great Britain, Germany, and the United States are not descended
from Egypt, Greece, or Rome, but from "those barbarians who issued
from the woods of Germany."

Every school-boy should be taught that Rome died of a disease
contracted from contact with the Oriental, the Syrian, the Jew, the
Greek, the riffraff of the eastern and southern shores of the
Mediterranean; who, by the way, make up the bulk of the immigration
into America at this time. Rome was an incurable invalid long before
the Germans took control of the western world and saved it.

When the Roman Emperor Augustus died, in 14 A. D., to be succeeded by
Tiberius, the Roman Empire was bounded on the north and east by the
Rhine, the Danube, the Black Sea and its southern territory, and
Syria; by all the known country from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean
in northern Africa on the south; and by the Atlantic Ocean as far
north as the river Elbe on the west. Five hundred years later, about
500 A. D., the Barbarians, as they were called, had thrust aside the
Roman Empire. The Saxons controlled the southern and eastern coasts of
England; the Franks were rulers in the whole country from the Loire to
the Elbe; south of them the Visigoths ruled Spain; Italy and all the
country to the north and east of the Adriatic, as far as the Danube,
were in the hands of the Ostrogoths. The Roman Empire had been pushed
to the eastern end of the Mediterranean, with its capital at

In another three hundred years, or in 800 A. D., the king of one of
these German tribes revived the title of Roman Emperor, was crowned by
the Pope, Leo III, and governed Europe as Charlemagne. His banner with
the double-headed eagle, representing the two empires of Germany and
Rome, is the standard of Germany to-day. Charles Martel, who led the
West against the East, defeating the Arabs in the country between what
is now Tours and Poitiers, was Charlemagne's grandfather. What is now
western Europe, became the home and the consolidated kingdom of the
German tribes who had drifted down from the west of the Baltic, and
into the Saxon plain. They had become masters in this territory: after
victories over the Mongolian tribes, and the Huns under Attila, who
had conquered and plundered as far as Strasburg, Worms, and Treves,
and were finally defeated near what is now Chalons; after driving off
the Arabs under Charles the Hammer (732); after imposing their rule
upon the Roman Empire, the remains of which cowered in Constantinople,
where the Ottoman Turk took even that from it in 1453, which date may
well be taken as marking the beginning of modern history, and became
themselves thereafter one of the first powers in Christian Europe; a
power which is now, in 1912, the quarrel ground of the Western powers.

These are Brobdingnagian strides through history, to reach the days of
Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Froissart, and the first
translation of the Bible into a vulgar tongue by Wickliffe, to the
days when Lorenzo de Medici breathed Greece into Europe, and the
feeling for beauty changed from invalidism to convalescence; to the
days when cannon were first used, printing invented, America
discovered, and the man Luther, who gave the Germans their present
language by his translation of the Bible, and who delivered us from
papal tyranny, born; and Agincourt, and Joan of Arc, are picturesque
and poignant features of the historical landscape.

These rude German tribes had been welded by hardship and warfare, into
compact and self-governing bodies. These loosely bound masses of men,
women, and children, straggling down to find room and food, are now,
in 1400 A. D., France, England, Austria, Germany, Scotland, and Spain.
The same spirit and vigor that roamed the coasts all the way from
Sweden and Norway to the mouth of the Thames, and to the Rhine, the
Seine, and to the Straits of Gibraltar, are abroad again, landing on
the shores of America, circumnavigating Africa, and bringing home
tales of Indians in the west, and Indians in the east. This virile
stock that had been hammered and hewn was now to be polished; and in
Italy, France, England, and Germany grew up a passion for translating
the rough mythology, and the fierce fancy of the north, into painting,
building, poetry, and music.

France, Germany, England, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Italy, too, grew
out of these German tribes, who poured down from the territory roughly
included between the Rhine, the North Sea, the Oder, and the Danube.

As we know these countries to-day, the definite thing about them is
their difference. You cross the channel in fifty minutes from Dover to
Calais, you cross the Rhine in five minutes, and the peoples seem
thousands of miles apart. "How did it happen," asks Voltaire, "that,
setting out from the same point of departure, the governments of
England and of France arrived at nearly the same time, at results as
dissimilar as the constitution of Venice is unlike that of Morocco?"

One might ask as well how it happened, that the speech of one German
invasion mixing itself with Latin became French, of another Spanish,
of another Portuguese, of another Italian, of another English. These
are interesting inquiries, and in regard to the former it is not
difficult to see, that men grew to be governed differently, according
as the geographical exigencies of their homes were different, and as
they occupied themselves differently.

The observant traveller in the United States, may see for himself what
differences even a few years of differing climate, and circumstances,
and custom will produce. The inhabitants of Charleston, South
Carolina, are evidently and visibly different from those in Davenport,
Iowa. Two towns of similar size and wealth, Salisbury, Maryland, and
Hingham, Massachusetts, are almost as different, except in speech, and
even in speech the accent is perceptibly different even to the
careless listener, as though Salisbury were in the south of France,
and Hingham in the north of Germany. These changes and differences are
only inexplicable, to those who will not see the ethnographical
miracles taking place under their noses. Look at the mongrel crowd on
Fifth Avenue at midday, and remember what was there only fifty years
ago, and the differentiation which has taken place in Europe due to
climate, intermarriage, laws, and customs seems easy to trace and to

The fishermen and tillers of the soil in the Scandinavian peninsula,
afterward the settlers in the Saxon plain and in England, recognized
him who ruled over their settled place of abode as king; while roaming
bands of fighting men would naturally attach themselves to the head of
the tribe, as the leader in war, and recognize him as king. As late as
the death of Charlemagne, when his powerful grip relaxed, the tribes
of Germans, for they were little more even then, fell apart again.
Another family like that of Pepin arose under Robert the Strong, and
under Hugue Capet (987) acquired the title of Kings of France. The
monarchy grew out of the weakening of feudalism, and feudalism had
been the gradual setting, in law and custom, of a way of living
together, of these detached tribes and clans, and their chiefs.

A powerful warrior was rewarded with a horse, a spear; later, when
territory was conquered and the tribe settled down, land was given as
a reward. Land, however, does not die like a horse, or wear out and
get broken like a spear, and the problem arises after the death of the
owner, as to who is his rightful heir. Does it revert to the giver,
the chief of the tribe, or does it go to the children of the owner?
Some men are strong enough to keep their land, to add to it, to
control those living upon it, and such a one becomes a feudal ruler in
a small way himself. He becomes a duke, a dux or leader, a count, a
margrave, a baron, and a few such powerful men stand by one another
against the king. A Charlemagne, a William the Conqueror, a Louis XIV
is strong enough to rule them and keep them in order for a time. Out
of these conditions grow limited monarchies or absolute monarchies and
national nobilities.

More than any other one factor, the Crusades broke up feudalism. The
great noble, impelled by a sense of religious duty, or by a love of
adventure, arms himself and his followers, and starts on years of
journeyings to the Holy Land. Ready money is needed above all else.
Lands are mortgaged, and the money-lender and the merchant buy lands,
houses, and eventually power, and buy them cheap. The returning nobles
find their affairs in disarray, their fields cultivated by new owners,
towns and cities grow up that are as strong or stronger than the
castle. Before the Crusades no roturier, or mere tiller of the soil,
could hold a fief, but the demand for money was so great that fiefs
were bought and sold, and Philippe Auguste (1180) solved the problem
by a law, declaring that when the king invested a man with a
sufficient holding of land or fief, he became ipso facto a noble. This
is the same common-sense policy which led Sir Robert Peel to declare,
that any man with an income of $50,000 a year had a right to a
peerage. There can be no aristocracy except of the powerful, which
lasts. The difference to-day is seen in the puppet nobility of
Austria, Italy, Spain, and Germany as compared with the nobility of
England, which is not a nobility of birth or of tradition, but of the
powerful: brewers and bankers, and statesmen and lawyers, and leaders
of public opinion, covering their humble past with ermine, and
crowning their achievements with coronets.

The Crusades brought about as great a shifting of the balance of
power, as did later the rise of the rich merchants, industrials, and
nabobs in England. As the power of the nobles decreased, the central
power or the power of the kings increased; increased indeed, and
lasted, down to the greatest crusade of all, when democracy organized
itself, and marched to the redemption of the rights of man as man,
without regard to his previous condition of servitude.

During the thousand years between the time when we first hear of the
German tribes, in 113 B. C., and the year 1411, which marks the
beginnings of what is now the Prussian monarchy, customs were becoming
habits, and habits were becoming laws, and the political and social
origins of the life of our day were being beaten into shape, by the
exigencies of living together of these tribes in the woods of Germany.

There it was that the essence of democracy was distilled. Democracy,
Demos, the crowd, the people, the nation, were already, in the woods
of Germany, the court of last resort. They growled dissent, and they
gave assent with the brandishing of their weapons, javelins, or
ballots. They were called together but seldom, and between the
meetings of the assembly, the executive work, the judicial work, the
punishing of offenders, was left to a chosen few; left to those who by
their control over themselves, their control over their families,
their control over their neighbors, seemed best qualified to exercise
the delegated control of all.

The chief aim of their organized government, such as it was, seems to
have been to leave themselves free to go about their private business,
with as little interference from the demands of public business as
possible. The chief concern of each one was to secure his right to
mind his own business, under certain safeguards provided by all. If
those delegated to govern became autocratic, or evil-doers, or used
their power for self-advancement or self-enrichment, they were
speedily brought to book. The philosophy of government, then, was to
make men free to go about their private business. That the time might
come when politics would be the absorbing business of all, dictating
the hours and wages of men under the earth, and reaching up to the
institution of a recall for the angel Gabriel, and a referendum for
the Day of Judgment, was undreamed of. The chiefs of the clans, the
chiefs of the tribes, the kings of the Germans, and finally the
emperors were all elective. The divine right of kings is a purely
modern development. The descendants of these German tribes in England,
elected their king in the days of William the Conqueror even, and as
late as 1689 the Commons of England voted that King James had
abdicated, and that the throne was vacant!

The so-called mayors of the palace, who became kings, were in their
day representatives of the landholders, delegates of the people, who
advised the king and aided in commanding the armies. These hereditary
mayors of the palace drifted into ever greater and greater control,
until they became hereditary kings. The title was only hereditary,
however, because it was convenient that one man of experience in an
office should be succeeded by another educated to, and familiar with,
the same experiences and duties, and this system of heredity continues
down to this day in business, and in many professions and so long as
there is freedom to oust the incompetent, it is a good system. There
can never be any real progress until the sons take over the
accumulated wisdom and experience of the fathers; if this is not done,
then each one must begin for himself all over again. The hereditary
principle is sound enough, so long as there is freedom of decapitation
in cases of tyranny or folly.

There has continued all through the history of those of the blood of
the German tribes, whether in Germany, England, America, Norway,
Sweden, or Denmark, the sound doctrine that ability may at any time
take the place of the rights of birth. Power, or command, or
leadership by heredity is looked upon as a convenience, not as an
unimpeachable right.

Charlemagne (742-814), a descendant of a mayor of the palace who had
become king by virtue of ability, swept all Europe under his sway by
reason of his transcendent powers as a warrior and administrator. He
did for the first time for Europe what Akbar did in his day for India.
In forty-five years he headed fifty-three campaigns against all sorts
of enemies. He fought the Saxons, the Danes, the Slays, the Arabs, the
Greeks, and the Bretons. What is now France, Germany, Belgium,
Holland, Switzerland, Spain, and most of Italy were under his
kingship. He was a student, an architect, a bridge-builder, though he
could neither read nor write, and even began a canal which was to
connect the Danube and the Rhine, and thus the German Ocean, with the
Black Sea. He is one of many monuments to the futility of technical
education and mere book-learning.

The Pope, roughly handled, because negligently protected, by the Roman
emperors, turns to Charlemagne, and on Christmas Day (800) places a
crown upon his head, and proclaims him "Caesar Augustus" and
"Christianissimus Rex." The empire of Rome is to be born again with
this virile German warrior at its head. Just a thousand years later,
another insists that he has succeeded to the title by right of
conquest, and gives his baby son the title of "King of Rome," and just
a thousand years after the death of Charlemagne, in 814, Napoleon
retires to Elba. There is a witchery about Rome even to-day, and an
emperor still sits imprisoned there, claiming for himself the right to
rule the spiritual and intellectual world: "sedet, eternumque sedebit
Infelix Theseus."

Louis, called "the Pious," because the latter part of his life was
spent in mourning his outrageous betrayal, mutilation, and murder of
his own nephew, whose rivalry he feared, succeeded his father,
Charlemagne. He was succeeded again by his three sons, Lothair, Pepin,
and Louis by his first wife, and Charles, who was his favorite son, by
his second wife. He had already divided the great heritage left him by
Charlemagne between his three sons Lothair, Pepin, and Louis; but now
he wished to make another division into four parts, to make room for,
and to give a kingdom to, his son Charles by his second wife. The
three elder sons revolt against their father, and his last years are
spent in vain attempts to reconcile his quarrelsome children. At his
death war breaks out. Pepin dies, leaving, however, a son Pepin to
inherit his kingdom of Aquitaine. Louis and Charles attempt to take
his kingdom from him, his uncle Lothair defends him, and at the great
battle of Fontenay (841) Louis and Charles defeat Lothair. Lothair
gains the adherence of the Saxons, and Charles and Louis at the head
of their armies confirm their alliance, and at Strasburg the two
armies take the oath of allegiance: the followers of Louis took the
oath in German, the followers of Charles in French, and this oath, the
words of which are still preserved, is the earliest specimen of the
French language in existence.

In 843 another treaty signed at Verdun, between the two brothers
Lothair and Louis and their half-brother Charles, separated for the
first time the Netherlands, the Rhine country, Burgundy, and Italy,
which became the portion of Lothair; all Germany east of this
territory, which went to Louis; and all the territory to the west of
it, which went to Charles. Germany and France, therefore, by the
Treaty of Verdun in 843, became distinct kingdoms, and modern
geography in Europe is born.

From the death of Henry the Fowler, in 936, down to the nomination of
Frederick I of Bavaria, sixth Burgrave of Nuremberg, to be Margrave of
Brandenburg, in 1411, the history of the particular Germany we are
studying is swallowed up in the history of these German tribes of
central Europe and of the Holy Roman Empire. It is in these years of
the seven Crusades, from 1095 to the last in 1248; of Frederick
Barbarossa; of the centuries-long quarrel between the Welfs, or
Guelphs, and the Waiblingers, or Ghibellines, which were for years in
Italy, and are still in Germany, political parties; of the Hanseatic
League of the cities to protect commerce from the piracies of a
disordered and unruled country; of the Dane and the Norman descents
upon the coasts of France, Germany, and England, and of their burning,
killing, and carrying into captivity; of the Saracens scouring the
Mediterranean coasts and sacking Rome itself; of the Wends and Czechs,
Hungarian bands who dashed in upon the eastern frontiers of the now
helpless and amorphous empire of Charlemagne, all the way from the
Baltic to the Danube; of the quarrel between Henry IV and that Jupiter
Ecclesiasticus, Hildebrand, or Gregory VII, who has left us his
biography in the single phrase, "To go to Canossa"; of Genghis Khan
and his Mongol hordes; of the long fight between popes and emperors
over the right of investiture; of Rudolph of Hapsburg; of the throwing
off of their allegiance to the Empire of the Kings of Burgundy,
Poland, Hungary, and Denmark; of the settlement of the question of the
legal right to elect the emperor by Charles IV, who fixed the power in
the persons of seven rulers: the King of Bohemia, the Count Palatine
of the Rhine, the Duke of Saxony, the Margraf of Brandenburg, and the
three Archbishops of Mayence, Treves, and Cologne; of the independence
of the great cities of northern Italy; of Otto the Great, whose first
wife was a granddaughter of Alfred the Great, and who was the real
founder of the Holy Roman Empire, in the sense that a German prince
rules over both Germany and Italy with the approval of the Pope, and
in the sense that he, a duke of Saxony, appropriates the western
empire (962), goes to Rome, delivers the Pope, subdues Italy, and
fixes the imperial crown in the name and nation of Germany; of the
beginning of that hope of a world-church and a world-state, of a
universal church and a universal kingdom, which took form in what is
known as the Holy Roman Empire; of that greatest of all forgeries, the
Donation of Constantine by the monk Isidor, discovered and revealed by
Cardinal Nicolaus, of Cura, in which it is pretended that Constantine
handed over Rome to the Pope and his successors forever, with all the
power and privileges of the Caesars, and of the effects of this, the
most successful lie ever told in the world, during the seven hundred
years it was believed: it is in these years of turbulence and change
that one must trace the threads of history, from the first appearance
of the Germans, down to the time when what is now Prussia became a
frontier post of the empire under the rule of a Hohenzollern.

It is, perhaps, of all periods in history, the most interesting to
Americans, for then and there our civilization was born. Writing of
the conquest of the British Isles by the Germans, J. R. Green says:
"What strikes us at once in the new England is this, that it was the
one purely German nation that rose upon the wreck of Rome. In other
lands, in Spain or Gaul or Italy, though they were equally conquered
by German peoples, religion, social life, administrative order, still
remained Roman." The roots of our civilization, are to be dug for in
those days when the German peoples met the imperialism and the
Christianity of Rome, and absorbed and renewed them. The Roman Empire,
tottering on a foundation of, it is said, as many as fifty million
slaves--even a poor man would have ten slaves, a rich man ten or
twenty thousand--and overrun with the mongrel races from Syria,
Greece, and Africa, and hiding away the remnants of its power in the
Orient, became in a few centuries an easy prey to our ancestors "of
the stern blue eyes, the ruddy hair, the large and robust bodies."

"Caerula quis stupuit lumina? flavam
Caesariem, et madido torquentem cornua cirro?
Nempe quod haec illis natura est omnibus una,"

writes Juvenal of their resemblance to one another.

By the year 1411 long strides had been made toward other forms of
social, political, religious, and commercial life, due to the German
grip upon Europe. Dante, whose grandmother was a Goth, was not only a
poet but a fighter for freedom, taking a leading part in the struggle
of the Bianchi against the Neri and Pope Boniface, was born in 1265
and died in 1321; Francis of Assisi, born in 1182, not only
represented a democratic influence in the church, but led the earliest
revolt against the despotism of money; the movement to found cities
and to league cities together for the furtherance of trade and
industry, and thus to give rights to whole classes of people hitherto
browbeaten by church or state or both, began in Italy; and the
alliance of the cities of the Rhine, and the Hansa League, date from
the beginning of the thirteenth century; the discovery of how to make
paper dates from this time, and printing followed; the revolt of the
Albigenses against priestly dominance which drenched the south of
France in blood began in the twelfth century; slavery disappeared
except in Spain; Wycliffe, born in 1324, translated the Gospels, threw
off his allegiance to the papacy, and suffered the cheap vengeance of
having his body exhumed and its ashes scattered in the river Swift;
Aquinas and Duns Scotus delivered philosophy from the tyranny of
theology; Roger Bacon (1214) practically introduced the study of
natural science; Magna Charta was signed in 1215; Marco Polo, whose
statue I have seen among those of the gods, in a certain Chinese
temple, began his travels in the thirteenth century; the university of
Bologna was founded before 1200 for the untrammelled study of medicine
and philosophy; Abelard, who died in 1142, represented, to put it
pithily, the spirit of free inquiry in matters theological, and
lectured to thousands in Paris. What do these men and movements mean?
I am wofully wrong in my ethnographical calculations if these things
do not mean, that the people of whom Tacitus wrote, "No man dictates
to the assembly; he may persuade but cannot command," were shaping and
moulding the life of Europe, with their passionate love of individual
liberty, with their sturdy insistence upon the right of men to think
and work without arbitrary interference. Out of this furnace came
constitutional government in England, and republican government in
America. We owe the origins of our political life to the influence of
these German tribes, with their love of individual freedom and their
stern hatred of meddlesome rulers, or a meddlesome state or

Germany had no literature at this time. When Froissart was writing
French history, and Joinville his delightful chronicles; when Chaucer
and Wycliffe were gayly and gravely making play with the monks and
priests, the only names known in Germany were those of the mystics,
Eckhart and Tauler. When the time came, however, Germany was defiantly
individualist in Luther, and Protestantism was thoroughly German. It
was not from tales of the great, not from knighthood, chivalry, or
their roving singer champions, that German literature came; but from
the fables and satires of the people, from Hans Sachs and from the
Luther translation of the Bible. This is roughly the setting of
civilization, in which the first Hohenzollerns found themselves when
they took over the Mark of Brandenburg, in the early years of the
fifteenth century.

Here is a list of them, of no great interest in themselves, but
showing the direct descent down to the present time; for from the
Peace of Westphalia (1648) to the French Revolution the German states
were without either men or measures, except Frederick the Great, that
call for other than dreary comment:

Frederick I of Nuremberg, 1417
Frederick II, 1440
Albert III, 1470
Johann III, 1476
Joachim I, 1499
Joachim II, 1535
Johann George, 1571
Joachim Frederick, 1598
Johann Sigismund of Poland (first Duke of Prussia), 1608
George William, 1619
Frederick William (the Great Elector), 1640
Frederick III, Frederick I of Prussia (crowned first King of Prussia
 in 1701), 1657-1713
Frederick William I (son of Frederick I of Prussia), 1688-1740
Frederick II (the Great) (son of Frederick William I), 1712-1786
Frederick William II (son of Augustus William, brother of
 Frederick the Great), 1744-1787
Frederick William III (son of Frederick William II), 1770-1840
Frederick William IV (son of Frederick William III, 1795-1861), reigned,
William I (son of Frederick William III, brother of Frederick William IV,
 1797-1888), reigned, 1861-1888
Frederick III (son of William I, 1831-1888), reigned from March 9
 to June 15, 1888.
William II (son of Frederick III and Princess Victoria of England),
 born Jan. 27, 1859, succeeded Frederick III in 1888.

These incidents, names, and dates are mere whisps of history. It is
only necessary to indicate that to articulate this skeleton of
history, clothe it with flesh, and give it its appropriate arms and
costumes would entail the putting of all mediaeval European history
upon a screen, to deliver oneself without apology from any such task.
It may be for this reason that there is no history of Germany in the
English tongue, that ranks above the elementary and the mediocre.
There is a masterly and scholarly history of the Holy Roman Empire by
an Englishman, which no student of Germany may neglect, but he who
would trace the beginnings of Germany from 113 B. C. down to the time
of the Great Elector, 1640, must be his own guide through the
trackless deserts, of the formation into separate nations, of modern
Europe. It is even with misgivings that the student picks his way from
the time of the Great Elector to Bismarck, and to modern Germany.

The Peace of Westphalia, 1648, marks the end of the Thirty Years' War,
and finds Germany with a population reduced from sixteen millions to
four millions. Famine which drove men and women to cannibalism, bands
of them being caught cooking human bodies in a caldron for food;
slaughter that drove men to make laws authorizing every man to have
two wives, and punishing men and women who became monks and nuns;
lawlessness that bred roving bands of murderers, who killed, robbed,
and even ate their victims, demanded a ruler of no little vigor to
lead his people back to civic, moral, and material health. The Great
Elector wrested east Prussia from Poland, he defeated and drove off
the Swedes, whom Louis XIV had drawn into an alliance against him, he
travelled from end to end of his country, seeking out the problems of
distress and remedying them by inducing immigration from Holland,
Switzerland, and the north, by building roads, bridges, schools, and
churches, and by encouraging planting, trade, and commerce. He built
the Frederick William Canal connecting the Oder and the Spree, and
introduced the potato to his countrymen. Germany now produces in
normal years fifteen hundred million bushels of potatoes. The splendid
equestrian statue of the Great Elector on the long bridge at Berlin,
is a worthy monument to the first great Hohenzollern.

When Charles II of Spain died, Louis XIV, the Emperor Leopold I of the
Holy Roman Empire, and the Elector of Bavaria, all three claimed the
right to name his successor. In the war that followed and which lasted
a dozen years, the Emperor, Holland, England, Portugal, the Elector of
Hanover, and the Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg, the son of the
Great Elector, were allied against France. Frederick, the Elector of
Brandenburg, was permitted by the Emperor, in return for his services
at this time, to assume the title of King, and he crowned himself and
his wife Sophia Elizabeth, at Königsberg, King and Queen of Prussia,
taking the title of Frederick I of Prussia, January 18th, 1701.

This novus homo among sovereigns was now a fellow king with the rulers
of England, France, Denmark, and Sweden, and the only crowned head in
the empire, except the Emperor himself, and the Elector of Saxony, who
had been chosen King of Poland in 1697. By persistent sycophancy he
had pushed his way into the inner circle of the crowned. Those who
have picked social locks these latter days by similar sycophancies, by
losses at bridge in the proper quarter, by suffering sly familiarities
to their women folk, and by wearing their personal and family dignity
in sole leather, may know something of the humiliating experiences of
this new monarch. He was a feeble fellow, but his son and successor,
Frederick William I, "a shrewd but brutal boor," so Lord Rosebery
calls him, and there could not be a better judge, amazed Europe by his
taste for collecting tall soldiers, by his parsimony, his kennel
manners in the treatment of his family and his subjects, and leaves a
name in history as the first, greatest, and the unique collector of
human beings on a Barnumesque scale. All known collectors of birds,
beetles, butterflies, and beasts accord him an easy supremacy, for his
aggregation of colossal grenadiers.

It is temptingly easy to be epigrammatic, perhaps witty, at the
expense of Frederick William I of Prussia. The man, however, who freed
the serfs; who readjusted the taxes; who insisted upon industry and
honesty among his officials; who proclaimed liberty of conscience and
of thought; who first put on, to wear for the rest of his life, the
uniform of his army, and thus made every officer proud to wear the
uniform himself; and who left his son an army of eighty thousand men,
thoroughly equipped and trained, and an overflowing treasury, may not
be dismissed merely with anecdotes of his eccentric brutality.

Only the ignorant and the envious, nibble at the successes of other
men, with vermin teeth and venomous tongue. Those people who can never
praise anything whole-heartedly come by their cautious censure from an
uneasy doubt of their own deserving. The contempt of Frederick William
I for learning and learned men, left him leisure for matters of far
more importance to his kingdom at the time. His habitual roughness to
his son was due, perhaps, to the fact that there was a curious strain
of effeminate culture in the man who deified Voltaire. Poor Voltaire,
who called Shakespeare "le sauvage ivre," or to quote him exactly: "On
croirait que cet ouvrage (Hamlet) est le fruit de l'imagination d'un
sauvage ivre," who said that Dante would never be read, and that the
comedies of Aristophanes were unworthy of presentation in a country
tavern! One is tempted to believe that the father was a man of
robuster judgment in such matters than the son, whose own rather
mediocre literary equipment, made him the easy prey of that acidulous
vestal of literature, Voltaire. However that may be, he left a useful
and unexpected legacy to his son, provided, indeed, the sinews for the
making of a powerful Prussian kingdom.

March the 31st, 1740, this eccentric miser died, to be succeeded by
his son, Frederick II, "the Great," then twenty-eight years old. Here
was a surprise indeed. Of these German kings and princes in their
small dominions it has been written: "And these magnates all aped
Louis XIV as their model. They built huge palaces, as like Versailles
as their means would permit, and generally beyond those limits, with
fountains and avenues and dismally wide paths. Even in our own day a
German monarch has left, fortunately unfinished, an accurate
Versailles on a damp island in a Bavarian lake. In those grandiose
structures they cherished a blighting etiquette, and led lives as dull
as those of the aged and torpid carp in their own stew-ponds. Then, at
the proper season, they would break away into the forest and kill
game. Moreover, still in imitation of their model, they held, as a
necessary feature in the dreary drama of their existence, ponderous
dalliances with unattractive mistresses, in whom they fondly tried to
discern the charms of a Montespan or a La Vallière. This monotonous
programme, sometimes varied by a violent contest whether they should
occupy a seat with or without a back, or with or without arms,
represented the even tenor of their lives."

This good stock was evidently lying fallow, and humanity is neither
dignified nor pleasant in the part of fertilizer. Frederick the Great,
it should be remembered, was a Prussian and for Prussia only. He cared
no more about a united Germany than we care for a united America to
include Canada, Mexico, and the Argentine. He cared no more for
Bavarians and Saxons than for Swedes and Frenchmen, and, as we know,
he was utterly contemptuous of German literature or the German
language. He redeemed the shallowness and the torpidity of those other
mediocre rulers by resisting, and resisting successfully, for what
must have been to him seven very long years, the whole force of
Austria and some of the lesser German powers, with the armies of
Russia and France back of them.

He had a turbulent home life; his father on one occasion even
attempted to hang him with his own hands with the cords of the window
curtains, and when he fled from home he captured him and proposed to
put him to death as a deserter, and only the intervention of the Kings
of Poland and Sweden and the Emperor of Germany prevented it. His
accomplice, however, was summarily and mercilessly put to death before
his eyes. There is no illustration in all history, of such a
successful outcome of the rod theory in education, as this of
Frederick the Great. The father put into practice what Wesley
preached: "Break their wills betimes, whatever it costs; break the
will if you would not damn the child. Let a child from a year old be
taught to fear the rod and to cry softly."

The meanness and cruelty, the parsimony and the eccentricities, of the
father left the son an army of eighty thousand troops, troops as
superior to other troops in Europe as are the Japanese infantry to-day,
to the Manchu guards that pick the weeds in the court-yards of
the palace at Mukden; and he left him, too, a kingdom with no debts
and an overflowing treasury. It is seldom that such insane vanities
leave such a fair estate and an heir with such unique abilities for
its skilful exploitation. Of Frederick's wars against Austria, against
France, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and Poland; of his victories at
Prague, Leuthen, Rossbach, and Zorndorf; of his addition of Siberia
and Polish Prussia to his kingdom; of his comical literary love affair
with Voltaire; of his brutal comments upon the reigning ladies of
Russia and France, which brought upon him their bitter hatred; of his
restoration and improvement of his country; of his strict personal
economy and loyalty to his own people, scores of volumes have been
written. The hero-worshipper, Carlyle, and the Jove of reviewers,
Macaulay, have described him, and many minor scribes besides.

It is said of his victory of Rossbach, in 1757, that then and there
began the recreation of Germany, the revival of her political and
intellectual life, and union under Prussia and Prussian kings.
Frederick the Great deserves this particular encomium; for as Luther
freed Germany, and all Christendom indeed, from the tyranny of
tradition, as Lessing freed us from the tyranny of the letter, from
the second-hand and half-baked Hellenism of a Racine and a Corneille,
so Frederick the Great freed his countrymen at last from the puerile
slavery to French fashions and traditions, which had made them self-
conscious at home and ridiculous abroad. He first made a Prussian
proud to be a Prussian.

This last quarter of the eighteenth century in Germany saw the death
of Lessing in 1781, the publication of Kant's "Kritik der Reinen
Vernunft" in the same year, and the death of the great Frederick in
1786. These names mark the physical and intellectual coming of age of
Germany. Lessing died misunderstood and feared by the card-board
literary leaders of his day, men who still wrote and thought with the
geometrical instruments handed them from France; Kant attempted to
push philosophical inquiry beyond the bounds of human experience, and
Frederick left Prussia at last not ashamed to be Prussia. Napoleon was
eighteen years old when Frederick died, and he, next to Bismarck, did
more to bring about German unity than any other single force.
Unsuccessful Charlemagne though he was, he without knowing it blazed
the political path which led to the crowning of a German emperor in
the palace at Versailles, less than a hundred years after the death of
Frederick the Great. In 1797 at Montebello, Napoleon said: "If the
Germanic System did not exist, it would be necessary to create it
expressly for the convenience of France."


Frederick the Great died in 1786, leaving Prussia the most
formidable military power on the Continent. In financial, law, and
educational matters he had made his influence felt for good. He
distributed work-horses and seed to his impoverished nobles; he
encouraged silk, cotton, and porcelain industries; he built the Finow,
the Planesche, and Bromberger Canals; he placed a tariff on meat,
except pork, the habitual food of the poor, and spirits and tobacco
and coffee were added to the salt monopoly; he codified the laws,
which we shall mention later; he aided the common schools, and in his
day were built the opera-house, library, and university in Berlin, and
the new palace of Sans Souci at Potsdam.

Almost exactly one hundred years after the death of Frederick the
Great, there ended practically, at the death of the Emperor William I,
in 1888, the political career of the man, who with his personally
manufactured cement of blood and iron, bound Germany together into a
nation. The middle of the seventeenth, the middle of the eighteenth,
and the middle of the nineteenth centuries, with the Great Elector,
Frederick the Great, and Bismarck as the central figures, mark the
features of the historical landscape of Germany as with mile-stones.

How difficult was the task to bring at last an emperor of all Germany
to his crowning at Versailles, January 18, 1871, and how mighty the
artificer who accomplished the work, may be learned from a glance at
the political, geographical, and patriotic incoherence of the land
that is now the German Empire.

Germany had no definite national policy from the death of Frederick
the Great till the reign of Bismarck began in 1862. Hazy discussions
of a confederation of princes, of a Prussian empire, of lines of
demarcation, of acquisitions of German territory, were the phantoms of
a policy, and even these were due to the pressure of Prussia.

The general political torpidity is surprisingly displayed, when one
remembers that Goethe (1749-1832), who lived through the French
Revolution, who was thirty-seven years old when Frederick the Great
died, and who lived through the whole flaming life of Napoleon, was
scarcely more stirred by the political features of the time than
though he had lived in Seringapatam. He was a superlatively great man,
but he was as parochial in his politics as he was amateurish in his
science, as he was a mixture of the coxcomb and the boor, in his love
affairs. Lessing, who died in 1781, Klopstock, who died in 1803,
Schiller, who died in 1805, Kant, who died in 1804, Hegel, who died in
1831, Fichte, who died in 1814, Wolf, who died in 1824, "Jean Paul"
Friedrich Richter, who died in 1825, Voss, who died in 1826,
Schelling, who died in 1854, the two Schlegels, August Wilhelm and
Frederick, who died in 1845 and in 1829, Jacob Grimm, who died in
1863, Herder, Wieland, Kotzebue, what a list of names! What a
blossoming of literary activity! But no one of them, these the leaders
of thought in Germany, at the time when the world was approaching the
birthday of democracy through pain and blood, no one of these was
especially interested in politics.

There was theoretical writing about freedom. Heine mocked at his
countrymen and at the world in general, and deified Napoleon, from his
French mattress, on which he died, in 1856, only fifty-seven years
old. Fichte ended a course of lectures on Duty, with the words: "This
course of lectures is suspended till the end of the campaign. We shall
resume if our country become free, or we shall have died to regain our
liberty." But Fichte neither resumed nor died! Herder criticised his
countrymen for their slavish following of French forms and models in
their literature, as in their art and social life. And well he might
thus criticise, when one remembers how cramped was the literary vision
even of such men as Voltaire and Heine. We have already mentioned some
of Voltaire's literary judgments in the preceding chapter, and Heine
ventured to compare Racine to Euripides! No wonder that Germany needed
schooling in taste, if such were the opinions of her advisers. Such
literary canons as these could only be accepted by minds long inured
to provincial, literary, and social slavery.

Just as every little princeling of those days in Germany took Louis
XIV for his model, so every literary fledgling looked upon Voltaire as
a god, and modelled his style upon the stiff and pompous verses of the
French literary men of that time.

Not even to-day has Germany escaped from this bondage. In Baden three
words out of ten that you hear are French, and the German wherever he
lives in Germany still invites you to Mittagessen at eight P. M.
because he has no word in his own language for diner, and must still
say anständiger or gebildeter Mensch for gentleman. To make the German
even a German in speech and ideals and in independence has been a
colossal task. One wonders, as one pokes about in odd corners of
Germany even now, whether Herder's caustic contempt, and Bismarck's
cavalry boots, have made every German proud to be a German, as now he
surely ought to be. The tribal feeling still exists there.

Fichte's lectures on Nationality were suppressed and Fichte himself
looked upon askance. The Schlegels spent a lifetime in giving Germany
a translation of Shakespeare. Hegel wrote the last words of his
philosophy to the sound of the guns at the battle of Jena. Goethe
writes a paragraph about his meeting with Napoleon. Metternich, born
three years before the American Revolution, and who died a year before
the battle of Bull Run, declared: "The cause of all the trouble is the
attempt of a small faction to introduce the sovereignty of the people
under the guise of a representative system."

If this was the attitude of the intellectual nobility of the time,
what are we to suppose that Messrs. Muller and Schultze and Fischer
and Kruger, the small shop-keepers and others of their ilk, and their
friends thought? Even forty years later Friedrich Hebbel, in 1844,
paid a visit to the Industrial Exposition in Paris. He writes in his
diary: "Alle diese Dinge sind mir nicht allein gleichgültig; sic sind
mir widerwärtig." Germany had not awakened even then to any wide
popular interest in the world that was doing things. As Voltaire
phrased it, France ruled the land, England the sea, and Germany the
clouds, even as late as the middle of the nineteenth century. This is
the more worth noting, as giving a peg upon which to hang Germany's
astounding progress since that time. Even as late as Bismarck's day he
complained of the German: "It is as a Prussian, a Hanoverian, a
Würtemberger, a Bavarian, or a Hessian, rather than as a German, that
he is disposed to give unequivocal proof of patriotism." The present
ambitious German Emperor said, in 1899, at Hamburg: "The sluggishness
shown by the German people in interesting themselves in the great
questions moving the world, and in arriving at a political
understanding of those questions, has caused me deep anxiety." What
kind of material had the nation-makers to work with! What a long,
disappointing task it must have been to light these people into a
blaze of patriotism! In those days America, though the population of
the American colonies was only eleven hundred and sixty thousand in
1750, talked, wrote, and fought politics. The outstanding
personalities of the time were patriots, soldiers, politicians, not a
dreamer among them.

England was so nonchalantly free already, that the betting-book at
White's Club records that, "Lord Glengall bets Lord Yarmouth one
hundred guineas to five that Buonaparte returns to Paris before Beau
Brummel returns to London!" Burke and Pitt, and Fox and North, and
Canning might look after politics; Hargreaves and Crompton would take
care to keep English industries to the fore, and Watt, and the great
canal-builder Brindley, would solve the problem of distributing coal;
their lordships cracked their plovers' eggs, unable to pronounce even
the name of a single German town or philosopher, and showed their
impartial interest, much as now they do, in contemporary history, by
backing their opinions with guineas, with the odds on Caesar against
the "Beau."

Weimar was a sunny little corner where poetry and philosophy and
literature were hatched, well out of reach of the political storms of
the time. The Grand Duke of Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach with his tiny
court, his Falstaffian army, his mint and his customs-houses, with his
well-conducted theatre and his suite of littérateurs, was one of three
hundred rulers in the Germany of that time.

The Holy Roman Empire, consisting, in Napoleon's time, of Austria,
Prussia, and a mass of minor states, these last grouped together under
the name of the Confederation of the Rhine, and wholly under French
influence, lasted one thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight years, or
from Caesar's victory of Pharsalia down to August the 1st, 1806, when
Napoleon announced to the Diet that he no longer recognized it.

This institution had no political power, was merely a theoretical
political ring for the theoretical political conflicts of German
agitators and dreamers, and was composed of the representatives of
this tangle of powerless, but vain and self-conscious little states.
This Holy Roman Empire, with an Austrian at its head, and aided by
France, strove to prevent the development of a strong German state
under the leadership of Prussia. After Napoleon's day it became a
struggle between Prussia and Austria. Austria had only eight out of
thirty-six million German population, while Prussia was practically
entirely German, and Prussia used her army, politics, and commerce to
gain control in Germany. Even to-day Austria-Hungary contains the most
varied conglomeration of races of any nation in the world. Austria has
26,000,000 inhabitants, of whom 9,000,000 are Germans, 1,000,000
Italians and Rumanians, 6,000,000 Bohemians and Slovacs, 8,000,000
Poles and Ruthenians, 2,000,000 Slovenes and Croatians. Of the
19,000,000 of Hungary there are 9,000,000 Magyars, 2,000,000 Germans,
2,500,000 Slovacs and Ruthenians, 3,000,000 Rumanians, and nearly
3,000,000 Southern Slays.

Weimar was one of the three hundred capitals of this limp empire, with
tariffs, stamps, coins, uniforms, customs, gossip, interests, and a
sovereign of its own. When Bismarck undertook the unifying of the
customs tariffs of Germany, there were even then fifteen hundred
different tariffs in existence!

Weimar had its salon, its notables: Goethe, Schiller, Wieland, Frau
von Stein, Dr. Zimmermann as a valued correspondent; its Grand Duke
Karl August and his consort; Herder, who jealous of the renown of
Goethe, and piqued at the insufficient consideration he received, soon
departed, to return only when the Grand Duchess took him under her
wing and thus satisfied his morbid pride; its love affair, for did not
the beautiful Frau von Werthern leave her husband, carry out a mock
funeral, and, heralded as dead, elope to Africa with Herr von
Einsiedel? But Weimar was as far away from what we now agree to look
upon as the great events of the day, as were Lords Glengall and
Yarmouth at White's, in Saint James's.

It requires imagination to put Goethe and Schiller and Wieland in the
bow window at White's, and to place Lords Glengall and Yarmouth in
Frau von Stein's drawing-room in Weimar; but the discerning eye which
can see this picture, knows at a glance why England misunderstands
Germany and Germany misunderstands England. For White's is White's and
Weimar is Weimar, and one is British and one is German as much now as
then! In the one the winner of the Derby is of more importance than
any philosopher; in the other, philosophers, poets, professors, and
playwrights are almost as well known, as the pedigrees of the
yearlings to be sold at Newmarket, are known at White's. They still
have plover's eggs early in the season at White's, and they still
recognize the subtle distinction there between "port wine" and "port";
while in Weimar nobody, unless it be the duke, even boils his
sauerkraut in white wine!

One could easily write a chapter on Weimar and its self-satisfied
social and literary activities. There were three hundred or more
capitals of like complexion and isolation: some larger, some smaller,
none perhaps with such a splendid literary setting, but all
indifferent with the indifference of distant relatives who seldom see
one another, when the French Revolution exploded its bomb at the gates
of the world's habits of thought.

No intelligent man ever objected to the French Revolution because it
stood for human rights, but because it led straight to human wrongs.
The dream was angelic, but the nightmare in which it ended was
devilish. The French Revolution was the most colossal disappointment
that humanity has ever had to bear.

More than the demagogue gives us credit for, are the great majority of
us eager to help our neighbors. The trouble is that the demagogue
thinks this, the most difficult of all things, an easy task. God and
Nature are harsh when they are training men, and we, alas, are soft,
hence most of our failures. Correction must be given with a rod, not
with a sop. There lies all the trouble.

The political and philanthropic wise men were setting out for the
manger and the babe, their eyes on the star, laden with gifts, when
they were met by a whiff of grape-shot from the guns commanded by a
young Corsican genius. The French Revolution found us all sympathetic,
but making men of equal height by lopping off their heads; making them
free by giving no one a chance to be free; making them fraternal by
insisting that all should be addressed by the same title of,
"citizen," was soon seen to be the method of a political nursery.

It was no fault of the French Revolution that it was no revolution at
all, in any political sense. Men maddened by oppression hit, kick,
bite, and burn. They are satisfied to shake the burden of the moment
off their backs, even though the burden they take on be of much the
same character. "It is perfectly possible, to revive even in our own
day the fiscal tyranny which once left even European populations in
doubt whether it was worth while preserving life by thrift and toil.
You have only to tempt a portion of the population into temporary
idleness, by promising them a share in a fictitious hoard lying in an
imaginary strong-box which is supposed to contain all human wealth.
You have only to take the heart out of those who would willingly labor
and save, by taxing them ad misericordiam for the most laudable
philanthropic objects. For it makes not the smallest difference to the
motives of the thrifty and industrious part of mankind whether their
fiscal oppressor be an Eastern despot, or a feudal baron, or a
democratic legislature, and whether they are taxed for the benefit of
a corporation called Society or for the advantage of an individual
styled King or Lord," writes Sir Henry Maine. In short it matters not
in the least what you baptize oppression, so long as it is oppression,
or whether you call your tyrant "Jim" or "My Lord," so long as he is a
tyrant. Many people are slowly awakening to the fact in England and in
America, that plain citizen "Jim" can be a most merciless tyrant in
spite of his unpretentious name and title. No royal tyrant ever dared
to attempt to gain his ends by dynamiting innocent people, as did the
trades-unionists at Los Angeles, or to starve a whole population as
did the trades-unionists in London. We have not escaped tyranny by
changing its name. The idea of the Contrat Social and of all its
dilutions since, has been that individuals go to make up society, and
that society under the name of the state must take charge of those
individuals. The French Revolution was a failure because it fell back
upon that tiresome and futile philosophy of government which had been
that of Louis XIV. Louis XIV took care of the individual units of the
state by exploiting them. He was a sound enough Socialist in theory.
France gained nothing of much value along the lines of political

Whether it is Louis XIV who says "l'état c'est moi" or the citizens
banded together in a state, who claim that the functions of the state
are to meddle with the business of every man, matters little. It is
the same socialistic philosophy at bottom, and it has produced to-day
a France of thirty-eight millions of people pledged to sterility, one
million of whom are state officials superintending the affairs of the
others at a cost, in salaries alone, of upward of five hundred million
dollars a year.

In no political or philosophical sense was the French Revolution a
revolution at all. It was a change of administration and leaders, but
not a change of political theory. The French Revolution put the state
in impartial supremacy over all classes by destroying exemptions
claimed by the nobility and the clergy, and thus extended the power of
the state. The English Revolution without bloodshed reduced the power
of the state, not for the advantage of any class, but for individual
liberty and local self-government. We Americans are the political
heirs of the latter, not of the former, revolution.

Germany was stirred slightly to hope for freedom, but stirred mightily
to protest against anarchy later. These were the two influences from
the French Revolution that affected Germany, and they were so
contradictory that Germany herself was for nearly a hundred years in a
mixed mood. One influence enlivened the theoretical democrat, and the
other sent the armies of all Europe post-haste to save what was left
of orderly government in France.

But Prussia was not what she had been under Frederick the Great.
Frederick was more Louis XIV than Louis XIV himself. The economic and
political errors of the French Revolution found their best practical
exponent in Frederick the Great. In the introduction to his code of
laws we have already mentioned are the words: "The head of the state,
to whom is intrusted the duty of securing public welfare, which is the
whole aim of society, is authorized to direct and control all the
actions of individuals toward this end." Further on the same code
reads: "It is incumbent upon the state to see to the feeding,
employment, and payment of all those who cannot support themselves,
and who have no claim to the help of the lord of the manor, or to the
help of the commune: it is necessary to provide such persons with work
which is suitable to their strength and their capacity."

When Frederick died he left Prussia in the grip of this enervating
pontifical socialism, which always everywhere ends by palsying the
individual, and through the individual the state, with the blight of
demagogical and theoretical legislation. The fine army grew pallid and
without spirit, the citizens lost their individual pride, the nation
as a whole lost its vigor, and when Napoleon marched into Berlin, he
remarked that the country hardly seemed worth conquering.

The century from the death of Frederick the Great, in 1786, to the
death of William the First, in 1888, includes, in a convenient period
to remember: the downfall of Frederick's patriotic edifice; the apathy
and impotency that followed upon the breaking up of the bureaucracy he
had welded into efficiency; the shuffling of the German states by
Napoleon as though they were the pack of cards in a great political
game; a revival of patriotism in Prussia after floggings and insults
that were past bearing; the jealousies and enmities of the various
states, the betrayal of one by the other, and finally the struggle
between Austria and Prussia to decide upon a leader for all Germany;
and at last the war against France, 1870-71, which was to make it
clear to the world that Germany had been Prussianized into an empire.

Frederick William II, the nephew of Frederick the Great, who succeeded
him, was King of Prussia from 1786 to 1797. Frederick William III, his
son, and the husband of the beautiful and patriotic Queen Louisa, was
King of Prussia from 1797 to 1840. Frederick William IV, a loquacious,
indiscreet, loose-lipped sovereign, of moist intellect and mythical
delusions, was King of Prussia from 1840 to 1857, when his mental
condition made his retirement necessary, and he was succeeded by his
brother, Frederick William Ludwig, first as regent, then as king in
1861, known to us as that admirable King and Emperor, William I, who
died in 1888.

Perhaps the most remarkable characteristic of these sovereigns, to
those of us who look upon Germany to-day as autocratically governed in
fact and by tradition, is their willing surrender to the people, on
every occasion when the demand has been, even as little insistent as
the German demand has been. In the case of Frederick William IV, his
claim, at least in words, upon his divine rights as a sovereign was
the mark of a wavering confidence in himself. He was not satisfied
with a rational sanction for his authority, but was forever assuring
his subjects that God had pronounced for him; much as men of low
intelligence attempt to add vigor to their statements by an oath. "I
hold my crown," he said, "by the favor of God, and I am responsible to
Him for every hour of my government." Much under the influence of the
two scholars Niebuhr and Ranke, he hated the ideas of the French
Revolution, and dreamed of an ideal Christian state like that of the
Middle Ages. He was caricatured by the journals of the day, and
laughed at by the wits, including Heine, and pictured as a king with
"Order" on one hand, "Counter-order" on the other, and "Disorder" on
his forehead.

Though Frederick William II marched into France in 1792, to support
the French monarchy, neither his army nor his people were prepared or
fit for this enterprise, and he soon retired. In 1793, Prussia joined
Russia in a second partition of Poland, but in 1795, angry with what
was considered the double dealing of Austria and Russia, Prussia
concluded a peace with France, the treaty of Basle was signed in 1795,
and for ten years Prussia practically took no part in the Napoleonic

Napoleon took over the lands on the left bank of the Rhine, took away
the freedom of forty-eight towns, leaving only Hamburg, Bremen,
Frankfort, Augsburg, and Nuremberg, and in 1803 he took Hanover.
Later, in 1805, Bavaria, Würtemberg, and Baden aided Napoleon to fight
the alliance against him of Austria, England, Russia, and Sweden. In
that same year the Electors of Würtemberg and Bavaria were made kings
by Napoleon. In 1806 Bavaria, Baden, Würtemberg, and Hessen seceded
from the German Empire, formed themselves into the Confederation of
the Rhine, and acknowledged Napoleon as their protector. In 1806
Francis II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, resigned, and there was
neither an empire nor an emperor of Germany, nor was there a Germany
of united interests.

In 1806 Frederick William III, driven by the grossest insults to his
country and to his wife, finally declared war against France; there
followed the battle of Jena, in which the Germans were routed, and in
that same year Napoleon marched into Berlin unopposed. In 1807 the
Russian Emperor was persuaded to make peace, and Prussia without her
ally was helpless. The Peace of Tilsit, in July, 1807, deprived
Prussia of the whole of the territory between the Elbe and the Rhine,
and this with Brunswick, Hessen-Cassel, and part of Hanover was dubbed
the Kingdom of Westphalia, and Napoleon's youngest brother Jerome was
made king. The Polish territory of Prussia was given to the Elector of
Saxony, who was also rewarded for having deserted Prussia after the
battle of Jena by being made a king. Prussia was further required to
reduce her army to forty-two thousand men.

It is neither a pretty nor an inspiriting story, this of the mangling
of Germany by Napoleon; of the German princes bribed by kingly crowns
from the hands of an ancestorless Corsican; but it all goes to show
how far from any sense of common aims and duties, how far from the
united Vaterland of to-day, was the Germany of a hundred years ago. It
adds, too, immeasurably to the laurels of the man who produced the
present German Empire out of his own pocket, and stood as chief
sponsor at its christening at Versailles in 1871.

This Prussia that sent twenty thousand troops to aid Napoleon against
Russia, and which during the retreat from Moscow went over bodily to
the enemy; this Prussia whose vacillating king simpered with delight
at a kind word from Napoleon, and shivered with dismay at a harsh one;
this army with its officers as haughty as they were incapable, and its
men only prevented from wholesale desertion by severe punishment, an
army rotten at the core, with a coat of varnish over its worm-eaten
fabric; this Prussia humiliated and disgraced after the battle of
Jena, in 1806, in seven years' time came into its own again. Vom
Stein, Scharnhorst, the son of a Hanoverian peasant, and Hardenberg
put new life into the state. At Waterloo the pummelled squares of red-coats
were relieved by these Prussians, and Blücher, or "Old Marschall
Vorwärts" as he was called, redeemed his countrymen's years of
effeminate lassitude and vacillation.

"Such was Vorwärts, such a fighter,
Such a lunging, plunging smiter,
Always stanch and always straight,
Strong as death for love or hate,
Always first in foulest weather,
Neck or nothing, hell for leather,
Through or over, sink or swim,
Such was Vorwärts—here's to him!"

Napoleon goes to Saint Helena and dies in 1821. What he did for
Germany was to prove to her how impossible was a cluster of jealous,
malicious provincial little state governments in the heart of Europe,
protecting themselves from falling apart by the ancient legislative
scaffolding of the Holy Roman Empire. He squeezed three hundred states
into thirty-eight, and the very year of Waterloo, on April the 1st, a
German Napoleon was born who was to further squeeze these states into
what is known to-day as the German Empire.

The Congress of Vienna was a meeting of the European powers to
redistribute the possessions, that Napoleon had scattered as bribes
and rewards among his friends, relatives, and enemies, so far as
possible, among their rightful owners.

From the island of Elba, off the coast of Tuscany, Napoleon looked on
while the allies quarrelled at this Congress of Vienna. Prussia
claimed the right to annex Saxony; Russia demanded Poland, and against
them were leagued England, Austria, and France, France represented by
the Mephistophelian Talleyrand, who strove merely to stir the discord
into another war. In the midst of their deliberations word came that
the wolf was in the fold again. Napoleon was riding to Paris, through
hysterical crowds of French men and women, eager for another throw
against the world, if their Little Corporal were there to shake the
dice for them. He had another throw and lost. The French Revolution in
1789, followed by the insurrection of all Europe against that strange
gypsy child of the Revolution, Napoleon, from 1807-1815, ended at last
at Waterloo. This lover, who won whole nations as other men win a maid
or two; this ruler, who had popes for handmaidens and gave kingdoms as
tips, who dictated to kings preferably from the palaces of their own
capitals; this fortunate demon of a man, who had escaped even Mlle.
Montausier, was safely disposed of at Saint Helena, and the ordinary
ways of mortals had their place in the world again.

The Congress of Vienna reassembled, and the readjustment of the map of
Europe began over again. Prussia is given back what had been taken
away from her. A German confederation was formed in 1815 to resist
encroachments, but with no definite political idea, and its diet, to
which Prussia, Austria, and the other smaller states sent
representatives, became the laughing-stock of Europe. Jealous
bickerings and insistence upon silly formalities paralyzed
legislation. Lawyers and others who presented their claims before this
assembly from 1806-1816 were paid in 1843! The liquidation of the
debts of the Thirty Years' War was made after two hundred years, in
1850! The laws for the military forces were finally agreed upon in
1821, and put in force in 1840!

There were three principal forms of government among these states:
first, Absolutist, where the ruler and his officials governed without
reference to the people, as in Prussia and Austria; second, those who
organized assemblies (Landslände), where no promises were made to the
people, but where the nobles and notables were called together for
consultation; and third, a sort of constitutional monarchy with a
written constitution and elected representatives, but with the ruler
none the less supreme. One of the first rulers to grant such a
constitution to his people was the Grand Duke who presided over the
little court at Weimar.

The mass of the people were wholly indifferent. The intellectuals were
divided among themselves. The schools and universities after 1818 form
associations and societies, the Burschenschaft, for example, and in a
hazy professorial fashion talk and shout of freedom. They were of
those passionate lovers of liberty, more intent on the dower than on
the bride; willing to talk and sing and to tell the world of their own
deserts, but with little iron in their blood.

When a real man wants to be free he fights, he does not talk; he takes
what he wants and asks for it afterward; he spends himself first and
affords it afterward. These dreamy gentlemen could never make the
connection between their assertions and their actions. They were as
inconsistent, as a man who sees nothing unreasonable in circulating
ascetic opinions and a perambulator at the same time. They were dreary
and technical advocates of liberty.

At a great festival at the Wartburg, in 1817, the students got out of
hand, burned the works of those conservatives, Haller and Kotzebue,
and the Code Napoleon. This youthful folly was purposely exaggerated
throughout Germany, and was used by the party of autocracy to frighten
the people, and also as a reason for passing even severer laws against
the ebullitions of liberty. At a conference at Carlsbad in 1819 the
representatives of the states there assembled passed severe laws
against the student societies, the press, the universities, and the
liberal professors.

From 1815-1830 the opinions of the more enlightened changed. The fear
of Napoleon was gradually forgotten, and the hatred of the absolutism
of Prussia and Austria grew.

In 1830 constitutions were demanded and were guardedly granted in
Brunswick, Saxony, Hanover, and Hesse-Cassel. In 1832 things had gone
so far that at a great student festival the black, red, and gold flag
of the Burschenschaft was hoisted, toasts were drunk to the
sovereignty of the people, to the United States of Germany, and to
Europe Republican! This was followed by further prosecutions. Prussia
condemned thirty-nine students to death, but confined them in a
fortress. The prison-cell of the famous Fritz Reuter may be seen in
Berlin to-day. In Hesse, the chief of the liberal party, Jordan, was
condemned to six years in prison; in Bavaria a journalist was
imprisoned for four years, and other like punishments followed
elsewhere. It was in 1857, when Queen Victoria came to the throne,
that Hanover was cut off from the succession, as Hanover could not
descend to a woman. The Duke of Cumberland became the ruler of
Hanover, and England ceased to hold any territory in Europe.

From 1839-1847 there was comparative quiet in the political world. The
rulers of the various states succeeded in keeping the liberal
professorial rhetoric too damp to be valuable as an explosive.

Interwoven with this party in Germany, demanding for the people
something more of representation in the government, was a movement for
the binding together of the various states in a closer union. In 1842
when the first stone was laid for the completion of the Cologne
Cathedral, at a banquet of the German princes presided over by the
King of Prussia, the King of Würtemberg proposed a toast to "Our
common country!" That toast probably marks the first tangible proof of
the existence of any important feeling upon the subject of German

At a congress of Germanists at Frankfort, in 1846, professors and
students, jurists and historians, talked and discussed the questions
of a German parliament and of national unity more perhaps than matters
of scholarship.

In 1847 Professor Gervinus founded at Heidelberg the Deutsche Zeitung,
which was to be liberal, national, and for all Germany.

I should be sorry to give the impression that I have not given proper
value to the work of the German professor and student in bringing
about a more liberal constitution for the states of Germany. Liebig of
Munich, Ranke of Berlin, Sybel of Bonn, Ewald of Göttingen, Mommsen in
Berlin, Döllinger in Munich, and such men as Schiemann in Berlin to-day,
were and are, not only scholars, but they have been and are
political teachers; some of them violently reactionary, if you please,
but all of them stirring men to think.

No such feeling existed then, or exists now, in Germany, as animated
Oxford some fifty years ago when the greatest Sanscrit scholar then
living was rejected by a vote of that body, one voter declaring: "I
have always voted against damned intellect, and I trust I always may!"
A state of mind that has not altogether disappeared in England even
now. Indeed I am not sure, that the most notable feature of political
life in England to-day, is not a growing revolt against legislation by
tired lawyers, and an increasing demand for common-sense governing
again, even if the governing be done by those with small respect for
"damned intellect."

The third French revolution of 1848 set fire to all this, not only in
Germany but in Austria, Hungary, Roumania, and elsewhere. We must go
rapidly through this period of seething and of political teething. The
parliament at Frankfort with nothing but moral authority discussed and
declaimed, and finally elected Archduke John of Austria as
"administrator" of the empire. There followed discussions as to
whether Austria should even become a member of the new confederation.
Two parties, the "Little Germanists" and the "Pan Germanists," those
in favor of including, and those opposed to the inclusion of Austria,
fought one another, with Prussia leading the one and Austria, with the
prestige of having been head of the former Holy Roman Empire, the

In 1849 Austria withdrew altogether and the King of Prussia was
elected Emperor of Germany, but refused the honor on the ground that
he could not accept the title from the people, but only from his
equals. There followed riots and uprisings of the people in Prussia,
Saxony, Baden, and elsewhere throughout Germany. The Prussian guards
were sent to Dresden to quell the rioting there and took the city
after two days' fighting. The parliament itself was dispersed and
moved to Stuttgart, but there again they were dispersed, and the end
was a flight of the liberals to Switzerland, France, and the United
States. We in America profited by the coming of such valuable citizens
as Carl Schurz and many others. There were driven from Germany, they
and their descendants, many among our most valuable citizens. The
descendant of one of the worthiest of them, Admiral Osterhaus, is one
of the most respected officers in our navy, and will one day command
it, and we could not be in safer hands. In 1849 the German Federal
fleet was sold at auction as useless; Austria was again in the
ascendant and German subjects in Schleswig were handed over to the

In 1850 both the King of Prussia and the Emperor of Austria called
congresses, but Prussia finally gave up hers, and the ancient
confederation as of before 1848 met as a diet at Frankfort and from
1851-1858 Bismarck was the Prussian delegate and Austria presided over
the deliberations.

A factor that made for unity among the German states was the
Zollverein. From 1818-1853 under the leadership of Prussia the various
states were persuaded to join in equalizing their tariffs. Between
1834-5 Prussia, Bavaria, Würtemberg, Saxony, Baden, Hesse-Nassau,
Thuringia, and Frankfort agreed upon a common standard for customs
duties, and a few years later they were joined by Brunswick, Hanover,
and the Mecklenburgs. German industry and commerce had their
beginnings in these agreements. The hundreds of different customs
duties became so exasperating that even jealous little governments
agreed to conform to simpler laws, and probably this commercial
necessity did more to bring about the unity of Germany than the King,
or politics, or the army.

With the struggles of the various states to obtain constitutions we
cannot deal, nor would it add to the understanding of the present
political condition of the German Empire.

Prussia, after riots in Berlin, after promises and delays from the
vacillating King, who one day orders his own troops out of the capital
and his brother, later William I, to England to appease the anger of
the mob, and parades the streets with the colors of the citizens in
revolt wrapped about him; and the next day, surly, obstinate, but ever
orating, holds back from his pledges, finally accepts a constitution
which is probably as little democratic as any in the world.

Of the sixty-five million inhabitants of the German Empire, Prussia
has over forty millions. The Landtag of Prussia is composed of two
chambers, the first called the Herrenhaus, or House of Lords, and the
second the Abgeordnetenhaus, or Chamber of Deputies. This upper house
is made up of the princes of the royal family who are of age; the
descendants of the formerly sovereign families of Hohenzollern-
Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen; chiefs of the princely houses
recognized by the Congress of Vienna; heads of the territorial
nobility formed by the King; representatives of the universities;
burgomasters of towns with more than fifty thousand inhabitants, and
an unlimited number of persons nominated by the King for life or for a
limited period. This upper chamber is a mere drawing-room of the
sovereign's courtiers, though there may be, and as a matter of fact
there are at the present time, representatives even of labor in this
chamber, but in a minority so complete that their actual influence
upon legislation, except in a feeble advisory capacity, amounts to
nothing. In this Herrenhaus, or upper chamber, of Prussia there are at
this writing among the 327 members 3 bankers, 8 representatives of the
industrial and merchant class, and 1 mechanic; 12 in all, or not even
four per cent., to represent the industrial, financial, commercial,
and working classes. Even in the lower chamber, or Abgeordnetenhaus,
there are only 10 merchants, 19 manufacturers, 7 labor
representatives, and 1 bank director, or 37 members who represent the
commercial, manufacturing, and industrial interests in a total
membership of 443.

In the other states of Germany much the same conditions exist. In
Bavaria, in the upper house, or Kammer der Reichsräte, there is no
representative, and in the lower house of 163 members only 29
representatives of the industrial world.

In Saxony, the most socialistic state in Germany, the upper chamber
with 49 members has 5 industrials; the lower chamber with 82 members
has 40 representatives of commercial, industrial, and financial

In Würtemberg, in the upper chamber with 51 members there are 3
industrials; and in the second chamber with 63 members there are 17

In Baden, of the 37 members of the upper house there are 6
industrials; of the 73 members of the lower house there are 23
representatives of commerce and industry.

This condition of political inequality is the result of the
maintenance of the old political divisions, despite the fact that in
the last thirty years the whole complexion of the country has changed
radically, due to the rapid increase of the city populations
representing the industrial and commercial progress of a nation that
is now the rival of both the United States and Great Britain. In more
than one instance a town with over 300,000 inhabitants will be
represented in the legislature in the same proportion as a country
population of 30,000. Stettin, for example, with a population of
245,000, which is a seventh of the total population of Pomerania, has
only 6 of the 89 provincial representatives. Further, the three-class
system of voting in Prussia and in the German cities, is a unique
arrangement for giving men the suffrage without either power or
privilege. According to this system every male inhabitant of Prussia
aged twenty-five is entitled to vote in the election of members of the
lower house. The voters, however, are divided into three classes. This
division is made by taking the total amount of the state taxes paid in
each electoral district and dividing it into three equal amounts. The
first third is paid by the highest tax-payers; the second third by the
next highest tax-payers, and the last third by the rest. The first
class consists of a comparatively few wealthy people; it may even
happen that a single individual pays a third of the taxes in a given
district. These three classes then elect the members of an electoral
college, who then elect the member of the house. In Prussia it may be
said roughly that 260,000 wealthy tax-payers elect one-third; 870,000
tax-payers elect one-third, and the other 6,500,000 voters elect one-third
of the members of the electoral college, with the consequence
that the 6,500,000 are not represented at all in the lower house of
Prussia. In order to make this three-class system of voting quite
clear, let us take the case of a city where the same principle may be
seen at work on a smaller scale. In 1910, in the city of Berlin, there

931 voters of the first class paying 27,914,593
marks of the total tax.

32,131 voters of the second class paying
27,908,776 marks of the total tax.

357,345 voters of the third class paying
16,165,501 marks of the total tax.

Roughly the voters in the first class each paid $7,500; those in the
second class $218; those in the third class $11. The 931 voters
elected one-third, 32,131 voters elected one-third, and 357,345
elected one-third of the town councillors. In this same year in Berlin
there were:

521 persons with incomes between $25,000 and $62,500.

139 persons with incomes between $62,500 and $125,000.

22 persons with incomes between $125,000 and $187,500.

19 persons with incomes between $187,000 and $250,000.

19 persons with incomes of $250,000 or more.
Or 720 persons in Berlin in 1912 with incomes
of over $25,000 a year, and they are
practically the governors of the city.

As a result of these divisions according to taxes paid, of the 144
town councillors elected, only 38 were Social-Democrats, though Berlin
is overwhelmingly Social-Democratic, and consequently the affairs of
this city of more than 2,000,000 inhabitants are in the hands of
33,062 persons who elect two-thirds of the town councillors.

In the city of Düsseldorf there were, excluding the suburbs, 62,443
voters at the election for town councillors in 1910. The first class
was composed of 797 voters paying from 1,940 to 264,252 marks of
taxes; 6,645 voters paying from 222 to 1,939 marks; and 55,001 voters
paying 221 marks or less. These 7,442 voters of the first and second
classes were in complete control of the city government by a clear
majority of two-thirds.

It is this three-class system of voting that makes Prussia, and the
Prussian cities as well, impregnable against any assault from the
democratically inclined. In addition to this system, the old electoral
divisions of forty years ago remain unchanged, and consequently the
agricultural east of Prussia, including east and west Prussia,
Brandenburg, Pomerania, Posen, and Silesia, with their large
landholders, return more members to the Prussian lower house than the
much greater population of western industrial Prussia, which includes
Sachsen, Hanover, Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein, Hohenzollern,
Hessen-Nassau, and the Rhine. Further, the executive government of
Prussia is conducted by a ministry of state, the members of which are
appointed by the King, and hold office at his pleasure, without
control from the Landtag.

How little the people succeeded in extorting from King Frederick
William IV in the way of a constitution may be gathered from this
glimpse of the present political conditions of Prussia.

The local government of Prussia is practically as centralized in a few
hands as the executive government of the state itself. The largest
areas are the provinces, whose chiefs or presidents also are appointed
by the sovereign, and who represent the central government. There are
twelve such provinces in Prussia, ranging in size from the Rhineland
and Brandenburg, with 7,120,519 and 4,093,007 inhabitants
respectively, to Schleswig-Holstein, with 1,619,673.

Each province is divided into two or more government districts, of
which there are thirty-five in all. At the head of each of these
districts is the district president, also appointed by the crown.

In addition there is the Kreis, or Circle, of which there are some
490, with populations varying from 20,000 to 801,000. These circles
are, for all practical purposes, governed by the Landrath, who is
appointed for life by the crown, and who is so fully recognized as the
agent of the central government and not as the servant of the locality
in which he rules, that on one occasion several Landräthe were
summarily dismissed for voting against the government and in
conformity to the wishes of the inhabitants of the circle in which
they lived! Though the Landrath is nominated by the circle assembly
for appointment by the crown, he can be dismissed by his superiors of
the central hierarchy. As his promotion, and his career in fact, is
dependent upon these superiors, he naturally sides with the central
government in all cases of dispute or friction.

Further, and this is important, all officials in Germany are legally
privileged persons. All disputes between individuals and public
authorities in Germany are decided by tribunals quite distinct from
the ordinary courts. These courts are specially constituted, and they
aim at protecting the officials from any personal responsibility for
acts done by them in their official capacity.

In America, and I presume in Great Britain also, any disputes between
public authorities and private individuals are settled in the ordinary
courts of justice, under the rules of the ordinary law of the land.
This super-common-law position of the Prussian official is a fatal
incentive to the aggravating exaggeration of his importance, and to
the indifference of his behavior to the private citizen. There may be
officials who are uninfluenced by this sheltered position, indeed I
know personally many who are, but there is equally no doubt that many
succumb to arrogance and lethargy as a consequence.

How thoroughly Prussia is covered by a network of officialdom, is
further discovered when it is known, that the entire area of Prussia
is some twenty thousand square miles less than that of the State of
California. The whole Prussian doctrine of local self-government, too,
is entirely different from ours. Their idea is that self-government is
the performance by locally elected bodies of the will of the state,
not necessarily of the locality which elects them. Local authorities,
whether elected or not, are supposed to be primarily the agents of the
state, and only secondarily the agents of the particular locality they
serve. In Prussia, all provincial and circle assemblies and communal
councils, may be dissolved by royal decree, hence even these elected
assemblies may only serve their constituencies at the will and
pleasure of the central authority.

It would avail little to go into minute details in describing the
government of Prussia; this slight sketch of the electoral system, and
of the centralization of the government, suffices to show two things
that it is particularly my purpose to make clear. One is the
preponderating influence of Prussia in the empire, due to the
maintenance of power in a single person; and the other is to show how
ridiculously futile it is to refer to Prussia as an example of the
success of social legislation. The state ownership of railroads, old-age
pensions, accident and sickness insurance, and the like are one
thing in Prussia which is a close corporation, and quite another in
any community or country under democratic government. What takes place
in Prussia would certainly not take place in America or in England. To
draw inferences from a state governed as is Prussia, for application
to such democratic communities as America or England, is as valuable
as to argue from the habits of birds, that such and such a treatment
would succeed with fish.

It was with this autocratic Prussia at his back, that the greatest man
Germany has produced, succeeded in bringing about German unity and the
foundation of the German Empire. As the representative of Prussia in
the Diet, as her ambassador to Russia, and to France, he gained the
insight into the European situation which led him to hold as his
political creed, that only by blood and iron, and not by declamations
and resolutions, could Germany be united.

"During the time I was in office," he writes, "I advised three wars,
the Danish, the Bohemian, and the French; but every time I have first
made clear to myself whether the war, if successful, would bring a
prize of victory worth the sacrifices which every war requires, and
which now are so much greater than in the last century. … I have
never looked at international quarrels which can only be settled by a
national war from the point of view of the Göttingen student code; …
but I have always considered simply their reaction on the claim of
the German people, in equality with the other great states and powers
of Europe, to lead an autonomous political life, so far as is possible
on the basis of our peculiar national capacity." In 1863 he writes to
von der Goltz, then German ambassador in Paris: "The question is
whether we are a great power or a state in the German federation, and
whether we are conformably to the former quality to be governed by a
monarch, or, as in the latter case would be at any rate admissible, by
professors, district judges, and the gossips of the small towns. The
pursuit of the phantom of popularity in Germany which we have been
carrying on for the last forty years has cost us our position in
Germany and in Europe; and we shall not win this back again by
allowing ourselves to be carried away by the stream in the persuasion
that we are directing its course, but only by standing firmly on our
legs and being, first of all, a great power and a German federal state

After Napoleon and the interminable elocutionary squabbles of the
German states, first, for constitutional rights, and, second, for some
basis of unity among themselves, which were the two main streams of
political activity, there were three main steps in the formation of
the now existing empire: first, in 1866, the North German
Confederation under the presidency of Prussia and excluding Austria;
second, the conclusion of treaties, 1866-1867, between the North
German Confederation and the south German states; third, the formal
union of the north and south German states as an empire in 1871.

Although the Holy Roman Empire ceased to exist legally in 1806, it is
to be remembered that as a fiction weighing still upon the imagination
of German politicians, it did not wholly disappear until the war
between Prussia and Austria, for then Prussia fought not only Austria
but Bavaria, Würtemberg, Saxony, Hanover, Nassau, Baden, and the two
Hesse states, and at Sadowa in Bohemia the war was settled by the
defeat of the Austrians before they could be joined by these allies,
who were disposed of in detail. Frankfort was so harshly treated that
the mayor hanged himself, and the Prussianizing of Hanover has never
been entirely forgiven, and the claimants to the throne in exile are
still the centre of a political party antagonistic to Prussia. The
taking over of north Schleswig, of Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, and Nassau
by Prussia after the Austrian war was according to the rough
arbitrament of conquest. "Our right," replied Bismarck to the just
criticism of this spoliation, "is the right of the German nation to
exist, to breathe, to be united; it is the right and the duty of
Prussia to give the German nation the foundation necessary for its
existence." In taking Alsace-Lorraine from France, Bismarck insisted
that this was a necessary barrier against France and that Germany's
possession of Metz and Strassburg were necessities of the situation

The history of German unity is the biography of Bismarck. Otto Eduard
Leopold von Bismarck was born in Schönhausen, in that Mark of
Brandenburg which was the cradle of the Prussian monarchy, on the
first of April, 1815. His grandfather fought at Rossbach under the
great Frederick. He was confirmed in Berlin in 1831 by the famous
pastor and theologian, Schleiermacher, and maintained all his life
that without his belief in God he would have found no reason for his
patriotism or for any serious work in life.

He matriculated as a student of law and science at Göttingen in May,
1832, and later at Berlin in 1834. He was a tall, large-limbed, blue-eyed
young giant, the boldest rider, the best swordsman, and the
heartiest drinker of his day. He is still looked upon in Germany as
the typical hero of corps student life, and his pipe, or his Schläger,
or his cap, or his Kneipe jacket is preserved as the relic of a saint.
His was not the tepid virtue born of lack of vitality. One has but to
remember Augustine and Origen and Ignatius Loyola, to recall the fact
that the preachers of salvation, the best of them, have generally had
themselves to tame before they mastered the world.

This youth Bismarck must have had some vigorous battles with Bismarck
before he married Johanna Friederika Charlotte Dorothea Eleanore von
Puttkamer, July 28, 1847, much against the wishes of her parents, and
settled down to his life-work. As was said of John Pym, "he thought it
part of a man's religion to see that his country was well governed,"
and his country became his passion. Like most men of intense feeling,
he loved few people and loyally hated many. More men feared and envied
him than liked him. His wife, his sister, his king, a student friend,
Keyserling, and the American, Motley, shared with his country his
affection. Germany might well take it to heart that it was Motley the
American who was of all men dearest to her giant creator. The same
type of American would serve her better to-day than any other, did she
only know it! In 1849 he was elected to the Prussian Chamber. In 1852
a whiff of the old dare-devil got loose, and he fought a duel with
Freiherr von Vincke.

In 1852 he is sent on his first responsible mission to Vienna, and
found there the traditions of the Metternich diplomacy still ruling.
What Napoleon had said of Metternich he no doubt remembered: "Il ment
trop. Il faut mentir quelquefois, mais mentir tout le temps c'est
trop!" for he adopted quite the opposite policy in his own diplomatic

In 1855 he became a member of the upper house of Prussia, and in 1859
is sent as minister to St. Petersburg. In May, 1862, he is sent as
minister to Paris, and learns to know, and not greatly to admire, the
third Napoleon and his court.

On the 23d of September, 1862, he is appointed Staats-minister, and a
week later thunders out his famous blood-and-iron speech. On October
the 8th, 1862, he is definitely named Minister President and Minister
for Foreign Affairs.

William I had succeeded his brother as king. He was a soldier and a
believer in the army, and wished to spend more on it, and to lengthen
the time of service with the colors to three years. The legislature
opposed these measures. A minister was needed who could bully the
legislature, and Bismarck was chosen for the task. He spent the
necessary money despite the legislative opposition, pleading that a
legislature that refused to vote necessary supplies had ipso facto
laid down its proper functions, and the king must take over the
responsibilities of government that they declined to exercise. The
cavalry boots were beginning to trample their way to Paris, and to the
crowning of an emperor.

In February, 1864, Prussia and Austria together declare war upon
Denmark over the Schleswig-Holstein succession. They agree to govern
the spoils between them, but fall out over the question of their
respective jurisdiction, and the Prussian army being ready, and the
Moltke plan of campaign worked out, war is declared, and in seven
weeks the Treaty of Prague is signed, in 1866, by which Austria gives
up all her rights in Schleswig-Holstein, and abandons her claim to
take part in the reorganization of Germany. The North German
Confederation is formed to include all lands north of the Main;
Schleswig-Holstein, Hanover, the Hesse states, Nassau, and Frankfurt-am-
Main become part of Prussia; and the south German states agree to remain
neutral, but allies of Prussia in war.

On the 11th of March, 1867, a month after the formation of the
Confederation of the North German States, Bismarck proclaims with
pride in the new Reichstag: "Setzen win Deutschland, so zu sagen, in
den Sattel! Reiten wird es schon können!"

October 13th, 1868, Leopold von Sigmaringen, a German prince of the
House of Hohenzollern, is named for the first time as a candidate for
the Spanish throne. Nobody in Germany, or anywhere else, was much more
interested in this candidature, than we are now interested in the
woman's suffrage or the prohibition candidate at home. But France had
looked on with jealous eyes at the vigorous growth and martial
successes of Prussia. It was thought well to attack her and humiliate
her before she became stronger. All France was convinced, too, that
the southern German states would revert to their old love in case of
actual war, and side with the nephew of their former friend, the great
Napoleon. The French ambassador is instructed to force the pace. Not
only must the Prussian King disavow all intention to support the
candidacy of the German prince, but he must be asked to humiliate
himself by binding himself never in the future to push such claims.

William I is at Ems, and Benedetti, the French ambassador, reluctantly
presses the insulting demand of his country upon the royal gentleman
as he is walking. The King declines to see Benedetti again, and
telegraphs to Bismarck the gist of the interview. Lord Acton writes:
"He [Bismarck] drew his long pencil and altered the text, showing only
that Benedetti had presented an offensive demand, and that the King
had refused to see him. That there might be no mistake he made this
official by sending it to all the embassies and legations. Moltke
exclaimed, 'You have converted surrender into defiance.'" The altered
telegram was also sent to the Norddeutscher Allgemeine Zeitung and to
officials. It is not perhaps generally known that General Lebrun went
to Vienna in June, 1870, to discuss an alliance with Austria for an
attack on the North German Confederation in the following spring.
Bismarck knew this. This was on the 13th of July, 1870; on the 16th
the order was given to mobilize the army, on the 31st followed the
proclamation of the King to his people: "Zur Errettung des
Vaterlandes." On August the 2d, King William took command of the
German armies, and on September 1st, Napoleon handed over his sword,
and on January the 18th, 1871, King William of Prussia was proclaimed
German Emperor in the Hall of the Mirrors in the Palace at Versailles.

"It sounds so lovely what our fathers did,
And what we do is, as it was to them,
Toilsome and incomplete."

It is easy to forget in such a rapid survey of events that Bismarck
could have had any serious opposition to face as he tramped through
those eight years, from 1862 to 1870, with a kingdom on his back. It
is easy to forget that King William himself wished to abdicate in
those dark hours, when his people refused him their confidence, and
called a halt upon his endeavors to strengthen the absolutely
essential instrument for Prussia's development, the army; it is easy
to forget that even the silent and seemingly imperturbable Moltke
hesitated and wavered a little at the audacity of his comrade; it is
easy to forget the conspiracy of opposition of the three women of the
court, the Crown Princess, Frau von Blumenthal, and Frau von Gottberg,
all of English birth, and all using needles against this man
accustomed to the Schläger and the sword; it is easy to forget that
even Queen Victoria's influence was used against him to prevent the
reaping of the justifiable fruits of victory in 1871; it is easy to
forget what a bold throw it was to go to war with Austria, and to
array Prussia against the very German states she must later bind to
herself; it is easy to forget the dour patience of this irascible
giant with the petulant and often petty legislature with which he had
to deal.

I cannot understand how any German can criticise Bismarck, but there
are official prigs who do; little decorated bureaucrats who live their
lives out poring over papers, with an eye out for a "von" before their
bourgeois names, and as void of audacity as a sheep; men who creep up
the stairway to promotion and recognition, clinging with cautious grip
to the banisters. One sees them, their coats covered with the ceramic
insignia of their placid servitude, decorations tossed to them by the
careless hand of a master who is satisfied if they but sign his
decrees, with the i's properly dotted, and the t's unexceptionably
crossed. They are the crumply officials who melted into
defencelessness and moral decrepitude after Frederick the Great, and
again at the glance of Napoleon, and who owe the little stiffness they
have to the fact that Bismarck lived. It is one of the things a
full-blooded man is least able to bear in Germany, to hear the querulous
questioning of the great deeds of this man, whose boot-legs were stiffer
than the backbones of those who decry him.

What a splendid fellow he was!

"Give me the spirit that, on this life's rough sea,
Loves to have his sails filled with a lusty wind,
Even till his sail-yards tremble and his masts do crack,
And his rapt ship run on her side so low
That she drinks water and her keel ploughs air.
There is no danger to a man that knows
What life and death is--there's not any law
Exceeds his knowledge; neither is it lawful
That he should stoop to any other law."

He was no worshipper of that flimsy culture which is, and has been for
a hundred years, an obsession of the German. He knew, none knew better
indeed, that the choicest knowledge is only mitigated ignorance. He
surprised Disraeli with his mastery of English, and Napoleon with his
fluency in French, both of which he had learned from his Huguenot
professors. The popular man, the popular book, the popular music,
picture, or play, were none of them a golden calf to him. He mastered
what he needed for his work, and pretended to no enthusiasm for
intellectualism as such. He knew that there is no real culture without
character, and that the mere aptitude for knowing and doing without
character is merely the simian cleverness that often dazzles but never
does anything of importance. "Culture!" writes Henry Morley, "the aim
of culture is to bring forth in their due season the fruits of the
earth." Any learning, any accomplishments, that do not serve a man to
bring forth the fruits of the earth in their due season are merely
mental gimcracks, flimsy toys, to admire perhaps, to play with, and to
be thrown aside as useless when duty makes its sovereign demands.

Much as Germany has done for the development of the intellectual life
of the world, she has suffered not a little from the superficial
belief still widely held that instruction, that learning, are culture.
Their Great Elector, their Frederick the Great, and their Bismarck,
should have taught them the contrary by now.

The newly crowned German Emperor left Versailles on March 7th for
Berlin, and on March 21st the first Diet of the new empire was opened,
and began the task of adapting the constitution to the altered
circumstances of the new empire.

The German Empire now consists of four kingdoms: Prussia, Bavaria,
Saxony, and Würtemberg; of six grand duchies: Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt,
Saxe-Weimar, Oldenburg, Meeklenburg-Strelitz, and Mecklenburg-Schwerin;
of five duchies: Saxe-Meinigen, Saxe-Altenburg Saxe-Coburg-Gotha,
Brunswick, and Anhalt; of seven principalities: Schwartzburg-Sondershausen,
Schwartzburg-Rudolstadt, Waldeck, Reuss (older line),
Reuss (younger line), Lippe, and Schaumburg-Lippe; of three free
towns: Hamburg, Bremen, and Lübeck; and of one imperial province:
Alsace Lorraine.

The new empire is in a sense a continuation of the North German
Confederation. There are 25 states, the largest, Prussia, with a
population of over 40,000,000; the smallest, Schaumburg-Lippe, with a
population of a little more than 46,000 and an area of 131 square

The central or federal authority controls the army, navy, foreign
relations, railways, main roads, canals, post and telegraph, coinage,
weights and measures, copyrights, patents, and legislation over nearly
the whole field of civil and criminal law, regulation of press and
associations, imperial finance and customs tariffs, which are now the
same throughout Germany.

Bavaria still manages her own railways, and Saxony and Würtemberg have
certain privileges and exemptions. Administration is still almost
entirely in the hands of the separate states.

The law is imperial, but the judges are appointed by the states, and
are under its authority. The supreme court of appeal (Reichsgericht)
sits at Leipsic.

The head of the executive government is the Emperor, no longer
elective but hereditary, and attached to the office of the King of
Prussia. Outside of Prussia he has little power in civil matters and
no veto on legislation. He is commander-in-chief of the army and of
the navy; foreign affairs are in his hands, and in the federal
council, or Bundesrath, he exercises a mighty influence due to
Prussia's preponderating influence and voting power. There is no
cabinet, just as there is no cabinet in Great Britain, that modern
institution being merely a legislative fiction down to this day. The
chancellor of the empire, who is also prime minister of Prussia, with
several secretaries of state, is chief minister for all imperial
affairs. The chancellor presides in the Bundesrath, and has the right
to speak in the Reichstag, and frequently does speak there. Indeed,
all his more important pronouncements are made there. The chancellor
is responsible to the Emperor alone, by whom he is nominated, and not
to the representatives of the people.

The federal council, or Bundesrath, or upper chamber of the empire,
consists of delegates appointed by and representing the rulers of the
various states. There are 58 members. Prussia has 17, Bavaria 6,
Saxony 4, Würtemberg 4, Baden 3, Hessen 3, Mecklenburg-Schwerin 2,
Brunswick 2, and each of the other states 1.

This body meets in Berlin, sits in secret, and the delegates have no
discretion, but vote as directed by their state governments. Here it
is that Prussia, and through Prussia the Emperor, dominates. This
Bundesrath is the most powerful upper chamber in the world. With
respect to all laws concerning the army and navy, and taxation for
imperial purposes, the vote of Prussia shall decide disputes, if such
vote be cast in favor of maintaining existing arrangements. In other
words, Prussia is armed in the Bundesrath with a conservative veto! In
declaring war and making treaties, the consent of the Bundesrath is
required. The following articles also give the Bundesrath a very
complete control of the Reichstag. Article 7 reads: "The Bundesrath
shall take action upon (1) the measures to be proposed to the
Reichstag and the resolutions passed by the same; (2) the general
administrative provisions and arrangements necessary for the execution
of the imperial laws, so far as no other provision is made by law; (3)
the defects which may be discovered in the execution of the imperial
laws or of the provisions and arrangements heretofore mentioned."

The Reichstag, or lower house, is elected by universal suffrage in
electoral districts which were originally equal, but as we have noted
are far from equal now. This house has three hundred and ninety-seven
members, of whom two hundred and thirty-five are from Prussia. It sits
for five years, but may be dissolved by the Bundesrath with the
consent of the Emperor. All members of the Bundesrath, as well as the
chancellor, may speak in the Reichstag. Nor the chancellor, nor any
other executive officer, is responsible to the Reichstag, nor can be
removed by its vote, and the ministers of the Emperor are seldom or
never chosen from this body. This Reichstag is really only nominally a
portion of the governing body. It has the right to refuse to pass a
bill presented by the government, but if it does so it may be
summarily dismissed, as has happened several times, and another
election usually provides a more amenable body.

Of the various political parties in the Reichstag we have written
elsewhere. It is, perhaps, fair to say that such powerful parties as
the Socialists and the Centrum must be reckoned with by the
chancellor. He cannot actually trample upon them, nor can he disregard
wholly their wishes in framing and in carrying through legislation. It
would be going much too far in characterizing the weakness of the
Reichstag to leave that impression upon the reader. None the less it
remains true that it is the executive who rules and has the whip-hand,
and who in a grave crisis can override the representatives of the
people assembled in the Reichstag, and on more than one occasion this
has been done.

It seems highly unnecessary to announce after this description of the
imperial constitution that there is no such thing in Germany as
democratic or representative government. But this fact cannot be
proclaimed too often since in other countries it is continually
assumed that this is the case. All sorts of deductions are made, all
sorts of illustrations used, all sorts of legislative and social
lessons taught from the example of Germany, without the smallest
knowledge apparently on the part of those who make them, that Germany
to-day is no more democratic than was Turkey twenty years ago.

What can be done and what is done in Germany has no possible bearing
upon what can be done in America or in England. All analogies are
false, all illustrations futile, all examples valueless, for the one
reason that the empire of Germany is governed by one man, who declaims
his independence of the people and admits his responsibility to God
alone. This may be either a good or a bad thing. Certainly in many
matters of economical and comfortable government for the people—
witness more particularly the development and wise control of their
municipalities—they are a century ahead of us, but this is not the
question under discussion. The point is, that a compact nation under
strict centralized control, served by a trained horde of officials
with no wish for a change, and backed by a standing army of over seven
hundred thousand men, who are not only a defence against the
foreigner, but a powerful police against internal revolution, cannot
serve as a model in either its successes or failures for a democratic
country like ours. Where in Germany legislative schemes succeed easily
when this huge bureaucratic machine is behind them, they would fail
ignominiously in a country lacking this machinery, and lacking these
pitiably tame people accustomed to submission.

In France, for example, that thrifty and individualistic folk made a
complete failure of the attempt to foist contributory old-age pensions
upon them, and I doubt whether such sumptuary legislation can succeed
with us. That, however, is neither here nor there. The gist of the
matter is, that because such things succeed in Germany, gives not the
slightest reason for supposing that they will succeed with us. If this
outline of their history and this sketch of their government have done
nothing else, it must have made this clear. It may also help to show
how vapid is the talk about what the German people will or will not
do; whether they will or will not have war, for example. We shall have
war when the German Kaiser touches a button and gives an order, and
the German people will have no more to say in the matter than you and I.


The casual observer of life in England would find himself forced to
write of sport, even as in India he would write of caste, as in
America he would note the undue emphasis laid upon politics. In
Germany, wherever he turns, whether it be to look at the army, to
inquire about the navy, to study the constitution, or to disentangle
the web of present-day political strife; to read the figures of
commercial and industrial progress, or the results of social
legislation; to look on at the Germans at play during their yachting
week at Kiel, or their rowing contests at Frankfort, he finds himself
face to face with the Emperor.

The student visits Berlin, or Potsdam, or Wilhelmshöhe; or with a long
stride finds himself on the docks at Hamburg or Bremen, or beside the
Kiel Canal, or in Kiel harbor facing a fleet of war-ships; or he lifts
his eyes into the air to see a dirigible balloon returning from a
voyage of two hundred and fifty miles toward London over the North
Sea, and the Emperor is there. Is it the palace hidden in its
shrubbery in the country; is it the clean, broad streets and
decorations of the capital; is it a discussion of domestic politics,
or a question of foreign politics, the Emperor's hand is there. His
opinion, his influence, what he has said or has not said, are
inextricably interwoven with the woof and web of German life.

We may like him or dislike him, approve or disapprove, rejoice in
autocracy or abominate it, admire the far-reaching discipline, or
regret the iron mould in which much of German life is encased, but for
the moment all this is beside the mark. Here is a man who in a quarter
of a century has so grown into the life of a nation, the most powerful
on the continent, and one of the three most powerful in the world,
that when you touch it anywhere you touch him, and when you think of
it from any angle of thought, or describe it from any point of view,
you find yourself including him.

Personally, I should have been glad to leave this chapter unwritten. I
have no taste for the discussion and analysis of living persons, even
when they are of such historic and social importance, and of such
magnitude, that I am thus given the proverbial license of the cat. But
to write about Germany without writing about the Emperor is as
impossible as to jump away from one's own shadow. When the sun is
behind any phase or department of German life, the shadow cast is that
of Germany's Emperor.

This is not said because it is pleasing to whomsoever it may be, for
in Germany, and in much of the world outside Germany, this situation
is looked upon as unfavorable, and even deplorable; and certainly no
American can look upon it with equanimity, for it is of the essence of
his Americanism to distrust it. It is, however, so much a fact that to
neglect a discussion of this personality would be to leave even so
slight a sketch of Germany as this, hopelessly lop-sided. He so
pervades German life that to write of the Germany of the last twenty-five
years without attempting to describe William the Second, German
Emperor, would be to leave every question, institution, and problem of
the country without its master-key.

In other chapters dealing more particularly with the political
development of Germany, and with the salient characteristics, mental
and moral, of the people, we shall see how it has come about, that one
man can thus impregnate a whole nation of sixty-five millions with his
own aims and ambitions, to such an extent, that they may be said, so
to speak, to live their political, social, martial, religious, and
even their industrial, life in him. It is a phenomenon of personality
that exists nowhere else in the world to-day, and on so large a scale
and among so enlightened a people, perhaps never before in history.

Nothing has made scientific accuracy in dealing with the most
interesting and most important factors in the world, so utterly
inaccurate and misleading, as those infallibly accurate and impersonal
agents, electricity and the sun. If one were to judge a man by his
photographs, and the gossip of the press, one would be sure to know
nothing more valuable about him than that his mustache is brushed up,
and that his brows are permanently lowering. Personality is so evasive
that one may count upon it that when a machine says "There it is!"
then there it is not! You will have everything that is patent and
nothing that is pertinent.

We are forever talking and writing about the smallness of the world,
of how much better we know one another, and of how much more we should
love one another, now that we flash photographs and messages to and
fro, at a speed of leagues a second. Nothing could be more futile and
foolish. These things have emphasized our differences, they have done
nothing to realize our likeness to one another. We are as far from one
another as in the days, late in the tenth century, when they
complained in England that men learned fierceness from the Saxon of
Germany, effeminacy from the Fleming, and drunkenness from the Dane.

As probably the outstanding figure and best-known, superficially
known, man in the world, the German Emperor has escaped the notice of
very few people who notice anything. His likeness is everywhere, and
gossip about him is on every tongue. He is as familiar to the American
as Roosevelt, to the Englishman as Lloyd-George, to the Frenchman as
Dreyfus, to the Russian as his Czar, and to the Chinese and Japanese
as their most prominent political figure. And yet I should say that he
is comparatively little known, either externally or internally, as he

It is perhaps the fate of those of most influence to be misunderstood.
Of this, I fancy, the Emperor does not complain. Indeed, those feeble
folk who complain of being misunderstood, ought to console themselves
with the thought that practically all our imperishable monuments, are
erected to the glory of those whom we condemned and criticised;
starved and stoned; burned and crucified, when we had them with us.

William II, German Emperor and King of Prussia, was born January 27,
1859, and became German Emperor June 15, 1888. He is, therefore, in
the prime of life, and looks it. His complexion and eyes are as clear
as those of an athlete, and his eyes, and his movements, and his talk
are vibrating with energy. He stands, I should guess, about five feet
eight or nine, has the figure and activity of an athletic youth of
thirty, and in his hours of friendliness is as careless in speech, as
unaffected in manner, as lacking in any suspicion of self-
consciousness, or of any desire to impress you with his importance, as
the simplest gentleman in the land.

Alas, how often this courageous and gentlemanly attitude has been
taken advantage of! I have headed this chapter The Indiscreet, and I
propose to examine these so-called indiscretions in some detail, but
for the moment I must ask: Is there any excuse for, or any social
punishment too severe for, the man who, introduced into a gentleman's
house in the guise of a gentleman, often by his own ambassador, leaves
it, to blab every detail of the conversation of his host, with the
gesticulations and exclamation points added by himself? To add a
little to his own importance, he will steal out with the
conversational forks and spoons in his pockets, and rush to a
newspaper office to tell the world that he has kept his soiled napkin
as a souvenir. The only indiscretion in such a case is when the host,
or his advisers, or gentlemen anywhere, heed the lunatic laughter of
such a social jackal.

To count one's words, to tie up one's phrases in caution, to dip each
sentence in a diplomatic antiseptic, in the company of those to whom
one has conceded hospitality, what a feeble policy! Better be brayed
to the world every day as indiscreet than that!

It is a fine quality in a man to be in love with his job. Even though
you have little sympathy with Savonarola's fierceness or Wesley's
hardness, they were burning up all the time with their allegiance to
their ideals of salvation. They served their Lord as lovers. Many men,
even kings and princes and other potentates, give the impression that
they would enjoy a holiday from their task. They seem to be harnessed
to their duties rather than possessed by them; they appear like
disillusioned husbands rather than as radiant lovers.

The German Emperor is not of that class. He loves his job. In his
first proclamation to his people he declared that he had taken over
the government "in the presence of the King of kings, promising God to
be a just and merciful prince, cultivating piety and the fear of God."
He has proclaimed himself to be, as did Frederick the Great and his
grandfather before him, the servant of his people. Certainly no one in
the German Empire works harder, and what is far more difficult and far
more self-denying, no one keeps himself fitter for his duties than he.
He eats no red meat, drinks almost no alcohol, smokes very little,
takes a very light meal at night, goes to bed early and gets up early.
He rides, walks, shoots, plays tennis, and is as much in the open air
as his duties permit.

It is not easy for the American to put side by side the attitudes of a
man, who is the autocratic master and at the same time declares
himself to be the first servant of his people. Perhaps if it is
phrased differently it will not seem so contradictory. What this
Emperor means, and what all princes who have believed in their right
to rule meant, was not that they were the servants of their people,
but the servants of their own obligations to their people, and of the
duties that followed therefrom. If in addition to this the claim is
made by the sovereign, that his right to rule is of divine origin,
then his service to his obligations becomes of the highest and most
sacred importance.

We should not allow our democratic prejudices to stifle our
understanding in such matters. We are trying to get clearly in
perspective a ruler, who claims to rule in obedience to no mandates
from the people, but in obedience to God. We could not be ruled by
such a one in America; and in England such a ruler would be deemed
unconstitutional. It is elementary, but necessary to repeat, that we
are writing of Germany and the Germans, and of their history,
traditions, and political methods. We are making no defence of either
the German Emperor or the German people; neither are we occupying an
American pulpit to preach to them the superiority of other methods
than their own. My sole task is to make clear the German situation,
and not by any means to set up my own or my countrymen's standards for
their adoption. I am not searching for that paltry and ephemeral
profit that comes from finding opportunities to laugh or to sneer. I
am seeking for the German successes, and they are many, and for the
reasons for them, and for the lessons that we may learn from them. Any
other aim in writing of another people is ignoble.

This attitude of the ruler will be as incomprehensible to the
democratic citizen as alchemy, but, in order to draw anything like
true inferences or useful deductions, in order to understand the
situation and to get a true likeness of the ruler, one must take this
utterly unfamiliar and to us incomprehensible claim into
consideration, and acknowledge its existence whether we admit the
claim as justifiable or not. The relation of such a ruler to his
people is like that of a Catholic bishop to his flock. The contract is
not one made with hands, but is an inalienable right on the one hand,
and an undisseverable tie upon the other. Bismarck wrote on this
subject: "Für mich sind die Worte, 'von Gottes Gnaden,' welche
christliche Herrscher ihrem Namen beifügen, kein leerer Schall,
sondern ich sehe darin das Bekenntniss, des Fürsten das Scepter was
ihnen Gott verliehen hat, nur nach Gottes Willen auf Erden führen

On several occasions the German Emperor has made it unmistakably clear
that this is his view of the origin and sanctity of his
responsibilities. "If we have been able to accomplish what has been
accomplished, it is due above all things to the fact that our house
possesses a tradition by virtue of which we consider that we have been
appointed by God to preserve and direct, for their own welfare, the
people over whom he has given us power." These words are from a speech
made in 1897 at Bremen. In 1910, at Königsberg, he declares: "It was
in this spot that my grandfather in his own right placed the royal
crown of Prussia upon his head, insisting once again that it was
bestowed upon him by the grace of God alone, and not by parliaments
and meetings and decisions of the people. He thus regarded himself as
the chosen instrument of heaven, and as such carried out his duties as
a ruler and lord. I consider myself such an instrument of heaven, and
shall go my way without regard to the views and opinions of the day."

Prince Henry of Prussia, the popular, and deservedly popular, sailor
brother of the Emperor, has signified his entire allegiance to this
doctrine by saying that he was actuated by one single motive: "a
desire to proclaim to the nations the gospel of your Majesty's sacred
person, and to preach that gospel alike to those who will listen and
to those who will not."

This language has a strange and far-away sound to us. It is as though
one should come into the market-place with the bannered pomp of
Milton's prose upon his lips. The vicious would think it a trick, the
idle would look upon it as a heavy form of joking, the intelligent
would see in it a superstition, or a dream of knighthood that has
faded into unrecognizable dimness. Some men, on the other hand, might
wish that all rulers and governors whatsoever were equally touched
with the sanctity of their obligations.

It is somewhat strange in this connection to remember, that we all
wish to have our wives and daughters believers; that we all wish to
bind to us those whom we love with more sacred bonds than those which
we ourselves can supply. We are none of us loath to have those who
keep our treasures, believe in some code higher than that of "honesty
is the best policy." As Archbishop Whately said: "Honesty is the best
policy, but he who is honest for that reason is not an honest man."

Far be it from me to appear as an advocate of the divine right of
kings; but I am no fit person for this particular task if I have only
a sniff, or a guffaw, as an explanation of another's beliefs. History
sparkles with the lives of men and women, who proclaimed themselves
messengers and servants of God, obedient to him first, and utterly and
courageously negligent of that feline commodity, public opinion. Every
man, even to-day,

"Who each for the joy of the working, and each in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They Are,"
has a grain of this salt of divine independence in him. To-day, even
as in the days of Pericles: "It is ever from the greatest hazards that
the greatest honors are gained," and the greatest hazard of all is to
shut your visor and couch your lance and have at your task with a
whispered: God and my Right! It is well to remember that under no
government, whether democratic or aristocratic, has the individual
ever been given any rights. He has always everywhere been pointed to
his duties; his rights he must conquer for himself.

The liberal in theology, as the liberal in politics, has perhaps
leaned too far toward softness. The democratization of religion has
gone on with the rest, and in our rebound from Calvin, and John Knox,
and Jonathan Edwards, we have left all discipline and authority out of
account. We have preached so persistently of the fatherhood of God, of
his nearness to us, of his profound pity for us, that we have lost
sight of his justice and his power. This nearness has become a sort of
innocuous neighborliness, and God is looked upon not as a ruler, but
as a vaporish good fellow whose chief business it is to forgive. We
have substituted a feverish-handed charity for a sinewy faith, and are
excusing our divorce from divinely imposed duties, by a cheerful but
illicit intercourse with chance acquaintances, all of whom are dubbed
social service.

This Cashmere-shawl theology is as idle an interpretation of man's
relation to the universe, and far more debilitating, than any that has
gone before. When we come to measure rulers who make divine claims for
their duties, from any such coign of flabbiness as this, no wonder we
stand dumb. I am willing to concede that perhaps even an emperor has
been baptized with the blood of the martyrs, and feels himself to be
in all sincerity the instrument of God; if we are to understand this
one, we must admit so much.

In certain departments of life, we not only grant, but we demand, that
our wives and mothers should look upon their special duties and
peculiar functions as divinely imparted, and as beyond argument, and
as above coercion. This assumption, therefore, of inalienable rights
is not so strange to us; on the contrary, it is an every-day affair in
most of our lives. This particular manifestation of it is all that is
new or surprising. We Americans and English look upon it as dangerous,
but the Germans, more mystical and far more lethargic about liberty
than are we, are not greatly disturbed by it. The secular press,
largely in Jewish hands, and the new socialist members of the
Reichstag, jealous of their prerogatives but unable to assert them,
criticise and even scream their abhorrence and unbelief; but I am much
mistaken, if the mass of the Germans are at heart much disturbed by
their Emperor's assertions of his divine right to rule. A conservative
member of the Reichstag speaks of, "a parliament which will maintain
the monarch in his strong position as the wearer of the German
imperial crown, not the semblance of a monarch but one that is
dependent upon something higher than party and parliament--one
dependent upon the King of all kings."

To a thoroughbred American, with two and more centuries of the
traditions of independence behind him, this question of the divine
right of kings is a commonplace. He is a king himself, he holds his
own rights to be divine, and his influence and his power to be limited
only by his character and his abilities, like that of any other
sovereign. He may rule over few or many, he may control the destiny of
only one or of many subjects, he may be well known or little known,
but that he is a sovereign individual by the grace of God, it never
occurs to him to doubt. It is perhaps for this reason that the real
American is placid and unself-conscious before this claim. It is those
who admit and suffer from the exactions and tyrannies of such a claim
that he pities, not the man who makes it, whom he distrusts. I carry
my sovereignty under my hat, says the American; if any man or men can
knock off the hat and take away the sovereignty, there is a fair field
and no favor; for those who whimper and complain of tyranny he has
long since ceased to have a high regard.

That William the Second is the chief figure of interest in the world
to-day is due, not alone to this assumption of a divine relation to
the state, or to his own vigorous and electric personality, but to the
freedom to develop and to express that personality. Men in politics
have dwindled in importance and in power, as the voters have increased
in numbers and in influence. Genius must be true to itself to bloom
luxuriantly. It is impossible to be seeking the suffrage of a
constituency and at the same time to be wholly one's self. The German
Emperor is unhampered, as is no other ruler, by considerations of
popular favor; and at the same time he directs and influences not
Russian peasants, nor Turkish slaves, but an instructed, enlightened,
and ambitious people. This environment is unique in the world to-day,
and the Germans as a whole seem to consider their ruler a valuable
asset, despite occasional vagaries that bring down their own and
foreign criticism upon him.

Here we have a versatile and vigorous personality with no shadow of a
stain upon his character, and with no question upon the part of his
bitterest enemy of the honesty of his intentions, or of his devotion
to his country's interests. So far as he has been assailed abroad, it
is on the score that he has made his country so powerful in the last
twenty-five years that Germany is a menace to other powers; so far as
he has been criticised at home it is on the score of his

It is of prime importance, therefore, both to glance at the progress
of Germany and to examine these so-called indiscretions. Throughout
these chapters will be found facts and figures dealing with the fairy-like
change which has taken place in Germany since my own student
days. I can remember when a chimney was a rare sight. Now there are
almost as many manufacturing towns as then there were chimneys.
Leipzig was a big country town, Pforzheim, Chemnitz, Oschatz,
Elberfeld, Riessa, Kiel, Essen, Rheinhausen, and their armies of
laborers, and their millions of output, were mere shadows of what they
are now.

In 1873, when Bismarck began his attempts at railway legislation,
Germany was divided into sixty-three "railway provinces," and there
were fifteen hundred different tariffs, and it is to be remembered
that it was only as late as 1882 that the state system of railways at
last triumphed in Prussia. In only ten years the railway trackage has
increased from 49,041 to 52,216 miles; the number of locomotives from
18,291 to 26,612; freight-cars from 398,000 to 558,000; the passengers
carried from 804,000,000 to 1,457,000,000; and the tons of freight
carried from 341,000,000 tons to 519,000,000 tons. In Prussia alone
there are 1,000,000 more horses, 1,000,000 more beef cattle, and
10,000,000 more pigs. The total production of beet sugar in the world
approximates 7,000,000 tons; of this amount Germany produces 2,500,000
tons. Great Britain consumes more sugar per head of the population
than any other country, and of her consumption of 1,460,000 tons of
beet sugar all of it is produced from beets grown on the continent.
Between 1885 and 1912 the population increased from 46,000,000 to
66,000,000. The expenditure on the navy has increased in the last ten
years from $47,500,000 to $110,000,000, and the number of men from
31,157 to 60,805, with another increase in both money and men, voted
at the moment of this writing in the summer of 1912.

The debt of Germany, exclusive of paper money, in 1887 was 486,201,000
marks; in 1903 it stood at 2,733,500,000. In 1911 the funded debt of
the empire was 4,524,000,000 marks, and the funded debt of the states
14,880,000,000; and the floating debt amounts to 991,000,000, of which
Prussia alone bears 610,000,000 and the empire 300,000,000. Between
the years 1871 and 1897 a debt of $500,000,000 was incurred, bearing
an average interest charge of 3 3/4 per cent. In the year 1908 the
combined expenditures of the states and of the empire reached the
enormous total of $1,775,000,000. The debt of the city of Berlin alone
in 1910 had reached $110,750,000 and has increased in the last two

For purposes of comparison one may note that our own later national
budgets run roughly to $1,000,000,000. The British budget for 1911 was
$906,420,000. After the French war, speculation on a large scale
ensued. The payment of the $1,000,000,000 indemnity had a bad effect.
As has often happened in America, money, or the mere means of
exchange, was taken for wealth. The earth will be as cold as the moon
before men learn that the only real wealth is health. Many schemes and
companies were floated and after 1873 there was a prolonged financial
crisis in Germany. It is said that bankruptcy and the liquidation of
bubble companies entailed a loss of a round $90,000,000. It was in
1876-7, when Germany was thus suffering, that the policy of protection
was mooted and finally put into operation by Bismarck in 1879. Ten
years later the laws for accident, old age, and sickness insurance
were passed, at the instigation and under the direct influence of the
present Emperor.

The tonnage of steam vessels under 4,000 tons in Great Britain (net
tons) was, some five years ago, 8,165,527; in Germany (gross tons),
977,410; but the tonnage of steam vessels of 4,000 tons and over was
in Great Britain 1,446,486, in Germany 1,119,537! It should be added
that no small part of Great Britain's big ships belong to the American
Shipping Trust, sailing under the British flag. Albert Ballin became a
director of the Hamburg-American line in 1886, and was made general
director in 1900. During his directorship the capital of the line has
been increased from 15,000,000 to 125,000,000 of marks, and the number
of steamers from 26 to 170.

Germany's combined export and import trade in 1880 was $1,429,025,000;
in 1890, $1,875,050,000; and in 1905 it was $3,324,018,000; in 1910,
$4,019,072,250. The German production of coal and coal products in
1910 was the highest in its history, amounting to 265,148,232 metric
tons. It would be easy enough to chronicle the commercial and
industrial strides of Germany during the last quarter of a century by
the compilation of a catalogue of figures. It is not my intention to
persuade the reader to believe in any such fantastic theory as that
the present Kaiser is entirely responsible for this progress. I am no
Pygmalion that I can make an Emperor by breathing prayers before pages
of statistics.

It is only fair, however, in any sketch of the Emperor to give this
skeleton outline of what has taken place in the empire over which he
rules, and which, in certain quarters, it is said, he menaces by his
predilection for war. These few figures spell peace, they do not spell
war, and the ruler who has some 700,000 armed men at his back, and a
navy the second in strength in the world guarding his shores, and a
mercantile marine carrying his trade which is hard on the heels of
Great Britain as a rival, but who has none the less kept his country
at peace with the world for twenty-five years, may be credited at
least with good intentions.

It may be said in answer to this same argument that this building and
training and enriching of a nation are a threat in themselves. True, a
strong man is more dangerous than a weak one; but it is equally true
that a strong man is a greater safeguard than a weak one where the
question of peace is at stake. It is also true that a rich and
powerful man must needs take more precautions against attack and
robbery than a tramp. A tramp seldom carries even a bunch of keys, and
pays no premium on fire, accident, or burglary insurance.

William the Second knows his history as well as any of his people, and
incomparably better than his English, French, or American critics. He
knows that only twenty years after the death of Frederick the Great,
the Prussian power went down before Napoleon like a house of cards,
and that the country's humiliation was stamped in bold outlines when
Napoleon was received in Berlin with the ringing of bells, the firing
of cannons, and he himself greeted as a savior and a benefactor. That
was only a hundred years ago. Is it an indiscretion, then, when the
present ruler, speaking at Brandenburg the 5th of March, 1890, says:
"I look upon the people and nation handed on to me as a responsibility
conferred upon me by God, and that it is, as is written in the Bible,
my duty to increase this heritage, for which one day I shall be called
upon to give an account; those who try to interfere with my task, I
shall crush"?

On his accession to the throne his first two proclamations were to the
army and the navy, his third to the people. On the 14th of July, 1888,
he reviewed the fleet at Kiel, and for the first time an Emperor of
Germany and King of Prussia appeared there in the uniform of an
admiral. In April, 1897, Queen Victoria celebrated the sixtieth year
of her reign, and Prince Henry represented Germany, appearing as
admiral of the fleet in an old battle-ship, the King William. On the
24th of April the Emperor telegraphed to his brother: "I regret
exceedingly that I cannot put at your disposition for this celebration
a better ship, especially when all other countries are appearing with
their finest ships of war. It is a sad consequence of the manoeuvring
of those unpatriotic persons who have obstructed the construction of
even the most necessary war-ships. But I shall know no rest till I
have placed our navy on a par for strength with our army." From that
day to this he has gone steadily forward demanding of his people a
strong army and a powerful fleet. He now has both. He has pulled
Germany out of danger and beyond the reach, for the moment at least,
of any repetition of the catastrophe and humiliation of a hundred
years ago. This is a solid fact, and for this situation the Emperor is
largely, one might almost say wholly, responsible.

One hears and one reads criticisms of the Emperor's habit of speaking
and writing of "my navy." It is said that the other states of Germany
have borne taxation to build the fleet, and that it is no more the
Emperor's than that of the King of Bavaria, or of Würtemberg, or of
Saxony. This is the petty, pin-pricking babble of boarding-school
girls, or of those official supernumeraries who have turned sour in
their retirement. Even the honest democrat is made indignant. If the
German navy is not the work of William the Second, then its parentage
is far to seek; and if the German navy is not proud to be called "my
navy," it is wofully lacking in gratitude to its creator.

No man who looks back over his own career, say of twenty-five years,
but is both chastened and amused. He is chastened by the unforeseen
dangers that he has escaped; he is amused by the certificates of
failure, and the prophecies of disaster, that always everywhere
accompany the man who takes part in the game in preference to sitting
in the reserved seats, or peeking through a hole in the fence. I have
not been honored with any such intimate association with the German
Emperor as would enable me to say whether he has a highly developed
sense of humor or not. I can only say for myself, that if I had lived
through his Majesty's last twenty-five years, I should need no other
fillip to digestion than my chuckles over the prophecies of my

It has been said of him that he is volatile; that he flies from one
task to another, finishing nothing; that his artistic tastes are the
extravagant dreams of a Nero; that he loves publicity as a worn and
obese soprano loves the centre of the stage; that his indiscretions
would bring about the discharge of the most inconspicuous petty
official. Others speak and write of him as a hero of mythology, as a
mystic and a dreamer, looking for guidance to the traditions of
mediaeval knighthood; while others, again, dub him a modernist, insist
that he is a commercial traveller, hawking the wares of his country
wherever he goes, and with an eye ever to the interests of Bremen and
Hamburg and Essen and Pforzheim. Again, you hear that he is a Prussian
junker, or that he is a cavalry officer, with all the prejudices and
limitations of such a one; while, on the other hand, he is chided for
enlisting the financial help of rich Jews and industrials. He is
versatile, but versatility is a virtue so long as it does not extend
to one's principles. Every man who has profoundly influenced the life
of the world, from Moses to Lincoln, has been versatile. Carlyle goes
so far as to say: "I confess, I have no notion of a truly great man
that could not be all sorts of men." He speaks French well enough to
address the Académie; he speaks English as well as a cultivated
American, and no one speaks it more distinctly, more crisply, more
trippingly upon the tongue, these days; he preaches a capital sermon;
he is an accomplished binder of books; he is a successful and
enthusiastic farmer, and he is frankly audacious in his loves and
hatreds, his ambitions and his beliefs. He has, in short, no vermin
blood in him at any rate. If you do not like him, you know why; and if
you do, you know why as easily. He even knows what he believes about
woman's suffrage and about God, a rare conciseness of thinking in
these troublous times.

There stands before you a man apparently as sound in mind and in body
as any man who treads German soil; a man of great vivacity of mind and
manner, and of wholesome delight in living; who bears huge
responsibilities with good humor, and that most unwholesome of all
things, undisputed power, with humility. At a banquet in Brandenburg
the 5th of March, 1890, speaking of his many voyages, he said: "He
who, alone at sea, standing on the bridge, with nothing over him but
God's heaven, has communed with himself will not mistake the value of
such voyages. I could wish for many of my countrymen that they might
live through similar hours of self-contemplation, where a man takes
stock of what he has tried to do, and of what he has accomplished.
Then it is that a man is cured of vanity, and we have all of us need
of that."

It is obvious that a man cannot be modest, as the above quotation
would indicate, and at the same time preening with vanity; a Sir
Philip Sidney and a Jew peddler; a careless, dashing cavalry officer
or proud Prussian squire, and at the same time a wary and astute
insurance agent for the empire; a preacher of duty and honor, and
belief in God, and at the same time a political comedian deceiving his
rivals abroad, and hoodwinking his subjects at home.

Not a few men, even of slight powers of observation and of meagre
experience, have noted the strange fact that a blank and direct
statement of the truth is very apt to be put down as a lie; and that a
man who frankly expresses his beliefs and ambitions, and openly goes
about his business and his pleasures with no thought of concealment,
is often regarded as Machiavellian and deceitful, because a timid and
cautious world finds it hard to believe that he is really as audacious
as he appears.

Even those with the most limited list, of the great names of history
at their disposal, cannot fail to remember that simplicity and
directness have in the persons of their highest exemplars been
misunderstood; hunted down like wild beasts, burned, crucified, and
then, when they were well out of the way, crowned and held up to
humanity as the saviors of the race. We will have none of them when
authority, faith, truth, courage, show us our distorted images in the
mirror of their lives. Crucify him, crucify him! has always been the
cry when such a one asserts his moral kingship, or his sonship to God,
or his audacious intention to live his own life; and in less tragic
fashion, but none the less along the same lines, the world tends to
pick at, and to fray the moral garments of, its leaders still to-day.
When such a one succeeds through sheer simplicity, then that last
feeble epitaph of mediocrity is applied to him: "He is lucky," because
so few people realize that "luck," is merely not to be dependent upon

It is apparent from the quotations I have given, and many more of the
same tenor are at our disposal, that the personality we are studying
has a very definite image of his place in the world, of the duties he
is called upon to perform, of his rights according to his own
conception of his authority and responsibilities, and of his

It is equally apparent that he looks upon history in quite another way
than that usually accepted by the modern scientific historian. Taine
and Green may explain everything, even kings and emperors, by the
forces of climate, environment, and the slow-heaving influence of the
people. This school of historians will tell you how Charlemagne, and
Luther, and Cromwell, and Napoleon are to be accounted for by purely
material explanations.

The German Emperor apparently believes that the history of the world
and the development of mankind are due to a series of mighty factors,
mysteriously endowed from on high and bearing the names of men, and
not infrequently the names of emperors and kings. He is continually
recalling his ancestors, the Great Elector, Frederick the Great, and
William I, his grandfather. These men made Prussia and Prussia made
the German Empire, he declares. To the Brandenburg Parliament he says:
"It is the great merit of my ancestors that they have always stood
aloof from and above all parties, and that they have always succeeded
in making political parties combine for the welfare of the whole

Due to a quality in the German character that need not be discussed
here, it is true that they have been led, and driven, and welded by
powerful individuals. No Magna Charta, no Cromwell, no Declaration of
Independence is to be found in German history. No vigorous demand from
the people themselves marks their progress. You can read all there is
of German history in the biographies of the Great Elector, of
Frederick William the First, of Frederick the Great, of York, of von
Stein, Hardenberg, Sharnhorst, and Blücher, of Bismarck, William I,
and the present Emperor.

What the Kaiser believes of history is true of German history. If he
asserts himself as he does in Germany, it is because two hundred and
fifty years of German history put him wholly and entirely in the
right. It is to be presumed that what every student of German history
may see for himself, has not escaped the flexible intelligence of the
present Emperor, and that is, that only the autocratic kings of
Prussia succeeded, and that only an autocratic statesman succeeded, in
bringing the whole country into line, by the acknowledgment of the
King of Prussia, and his heirs forever, as German emperors.

The first so-called indiscretion of the present Emperor was
magnificent. He dismissed Bismarck two years after he came to the
throne. If you have ever been the owner of a yacht and your sailing-master
has grown to be a tyrant, and you have taken your courage in
your hand and bundled him over the side, you have had in a microcosmic
way the sensations of such an experience.

It is said that Bismarck, then seventy-five years old, and since 1862
accustomed to undisputed power, demurred to the wish of the Emperor
that the other ministers should have access to him directly, and not
as heretofore only through the chancellor. It is said too that the
matter-of-fact and somewhat cynical Bismarck, had but scanty respect
for the mystical view of his grandfather as a saint, that the Emperor
everywhere proclaimed. In 1896, the 20th of February, in speaking of
his grandfather, he refers to him as: "The Emperor William, that
personality which has become for us in some sort that of a saint."

Bismarck, too, objected to the Emperor's policy as regards the
treatment of, and the legislation for, the workingmen. On February the
5th, 1890, he writes to Bismarck: "It is the duty of the state to
regulate the duration and conditions of work in such manner that the
health and the morality of the workingman may be preserved, and that
his needs may be satisfied and his desire for equality before the law

"Now this is the tale of the Council the German
Kaiser decreed,

"And the young king said:—'I have found it,
the road to the rest ye seek:

The strong shall wait for the weary, and the
hale shall halt for the weak;

With the even tramp of an army where no man
breaks from the line,

Ye shall march to peace and plenty, in the
bond of brotherhood—sign!'"

Whatever the reasons, the criticisms, or the causes, the man whom we
have been describing was as certain to dismiss Bismarck from office,
as a bird is certain to fly and not to swim. The ruler who at a
banquet May the 4th, 1891, proclaimed: "There is only one master of
the nation: and that is I, and I will not abide any other"; and later,
on the 16th of November, in an address to recruits said: "I need
Christian soldiers, soldiers who say their Pater Noster. The soldier
should not have a will of his own, but you should all have but one
will and that is my will; there is but one law for you and that is
mine." Again, in addressing the recruits for the navy on the 5th of
March, 1895, he said to them: "Just as I, as Emperor and ruler,
consecrate my life and my strength to the service of the nation, so
you are pledged to give your lives to me." Such a man could not share
his rule with Bismarck.

Bismarck left Berlin amid groans and tears. A prop had been rudely
pushed from beneath the empire. The young Emperor would stumble and
sway, and fall without this strong guide beside him. Men said this was
the first sign of an imperious will and temper.

There is an Arab proverb which runs: "When God wishes to destroy an
ant he gives it wings." The Kaiser was to be given power for his own
destruction. But what has happened? Absolutely nothing of these evil
prophecies. In 1884 Bismarck was saying to Gerhard Rohlfs, the African
explorer: "The main thing is, we neither can nor really want to
colonize. We shall never have a fleet like France. Our artisans and
lawyers and time-expired soldiers are no good as colonists." If the
ideas of William the Second were to prevail, it was time that Bismarck
went over the side as pilot of the ship of state. The Kaiser in
appropriate terms regretted the loss of this tried public servant and
said: "However, the course remains the same— full steam ahead!"

Three days after the Jameson raid, on the 3d of January, 1896, the
Kaiser telegraphed to President Krüger: "I beg to express to you my
sincere congratulations that, without help from foreign powers, you
have succeeded with your own people and by your own strength in
driving out the armed bands which attempted to disturb the peace of
your country, and in reestablishing order and in defending the
independence of your people from attacks from outside."

On the 28th of October, 1908, The Daily Telegraph of London published
a long interview with the Emperor, the gist of which was that the
British press and people continued to distrust him, while all the time
he was and had been the friend of Great Britain. The Emperor cited
instances of his friendship, declared the English were as mad as March
hares not to believe in him; insisted that by reason of Germany's
increasing foreign commerce, and on account of the growing menace to
peace in the Pacific Ocean, Germany was determined to have an adequate
fleet, which perhaps one day even England might be glad to have
alongside of her own.

In addition to these two incidents, the Emperor had written a letter
to Lord Tweedmouth, who was already then a sick man, and probably not
wholly responsible, in which it was said he had offered advice as to
the increase of the British navy.

I have described these furious indiscretions, as they were called at
the time, together, though they were years apart; for these
utterances, and the constant repetition of his sense of responsibility
to God, and not to the people he governs, are the heart of this whole
contention that the German Emperor is indiscreet, is indiscreet even
to the point of damaging his own prestige, and injuring his country's
interests abroad.

Of all these so-called indiscretions there is the question to ask:
Should these things have been said? Should these things have been
written? There are several things to be said in answer to these
questions. I shall treat each one in turn, but all these statements
told the truth and cleared the air. The Krüger telegram was not
written by the Emperor, and when the worst construction is put upon
it, it expressed what? It was merely the condemnation of freebooting
methods, a condemnation, be it said, that it received from many right-
minded and sincerely patriotic Englishmen, a condemnation too that was
re-echoed from America. Only the honorable and winning personality of
one of the most patriotic and charming men in England, Sir Starr
Jameson, saved the raid from looking like piracy. A brave man spoke
his mind about it, and he happened to be in a position so conspicuous
that the rumble of his words was heard afar.

So far as The Daily Telegraph interview is concerned, the secret
history of the incident has never been fully divulged. One may say,
however, without fear of contradiction that the importance of the
matter was unduly magnified, by those, both at home and abroad, who
had something to gain by exaggeration. It is admitted on all sides by
those best informed that at any rate the Emperor was neither
responsible for the publication, a point to be kept in mind, nor for
the choice of expressions used in the interview.

The letter to Lord Tweedmouth was a friendly communication dealing
with the conditions of the British and German fleets in the past and
present, and without a word in it that might not have been published
in The Times. It was quite innocent of the sinister significance
placed upon it by those who had not seen it; and the British Ministry
declined to publish it for entirely different reasons, reasons in no
way connected with the German Emperor.

As we read The Daily Telegraph interview to-day, it is a plain
document. Every word of it is true. The moment one looks at it from
the point of view, that the Emperor of Germany is sincerely desirous
of an amiable understanding with England, and that he is, for the
peace and quiet of the world, working toward that end, there is no
adverse criticism to be passed upon it. The English are thoroughly and
completely mistaken about the attitude of the German Emperor toward
them. He is far and away the best and most powerful friend they have
in Europe, and I, for one, would be willing to forgive him were he
irritated at their misunderstanding of him. Personally, I have not the
shadow of a doubt that had France or Russia treated the German Emperor
with the cool distrust shown him by the British, the German army and
fleet would have moved ere this.

To those who know the Britisher he is forgiven for those luxuries of
insular stupidity which punctuate his history. I know what a fine
fellow he is, and I pass them by. Mr. Churchill speaks of the German
fleet as a "luxury"; but this is only one of those cold-storage
impromptus that a reputation for cleverness must keep on hand, and
when Lord Haldane in a clumsy attempt to praise the German Emperor
speaks of him as "half English" I laugh, as one laughs at the story of
fat Gibbon kneeling to propose to a lady and requiring a servant to
get him on his legs again. British courting often needs a lackey to
keep it on its legs.

Could anything be more burningly irritable to the Germans than those
two unnecessary statements? For the moment I am dealing with the
attitude of the Emperor alone. Of the tirades of Chamberlain and
Woltmann, Schmoller, Treitschke, Delbrück, Zorn, and other
under-exercised professors, one may speak elsewhere. They are as
unpardonable as the yokel rhetoric of our British friends. Of the
Emperor's insistence upon his friendliness, of his outspoken betrayal
of his real feelings, of his audacious policy of telling the blunt
truth, I am, alas, no fair judge, for I am too entirely the advocate
of keeping as few cats in the bag as possible. If these things had not
been said and written, it is true that there would have been no
tumult; having been said and written, I fail to see the slightest
indication in the political life of either Germany or England to-day
that they did harm. Certainly, from his own point of view of what his
position entails, they can hardly, as the radicals in Germany claim,
be considered as unconstitutional or beyond his prerogative.

When the German Emperor says: "I," he refers to the authority and
responsibility and dignity of the German imperial crown. He is not
magnifying his personal importance; he is emphasizing the dignity and
importance of every German citizen. Let us try to understand the
situation before we pass judgment! Both German radicalism and German
socialism are peculiar to Germany, and everywhere misunderstood
abroad. They both demand things of the government for the easement of
their position, they both demand certain privileges, but they do not
seek or want either authority or responsibility. Look at the figures
of their proportionate increase and compare this with their actual
influence in the Reichstag to-day. From 1881 to 1911, here is the
percentage of votes cast by the five representative political parties:

                                      1881 1893 1911

The National Liberals...........      14.6 12.9 14.0

The Freisinnige and south German
Volkspartei.....................      23.2 14.2 13.1

The Conservatives, including the
Deutsche and Freikonservative...      23.7 20.4 12.4

The Centrum (Catholic party)....      23.2 19.0 16.3

The social Democrats............       6.1 23.2 34.8

If it were thought for a moment in Germany that the Socialists could
come into real power, their vote and the number of their
representatives in the Reichstag would dwindle away in one single

The average German is no leader of men, no lover of an emergency, no
social or political colonist, and he would shrink from the initiative
and daring and endurance demanded by a real political revolution and a
real change of authority, as a hen from water. The very quality in his
ruler that we take for granted he must dislike is the quality that at
the bottom of his heart he adores, and he reposes upon it as the very
foundation of his sense of security, and as the very bulwark behind
which he makes grimaces and shakes his fist at his enemies. Such men
as the present chancellor, von Bethmann-Hollweg, a very calm spectator
of his country's doings, and the Emperor himself, both know this.

As he looks at history and at life, it follows that he must be
interested in everything that concerns his people, and not
infrequently take a hand in settling questions, or in pushing
enterprises, that seem too widely apart to be dealt with by one man,
and too far afield for his constitutional obligations to profit by his
interference. Certainly German progress shows that the Germans can
have no ground to quote: "Quicquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi,"
of their Emperor.

In the discussion of this question, I may remind my American readers,
although the German constitution is dealt with elsewhere, that there
is one difference between Germany and America politically, that must
never be left out of our calculations. Such constitution and such
rights as the German citizens have, were granted them by their rulers.
The people of Prussia, or of Bavaria, or of Würtemberg, have not given
certain powers to, and placed certain limitations upon, their rulers;
on the contrary, their rulers have given the people certain of their
own prerogatives and political privileges, and granted to the people
as a favor, a certain share in government and certain powers, that
only so long as seventy years ago belonged to the sovereign alone. It
is not what the people have won and then shared with the ruler, but it
is what the ruler has inherited or won and shared with the people,
that makes the groundwork of the constitutions of the various states,
and of the empire of Germany. Nothing has been taken away from the
people of Prussia or from any other state in Germany that they once
had; but certain rights and privileges have been granted by the rulers
that were once wholly theirs. Bear this in mind, that it is William II
and his ancestors who made Prussia Prussia, and voluntarily gave
Prussians certain political rights, and not the citizens of Prussia
who stormed the battlements of equal rights and made a treaty with
their sovereign.

The King of Prussia is the largest landholder and the richest citizen
of Prussia. We have seen what he expects of his navy and of his army.
Speaking on the 6th of September, 1894, he says: "Gentlemen,
opposition on the part of the Prussian nobility to their King is a

But arid details are not history, and in this connection let us have
done with them. I have documented this chapter with dates and
quotations because the situation politically, is so far away from the
experience or knowledge of the American, that he must be given certain
facts to assist his imagination in making a true picture. I have done
this, too, that the Kaiser may have his real background when we
undertake to place him understandingly in the modern world. Here we
have patriarchal rule still strong and still undoubting, coupled with
the most successful social legislation, the most successful state
control of railways, mines, and other enterprises; and a progress
commercial and industrial during the last quarter of a century, second
to none.

This ruler believes it to be essentially a part of his business to be
a Lorenzo de Medici to his people in art; their high priest in
religion; their envoy extraordinary to foreign peoples; their watchful
father and friend in legislation dealing with their daily lives; their
war-lord, and their best example in all that concerns domestic
happiness and patriotic citizenship. He fulfils the words of the old
German chronicle which reads: "Merito a nobis nostrisque posteris
pater patriae appelatur quia erat egregius defensor et fortissimus
propugnator nihili pendens vitam suam contra omnia adversa propter
justitiam opponere."

If history is not altogether valueless in its description of symptoms,
the Germans are of a softer mould than some of us, more malleable,
rather tempted to imitate than led by self-confidence to trust to
their own ideals, and less hard in confronting the demands of other
peoples, that they should accept absorption by them.

Spurned and disdained by Louis XIV, they fawned upon him, built
palaces like his, dressed like his courtiers, wrote and spoke his
language, copied his literary models, and even bored themselves with
mistresses because this was the fashion at Versailles. He stole from
them, only to be thrown the kisses of flattery in return. He sneered
at them, only to be begged for his favors in return. He took their
cities in time of peace, and they acknowledged the theft by a smirking
adulation that he allowed one of their number to be crowned a king.

As for Napoleon, he performed a prolonged autopsy upon the Germans.
They were dismembered or joined together as suited his plans. At his
beck they fought against one another, or against Russia, or against
England. He tossed them crowns, that they still wear proudly, as a
master tosses biscuits to obedient spaniels. He put his poor relatives
to rule over them, here and there, and they were grateful. He marched
into their present capital, took away their monuments, and the sword
of Frederick the Great, and they hailed him with tears and rejoicing
as their benefactor, while their wittiest poet and sweetest singer,
lauded him to the skies.

It is unpleasant to recall, but quite unfair to forget, these
happenings of the last two hundred years in the history of the German
people. What would any man say, after this, was their greatest need,
if not self-confidence; if not twenty-five years of peace to enable
them to recover from their beatings and humiliation; if not a powerful
army and navy to give them the sense of security, by which alone
prosperity and pride in their accomplishments and in themselves can be
fostered; if not a ruler who holds ever before their eyes their ideals
and the unfaltering energy required of them to attain them!

What nation would not be self-conscious after such dire experiences?
What nation would not be tenderly sensitive as to its treatment by
neighboring powers? What nation would not be even unduly keen to
resent any appearance of an attempt to jostle it from its hard-won
place in the sun? Their self-consciousness and sensitiveness and
vanity are patent, but they are pardonable. As the leader of the
Conservative party in the Reichstag, Doctor von Heydebrandt, speaking
at Breslau in October, 1911, anent the Morocco controversy, said,
after, alluding to the "bellicose impudence" of Lloyd-George: "The
[British] ministry thrusts its fist under our nose, and declares, I
alone command the world. It is bitterly hard for us who have 1870
behind us." They feel that they should no longer be treated to such

I trust that I am no swashbuckler, but I have the greatest sympathy
with the present Emperor in his capacity as war-lord, and in his
insistent stiffening of Germany's martial backbone.

When shall we all recover from a certain international sickliness that
keeps us all feverish? The continual talk and writing about
international friendships, being of the same family, or the same race,
the cousin propagandism in short, is irritating, not helpful. I do not
go to Germany to discover how American is Germany, nor to England to
discover how American is England; but to Germany to discover how
German is Germany, to England to see how English is England. I much
prefer Americans to either Germans or Englishmen, and they prefer
Germans or Englishmen, as the case may be, to Americans. What spurious
and milksoppy puppets we should be if it were not so. So long as there
are praters going about insisting that Germany, with a flaxen pig-tail
down her back, and England, in pumps instead of boots, and a poodle
instead of a bulldog, shall sit forever in the moonlight hand in hand;
or that America shall become a dandy, shave the chin-whisker, wear a
Latin Quarter butterfly tie of red, white, and blue, and thrum a banjo
to a little brown lady with oblique eyes and a fan, all day long; just
so long will the bulldog snarl, the flaxen-haired maiden look sulky,
the chin-whisker become stiffer and more provocative, and the
fluttering fan seem to threaten blows.

We have been surfeited with peace talk till we are all irritable. One
hundredth part of an ounce of the same quality of peace powders that
we are using internationally would, if prescribed to a happy family in
this or any other land, lead to dissensions, disobedience, domestic
disaster, and divorce. Mr. Carnegie will have lived long enough to see
more wars and international disturbances, and more discontent born of
superficial reading, than any man in history who was at the same time
so closely connected with their origin. Perhaps it were better after
all if our millionaires were educated!

The peace party need war just as the atheists need God, otherwise they
have nothing to deny, nothing to attack. Peace is a negative thing
that no one really wants, certainly not the kind of peace of which
there is so much talking to-day, which is a kind of castrated
patriotism. Peace is not that. Peace can never be born of such
impotency. When German statesmen declare roundly that they will not
discuss the question of disarmament, they are merely saying that they
will not be traitors to their country. If the Emperor rattles the
sabre occasionally, it is because the time has not come yet, when this
German people can be allowed to forget what they have suffered from
foreign conquerors, and what they must do to protect themselves from
such a repetition of history.

When the final judgment is passed upon the Emperor, we must recall his
deep religious feeling that he is inevitably an instrument of God; his
ingrained and ineradicable method of reading history as though it were
a series of the ipse dixits of kings; his complacent neglect of how
the work of the world is done by patient labor; of how works of art
are only born of travail and tears: his obsession by that curious
psychology of kings that leads them to believe that they are somehow
different, and under other laws, as though they lived in another
dimension of space. In addition, he is a man of unusually rapid mental
machinery, of overpowering self-confidence, of great versatility, of
many advantages of training and experience, and, above all, he is
unhampered. He is answerable directly to no one, to no parliament, to
no minister, to no people. He is father, guardian, guide, school-
master, and priest, but in no sense a servant responsible to any
master save one of his own choosing.

The only wonder is that he is not insupportable. Those who have come
under the spell of his personality declare him to be the most
delightful of companions; what Germany has grown to be under his reign
of twenty-five years all the world knows, much of the world envies,
some of the world fears; what his own people think of him can best be
expressed by the statement that his supremacy was never more assured
than to-day.

I agree that no one man can be credited with the astonishing expansion
of Germany in all directions in the last thirty years; but so
interwoven are the advice and influence, the ambitions and plans, of
the German Emperor with the progress of the German people, that this
one personality shares his country's successes as no single individual
in any other country can be said to do.

Whether he likes Americans or not one can hardly know. No doubt he has
made many of them think so; and, alas, we suffer from a national
hallucination that we are liked abroad, when as a matter of fact we
are no more liked than others; and in cultured centres we are in
addition, laughed at by the careless and sneered at by the sour.

That the Kaiser is liked by Americans, both by those who have met him
and by those who have not, is, I think, indisputable. He is of the
stuff that would have made a first-rate American. He would have been a
sovereign there as he is a sovereign here. He would have enjoyed the
risks, and turmoil, and competition; he would have enjoyed the fine,
free field of endeavor, and he would have jousted with the best of us
in our tournament of life, which has trained as many knights sans peur
et sans reproche as any country in the world.

I believe in a man who takes what he thinks belongs to him, and holds
it against the world; in the man who so loves life that he keeps a
hearty appetite for it and takes long draughts of it; who is ever
ready to come back smiling for another round with the world, no matter
how hard he has been punished. I believe that God believes in the man
who believes in Him, and therefore in himself. Why should I debar a
man from my sympathy because he is a king or an emperor? I admire your
courage, Sir; I love your indiscretions; I applaud your faith in your
God, and your confidence in yourself, and your splendid service to
your country. Without you Germany would have remained a second-rate
power. Had you been what your critics pretend that they would like you
to be, Germany would have been still ruling the clouds.

Here's long life to your power, Sir, and to your possessions, and to
you! And as an Anglo-Saxon, I thank God, that all your countrymen are
not like you!


In the days when Bismarck was welding the German states into a federal
organization and finally into an empire, he used the press to spray
his opinions, wishes, and suspicions over those he wished to instruct
or to influence. He used it, too, to threaten or to mislead his
enemies at home and abroad. The Hamburger Nachrichten was the
newspaper for which he wrote at one time, and which remained his
confidential organ, though as his power grew he used other journals
and journalists as well.

As Germany has few traditions of freedom, having rarely won liberty as
a united people, but having been beaten into national unity by her
political giants, or her robuster sovereigns, so the press before and
during Bismarck's long reign, from 1862 to 1890, was kept well in hand
by those who ruled. It is only lately that caricature, criticism, and
opposition have had freer play. That a journalist like Maximilian
Harden (a friend and confidant of Bismarck, by the way) should be
permitted to write without rebuke and without punishment that the
present Kaiser "has all the gifts except one, that of politics," marks
a new license in journalistic debate. That this same person was able,
single-handed, to bring about the exposure and downfall of a cabal of
decadent courtiers whose influence with the Emperor was deplored,
proves again how completely the German press has escaped from certain
leading-strings. A sharp criticism of the Emperor in die Post, even as
lately as 1911, excited great interest, and was looked upon as a very
daring performance.

There are some four thousand daily and more than three thousand weekly
and monthly publications in Germany to-day; but neither the press as a
whole, nor the journalists, with a few exceptions, exert the influence
in either society or politics of the press in America and in England.
As compared with Germany, one is at once impressed with the greater
number of journals and their more effective distribution at home. In
America there are 2,472 daily papers; 16,269 weeklies; and 2,769
monthlies. Tri-weekly and quarterly publications added bring the total
to 22,806. One group of 200 daily papers claim a circulation of
10,000,000, while five magazines have a total circulation of
5,000,000. It is calculated that there is a daily, a weekly, and a
monthly magazine circulated for every single family in America. Not an
unmixed blessing, by any means, when one remembers that thousands,
untrained to think and uninterested, are thus dusted with the widely
blown comments of undigested news. Editorial comment of any serious
value is, of course, impossible, and the readers are given a strange
variety of unwholesome intellectual food to gulp down, with mental
dyspepsia sure to follow, a disease which is already the curse of the
times in America, where superficiality and insincerity are leading the
social and political dance.

To carry the comparison further, there are 22,806 newspapers published
in America; 9,500 in England; 8,049 in Germany; and 6,681 in France:
or 1 for every 4,100 of the population in America; 1 for every 4,700
in Great Britain; 1 for every 7,800 in Germany, and 1 for every 5,900
in France.

That a prime minister should have been a contributor to the press, as
was Lord Salisbury; that a correspondent or editorial writer of a
newspaper should find his way into cabinet circles, into diplomacy, or
into high office in the colonies; that the editor and owner of a great
newspaper should become an ambassador to England, as in the case of
Mr. Reid, is impossible in Germany. The character of the men who take
up the profession of journalism suffers from the lack of distinction
and influence of their task. Raymond, Greeley, Dana, Laffan, Godkin,
in America, and Delane, Hutton, Lawson, and their successors, Garvin,
Strachey, Robinson, in England, are impossible products of the German
journalistic soil at present.

There have been great changes, and the place of the newspaper and the
power of the journalist is increasing rapidly, but the stale
atmosphere of censordom hangs about the press even to-day. Freedom is
too new to have bred many powerful pens or personalities, and the
inconclusive results of political arguments, written for a people who
are comparatively apathetic, lessen the enthusiasm of the political
journalist. There are not three editors in Germany who receive as much
as six thousand dollars a year, and the majority are paid from twelve
hundred to three thousand a year. This does not make for independence.
I am no believer in great wealth as an incentive to activity, but
certainly solvency makes for emancipation from the more debasing forms
of tyranny.

Several of the more popular newspapers are owned and controlled by the
Jews, and to the American, with no inborn or traditional prejudice
against the Jews as a race, it is somewhat difficult to understand the
outspoken and unconcealed suspicion and dislike of them in Germany.
There is no need to mince matters in stating that this suspicion and
dislike exist. A comedy called "The Five Frankfurters" has been given
in all the principal cities during the last year and has had a long
run in Berlin. It is a scathing caricature of certain Jewish
peculiarities of temperament and ambition.

There is even an anti-semitic party, small though it be, in the
Reichstag, while the party of the Centre, of the Conservatives and the
Agrarians, is frankly anti-semitic as well. No Jew can become an
officer in the army, no Jew is admitted to one of the German corps in
the universities, no Jew can hold office of importance in the state,
and I presume that no unbaptized Jew is received at court. I am bound
to record my personal preference for the English and American
treatment of the Jew. In England they have made a Jew their prime
minister, and in America we offer him equal opportunities with other
men, and applaud him whole-heartedly when he succeeds, and thump him
soundly with our criticism when he misbehaves. The German fears him;
we do not. We have made Jews ambassadors, they have served in our army
and navy, and not a few of them rank among our sanest and most
generous philanthropists.

To a certain extent society of the higher and official class shuts its
doors against him. One of the well-known restaurants in Berlin, until
the death of its founder, not long ago, refused admission to Jews.

I venture to say that no intelligent American stops to think whether
the Speyer brothers, or Kahn, or Schiff, or the members of the house
of Rothschild, are Jews or not, in estimating their political, social,
and philanthropic worth. Even as long ago as the close of the
fourteenth century the great strife between the princes of Germany and
the free cities ceased, in order that both might unite to plunder the

Luther preached: "Burn their synagogues and schools; what will not
burn bury with earth that neither stone nor rubbish remain." "In like
manner break into and burn their houses." "Forbid their rabbis to
teach on pain of life and limb." "Take away all their prayer-books and
Talmuds, in which are nothing but godlessness, lies, cursing, and
swearing." In the chronicles of the time occurs frequently "Judaei
occisi, combusti."

The German comes by his dislike of the Jew through centuries of
traditional conflict, plunder, and hatred, and the very moulder of the
present German speech, Luther, was a furious offender. The Jews have
been materialists through all ages, claim the Germans: "The Jews
require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ
crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks
foolishness." It is to be in our day the battle of battles, they
claim, whether we are to be socially, morally, and politically
orientalized by this advance guard of the Orient, the Jews, or whether
we are to preserve our occidental ideals and traditions. Many more men
see the conflict, they maintain, than care to take part in it. The
money-markets of the world are ramparts that few men care to storm,
but, if the independent and the intelligent do not withstand this
semitization of our institutions, the ignorant and the degraded will
one day take the matter into their own hands, as they have done
before, and as they do to this day in some parts of Russia.

There are 600,000 Jews in Germany, 400,000 of them in Prussia and
100,000 of these in Berlin. In New York City alone there are more than
900,000. They are always strangers in our midst. They are of another
race. They have other standards and other allegiances. Perhaps we are
all of us, the most enlightened of us, provincial at bottom, we like
to know who and what our neighbors are, and whence they came; and we
dislike those who are outside our racial and social experiences, and
our moral and religious habits, and the Jew is always, everywhere, a
foreigner. At any rate, so the German maintains.

Strange as it may sound in these days, the Germans are not at heart
business men. There are more eyes with dreams in them in Germany than
in all the world besides. They work hard, they increase their
factories, their commerce, but their hearts are not in it. The Jew has
amassed an enormous part of the wealth of Germany, considering his
small proportion of the total population. The German, because he is
not at heart a trader, is an easy prey for him.

These things trouble us in America very little, and we smile cynically
at the not altogether untruthful portraits of "Potash and
Pearlmutter," and their vermin-like business methods. There is an
undercurrent of feeling in America, that the virile blood is still
there which will stop at nothing to throw off oppression, whether from
the Jew or from any one else. If we are pinched too hard financially,
if confiscation by the government or by individuals goes too far, no
laws even will restrain the violence which will break out for liberty.
So we are at peace with ourselves and with others, trusting in that
quiet might which will take governing into its own hands, at all
hazards, if the state of affairs demands it.

With the Germans it is different. No people of modern times has been
so harried and harrowed as these Germans. The Thirty Years' war left
them in such fear and poverty that even cannibalism existed, and this
was years after Massachusetts and Maryland were settled. But nothing
has tarnished their idealism. Whether as followers of Charlemagne, or
as hordes of dreamers seeking to save Christ's tomb and cradle in the
Crusades, or as intoxicated barbarians insisting that their emperor
must be crowned at Rome, or as the real torch-bearers of the
Reformation, or even now as dreamers, philosophers, musicians, and
only industrial and commercial by force of circumstances, they are,
least of all the peoples, materialists.

They have given the world lyric poetry, music, mythology, philosophy,
and these are still their souls' darlings. They entered the modern
world just as science began to marry with commerce and industry, and
so their unworn, fresh, and youthful intellectual vigor found
expression in industry. Renan writes that he owes his pleasure in
intellectual things to a long ancestry of non-thinkers, and he claims
to have inherited their stored-up mental forces. Germany is not unlike
that. Her recent industrial and intellectual activity may be the
release from bondage, of the centuries of stored-up intellectual
energy from the ''Woods of Germany.''

It is true that they are easily governed and amenable, but this is due
not wholly to the fact that they have been so long under the yoke of
rulers, or because they are of cow-like disposition, but because their
ideals are spiritual, not material. The American seeks wealth, the
Englishman power, the Frenchman notoriety, the German is satisfied
with peaceful enjoyment of music, poetry, art, and friendly and very
simple intercourse with his fellows.

Certainly I am not the man to say he is wrong, when I see how
spiritual things in my own country are cut out of the social body as
though they were annoying and dangerous appendices.

The German of this type looks down upon the spiritual and intellectual
development of other countries as far inferior to his own. Such an one
in talking to an Englishman feels that he is conversing with a
high-spirited, thoroughbred horse; to a Frenchman, as though he were a
cynical monkey; to an American, as though he were a bright youth of

The German considers his dealings with the intangible things of life
to be a higher form, indeed the highest form, of intellectual
employment. He is therefore racially, historically, and by temperament
jealous or contemptuous, according to his station in life, of the
cosmopolitan exchanger of the world, the Jew. He denies to him either
patriotism or originality, and looks upon him as merely a distributer,
whether in art, literature, or commerce, as an exchanger who amasses
wealth by taking toll of other men's labor, industry, and intellect.
It has not escaped the German of this temper, that the whirling gossip
and innuendoes that have lately annoyed the present party in power in
England, have had to do with three names: Isaacs, Samuels, and
Montagu, all Jews and members of the government.

German politics, German social life, and the German press cannot be
understood without this explanation. The German sees a danger to his
hardly won national life in the cosmopolitanism of the Jew; he sees a
danger to his duty-doing, simple-living, and hard-working governing
aristocracy in the tempting luxury of the recently rich Jew; and
besides these objective reasons, he is instinctively antagonistic, as
though he were born of the clouds of heaven and the Jew of the clods
of earth. This does not mean that the German is a believer, in the
orthodox sense of the word, for that he is not. He loves the things of
the mind not because he thinks of them as of divine creation, and as
showing an allegiance to a divine Creator, but because they are the
playthings of his own manufacture that amuse him most. His superiority
to other nations is that he claims to enjoy maturer toys. Not even
France is so entirely unencumbered by orthodox restraints in matters
of belief.

So far, therefore, as the German press is Jew-controlled, it is
suspected as being not German politically, domestically, or
spiritually; as not being representative, in short. It should be added
that, though this is the attitude of the great majority in Germany,
there is a small class who recognize the pioneer work that the Jew has
done. Few men are more respected there, and few have more influence
than such men as Ballin and Rathenau and others. For the very reason
that the German is an idealist the Jew has been of incomparable value
to him in the development of his industrial, commercial, and financial
affairs. Not only as a scientific financier has he helped, not only
has he provided ammunition when German industrial undertakings were
weak and stumbling, but along the lines of scientific research, as
chemists, physicists, artists--perhaps no one stands higher than the
Jew Liebermann as a painter--the Jew has done yeoman service to the
country in return for the high wages that he has taken. There are
Germans who recognize this, and there are in the Jewish world not a
few men to whom the doors of enlightened society are always open.

Whatever one may feel of instinctive dislike, the open-minded
observers of the historical progress of Germany, all recognize that
Germany would not be in the foremost place she now occupies in the
competitive markets of the world, if she had not had the patriotic,
intelligent, and skilful backing of her better-class Jewish citizens.

Printing was born in Germany, and the town of Augsburg had a newspaper
as early as 1505, while Berlin had a newspaper in 1617 and Hamburg in
1628. Every foreigner who knows Germany at all, knows the names of the
Kölnische Zeitung, the Lokal Anzeiger and Der Tag, Hamburger
Nachrichten, Berliner Tageblatt, Frankfurter Zeitung, and the
Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, this last the official organ of the
foreign office. The Neue Preussische Zeitung, better known by its
briefer title of Kreuz Zeitung, is a stanch conservative organ, and
for years has published the scholarly comments once a week of
Professor Shiemann, who is a political historian of distinction, and a
trusted friend of the Emperor. The Deutsche Tageszeitung is the organ
of the Agrarian League. The Reichsbote is a conservative journal and
the organ of the orthodox party in the state church. Vorwärts is the
organ of the socialists and, whatever one may think of its politics,
one of the best-edited, as it is one of the best-written, newspapers
in Germany. The Zukunft, a weekly publication, is the personal organ
of Harden, is Harden, in fact. The Zukunft in normal years sells some
22,000 copies at 20 marks, giving an income of 440,000 marks; this
with the advertisements gives an income of say 500,000 marks. The
expenses are about 350,000 marks, leaving a net income to this daring
and accomplished journalist of 150,000 marks a year. In Germany such
an income is great wealth. The Zukunft and its success is a commentary
of value upon the appreciation of, as well as the rarity of,
independent journalism in Germany.

The Vossische Zeitung, or "Aunty Voss" as it is nicknamed, is a solid,
bourgeois sheet and moderately radical in tone. It is proper, wipes
its feet before entering the house, and may be safely left in the
servants' hall or in the school-room. Die Post represents the
conservative party politically, is welcome in rich industrial circles,
and is rather liberal in religious matters, though hostile to the
government in matters of foreign politics, and of less influence at
home than the frequent quotations from it in the British press would
lead one to suppose. The two official organs of the Catholics are the
Germania and the Volks Zeitung, of Cologne, whose editor is the
well-known Julius Bachern. The Lokal Anzeiger and the Tageblatt of
Berlin attempt, with no small degree of success, American methods, and
give out several editions a day with particular reference to the latest

Leipsic, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Strasburg, Dresden, Königsberg,
Breslau, with its Schlessische Zeitung, and the Rhine provinces and
the steel and iron industries represented by the Rheinisch-
Westfälischer Zeitung, and other cities and towns have local
newspapers. A good example of such little-known provincial newspapers
is the Augsburger Abendzeitung, with its first-rate reports of the
parliamentary proceedings in Bavaria and its well-edited columns. The
circulation of these journals is, from our point of view, small. The
Berliner Tageblatt in a recent issue declares its paid circulation to
have been 73,000 in 1901; 106,000 in 1905; 190,000 in 1910; and
208,000 in 1911.

The custom in Germany of eating in restaurants, of taking coffee in
the cafés, of writing one's letters and reading the newspapers there,
no doubt has much to do with the small subscription lists of German
journals of all kinds, whether daily, weekly, or monthly. The German
economizes even in these small matters. A German family, or small café
or restaurant, may, for a small sum, have half a dozen or more weekly
and monthly journals left, and changed each week; thus they are
circulated in a dozen places at the expense of only one copy. Where a
family of similar standing in America takes in regularly two morning
papers and an evening paper, several weekly and monthly, and perhaps
one or two foreign journals, the German family may take one morning
paper. The custom of having half a dozen newspapers served with the
morning meal, as is done in the larger houses in America and in
England, is practically unknown. Economy is one reason, indifference
is another, provincial and circumscribed interests are others.

The German has not our keen appetite for what we call news, which is
often merely surmises in bigger type. Only the very small number who
have travelled and made interests and friends for themselves out of
their own country, have any feeling of curiosity even, about the
political and social tides and currents elsewhere.

An astounding number of Germans know Sophocles, Aeschylus, and
Shakespeare better than we do, but they know nothing, and care
nothing, for the sizzling, crackling stream of purposeless incident,
and sterile comment, that pours in upon the readers of American
newspapers, and which has had its part in making us the largest
consumers of nerve-quieting drugs in the world. All too many of the
pens that supply our press are without education, without experience,
without responsibility or restraint. What Mommsen writes of Cicero
applies to them: "Cicero was a journalist in the worst sense of the
term, over-rich in words as he himself confesses, and beyond all
imagination poor in thought."

No one of these journals pretends to such power or such influence as
certain great dailies in America and in England. They have not the
means at their command to buy much cable or telegraphic news, and
lacking a press tariff for telegrams, they are the more hampered. The
German temperament, and the civil-service and political close-corporation
methods, make it difficult for the journalist to go far,
either socially or politically. The German has been trained in a
severe school to seek knowledge, not to look for news, and he does not
make the same demands, therefore, upon his newspaper.

German relations with the outside world are of an industrial and
commercial kind, and until very lately the German has not been a
traveller, and is not now an explorer, and their colonies are
unimportant; consequently there is no very keen interest on the part
of the bulk of the people in foreign affairs. Even Sir Edward Grey's
answering speech on the Morocco question did not appear in full in
Berlin until the following day, though Germany had roused itself to an
unusual pitch of excitement and expectancy.

As the Germans are not yet political animals, so their newspapers
reflect an artificial political enthusiasm. Society, too, is as little
organized as politics. There are no great figures in their social
world. A Beau Brummel, a d'Orsay, a Lady Palmerston, a Lady
Londonderry, a Duke of Devonshire, a Gladstone, a Disraeli, a
Rosebery, would be impossible in Germany, especially if they were in
opposition to the party in power. When a chancellor or other minister
is dismissed by the Kaiser, he simply disappears. He does not add to
the weight of the opposition, but ceases to exist politically. This
has two bad results: it does not strengthen the criticism of the
administration, and it makes the office-holder very loath to leave
office, and to surrender his power. An ex-cabinet officer in America
or in England remains a valuable critic, but an ex-chancellor in
Germany becomes a social recluse, a political Trappist. Even the
leading political figures are after all merely shadowy servants of the
Emperor. They represent neither themselves nor the people, and such
subserviency kills independence and leaves us with mediocrities
gesticulating in the dark, and making phrases in a vacuum.

There are, it is true, charming hostesses in Berlin, and ladies who
gather in their drawing-rooms all that is most interesting in the
intellectual and political life of the day; but they are almost
without exception obedient to the traditional officialdom, leaning
upon a favor that is at times erratic, and without the daring of
independence which is the salt of all real personality.

There are, too, country-houses. One castle in Bavaria, how well I
remember it, and the accomplished charm of its owner, who had made its
grandeur cosey, a feat, indeed! But all this is detached from the real
life of the nation, which is forever taking its cue from the court,
leaving any independent or imposing social and political life benumbed
and without vitality. There is no free and stalwart opposition, no
centres of power; and much as one tires of the incessant and feverish
strife political and social at home, one returns to it taking a long
breath of the free air after this hot-house atmosphere, where the
thermometer is regulated by the wishes of an autocrat.

The press necessarily reflects these conditions. The Social Democrats,
divided into many small parties, and the Agrarians and Ultramontanes,
divided as well, give the press no single point of leverage. These
political parties wrangle among themselves over the dish of votes, but
what is put into the dish comes from a master over whom they have no
control. If they upset the dish they are turned out as they were in
1878, 1887, 1893, and 1907, and when they return they are better

The parties themselves are not real, since thousands of voters lean to
the left merely to express their discontent; but they would desert the
Social Democrats at once did they think there was a chance of real
governing power for them. A small industrial was warned of the awful
things that would happen did the Socialists come into power. "Ah," he
replied, "but the government would not permit that!" What has the
press to chronicle with insistence and with dignity of such flabby
political and social conditions?

The press may be, and often is, annoying, as mosquitoes are annoying,
but its campaigns are dangerous to nobody. As I write, it is hard to
believe that within a few days the members of a new Reichstag are to
be elected. There are political meetings, it is true, there are
articles and editorials in the newspapers, there is some languid
discussion at dinner-tables and in society, but there is a sense of
unreality about it all, as though men were thinking: Nothing of grave
importance can happen in any case! We shall have something to say
farther on of political Germany; here it suffices to say that the
press of Germany betrays in its political writing that it is dealing
with shadows, not with realities. "They have been at a great feast of
language, and stolen the scraps," that's all.

The snarling Panther that was sent to Agadir, teeth and claws showing,
came back looking like an adventurous tomcat that wished only to hide
itself meekly in its accustomed haunts; and its unobtrusive bearing
seemed to say, the less said about the matter the better. What a storm
of obloquy would have burst upon such inept diplomacy in America, or
in England, or even in France. Not so here. Everybody was sore and
sorry, but the newspapers and the journalists could raise no protest
that counted. It is all explained by the fact that the people do not
govern, have nothing to do with the whip or the reins, nor have they
any constitutional way of changing coachmen, or of getting possession
of whip and reins; and hooting at the driver, and jeering at the
tangled whip-lash and awkwardly held reins, is poor-spirited business.
Only one political writer, Harden, does it with any effect, and his
pen is said to have upset the Caprivi government.

As one reads the newspapers day by day, and the weekly and monthly
journals, it becomes apparent that the German imagines he has done
something when he has had an idea; just as the Frenchman imagines he
has done something when he has made an epigram. We are less given
either to thinking or phrasing, and far less gifted in these
directions than either Germans or Frenchmen, and perhaps that is the
reason we have actually done so much more politically. We do things
for lack of something better to do, while our neighbors find real
pleasure in their dreams, and take great pride in their epigrams.

As all great writing, from that of Xenophon and Caesar till now, is
born of action or the love of it, or as a spiritual incitement to
action, so a people with little opportunity for political action, and
no centres of social life with a real sway or sovereignty, cannot
create or offer substance for the making of a powerful and independent

There is no New York, no Paris, no London, no Vienna even, in Germany.
Berlin is the capital, but it is not a capital by political or social
evolution, but by force of circumstances. Germany has many centres
which are not only not interested in Berlin, but even antagonistic.
Munich, Hamburg, Bremen, Leipsic, Frankfort, Dresden, Breslau, and
besides these, twenty-six separate states with their capitals, their
rulers, courts, and parliaments, go to make up Germany, and perhaps
you are least of all in Germany when you are in Berlin. It is true
that we have many States, many capitals, and many governors in
America, but they have all grown from one, and not, as in Germany,
been beaten into one, and held together more from a sense of danger
from the outside than from any interest, sympathy, and liking for one

With us each State, too, has a powerful representation both in the
Senate and in the House of Representatives, which keeps the interest
alive, while in Germany Prussia is overwhelmingly preponderant. In the
upper house, or Bundesrat, Prussia has 17 representatives; next comes
Bavaria with 6; and the other states with 4 or less, out of a total of
58 members. In the Reichstag, out of a total of 397 representatives,
Prussia has 236.

Political society is not all centred in Berlin, as it is in London,
Paris, or Washington, nor is social life there representative of all
Germany. Berlin's stamp of approval is not necessary to play, or
opera, or book, or picture, or statue, or personality. Indeed, Berlin
often takes a lead in such matters from other cities in Germany where
the artistic life and history are more fully developed, as, for
instance, in other days, Weimar, and now Munich, Dresden, and, in
literary matters, Leipsic. A recent example of this, though of small
consequence in itself, is the case of the opera, the "Rosen Kavalier,"
which was given repeatedly in Dresden and Leipsic, whither many Berlin
people went to hear it, before the authorities in Berlin could be
persuaded to produce it.

The nobility, the society heavy artillery, come to Berlin only for
three or four weeks, from the middle of January to the middle of
February, to pay their respects to their sovereign at the various
court functions given during that time. They live in the country and
only visit in Berlin. It is complained, that the double taxation
incident to the up-keep of an establishment both in town and in the
country, makes it impossible for them to be much in Berlin. They stay
in hotels and in apartments, and are mere passing visitors in their
own capital. They have, therefore, practically no influence upon
social life, and Berlin is merely the centre of the industrial,
military, official, and political society of Prussia. It is the
clearing-house of Germany, but by no means the literary, artistic,
social, or even the political capital of Germany, as London is the
English, or Paris the French, or as Washington is fast growing to be
the American, capital.

There is no training-ground for an accomplished or man-of-the-world
journalist, and the views and opinions of a journalist who is more or
less of a social pariah, and he still is that with less than half a
dozen exceptions, and of a man who begs for crumbs from the press
officials at the foreign or other government offices, are neither
written with the grip of the independent and dignified chronicler, nor
received with confidence and respect by the reader.

It may be a reaction from this negligence with which they are treated
that produces a quality, both in the writing and in the illustrations
of the German newspapers, which is unknown in America. Many of the
illustrated papers indulge in pictorial flings which may be compared
only to the scribbling and coarse drawings, in out-of-the-way places,
of dirty-minded boys. With the exception of the well-known Fliegende
Blätter, Kladderadatsch, and one or two less representative, there is
nothing to compare with the artistic excellence and restrained good
taste of Life or Punch, for example.

There is one illustrated paper published in Munich, Simplicissimus,
which deserves more than negligent and passing comment. It has two
artists of whom I know nothing except what I have learned from their
work, Th. Th. Heine and Gulbransson. These men are Aristophanic in
their ability as draughtsmen and as censors, in striking at the
weaknesses, political, military, and official, of their countrymen.
Their work is something quite new in Germany, and worthy of comparison
with the best in any country. It is not elegant, it is Rabelaisian;
and though I have nothing to retract in regard to coarseness, and no
wish to commend the attitude taken toward German political and social
life, in fairness one is bound to call attention to the pictorial work
in this particular paper as of a very high order, and to recognize its
power. If Heine could have turned his wit into the drawings of
Hogarth, we should have had something not unlike Simplicissimus, and
any German annoyed at the criticisms of his national life from the pen
of a foreigner, may well turn to his own Simplicissimus, and be humbly
grateful that no foreign pen-point can possibly pierce more deeply,
than this domestic pencil, at work in his own country.

The danger for the critic and the wit, which few avoid, is that with
incomparable advantages over his opponent he will not play fair. In
spite of the awful reputation of our so-called "yellow press," which
is often boisterously impudent, and sometimes inclined to indulge in
comments and revelations of the private affairs of individuals which
can only be dubbed coarse and cowardly, there is seldom a descent to
the indescribably indecent caricatures which one finds every week in
the illustrated papers in Germany. As we have noted elsewhere, just as
the citizens of Berlin, as one sees them in the streets and in public
places, give one the impression that they are not house-trained, so
many of the pens and pencils which serve the German press, leave one
with the feeling that their possessors would not know how to behave in
a cultivated and well-regulated household.

Every gentleman in Germany must have been ashamed of the writing in
the German press after the sinking of the Titanic. There was a blaze
of brutal pharisaism that put a bar-sinister across any claim to
gentlemanliness on the part of the majority. When every brave man in
the world was lamenting the death of Scott, the English Arctic
explorer, one German paper intimated that he had committed suicide to
avoid the bankruptcy forced upon him by England's lack of generosity
toward his expedition. It is almost unbelievable that such a cur
should have escaped unthrashed, even among the German journalists.
These two examples of lack of fine feeling mark them for what they
are. Among gentlemen no comment is necessary. The mark of breeding is
more often discovered in what one does not say, does not write, does
not do, than in positive action. There was much, at that time, when
fifteen hundred people had been buried in icy water, and scores of
American and English gentlemen had gone down to death, just in answer
to: "Ladies first, gentlemen!" that should have been left unsaid and
unwritten. The quality of the German journalist, with half a dozen
exceptions, was betrayed to the full in those few days, and many a
German cheek mantled with shame.

However, a man may eat with his knife and still be an authority on
bridge-building; he may tuck his napkin under his chin preparatory to,
and as an armor against, the well-known vagaries of liquids, before he
takes his soup or his soft-boiled eggs, and still be an authority on
soap-making; he may wear a knitted waistcoat with a frock-coat to
luncheon, and be deeply versed in Russian history. He may have no
inkling of the traditions of fair play, or of the reticences of
courtesy, no shred of knightliness, and yet be a scholar in his way.
Indeed, in none of the other cultured countries does one find so many
men of trained minds, but with such untrained manners and morals. In
their hack of sensation-mongering, in their indifference to social
gossip, in their trustworthy and learned comments upon things
scientific, musical, theatrical, literary, and historical, they are as
men to school-boys compared to the American press. They have the utter
contempt for mere smartness that only comes with severe educational
training. They have the scholar's impatience with trivialities. They
skate, not to cut their names on the ice, but to get somewhere, and
the whole industrial and scientific world knows how quickly they have

Our newspapers make a business of training their readers in that worst
of all habits, mental dissipation. The German press is not thus
guilty. Despite all I have written, I am quite sure that if I were
banished from the active world and could see only half a dozen
journals on my lonely island, one of them would be a German newspaper.
It may be that I have a perverted literary taste, for I can get more
humor, more keen enjoyment, out of a census report or an etymological
dictionary than from a novel. My favorite literary dissipation is to
read the works of that distinguished statistician at Washington, Mr.
O. P. Austin, the poet-laureate of industrial America, or the toilsome
and exciting verbal journeys of the Rev. Mr. Skeat. The classic
humorists do not compare with them, in my humble opinion, as sources
of fantastic surprises. This, perhaps, accounts for my sincere
admiration for that quality of scholarship, learning, and accuracy in
the German press. Nor does the possession of these qualities in the
least controvert the impression given by the German press of political
powerlessness, of social ignorance and incompetence, and of boorish
ignorance of the laws of common decency in international comment and
controversy. A great scholar may be a booby in a drawing-room, and a
lamentable failure as an adviser in matters political and social. "As
a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from
his place." Germany has put some astonishing failures to her credit
through her belief that learning can take the place of common-sense,
and scholarship do the tasks of that intelligent and experienced
observation to which the abused word, worldliness, is given. Perhaps
it is as well that the German press declines to keep a social diary;
well, too, that it has no candidates for the office of society
Haruspex, whose ghoulish business it is to find omens and prophecies
in the entrails of his victims. In that respect, at any rate, both
society and the press in Germany are as is the salon to the scullery,
compared with ours. As for that little knot of illustrated weekly
papers in England, with their nauseating letter-press for snobs
inside, and their advertisements of patent complexion remedies and
corsets outside, there is nothing like them in Germany or anywhere
else, so far as I know. You may advertise your shooting-party, your
dance, or your dinner-party, and thus keep yourself before the world
as though you were a whiskey, a soap, or a superfluous-hair-destroyer,
if you please, and, alas, many there are who do so. At least Germany
knows nothing of this weekly auction of privacy, this nauseating
snobbery which is a fungus-growth seen at its strongest in British

I am bound, both by tradition and experience as an American, to
discover the reason for such conditions in the lack of fluidity in
social and political life in Germany. The industrials, the military,
the nobility, the civil servants, and to some extent the Jews, are all
in separate social compartments; and the political parties as well
keep much to themselves and without the personal give and take outside
of their purely official life which obtains in America and in England.

It is an impossible suggestion, I know, but if the upper and lower
houses of the empire, or of Prussia, could meet in a match at base-ball,
or golf, or cricket; if the army could play the civil service;
if the newspaper correspondents could play the under-secretaries; if
they could all be induced occasionally, to throw off their mental and
moral uniforms, and to meet merely as men, a current of fresh air
would blow through Germany, that she would never after permit to be
shut out.

Personal dignity is refreshed, not lost, by a romp. Who has not seen
distinguished Americans and distinguished Englishmen, in their own or
in their friends' houses, or at one or another of our innumerable
games, behaving like boys out of school, crawling about beneath
improvised skins and growling and roaring in charades; indulging in
flying chaff of one another; in the skirts of their wives and sisters
playing cricket, or base-ball, or tennis with the one hand only;
caricaturing good-humoredly some of their own official business, or
arranging a match of some kind where their own servants join in to
make up a side; or, and well I remember it, half a dozen youths of
about fifty playing cricket with one stump and a broom-handle for an
hour one hot afternoon, amid tumbles and shouts of laughter, and a
shower of impromptu nicknames, and one or two of them bore names known
all over the English-speaking world. Nobody loses any dignity, any
importance; but there is an unconquerable stiffness in Germany that
makes me laugh almost as I make this suggestion. We have only a
certain reserve of serious work in us. To attempt to be serious all
the time is never to be at rest. This worried busyness, which is a
characteristic of the more mediocre of my own countrymen also, is
really a symptom of deficient vitality. Things are in the saddle and
you are the mule and not the man, if you are such an one. The
stiffness and self-consciousness of the Germans is really a sign of
their lack of confidence in themselves. Youth is always more serious
than middle age, for the same reason. A man who is at home in the
world laughs and is gay; he who is shy and doubtful scowls. It is the
God-fearing who are not afraid, it is the man-fearing who are awkward
and uncomfortable.

The first thing to be afraid of is oneself, but after oneself is
conquered why be afraid to let him loose!

It would be quite untrue to give the impression that there is no fun,
no harking, no chaff, in Germany, although I am bound to say that
there is little of this last. I can bear witness to a healthy love of
fun, and to an exuberant exploitation of youthful vitality in many
directions among the students and younger officers, for example.
Better companions for a romp exist nowhere. Having been blessed with
an undue surplus of vitality, which for many years kept me fully
occupied in directing its expenditure, alas, not always with success,
I can only add that I found as many youthful companions in a similar
predicament in Germany, as anywhere else.

But with the Englishman and the American, both temperament and
environment permit youthfulness to last longer. The German must soon
get into the mill and grind and be ground, and he is by temperament
more easily caught and put into the uniform of a constantly correct
behavior. As for us, we are all boys still at thirty, many of us at
fifty, and some of us die ere the school-boy exuberance has all been
squeezed or dried out of us. Not so in Germany. One sees more men in
Germany who give the impression that they could not by any possibility
ever have been boys than with us. They begin to look cramped at
thirty, and they are stiff at fifty, as though they had been fed on a
diet of circumspection, caution, and obedience. They are drilled early
and they soon become amenable, and then even indulgent, toward the

This German people have not developed into a nation, they have been
squeezed into the mould of a nation. The nation is not for the people,
the people are for the nation. "By the word Constitution," writes Lord
Bolingbroke, "we mean, whenever we speak with propriety and exactness,
the assemblage of laws, institutions, and customs derived from certain
fixed principles of reason, directed to certain fixed objects of
public good, that compose the general system by which the community
hath agreed to be governed." The Germans have no such constitution,
for the community was scarcely consulted, much less hath it agreed to
the general system by which it is governed.

Of course, in every nation its affairs are, and must be, conducted by
officials. That is as true of America as of Germany. The fundamental
difference is that with us these official persons are executive
officers only, the real captain is the people; while in Germany these
official persons are the real governors of the people, subject to the
commands of one who repeatedly and publicly asserts that his
commission is from God and not from the people. This puts whole
classes of the community permanently into uniform, and the wearers of
these uniforms are almost afraid to laugh, and would consider it
sacrilege to romp.

Caution is a very puny form of morality. "He that observeth the wind
shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap." It is
as true politically as of other spheres of life that "he or she who
lets the world or his own portion of it choose his plan of life for
him has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of
imitation." Thus writes John Stuart Mill, and what else can be said of
the political activities of the Germans? What journalist or what
patriot indeed can take seriously a majority that has no power? What
people can call itself free to whom its rulers are not responsible?
The Social Democrats, at the moment of writing, have won one hundred
and ten seats in the Reichstag, but the army and navy estimates are
beyond their reach, the taxes are fixtures, a constitution is a dream,
and if they are cantankerous or truculent the Reichstag will be
dismissed by a wave of the hand. Say what one will, they are a
mammillary people politically, and the strongest party in the
Reichstag is merely an energetic political mangonel. Their leaders
moult opinions, they do not mould them, and could not translate them
into action if they did.

Not since 1874 has there been a Reichstag so strongly radical, but
nothing will come of it. The Reichskanzler, Doctor von Bethmann-Hollweg,
did not hesitate to take an early opportunity, after the
opening of the new Reichstag, to state boldly that the issue was
Authority versus Democratization, and that he had no fear of the
result. It is customary for the newly elected Praesidium, the
president and two vice-presidents of the Reichstag, to be received in
audience by the Emperor. On this occasion the Socialists forbade their
representative to go, and the Emperor, therefore, refused to receive
any of them. As usual, they played into his hands. Hans bleibt immer
Hans, and on this occasion his vulgar hack of good manners only
brought contumely upon the whole Reichstag, and left the Emperor as
the outstanding dignified figure in the controversy. Such behavior is
not calculated to invite confidence, and not likely to induce this
enemy-surrounded nation to put its destinies in such hands, not at any
rate for some time to come. "Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a
mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart
from him."

Intellectually Germany is a republic, and we Americans perhaps beyond
all other peoples have profited by her literature, her philosophy, her
music, her scientific and economic teaching. We have kneaded these
things into our political as well as into our intellectual life.
"Intellectual emancipation, if it does not give us at the same time
control over ourselves, is poisonous." And who writes thus? Goethe!
But the intellectual freedom of Germany has done next to nothing to
bring about political or, in the realm of journalism, personal

It is a strange state of affairs. Intelligent men and women in Germany
do not realize it. Not once, but many times, I have been told: "You
foreigners are forever commenting upon our bureaucracy, our
officialdom, but it is not as all-powerful as you think. We have
plenty of freedom!" These people are often themselves officials,
nearly always related to, or of the society, of the ruling class. The
rulers and the ruling class have naturally no sense of oppression, no
feeling that they are unduly subject to others, since the others are
themselves. I am quite willing to believe of my own and of other
people's personal opinions that they are not dogmas merely because
they are baptized in intolerance. I must leave it to the reader to
judge from the facts, whether or no the Germans have a political
autonomy, which permits the exercise and development of political
power. A glance at the political parties themselves will make this
perhaps the more clear.

The official organization of the conservative party, may be said to
date back to the founding of the Neue Preussische Zeitung in 1848, and
the organization of the party in many parts of Germany. Earlier still,
Burke was the hero of the pioneers of this party, whose first
newspaper had for editor, no less a person than Heinrich von Kleist,
and whose first endeavors were to support God and the King, and to
throw off the yoke of foreign domination.

In 1876 was formed the Deutsch-Konservativ party supporting Bismarck.
"Königthum von Gottes Gnaden" is still their watchword, with
opposition to Social Democracy, support of imperialism, agrarian and
industrial protection, and Christian teaching in the schools, as the
planks of their platform. They also combat Jewish influence
everywhere, particularly in the schools. Allied to this party is the
Bund der Landwirte and the Deutscher Bauernbund. In the election of
1912 they elected forty-five representatives to the Reichstag, a
serious falling off from the sixty-three seats held previous to that
election. The Free Conservative portion of the Conservative party, is
composed of the less autocratic members of the landed nobility, but
there is little difference in their point of view.

The Centrum, or Catholic party, is in theory not a religious party; in
practice it is, though it does not bar out Protestant members who hold
similar views to their own. Its political activity began in 1870, and
the first call for the formation of the party came from Reichensperger
in the Kölnischer Volkszeitung. The famous leader of the party, and a
politician who even held his own against Bismarck, was the Hanoverian
Justizminister, Doctor Ludwig Windthorst. The stormy time of the party
was from 1873 to 1878, when Bismarck attempted to oppose the growing
power of the Catholic Church, and more particularly of the Jesuits.
The so-called May laws of that year forbade Roman Catholic
intervention in civil affairs; obliged all ministers of religion to
pass the higher-schools examinations and to study theology three years
at a university; made all seminaries subject to state inspection; and
gave fuller protection to those of other creeds. In 1878 Bismarck
needed the support of the Centrum party to carry through the new
tariff, and the May laws, except that regarding civil marriage, were
repealed. The party stands for religious teaching in the primary
schools, Christian marriage, federal character of empire, protection,
and independence of the state. More than any other party it has kept
its representation in the Reichstag at about the same number. In 1903
they cast 1,875,300 votes and had 100 members. In 1907 they had 103
members, and in the last election of 1912 they won 93 seats. Even this
Catholic party is now divided. Count Oppersdorff leads the
"Only-Catholic" party, against the more liberal section which has its
head-quarters at Cologne, where the late Cardinal Fisher was the leader.
At the session of the Reichstag in 1913, when the question of the
readmission of the Jesuits was raised, the Centrum party even sided with
the Socialists in the matter of the expropriation law for Posen, in
order to annoy the chancellor for his opposition to themselves. Such
political miscegenation as this does not show a high level of faith or
of policy.

It may be of interest to the reader to know that in 1903 the
population of Germany was 58,629,000, and the number qualified to vote
12,531,000; in 1907 the population was 61,983,000, and the number
qualified to vote, 13,353,000; in 1912 the population was 65,407,000,
and the qualified voters numbered over 14,000,000, of whom 12,124,503
voted. In 1903 there were 9,496,000 votes cast; in 1907, 11,304,000.
The German Reichstag has 397 members, or 1 representative to every
156,000 inhabitants; the United States House of Representatives has
433 members, or 1 for every 212,000 inhabitants; England, 670 members,
or 1 for every 62,000; France, 584, or 1 for every 67,000; Italy, 508,
or 1 for every 64,000; Austria, 516, or 1 for every 51,000.

Despite the fact that the Conservative and the Catholic parties have
much in common, and are the parties of the Right and Centre: these
names are given the political parties in the Reichstag according to
their grouping on the right, centre, and left of the house, looking
from the tribune or speaker's platform, from which all set speeches
are delivered, they are often at odds among themselves, and Bismarck
and Bülow brought about tactical differences among them for their own
purposes. Their programme may be summed up as "As you were," which is
not inspiring either as an incentive or as a command.

The Liberal parties are the National liberale; Fortschrittspartei, or
Progressives; and the Freisinnige Volkspartei, or Liberal Democratic

The National Liberal party was strongest during the days when
Prussia's efforts were directed mainly toward a federation and a
strengthening of the bonds which hold the states together; "unter dem
Donner der Kanonen von Königgratz ist der nationalliberale Gedanke
geboren." Loyalty to emperor and empire, country above party, a fleet
competent to protect the country and its overseas interests, are
watchwords of the party. The party is protectionist, and in matters of
school and church administration in accord with the Free

The Liberal Democratic party demands electoral reform, no duties on
foodstuffs, and imperial insurance laws for the workingmen.

The Fortschrittspartei finds its intellectual beginnings, in the
condensing of the hazy clouds of revolution in 1848, in the persons of
Wilhelm von Humboldt and Freiherr von Stein. Politically, the party
came into being in 1861, and Waldeck, von Hoverbeck, and Virchow are
familiar names to students of German political history; later Eugen
Richter was the leader of the party in the Reichstag. This party is
still for free-trade, in opposition to military and bureaucratic
government, favorable to parliamentary government. Of the grouping and
regrouping of these parties; of their divisions for and against
Bismarck's policies; of their splits on the questions of free-trade
and protection; of their leanings now to the right, now to the left;
of their differences over details of taxation for purposes of defence;
of their attitudes toward a powerful fleet, and toward the Jesuits, it
would require a volume, and a large one, to describe. Though it is
dangerous to characterize them, they may be said without inaccuracy to
represent the democratic movement in Germany both in thought and
political action, and to hold a wavering place between the
Conservatives and the Social Democrats.

The Social Democratic party, the party of the wage-earners only
assumed recognizable outlines after the appeal of Ferdinand Lassalle
for a workingman's congress at Leipsic in 1863. In 1877 they mustered
493,000 voters. Bismarck and the monarchy looked askance at their
growing power. It was attempted to pass a law, punishing with fine and
imprisonment: "wer in einer den öffentlichen Frieden gefährdenden
Weise verschiedene Klassen der Bevölkerung gegeneinander öffentlich
aufreizt oder wer in gleicher Weise die Institute der Ehe, der Familie
und des Eigentums öffentlich durch Rede oder Schrift angreift." This
was a direct attack upon the Socialists, but the Reichstag refused to
pass the law. In May, 1878, and shortly after in June, two attempts
were made upon the life of the Kaiser. Bismarck then easily and
quickly forced through the new law against the Socialists.

Under this law newspapers were suppressed, organizations dissolved,
meetings forbidden, and certain leaders banished. For twelve years the
party was kept under the watchful restraint of the police, and their
propaganda made difficult and in many places impossible. After the
repeal of this law, and for the last twenty years, the party has
increased with surprising rapidity. In 1893 the Social Democrats cast
1,787,000 votes; in 1898, 2,107,000; in 1903, more than 3,000,000; and
in the last election, 1912, 4,238,919; and they have just returned 110
delegates to the Reichstag out of a total of 397 members.

It is noteworthy that in America there is one Socialist member of the
House of Representatives; while in Germany, which combines autocratic
methods of government, with something more nearly approaching state
ownership and control, than any other country in the world, the most
numerous party in the present Reichstag is that of the Social

Freedom is the only medicine for discontent. There is no rope for the
hanging of a demagogue like free speech; no such disastrous gift for
the socialist as freedom of action. Imagine what would have happened
in America if we had attempted to suppress Bryan! The result of giving
him free play and a fair hearing, the result of allowing the people to
judge for themselves, has been a prolonged spectacle of political
hari-kiri which has had a wholesome though negative educational
influence. The most accomplished oratorical Pierrot of our day, who
changes his political philosophy as easily as he changes his costume,
has seen one hundred and sixty cities and towns in America turn to
government by commission, and has kept the heraldic donkey always just
out of reach of the political carrots, until the Republican party
itself fairly pushed the donkey into the carrot-field, but even then
with another leader. No autocrat could have done so much.

As early as 1887 Auer, Bebel, and Liebknecht outlined the programme of
the party, and this programme, again revised at Erfurt in 1891, stands
as the expression of their demands. They claim that: "Die
Arbeiterklasse kann ihre ökonomischen Kämpfe nicht führen und ihre
ökonomische Organisation nicht entwickeln ohne politisehe Rechte."
Roughly they demand: the right to form unions and to hold public
meetings; separation of church and state; education free and secular,
and the feeding of school-children; state expenditure to be met
exclusively by taxes on incomes, property, and inheritance; people to
decide on peace and war; direct system of voting, one adult one vote;
citizen army for defence; referendum; international court of
arbitration. Their leader in the Reichstag to-day is Bebel, and from
what I have heard of the debates in that assembly I should judge that
they have not only a majority over any other party in numbers, but
also in speaking ability. The members of the Socialist party always
leave the house in a body, at the end of each session, just before the
cheers are called for, for the Emperor. They have become more and more
daring of late in their outspoken criticism of both the Emperor and
his ministers. In consequence, they are replied to with ever-increasing
dislike and bitterness by their opponents. At a recent
banquet of old university students in Berlin, Freiherr von Zedlitz,
presiding, quoted Barth and Richter: "The victory of Social Democracy
means the destruction of German civilization, and a Social Democratic
state would be nothing more than a gigantic house of correction."

In addition to the four important political divisions in the
Reichstag, the Conservative, Liberal, Clerical, and Socialist, there
are many subdivisions of these. Since 1871 there have been some forty
different parties represented, eleven conservative, fourteen liberal,
two clerical, nine national-particularist, and five socialist. To-day,
besides four small groups and certain representatives acknowledging no
party, there are some eleven different factions.

                           1871      1881      1893      1907      1912

Right, or Conservative.   895,000 1,210,000 1,806,000 2,141,000 1,149,916
Liberal................ 1,884,000 1,948,000 2,102,000 3,078,000 3,227,846
Clerical...............   973,000 1,618,000 1,920,000 2,779,000 2,012,990
Social Democrats.......   124,000   312,000 1,787,000 3,259,000 4,238,919

So far as one may so divide them, the voters have aligned themselves
as follows: In the last elections, in 1912, the Conservatives and
their allies elected 75 members; the Clericals, 93; the Poles, 18; and
the Guelphs, 5; and these come roughly under the heading of the party
of the Right. Under the heading Left, the National Liberals and
Progressive party elected 88, and the Social Democrats 110 members to
the Reichstag. The parties stand therefore roughly divided at the
moment of writing as 191 Conservative, and 200 Radical, with 6 members
unaccounted for. The Poles with 18 seats, the Alsatians with 5, the
Guelphs and Lorrainers and Danes with 8 seats, and the no-party with 2
seats, are also represented, but are here placed with the party of the
Right. To divide the parties into two camps gives the result that,
roughly, four and a half millions voted that they were satisfied, and
seven and a half millions that they were not.

No doubt any chancellor, including Doctor von Bethmann-Hollweg, would
be glad to divide the Reichstag as definitely and easily as I have
done. Theoretically these divisions may be useful to the reader, but
practically to the leader they are useless. Bebel, the leader of the
Social Democrats, declares himself ready to shoulder a musket to
defend the country; Heydebrandt, the leader of the Conservatives, and
possibly the most effective speaker in the Reichstag, has spoken
warmly in favor of social reform laws; the Clericals are for peace,
almost at any price; the Agrarians or Junkers for a tariff on
foodstuffs and cattle, and one might continue analyzing the parties
until one would be left bewildered at their refining of the political
issues at stake. Back to God and the Emperor; and forward to a
constitutional monarchy with the chancellor responsible to the
Reichstag, and perhaps later a republic, represent the two extremes.
Between the two everything and anything. It is hard to put together a
team out of these diverse elements that a chancellor can drive with
safety, and with the confidence that he will finally arrive with his
load at his destination. In addition to these parties there are the
frankly disaffected representatives of conquered Poland, of conquered
Holstein, of conquered Alsace-Lorraine, and of conquered Hanover, this
last known as the Guelph party; all of them anti-Prussian.

It is not to be wondered at that the comments, deductions, and
prophecies of foreigners are wildly astray when dealing with German
politics. In America, religious differences and racial differences
play a small rôle at Washington; but the 220 Protestants, the 141
Catholics, the 3 Jews, the 5 free-thinkers, and so on, in the last
Reichstag are in a way parties as well. In that same assembly 2
members were over 80, 78 over 60, 271 between 40 and 60, 42 under 40,
and 3 under 30 years of age. One hundred and six members were landed
proprietors; 220 were of the liberal professions, including 37
authors, 35 judges or magistrates, 21 clericals, 7 doctors, and 1
artist; 13 merchants; 21 manufacturers; and 20 shopkeepers and
laborers. Seventy-two members were of the nobility, a decided falling
off from 1878, when they numbered 162. Two hundred and fifty members
were educated at a university, and practically all may be said to have
had an education equal if not superior to that given in our smaller

In the American Congress, in the House of Representatives, we have 212
lawyers, though there are only 135,000 lawyers in our population of
90,000,000. We have in that same assembly 50 business men,
representing the 15,000,000 of our people engaged in trade and
industry. Perhaps the German Reichstag is as fairly representative as
our own House of Representatives, though both assemblies show the
babyhood of civilization which still votes for flashing eyes, thumping
fists, hollering patriotism, and smooth phrases. The surprising
feature of elective assemblies is that here and there Messrs. Self-Control,
Ability, Dignity, and Independence find seats at all. The
members are paid, since 1906, a salary of 3,000 marks, with a
deduction of 20 marks for each day's absence. They have free passes
over German railways during the session. The Reichstag is elected
every five years.

The appearance of the Reichstag to the stranger is notable for the
presence of military, naval, and clerical uniforms. It is, as one
looks down upon them, an assembly where at least one-fourth are bald
or thin-haired, and together they give the impression of being big in
the waist, careless in costume, slovenly in carriage, and lacking
proper feeding, grooming, and exercise. It is clearly an assemblage,
not of men of action, but of men of theories. Not only their
appearance betrays this, but their debates as well, and what one knows
of their individual training and preferences goes to substantiate this
judgment of them. There are no soldiers, sailors, explorers, governors
of alien people; no men, in short, who have solved practical problems
dealing with men, but only theorists. Such men as Götzen, Solf, and
others, who have had actual experience of dealing with men, are rare
exceptions. Probably the best men in Germany wish, and wish heartily,
that there were more such men; indeed, I betray no secret when I
declare that the most intelligent and patriotic criticism in Germany
coincides with my own.

The electoral divisions of Germany, as we have noted elsewhere, have
not been changed for forty years, with a consequent disproportionate
representation from the rural, as over against the enormously
increased population, of the urban and industrial districts. The
Conservatives, for example, in 1907 gained 1 seat for every 18,232
votes; the Clericals or Centrum, 1 seat for every 20,626 votes; the
National Liberals, 1 for every 30,635 votes; and the Social Democrats,
1 for every 75,781 votes. It may be seen from this, how overwhelming
must be the majority of votes cast by the Social Democrats, in order
to gain a majority representation in the Reichstag itself. In 1912
they cast more than one-third of the votes, and are represented by 110
members out of the total of 397.

For the student of German politics it is important to remember, that
the Social Democrats are not all representatives of socialism or of
democracy. Their demands at this present time are far from the radical
theory that all sources of production should be in the hands of the
people. Only a small number of very red radicals demand that. Their
successes have been, and they are real successes, along the lines of
greater protection and more political liberty for the workingman. The
number of their votes is swelled by thousands of voters who express
their general discontent in that way. The state in Germany owns
railroads, telegraph and telephone lines; operates mines and certain
industries, and both controls and directly helps certain large
manufactories which are either of benefit to the state, or which, if
they were entirely independent, might prove a danger to the state. The
state enforces insurance against sickness, accident, and old age, and
the three million office-holders are dependent upon the state for
their livelihood and their pensions.

It is a striking thing in Germany to see human nature cropping out,
even under these ideal conditions; for it is difficult to see how the
state could be more grandmotherly in her officious care of her own.
But this is not enough. Physical safety is not enough, the demand is
for political freedom, and for a government answerable to the people
and the people's representatives. Rich men, powerful men,
representative men by the thousands, men whom one meets of all sorts
and conditions, and who are neither radical nor socialistic, vote the
Social Democrat ticket. The Social Democrats are by no means all
democrats nor all socialists. As a body of voters they are united only
in the expression of their discontent with a government of officials,
practically chosen and kept in power over their heads, and with whose
tenure of office they have nothing to do.

The fact that the members of the Reichstag are not in the saddle, but
are used unwillingly and often contemptuously as a necessary and often
stubborn and unruly pack-animal by the Kaiser-appointed ministers; the
fact that they are pricked forward, or induced to move by a tempting
feed held just beyond the nose, has something to do, no doubt, with
the lack of unanimity which exists. The diverse elements debate with
one another, and waste their energy in rebukes and recriminations
which lead nowhere and result in nothing. I have listened to many
debates in the Reichstag where the one aim of the speeches seemed to
be merely to unburden the soul of the speaker. He had no plan, no
proposal, no solution, merely a confession to make. After forty-odd
years the Germans, in many ways the most cultivated nation in the
world, are still without real representative government.

Why should the press or society take this assembly very seriously,
when, as the most important measure of which they are capable, they
can vote to have themselves dismissed by declining to pass supply
bills; and when, as has happened four times in their history, they
return chastened, tamed, and amenable to the wishes of their master?

No wonder the political writing in the press seems to us vaporish and
without definite aims. It is perhaps due to this weakness that the
writing in the German journals upon other subjects is very good
indeed. The best energies of the writers are devoted to what may be
called educational and literary expositions. In the field of foreign
politics the German press is less well-informed, less instructive, and
consequently irritating. The poverty of material resources makes such
writing as that of Sir Valentine Chirrol, and in former days that of
Mr. G. W. Smalley, beyond the reach of the German journalist, and
their press is painfully narrow, frequently unfair, and often
purposely insulting to foreign countries. They are not only anti-
English, but anti-French, anti-American, and at times bitter. If the
American people read the German newspapers there would be little love
lost between us.


He is a fortunate traveller who enters Berlin from the west, and
toward the end of his journey rolls along over the twelve or fifteen
miles of new streets, glides under the Brandenburger Tor, and finds
himself in Unter den Linden. The Kaiserdamm, Bismarck Strasse,
Berliner Strasse, Charlottenburgerchaussee, Unter den Linden, give the
most splendid street entrance into a city in the world. The pavement
is without a hole, without a crack, and as clear of rubbish of any
kind as a well-kept kitchen floor. The cleanliness is so noticeable
that one looks searchingly for even a scrap of paper, for some trace
of negligence, to modify this superiority over the streets of our
American cities. But there is no consolation; the superiority is so
incontestable that no comparison is possible. For the whole twelve or
fifteen miles the streets are lined with trees, or shrubs, or flowers,
with well-kept grass, and with separate roads on each side for
horsemen or foot-passengers. In the spring and summer the streets are
a veritable garden.

Broadway is 80 feet wide; Fifth Avenue is 100 feet wide; the Champs
Elysées is 233 feet wide; and Unter den Linden is 196 feet wide, and
has 70 feet of roadway.

For every square yard of wood pavement in Berlin there are 24 square
yards of asphalt and 37 square yards of stone. The total length of
streets cleaned in Berlin, which has an area of 25 square miles,
according to a report of some few years ago, was 316 miles; there are
700 streets and some 70 open places, and the area cleaned daily was
8,160,000 square yards. The cost of the care of the Berlin streets has
risen with the growth of the city from 1,670,847 marks, [1] in 1880,
to 6,068,557 marks, in 1910. The total cost of the street-cleaning in
New York, in 1907, was $9,758,922, and in Manhattan, The Bronx, and
Brooklyn 5,129 men were employed; while the working force in Berlin,
in 1911, was 2,150. It should be said also that in New York an
enormous amount of scavenging is paid for privately besides. In New
York the street-sweepers are paid $2.19 a day; in Berlin the foremen
receive 4.75 marks the first three years, and thereafter 5 marks; the
men 3.75 marks the first three years, then 4 marks, and after nine
years' service 4.50 marks. The boy assistants receive 2 marks, after two
years 2.25 marks, and after four years service 3 marks. The whole force
is paid every fourteen days. The street-cleaning department is divided
into thirty-three districts, these districts into four groups, each with
an inspector, and all under a head-inspector. Attached to each district
are depots with yards for storage of vehicles, apparatus, brooms,
shovels, uniforms, with machine shops, where on more than one occasion I
have seen enthusiastic workmen trying experiments with new machinery to
facilitate their work.

[1] The mark is equal to a little less than twenty-five cents.

Over this whole force presides, a politician? Far from it; a
technically educated man of wide experience, and, of the official of
my visit I may add, of great courtesy and singular enthusiasm both for
his task and for the men under him. What his politics are concerns
nobody, what the politics of the party in power are concerns him not
at all. That an individual, or a group of individuals, powerful
financially or politically, should influence him in his choice or in
his placing of the men under him is unthinkable. That a political boss
in this or in that district, should dictate who should and who should
not, be employed in the street-cleaning department, even down to the
meanest remover of dung with a dust-pan, as was done for years in New
York and every other city in America, would be looked upon here as a
farce of Topsy-Turvydom, with Alice in Wonderland in the title-rôle.

The streets are cleaned for the benefit of the people, and not for the
benefit of the pockets of a political aristocracy. The public service
is a guardian, not a predatory organization. In our country when a man
can do nothing else he becomes a public servant; in Germany he can
only become a public servant after severe examinations and ample
proofs of fitness. The superiority of one service over the other is
moral, not merely mechanical.

The street-cleaning department is recruited from soldiers who have
served their time, not over thirty-five years of age, and who must
pass a doctor's examination, and be passed also by the police. The
rules as to their conduct, their uniforms, their rights, and their
duties, down to such minute carefulness as that they may not smoke on
duty "except when engaged in peculiarly dirty and offensive labor,"
are here, as in all official matters in Germany, outlined in
labyrinthine detail. Sickness, death, accident, are all provided for
with a pension, and there are also certain gifts of money for long
service. The police and the street-cleaning department co-operate to
enforce the law, where private companies or the city-owned street-railways
are negligent in making repairs, or in replacing pavement
that has been disturbed or destroyed. There is no escape. If the work
is not done promptly and satisfactorily, it is done by the city,
charged against the delinquent, and collected!

One need go into no further details as to why and wherefore Berlin,
Hamburg, even Cologne in these days, Leipsic, Düsseldorf, Dresden,
Munich, keep their streets in such fashion, that they are as corridors
to the outside of Irish hovels, as compared to the city streets of
America; for the definite and all-including answer and explanation are
contained in the two words: no politics.

Berlin is governed by a town council, under a chief burgomaster and a
burgomaster, and the civic magistracy, and the police, these last,
however, under state control. The chief burgomaster and the
burgomaster are chosen from trained and experienced candidates, and
are always men of wide experience and severe technical training, who
have won a reputation in other towns as successful municipal

In May, 1912, Wermuth, the son of the blind King of Hanover's
right-hand man, and he himself the recently resigned imperial secretary of
the treasury, was elected Oberburgomaster of Berlin. Such is the
standing of the men named to govern the German cities. It is as though
Elihu Root should be elected mayor of New York, with Colonel John
Biddle as police commissioner, and Colonel Goethals as commissioner of
street-cleaning. May the day come when we can avail ourselves of the
services of such men to govern our cities!

The magistracy numbers 34, of whom 18 receive salaries. The town
council consists of 144 members, half of whom must be householders.
They are elected for six years, and one-third of them retire every two
years, but are eligible for re-election. They are elected by the
three-class system of voting, which is described in another chapter.
This three-class system of voting results in certain inequalities. In
Prussia, for example, fifteen per cent. of the voters have two-thirds
of the electoral power, and relatively the same may be said of Berlin.

Unlike the municipal elections in American cities, the voters have
only a simple ballot to put in the ballot-box. National and state
politics play no part, and the voter is not confused by issues that
have nothing to do with his city government. The government of their
cities is arranged for on the basis that officials will be honest, and
work for the city and not for themselves. Our city organizations often
give the air of living under laws framed to prevent thievery, bribery,
blackmailing, and surreptitious murder. We make our municipal laws as
though we were in the stone age.

These German cities are also, unlike American cities, autonomous. They
have no state-made charters to interpret and to obey; they are not
restricted as to debt or expenditure; and they are not in the grip of
corporations that have bought or leased water, gas, electricity, or
street-railway franchises, and these, represented by the wealthiest
and most intelligent citizens, become, through the financial
undertakings and interests of these very same citizens, often the
worst enemies of their own city. The German cities are spared also the
confusion, which is injected into our politics by a fortunately small
class of reformers, with the prudish peculiarities of morbid vestals;
men who cannot work with other men, and who bring the virile virtues,
the sound charities, and wholesome morality into contempt.

We all know him, the smug snob of virtue. You may find him a professor
at the university; you may find him leading prayer-meetings and
preaching pure politics; you may find him the bloodless
philanthropist; you may find him a rank atheist, with his patents for
the bringing in of his own kingdom of heaven. These are the men above
all others who make the Tammanyizing of our politics possible. Honest
men cannot abide the hot-house atmosphere of their self-conscious
virtue. Nothing is more discouraging to robust virtue than the
criticisms of teachers of ethics, who live in coddled comfort, upon
private means, and other people's ideas.

Germany is just now suffering from the spasms of moral colic, due to
overeating. All luxury is in one form or another overeating. Berlin
itself has grown too rapidly into the vicious ways of a metropolis,
where spenders and wasters congregate. In 1911 the betting-machines at
the Berlin race-tracks took in $7,546,000, of which the state took for
its license, 16 2/3 per cent. There were 128 days of racing, while in
England they have 540 days' racing in the year!

In 1911, 1,300,000 strangers visited Berlin, of whom 1,046,162 were
Germans, 97,683 Russians, 39,555 Austrians, 30,550 Americans, and
16,600 English. Berlin killed 2,000,000 beasts for food, including
10,500 horses; she takes care of 3,000 nightly in her night-shelters,
puts away $17,500,000 in savings-banks, and has deposits therein of
$90,500,000. On the other hand, she has built a palace of vice costing
$1,625,000, in which on many nights between 11 P. M. and 2 A. M. they
sell $8,000 worth of champagne. No one knows his Berlin, who has not
partaken of a "Kalte Ente," or a "Landwehrtopp," a "Schlummerpunsch,"
or "Eine Weisse mit einer Strippe." There is still a boyish notion
about dissipation, and they have their own great classic to quote
from, who in "Faust" pours forth this rather raw advice for gayety:

"Greift nur hinein ins volle Menschenleben!
Ein jeder lebt's, nicht vielen ist's bekannt,
Und wo Ihr's packt, da ist es interessant!"

Berlin is still in the throes of that sophomorical philosophy of life
which believes that it is, from the point of view of sophistication,
of age, when it is free to be befuddled with wine and befooled by
women. But the German mind has no sympathy with hypocrisy. They may be
brutal in their rather material views of morals, but they are frank.
There may be mental prigs among them, but there are no moral prigs. In
both England and America we suffer from a certain morbid ethical
daintiness. There is a ripeness of moral fastidiousness that is often
difficult to distinguish from rottenness. It is part of the feminism
of America, born of our prosperity, for not one of these fastidious
moralists is not a rich man, and Germany escapes this difficulty.

The government of a German city is so simple in its machinery that
every voter can easily understand it. No doubt Seth Low and George L.
Rives could explain to an intelligent man the charter under which New
York City is governed, but they are very, very rare exceptions.

Our city government is bad, not because democracy is a failure, not
because Americans are inherently dishonest, but because we are a
superficially educated people, untrained to think, and, therefore,
still worshipping the Jeffersonian fetich of divided responsibility
between the three branches of the government. The judicial, the
legislative, and the executive are, with minute care, forced to check
and to impede one another, and we even carry this antiquated
superstition, born of a suspicious and timid republicanism, into the
government of our cities. With the exception of those cities in
America which are governed by commissions, our cities are slaves as
compared with the German cities. They are slaves of the predatory
politicians, and they, on the other hand, are the bribed taskmasters
of the rich corporations. The German asks in bewilderment why our men
of wealth, of leisure, and of intelligence are not devoting themselves
to the service of the state and the city. Alas, the answer is the
pitiable one that the electoral machinery is so complicated that the
voters can be and are, continually humbugged; and worse, many of the
wealthy and intelligent, through their stake in valuable city
franchises, are incompetent to deal fairly with the municipal affairs
of their own city. Both in England and in America, the man in the
street is quite sound in his judgment, when he declines to trust those
who dabble in securities with which their own department has dealings.
The British Caesar's wife official, caught with a handkerchief on her
person, woven on the looms of a company whose directors are dealing
with the British government, can hardly claim exemption from
suspicion, because she bought the handkerchief in America. We all know
that when London sniffles the value of handkerchiefs goes up in New
York. Caesar's wife finds it difficult to persuade honorable men that
she merely had a financial cold, but not the smallest interest in a
corner in handkerchiefs.

In the great majority of German cities public-utility services, gas,
water, electricity, street-railways, slaughter-houses, and even
canals, docks, and pawn-shops are owned and controlled by the cities
themselves. There is no loop-hole for private plunder, and there is,
on the contrary, every incentive to all citizens, and to the rich in
particular, to enforce the strictest economy and the most expert

What theatres, opera-houses, orchestras, museums, what well-paved and
clean streets, what parks Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and San
Francisco might have, had these cities only a part of the money, of
which in the last twenty-five years they have been robbed! It is true
that the older cities of Germany have traditions behind them that we
lack. Art treasures, old buildings, and an intelligent population
demanding the best in music and the drama we cannot hope to supply,
but good house-keeping is another matter. Berlin, for example, is a
new city as compared with New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Detroit,
and its growth has been very rapid.

It cannot be said for us alone that we have grown so fast that we have
had no time to keep pace with the needs of our population. Berlin, all
Germany indeed, has been growing at a prodigious rate. The population
of Berlin in 1800 was 100,000; in 1832 only 250,000; hardly half a
million in 1870; while the population now is over 2,000,000, and over
3,000,000 if one includes the suburbs, which are for all practical
purposes part and parcel of Berlin. Charlottenburg, for example, with
a population of 19,517 in 1871, now has a population of 305,976, and
the vicinage of Berlin has grown in every direction in like

There were no towns in Germany till the eighth century, except those
of the Romans on the Rhine and the Danube. In 1850 there were only 5
towns in Germany with more than 100,000 inhabitants, and in 1870 only
8; in 1890, 26; in 1900, 33; in 1905, 41; in 1910, 47; and nearly the
whole increase of population is now massed in the middle-sized and
large cities. The same may be said of the drift of population in
America. "A thrifty but rather unprogressive provincial town of 60,000
inhabitants," writes Mr. J. H. Harper, of New York, in 1810.

Between 1860 and 1900 the proportion of urban to rural population in
the United States more than doubled. In the last ten years the
percentage of people living in cities, or other incorporated places of
more than 2,500 inhabitants, increased from 40.5 to 46.3 per cent. of
the total; while twenty years ago only 36.1 per cent. of the
population lived in such incorporated places.

As late as the thirteenth century the Christian chivalry of the time
was spending itself in the task of converting the heathen of what is
now Prussia; and it was well on into the nineteenth century before
serfdom was entirely abolished in this region. It is the newness and
rawness of the population, in the streets of the great German and
Prussian capital which surprise and puzzle the American, almost more
than the cleanliness and orderliness of the streets themselves. It is
as though a powerful monarch had built a fine palace and then, for
lack of company, had invited the people from the fields and farm-yards
to be his companions therein.

"Jamais un lourdaud, quoi qu'il fasse
Ne saurait passer pour galaud."

One should read Hazlitt's "Essay on the Cockney" to find phrases for
these Berliners. It is a gazing, gaping crowd that straggles along
over the broad sidewalks. Half a dozen to a dozen will stop and stare
at people entering or leaving vehicles, at a shop, or hotel door. I
have seen a knot of men stop and stare at the ladies entering a motor-car,
and on one occasion one of them wiped off the glass with his hand
that he might see the better. It is not impertinence, it is merely
bucolic naïveté. The city in the evening is like a country fair, with
its awkward gallantries, its brute curiosity, its unabashed
expressions of affection by hands and lips, its ogling, coughing, and
other peasant forms of flirtation. It should be remembered that this
people as a race show somewhat less of reticence in matters amatory
than we are accustomed to. In the foyer of the theatre you may see a
young officer walking round and round, his arm under that of his
fiancée or bride, and her hand fondly clasped in his. It is a
commentary, not a criticism, on international manners that the German
royal princess, a particularly sweet and simple maiden, just engaged
to marry the heir of the house of Cumberland, is photographed walking
in the streets of Berlin, her hand clasped in that of her betrothed,
and both he, and her brother who accompanies them, smoking! Gentlemen
do not smoke when walking or driving with ladies, with us, though I am
not claiming that it is a moral disaster to do so. It is a difference
in the gradations of respect worth noting, but nothing more. I have
even seen kissing, as a couple walked up the stairs from one part of
the theatre to another. In the spring and summer the paths of the
Tiergarten of a morning are strewn with hair-pins, a curious, but none
the less accurate, indication of the rather fumbling affection of the
night before.

To live in a fashionable hotel, in a land whose people you wish to
study, is as valueless an experience as to go to a zoölogical garden
to learn to track a mountain sheep or to ride down a wild boar. You
must go about among the people themselves, to their restaurants, to
their houses, if they are good enough to ask you, and to the resorts
of all kinds that they frequent.

The manners are better than in my student days, but there is still a
deal of improvised eating and drinking. There is much tucking of
napkins under chins that the person may be shielded from misdirected
food-offerings. There is not a little use of the knife where the fork
or spoon is called for; but this last I always look upon as a remnant
of courage, of the virility remaining in the race from a not distant
time when the knife served to clear the forest, to build the hut, to
kill the deer, and to defend the family from the wolf; and the
traditions of such a weapon still give it predominance over the more
epicene fork, as a link with a stirring past. Mere daintiness in
feeding is characteristic of the lapdog and other over-protected
animals. Unthinking courage in the matter of victuals is rather a
relief from the strained and anxious hygienic watchfulness of the
overcivilized and the overrich. The body should be, and is, regarded
by wholesome-minded people, not as an idol, but as an instrument. The
German no doubt sees something ignominious in counting as one chews a
chop, in the careful measuring of one's liquids, in the restricting of
oneself to the diet of the squirrel and the cow. He would perhaps
prefer to lose a year or two of life rather than to nut and spinach
himself to longevity. The wholesome body ought of course to be
unerring and automatic in its choice of the quantity and quality of
its fuel.

A well-dressed man in Berlin is almost as conspicuous as a dancing
bear. This comparison may lead the stranger to infer, in spite of what
has been said of the orderliness of Berlin, that dancing bears are
permitted in the streets. It is only fair to Berlin's admirable police
president, von Jagow, to say that they are not.

If one leaves the officers, who are a fine, upstanding, well-groomed
lot, out of the account, the inhabitants of Berlin are almost
grotesque in their dowdiness. This is the more remarkable for the
reason that the citizens of Berlin, wherever you see them, not only in
the West-end, but in the tenement districts, in the public markets,
going to or coming from the suburban trains, in the trains and
underground railway, in the cheaper restaurants and pleasure resorts,
taking their Sunday outing, or in the fourth-class carriages of the
railway trains, or their children in the schools, show a high level of
comfort in their clothing. There is poverty and wretchedness in
Berlin, of which later, but in no great city even in America, does the
mass of the people give such an air of being comfortably clothed and

We have been deluged of late years with figures in regard to the cost
of living in this country and in that, and never are statistics such
"damned lies" as in this connection. There is better and cheaper food
in Berlin, and in the other cities of Germany, than anywhere else in
our white man's world. Having for the moment no free-trade, or
protectionist, or tariff-reform axe to grind, and having tested the
pudding not by my prejudices but my palate, and having eaten a
fifteen-pfennig luncheon in the street, and climbed step by step the
gastronomical stairway in Germany all the way up to a supper at the
court, where eight hundred odd people were served with a care and
celerity, and with hot viands and irreproachable potables, that made
one think of the "Arabian Nights," I offer my experience and my
opinion with some confidence. You can get enough to stave off hunger
for a few pfennigs, you can get a meal for something under twenty-five
cents, and the whole twenty-five cents will include a glass of the
best beer in the world outside of Munich. If you care to spend fifty
cents there are countless restaurants where you can have a square meal
and a glass of beer for that price; and for a dollar I will give you
as good a luncheon with wine as any man with undamaged taste and
unspoiled digestion ought to have.

There is one restaurant in Berlin which feeds as many as five thousand
people on a Sunday, where you can dine or sup, and listen to good
music, and enjoy your beer and tobacco for an hour afterward, and all
for something under fifty cents if you are careful in your ordering.
During my walks in the country around Berlin, I have often had an
omelette followed by meat and vegetables, and cheese, and compote, and
Rhine wine, with all the bread I wanted, and paid a bill for two
persons of a little over a dollar. The Brödchen, or rolls, seem to be
everywhere of uniform size and quality, and the butter always good.

Paris is fast losing its place as the home of good all-round eating as
compared with Berlin. Of course, New York for geographical reasons,
and also because the modern Maecenas lives there, is nowadays the
place where Lucullus would invite his emperor to dine if he came back
to earth; but I am not discussing the nectar and ambrosia classes, but
the beer, bread, and pork classes, and certainly Berlin has no rival
as a provider for them.

After all our study of statistics, of figures, of contrasts, I am not
sure that we arrive at any very valuable conclusions. American
working-classes work ever shorter hours, gain higher wages, but they
are indubitably less happy, less rich in experience, less serene than
the Germans. This measuring things by dollars, by hours, by pounds and
yard-sticks, measures everything accurately enough except the one
thing we wish to measure, which is a man's soul. We are producing the
material things of life faster, more cheaply, more shoddily, but it is
open to question whether we are producing happier men and women, and
that is what we are striving to do as the end of it all. Nothing is of
any value in the world that cannot be translated into the terms of
man-making, or its value measured by what it does to produce a man, a
woman, and children living happily together. Wealth does not do this;
indeed, wealth beyond a certain limit is almost certain to destroy the
foundation of all peace, a contented family.

A shady beer-garden, capital music, and happy fathers and mothers and
children, what arithmetic, or algebra, or census tells you anything of
that? The infallible recipe for making a child unhappy, is to give it
everything it cries for of material things, and never to thwart its
will. We throw wages and shorter hours of work at people, but that is
only turning them out of prison into a desert. No statistics can deal
competently with the comparative well-being of nations, and nothing is
more ludicrous than the results arrived at where Germany is discussed
by the British or American politician. Whatever figures say, and
whatever else they may lack, they are better clothed, better fed and
cared for, and have far more opportunities for rational enjoyment, and
a thousand-fold more for aesthetic enjoyment, than either the English
or the Americans. That they lack freedom, in our sense, is true, but
freedom is for the few. The worldwide complaint of the hardship of
constant work is rather silly, for most of us would die of monotony if
we were not forced to work to keep alive, and to make a living.

The city, with its broad, clean streets, its beautiful race-course,
shaded walks, its forests and lakes, toward Potsdam, or at Tegel, or
Werder, when the blossoms are out, with its well-kept gardens, its
profusion of flowers and shrubs and trees, is physically the most
wholesome great city in the world; but Hans bleibt immer Hans! Goethe,
after a visit to Berlin, wrote: "There are no more ungodly communities
than in Berlin." [1]

[1] "Est giebt keine gottlosere Völker als in Berlin."

No one knows his Berlin better than that prince of German literary
Bohemians, Paul Lindau, and he makes a character in one of his novels
say of it: "untidy and orderly, so boisterous and so regulated, so
boorish and so kindly, so indescribable—so Berlinish—just that!" [1]

[1] "Staubig und ordentlich, so Taut und geregelt, so grob und
gemütlich, so unbeschreiblich, so berlinerisch, gerade so!"

In another place the same author writes: "Berlin as the Capital of the
German Empire! There are many respects in which it nevertheless hasn't
yet succeeded in taking on the character of a cosmopolitan city." [2]
Not even literature finds material for a city novel. There is no
Balzac, no Thackeray. Germany is still dominated by the village and
the town. Goethe, Auerbach, Spielhagen, Heyse, Gottfried Keller,
Freytag, my unread favorite "Fritz" Reuter, deal not with the life of
cities. There is as yet no drama, no novel, no art, no politics born
of the city. There is no domineering Paris or London or New York as

[2] "Berlin als Haupstadt des deutchen Reiches: in mancher Beziehung
hatte es sich dem weltstädtischen Charakter doch noch nicht aneignen

After some years of acquaintance with Germany as school-boy, as
student at the universities, and lately as a most hospitably received
guest by all sorts and conditions of men, I do not remember meeting a
fop. A German Beau Brummel is as impossible as a French Luther, an
American Goethe, or an English Wagner. We have had attempts at foppery
in America, but no real fops. A genuine fop, whether in art, in
literature, or in costumes, must have brains, ours have been merely
effigies, foppery taking the dull commercial form of a great variety
of raiment. It is a strange contradiction in German life that while
they are as a people governed minutely and in detail, forbidden
personal freedom along certain lines to which we should find it hard
to submit, they are freer morally, freer in their literature, their
art, their music, their social life, and in their unself-conscious
expression of them than other people. There is a curious combination
of legal and governmental slavery, and of spiritual and intellectual
freedom; of innumerable restrictions, and great liberty of personal
enjoyment, and that enjoyment of the most naïf kind. They seem to have
done less to destroy life's palate with the condiments of
civilization, and therefore, still find plain things savorous.

I am not sure that the ecumenical sophistication, known as
world-etiquette, marks a very high degree of knowledge or usefulness
anywhere. To know which hat goes with which boots, and what collar and
tie with what coat and waistcoat, and what costume is appropriate at
10 A. M., and what at 10 P. M., and to know the names of the head-waiters
of the principal restaurants, are minor matters. These are the
conveniences of the gentleman, but the characteristic burdens of the
ass. Such a mental equipment is not the stuff of which soldiers,
sailors, statesmen, explorers, or governors are made.

We must not overrate the value of this feminine worldliness in judging
the Germans. This effeminate categorical imperative of etiquette has
not influenced them greatly as yet. But on the other hand, one must
claim for the amenities of life that they have their value, that they
are, after all, the external decorations of an inward discipline. It
is not necessarily a fine disdain of material things, but rather a
keen sense of moral and physical efficiency, which pays due heed to
wherewithal ye shall be clothed, at any rate outside of Palestine.
Those who dream and discuss may wear anything or nothing. It mattered
not what Socrates wore. But men of action must wear the easy armor
that fits them best for their particular task. Men who toil either at
their pleasure or at their work must change their raiment, if only for
the sake of rest and health. Now that government is in the hands of
the vociferators rather than the meditaters, even politicians must
look to their costumes, merely out of regard to cleanliness. Evening
clothes with a knitted tie dribbling down the shirt front; a frock-coat
as a frame for a colored waistcoat, such as at shooting, or
riding, or golf, we permit ourselves to break forth in, as a weak
surrender to the tailor, or to the ingenuity of our womenfolk who are
not "unbred to spinning, in the loom unskilled"; the extraordinary
indulgence in personal fancies in the choice of colored ties, as
though the male citizens of Berlin had been to an auction of the
bastards of a rainbow; the little melon-shaped hats with a band of
thick velvet around them; the awkward slouching gait, as of men
physically untrained; the enormous proportion of men over forty, who
follow behind their stomachs and turn their toes out at an angle of
more than forty-five degrees, whose necks lie in folds over their
collars, and whose whole appearance denotes an uncared-for person and
a negligence of domestic hygiene: these things are significant. No man
who walks with his toes pointing southwest by south, and southeast by
south, when he is going south, will ever get into France on his own
feet, carrying a knapsack and a rifle. Cranach's painting of Duke
Henry the Pious, in the Dresden Gallery, gives an accurate picture of
the way many Germans still stand and walk; while every athlete knows
that runners and walkers put their feet down straight, or with a
tendency to turn them in rather than out. The Indians of northwest
India, and the Indians of our own West are good examples of this.

It is evident that the orderliness of Berlin is enforced orderliness
and not voluntary orderliness. Both pedestrians and drivers of all
sorts of vehicles, take all that is theirs and as much more as
possible. There is none of the give and take, and innate love of fair
play and instinctive wish to give the other fellow a chance, so
noticeable in London streets, whether on the sidewalks or in the
roadway. There is a general chip-on-the-shoulder attitude in Prussia,
which may be said, I think not unfairly, to be evident in all ranks,
from their recent foreign diplomacy, down to the pedestrians and

Many people whom I have met, not only foreigners but Germans from
other parts of Germany, are loud in their denunciations of the
Berliners. "Frech" and "roh" are words often used about them. There is
a surly malice of speech and manner among the working classes, that
seems to indicate a wish to atone for political impotence, by braggart
impudence to those whom they regard as superior. When we played horse
as children, we champed the wooden bit, shied, and balked and kicked,
and the worse we behaved the more spirited horses we thought
ourselves. There is a certain social and political radicalism verging
upon anarchy, which plays at life in much the same way, with no better
reason, and with little better result. Shying, balking, and kicking,
and champing the political bit, are only spirited to the childish.

Their awkward and annoying attentions to women alone on the streets;
their staring and gaping; their rudeness in pushing and shoving; the
general underbred look, the slouching gait, the country-store clothes,
hats, and boots; the fearful and wonderful combinations of raiment;
the sweetbread complexions, as of men under-exercised and not
sufficiently aired and scrubbed; their stiff courtesy to one another
when they recognize acquaintances with hat-sweeping bows; their fierce
gobbling in the restaurants; their lack of small services and
attentions to their own women when they go about in public with them;
their selfish disregard of others in public places, their giving and
taking of hats, coats, sticks, and umbrellas at the garde-robes of the
theatres, for example; their habit of straggling about in the middle
of the streets, like the chickens and geese on a country road: all
these things I have noted too, but I must admit the surprising
personal conclusion that I have grown to like the people. A good pair
of shoulders and an engaging smile go far to mitigate these nuisances.
It makes for good sense in this matter of criticism always to bear in
mind that delicious piece of humor of the psalmist: "Let the righteous
rather smite me friendly; and reprove me. But let not their precious
balms break my head." The "precious balms" of the lofty and righteous
critic are not of much value when they merely break heads.

I have been all over Berlin, and in all sorts of places, by day and by
night. I have found myself seated beside all sorts of people in
restaurants and public places, and I have yet to chronicle any
rudeness to me or mine. I like their innocent curiosity, their
unsophisticated ways, their bumpkin love-making in public; and many a
time I have found entertainment from odd companions who seated
themselves near me, when I have strayed into the cheaper restaurants,
to hear and to see something of the Berliner in his native wilds.
Their malice and rudeness and apparent impertinences are due to lack
of experience, to the fact that their manners are still untilled, I
believe, rather than to intentional insult. They are not house-broken
to their new capital, that is all, and that will come in time. Their
malicious jealousy peeps out in all sorts of ways. In the lower house
of the Prussian Diet, recently, a member protested vigorously against
the employment of an American singer in the Opera House! Chauvinism
carried to this extreme becomes comic, and is noted here only to
indicate to what depths of farm-yard provinciality some of the
citizens of this great city can descend.

They are dreamers and sentimentalists too. There are more kissing,
more fondling, more exuberance of affection, more displays of
friendliness in Germany in a week than in England and America in six
months. I confess without shame that I like to see it, and when it
comes my way, as beyond my deserts it has, I like to feel it. How
lasting is this friendliness I have no means of knowing till the years
to come tell me, but that it is a pleasant atmosphere to live in there
can be no doubt.

The driving is of the very worst. A man behind a horse, or horses, who
knows even the elements of handling the reins and the whip and the
brake, would be a curiosity indeed. I have not seen a dozen coachmen,
private or public, to whom my youngest child could not have given
invaluable suggestions as to the bitting, harnessing, and handling of
his cattle. On the other hand, I one day saw a street sign twisted out
of its place. I was fascinated by this unexampled mark of negligence.
I determined to watch that sign; alas, within forty-eight hours it was
put right again.

Let it not be understood that there are no fine horses to be seen in
Berlin. You will go far to find a better lot of horse-flesh, or
better-looking men on the horses, than you will see when the Kaiser
rides by to the castle after his morning exercise; and he sits his
horse and manages him with the easy skill of the real horseman, and
looks every inch a king besides. It is told of Daniel Webster, walking
in London, that a navvy turned to his companion and remarked: "That
bloke must be a king!" You would say the same of the Kaiser if you saw
him on horseback.

At horse shows and in the Tiergarten, and in riding-places in other
cities, I have looked at hundreds of horses, and, if I mistake not,
Germany is both buying and breeding the very best in the way of
mounts, though their civilian riders are often of the scissors
variety. There are comparatively few harness horses, and in Berlin
scarcely a dozen well-turned-out private carriages, outside the
imperial equipages, which are always superbly horsed and beautifully
turned out; so my eyes tell me at least, and I have watched the
streets carefully for months. The minor details of a properly turned-out
carriage (bits, chains, liveries, saddle-cloths, and so on) are
still unknown here. I have had the privilege of driving and riding
some of the horses in the imperial stables; and I have seen all of
them at one time or another being exercised in harness and under the
saddle. I have never driven a better-mannered four, or ridden more
perfectly broken saddle-horses. There are three hundred and twenty-six
horses in his Majesty's stables, and for a private stable of its size
it has no equal in the world. I may add, too, that there is probably
no better "whip" in the world to-day, whether with two horses, four
horses, or six horses, than the gentleman who trains the harness
horses in the imperial stables. This German coachman would be a
revelation at a horse show in either New York or London. If the
citizens of Berlin were as well-mannered as the horses in the imperial
stables, this would be the most elegant capital in the world. It is to
be regretted that his Majesty's very accomplished master of the horse
cannot also hold the position of censor morum to the citizens of
Berlin. Individual prowess in the details of cosmopolitan etiquette
has not reached a high level, but in all matters of mere house-keeping
there are no better municipal housewives than these German cities and

As a further example, the statues of Berlin are carefully cleaned in
the spring, but what statues! With the exception of the Lessing, the
Goethe, and the Great Elector statues, the statue of Frederick the
Great, and the reclining statues of the late emperor and empress, by
Begas, and one or two others, one sees at once that these citizens are
no more capable of ornamenting their city than of dressing themselves.

Poor Bismarck! Grotesque figures (men, women, animals) surround the
base of his statue in Berlin, in Leipsic; and in Hamburg, clad in a
corrugated golf costume, with a colossal two-handed sword in front of
him, he is a melancholy figure, gazing out over a tumble-down beer-garden.
At Wannsee, near Berlin, there is, I must admit, a really fine
bust of Bismarck. On a solid square pedestal of granite, covered with
ivy and surrounded by the whispering, or sighing, or creaking and
cracking trees that he loved, and facing the setting sun, and alone in
a secluded corner, just the place he would have chosen, there are the
head and shoulders of the real Bismarck. Here for once he has escaped
the fussy attentions of the artistry that he detested. Lehnbach, who
painted Bismarck so many scores of times, never gave him the color
that his face kept all through life, and with the exception of this
bust, of the scores of Bismarck memorials one sees all commiserate the
lack of artist ability; they do not commemorate Bismarck. If this is
what they do to the greatest man in their history, what is to be
expected elsewhere? What has poor Joachim Friedrich done that he
should pose forever in the Sieges Allee as an intoxicated hitching-post?
What, indeed, have his companions done that they should stand in
two rows there, studies in contortion, with a gilded Russian dancer
with wings at one end of their line, and a woodeny Roland at the
other? But there they are, simpering a paltry patriotism, insipid as
history and ridiculous as art. What has become of Lessing, and
Winckelmann, and Goethe, and their teachings? Is this the price that a
nation must pay for its industrial progress?

The German, with all his boasting about the "centre of culture," has
not discovered that the beauty of antiquity is the expression of those
virtues which were useful at the time of Theseus, as Stendhal rightly
tells us. Individual force, which was everything of old, amounts to
almost nothing in our modern civilization. The monk who invented
gunpowder modified sculpture; strength is only necessary now among
subalterns. No one thinks of asking whether Frederick the Great and
Napoleon were good swordsmen. The strength we admire, is the strength
of Napoleon advancing alone upon the First Battalion of the royal
troops near Lake Loffrey in March, 1815; that is strength of soul. The
moral qualities with which we are concerned are no longer the same as
in the days of the Greeks. Before this cockney sculpture was planned,
there should have been a closer study of the history and philosophy of
art in Berlin.

It is true that we in America are living in a glass house to some
extent in these matters, but where in all Germany is there any modern
sculpture to compare with our Nathan Hale, our Minute Man, and that
most spirited bit of modern plastic art in all the world, the Shaw
Monument in Boston? You cannot stand in front of it without keeping
time, and here lips of bronze sing the song of patriotism till your
heart thumps, and you are ready to throw up your hat as the splendid
young figure and his negro soldiers march by--and they do march by!
It is almost a consolation for what Boston has done to that gallant
soldier and humble servant of God, that modest gentleman, Phillips
Brooks. In a statue to him they have travestied the virtues he
expounded, slain the ideal of the Christ he preached, theatricalized
the least theatrical of men, and placed this piece of mortifying
misunderstanding in bronze under the very eaves of the house that grew
out of his simple eloquence. There is in Leipsic a similar misdemeanor
in a statue of Beethoven. He sits, naked to the waist, in a bronze
chair, with a sort of bath-towel drapery of colored marble about his
legs, and an eagle in front of him. He has a chauffeurish expression
of anxious futility, as though he were about to run over the eagle.

Men are without great dreams in these days, and art is elaborate and
fussy and self-conscious. The technical part of the work is
predominant. One sees the artist holding up a mirror to himself as he
works. Pygmalion congratulates the statue upon the fact that he carved
it, instead of being lost in the love of creating. It is as though a
lover should sing of himself instead of singing of his lady. The
subtle poison of self-advertisement has crept in, and peers like a
satyr from the picture and from the statue. Even the most prominent
name in German music at this writing is that of a man who is notorious
as an expert salesman of symphonic sensationalism.

Though the streets are so well kept, the buildings in these miles of
new streets are flimsy-looking, and evidently the work of the
speculative builder. The more pretentious buildings ape a kind of
Nuremberg Renaissance style, and are as effective as a castle made of
cardboard. This does not imply that there are not simple and solid
buildings in Berlin and, in the case of the new library and a score of
other buildings, worthy architecture; but the general impression is
one of haste multiplied by plaster.

The whole city blossoms with statuary, like a cosmopolitan 'Arriet who
cannot get enough flowers and feathers on her Sunday hat. A certain
comic anthropomorphism is to be seen, even on the balustrades of the
castle, where the good Emperor William is posed as Jupiter, the
Empress Augusta as Juno, Emperor Frederick as Mars, and his wife as
Minerva! On the façades of houses, on the bridges, on the roofs of
apartment houses, on the hotels even, and scattered throughout the
public gardens, are scores of statues, and they are for the most part
what hastily ordered, swiftly completed art, born of the dollar
instead of the pain and travail of love and imagination, must always

A certain literary snob taken to task by Doctor Parr for pronouncing
the one-time capital of Egypt "Alexandria," with the accent on the
long i, quoted the authority of Doctor Bentley. "Doctor Bentley and
I," replied Doctor Parr, "may call it 'Alexandria,' but I should
advise you to call it 'Alexandria.'" It was all very well for the
Medici, to ornament their cities and their homes with the fruit of the
great artistic springtime of the world, but I should strongly advise
the Berliners to pronounce it "Alexandria" for some years to come. No
matter how fervid the lover, nor how possessed he may be by his
mistress, he cannot turn out every day, even,

"A halting sonnet of his own poor brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice."

All this pretentious over-ornamentation is cosmeticism, the powder and
paint of the vulgarian striving to conceal by a futile advertisement
her lack of refinement. Paris was teaching the world when there was no
capital in Germany; London has been a commercial centre for a thousand
years, and Oxford was a hundred years old before even the University
of Prague, the first in Germany, was founded by Charles IV in 1348.
You may like or dislike these cities, but, at any rate, they have a
bouquet; Berlin has none.

When Germany deals with the inanimate and amenable factors of life,
she brings the machinery of modern civilization well-nigh to the point
of perfection. As a municipal and national housewife she has no equal,
none. But art has nothing to do with brooms and dust-pans, and human
nature is woven of surprises and emergencies, and what then? An
interesting example in the streets of Berlin is the difference between
the perfection of the street-cleaning, which deals with the inanimate
and with accurately calculable factors, and the governing of the
street traffic. Horses and men and motor-driven vehicles are not as
dependable as blocks of pavement. When the traffic in the Berlin
streets grows to the proportions of London, Paris, and New York, one
wonders what will happen. Nowhere are there such broad, well-kept
streets in which the traffic is so awkwardly handled.

The police are all, and must be, indeed, noncommissioned officers of
the army, of nine years service, and not over thirty-five years of
age. They are armed with swords and pistols by night, and in the
rougher parts of the town with the same weapons by day as well. After
ten years service they are entitled to a pension of twenty-sixtieths
of their pay, with an increase of one-sixtieth for each further year
of service. They are not under the city, but under state control, and
the chief of police is a man of distinction, nearly always a nobleman,
and nominated by, and in every case approved by, the Emperor. In
Berlin he is appointed by the King of Prussia. He is a man of such
standing that he may be promoted to cabinet rank. The men are well-turned
out, of heavy build, very courteous to strangers, so far as my
experience can speak for them, and quiet and self-controlled. Under
the police president are one colonel of police, receiving from 6,000
to 8,500 marks, according to his length of service; 3 majors,
receiving from 5,400 to 6,600 marks; 20 captains, receiving from 4,200
to 5,400 marks; 156 lieutenants, receiving from 3,000 to 4,500 marks;
450 sergeants, receiving from 1,650 to 2,300 marks; and 5,382
patrolmen, receiving from 1,400 to 2,100 marks. There are also some
300 mounted police, receiving from 1,400 to 2,600 marks. The colonel,
majors, and captains receive 1,300 marks additional, and the
lieutenants 800 marks additional, for house rent. The mounted police
are well-horsed, but it is no slight to them to say, however, that
their horses are not so well trained and well mannered, nor the men
such skilful horsemen, as those of our mounted squad in New York, who,
man for man and horse for horse, are probably unequalled anywhere else
in the world.

The demand for these non-commissioned officers of nine years of army
discipline, who cannot be called upon to serve in the army again, has
grown with the growth of the great city, with its need of porters,
watchmen, and the like, and so valuable are their services deemed that
the present police force of Berlin is short of its proper number by
some seven hundred men.

The examination of those about to become policemen extends over four
weeks, and includes every detail of the multiplicity of duties, which
ranges from the protection of the public from crime, down to tracking
down truants from school, and the regulation of the books of the
maid-servant class. The policeman who aspires to the rank of sergeant
undergoes a still more rigorous examination, extending over twenty
weeks of preparation, during which time he studies--note this list,
ye "young barbarians all at play," German, rhetoric, writing,
arithmetic, common fractions, geography, history, especially the
history of the House of Hohenzollern from the time of the margraves to
the present time (!), political divisions of the earth, especially of
Prussia and Germany, the essential features of the constitution of the
Prussian Kingdom and German Empire, the organization and working of
the various state authorities in Prussia and Germany, elementary
methods of disinfection, common veterinary remedies, the police law as
applicable to innumerable matters from the treatment of the drunk,
blind, and lame, to evidences of murder, and the press law. The man
who passes such an examination would be more than qualified to take a
degree, at one of our minor colleges, if he knew English and the
classics were not required, and could well afford to sniff
disdainfully at the pelting shower of honorary degrees of Doctor of
Divinity, which descend from the commencement platforms of our more
girlish intellectual factories of orthodoxy.

The cost of the police in Berlin in 1880 was 2,494,722 marks; in 1890,
3,007,879 marks; in 1900, 6,065,975 marks; and in 1910, 8,708,165

I fancy that after an accident has taken place the literary, legal,
and hygienic details are cared for by the Berlin police as nowhere
else. In their management of the traffic they are distinctly lacking
in decision and watchfulness. On the western side of the Brandenburger
Tor there is seldom an hour, without a tangle of traffic which is
entirely unnecessary if the police knew their business. On the
Tiergarten Strasse, a rather narrow and much used thoroughfare in the
fashionable part of the town, trucks, cabs, and other vehicles are not
kept close to the curbs, often they drive along in pairs, slowing up
all the traffic, and at the east end of the street is a corner which
could easily be remedied by the building of a "refuge," and an
authoritative policeman to guard the three approaches. Not once, but
scores of times, at the very important corner of Unter den Linden and
Wilhelm Strasse I have seen the policeman talking to friends on the
curb, quite oblivious to a scramble of cabs, wagons, and motors at
cross purposes in the street. Potsdamer Platz presents a difficult
problem at all times of the day, especially when the crowds are coming
from or going toward home, but a few ropes and iron standards, and
four alert Irish policemen, would make it far plainer sailing than now
it is. It is to be remembered, too, that the traffic is a mere dribble
as compared to a torrent, when one remembers Paris, New York, and
London. In 1909 the street accidents in Paris numbered 65,870, and
there was one summons for every 77 motor taxicabs, but Paris is now
without a rival as the dirtiest, worst-paved capital in Europe, and
the home of social anarchy; a place where adventurous spirits will go
soon rather than to Africa, or to the Rocky Mountains, for excitement
in affrays with revolvers, vitriol, and chloroform.

In London, in 1909, there were 13,388 accidents. In Berlin there was a
total of 4,895 accidents in 1900; 4,797 in 1905; and 4,233 in 1910.
One hundred persons were killed in 1900; 115 in 1905; and 136 in 1910.
In this connection it is to be said, that Berlin has fewer and much
less adventurous inhabitants, very much less complicated traffic, much
broader and better streets, and far fewer problems than the older
cities. If the citizens of Berlin were anything like as capable of
taking care of themselves in the streets, as they should be, there
would be hardly any accidents at all. The new police regulation of the
traffic has been only some four or five years in existence in its more
rigid form, and perhaps neither people nor police are accustomed to
it. Even then, out of the total of 4,233 accidents in 1910, 1,876 of
them were caused by the street-railway cars. This shows of itself how
light the traffic must be, for worse driving and more awkward
pedestrians one would go far to find.

The cost of Berlin housekeeping increases by leaps and bounds. The
total city expenses were: 45,221,988 marks in 1880; 89,364,270 in
1890; 121,405,356 in 1900; and 355,424,614 in 1910. The debt of Berlin
has risen from 126,161,605 marks in 1880, and 272,912,350 in 1900, to
475,799,231 in 1910, with a very considerable addition voted for 1912.
In the ten years alone between 1897 and 1907 the debt of German cities
including only those with a population of more than 10,000, increased
by $1,050,000,000. Municipal expenditure in Paris has risen in the
last ten years from $59,200,000 to $76,000,000. The budget expenditure
of France has reached $1,040,000,000. In 1898 it was only

It cannot be expected that the best-kept, cleanest, and most orderly
cities in the world, and there need be no hesitation in saying this of
the German cities, should not spend much money, and the states in
which they are situated much money as well. The various states of the
empire spent, according to a report of four years ago, $1,352,500,000;
and the empire itself $738,250,000, or a total of $2,090,750,000. From
the various state or empire controlled enterprises, such as railways,
forests, mines, post and telegraph, imperial printing-office, and so
on, the states and empire received a net income of $216,525,000, and
the balance was, of course, raised by direct and indirect taxation.

One may put appropriately enough under this heading, the invaluable
and unpaid services of a host of honorary officials, who render expert
service both in the state and city governments. There are over ten
thousand honorary officials in the city of Berlin alone, more than
three thousand of whom serve under the school authorities. They are
chosen from citizens of standing, education, wealth, and ability, and
assist in all the departments with advice and expert knowledge, and
sit upon the various committees. The German citizen has not only his
pocket taxed, but his patriotism also, and a capital philosophy of
government this implies.

A friend, a large landholder in Saxony, gives, between his services as
a reserve officer in the army and his magisterial and other duties,
something over nine weeks of his time to the state every year, and he
is by no means an exception, he tells me. A certain amount of this is
required of him by the state, with a heavy fine for nonperformance of
these duties. The same is true of the many members of the various
standing committees in the cities. Each citizen is compelled to
contribute a certain proportion of his mental and moral prowess to the
service of his state and city, but he receives a return for it in his
beautifully kept city, in the educational advantages, in the theatres,
concerts, opera, and in the peaceful orderliness, the value of which
only the foreigner can fully appreciate.

Almost all the court theatres, for example, throughout Germany are
under a director who works in harmony with the reigning prince. The
King of Prussia gives for his theatres in Berlin, Wiesbaden, Hanover,
and Cassel, more than $625,000 a year from his private purse; the Duke
of Anhalt, $75,000 a year to the Dessauer theatre. The players have a
sure position under responsible and intelligent government, and feel
themselves to be not mere puppets, but educational factors with a
certain pride and dignity in their work.

There are more Shakespeare plays given in Germany in a week than in
all the English-speaking countries together in a year. This is by no
means an exaggeration. The theatre is looked upon as a school. Fathers
and mothers arrange that their older children as well as themselves
shall attend the theatre all through the winter, and subscribe for
seats as we would subscribe to a lending library. During the last year
in Germany, the plays of Schiller were given 1,584 times, of
Shakespeare 1,042 times, the music-dramas of Wagner 1,815 times, the
plays of Goethe 700 times, and of Hauptmann 600 times. There is no
spectacular gorgeousness, as when an Irving, a Booth, or a Beerbohm
Tree sugarcoats Shakespeare to induce us barbarians to go, in the
belief that we are after all not wasting our time, since the
performance tastes a little of the more gorgeous music halls. The
scenery and costumes are sufficient, and the performance always worth
intelligent attention, for the reason that both the director and his
players have given time and scholarship to its interpretation. The
acting is often indifferent as compared to the French stage, but it is
at least always in earnest and intelligent. The theatre prices in
Berlin are high, even as compared with New York prices, but in other
cities and towns of Germany cheaper than in England, France, or

Pericles passed a law in Athens by which each citizen was granted two
oboli, one to pay for his seat at the theatre, the other to provide
himself with refreshment. In Athens the play began at 6 or 7 A. M.,
and during the morning three tragedies and a satirical drama were
played, followed in the afternoon by a comedy. The theatre of
Dionysius seated 30,000 people, who brought their cushions, food, and
drink, and occasionally used them to express their dislike of the
performance or the performers. At one of the larger industrial towns
in Germany, during a Sunday of my visit, there were three
performances; one at 11 A. M., of a patriotic melodrama, "Glaube und
Heimat"; another, at 3.30 P. M., of "Der Freischütz"; and another, at
7.30 P. M., of Sudermann's play, "Die Ehre." The prices of seats for
the morning performance ranged from eight cents to forty-five cents; a
little more in the afternoon; and from seventeen cents to $1.15 in the
evening. At the performance I attended the house was crowded and
attentive. I was not enough of an Athenian to attend all three. Even
at the Music Hall in Berlin, where, as in other cities, the thinly
covered salacious is ladled out to the animal man, there was a capital
stage caricature of Oedipus, which atoned for the customary ewig
Legliche, which now rules in these resorts. If for some untoward
reason women ceased to have legs, what would the British and American
theatrical trust managers do!

The German takes his theatre and his music, as from the beginnings of
these it was intended we all should do. They are not a distraction
merely, but an education, an education of the senses, and through the
senses of the whole man. There are music-lovers and serious playgoers
in America; but for the most part our theatres cater to, and are
filled by, a public seeking a soothing and condimented mental
atmosphere, in which to finish digestion. Theatrical salmagundi is
served everywhere, and seems to be the dish best suited to the
American aesthetic palate as thus far educated. We cannot complain,
since other wares would be quickly provided did we but ask for them.

America has suffered because she was overtaken by a great material
prosperity before she had a sufficient spiritual and intellectual
development, and up to now the material side of life has had the upper
hand. We buy the best pictures, the rare books and manuscripts, armor
and silver and porcelain, and it must be said that there is a fine
idealism here, because they are bought almost without exception by
uncultured, often almost unlettered, rich men, who know nothing and
care very little for these things, but who are providing rare
educational opportunities for another generation. In 1910 objects of
art to the value of $22,000,000 were imported, in 1911 $36,000,000
worth, and in 1912 sixty per cent. more than in 1911. In the same way
we hire the best musicians and singers, but our surroundings and the
powerful circumambient ambitions, have not tempted us as yet to live
contentedly and understandingly in any such atmosphere as the Germans
do. It is a striking contrast, perhaps of all the contrasts the most
interesting to the student, this of America growing from industrialism
toward idealism, of Germany growing out of idealism into

Germany floats in music; in America a few, a very few, float on it. In
Germany everybody sings, almost everybody plays some instrument, and
from the youngest to the oldest everybody understands music; at least
that is the impression you carry away with you from the land of Bach,
Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Brahms, and Beethoven, and Wagner, and I
might fill the page with the others.

You are at least on the ramparts of Paradise, in the Thomas Kirche in
Leipsic at the weekly Saturday concert of the scholars of the Thomas
Schule. The worldliness is melted out of you, as you sit in the cool,
quiet church with the sunlight slanting in upon you, and the
atmosphere alive with sweet sounds. And this is only one of hundreds
of such experiences all over Germany. At the Kreuz Kirche in Dresden,
at the great Dom church in Berlin at Easter time, for the asking you
may have the oil and wine of music's Good Samaritan poured upon the
wounds of those sore-pressed travellers, your hopes and ideals, your
dreams and ambitions, that have fallen among thieves, on the long,
long way from Jericho to Jerusalem.

It is, I must admit, a drab and dreary crowd to look at, these Germans
at the theatre, at the opera, in the concert halls. They do not dress,
or if they are women undress, for their music as do we; their music
dresses for them. They come, most of them, in the clothes that they
have worn all day, each quidlibet induitus. They have many of them a
meal of meat, bread, and beer during the long pause between two of the
acts, always provided for this purpose. Some of them bring little bags
with their own provisions, and only buy a glass of beer. They are
solemnly attentive, an educated and experienced audience there for a
purpose, and not to be trifled with, the most competently critical
audience in the world. I wonder as I look at them whether the fact
that they have no backs to their heads, emphasized nowadays by the
fact that many men wear their hair clipped close to the head, and no
chins (the lack of chins in Germany is almost a national peculiarity)
has any physiological or psychological relation to their prowess in,
and love of, and critical appreciation of, the more nebulous arts:
music, poetry, philosophy, and the serious drama.

They are as adamant in their observance of the rules in such matters.
More than once I arrived at the opera a few minutes late, once four
minutes late, the doors are closed and guarded, and I listen to the
overture from the outside. At a concert led by the famous von Bülow
half a dozen women come in after the music has begun, rustling,
sibilant, and excited. The music stops, the great conductor turns to
glare at them, and, referring to the geese which are said to have
saved Rome by their hissing, thunders: "Hier ist kein Capitol zu

There are some forty thousand professional musicians in Germany. The
town council of Berlin is now discussing gravely the sum to be
allotted to the support of the Symphony Orchestra, and Charlottenburg
is building an opera house of its own, and Spandau a theatre; and
there has just been formed in Berlin a "Society of the German
Artistes' Theatre," with a capital of $200,000, which is a project
along the general lines of the Comédie Française. The discussions and
arguments relating to these municipal expenditures, as I read them in
the newspapers, are all based upon the assumption that the people have
a right to good and cheap music, just as they have a right to good and
cheap beer and bread.

At Düsseldorf one of the theatres, managed by a woman, and supported
by the best people in the town, is not only a playhouse, but a school
for actors, and a proving-ground for the drama. It is a treat indeed
to attend the performances there. We have tried similar things in
America, but with sad results. Fifty millionaires, no one of whom had
ever read the text of a serious play in his life, build a temple for
the drama, but there are no plays, no actors, no audience, nothing is
accomplished. There is no critical body of real lovers of the drama,
and there are no cheap seats, and there is still that fatuous notion
that exclusiveness, except in the trifling matter of physical
propinquity, can be bought with dollars.

The only impenetrably exclusive thing in the world is intellect, he is
the only aristocrat left in these democratic days, and we are not
devoting much attention as yet to his breeding. We do not realize that
the only valuable democrat must be an aristocrat. "Culture seeks to do
away with classes and sects; to make the best that has been thought
and known in the world current everywhere; to make all men live in an
atmosphere of sweetness and light, where they may use ideas, as it
uses them itself, freely; nourished and not bound by them. This is the
social idea; and the men of culture are the true apostles of

In Germany there are more men of culture per thousand of the
population than in any other land, but they rule the country not by
"sweetness and light," but by force. This seems at first a
contradiction. It is not. Religion, life, and love are all savage
things. Because we have known men who preach but do not believe; men
who breathe and walk who have not lived; men who protest but who have
not loved, we are prone to think of religion, life, and love as soft.
We have conquered and chastened so much of nature: the air, the water,
the bowels of the earth that we fool ourselves with thinking that
culture also is tame, that religion, life, and love are tame too.
Savage things they are! You may know them by that! If you find them
nice, vivacious, amusing, amenable, be sure that they are forgeries.

This is the profound fallacy underlying the present-day economic peace
propagandism, whose heaviest underwriter, Mr. Carnegie, is, by the
way, an agnostic. While there is faith there will be fighting. Do away
with either and society would crumble. What the Puritans did for us,
the Prussians have done for Germany. They have fought, are fighting,
and will fight for their faith. Though they have many unpleasant
characteristics, this is their most admirable quality. They believe in
an aristocracy of culture with a right to rule. Goethe said of Luther
that he threw back the intellectual progress of mankind by centuries,
by calling in the passions of the multitude to decide on subjects that
ought to have been left to the learned. This is a good example of
imitation culture. This is very much the view that Mr. Balfour holds
in regard to Cromwell. But Luther and Bismarck made Germany. The one
taught Germany to bark, the other taught Germany to bite. The great
deliverers of the world came, not to bring peace, but a sword.

When you leave the drab crowd in the streets, and enter the houses of
the real rulers of Germany, the contrast between the aristocrat and
the plebeian is nowhere so outstanding. I have seen no finer-looking
specimens of mankind in face and figure and manner than the best of
these men. If you stroll though the halls of the Krieges Academie,
where the pick of the young officers of the German army, are preparing
themselves for the examinations which admit a very small proportion of
them, to appointments on the general staff, you will be delighted with
the faces and figures, and the air of alertness and intelligence
there. And you will find as fine a type of gentlemen, in face,
manners, and figure, at their head as exists anywhere.

There are complaints that this Prussian aristocracy is socially
exclusive, is given office both in the army and in civil life too
readily; but what an aristocracy it is! These are the men whose
families gave, often their all, to make Prussia, and then to make
Germany. Service of king and country is in their blood. They get small
remuneration for their service. There is no luxury. They spurn the
temptations of money. Hundreds and hundreds of them have never been
inside the house of a rich parvenu, nor have their women. They work as
no other servants work, they live on little, they and their women and
children; and you may count yourself happily privileged if they permit
you the intimacy of their home life.

Officers and gentlemen there are, living on two thousand five hundred
dollars a year, and most of them on much less, and their wives, as
well born as themselves, darning their socks and counting the pfennigs
with scrupulous care. These are the women whose ancestors flung
themselves against the Roman foe, beside their husbands and brothers;
these are the women who gave their jewels to save Prussia; these are
the women, with the glint of steel and the light of summer skies
braided in their eyes, who have taken their hard, self-denying part in
making Prussia, and the German Empire. No wonder they despise the mere
money-maker, no wonder they will have none of his softness for
themselves, and hate what Milton calls "lewdly pampered luxury," as a
danger to their children. They know well the moral weapons that won
for this starved, and tormented, and poverty-stricken land its present
place in the world as a great power.

"And as the fervent smith of yore
    Beat out the glowing blade,
Nor wielded in the front of war
    The weapons that he made,
But in the tower at home still plied
    His ringing trade;

"So like a sword the son shall roam
    On nobler missions sent;
And as the smith remained at home
    In peaceful turret pent,
So sits the while at home the mother
    Well content."

I, convinced democrat that I am, know very well that there are, and
always have been, and always will be aristocrats, for there is no
national salvation without them anywhere in the world. The aristocrats
are the same everywhere, no matter what their distinctions of title,
or whether they have none. They are those who believe that they owe
their best to God and to men, and they serve. Likewise the plebeians
are the same all over the world; whatever their presumptions or
denials, they believe that they are here to get what they can out of
God and men, and they take far more than they give.

Perhaps no feature of German life is so little known, so little
understood, as this simple-living, proud, and exclusive caste, who
have made, and still protect and guard, Prussia and Germany. They say:
"We made Prussia and Germany, and we intend to guard them, both from
enemies at home and from enemies abroad!" My admiration for these men
and women is so unbounded, that I would no more carry criticism with
me into their homes, than I would carry mud into a sanctuary.

They have done much for Germany, but the best, perhaps, of all is that
they have made economy and simple living feasible and even
fashionable; they have made talent aristocratic; they have insisted
that social life shall be founded on service and breeding and ability.
They will have no dealings with Herr Muller, the rich shopkeeper, but
whatever name the distinguished artist, or public servant, or man of
science, or young giant in any field of intellectual prowess may bear,
he is welcomed. In general this welcome given by German society to
talent holds good. There is, however, a society composed of the great
landed proprietors, who live in the country, who come to Berlin
rarely, and whose horizon is limited severely to their own small
interests, their restricted circle, and by their provincial pride.
They recognize nobody but themselves, for the reason that they know
nobody and nothing else. There is an exclusiveness born of stupidity,
just as there is an exclusiveness born of a sense of duty to one's
position and traditions in the world. One must recognize that this
side of social life exists in Germany just as it exists in England,
and France, and Austria, but it is fast losing its importance and its

One hears it lamented that society is changing, that the rich Jew and
the rich gentile are received where twenty-five years ago the social
portals were shut against them, and that many go to their houses who
would not have gone not many years ago. My experience is too slender
to weigh these matters in years; my contention is only that, from an
American or English stand-point, their social life is notably simple,
and still largely founded on merit and service, rather than upon the
means to provide luxury.

Though there are thousands of people received at court each year, this
does not mean that they are invited to the more intimate parties of
those in court control. They are tolerated, not welcomed. Such people
are invited to the court ball, but never thought of, even, as guests
at the small supper party of, say, a court official later in the
evening. Prussia and Germany are still ruled socially and politically
by a small group of, roughly, fifty thousand men, eight thousand of
them in the frock-coat of the civilian official, and the rest in
military uniforms. Added to this must be named a few great financiers,
shipping and mining and industrial magnates, and great land-owners,
and less than half a dozen journalists, and as many professors.

According to the census there are in all only 720 persons in Berlin
with incomes of more than $25,000 a year, and 521 of these have
between $25,000 and $60,000 a year, leaving a very small number, indeed,
with incomes adequate, from an American point of view, for extravagant
social expenditure. Of these 200, probably not 50 are figures in the
social life of the capital. It may be seen at once, therefore, that
entertaining cannot be on a lavish or spectacular scale.

The minister of foreign affairs and the imperial minister of the
interior receive salaries of 36,000 marks, with 14,000 marks
additional for expenses. The Prussian ministers have the same. Other
ministers receive 30,000 marks and 14,000 additional for expenses. The
chancellor of the empire receives 36,000 marks and 64,000 additional
for expenses. The highest receivable pension is three-fourths of the
salary—not counting the additional sum for expenses, or, as it is
named, Repräsentationsaufwand--after forty years of service. The
foreign ambassadors to the more expensive capitals, London, Paris,
Washington, Saint Petersburg, receive 150,000 marks a year. Where one
has seen something of the innumerable demands upon the income of a
foreign ambassador, one is the more amazed that a great democracy like
ours should so restrict the salaries of its representatives abroad
that only rich men dare undertake the duty. What could be more

Germany is a rich, very rich, country in the sense that it has the
most intelligent, hardest-working, most fiercely economical, and the
most rationally and most easily contented population of any of the
great powers. But Germany is not rich in surplus and liquid capital as
compared with England, France, or America. It is the more to her
credit that her capital is all hard at work. There is just so much
less for luxury. The people in the streets; the shop-windows; the
scale of charges at places of public resort and amusement; the very
small number of well-turned-out private vehicles; the comparatively
few people who live in houses and not in apartments; the simplicity of
the gowns of the women, and their inexpensive jewelry and other
ornaments; the fewer servants; the salaries and wages of all classes,
point decisively to plain living on the part of practically everybody.
Let me say very emphatically, however, that this economy means no lack
of generosity. I doubt if there are people anywhere so restricted as
to means, and so delightfully hospitable at the same time. Berlin is
not as yet under that cloud that covers the new, uncultivated, and
rich society in America, that tyranny of money which makes men and
women fearful of being without it. Such people shiver at the bare
thought of losing what money will buy, for the shameful reason that
then there would be nothing left to them; and they are driven, many of
them, both in London and in New York, to any humiliation, often to any
degradation, to avoid it. They grossly overrate the value of money,
and they exaggerate the terrors of being without it.

Professor William James, who succeeded in analyzing what is at the
back of men's brains as well as anybody, writes: "We have grown
literally afraid to be poor. We despise any one who elects to be poor
in order to simplify and save his inner life. We have lost the power
of even imagining what the ancient idealization of poverty could have
meant: the liberation from material attachments, the unbribed soul,
the manlier indifference, the paying our way by what we are or do, and
not by what we have, the right to fling away our life at any moment
irresponsibly--the more athletic trim, in short, the moral fighting
shape. … It is certain that the prevalent fear of poverty among the
educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our
civilization suffers." They suffer from this malady less in Germany
than in America or in England. I should like to introduce such people
into dozens of households in Berlin; alas, they could not speak or
understand the moral or mental language there, where there is
everything that makes a home's heart beat proudly and peaceably,
except money. "La prospérité découvre les vices, et l'adversité les

These people need no tribute from me, and for their hospitality and
friendliness I can make no adequate return. I sigh to think that we in
America know so little of them. Germany would not be where she is
without them; and I offer them as an example to my countrymen, and to
my countrywomen especially, as showing what self-sacrifice and
simplicity, and loyal service can do for a nation in times of stress;
and what high ideals and sturdy independence and contempt for luxury
can do in the dangerous days of prosperity. Unadvertised, unheralded,
keeping without murmuring or envy to their own traditions, they are
here, as everywhere, the saviors of the world.

In this great city of Berlin it may seem that I have over-emphasized
their part in the drama of the city's life. Not so! They are the
backbone of the municipal as of the national body corporate. It is no
easy industrial progress, no increasing wealth and population, no
military prowess, no isolated great leader that makes a nation or a
city. It is the men and women giving the high and unpurchasable gift
of service to the state; giving the fine example of self-sacrificing
and simple living; giving the prowess won by years of hard mental and
moral training; giving the gentle courtesy and kindly welcome of the
patrician to the stranger, who lift a nation or a city to a worthy
place in the world. Seek not for Germany's strength first in her
fleet, her army, her hordes of workers, nay, not even in her
philosophers, teachers, and musicians, though they glisten in the eyes
of all the world, for you will not find it there. It is in these quiet
and simple homes, that so few Americans and Englishmen ever enter,
that you will find the sweetness and the sternness, the indomitable
pride of service, and the self-sacrificing loyalty that won, and that
keep for Germany her place in the world.


It can hardly be doubted that could Lord Palmerston have seen what I
have seen of the changes in Germany, he would at least have placed the
"damned," in another part of his famous sentence. These professors
have turned their prowess into channels which have given Germany, in
this scientific industrial age, a mighty grip upon something more than
theories. It may be dull reading to tell the tale of damned
professordom, but it is to Germany that we must all go to school in
these matters.

The American chooses his university or college because it is in the
neighborhood; because his father or other relatives went there;
because his school friends are going there; on account of the prestige
of the place; sometimes, too, because one is considered more
democratic than another; sometimes, and perhaps more often than we
think, on account of the athletics; because it is large or small; or
on account of the cost.

The German youth, owing to widely different customs and ideals,
chooses his university for other reasons. If he be of the well-to-do
classes, and his father before him was a corps student, he is likely
to go first to the university, where his father's corps will receive
him and discipline him in the ways of a corps student's life, and
rigorous ways they are, as we shall see. Young men of small means, and
who can afford to waste little time in the amusements of university
life, go at once where the more celebrated professors in their
particular line of work are lecturing.

Few students in Germany reside
during their whole course of study at one university. The student year
is divided into two so-called semesters. The student remains, say, in
Heidelberg two years or perhaps less, and then moves on, let us say,
to Berlin, or Göttingen, or Leipsic, or Kiel, to hear lectures by
other professors, and to get and to see something of the best work in
law, theology, medicine, history, or belles-lettres, along the lines
of his chosen work.

One can hardly say too much in praise of this
system. Many a medical, or law, or theological, or philosophical
student, or one who is going in for a scientific course in engineering
or mining, would profit enormously could he go from Harvard to Yale,
or to Johns Hopkins, or to Princeton, or to Columbia, and attend the
lectures of the best men at these and other universities. Many a man
would have gone eagerly to Harvard to hear James in philosophy, Peirce
in mathematics, Abbot in exegesis, or to read Greek with Palmer; or to
Yale to have heard Whitney in philology in my day; or now, to name but
a few, Van Dyke at Princeton, Sloane at Columbia, Wheeler at the
University of California, Paul Shorey at Chicago, and many others are
men whom not to know and to hear in one's student days is a loss.

The German student is at a distinct advantage in this privilege of hearing
the best men at whatever university they may be. The number of
students, indeed, at particular German universities rises and falls in
a large measure according to the fame and ability of the professors
who may be lecturing there. One can readily imagine how such men as
Hegel, or Ranke, or Mommsen, who lectured at Berlin; or Liebig or
Döllinger, at Munich; or Ewald, at Göttingen; or Sybel, at Bonn; or
Leibnitz or Schlegel, in their day, or Kuno Fischer, in my day, at
Heidelberg, must have drawn students from all parts of Germany; just
as do Harnack, and Schmidt, and Lamprecht, and Adolph Wagner,
Schmoller, or Gierke, or Schiemann, or Wach, Haeckel, List, Deitsch,
Hering, or Verworm, in these days. Though the German professors are
somewhat hampered by the fact that they are servants of the state, and
their opinions therefore on theological, political, and economic
matters restricted to the state's views, they are free as no other
teachers in the world to exploit their intellectual prowess for the
benefit of their purses. Each student pays each professor whose
lectures he attends, and as a result there are certain professors in
Germany whose incomes are as high as $50,000 a year.

Even in intellectual matters state control produces the inevitable state
laziness and indifference. One could tell many a tale of professors
who arrive late at their lecture-rooms, who read slowly, who give just
as little matter as they can, in order to make their prepared work go
as far as possible. Some of them, too, read the same lectures over and
over again, year after year, quite content that they have made a
reputation, gained a fixed tenure of their positions, and are sure of
a pension.

There are twenty-one universities in Germany, with another
already provided for this year in Frankfort, and practically the
equivalent of a university in Hamburg. The total number of students is
66,358, an increase since 1895 of 37,791. Geographically speaking, one
has the choice between Kiel, Königsberg, and Berlin in the north,
Munich in the south, Strassburg on the boundaries of France, or
Breslau in Silesia. At the present writing Berlin has 9,686 students,
and some 5,000 more authorized to attend lectures, over half of them
grouped under the general heading "Philosophy"; next comes Munich with
7,000, nearly 5,000 of them grouped under the headings "Jurisprudence"
and "Philosophy"; then Leipsic with 5,000; then Bonn with 4,000; and
last in point of numbers Rostock with 800 students. There are now some
1,500 women students at the German universities, but a total of 4,500
who attend lectures, and Doctor Marie Linden at the beginning of 1911
was appointed one of the professors of the medical faculty at Bonn,
but the appointment was vetoed by the Prussian ministry.

In addition to the universities is the modern development of the technical
high-schools, of which there are now eleven, one each in Berlin, Dresden,
Braunschweig, Darmstadt, Hanover, Karlsruhe, Munich, Stuttgart,
Danzig, Aix, and Breslau. These schools have faculties of
architecture, building construction, mechanical engineering,
chemistry, and general science, including mathematics and natural
science. They confer the degree of Doctor of Engineering, and admit
those students holding the certificate of the Gymnasium,
Realgymnasium, and Oberrealschule. They rank now with the
universities, and their 17,000 students may fairly be added to the
grand total number of German students, making 83,000 in all, and if to
this be added the 4,000 unmatriculated students, we have 87,000.

While the population of Germany has increased 1.4 per cent. in the last
year, the number of students has increased 4.6 per cent. and of the
total number 4.4 per cent. are women. Since the founding of the empire
the population has increased from 40,000,000 to 65,000,000, but the
number of students has increased from 18,000 to 60,000. The teaching
staffs in the universities number 3,400, and in the technical
high-schools 753, or, roughly, there are, in the higher-education
department of Germany, nearly 90,000 persons engaged; as these figures
do not include officials and many unattached teachers and students
indirectly connected with the universities. There are in addition
agricultural high-schools, agricultural institutes, and technical
schools such as veterinary high-schools, schools of mining, forestry,
architecture and building, commercial schools, schools of art and
industry; a naval school at Kiel; a colonial institute at Hamburg,
with sixty professors and tutors, where men are trained for colonial
careers, and which serves also the purpose of distributing information
of all kinds regarding the colonies; there are 400 schools which
prepare for a business career, with 50,000 pupils, and the Socialists
in Berlin maintain an academy for the instruction of their paid
secretaries and organizers in the rudiments and controversial points
of socialism, military academies at Berlin and Munich, besides some 50
schools of navigation, and 20 military and cadet institutions. There
are also courses of lectures, given under the auspices of the German
foreign office, to instruct candidates for the consular service in the
commercial and industrial affairs of Germany.

At several of the
universities evening extension lectures are given, an innovation first
tried at Leipsic, where more than seven thousand persons paid small
fees to attend the lectures in a recent year.

If one considers the
range of instruction from the Volkschulen and Fortbildungsschulen up
through the skeleton list I have mentioned to the universities, and
then on beyond that to the thousands still engaged as students in the
commerce and industry of Germany, as, for example, the technically
employed men in the Krupp Works at Essen, or the Color Works at
Elberfeld, to mention two of hundreds, it is seen that Germany is gone
over with a veritable fine-tooth comb of education. There is not only
nothing like it, there is nothing comparable to it in the world. If
training the minds of a population were the solution of the problems
of civilization, they are on the way to such solution in Germany.
Unfortunately there is no such easy way out of our troubles for
Germany or for any other nation. Some of us will live to see this
fetich of regimental instruction of everybody disappear as astrology
has disappeared. There is a Japanese proverb which runs, "The bottom
of lighthouses is very dark."

As early as 1717 Frederick William I in
an edict commanded parents to send their children to school, daily in
summer, twice a week in winter. Frederick the Great at the close of
the Seven Years' War, 1764, insisted again upon compulsory school
attendance, and prescribed books, studies, and discipline. At the
beginning of the nineteenth century began a great change in the
primary schools due to the influence of Pestalozzi, and in the
secondary schools owing to the efforts of Herder, Frederic August
Wolf, William Humboldt, and Sünern. Humboldt was the Prussian minister
of education for sixteen months. In 1809 he sent a memorial to the
King, urging the establishment and endowment of a university in
Berlin. He used his authority and his great influence to further
higher and secondary education, and fixed the main lines of action
which were followed for a century. He hoped that a liberal education
of his countrymen would make for both an intellectual and moral
regeneration, and emancipate the people from their sluggish obedience
to conventionality. The schools then were part of the ecclesiastical
organization and have never ceased to be so wholly, and until recently
the title of the Prussian minister has been: "Minister of
Ecclesiastical Affairs, Instruction, and Medical Affairs." That part
of the minister's title, "Medical Affairs," has within the last few
months been eliminated.

The French Revolution, and the dismemberment
of Prussia at Tilsit, put a stop to orderly progress. Stein and his
colleagues, however, started anew; students were sent to Switzerland
to study pedagogical methods; provincial school-boards were
established, and about 1850 all public-school teachers were declared
to be civil servants; and later, in 1872, during Bismarck's campaign
against the Jesuits, all private schools were made subject to state
inspection. In Prussia to-day no man or woman may give instruction
even as a governess or private tutor, without the certificate of the

This control of education and teaching by a central authority
is an unmixed blessing. In Prussia, at any rate, the officials are
hard-working, conscientious, and enthusiastic, and the system, whether
one gives one's full allegiance to it or not, is admirably worked out.
Above all, it completely does away with sham physicians, sham doctors
of divinity, sham engineers, and mining and chemical experts, sham
dentists and veterinary surgeons, who abound in our country, where
shoddy schools do a business of selling degrees and certificates of
proficiency in everything from exegesis to obstetrics. These fakir
academies are not only a disgrace but a danger in America, and here,
as in other matters, Germany has a right to smile grimly at certain of
our hobbledehoy methods of government.

The elementary schools, or
Volkschulen, are free, and attendance is compulsory from six to
fourteen; in addition, the Fortbildungsschulen, or continuation
schools, can also be made compulsory up to eighteen years of age.
There are some 61,000 free public elementary schools with over
10,000,000 pupils, and over 600 private elementary schools with 42,000
pupils who pay fees.

Under a regulation of the Department of Trade and
Industry, towns with more than twenty thousand inhabitants are
empowered to make their own rules compelling commercial employees
under eighteen to attend the continuation schools a certain number of
hours monthly, and fining employers who interfere with such
attendance. It has even been suggested that this law be extended to
include girls.

In Berlin this has already been put into operation, and
this year some 30,000 girls will be compelled to attend continuation
schools, where they will be taught cooking, dress-making, laundry
work, house-keeping economy, and for those who wish it, office work.
It will require some training even to pronounce the name of this new
institution, which requires something more than the number of letters
in the alphabet to spell it, for it has this terrifying title:

The work in these Pflichtfortbildungsschulen, or compulsory
continuation schools, is practical and thorough. The boys are from
fourteen to eighteen years of age, and are obliged to attend three
hours twice a week. Shopkeepers and others, employing lads coming
under the provisions of the law, are obliged by threat of heavy fines
to send them. The boys pay nothing. There are some 34,000 of such
pupils under one jurisdiction in Berlin, and the cost to the city is
$300,000 annually. The curriculum includes letter-writing, book-
keeping, exchange, bank-credits, checks and bills, the duty of the
business man to his home, to the city, and to his fellow business men,
his legal rights and duties, and, in great detail, all questions of
citizenship. Methods of the banks, stock exchange, and insurance
companies are explained. The business man's relations in detail to the
post-office, the railways, the customs, canals, shipping agencies are
dealt with. The investigation of credits and the general management
from cellar to attic of what we call a "store" are taught, and
lectures are given upon business ethics and family relations and

In towns where factories are more common than shops there are
schools similar in kind, as at Dortmund, for example, where you may
begin with horse-shoeing in the cellar, and go up through the work of
carpenter, mason, plumber, sign-painter, poster-designer, to the
designing of stained-glass windows and the modelling of animals and

In the strictly agricultural districts of Prussia the number of
courses open to those who work upon the land has steadily increased.
In 1882 there were 559 courses of instruction and 9,228 pupils; in
1902, 1,421 such courses and 20,666 pupils; and in 1908, 3,781 courses
and 55,889 pupils. About five per cent. of the cost of such
instruction, which cost the state 566,599 marks in 1908, is paid by
the fees of the pupils themselves.

To those interested in ways and
means it may serve a purpose to say that the total cost of these
elementary schools amounts to $130,715,250 a year, of which the
various state governments pay $37,500,000 and local authorities the
rest. In 1910 the city of Berlin spent $9,881,987 on its schools. The
average cost per pupil is $13.50. In some of the towns of different
classes of population that I have visited the number of pupils per 100
inhabitants stands as follows: Berlin, 11.1; Essen, 16.5; Dortmund,
16; Düsseldorf, 13.2; Charlottenburg, 9; Duisburg, 16.7; Oberhausen,
17.7; Bielefeld, 14.7; Bonn, 11.1; Cologne, 13.1.

There are 170,000
teachers in these elementary schools, of whom 30,000 are women. They
begin with $250 a year, which is raised to $300 when they are given a
fixed position. By a graduated scale of increase a teacher at the age
of forty-eight (when he may retire) may receive a maximum of $725. A
woman teacher's salary would vary from $300 to $600 as the maximum.
These figures are for Prussia. In other states of the empire, in
Bavaria and Saxony, for example, the scale of salaries is somewhat

The secondary schools are the well-known Gymnasien and
Progymnasien, the Realgymnasien, and the Realschulen. Roughly the
Gymnasien prepare for the universities, and the Realschulen for the
technical schools. Admission to the universities and to any form of
employment under the civil service demands a certificate from one or
another of these secondary schools.

In 1890, two years after the
present Emperor came to the throne, he called together a conference of
teachers and in an able speech suggested that these secondary schools
devote more time and attention to technical training. As a result of
this, the certificates of the Realgymnasien and Realschulen are now
received as equivalent to those conferred by the Gymnasien, where
Latin and Greek are, as they were then, still paramount.

Of these
secondary schools some are state schools; others are municipal or
trade-supported schools; some are private institutions; but all are
amenable to the rules, organization, and curricula approved by the
state. All secondary and elementary teachers must meet the
examinational requirements of the state, which fixes a minimum salary
and contributes thereto. In the universities and technical high-
schools all professors are appointed by the state, and largely paid by
the state as well. In the year 1910 the German Empire expended under
the general heading of elementary instruction $130,715,250. Prussia
alone spent $60,424,325; Bavaria, $8,955,825 (though nearly $750,000
of this total went for building and repairs for both churches and
schools); Baden, $4,176,075; Saxony, $4,573,250; the free city of
Hamburg, $5,561,900. The total expenditures of the empire and of the
states of the empire combined in 1910 amounted to $2,225,225,000; of
this, as we have seen, more than $130,000,000 went for instruction and
allied uses; $198,748,775 was the cost of the army; and $82,362,650
the cost of the navy, not counting the extraordinary expenditures for
these two arms of the service, which amounted to $5,624,775 for the
army, and $28,183,125 for the navy. The total expenditure of the
Fatherland for schools, army, and navy amounted, therefore, to one-
fifth of the total, or $416,108,225.

I have grouped these expenditures
together for the reason, that I am still one of those who remain
distrustful and disdainful of the Carnegie holy water, and a firm
believer that the two best schools in Germany, or anywhere else where
they are as well conducted as there, are the army and the navy. Even
if they were not schools of war, they would be an inestimable loss to
the country were they no longer in existence as manhood-training
schools. This is the more clear when it is remembered that, according
to the army standard, both the German peasant and the urban dweller
are steadily deteriorating. In ten years the percentage of physically
efficient men in the rural districts decreased from 60.5 to 58.2 per
cent., and this decrease is even more marked in particular provinces.
Infant mortality, despite better hygienic conditions and more
education, has not decreased, and in some districts has increased;
while the birth-rate, especially in Prussia and Thuringia, has fallen
off as well. For the whole of Germany, the births to every thousand of
the inhabitants were, in 1876, 42.63; in 1891, 38.25; in 1905, 34; and
in 1909, 31.91. In Berlin the births per thousand in 1907 were 24.63
and in 1911 only 20.84.

The observer who cares nothing for statistics,
who rambles about in the district of Leipsic, Chemnitz, Riesa,
Oschatz, and in the mountainous district of southeast Saxony, may see
for himself a population lacking in size, vigor, and health,
noticeably so indeed. Education at one end turning out an unwholesome,
"white-collared, black-coated proletariat," as the Socialists call
them; and industry and commerce, which even tempt the farmer to sell
what he should keep to eat, at the other, are making serious inroads
upon the health and well-being of the population.

The Chancellor, von
Bethmann-Hollweg, speaking in the Reichstag February 11, 1911, said:
"The fear that we may not be working along the right lines in the
education of our youth is a cause of great anxiety to many people in
Germany. We shall not solve this problem by shunning it!"

Many social
economists hold that higher education is unfitting numbers of young
men from following the humbler pursuits, while at the same time it is
not making them as efficient as are their ambitions; and such men are
recognized as the most potent chemical in making the milk of human
kindness to turn sour. At a meeting of the Goethebund this year,
advocating school reform, it was evident that many intelligent men in
Germany were not satisfied with present methods of education, which
were characterized as wasting energy in mechanical methods of
teaching, and so robbing youth of its youth. It is beginning to be
understood in Germany, as it has been understood by wise men in all
ages, that "to spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them
too much for ornament is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their
rules is the humour of the scholar." This commentary of Bacon should
be on the walls of every school and university in Germany. An
education can do nothing more for a man than to make him less fearful
of what he does not know, and to save him from the vulgarity of being
pre-empted wholly by the present, because he knows something of the
past. You cannot educate a man to be a poet or a preacher or a
pianist; that we know. We are only just discovering that the much-lauded
technical education will not make him an engineer or a
shipbuilder or an architect. You may give him the tools and the
elementary rules, but the rest he must do himself. Nine-tenths of the
technically educated men to-day are working for men who were liberally
educated, or who educated themselves. Germany is producing a race of
first-rate clerks and skilled mechanics, who are working hard to
enrich the Jews.

In America, it is true, we have gone ahead along
educational lines. In 1800, it is said, the average adult American had
82 days of school attendance; in 1900, 146 days. In the last quarter
of a century our secondary schools have increased in number from 1,400
to 12,000; and during the last eighteen years the proportion of our
youth receiving high-school instruction has doubled, and attendance at
American colleges has increased 400 per cent. while the population
increased by 100 per cent. But education is by no means so strenuous
as in Germany. The hours are shorter, holidays longer, standards
lower, and the emphasis far less insistent. A boy who has not the
mental energy to pass the entrance examinations at Harvard, for
instance, and proceed to a degree there, ought to be drowned, or to
drown himself. I would not say as much of the requirements in Germany,
for they are far more severe. Prince von Hohenlohe in his memoirs
gives an account of a conversation between the Emperor, the Emperor's
tutor, and himself. The Emperor was regretting the severity of the
examinations in the secondary schools, and it was replied to him that
this was the only way to prevent a flood of candidates for the civil

There is another all-important factor in Germany bearing upon
this point. A boy must have passed into the upper section of the class
before the last, "Secunda," as it is called, or have passed an
equivalent examination, in order to serve one year instead of three in
the army. To be an Einjähriger is, therefore, in a way the mark of an
educated gentleman. The tales of suicide and despair of school-boys in
Germany are, alas, too many of them true; and it is to be remembered
that not to reach a certain standard here means that a man's way is
barred from the army and navy, civil service, diplomatic or consular
service, from social life, in short. The uneducated man of position in
Germany does not exist, cannot exist. This is, therefore, no phantom,
but a real terror. The man of twenty-five who has not won an education
and a degree faces a blank wall barring his entrance anywhere; and
even when, weaponed with the necessary academic passport, he is
permitted to enter, he meets with an appalling competition, which has
peopled Germany with educated inefficients who must work for next to
nothing, and who keep down the level of the earnings of the rest
because there is an army of candidates for every vacant position. On
the other hand, the industries of Germany have bounded ahead, because
the army of chemists and physicists of patience, training, and
ability, who work for small salaries provide them with new and better
weapons than their rivals.

There are two sides to this question of
fine-tooth-comb education. Its advantages both America and England are
seeing every day in these stout rivals of ours; but its disadvantages
are not to be concealed, and are perhaps doing an undermining work
that will be more apparent in the future than now it is. The very fact
that an alien, an oriental race, the Jews, have taken so
disproportionate a share of the cream of German prosperity, and have
turned this technical prowess to purposes of their own, is, in and of
itself, a sure sign that there may be an educated proletariat working
slavishly for masters whom, with all their learning and all their
mental discipline, they cannot force to abdicate.

Strange to say, the
federal constitution of 1871, which gave Germany its emperor, did not
include the schools, and each state has its own school system, but in
1875 an imperial school commission was formed which has done much to
make the system of all the states uniform.

The three classes of
schools recognized as leading later to a university career are the
Gymnasium, in which Latin and Greek are still the fundamental
requirements; the Realgymnasium, in which Latin but no Greek is
required; the Oberrealschule, in which the classics are not taught at
all, but emphasis is laid upon modern languages and natural science.
In addition to these there are the so-called Reformschulen, of very
recent growth, which are an attempt to put less emphasis upon the
classics, but without excluding them entirely from the course, and to
pay more attention proportionately to modern languages, French in
particular. There are in addition some four hundred public and one
thousand or more private higher girls' schools, with an attendance of
a quarter of a million, all subject to state supervision.

If one were to make a genealogical tree of the German schools which
educate the children from the age of six up to the age of entrance to
the university, it might be described as follows: First are the
Volkschulen, which every child must attend from six to fourteen. In
the smaller country schools the children of all ages may be in one
school-room and under one teacher; in another, divided into two
classes; in another, into three or four classes; up to the large city
schools, in which they are divided on account of their number into as
many as eight classes. Next would come the Mittelschulen, where the
pupils are carried on a year farther, and where the last year
corresponds to the first year of the so-called Lehrerbildungsanstalten,
or training schools for teachers. These again are divided into two, one
called Praeparanda, the other Seminar, the former carrying the pupil on
to his sixteenth year, the latter to the nineteenth year and turning him
out a full-fledged Volkschule teacher, and giving him the right to serve
only one year in the army.

If boy or girl goes on from the fourteenth year, the höhere
Knabenschulen and the höhere Mädchenschulen take them on to the
eighteenth or nineteenth year. Many boys go on till they have passed
from the lower Secunda, next to the last class, which is divided into
upper and lower Secunda, into the upper Secunda, when their certificate
entitles them to serve one year only in the army, when they quit school.
Many boys, too, intending to become officers, leave school at sixteen or
seventeen and go to regular cramming institutions, where they do their
work more quickly and devote themselves to the special subjects
required. For boys intending to go on through the higher schools, there
are schools taking them on from the age of nine, with a curriculum
better adapted than that of the Volkschulen to that end.

In all these higher schools there is less attention paid to mere
examinations, and more attention paid to the general grip the pupils
have on the work in hand; and of the teaching, as mentioned elsewhere,
too much cannot be said in its praise.

For those boys who finish their public schooling at the age of
fourteen and then turn to earning their living, there are the
continuation schools, which are in many parts of the country
compulsory, and which are nicely adapted, according to their situation
in shopkeeping cities, in factory towns, or in the country, to give
the pupils the drilling and instruction necessary for their particular
employment. The average amount of expenditure for these continuation
schools is $6,250,000. In Prussia there are some 1,500 of these
schools, with an average attendance of 300,000 pupils.

According to the last census the proportion of illiterates among the
recruits for the army was 0.02 per cent. The number of those who could
neither read nor write in Germany was, in 1836, 41.44 per cent.; in
1909, 0.01 per cent. If one were to name all the agricultural schools;
technical schools; schools of architecture and building; commercial
schools, for textile, wood, metal, and ceramic industries; art
schools; schools for naval architecture and engineering and
navigation; and the public music schools, it would be seen that it is
no exaggeration to speak of fine-tooth-comb education.

I have visited
scores of all sorts of schools all over Germany, from a peasant common
school in Posen up to that last touch in education, the schools in
Charlottenburg, the Schulpforta Academy, and such a private boys'
school as Die Schülerheim-Kolonie des Arndt-Gymnasiums in the
Grünewald near Berlin, and the training schools for the military
cadets. Through the courtesy of the authorities I was permitted, when
I wished it, to sit in the class-rooms, and even to put questions to
the boys and girls in the classes. From the small boys and girls
making their first efforts at spelling to the young woman of seventeen
who translated a paragraph of the "Germania" of Tacitus, not into
German but into French, for me (a problem I offered as a good test of
whether I was merely assisting at a prepared exhibition of the prowess
of the class or whether the minds had been trained to independence), I
have looked over a wide field of teaching and learning in Germany. If
that young person was typical of the pupils of this upper girls'
school, there is no doubt of their ability to meet an intellectual
emergency of that kind.

Of one feature of German education one can write without reservation,
and that is the teaching. Everywhere it is good, often superlatively
good, and half a dozen times I have listened to the teaching of a
class in history, in Latin, in German literature, in French
literature, where it was a treat to be a listener. I remember in
particular a class in physical geography, another reading Ovid,
another reading Shakespeare, and another reading Goethe's "Hermann and
Dorothea," where I enjoyed my half-hour, as though I had been
listening to a distinguished lecturer on his darling subject.

We know how little these men and women teachers are paid, but there is
such a flood of intellectual output in Germany that the competition is
ferocious in these callings, and the schools can pick and choose only
from those who have borne the severest tests with the greatest
success. The teaching is so good that it explains in part the amount
of work these poor children are enabled to get through. School begins
at seven in summer, at eight in winter. The course for those intending
to go to the university is nine years; the recitation hours alone
range from twenty-five to thirty-two hours a week; to which must be
added two hours a week of singing and three hours a week of
gymnastics, and this for forty-two weeks in the year. The preparation
for class-work requires from two and a half to four hours more. It
foots up to something like fifty hours a week!

At Eton, in England,
the boys grumble because they only have a half-holiday every other
day, and four months of the year vacation. It will be interesting to
see which educational method is to produce the men who are to win the
next Waterloo. No wonder that nearly seventy per cent. of those who
reach the standard required of those who need serve only one year
instead of three in the army are near-sighted, and that more than
forty-five per cent. are put on one side as physically unfit. The
increase in population in Germany is so great, however, and the
candidates for the army so numerous, that the authorities are far more
strict in those they accept than in France, for example. There is more
manhood material for the German army and navy every year than is

In the first year of the nine-years' course in a Gymnasium the
25 hours a week are divided: religion, 3 hours; German, 4 hours;
Latin, 8 hours; geography, 2 hours; mathematics, 4 hours; natural
science, 2 hours; writing, 2 hours. In the last year: religion, 2
hours; German, 3 hours; Latin, 7 hours; Greek, 6 hours--Greek is
begun in the fourth year; French, 3 hours--French is begun in the
third year; history, 3 hours; mathematics, 4 hours; natural science, 2

In the first year in a Realgymnasium: religion, 3 hours; German, 4
hours; Latin, 8 hours; geography, 2 hours; mathematics, 4 hours;
natural science, 2 hours; writing, 2 hours. In the last year of the
course: religion, 2 hours; German, 3 hours; Latin, 4 hours; French —
begun in third year--4 hours; English--begun in fourth year--3
hours; mathematics, 5 hours; natural science, 5 hours; drawing, 2

In the first year in an Oberrealschule: religion, 3 hours; German, 5
hours; French, 6 hours; geography, 2 hours; mathematics, 5 hours;
natural science, 2 hours; writing, 2 hours. In the last year:
religion, 2 hours; German, 4 hours; French, 4 hours; English--begun
in the fourth year--4 hours; history, 3 hours; geography, 1 hour;
mathematics, 5 hours; natural science, 6 hours; free-hand drawing —
begun in the second year--2 hours.

It may be seen from these schedules where the emphasis is laid in each
of these schools. So far as results are concerned, the pupils about to
leave for the universities seemed to me to know their Latin, Greek,
French, German, and English, and their local and European history
well. Their knowledge of Latin and of either French or English,
sometimes of both, is far superior to anything required of a student
entering any college or university in America. I have asked many
pupils to read passages at sight in Latin, French and English in
schools in various parts of Germany and there is no question of the
grip they have upon what they have been taught. I am, alas, not a
scholar, and can only judge of the requirements and of the training
and its results in subjects where I am at home; and I must take it for
granted that these boys and girls are as well trained in other
subjects where I am incapable of passing judgment. It is improbable,
however, that the same thoroughness does not characterize their work
throughout the whole curriculum. The examination at the end of the
secondary-school period, called Abiturienten-examen, is more thorough
and covers a wider range than any similar examination in America. It
is a test of intellectual maturity. It permits no gaps, covers a wide
ground, leaves no subject dropped on the way, and sends a man or woman
to the university, with an equipment entirely adequate for such
special work as the individual proposes to undertake.

It seemed to me that in many class-rooms the ventilation was
distinctly bad, but here too I must admit an exaggerated love for
fresh air, born of my own love of out-door exercise.

There are practically no schools in Germany like the public schools
for boys in England, and our own private schools for boys, like Saint
Paul's, Groton, Saint Mark's, and others, where the training of
character and physique are emphasized. Here again I admit my prejudice
in favor of such education. I should be made pulp, indeed, did I try
to run through the boys of a fifth or sixth form at home, but, from
the look of them, I would have undertaken it for a wager in Germany.

It is not their fault, poor boys. Practically the whole emphasis is
laid upon drilling the mind. Moral and physical matters are left to
the home, and in the home there are no fathers and brothers interested
in games or sport, and in this busy, competitive strife, and with the
small means at the disposal of the majority, there is no time and no
opportunity. Boys and girls seldom leave home for distant boarding-schools.
They go from home to school and from school home every day,
and have none of the advantages to be gained from intercourse with men
outside their own circles. It shows itself in a deplorable lack of
orientation as compared with our lads of the same relative standing.
In dress and bearing, in at-homeness in the world, in ability to take
care of themselves under strange conditions or in an emergency, and in
domestic hygiene they are inferior, and yet they are so competent to
push the national military, industrial, and commercial ball along as
men, that one wonders whether Bagehot's gibe at certain well-to-do
classes of the Saxons, that "they spend half their time washing their
whole persons," may not have a grain of truth in it.

Another feature
of the school life which is prominent, especially in Prussia, is the
incessant and insistent emphasis laid upon patriotism. In every
school, almost in every class-room, is a picture of the Emperor; in
many, pictures also of his father and grandfather. Even in a municipal
lodging-house, where I found some tiny waifs and strays being taught,
there were pictures of the sovereign, and brightly colored pictures of
the war of 1870-71, generally with German personalities on horseback,
and the French as prisoners with bandages and dishevelled clothing.
This war, which began with the first movement of the German army on
August 4, and on the 2d of September next Napoleon was a prisoner;
this war, in which the German army at the beginning of operations
consisted of 384,000 officers and men and which had grown during the
truce to 630,000 on March 1; lost in killed and those who died from
wounds 28,278, of whom 1,871 were officers; this war is flaunted at
the population of Germany continually, and from every possible angle.
We hear very little of our war of 1861-1865, that cost us
$8,000,000,000 with killed and wounded numbering some 700,000. We do
not find it necessary to feed our patriotism with a nursing-bottle.

At a kindergarten two tots, a boy and a girl, stood at the top of some
steps while the rest marched by and saluted; they later descended and
went through the motions of reviewing the others. They were playing
they were Kaiser and Kaiserin!

Two small boys in a school-yard discussing their relative prowess as
jumpers end the discussion when one says as a final word: "Oh, I can
jump as high as the Kaiser!"

We have noted in another article how even police sergeants must be
familiar with the history of the House of Hohenzollern.

I am an admirer of Germany and her Emperor, with a distinct love of
discipline and a bias in favor of military training, and with an
experience of actual warfare such as only a score or so of German
officers of my generation have had; but I am bound to say I found this
pounding in of patriotism on every side distinctly nauseating. Boys
and girls, and men and women, ought not to need to be pestered with
patriotism. We had a controversy in America some ten years before the
Franco-German War, where in one battle more men were killed and
wounded than in all the battles Prussia, and later Germany, has fought
since 1860.

In the South, at any rate, we bear the scars and the
mourning of those days still, but nobody would be thanked for
pummelling us with patriotism. In the skirmish with Spain our military
authorities were pestered with candidates for the front. Germany
itself is not more a nation in arms than America would be at the
smallest threat of insult or aggression. But we take those things for
granted. If we have the honor to possess a medal or a decoration, the
gentlemen among us wear it only when asked to do so, or perhaps on the
Fourth of July.

Germany is even now somewhat loosely cemented together. Their leaders
may feel that it is necessary to keep ever in the minds even of the
children, that Germany is a nation with an Emperor and a victory over
France, France in political rags and patches at the time, behind them.

They even carry this teaching of patriotism beyond the boundaries of
Germany. The Allgemeiner Deutscher Schulverein zur Erhaltung des
Deutschtums im Auslande, is a society with headquarters in Berlin
devoting itself to the advancement of German education all over the
world. The society was started privately in 1886, and is now partly
supported by the state. It controls some sixteen hundred centres for
the teaching of German and German patriotism, and German learning.
There are such centres in China, South America, the United States,
Spain, and elsewhere. They number 90 in Europe, 25 in Asia, 20 in
Africa, 70 in Brazil, 40 in Argentina, and 100 in Australia and
Canada. The society is instrumental in having German taught in 5,000
schools and academies in the United States to 600,000 pupils. The work
is not advertised, rather it is concealed so far as possible, but it
is looked upon as a valuable force for the advancement of German
interests throughout the world.

In the schools, too, there is an enemy
of which we know nothing, and that is the active propagandism of
socialism, which is anti-military, anti-monarchical, and anti-status
quo. Leaflets and books and pamphlets are widely distributed among the
school children; many of the teachers are in sympathy with these
obstructionist methods; and the authorities may feel that they must do
what they can to combat this teaching. In Prussia, on every side, and
in the industrial towns of Saxony, one sees the evidence of this
impotent discontent expressing itself either openly or in surly malice
of speech and manner. The streets of Berlin, and of the industrial
towns, show this condition at every turn, and when the Reichstag
closes with cheers for the Emperor, the Socialist members leave in a
body before that loyal ceremony takes place.

We in America are brought up to believe that the best cure for such
maladies is to open the wound, to give freedom of speech, to let every
boy and girl and man and woman find out for himself his citizen's path
to walk in. We have no policemen on our public platforms, no gags in
the mouths of our professors or preachers, no lurid pictures of
battles, no plastering of the walls of our schools and seminaries with
pictures of our rulers, and withal our German immigrants are perhaps
our best and most patriotic citizens. In America they think less and
do more, and for most men this is the better way. It makes life very
complicated to think too much about it.

Self-consciousness is the prince of mental and social diseases, as
vanity is the princess, and even self-conscious patriotism seems a
little unwholesome, not quite manly, and often even grotesque. It is
easy to say: "Dic mihi si fueris tu leo, qualis eris?" and if one is a
person of no great importance, it is an embarrassing question to
answer. In this connection I can only say that I should assume that my
lionhood was taken for granted without so much roaring, bristling of
the mane, and switching of the tail. It irritates those who are
discontented, it positively infuriates the redder democrats, and it
bores the children, and, worst of all, proclaims to everybody that the
lion is not quite comfortable and at his ease. The German lion is a
fine, big fellow now, with fangs, and teeth, and claws as serviceable
as need be, and it only makes him appear undignified to be forever
looking at himself in the looking-glass.

Whatever may be the right or wrong of these comparative methods of
training, Germans trained in the investigation of such matters agree
in telling me that the boys who come up to the universities,
especially in the large cities and towns, are somewhat lax in their
moral standards as regards matters upon which the puritan still lays
great stress.

In Berlin particularly, where there are some thirty-five hundred
registered and nearly fifty thousand unregistered women devoting
themselves to the seemingly incompatible ends of rapidly accumulating
gold while frantically pursuing pleasure, there is an amount of
immorality unequalled in any capital in Europe. In the whole German
Empire the average of illegitimacy is ten per cent. but in Berlin the
average for the last few years is twenty per cent. Out of every five
children born in Berlin each year one is illegitimate! It is
questionable whether the increasing demands of the army and navy
require such laxity of moral methods in providing therefor.

There is,
however, a state church in Germany with its head in Berlin, and no
doubt we may safely leave this matter in these better hands than ours.
I beg to say that in mentioning this subject I am quoting unprejudiced
scientific investigators, who, I may say, agree, without a dissenting
voice of importance, that Berlin has become the classical problem
along such lines. In the endeavor to compete with the gayeties
elsewhere, a laxity has been encouraged and permitted that has won for
Berlin in the last ten years, an unrivalled position as a purveyor of
after-dark pleasures. Berlin not only produces a disproportionate
number of such people as Diotrephes, in manners, but also a veritable
horde of those who are like unto the son of Bosor.

After the sheltered home life and the severe discipline of the higher
schools, a German youth is permitted a freedom unknown to us at the
university. There is no record kept of how or where he spends his
time. He matriculates at one or another of the universities, and for
three, four, or, in the case of medical students, five years, he is
free to work or not to work, as he pleases.

There are, however, three
factors that serve as bit and reins to keep him in order. The final
examination is severe, thorough, and cannot be passed successfully by
mere cramming; very few of the students have incomes which permit of a
great range of dissipation; and not to pass the examination is a
terrible defeat in life, which cuts a man off from further progress
and leaves him disgraced.

These are forces that count, and which prevail to keep all but the
least serious within bounds. German life as a whole is so disciplined,
so fitted together, so impossible to break into except through the
recognized channels, that few men have the optimistic elasticity of
mind and spirits, the demonic confidence in themselves, that overrides
such considerations.

We in America suffer from a superabundance of men
of aleatory dispositions, men who love to play cards with the devil,
who rejoice to wager their future, their reputation, their lives,
against the world. I admit a sneaking fondness for them. They are a
great asset, and a new country needs them, but if we have too many,
Germany has too few. They are forever crying out in Germany for
another Bismarck. Whenever in political matters, in foreign affairs,
even in their religious controversies, things go wrong, men lift their
hands and eyes to heaven and say, "How different if Bismarck were
here!" Bismarck and two of his predecessors as nation-builders were
not afraid to throw dice with the world, and what "the land of damned
professors" could not do, they did.

When the young men from the
Gymnasium come into the freedom of university life, they toss their
heads a bit, kick up their heels, laugh long and loud at the
Philistine, but just as every German climax is incomplete without
tears, so they too are soon singing: "Ich weiss nicht was soll es
bedeuten dass ich so traurig bin!" the gloom of the Teutoburger Wald
settles down on them, and they buckle to and work with an enduring
patience such as few other men in the world display, and join the
great army here who, bitted and harnessed, are pulling the Vaterland
to the front.

The British Empire between 1800 and 1910 grew from 1,500,000 square
miles to 11,450,000 square miles, and its trade from $400,000,000 to
$11,020,000,000; not to mention the United States of America, now
considered to be of noticeable importance, though we are universally
sneered at by the Germans, to an extent that no American dreams of who
has not lived among them, as a land of dollars, and, from the point of
view of book-learning, dullards. But it is this, none the less, that
Germany envies, and has set out to rival and if possible to surpass.
No wonder the training must be severe for the athletes who propose to
themselves such a task.

For a semester or two, perhaps for three, the German student gives
himself up to the rollicking freedom of the corps student's life. That
life is so completely misunderstood by the foreigner that it deserves
a few words of explanation.

I am not yet old enough to envy youth, nor sourly sophisticated enough
to deal sarcastically or even lightly with their worship and their
creeds, that once I shared, and with which lately I have been, under
the most hospitable circumstances, invited to renew my acquaintance at
the Commers and the Mensur.

One may be no longer a constant worshipper at the shrine of blue eyes,
pink cheeks, flaxen hair, and the enshrouding mystery of skirts, which
make for curiosity and reverence in youth; one may have learned,
however, the far more valuable lesson that the best women are so much
nobler than the best men, that the best men may still kneel to the
best women; just as the worst women surpass the worst men in
consciencelessness, brutal selfishness, disloyalty, and degradation.
The female bandit in society, or frankly on the war-path outside,
takes her weapons from an armory of foulness and cruelty unknown to
men; just as the heroines and angels among women fortify themselves in
sanctuaries to which few, if any, men have the key.

One returns, therefore, to the playground of one's youth with not less
but with more sympathy and understanding. Far from being "brutalizing
guilds," far from being mere unions for swilling and slashing, the
German corps, by their codes, and discipline, and standards of manners
and honor, are, from the chivalrous point of view, the leaven of
German student life. In these days many of them have club-houses of
their own, where they take their meals in some cases and where they
meet for their beer-drinking ceremonies.

There is of course a wide range of expenditure by students at the
German universities, whether they are members of the corps or not. At
one of the smaller universities in a country town like Marburg, for
example, a poor student, with a little tutoring and the system of frei
Tisch--money left for the purpose of giving a free midday meal to
poor students--may scrape along with an expenditure of as little as
twenty dollars a month. A member of a good corps at this same
university is well content with, and can do himself well on, seventy
dollars a month. I have seen numbers of students' rooms, with bed,
writing-table, and simple furniture, perhaps with a balcony where for
many months in the year one may write and read, which rent for sixty
dollars a year. One may say roughly that at the universities outside
the large towns, and not including the fashionable universities, such
as Bonn or Heidelberg, the student gets on comfortably with fifty
dollars a month. They have their coffee and rolls in the morning,
their midday meal which they take together at a restaurant, and their
supper of cold meats, preserves, cheese, and beer where they will. For
seventy-five cents a day a student can feed himself.

The hours are Aristotelian, for it was Aristotle in his "Economics,"
and not a nursery rhymer, who wrote: "It is likewise well to rise
before daybreak, for this contributes to health, wealth, and wisdom."
"Early to bed and early to rise" is a classic.

At Bonn, a member of one of the three more fashionable corps spends
far more than these sums, and his habits may be less Spartan. The
ridiculous expenditure of some of our mamma-bred undergraduates, who
go to college primarily to cultivate social relations, are unknown
anywhere in Germany, for a student would make himself unpopularly
conspicuous by extravagance. Two to three thousand dollars a year,
even at Bonn, as a member of the best corps, would be amply sufficient
and is considered an extravagant expenditure.

When the Earl of Essex was sent to Cambridge in Queen Elizabeth's
time, he was provided with a deal table covered with baize, a truckle-bed,
half a dozen chairs, and a wash-hand basin. The cost of all this
was about $25. When students from all over Europe tramped to Paris to
hear Abelard lecture, they begged their way. They were given special
licenses as scholars to beg. Learning then, as it is still in Germany,
alone of all the nations, was considered to be a pious profession
deserving well of the world. We do not even know the names of our
scholars in America. How many Americans have heard of Gibbs, the
authority on the fundamental laws regulating the trend of
transformation in chemical and physical processes, or of Hill and his
theory of the moon, or of Hale who explains the mystery of sun spots
and measures the magnetic forces that play around the sun? How many
Frenchmen know Pierron's translation of Aeschylus, or Patin's studies
in Greek tragedies, or Charles Maguin, or Maurice Croiset, or Paul
Magou or Leconte de Lisle? while in England the mass of the people not
only do not know the names of their scholars, but distrust all mental
processes that are super-canine.

The origin of the Landmannschaften, Burschenschaften, and the Corps
among the students dates back to the days when the students aligned
themselves with more rigidity than now, according to the various
German states from which they came. The names of the corps still bear
this suggestion, though nowadays the alignment is rather social than
geographical. The Burschenschaften societies of students had their
origin in political opposition to this separation of the students into
communities from the various states. The originators of the
Burschenschaften movement, for example, were eleven students at Jena.
Sobriety and chastity were conditions of entrance, and "Honor,
Liberty, Fatherland" were their watchwords. It was deemed a point of
honor that a member breaking his vows should confess and retire from
the society.

The societies of the Burschenschaften are still considered to have a
political complexion and the corps proper have no dealings with them.

In any given semester the number of students in one of these corps
varies from as few as ten, to as many as twenty-five, depending, much
as do our Greek-letter societies and college clubs, upon the number of
available men coming up to the university. Certain corps are composed
almost exclusively of noblemen, but none is distinctly a rich man's

An active member of a corps during his first two semesters may do a
certain amount of serious work, but as a rule it is looked upon as a
time "to loaf and invite one's soul," and little attempt is made to do
more. Not a few men whom I have known, have not even entered a class-room
during the two or three semesters of this blossoming period.

I have spent many days and nights with these young gentlemen, at
Heidelberg, at Leipsic, at Marburg, at Bonn, and been made one of them
in their jollity and good-fellowship, and I have agreed, and still
agree, that "Wir sind die Könige der Welt, wir sind's durch unsere

They are by no means the swashbuckling, bullying, dissolute companions
painted by those who know nothing about them. They may drink more beer
than we deem necessary for health, or even for comfort; and they may
take their exercise with a form of sword practice that we do not
esteem, they may be proud of the scars of these imitation duels, but
these are all matters of tradition and taste.

When one writes of eating and drinking, it is hardly fair to make
comparisons from a personal stand-point. An adult of average weight
requires each day 125 grams of proteid or building material, 500 grams
of carbohydrates, 50 grams of fat. This equals, in common parlance,
one pound of bread, one-half pound of meat, one-quarter pound of fat,
one pound of potatoes, one-half pint of milk, one-quarter pound of
eggs, assuming that one egg equals two ounces, and one-eighth pound of
cheese. Divided into three meals, this means: for breakfast, two
slices of bread and butter and two eggs; for dinner: one plateful
potato soup, large helping of meat with fat, four moderate-sized
potatoes, one slice bread and butter; for tea: one glass of milk and
two slices of bread and butter; for supper: two slices of bread and
butter and two ounces of cheese.

Plain white bread supplies more caloric, or energy, for the price than
any other one food, and, with one or two exceptions, more proteid, or
building material, than any other one food.

One to one and a half fluid ounces of alcohol is about the amount
which can be completely oxidized in the body in a day. This quantity
is contained in two fluid ounces of brandy or whiskey, five fluid
ounces of port or sherry, ten of claret or champagne or other light
wines, and twenty of bottled beer. All this means that a pint of
claret, or two glasses of champagne, or a bottle of beer, or a glass
of whiskey with some aerated water during the day will not hurt a man,
and adds perhaps to the "agreeableness of life," as Matthew Arnold
phrases it. At any rate, this table of contents is a much safer
standard of comparison, in judging the eating and drinking habits of
other people, than either your habits or mine.

The German student probably drinks too much, and it is said by safe
authorities in Germany that his heart, liver, and kidneys suffer; but
he has been at it a long time, and in certain fields of intellectual
prowess he is still supreme, and as we only drink with him now
occasionally when he is our host, perhaps he had best be left to
settle these questions without our criticism.

In general terms, I have always considered, as a test of myself and
others, that a healthy man is one who lies down at night without fear,
rises in the morning cheerfully, goes to a day's serious work of some
kind rejoicing in the prospect, meets his friends gayly, and loves his
loves better than himself.

It is folly to maintain, that it does not require pluck and courage to
stand up to a swinging Schläger, and take your punishment without
flinching, and then to sit without a murmur while your wounds are sewn
up and bandaged. I cannot help my preference for foot-ball, or
baseball, or rowing, or a cross-country run with the hounds, or grouse
or pheasant shooting, or the shooting of bigger game, or the driving of
four horses, or the handling of a boat in a breeze of wind, but the
"world is so full of a number of things" that he has more audacity than
I who proposes to weigh them all in the scales of his personal
experience, and then to mark them with their relative values.

First of all, it is to be remembered that these Schläger contests
between students are in no sense duels; a duel being the setting by
one man of his chance of life against another's chance, both with
deadly weapons in their hands. These contests with the Schläger at the
German universities, wrongly called duels, are so conducted that there
is no possibility of permanent or even very serious injury to the
combatants. The attendants who put them into their fighting harness,
the doctors who look after them during the contest and who care for
them afterward, are old hands at the game, and no mistakes are made.

There is no feeling of animosity between the swordsmen as a rule. They
are merely candidates for promotion in their own corps who meet
candidates from other corps, and prove their skill and courage auf die
Mensur, or fighting-ground.

When a youth joins a corps he chooses a counsellor and friend, a
Leibbursch, as he is called, from among the older men, whose special
care it is, to see to it that he behaves himself properly in his new
environment; he pledges himself to respect the traditions and
standards of the corps, and to keep himself worthy of respect among
his fellows, and among those whom he meets outside. A companionship
and guardianship not unlike this, used to exist in the Greek-letter
society to which I once belonged. He of course abides by the rules and
regulations of the order. It is a time of freedom in one sense, but it
is a freedom closely guarded, and there is rigid discipline here as in
practically all other departments of life in Germany.

The young students, or Füchse, as they are called, are instructed in
the way they should go by the older students, or Burschen, whose
authority is absolute. This authority extends even to the people whom
they may know and consort with, either in the university or in the
town, and to all questions of personal behavior, debts, dissipation,
manners, and general bearing. In many of the corps there are high
standards and old traditions as regards these matters, and every
member must abide by them. Every corps student is a patriot, ready to
sing or fight for Kaiser and Vaterland, and socialism, even criticism
of his country or its rulers, are as out of place among them as in the
army or navy. They are particular as to the men whom they admit, and a
man's lineage and bearing and relations with older members of the
corps are carefully canvassed before he is admitted to membership.
Both the present Emperor and one of his sons have been members of a

Let us spend a day with them. It is Saturday. We get up rather late,
having turned in late after the Commers of Friday, when the men who
are to fight the next day were drunk to, sung to, and wished good
fortune on the morrow, and sent home early. The trees are turning
green at Bonn, the shrubs are feeling the air with hesitating
blossoms, you walk out into the sunshine as gay as a lark, for the
champagne and the beer of the night before were good, and you sang
away the fumes of alcohol before you went to bed. There was much
laughter, and a speech or two of welcome for the guest, responded to
at 1 A. M. in German, French, English, and gestures with a beer-mug,
and punctuated with the appreciative comments of the company.

It was a time to slough off twenty years or so and let Adam have his
chance, and the company was of gentlemen who sympathize with and
understand the "Alter Herr," and are only too delighted if he will let
the springs of youth bubble and sparkle for them, and glad to
encourage him to return to reminiscences of his prowess in love and
war, and ready to pledge him in bumper after bumper success in the
days to come. You might think it a carouse. Far from it.

The ceremony is presided over by a stern young gentleman, who never
for a moment allows any member of the company to get out of hand, and
who, when a speech is to be made, makes it with grace and complete
ease of manner. Indeed, these young fellows surprise one with their
easy mastery of the art of speech-making. Even the spokesman for the
Füchse, or younger students, at the lower end of the table, rises and
pledges himself and his companions in a few graceful words, with
certain sly references to the possibility that the guest may not have
lost his appreciation of the charms of German womankind, which the
guest in question here and now, and frankly admits; but not a word of
coarseness, not a hint that totters on the brink of an indiscretion,
and what higher praise can one give to speech-making on such an

My particular host and introducer to his old corps is youngest of all,
and though seemingly as lavish in his potations as any one, sings his
way home with me, head as clear, legs as steady, eyes as bright, as
though it were 10 A. M. and not 2 A. M., and as though I had not
seemed to see his face during most of the evening through the bottom
of a beer-mug.

That was the night before. The next morning we stroll over to the room
where the Schläger contests are to take place. It is packed with
students in their different-colored caps. Beer there is, of course,
but no smoking allowed till the bouts are over.

I go down to see the men dressing for the fray. They strip to the
waist, put on a loose half-shirt half-jacket of cotton stuff, then a
heavily padded half-jerkin that covers them completely from chin to
knee. The throat is wrapped round and round with heavy silk bandages.
The right arm and hand are guarded with a glove and a heavily padded
leather sleeve; all these impervious to any sword blow. The eyes are
guarded with steel spectacle frames fitted with thick glass. Nothing
is exposed but the face and the top of the head. The exposed parts are
washed with antiseptics, as are also the swords, repeatedly during the
bout. The sword, hilt and blade together, measures one hundred and
five centimetres. There is a heavy, well-guarded hilt, and a pliable
blade with a square end, sharp as a razor on both edges for some six
inches from the end.

The position in the sword-play is to face squarely one's opponent, the
sword hand well over the head with the blade held down over the left
shoulder. The distance between the combatants is measured by placing
the swords between them lengthwise, each one with his chest against
the hilt of his own weapon, and this marks the proper distance between
them. When they are brought in and face one another, the umpire, with
a bow, explains the situation. The two seconds with swords crouch each
beside his man, ready to throw up the swords and stop the fighting
between each bout. Two other men stand ready to hold the rather
heavily weighted sword arm of their comrade on the shoulder during the
pauses. Two others with cotton dipped in an antiseptic preparation
keep the points of the swords clean. Still another official keeps a
record in a book, of each cut or scratch, the length of time, the
number of bouts, and the result. The doctor decides when a wound is
bad enough to close the contest.

At the word "Los!" the blades sing and whistle in the air, the work
being done almost wholly with the wrist, some four blows are
exchanged, there is a pause, then at it again, till the allotted
number of bouts are over, or one or the other has been cut to the
point where the doctor decides that there shall be no more. We follow
them downstairs again, where, after being carefully washed, the
combatants are seated in a chair one after the other, their friends
crowd around and count the stitches as the surgeon works, and comment
upon what particular twist of the wrist produced such and such a gash.

I have seen scores of these contests, and during the last year as many
as a dozen or more. There is no record of any one ever having been
seriously injured; indeed, I doubt if there are not more men injured
by too much beer than too much sword-play.

It is perhaps expected that the foot-ball player should sneer at bull-
fighting; the boxer at fencing; the rider to hounds at these Schläger
bouts; and that we game-players should say contemptuous things of the
contests of our neighbors. Personally, if one could eliminate the horse
from the contest, I go so far as to believe that even bull-fighting is
better than no game at all. As for these Schläger contests, they seem to
me no more brutal than our own foot-ball, which is only brutal to the
shivering crowd of the too tender who have never played it, and not so
dangerous as polo or pig-sticking, and a thousand times better than no
contest at all.

I am not of those who believe that the human body and that human life
are the most precious and valuable things in the world. They are only
servants of the courageous hearts and pure souls that ought to be
their masters. Without training, without obedience, without the
instant willingness to sacrifice themselves for their masters, the
human body and human life are contemptible and unworthy. I claim that
it braces the mind to expose the body; that an education in the
prepared emergencies of games and sport, is the best training for the
unprepared emergencies with which life is strewn.

The most cruel people I have ever known were gentle enough physically,
but they were hard and sour in their social relations, and often
enough called "good" by their fellows. The disappointments, losses,
sorrows, defeats, of each one of us, trouble, even though
imperceptibly, the waters of life that we all must drink of; and to
ignore or to rejoice at these misfortunes is only muddying what we
ourselves must drink. I believe the hardening of the body goes some
way toward softening the heart and cleansing the soul, and toward
fitting a man with that cheerful charity that supplies the oil of
intercourse in a creaking world of rival interests.

To see a youth swinging a sword at his fellow's face with delighted
energy; to see a man riding off vigorously at polo; to see a man hard
at it with the gloves on; to see another flinging himself and his
horse over a wall or across a ditch; to see a man taking his nerves in
hand, to make a two-yard put for a half, when he is one down and two
to play; to see these things without seeing that--perhaps often
enough in a muddy sort of way--the soul is making a slave of the
body, that courage is mastering cowardice, that in an elementary way
the youth is learning how to give himself generously when some great
emergency calls upon him to give his life for an ideal, a tradition, a
duty, is to see nothing but brutality, I admit. Who does not know that
the Carthaginians at Cannae were one thing, the Carthaginians at Capua
another! I have therefore no acidulous effeminacy to pour upon these
German Schläger bouts. I prefer other forms of exercise, but I am a
hardened believer in the manhood bred of contests, and though their
ways are not my ways, I prefer a world of slashed faces to a world of
soft ones.

Prosit, gentlemen! Better your world than the world of
Semitic haggling and exchange; of caution and smoothness; of the
disasters born of daintiness; of sliding over the ship's side in
women's clothes to live, when it was a moral duty to be drowned.
Better your world than any such worlds as those, for

"If one should dream that such a world began
In some slow devil's heart that hated man,
Who should deny it?"

Milton held that "a complete and generous education fits a man to
perform justly, skilfully, and magnanimously all the offices, both
private and public, of peace and war." It is my opinion that the
Schläger has its part to play in this matter of education. A mind
trained to the keenness of a razor's edge, but without a sound body
controlled by a steel will, is of small account in the world. The
whole aim of education is, after all, to make a man independent, to
make the intelligence reach out in keen quest of its object, and at
its own and not at another's bidding. An education is intended to make
a man his own master, and so far as any man is not his own master, in
just so far is he uneducated. What he knows, or does not know, of
books does not alter the fact.

Much of the pharisaism and priggishness
on the subject of education arises from the fact that the world is
divided into two camps as regards knowledge: those who believe that
the astronomer alone knows the stars, and those who believe that he
knows them best who sleeps in the open beneath them. In reality,
neither type of mind is complete without the other.

To turn from any
theoretical discussion of the subject, it remains to be said that
Germany has trained her whole population into the best working team in
the world. Without the natural advantages of either England or America
she has become the rival of both. Her superior mental training has
enabled her to wrest wealth from by-products, and she saves and grows
rich on what America wastes. Whether Germany has succeeded in giving
the ply of character to her youth, as she folds them in her
educational factories, I sometimes doubt. That she has not made them
independent and ready to grapple with new situations, and strange
peoples, and swift emergencies, their own past and present history

It is a very strenuous and economical existence, however, for
everybody, and it requires a politically tame population to be thus
driven. The dangerous geographical situation of Germany, ringed round
by enemies, has made submission to hard work, and to an iron
autocratic government necessary. To be a nation at all it was
necessary to obey and to submit, to sacrifice and to save. These
things they have been taught as have no other European people. Greater
wealth, increased power, a larger rôle in the world, are bringing new
problems. Education thus far has been in the direction of fitting each
one into his place in a great machine, and less attention has been
paid to the development of that elasticity of mind which makes for
independence; but men educate themselves into independence, and that
time is coming swiftly for Germany.

"Also he hath set the world in their heart," and one wonders what this
population, hitherto so amenable, so economical, and so little
worldly, will do with this new world. The temptations of wealth, the
sirens of luxury, the opportunities for amusement and dissipation, are
all to the fore in the Germany of to-day as they were certainly not
twenty-five years ago. Ulysses, alas, does not bind himself to the
mast very tightly as he passes these enchanted isles of modern luxury.
"The land of damned professors" has learned its lessons from those
same professors so well, that it is now ready to take a postgraduate
course in world politics; and as I said in the beginning, some of our
friends are putting the word "damned" in other parts of this, and
other sentences, when they describe the rival prowess and progress of
the Germans.


Madame Necker writes of women: "Les femmes tiennent la place de ces
lagers duvets qu'on introduit dans les caisses de porcelaine; on n'y
fait point d'attention, mais si on les retire, tout se brise."

When one sees women and dogs harnessed together dragging carts about
the streets; when one sees women doing the lighter work of sweeping up
leaves and collecting rubbish in the forests and on the larger
estates; doing the gardening work in Saxony and other places; when one
sees them by the hundreds working bare-legged in the beet-fields in
Silesia and elsewhere throughout Germany; when one reads "Viele Weiber
sind gut weil sie nicht wissen wie man es machen muss um böse zu
sein," and "Der Mann nach Freiheit strebt, das Weib nach Sitte," two
phrases from the German classics, Lessing and Goethe; when one recalls
the shameless carelessness of Goethe's treatment of all women; of how
his love-poems were sometimes sent by the same mail to the lady and to
the press; and the unrestrained worship of Goethe by the German women
of his day; when one sees time and time again all over Germany the
women shouldered into the street while the men keep to the sidewalk;
when one sees in the streets, railway carriages, and other public
conveyances, the insulting staring to which every woman is subjected
if she have a trace of good looks, one realizes that at any rate
Madame Necker was not writing of German women. Let me add that so far
as the great Goethe is concerned, it is by no Puritan yard-stick that
I am measuring him, but by the German's own high standard which
despises any mating of true sentiment with commercialism. "Beatus ille
qui procul negotiis," certainly applies to one's affairs of the heart.

In the gallery at Dresden, where the loveliest mother's face in all
the world shines down upon you from Raphael's canvas like a
benediction, there is a small picture by Rubens, "The Judgment of
Paris." The three goddesses—induitur formosa est; exuitur ipsa forma
est —have taken literally the compliment paid to a certain beautiful
customer by a renowned French dressmaker: "Un rien et madame est
habillée!" They are coquettishly revealing their claims to the
Eve-bitten fruit which Paris holds in his hand. Paris and his friend are
in the most nonchalant of attitudes. They could not be more
indifferent, or more superior in appearance, were they dandies judging
the class for costermonger's donkeys at a provincial horse-show. The
three most beautiful women in the world are squirming and posturing
for praise, and a decision, before two as sophisticated and self-satisfied
men as one will ever see on canvas or off it.

The same subject is treated by a man of the same breed, but of a later
day, named Feuerbach, and his picture hangs, I think, in Breslau. Here
again the supersuperiority of the male is portrayed.

In the Church of Saint Sebaldus at Nuremberg, there is a delightful
mural painting which makes one merry even to recall it. The subject is
the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve are being lectured by an elderly man
in flowing robes with a long white beard. His beard alone would more
than supply Adam and Eve with the covering they lack. In an easy
attitude, with neither haste nor anxiety, he is pointing out to them
the error of their ways. He is as detached in manner as though he were
Professor Wundt, lecturing to us at Leipsic on the fourth dimension of
space. Adam is somewhat dejected and reclines upon the ground. Eve,
unabashed, with nothing on but the apple which she is munching, is
evidently in a reckless mood. She looks like a child of fifteen, with
her hair down her back; the defiance of her attitude is that of a
naughty little girl. The world-old problem is under discussion, but
with an air of good humor and cheerfulness on the part of the
lecturer, as though there were still time in the world, as though
hurry were an undiscovered human attribute, as though possibly the
world would still go on even if the problem were left unsolved, and
this first leafy parliament adjourned sine die.

They were so much wiser than are we! They knew then that there would
be other sessions of congress, and that it was not necessary to decide
everything on that spring day of the year One. But here again in this
picture it is the male attitude toward the woman that is of chief
interest. Adam is plainly bored. What if the woman has broken into the
sanctuary of knowledge, she will only be the bigger fool, he seems to
say. As for the professor in the red robes, his easy, patronizing
manner is indicative enough of his mental top-loftiness toward the
woman question. You can almost hear him say as he strokes his beard:
"Küche, Kinder, Kirche!"

From the fields of Silesia, where the beet industry is possible only
because there are hundreds of bare-legged girls and women to single
the beets, a process not possible by machinery, at a wage of from
twenty-five to thirty cents a day, to these German paintings with
their illustrations of the spiritual and moral attitude of the German
man toward the German woman, one sees everywhere and among practically
all classes an attitude of condescension toward women among the polite
and polished; an attitude of carelessness bordering on contempt among
the rude. Their attitude is like that of the Jews who cry in their
synagogues, "Thank God for not having made me a woman!"

One can judge, not incorrectly, of the status of women in a country by
the manners and habits of the men, entirely dissociated from their
relations to women. When one sees men equipped with small mirrors and
small brushes and combs, which they use in all sorts of public places,
even in the streets, in the street-cars, in omnibuses, and in the
theatres; when one opens the door to a knock to find a gentleman, a
small mirror in one hand and a tiny brush in the other, preparing
himself for his entrance into your hotel sitting-room; you are bound
to think that these persons are in the childhood days of personal
hygiene, as it cannot be denied that they are, but also that their
women folk must be still in the Eryops age of social sophistication,
not to put a stop to such bucolic methods of grooming. Even though the
Eryops is a gigantic tadpole, a hundred times older than the oldest
remains of man, this is hardly an exaggeration.

In no other country in
the cultured group of nations is the animal man so naïvely vain, so
deliciously self-conscious, so untrained in the ways of the polite
world, so serenely oblivious, not merely of the rights of women but of
the simple courtesy of the strong to the weak. It is the only country
I have visited where the hands of the men are better cared for than
the hands of the women; and this is not a pleasant commentary upon the
question of who does the rough work, and who has the vanity and who
the leisure for a meticulous toilet. One must not forget that regular
and systematic cleansing of the person is a very modern fashion. As
late as the early part of the nineteenth century, tooth-brushes were
not allowed in certain French convents, being looked upon as a luxury.
Cleanliness was not very common a century and a half ago in any
country. In 1770 the publication of Monsieur Perrel's "Pogonotomie, ou
1'Art d'apprendre à se raser soi-même," created a sensation among
fashionable people, and enthusiasts studied self-shaving. The author
of "Lois de la Galanterie" in 1640 writes: "Every day one should take
pains to wash one's hands, and one should also wash one's face almost
as often!"

The copious streams of hot and cold water, turned into a porcelain tub
at any time of the day or night; the brushes, and soaps, and towels,
and toilet waters, and powders of our day were quite unknown to our
not far-off ancestors. The oft-repeated and minute ablutions of our
day are almost as modern as bicycles, and not as ancient as the
railways. The Germans are only a little behind the rest of us in this
soap and water cult, that is all.

In the streets and public conveyances of the cities, in the beer-gardens
and restaurants in the country, in the summer and winter
resorts from the Baltic to the Black Forest, from the Rhine to
Bohemia, it is ever the same. They seat themselves at table first, and
have their napkins hanging below their Adam's apples before their
women are in their chairs; hundreds of times have I seen their women
arrive at table after they were seated, not a dozen times have I seen
their masters rise to receive them; their preference for the inside of
the sidewalk is practically universal; even officers in uniform, but
this is of rare occurrence, will take their places in a railway
carriage, all of them smoking, where two ladies are sitting, and wait
till requested before throwing their cigars away, and what cigars! and
then by smiles and innuendoes make the ladies so uncomfortable that
they are driven from the carriage. Even eleven hundred years ago the
German woman had rather a rough time of it. Charlemagne had nine
wives, but he seems to have been unduly uxorious or unwearying in his
infatuations. He made the wife travel with him, and all nine of them
died, worn out by travel and hardship. There is a constancy of
companionship which is deadly.

The inconveniences and discomfort of going about alone, for ladies in
Germany, I have heard not from a dozen, but in a chorus from German
ladies themselves. I am reciting no grievances of my compatriots, for
I have seen next to nothing of Americans for a year or more, and I
have no personal complaints, for these soft adventurers scent danger
quickly, and give the masters of the world, whether male or female, a
wide berth.

These gross manners are the result of two factors in German life that
it is well to keep in mind. They are a poor people, only just emerging
from poverty, slavery, and disaster; poor not only in possessions, but
poor in the experience of how to use them. They do not know how to use
their new freedom. They are as awkward in this new world of theirs, of
greater wealth and opportunity, as unyoked oxen that have strayed into
city streets. The abject deference of the women, who know nothing
better than these parochial masters, adds to their sense of their own
importance. It is largely the women themselves who make their men

The other factor is the rigid caste system of their social habits.
There is no association between the officers, the nobility, the
officials, the cultured classes, and the middle and lower classes. The
public schools and universities are learning shops; they do not train
youths in character, manners, or in the ways of the world. They do not
play together, or work together, or amuse themselves together. The
creeds and codes, habits and manners of the better classes are,
therefore, not allowed to percolate and permeate those less
experienced. There is no word for gentleman in German. The words
gebildeter and anständiger are used, and it is significant to notice
that the stress is thus laid on mental development or upon obedience
to formal rules. A man may be a very great gentleman and a true
gentleman and not be a scholar. The late Duke of Devonshire cared more
for horses than for books and pictures, and Abraham Lincoln was one of
the greatest gentlemen of all time.

In Homburg one day I saw a tall, fine-looking, elderly man step aside
and off the sidewalk to let two ladies pass. It was for Germany a
noticeable act. He turned out to be a famous general then in waiting
upon the Emperor. There are not a few such courtly gentlemen in
Germany, not a few whose knightliness compares with that of any
gentleman in the world. Alas for the great bulk of the Germans, they
never come into contact with them, their example is lost, their leaven
of high breeding and courtesy does not lighten the bourgeois loaf! In
America and in England we are all threading our way in and out among
all classes. We are much more democratic. Men of every class are in
contact with men of every other, we play together and work together,
and consequently the level of manners and habits is higher. This state
of things is less marked in south Germany than in Prussia, but is more
or less true everywhere.

But how can this be possible, I hear it replied, in that land where
every officer clacks his heels together with a report like an
exploding torpedo, ducks his head from his rigid vertebrae, and then
bends to kiss the lady's hand; and where every civilian of any
standing does the same? I am not writing of the nobility and of the
corps of officers in this connection. No doubt there are black sheep
among them, though I have not met them. Of the many scores of them
whom I have met, whom I have ridden with, dined with, romped with,
drunk with, travelled with, I have only to say that they are as
courteous, as unwilling to offend or to take advantage, as are brave
men in other countries I know. I am writing of the average man and
woman, of those who make up the bulk of every population, of those
upon whom it depends whether a national life is healthy or otherwise.

The very stiffness of these mannerisms, the clacking of heels, the
ducking of heads, the kissing of hands, the countless grave
formalities among the men themselves, are all indicative of social
weakness. They are afraid to walk without the crutches of certain
formulae, of certain hard-and-fast rules, of certain laws that they
worship and fall down before. Slavery is still upon them. Escaped from
a bodily master they fly to the refuge of a moral and spiritual one.
These formalities are prescribed forms which they wear as they wear
uniforms; they are not the result of innate consideration.

Uniform-wearing is a passion among the Germans, and may be included as
still another indication of the universal desire to take refuge behind
forms, and laws, and fixed customs, the universal desire to shrink
from depending upon their own judgment and initiative. They will not
even bow or kiss a lady's hand, without a prescription from a social
physician whom they trust.

The German officials are always officials, always addressed and
addressing others punctiliously by their titles. They do not throw off
officialdom outside their duties and their offices as we do, but they
glory in it. We throw off our uniforms as soon as may be; we feel
hampered by them. This leads to a feeling on the part of the Germans
that we are too free and easy, and not respectful enough toward our
own dignity or toward theirs. We feel, on the other hand, that it is a
farce to go to the every-day markets of life, whether for daily food
or for daily social intercourse, with the bullion and certified checks
of our official dignity; we go rather with the small change that
jingles in all pockets alike, and is ready to be handed out for the
frequent and unimportant buying and selling of the day and hour. We
look upon this grallatory attitude toward life as artificial and
hampering, and prefer to walk among our neighbors as much as possible
upon our own feet.

I am not pretending to fix standards of etiquette. I can quite
understand that when we grab the hand of the German's wife and shake
it like a pump-handle instead of bowing over it; that when we nod
cheerfully to him in the street with a wave of the hand or a lifting
of a cane or umbrella instead of taking off our hat; that when we fail
to address both him and his lady with the title belonging to them, no
matter how commonplace that title, we shock his prejudices and his
code of good manners.

If there is a stranger, a lady, in the drawing-room before dinner the
German men line up in single file and ask to be presented to her. If
the lady is tall and handsome and the party a large one, it looks
almost like an ovation. If you go to dine at an officers' mess the men
think it their duty to come up and ask to be presented to you. They
wear their mourning bands on the forearm instead of the upperarm; they
wear their wedding-rings on the fourth finger of the right hand; many
of them wear rather more conspicuous jewelry than we consider to be in
good taste.

The sofa, too, plays a rôle in German households and offices for which
I have sought in vain for an explanation. Not even German archaeology
supplies a historical ancestry for this sofa cult. It is the place of
honor. If you go to tea you are enthroned on the sofa. Even if you go
to an office, say of the police, or of the manager of the city
slaughter-house, or of the hospital superintendent, you are manoeuvred
about till they get you on the sofa, generally behind a table. I soon
discovered that this was the seat of honor. Sofas have their place in
life, I admit. There are sofas that we all remember with tears, with
tenderness, with reverence. They have been the boards upon which we
first appeared in the rôle of lover perhaps; or where we have fondled
and comforted a discouraged child; or where we have pumped new
ambitions and larger life into a weaker brother; or where we have
tossed in the agony of grief or disappointment; or where we have
waited drearily and alone the result of a consultation of moral or
physical life and death in the next room. Indeed, this all reminds me
that I could write an essay on sofas that would be poignant, touching,
autobiographical, luminous, as could most other men, but this would
not explain the position of the sofa in Germany in the least. "Travels
on a Sofa"--I must do it one day, and perhaps, with more serious study
of the subject, light may be thrown upon this question of the sofa in

Even at large and rather formal dinner-parties the host bows and
drinks to his guests, first one and then another. At the end of the
meal, in many households, it is the custom to bow and kiss your
hostess's hand and say "Mahlzeit," a shortened form of "May the meal
be blessed to you." You also shake hands with the other guests and say
"Mahlzeit." In some smarter houses this is looked upon as old-
fashioned and is not done. I look upon it as a charming custom, and
think it a pity that it should be done away with.

Young unmarried girls and women courtesy to the elder women and kiss
their hands, also a custom I approve. On the other hand, where a
stalwart officer appears in a small drawing-room and seats himself at
the slender tea-table for a cup of afternoon tea, holding his sword by
his side or between his legs, that seems to me an unnecessary
precaution, even when Americans are present, for many of us nowadays
go about unarmed.

Except on official or formal occasions it seems a matter of
questionable good taste to appear, say in a hotel restaurant, with
one's breast hung with medals or with orders on one's coat or in the
button-hole. Let 'em find out what a big boy am I without help from
self-imposed placards seems to me to be perhaps the more modest way.
The method in vogue in Japanese temples, where the worshippers jangle
a bell to call the attention of the gods to their prayers or
offerings, seems out of place where the god is merely the casual man
in the street, in a Berlin restaurant.

At more than one dinner the soup is followed by a meat course, after
which comes the fish. This does not mean that the dinners are not
good. I fondly recall a dish of sauerkraut boiled in white wine and
served in a pineapple. I may not give names, but the dinners of Mr.
and Mrs. Fourth of December, of Mrs. Twenty-first of January, of Mr.
and Mrs. Thirtieth of January, and of Mr. and Mrs. February First, and
others rank very high in my gastronomic calendar. Do not imagine from
what I have written that Lucullus has left no disciples in Germany. I
could easily add a page to the list I have mentioned, and because we
look upon some of these customs of the German as absurd is no reason
for forgetting that he often, and from his stand-point rightly, looks
upon us as boors. I like the Germans and I pretend to have learned
very much from them. To sneer at superficial differences is to lose
all profit from intercourse with other peoples. Goethe is right,
"Uberall lernt man nur von dem, den man liebt!" The argument is only
all on our side when we are impervious to impressions and to other
standards of manners and morals than our own.

"Am Ende hangen wir doch ab
Von Kreaturen die wir machten"

are two lines at least from the second part of "Faust" that we can all

It is sometimes thrown at us Americans that we love a title, and that
we are not averse to the ornamentation of our names with pseudo and
attenuated "Honorables" and "Colonels" and "Judge" and so on; and I am
bound to admit the impeachment, for I blush at some of my
be-colonelled and becaptained friends, and wonder at their rejoicing over
such effeminate honorifics, especially those colonelcies born of
clattering behind a civilian governor, on a badly ridden horse, a
title which may be compared with that most attenuated title of all,
that of a Texan, who when asked why he was called "colonel" replied,
that he had married the widow of a colonel!

I prefer "Esqr." to "Mr." merely because it makes it easier to assort
the daily mail; "Mr.," "Mrs.," and "Miss" are so easily taken for one
another on an envelope, and particularly at Christmas time this more
distinctly legible title avoids, the deplorable misdirection of the
secrets of Santa Claus; aside from that I am happy to be addressed
merely by my name, like any other sovereign.

We are, too, somewhat overexcited when foreign royalties appear among
us. "What wud ye do if ye were a king an' come to this counthry?"
asked Mr. Hennessy.

"Well," said Mr. Dooley, "there's wan thing I wuddent do. I wuddent r-read
th' Declaration iv Independence. I'd be afraid I'd die laughin'."

In Germany not only are titles showered upon the populace, but it is
distinctly and officially stated by what title the office-holder shall
be addressed.

In a case I know, a certain lady failed to sign herself to one of the
small officials working upon her estate as, let us say, "I remain very
sincerely yours," or its German equivalent; whereupon the person
addressed wrote and demanded that communications addressed to him
should be signed in the regulation manner. A lawyer was consulted, and
it was found that a similar case had been taken to the courts and
decided in favor of the recipient of wounded vanity.

In hearty and manly opposition to this attitude toward life is the
example of Admiral X. He had served long and gallantly, and just
before he retired a friend said to him: "I hear that they're going to
knight you." "By God, sir, not without a court-martial!" was the
prompt reply. Indeed, things have come to such a pass in England that
the offer of a knighthood to a gentleman of lineage, breeding, and
real distinction, has been for years looked upon as either a joke or
an insult.

Not so among my German friends; they have a ravenous appetite for
these flimsy tickets of passing commendation. At many, many hospitable
boards in Berlin I have been present where no left breast was barren
of a medal, and where the only medal won by participation in actual
warfare, belonging to one of the guests, was safely packed away in his
house. And as for the titles, there is no room in a small volume like
this to enumerate them all; and the women folk all carry the titles of
the husband, from Frau Ober-Postassistent, Frau Regierungs Assessor,
up to the Chancellor's lady, who, by the way, wears a title in her
mere face and bearing. Not long ago I saw in a provincial sheet the
notice of the death of a woman of eighty, who was gravely dignified by
her bereaved relatives with the title, and as the relict of, a

Upon a certain funicular at a mountain resort, where the cars pass one
another up and down every twenty minutes, the conductors salute one
another stiffly each time they pass.

Of the army of people with titles of Ober-Regierungsrat, Geheimer
Regierungsrat, Wirklicher Geheimer Regierungsrat, Wirklicher Geheimer
Ober-Regierungsrat, Wirklicher Geheimerat, who also carries the
additional title of "Excellenz" with his title; Referendar, Assessor,
Justizrat, Geheimer Justizrat, Gerichts-Assessor, Amtsrichter,
Amtsgerichtrat, Oberamtsrichter, Landgerichtsdirector,
Amtsgerichtspräsident, Geheimer Finanzrat, Wirklicher Geheimer Ober
Finanzrat, Legationsrat, Wirklicher Geheimer Legationsrat, Vice Konsul,
Konsul, General Konsul, Commercienrat, Wirklichercommercienrat,
Staatsanwalt, Staatsanwaltschaftsrat, Herr Erster Staatsanwalt, where
the "Herr" is a legal part of the title; of those who must be addressed
as "Excellenz," and in addition military and naval titles, and the horde
of handles to names of those in the railway, postal, telegraph, street-
cleaning, forestry, and other departments, one must merely throw up
one's hands in despair, and bow to the inevitable disgrace of being
quite unable to name this Noah's-ark procession of petty dignitaries.

In the department of post and telegraph a new order has gone forth,
issued during the last few months, by which, after passing certain
examinations, the employees may take the title of Ober-Postschaffner
and Ober-Leitungsaufseher. After thirty years' service the postman is
dignified with the title of Ober-Briefträger. It is difficult to
understand the type of mind which is flattered by such infantile
honors. At any rate, it is a cheap system of rewards, and so long as
men will work for such trumpery ends the state profits by playing upon
their childish vanity. During the year 1912 more than 7,000
decorations were distributed, and some 1,500 of these were of the
three classes of the Order of the Red Eagle. On the twenty-fifth
anniversary of the reign of the present Emperor, in 1913, still
another medal is to be struck, to be given to worthy officials and

All the professions and all the trades, too, have their pharmacopoeia
of tags and titles, and you will go far afield to find a German woman
who is not Frau Something-or-other Schmidt, or Fischer, or Miller.
Every day one hears women greeting one another as Frau
Oberforstmeister, Frau Superintendent, Frau Medicinalrat, Frau
Oberbergrat, Frau Apothekar, Frau Stadt-Musikdirektor, Frau Doktor
Rechtsanwalt, Frau Geschäftsführer, and the like. All these titles,
too, appear in the hotel registers and in all announcements in the
newspapers. Even when a man dies, his title follows him to the grave,
and even beyond it, in the speech of those left behind.

These uniforms and titles and small formalities do make, I admit, for
orderliness and rigidity, and perhaps for contentment; since every man
and woman feels that though they are below some one else on the ladder
they are above others; and every day and in every company their vanity
is lightly tickled by hearing their importance, small though it be,
proclaimed by the mention of their titles.

It pleases the foreigners to laugh and sometimes to jeer at the
universal sign of "Verboten" (Forbidden) seen all over Germany. They
look upon it as the seal of an autocratic and bureaucratic government.
It is nothing of the kind. The army, the bureaucracy, the autocratic
Kaiser at the helm, and the landscape bestrewn with "Verboten" and
"Nicht gestattet" (Not allowed), these are necessities in the case of
these people. They do not know instinctively, or by training or
experience, where to expectorate and where not to; where to smoke and
where not to; what to put their feet on and what not to; where to walk
and where not to; when to stare and when not to; when to be dignified
and when to laugh; and, least of all, how to take a joke; how, when,
or how much to eat, drink, or bathe, or how to dress properly or
appropriately. The Emperor is almost the only man in Germany who knows
what chaff is and when to use it.

The more you know them, the longer you live among them, the less you
laugh at "Verboten." The trouble is not that there are too many of
these warnings, but that there are not enough! When you see in flaring
letters in the street-cars, "In alighting the left hand on the left-hand
rail," when you read on the bill of fare in the dining-car brief
instructions underlined, as to how to pour out your wine so that you
will not spill it on the table-cloth; when you see the list of from
ten to fifteen rules for passengers in railway carriages; when you see
everywhere where crowds go and come, "Keep to the right"; when you see
hanging on the railings of the canals that flow through Berlin a life-buoy,
and hanging over it full instructions with diagrams for the
rescue of the drowning; when you see over a post-box, "Aufschrift und
Marke nicht vergessen" (Do not forget to stamp and address your
envelope); when you see in the church entrances a tray with water and
sal volatile, and the countless other directions and remedies and
preventives on every hand, you shrug your Saxon shoulders and smile
pityingly, if you do not stand and stare and then laugh outright, as I
was fool enough to do at first. But you soon recover from this
superficial view of matters Teutonic. In one cab I rode in I was
cautioned not to expectorate, not to put my feet on the cushions, not
to tap on the glass with stick or umbrella, not to open the windows,
but to ask the driver to do it, and not to open the door till the
auto-taxi stopped; one hardly has time to learn the rules before the
journey is over.

In April, 1913, more laws are to come into effect for the street
traffic. People may not walk more than three abreast; they may not
swing their canes and umbrellas as they walk; they may not drag their
garments in the street; they may not sing, whistle, or talk loudly in
the street, nor congregate for conversation; there will follow, of
course, a regulation as to the length of women's dresses to be worn in
the street, and no doubt the police commissioner, an amiable bachelor,
will decree that the shorter the better. All these fussy regulations
are ridiculous to us, but in reality they are horrible and give one a
feeling of suffocation when living in Germany. In the days when
everybody rode a bicycle, each rider was obliged to pass an
examination in proficiency, paid a small tax, and was given a number
and a license. Women who persisted in wearing dangerous hat-pins have
been ejected from public vehicles.

After April 1, 1913, no shop in Berlin can advertise or hold a bargain
sale without permission of the police. The changed prices must be
affixed to the goods four days before the sale for inspection by the
police, and only two such sales are permitted a year, and these must
take place either before February 15, or between June 15 and August
1st. All particulars of the sale must be handed to the police a week
in advance. In a carriage on the Bavarian railroad, a husband who
kissed and petted his tired wife was complained of by a fellow-
passenger. The husband was tried, judged guilty, and fined. There was
no question but that the woman was his wife; thus there is no loop-hole
left for the legally curious, and thousands of male Germans hug
and kiss one another on railway-station platforms who surely ought to
be fined and imprisoned or deported or hanged! All this may be a relic
of Roman law. Cato dismissed Marilius from the Senate because he
kissed his own wife by daylight in the presence of their own daughter.

Shortly after leaving Germany, I returned from a few weeks' shooting
in Scotland. We bundled out of the train onto the station platform in
London. Dogs, gun-cases, cartridge-boxes, men and maid servants,
trunks, bags, baskets, bunches of grouse, and the passengers seemed in
a chaotic huddle of confusion. In Germany at least twenty policemen
would have been needed to disentangle us. I was so torpid from having
been long Teutonically cared for, that I looked on momentarily
paralyzed. There was no shouting, not a harsh word that I heard; and
as I was almost the last to get away, I can vouch for it that in ten
minutes each had his own and was off. I had forgotten that such things
could be done. I had been so long steeped in enforced orderliness,
that I had forgotten that real orderliness is only born of individual
self-control. I forgot that I was back among the free spirits who
govern a quarter of the habitable globe and whose descendants are
making America; and even if here and there one or more, and they are
often recently arrived immigrants, are intoxicated by freedom and
shoot or steal like drunken men; I realized that I am still an
Occidental barbarian, thank God, preferring liberty, even though it is
punctuated now and then with shots and screams and thefts, to official
guardianship, even though I am thus saved the shooting, the screaming,
and the thieving.

In the nine years ending 1910, our Fourth of July
celebrations cost America in killed, 18,000; in wounded, 35,000; but
even that is better than the civic throttling of the German method. It
seems to be forgotten that the men who keep the world fresh with their
saline vigor, love risks as they love fresh air. They should be
curbed, but not strangled!

You read their history, you watch closely
their manners, you prowl about among them, in their streets, their
shops, their houses, their theatres; you accompany the crowds on a
holiday in the trains, in the forests, in the summer resorts, at their
concerts or their picnics, in their beer-gardens and restaurants, and
you soon see that the orderliness is all forced upon them from
without, and not due to their own knowledge of how to take care of

In a recent volume by a distinguished German prison
official he writes that, after a careful study of the figures from
1882 to 1910, he has discovered that one person now living in every
twelve in Germany has been convicted of some offence. Doctor
Finkelnburg shows that the number of "criminals" in Germany is
3,869,000, of whom 3,060,000 are males, and 809,000 females. Every 43d
boy and every 213th girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen has
been punished by fine or imprisonment. This does not mean that the
Germans are criminal or disorderly, but, on the contrary, it shows how
absurdly petty are the violations of the law punished by fine or

Their whole history, from Charlemagne down until the last fifty years,
is a series of going to pieces the moment the strong hand of authority
is taken away from them. The German, and especially the Prussian
policeman, has become the greatest official busybody in the world. No
German's house is his castle. The policeman enters at will and, backed
by the authorities, questions the householder about his religion, his
servants, the attendance of his children at school, the status of the
guests staying in his house, and about many other matters besides. If
one of his children by reason of ill health is taught at home, the
authorities demand the right to send an inspector every six months to
examine him or her, to be sure that the child is properly taught. The
policeman is in attendance on the platform at every public meeting,
armed with authority to close the meeting if either speeches or
discussion seem to him unpatriotic, unlawful, or strife-breeding.
Professors, pastors, teachers are all muzzled by the state, and must
preach and teach the state orthodoxy or go! A young professor of
political economy in Berlin only lately was warned, and has become
strangely silent since.

The de-Germanizing of the German abroad is in line with this, and a
constant source of annoyance to the powers that be. Buda-Pesth was
founded by Germans in 1241, and now not one-tenth of the population is
German. As the Franks became French, as the Long Beards became
Italians, so the Germans become Americans in America, English in
England, Austrian and Bohemian in Austria and Bohemia. It has been a
problem to prevent their becoming Poles where the state has settled
Germans for the distinct purpose of ousting the Poles.

In China, in South America, and even in Sumatra I have heard German
officials tell with indignation of how their compatriots rapidly take
the local color, and lose their German habits and customs and point of

One of the half dozen best-known bankers in Berlin has lamented to me
that he must change his people in South America every few years, as
they soon go to pieces there. Army officers came home from China
indignant to find their compatriots there speaking English and
unwilling even to speak German. Even as long ago as the time of the
Thirty Years' War a forgotten chronicler, Adam Junghaus von der
Ohritz, writes: "Further, it is a misfortune to the Germans that they
take to imitating like monkeys and fools. As soon as they come among
other soldiers, they must have Spanish or other outlandish clothes. If
they could babble foreign languages a little, they would associate
themselves with Spaniards and Italians." Wilhelm von Polentz, in his
"das Land der Zukunft," writes: "die Deutsch-Amerikaner sind für die
alte Heimat dauernd verloren, politisch ganz und kulturell beinahe

Bismarck knew these people and the present Emperor knows these people,
better than do you and I! Bismarck even insisted upon using the German
text, and once returned a letter of congratulation from an official
body because it was written in the Latin text. Even the Great Elector
must have recognized this weakness when he said: "Gedenke dass du bist
em Deutscher!" The present Kaiser lends his whole social influence to
keep the Germans German. He will have the bill of fare in German, he
prefers the dreadful word Mundtuch to napkin. His officers very often
demand that the bill of fare in a German hotel shall be presented to
them in German and not in French. And they are quite right to do so,
and quite right to hang the German world with the sign "Verboten";
quite right to distribute titles and medals and orders, for the more
they are uniformed and decorated and ticketed and drilled, and taken
care of, the better they like it, and the more contented these people
are. Overorganization has brought this about. Their theories have
hardened into a veritable imprisonment of the will. They have drifted
away from Goethe's wise saying: "That man alone attains to life and
freedom who daily has to conquer them anew."

Let me refer again just here to the socialist propaganda, which seems
to the outsider so strong here in Germany. Even this is far flabbier
than it looks, as I have attempted to explain elsewhere. In such
strong and out-and-out industrial centres as Essen, Duisburg-Mühlheim,
Saarbrücken, and Bochum, where a vigorous fight has been made against
socialism, the following are the figures of the last election in 1912
when the socialists largely increased their vote throughout other
parts of Germany:


Essen............                 25,937       42,832     40,503
Duisburg-Mühlheim                 33,934       31,559     34,187
Saarbrücken......                 25,108       24,228      4,157
Bochum...........                 42,257       37,650     64,833

I cite this example because it seems as though the growth of socialism
in Germany were in direct contradiction to my argument that they are a
soft, an impressionable, an amenable, and easily led and governed

State socialism as thus far put into practice in Germany is, in a
nutshell, the decision on the part of the state or the rulers that the
individual is not competent to spend his own money, to choose his own
calling, to use his own time as he will, or to provide himself for his
own future and for the various emergencies of life. And by the minute
state control, they are rapidly bringing the whole population to an
enfeebled social and political condition, where they can do nothing
for themselves.

They have been knocked about and dragooned by their own rulers and, be
it said and emphasized, they have received certain compensations and
gained certain advantages, if nothing else an orderliness, safety, and
care for the people by the state unequalled elsewhere in the world.
But there is no gainsaying, on the other hand, that they have lost the
fruits that are plucked by the nations of more individualistic

They have clean streets, cheap music and drama, and a veritable mesh
of national education with interstices so small that no one can
escape, and they are coddled in every direction; but they have no
stuff for colonizers, and they have been not infrequently wofully
lacking in stalwart statesmen, and leaders.

To deprive the worker of his choice of expenditure, by taking all but
a pittance of it in taxation, is a dangerous deprivation of moral
exercise. To be able to choose for oneself is a vitally necessary
appliance in the moral gymnasium, even if here and there one chooses
wrong. It is a curious trend of thought of the day, which proposes to
cure social evils always by weakening, rather than by strengthening
the individual.

Socialism is merely a moral form of putting a sharper bit in
humanity's mouth; when of course the highest aim, the optimistic view,
is to train people to go as fast and straight and far as possible,
with the least possible hampering of their natural powers by
legislation. "Some men are by nature free, others slaves," writes
Aristotle, but whether this axiom can be accepted fully or not, it is
undoubtedly true that you can first dragoon and then coddle a whole
people, into a lack of independence and a shrinking from the
responsibilities of freedom.

We are drugging the people ourselves just now with legislation as a
cure for the evils of industrialism, but such legislation will only do
what soporifics can do, they numb the pain, but they never bring
health. What a forlorn philosophy it is! Men take advantage, rob and
steal, we say, and to do away with this we give up the fight for fair
play and orderliness and propose sweeping away all the prizes of life,
hoping thus to do away with the highwaymen of commerce and finance. If
there is no booty, there will be no bandit, we say, forgetting
altogether the corollary that if there are no prizes there will be no
prizemen! Neither God nor Nature gives anything to those who do not
struggle, and both God and Nature appoint the stern task-master,
Necessity, to see to it that we do struggle. Now come the ignorant and
the socialists, demanding that the state step in and roll back the
very laws of creation by supplying what is not earned from the surplus
of the strong. Who cannot see anarchy looming ahead of this programme,
for it is surely a lunatic negation of all the laws of God and Nature?
They do not seem to see either in America or in England that state
supervision carried too far leads straight to the sanction of all the
demands of socialism and syndicalism. Legislation was never intended
to be the father of a people, but their policeman. Overlegislation,
whether by an autocrat or a democratic state, leads straight to
revolution, to Caesarism, or to slavery.

In Germany the state by giving much has gained an appalling control
over the minute details of human intercourse. I am no philosophic
adviser to the rich; it is as the champion of the poor man that I
detest socialism and all its works, for in the end it only leads
backward to slavery. Every vote the workingman gives to a policy of
wider state control is another link for the chains that are meant for
his ankles, his wrists, and his neck. If the state is to take care of
me when I am sick or old or unemployed, it must necessarily deprive me
of my liberty when I am well and young and busy, and thus make my very
health a kind of sickness. A year in Germany ought to cure any
sensible workingman of the notion that the state is a better guardian
of his purse and his powers than he is himself. A distinguished German
publicist, criticising this overpowering interference of the state,
writes: "Mir ist wohl bewusst dass diese Gedanken einst weilen fromme
Wünsche bleiben werden: die Schatten lähmender Müdigkeit die fiber
unserer Politik lagern, lassen wenig Hoffnung auf fröhliche
Initiative. Allein immer kann und wird es nicht so bleiben." And he
ends with the ominous words: "Reform oder Revolution!"

One often hears the apostles of a certain kittenish humanitarianism,
talking of the great good that would result if we in America would
provide light wines and beer and music, and parks and gardens, for our
people. They see the crowds of men and women and children flocking by
thousands to such resorts in Germany, where they eat tons of cakes and
Brödchens and jam, and where they drink gallons of beer and wine, and
where they sit hour after hour apparently quite content. Why, Lord
love you, ladies and gentlemen, our populace would never be content
with such mild amusements! Fancy "Silver Dollar" Sullivan or "Bath-house"
John attempting to cajole their cohorts in such fashion!

It may be a pity that our people are not thus easily amused, but, on
the other hand, it means simply that our energy, our vitality, our
national nervousness if you like, will not be so easily satisfied. Our
disorderly nervousness, or nervous disorderliness, though it has been
a tremendous asset in keeping us bounding along industrially and
commercially, and though it gives an exhilarating, champagne-like
flavor to our atmosphere, has cost us dear. If you will have freedom,
you will have those who are ruined by it; just as, if you will have
social and political servitude, you will have a stodgy, unindependent

Only one out of sixty perpetrators of homicidal crime suffers the
extreme penalty attaching to such crimes in America, and these
figures, I admit, are a shocking revelation of supine justice and
sentimental executive, as when politics can even bend our President to
grant silly pardons, with baleful results upon the doings of other
wealthy criminals. We use as large an amount of habit-forming drugs
per capita as is used in the Chinese empire, so says Dr. Wright, who
was commissioned by the State Department to gather facts on this
subject. We import and consume 500,000 pounds of opium yearly, when
70,000 pounds, including its derivatives and preparations, should
suffice for our medical needs. In the year 1910 no less than 185,000
ounces of cocaine were imported, manufactured, and consumed, although
15,000 ounces would supply every legitimate need. America collected
$340,000,000 from tariff taxes in 1911, and $40,000,000 of this from
tobacco and alcoholics.

My readers may look back to the title of this chapter and ask: What
has all this to do with the status of women in Germany? I have told
you in these few pages the whole secret. The men are not independent;
what can you expect of the women! The men have, until very lately, had
no surplus wealth or leisure, and have now, to all appearance, little
surplus vitality or energy. Germany is getting to be a very tired-looking
nation. One hears almost as little laughter in Germany as in
India. Gayety and laughter are the bubbles and foam on the glass of
life, proving that it is charged with energy. Do not believe me,
although I have carefully watched many thousands of Germans in all
parts of Germany taking their pleasure and their ease; come over and
see for yourself! These thousands at their simple recreations are not
gay. I grant the dangers we run by the opposite policy, but these are
the results we have to fear from the German methods.

It is the men who
must supply the leisure, the independence, the setting, the background
for the women. All Europe says that our women are spoiled, that they
are tyrants, that they treat us men badly, that they flout us, do not
do their duty by us, and finally divorce us. We can afford to let them
say it! We have given our women an independence that many of them
abuse, it is true. We perhaps give them more than their share to
spend, and more of luxury than is good for them; and all too many of
the underbred among them paint and bejewel and begown themselves to
imitate the lecherous barbarism of the too free. But one of the
greatest ladies in Germany tells me, "I am never so flattered as when
I am taken for an American!" I can pay her no handsomer compliment
than to reply that she is worthy of the mistake. Our women revive the
drooping dukedoms of England, and few will maintain that some of them
at least are unsuited to the position. I have seen them in Germany as
Frau Gräfin this or that, and not only their appearance but their
house-keeping machinery, running noiselessly and accurately, proves
that there is something more than dollars behind them.

One of the rare human beings whom I have known, who has at the same
time the characteristics of the generous comrade, the good fellow, and
the fine gentleman; who in moral courage in time of terrible strain,
or in physical courage when one's back is to the wall, never quailed,
is an American woman; and thousands of my countrymen will say the

You cannot produce this type without freedom, without giving them
opportunity, and taking the risks that are inherent in giving free
scope to personal prowess. But they are not the women whom our blatant
newspapers exploit, nor the women who buy the British aristocracy to
launch them socially, nor the women who pervade the continental hotels
and restaurants, nor the women whom as a rule the foreigner has the
opportunity to meet. They are the women who have helped us to absorb
the 21,000,000 aliens who have entered America since the Civil War;
the women who stood behind us when we fought out that war for four
years, leaving a million men on the fields of battle; the women who in
the realm of housekeeping, to come down to practical levels, have
revolutionized these duties and turned a drudgery into an art as have
no other women in the world. The best answer the American can make to
the luxurious lawlessness of some of our women, is to point to the
house-keeping and home-making of his compatriots, not only at home but
right here in Germany. Fifty years ago it could not have been said,
but to-day there is no doubt in my mind that American house-keeping is
the best in the world. In comfort, in the smooth running of the
household machinery, in good food and drink, perhaps in too lavish and
too luxurious hospitality, we are nowadays almost in a class by
ourselves in matters of housewifery.

The English attitude of women toward men is somewhat that of
comradeship, and once married the man's comfort is looked after with
some care; the American attitude of women toward men, in the more
luxurious circles, is often, I admit, that of a spoiled child toward a
gift-bringing uncle, and she permits him to worship her along the
lines of a restricted rubric; but in Germany the subordination, the
unquestioning and unthinking adulation, the blind acceptance of
inferiority have not only softened the men but robbed the women of
even sufficient independence to make them the helpmates that they try
to be. There have been women of social and even political influence:
Bettina von Arnim, Caroline Schlegel, Charlotte Stieglitz, Rahel
Varnhagen, and lately Frau Lebin, who seems to have been a soothing
adjunct of the Foreign Office. It is rather as admirers than as
executives that they shine. Their attitude toward the great Goethe,
and his nonchalant polygamy toward them, is difficult for us to
understand and approve.

"The gentle Henrietta then,
And a third Mary next did reign,
And Joan and Jane and Andria;
And then a pretty Thomasine,
And then another Katherine,
And then a long et cetera."

No real man is a misogynist, for not to like women is not to be a man.
There are, however, many men, both in Germany and out of it, who
greatly dislike sham women; that is, women who shirk their functional
responsibilities. This form of dislike is a healthy instinct. Women
are given the greatest and most inspiring of all tasks: to make men;
and a woman who cannot make a man, by giving birth to one, or by
developing one as son or husband, has failed more deplorably even than
a man who cannot make a living. This task of theirs constitutes a
superiority impossible to deny or to overcome. A woman, therefore, who
craves man's activities and standards is as foolish as though a wheat-field
should long to be a bakery. Most healthy-minded men hold this
view, though some of us may think that German men overemphasize it.

The coarse sentimentality of the lower classes has been noted, but it
is not confined to them. The premarital relations of all but the most
cultured and experienced, are marked by a mawkish sweetness which is
all the more noticeable in contrast with the dull routine of saving
and slaving which follows. She begins by being photographed sitting in
her hero's lap, and ends by sitting on the less comfortable chair to
darn his socks and to tend his babies. There are women enthroned, and
who deserve to be, in Germany as in other countries; but taken in the
mass, speaking in hundreds of thousands, it is not an inaccurate
picture to say that the women are not taken seriously in Germany
except as mothers and servants.

The census of 1910 shows that there are 32,040,166 men in Germany and
32,885,827 women, or 845,661 more women than men. The number of men in
proportion to the number of women is steadily increasing in Germany,
showing that the habits of the men are more and more feminine, that
the state provides for them and protects them, and that the women take
good care of them.

In a virile state, where the men take risks, where they play hazardous
games, where they travel and seek adventure, where they emigrate to
seek new opportunities, the women will greatly outnumber the men. The
excess of females in England and Wales in 1871 was 594,000; in 1881,
694,000; in 1891, 896,000; in 1911, 1,178,000. The United Kingdom has
the largest surplus of women of leisure in the world, and just now
they are taking advantage of their numerical superiority in the most
delightful and comical feminine fashion. They are proving their right
to assist in coercing others to obey the laws, by disobeying the laws
themselves. By pouring vitriol on golf-greens, by pinning their
defiance to these dishevelled greens with hair-pins, they propose to
provoke the recalcitrant to recognition of their right to pin their
names to seats in the House of Commons. It is all so sweetly feminine,
that the stranger is astonished to hear such women dubbed unwomanly.
Pray, what could be more womanly in England, than to pin a protest to
a golf-green with a hair-pin!

The German army, which is in itself a school of hygiene for the man,
where the death-rate is the lowest of any army in Europe, and the many
provisions for the state care of the population, all go to coddle the
men and protect them. The various forms of labor insurance alone in
Germany cost the state over $250,000 a day, and if we include the
amount expended in compensation in all its forms, the yearly bill of
the state for the care of its sick, injured and aged, amounts to
nearly $170,000,000. No wonder that between the care of a
grandmotherly state, and the attentions of a subservient womankind,
the male population increases. I sometimes question whether there is
not something of the hot-house culture about this male crop. Certainly
consumption and other diseases are very wide-spread. A very detailed
and careful investigation of certain forms of weakness is being made
by our Rockefeller Institute at this time, and if I am not mistaken in
the results of what these investigations have thus far disclosed, it
will be found that Germany has her full share of rottenness to deal
with. To those who care to corroborate these hints with facts I
recommend the reading of certain recent numbers of the hygienic
Rundschau, a German technical magazine of repute.

There is a lack of vitality and elasticity, a stodgy, plodding way of
working, much indulgence in gregarious eating and drinking, and very
mild forms of exercise and holiday-making, comparatively little sport,
almost no game-playing where boys and men hustle one another about as
in foot-ball and polo, and very long hours of application, from the
school-boy to the ministers of state, all of which tend to and do
produce a physical lack of alertness, vivacity, and audacity in the
men of practically all classes.

The way to see the people of a country is to stand by the hour in the
large industrial towns and watch them as they go to and from their
work; to watch them flocking in and out of railway stations, and at
work in large numbers in the fields of Saxony, Silesia, and other
parts of Prussia; to spend hours, and I admit that they are tedious
hours, strolling through factories, ship-yards, mines, and offices,
paying no attention to the talk of your guide, but studying the faces
and physique of the men and women. Having done this, an impartial
observer is bound to remark that industrial and commercial Germany is
taking a tremendous toll for the rapid progress she has made. It may
be no worse here than elsewhere, but neither has the problem of a
healthy, happy, toiling population been satisfactorily solved here,
though perhaps better here than elsewhere. I have heard the women and
girls in factories singing at their work, but the bird is no less
caged because it sings.

Men who ought to know better set an example of long hours of
confinement at their work which is quite unnecessary. They tell you
with pride that they are at it from eight or nine in the morning till
seven and often till later at night. That is something that no sane
man ought to be proud of. On investigation you find that in industrial
and commercial circles, and in the offices of the state, men take two
hours for luncheon and then return to work till nightfall. Two hours
in the open air at the end of the day could be managed easily, but
they do not want it. There is no vitality left for a game, for
exercise, for a bath, and a change.

They drug themselves with work, and slip away to the theatre, to a
concert, to a Verein or circle, unwashed, ungroomed, and physically
torpid, and the great mass of the population, high and low alike,
outside the army officers, look it.

The army officer's career is dependent upon his mental and physical
vigor. The cylinder is quickly handed him and the helmet taken away if
he grows too fat and too slow physically and mentally. There is no
nepotism, no favoritism, and on reaching a certain rank he goes, if he
falls below the standard required, and consequently he keeps himself
fit. But a huge bureaucracy, with its stupid promotions by years and
not by ability, with its government stroke, and its dangling pensions,
positively breeds lassitude, laziness, and dulness. You may see it on
every hand in government offices, in the railway and postal services,
where men are evidently kept on not for their fitness but by the
tyranny of the system. High officials admit as much.

In the little state of Prussia the railways pay well and are well
managed, but they are clogged to a certain extent by inefficient and
unnecessary employees, and were the system spread over the United
States the chaos in a dozen years would be almost irreparable, and
even here the complaints are many and vigorous. Probably one male over
twenty-five years of age out of every four is in government employ.
This alone would account for the general air of lassitude which is one
of the most noticeable features of German life. The Germans as a whole
are beginning to look tired. It is a German, not an Italian or a
Frenchman, the philosopher Nietzsche, who writes: "Seit es Menschen
giebt, hat der Mensch sich zu wenig gefreut; das allein ist unsere

There has been a great change in the status of women in the
last twenty-five years. The apophthegm of Pericles, or rather of
Thucydides, "that woman is best who is least spoken of among men,
either for good or evil," is not so rigidly enforced. Increased wealth
throughout Germany has left the German woman more leisure from the
drudgery of the home. She is not so wholly absorbed by the duties of
nurse, cook, and house-maid as she once was. But even to-day her
economies and her ability to keep her house with little outside
assistance are amazing. Some of the most delightful meals I have
taken, have been in professional households, where small incomes made
it necessary that wife and daughters should do most of the work.

The German professor has his faults, but in his own simple home, the
work of the day behind him, his family about him at his well-filled
but not luxurious board, with some member of the family not unlikely
to be an accomplished musician and with his own unrivalled store of
learning at your service, when he raises his glass to you, filled with
his best, with a smile and a hearty "Prosit," he is hard to beat as a
host, to my thinking. Perhaps there is nothing like overindulgence to
make one crave simplicity, and no doubt this accounts for the fact
that the really great ones of earth are satisfied and happy with
enough, and abhor too much.

They tell me that the Dienstmädchen is no longer what she used to be,
but to my untutored eye her duties still seem to be as comprehensive
as those of a Sioux squaw, and her performances unrivalled. As is to
be expected, Germany is not blessed with trained servants. They are
helpers rather than professional servants. In the scores of houses,
public and private, where I have been a guest, only in one or two had
the servants more than an alphabetical knowledge of what was due to
one's clothes and shoes. The servants are rigidly protected by the
state: they must have so much time off, they cannot be dismissed
without weeks of warning, and they themselves carry books with their
moral and professional biographies therein, which are always open to
the inspection of the police; and they must all be insured.

In many towns, and cities too, there are hospitals and bands of nurses
who for a small annual payment undertake to take over and care for a
sick servant. If the doctor prescribes a "cure" for your servant, away
she goes at the expense of the state to be taken care of. Wages are
very small as compared with ours. Ten dollars a month for a cook, five
for a house-maid, ten for a man-servant, forty to fifty for a
chauffeur, and of course more in the larger and more luxurious
establishments; though a chef who serves dinners for forty and fifty
in an official household I know is content with twenty dollars a
month. A nursery governess can be had for twelve, and a well-educated
English governess for twenty dollars a month. Even these wages are
higher than ten years ago. To be more explicit, in a small household
where three servants are kept the cook receives 30 marks, the maid-servant
25 marks, and the nursery governess 35 marks a month. In the
household of an official of some means the man-servant receives 45
marks, the cook 30 marks, and the maid-servant 30 marks a month. When
dinners or other entertainments are given, outside help is called in.
In the household of a rich industrial, whose family consists of
himself, wife, and four children, the man-servant receives 80 marks,
the chauffeur 200, the cook 45, the lady's maid 35, the house-maid 25,
kitchen-maid 12, and the governess 30 marks a month.

I carry away with me delightful pictures of German households, big,
little, and medium; and though it does not fit in nicely with my main
argument, households whose mistresses were patterns of what a
châtelaine should be. But I must leave that loop-hole for the critics,
for I am trying only to tell the truth and to be fair, and not to be
scientific or to bolster up a thesis.

I can see the big castle, centuries old, with its rambling buildings
winging away from it on every side, and in the court-yard its regal-looking
mistress positively garlanded with her dozen children. There
is no sign of the decadence of the aristocracy here. We sit down
twenty or more every day at the family luncheon. Tutors and
governesses are at every turn. A French abbé, as silken in manner and
speech as his own soutane, bowls over all my prejudices of creed and
custom, as I watch him rule with the lightest of hands and the softest
of voices a brood of termagant small boys; to turn from this to a game
of billiards, and from that to the Merry Widow waltz on the piano,
that we may dance. An aide-de-camp trained in India and a French abbé,
I am convinced that these are the apotheosis of luxury in a large
household. My Protestant brethren would, I am sure, throw their
prejudices to the winds could they spend an evening with my friend,
Monsieur l'Abbé! Nor Erasmus, nor Luther, nor Calvin would have had
the heart to burn him. He is just as good a fellow as we are, knows
far more, can turn his hand to anything from photography to the
driving of a stubborn pony, knows his world as few know it, and yet is
inviolably not of it. I have chatted with Jesuit priests teaching our
Western Indians; I have travelled with a preaching friar in Italy on
his round of sermonizing; I have seen them in South America, in India,
China, and Japan, and I recognize and acclaim their self-denying
prowess, but no one of them was a more dangerous missionary than my
last-named friend among them, Monsieur l'Abbe!

"For ever through life the Curé goes
    With a smile on his kind old face--
With his coat worn bare, and his straggling hair,
    And his green umbrella-case."

There was a profusion at this castle, a heartiness of welcome, a
patriarchal attitude toward the countless servants and satellites, an
acreage of roaming space in the buildings, that smacked of the
feudalism back to which both the castle and the family dated. How many
Englishmen or Americans who sniff at German civilization ever see
anything of the inside of German homes? Very few, I should judge, from
the lame talk and writing on the subject. Let us go from this
mediaeval setting for modern comfort to a smaller establishment. Here
a miniature Germania, with blue eyes and golden hair, presides,
looking like a shaft of sunlight in front of you as she leads the way
about the paths of her gloomy forest. In these, and in not a few other
houses, there is little luxury, no waste, a certain Spartan air of
training, but abundance of what is necessary and a cheery and frank

I sometimes think the Germans themselves lose much by their rather
overdeveloped tendency to meet not so often in one another's homes as
in a neutral place: a restaurant, a garden, a Verein or circle, of
which there is an interminable number. You certainly get to know a man
best and at his best in his own home, and you never get to know a wife
and a mother out of that environment; for a woman is even more
dependent than a man upon the sympathetic atmosphere that frames her.
I should be, after my experience, and I am, the last person in the
world to say that the Germans are not hospitable; but there is much
less visiting even among themselves, and much less of constant
reception of strangers in their homes, than with us. Habit, lack of
wealth, lack of trained servants, and a certain proud shyness, and in
some cases indifference and a lack of vitality which welcomes the
trouble of being host, account for this. No doubt, too, the old habit
of economy remains even when there is no longer the same necessity for
it, and saving and gayety do not go well together. In Geldsachen hurt
die Gemüthlichkeit auf.

I should be sorry to spoil my picture by the overemphasis of details.
The reader will not see what I have intended to paint, if he gets only
an impression of caution, of economy, of sordidness and fatigue. No
nation that gives birth to an untranslatable word like Gemüthlichkeit
can be without that characteristic. The English words "home" and
"comfort," the French word "esprit," and the German word
Gemüthlichkeit have no exact equivalents in other languages. This in
itself is a sure sign of a quality in the nation which bred the word.
The difficulty lies in the fact that another language is another life.

The Germans are not cheerful as we are cheerful; they are not happy as
we are happy; they are not free as we are free; they are not polite as
we are polite; they are not contented as we are contented; and no one
for a moment who is even an amateur observer and an amateur
philologist combined would claim that the three words, love and amour
and Liebe mean the same thing. No word in the English language is used
so often from the pulpit as the word love, but this cannot be said of
the use of amour in France or of Liebe in Germany. Nations pour
themselves into the tiny moulds of words and give us statuettes of
themselves. The Anglo-Saxon, the Latin, and the Teuton have filled
these three words with a certain vague philosophy of themselves, a
hazy composite photograph of themselves. No one writer or painter, no
one incident, no one tragedy, no one day or year of history has done
this. To us, love is the coldest, cleanest, as it is perhaps the most
loyal of the three. L'amour sounds to us seductive, enticing, often
indeed little more than lust embroidered to make a cloak for ennui.
Liebe is to us friendly, soft, childlike.

The nations of the earth, close as they are together in these days,
are worlds apart in thought. Each builds its life in words, and the
words are as little alike as in the days of Babel; and thus it comes
about that we misunderstand one another. We translate one another only
into our own language, and understand one another as little as before,
because we only know one another in translations, and the best of the
life of each nation remains and always will remain untranslatable. No
one has ever really translated the Greek lyrics or the choruses of
Aeschylus, or the incomparable songs of Heine. Who could dream of
putting the best of Robert Louis Stevenson into German, or Kipling's
rollicking ballads of soldier life into Spanish, or Walter Pater into
Dutch, or Edgar Allan Poe into Russian! The one language common to us
all, music, tells as many tales as there are men to hear. Each melody
melts into the blackness or the brightness of the listener's soul and
becomes a thousand melodies instead of one. What does the moaning
monotony of a Korean love-song mean to the westerner, or what does the
Swan song mean to the Korean? Only God knows. We can never translate
one nation into the language of another; our best is only an
interpretation, and we must always meet the criticism that we have
failed with the reply that we had never hoped to succeed. We are
forever explaining ourselves even in our own small circles; how can we
dare to suggest even, that we have made one people to speak clearly in
the language of another? The best we can do is to give a kindly, a
good-humored, and, at all times and above all things, a charitable
interpretation. Information, facts, are merely the raw material of
culture; sympathy is its subtlest essence.

There is a world of good humor, of cheerfulness, of contentment, of
domestic peace and happiness in Germany. There are courtesy,
politeness, even grand manners here and there. But these words mean
one thing to them, another thing to us, and it is that I am striving,
feebly enough to be sure, to make clear. May I beg the reader and the
student to follow me with this point clearly in mind? While I am
outlining with these painful details that their ways are not as our
ways, I am not denouncing their ways, but merely offering matter for
consideration and comparison.

A nation is most often punished for its faults by the exaggeration of
its qualities, and if, as it seems to me, Germany suffers like the
rest of us in this respect, it is none of my doing. It will be my
failure and the reader's failure, if we do not profit by watching
these qualities in ourselves, and in others festering into faults.
Woman's position and ambitions, the home, the amusements, and the
satisfactions of life, are very different in Germany from ours. I note
these as facts, not as inferiorities. I note, too, that in Germany, as
elsewhere, Hegel was profoundly right in his dictum, that everything
earned to its extreme becomes its contrary. Too much caution may
become a positive menace to safety; too much orderliness may result in
individual incapacity for sell-control; just as liberty rots into
license, and demos descends to a crown and sceptre and tyranny. I am
merely calling attention to this great law of national development,
that the exaggeration of even fine qualities is the road to the
punishment of our faults, in Germany, as in every other nation under
the sun.

It is only when you have had a peep into a small farmer's house in
Saxony, into the artisans' houses in the busy Rhine and Westphalia
country; spent a night in a peasant's house and stable, for they are
under the same roof, in the mountains of the South; and visited the
greater establishments of the large land-holder and the less
pretentious houses of the gentleman farmer, and the country houses,
big and little, in all parts of Germany, that you get anything of the
real flavor of Germany.

If, as Burke says, it is impossible to indict a whole nation, it is
even more difficult to fit a people with a few discriminating and
really enlightening adjectives. One word I dare to apply to them all,
though I know well how different they are in the north and south and
east and west, as diversified indeed as any nation in the world, and
that is the word patient. They can stand longer, sit longer, eat
longer, drink longer, work longer hours, and dream longer, and dawdle
longer than any people except the Orientals. This custom may date back
to far distant times. Sitting, in the Greek view, was a posture of
supplication (Odyssey, XIV, 29-31). The Emperor himself sets the
example. He is an indefatigable stander, if I may coin the word, and
on horseback he can apparently spend the day and night without
inconvenience. Their patient quarry work in archeology and in
comparative philology laid the foundations for the new history-writing
of Heeren and Mommsen; and their scholarship to-day is still of the
digging kind. They seldom produce a Jebb, a Jowett, a Verrall, and
never that type of scholar, wit and poet combined, a Lowell or an
Arthur Hugh Clough. Indeed, with a suspicious self-consciousness the
German professional mind inclines to be contemptuous of any learning
that is not unpalatably dry. What men can read with enjoyment cannot
be learning, they maintain.

I have visited half a dozen hospitals, and on one or two occasions
been present at an operation by a famous surgeon. It is evident from
the bearing of patients, nurses, and students that they are dealing
with a less highly strung population than ours. Indeed, the surgeons
who know both countries tell me that here in Germany they have more
endurance of this phlegmatic kind. They suffer more like animals.
Their patience reaches down to the very roots of their being.

On that delightful big fountain, in that paradise of fountains,
Nuremberg, the statues of the electors and citizens picture men who
were untroubled and cheerful, slow-moving, contented, patient; while
the little figures on the guns are positively jolly. The only mournful
figure on the whole fountain is a man with a book on his knees
teaching a child. He is pallid, even in bronze, and his face is lined
as he muses over the problem that has stumped the wisest of us: how to
make a man by stuffing a child with books! It cannot be done, but we
follow this will-o'-the wisp through the swamps of experience with the
pitiable enthusiasm of despair.

Only liberty can make a man, and she is such a costly mistress that
with our increasing hordes of candidates for independence we cannot
afford her; so we go on fooling the people with mechanical education.
But even this figure is patient!

The Germans are patient even with their food. What would become of
them without the goose, the pig, the calf, and the duck, that meagre
alimentary quartette? The country is white with home-raised geese, and
yet they imported 8,337,708 in 1910, and 7,236,581 in 1911.

One of their most charming bits of classic art is the famous miniature
statue of the Gooseman; and the real name of the great Gutenberg, who,
by his invention of printing, did more than any other mortal to make
it easy for the human race to acquire the anserine mental habits, and
the anserine moral characteristics, was Gänsfleisch!

The goose is really the national bird of the German people. You eat
tons of goose, and then you sleep beneath the feathers. The goose
first nourishes you and then protects your digestion. The
extraordinary make-up of the German bed must be laid to the door of
the guilty goose. The pillows are so soft that your head is ever
sinking, never at rest. Instead of easily applied blankets, that you
can adapt to the temperature, you are given a great cloud of feathers,
sewn in a balloon-like bag, which floats upon you according to your
degree of restlessness, and leaves you for the floor, when in stupid
sleepiness you endeavor to protect your whole person at once with its
flimsy and wanton formlessness. As a rule the bed is built up at the
head so that you are continually sliding down, down under the goose
feathers, your nose and mouth are soon covered, and who can breathe
with his toes!

They accumulate comfort very slowly. The wages are small and the
satisfactions are small. On the street-cars the conductor is grateful
for a tip of five pfennigs, and his daily customers are handed from
the car-steps and respectfully saluted in return for this tiny
douceur. When you dine or lunch at a friend's house you are expected
to leave something in the expectant palm of his servant who sees you

Women carry small parcels of food to the theatre, to the tea and beer
gardens, and thus save the small additional expense. Many a time have
I seen these thrifty housewives pocket the sugar and the zwiebacks and
Brödchen left over. In the hotels, soap, paper, and common
conveniences of the kind are taken, so I am told, not, I maintain, as
a theft, but as an economy. We are in the habit of carrying our small
change loose in a trousers pocket, but the German almost without
exception carries even his ten and five pfennig pieces carefully in a
purse. Outside many of the big shops is placed a row of niches where
you may leave your unfinished cigar till you return. The economy thus
illustrated shows a certain disregard, of a not altogether agreeable
chance of interchangeability, that might even be dangerous to health.
On the other hand, it is a wise precaution that marks beer-glasses and
beer-jugs with a line, to show just how much beer you are entitled to.
This puts the foam-stealing vendor at your mercy.

The entertainments, dinners, luncheons, teas, except among the small
cosmopolitan companies who do not count as examples of German manners
and customs, are very prolonged affairs. There is much standing about.
At ten o'clock, having dined at half-past seven, beer, tea, coffee,
sandwiches are brought in, and you begin the gastronomics over again
on a smaller scale. There is no occasion when eating and drinking are
not part of the programme. If you go to the play or the opera you may
eat and drink there; if you go for a walk the goal is not a bath and a
rub-down, but beer or chocolate and cakes.

I am not sure that there is
not something in the theory that their soil has less iron in it, being
so intensively cultivated, and that our food is consequently stronger
than theirs; at all events, they eat more frequently and more
copiously than we do. It seems to me that both the men and the women
show it in their faces and figures. They are a heavy, puffy, tumbling
lot after forty; and with my prepossessions on the subject I am
inclined to put it down to irregular eating, to too much eating of
soft and sweet food, too much drinking of fattening beverages, and
much, much too little regular exercise, and to the fact that they are
still infants in the matter of personal hygiene. Dressing-gowns,
slippers, proper care of the teeth and hair, regular ablutions,
changing of clothes, all these dozens of helps to health are patiently
neglected. It is just as troublesome to take care of yourself, to
groom your person, to be regular in your habits, and restrained and
careful in your diet as to take proper care of a horse or a dog. It
shows a rather high grade of persistent prowess in a man just to keep
himself fit, to keep himself in working or playing health. Without the
drilling they receive in the army in these matters, one wonders where
this population would be.

The doggedness, the patience of the German is notable, but the
alertness, vivacity, the energy easily on tap, these are lacking both
among the men and the women, and, as it seems to me, for these easily
apparent reasons. There are more rest-cures, rheumatism, heart, liver,
kidney, anaemic cures in Germany, and to suit all purses, than in all
Anglo-Saxondom combined, even if subject territories are included. In
Saxony alone, which is not renowned for its cures, the number of
visitors at Augustus Bad, Bad Elester, Hermanus Bad, Schandau, and
some seven others has increased from 13,000 ten years ago to 30,000 in

Between 1900 and 1909, while the population of Germany increased 15
per cent., the days of sickness in the insurance funds increased 59
per cent. and the expenditure 95 per cent. Some alterations were made
in the law between those years permitting a certain extension of the
days of sickness, but an accurate percentage may be taken between the
years 1905 and 1909. During those years the population increased by 7
per cent., the days of sickness by 17 per cent., and the expenditure
out of the sick-funds by 32 per cent. The total cost of sickness
insurance in 1900 was $42,895,000 and in 1909 $83,640,000. What will
happen in Great Britain when sickness insurance comes into thorough
working order is worthy of caricature. The way my Irish friends will
play that game fills me with joy. It is an abominable harness to put
on the Anglo-Saxon, and he has my very best wishes if he refuses to
wear it tamely. It is only another piece of tired legislation that
solves nothing. Even Germany would be a thousand times better off
without it. This attempting to make pills and powders take the place
of love one another, is merely the politician sneaking away from his
problem. Of course, it is impossible to tell how many people are sick
by being paid for it, probably not a small number. We all have
mornings when we would turn over and stick to our pillows if we were
sure of payment for doing so. The German apparently is the only person
in the world who is happy, aegrescit medendo. The Germans keep going,
we must all admit that, but at a slower pace, with less energy to
spare, and with far less robust love of life.

If the men are patient, the women must be more so, and they are. The
marriage service still reads: "He shall be your ruler, and you shall
be his vassal." The women are not only patient with all that requires
patience of the men, but they are patient with the men besides, a
heavy additional burden from the American point of view. Beethoven
writes: "Resignation! Welch' elendes Hülfsmittel! Und doch bleibt es
mir das einzige übrige." They take resignation for granted as we never

Some ten years ago only, was formed the Women's Suffrage League in
Germany. It was necessary to organize in the free city of Hamburg,
because women were not allowed either to form or to join political
unions in Prussia! It is only within a very few years that the girls'
higher schools have been increased and cared for in due proportion to
the schools provided for the higher education of the boys. The first
girls' rowing club was organized at Cassel in 1911. Even now as I
write there are protests and petitions from the male masters against
women teachers in the higher positions of even these schools. In the
discussions as to the proper subjects to be taught to the girls, who
in 1912 began attending the newly constituted continuation schools for
girls in Berlin, there is a strong party who argue that all of them
should be taught only house-keeping and the duties pertaining thereto.
To the great majority of German men, children and the kitchen are and
ought to be the sole preoccupations of women, with occasional church
attendance thrown in.

There have been enormous changes in the place women hold in the German
world in the last thirty years. The Red Cross organization of the
women throughout Germany is admirable and as complete and efficient as
the army that it is intended to help; one can hardly say more. There
are many private charities in Berlin and other cities, managed
entirely by women, and doing excellent and sensible work; such as the
kindergartens, the Pestalozzi-Froebelhaus for example, where four
hundred children are taken care of daily and fifteen thousand ten-pfennig
meals provided, besides classes for the young women students
under the supervision of the Berliner Verein für Volkserziehung, with
courses in the elements of law and politics and other matters likely
to concern them in their activities as teachers, nurses, or charity
helpers; the invalid-kitchens; the societies for looking after young
girls; the work in the Temperance League; the Lette-Verein, one of the
most sane and sensible institutions in the world for the training of
girls and young women, where they turn out some two thousand girls a
year trained in house-wifely economy; the wonderful and pitiful colony
at Bielefeld, founded by one of Germany's greatest organizers and
saints, Pastor Bodelschwing, and now carried on by his equally able
son, and aided largely by the sympathy and resources of women. Only
another Saint Francis could have imagined, and produced, and loved
into usefulness such an institution.

The summer colonies, called gartenlauben colonies, where the outlying
and unused land on the outskirts of the cities is divided up into
small parcels and rented for a nominal sum to the poorer working
people of the city, constitute a most sensible form of philanthropy.
You see them, each named by its proprietor, with a flag flying, with
the light barriers dividing them, and with the small huts erected as a
shelter, where flowers and fruits and vegetables are grown, often
adding no small amount to income, and in every case offering the
soundest kind of work and recreation. These colonies were started by a
woman in France, and the idea worked its way through Belgium to
Germany, and they are now supported and helped by the direct interest
of the Empress. The woman who put this scheme into operation ought to
have a monument! At Charlottenburg, a suburb of Berlin, on a plot lent
by the city, there are thirteen of these colonies divided into over a
thousand plots.

There are three-quarters of a million women in Germany who are
independent owners and heads of establishments of different kinds, and
some ten million who are bread-winners. Of the increase in the number
of women students I have written in another chapter, and of their
increasing participation in the political, economical, literary, and
scholarly life of the nation there are many examples. Once or twice I
have even heard them speak in public, and speak well, while if my
memory serves me, this was practically unknown in my university days
here. The problem of domestic apprenticeship is also being worked out
by the women of Germany. In Munich, in Frankfurt-am-Main and elsewhere
this most difficult and delicate question is being partially answered
at least. Girls are apprenticed to families needing them, under the
supervision of a committee of women. The girls and their families
agree to certain terms, and the families agree also to teach them
household duties, give them proper food, eight hours' sleep, their
Sunday out, and so on. The German women's societies who have thus
boldly tackled this problem are plucky indeed, and prove easily enough
that there is a large and growing body of women in Germany, who have
minds and wills of their own and great executive ability.

Let me suggest to some of our idle women that they pay a visit to the
Hausfrauenbund at Frankfort and the Frauenverein-Arbeitererinnenheim
at Munich, before they pass judgment upon this chapter. For I should
be sorry to leave the impression that all the women of Germany are
listless, oppressed, and without any feeling of civic responsibility.

All these things have been accomplished by women in Germany with far
less sympathy from the men than they receive in America or in England.
Cato wrote of women's suffrage: "Pray what will they not assail, if
they carry their point? Call to mind all the principles governing them
by which your ancestors have held the presumption of women in check,
and made them subject to their husbands. … As soon as they have begun
to be your equals they will be your superiors." It is an older story
than the unread realize, this of the rights of women. The bulk of
Germany's male population still hold to Cato's view. It is not so much
that they are antagonistic, except in the case of the teachers, where
the women have become active competitors; they are in their patient
way impervious. Nor can it be said that any very large number of the
women themselves are eager for more rights; rather are they becoming
restless because they receive so little consideration.

Their pleasures are simple and restricted, regular attendance at the
theatre, at concerts, an occasional dinner at a restaurant to
celebrate an anniversary, excursions with the whole family to a beer
restaurant of a Sunday, and the endless meeting together for reading,
sewing, and gossip--no German woman apparently but what belongs to a
verein or circle, meeting, say, once a week.

The women and the men are gregarious. Vae soli is the motto of the
race. They love to take their pleasures in crowds, and I am not sure
that this does not dull the enthusiasm for personal rights and
gratifications, and for individual supremacy and dignity. It is rare
to find a German who would subscribe to Andrew Marvell's misogynist

"Two paradises are in one
To live in Paradise alone."

It is typical of this love of being together that an independent
member of the Reichstag, owing allegiance to no party, is called a
Wilde, and this same word Wilde, or wild man, is applied to the
student at the university who belongs to no corps or association of
students. This love of being together, of touching elbows on all
occasions, makes them more easily led and ruled. They hate the
isolation necessary for independence and revolt.

Of the relations between men and women I long ago came to the
conclusion that this is a subject best left to the scientific
explorer. It is, however, open to the casual observer to comment upon
the monstrous percentage of illegitimacy in Berlin, 20 per cent. or
one child out of every five, born out of wedlock; 14 per cent. in
Bavaria; and 10 per cent. for the whole empire. This alone tells a sad
tale of the attitude of the men and women toward one another. There is
a long journey ahead of the women who propose to lift their sisters on
to a plane above the animals in this respect. In the matter of divorce
Prussia comes fourth in the list of European nations. Norway, with the
cheapest and easiest, and at the same time the wisest, divorce law in
the world, has almost the lowest percentage of divorce. In 1910 there
were 390 divorces out of 400,000 existing marriages, of which 14,600
had taken place that year. The percentage is thus only about 2 1/2 per
year. The total per 100,000 of the population in Switzerland is 43; in
France 33; in Denmark 27; and in Prussia 21. In industrial Saxony
there are 32 and in Catholic Bavaria 13. The number of married people
in Germany according to the last census shows an increase, the number
of bachelors and widowed persons a decrease. Since 1871 the number of
married persons has increased by 2 per cent. The birth rate shows a
proportional decline. The problem that bothers all social economists
is to the fore in Germany as elsewhere, for the people between sixty
and seventy years of age number 14.65 per cent. of the population,
while the young people under ten number only 11.12, and those between
twenty and thirty 10.93 per cent. The birth rate therefore shows the
same tendency as in France, England, and America. A recent
investigation on a small scale seems to show that bureaucracy has a
certain influence here. Of 300 officials questioned, only 10, or 312
per thousand, had more than two children. It is not an impossible, but
certainly a laughable, outcome of state interference carried too far,
should it result, in the state's becoming an incubator for the unfit,
in a country where the pensions for officers and employees of the
state have risen from 50,000,000 marks in 1900 to 111,000,000 marks in

Even in higher circles in Germany there is a gushing idealism about
the relations of the sexes. In their songs and sayings, as well as in
their mythology, there is a laudation of love that is overstimulating.
The lines of that inconsequential philosopher, that irresponsible
moralist, that dreamy Puritan, Emerson,

"Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good fame,
Plans, credit and the Muse--
Nothing refuse"

would be warmly praised in Germany.

"I could not love thee, dear, so much
Loved I not honour more"

are lines more to our taste. Even love should have a deal of toughness
of fibre in it to be worth much.

I must leave it to my readers to guess what I think of the German
woman; indeed, it is of little consequence what any individual opinion
is, if matter is given for the formation of an opinion by others.
Truth cannot afford to be either gallant or merciless. There are women
in Germany whom no man can know without respect, without admiration,
without affection. There are the blue eyes, sunny hair, peach-bloom
complexions of the north; there are the dark-eyed, black-haired,
heavy-browed women of the Black Forest; there is often a Quakerish
elegance of figure and apparel to be seen on the streets of the
cities, and from time to time one sees a real Germania, big of frame,
bold of brow, fearless of glance--patet dea!

But we can none of us be quite sure of the impartiality of our taste
in such matters. Our baby fingers and our baby lips were taught to
love a certain type of beauty. Our mothers wove a web of admiration
and devotion from which no real man ever escapes; our maturer passions
lashed themselves to an image from which we can never wholly break
away; our sins and sorrows and adventures have been drenched in the
tears of eyes that are like no other eyes; and consequently the man
who could pretend to cold neutrality would be a reprobate.

The German looks to Germany, the Englishman to England, the Frenchman
to France, as do you and I to America, for

"The face that launched a thousand ships
And burnt the topless towers
of Ilium."


Of every one hundred inhabitants of Germany, including men, women, and
children, one is a soldier. There are, roughly, 65,000,000 inhabitants
and 650,000 soldiers.

The American army is about equal in numbers to the corps of officers
of Germany's army and navy. To the American, as to almost every other
foreigner, the German army means only one thing: war. We all hear one

"And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war."

I believe this is a half-truth, and dangerous accordingly. This army
has been in existence for over forty years, and has done far more to
keep the peace than any other one factor in Europe, except, perhaps,
the British navy.

The German army protects the German people not only from external
foes, but from internal diseases. It is the greatest school of hygiene
in the world, on account of its sound teaching, the devotion, skill,
and industry of its officers, the number of its pupils, and its widely
distributed lessons and influence.

Culture taken by itself is livery business, and when combined with
much beer and wine drinking, irregular eating and a disinclination for
regular exercise, culture becomes a positive menace to health. Of this
danger to the German, their own great man Bismarck spoke in the
Abgeordnetenhaus in 1881: "Bei uns Deutschen wird mit wenigem so viel
Zeit totgeschlagen wie mit Biertrinken. Wer beim Frühschoppen sitzt
oder beim Abendschoppen und gar noch dazu raucht und Zeitungen liest,
hält sich voll ausreichend beschäftigt und geht mit gutem Gewissen
nach Haus in dem Bewusstsein, das Seinige geleistet zu haben."

("The Germans waste more time drinking beer than in any other way. The
man who sits with his morning or his afternoon glass of beer beside
him, and who, in addition, smokes and reads the newspapers, considers
that he is much occupied, and goes home with a good conscience,
feeling that he has fully done his duty.")

"Jeden Feind besiegt der Deutsche:
Nur den Durst besiegt er nicht."

Which I permit myself to translate into these two lines:

"The German conquers every foe,
Except his thirst, that lays him low."

Even if the German army were not necessary as a policeman, it could
not be spared as a physician by the German people. It is to be forever
kept in mind that the German is brought up on rules; the American and
the Englishman on emergencies. Emergencies provide a certain
discipline of themselves, and our philosophy of civilization leaves it
to the individual to get his own discipline from his own emergencies.
We call it the formation of character. The German thinks this method a
hap-hazard method, and burdens men with rules, and the army is
Germany's greatest school-master along those lines. We are inclined to
think that it results in a machine-made citizen.

There are three classes of men who pick up the bill of fare of life
and look it over: Civilization's paralyzed ones, with no appetite, who
can choose what they will without regard to the prices; the cautious,
those with appetite but who are hampered in their choice by the
prices; the bold, those with appetite and audacity, who rely upon
their courage to satisfy the landlord. The Germans are only just
beginning to look over the world's bill of fare in this last lordly
fashion, to which some of us have long been accustomed. I see no
reason why they should not do so, though I see clearly enough the
suspicion and jealousy it creates.

They have been swathed in "Forbidden" so long that their taste for
daring was late in coming. Our colonies, small wars, punitive
expeditions, and control over neighboring territories are not planned
for far ahead; but the exigencies of the situations are met by the
remedies and solutions of men fitted by their training in school, in
sport, in social and political life for just such work, and who are
the more efficient the more they do of it. We are inclined to do
things, and to think them out the day after; while the German thinks
them out the week before, and then sometimes hesitates to do them at

The German goes more slowly, perhaps more successfully, in commercial
and industrial undertakings, but always with a chart in front of him,
a pair of spectacles on his nose, and with no desire to take chances.

In the rough-and-tumble world, the American and the Englishman went
ahead the faster; in a more orderly world, and commerce, industry, and
war are all far more scientific or orderly than of yore, the German
has come into his own and goes ahead very fast. He has not made
friends and supporters as have the other two: first, because he is a
new-comer; and also, I believe, because human nature, even when it is
not adventurous itself, loves adventure, and has a liking for the man
who is a law unto himself. Indeed, the Germans themselves have a
sneaking fondness for such a one. At any rate there is far more
imitation of American and English ways in Germany, than of German
manners, customs, and methods in America or in England.

"Experiment is not sufficient," writes Theophrastus von Hohenheim,
called Paracelsus; "experience must verify what can be accepted or not
accepted; knowledge is experience." For the moment, but it is probably
not for long, we have the advantage in the knowledge bred of

The German comes from the forest, loves the forest. "Kein Yolk ist so
innig mit seinem Wald erwachsen wie das Deutsche, keines liebt den
Wald so sehr." ("No nation has grown up so at one with its forests as
have the Germans; no other nation loves its forests as do they.") He
walks, and meditates, and sings in the forest, and nowadays goes to
the forest with his skis, his snow-shoes, and his sled. Our great
games are, many of them, personal conflicts, and attended by some
personal risk, and demanding both discipline in preparing for them and
severe discipline in the playing. Our love of the aleatory, of betting
our belongings, our powers, our persons even, against life, is not
commonly alive in Germany. The Germans are only just emerging into
safety and confidence in themselves, and beginning cautiously to agree
with us that

"He either fears his fate too much,
    Or his deserts are small,
That dares not put it to the touch
    To gain or lose it all."

From these sombre forests came a race who still find it lonely to be
alone, and they herd together still for safety as of old, and have no
love of physical speculation. They are daring in thought and theory,
but cautious in physical and personal matters. An office stool
followed by a pension contents all too many men in Germany.

"Reden, Handeln, Tun und Wandeln
Zeigt der Menschen Wesen nicht.
Was im Herzen sie im Stillen
Fest verschliessen, stumm verhüllen,
Ist ihr richtigs Angesicht."

An overwhelming majority of Germans believe that this is man's real
portrait; an overwhelming majority of Americans would not even
understand it.

The German army is the antidote to this lack of
physical discipline, this lack of strenuous physical life. The army
takes the place of our West, of our games, of our sports; just as it
takes the place of England's colonies and public schools and games and
sports. When looked at in this way, when its double duty is
recognized, the enormous cost of it is not so material. The expense of
the German army is not greater than our armies, plus what we spend for
games and sport and colonial adventure.

Germany has 4,570 miles of frontier to guard, to begin with, and her
total area is 208,780 square miles, or an area one fourth less than
that of our State of Texas, with a population per square mile of
310.4. Of this population 1,000,000, roughly, are subjects of foreign
powers. Five hundred thousand are from Austria-Hungary, 100,000 each
from Finland and Russia, nearly 100,000 from Italy, some 17,000
Americans, and so on. In 1900 the population speaking German numbered

This compact little country is the very heart of Europe, surrounded by
Russia, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland,
Denmark, and, across the North Sea, England. In the case of trouble in
Europe, Germany is the centre. Nothing can happen that does not
concern her, that must not indeed concern her vitally. She has fought at
one time or another in the last hundred years with Russia, Austria-
Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, and
England, and the various German states among themselves; or her soldiers
have fought against their soldiers, whether or not the various countries
named were geographically and politically then what they are now.

Russia's population in 1910 was 160,748,000, and including the Finnish
provinces, 163,778,800. Since 1897 the population of Russia has
increased at the annual rate of 2,732,000. The boundaries between
Russia and Germany are mere sand dunes, and by rail the Russian
outposts are only a few hours from Berlin. France is only across the
Rhine, and it is no secret that some months ago Great Britain had
worked out a plan by which she could put 150,000 troops on the
frontiers of Germany, at the service of France, in thirteen days.
Germany's ocean commerce must pass through the Straits of Dover, down
the English Channel, within striking distance of Plymouth, Portsmouth,
Dover, Brest, and Cherbourg. France, which has been looked upon as a
somewhat negligible quantity, has taken on a new lease of life. When
Napoleon died, in 1821, he left France swept clean of her fighting
men, whose bones were bleaching all the way from Madrid to Moscow.
France has recuperated and is almost another nation to-day from the
stand-point of virility. She far surpasses Germany in literature, art,
and science, and is taking her old place in the world. She led the way
in motor construction, in field-artillery, in aviation, and now she is
producing a champion middle-weight sparrer, and, marvel of marvels,
has actually beaten Scotland at foot-ball! She has always had brains,
and now her stability and virility are reviving. This has not passed
unnoticed in Germany. No wonder Germany looks upon her navy as
something more than a Winstonchurchillian luxury!

One may understand at once from this situation, and from her past
history, that Germany has the sound good sense not to be influenced by
the latest school of sentimentalists, who pretend to believe that the
world is a polyglot Sunday-school, with converted millionaires as
teachers therein; or, if not that, a counting-house, where all
questions of honor, race, religion, love, pride, all the questions
which bubble their answers in our blood, are to be settled by weighing
their comparative cost in dollars. We do not realize how new is this
word sentimental. John Wesley, writing of this word "sentimental" as
used in Sterne's "Sentimental Journey," says: "Sentimental, what is
that? It is not English, it is not sense, it conveys no determinate
idea. Yet one fool makes many, and this nonsensical word (who would
believe it) is become a fashionable one."

Germany has been taught by bitter experiences, and harsh masters, that
the ultimate power to command must rest with that authority which, if
necessary, can compel people to obey. They recognize, too, the mawkish
mental foolery of any plan of living together which ignores the part
which physical force must necessarily play in any political or social
life which is complete. They agree, too, as does every intelligent man
in Christendom, that the appeal to reason is far preferable to an
appeal to war. But, pray, what is to be done where there is no reason
to appeal to? Are reasonable men to strip themselves of all armor, and
suffer unreason to prevail?

An army or a fleet is no more an incitement to war among reasonable
men, than a policeman is an incentive to burglary or homicide. An army
is not a contemptuous protest against Christianity; it is a sad
commentary on Christianity's failure and inefficiency. An army and a
fleet are merely a reasonable precaution which every nation must take,
while awaiting the conversion of mankind from the predatory to the

As yet the Germans have not been overtaken by the tepid wave of
feminism, which for the moment is bathing the prosperity-softened
culture of America and England. It is a harsh remedy, but both America
and England would gain something of virility if they were shot over.
We are all apt enough to become womanish, agitated, or acidulous,
according to age and condition, when we are reaping in security the
fields cleared, enriched, and planted by a hardy ancestry of pioneers.
There were no self-conscious peace-makers; no worshippers of those two
epicene idols: a God too much man, and a man too much God; no devotees
of third-sexism, in the days of Waterloo and Gettysburg, when we had
men's tasks to occupy us.

We are playing with our dolls just now, driving our coaches over the
roads, sailing our yachts in the waters, eating the fruits of the
fields that have been won for us by the sweat and blood of those gone
before. Germany has no leisure for that, no doll's house as yet to
play in, and she is perhaps more fortunate than she knows.

One can understand, too, that Germany has little patience with the
confused thinking which maintains that military training only makes
soldiers and only incites to martial ambitions; when, on the contrary,
she sees every day that it makes youths better and stronger citizens,
and produces that self-respect, self-control, and cosmopolitan
sympathy which more than aught else lessen the chances of conflict.

I can vouch for it that there are fewer personal jealousies,
bickerings, quarrels in the mess-room or below decks of a war-ship, or
in a soldiers' camp or barracks, than in many church and Sunday-school
assemblies, in many club smoking-rooms, in many ladies' sewing or
reading circles. Nothing does away more surely with quarrelsomeness
than the training of men to get on together comfortably, each giving
way a little in the narrow lanes of life, so that each may pass
without moral shoving. There are no such successful schools for the
teaching of this fundamental diplomacy as the sister services, the
army and the navy.

My latest visit to Germany has converted me completely to the wisdom
of compulsory service. Nor am I merely an academic disciple. I have
had a course in it myself, and were it possible in America I should
give any boy of mine the benefit of the same training. In Germany, at
any rate, no student of the situation there would deny that, barring
Bismarck, the army has done more for the nation than any other one
factor that can be named. Soldiers and sailors train themselves, and
train others, first of all to self-control, not to war. It is a pity
that "compulsory service" has come to mean merely training to fight. In
Germany, at any rate, it means far more than that. Two generations of
Germans have been taught to take care of themselves physically without
drawing a sword.

It is rather a puzzling commentary upon the growth of democracy, that
in America and in England, where most has been conceded to the
majority, there is least inclination on their part to accept the
necessary personal burden of keeping themselves fit, not necessarily
for war, but for peace, by accepting universal and compulsory
training. The only fair law would be one demanding that no one should
be admitted to look on at a game of cricket, foot-ball, or base-ball
who could not pass a mild examination in these games, or give proof of
an equivalent training. That would be honorable democracy in the realm
of sport.

There formerly existed in Bavaria a supplementary tax on estates left
by persons who had not served in the active army. It was done away
with at the formation of the empire. There is a proposal now to vote
such an additional tax for all Germany, and a very fair tax it would

I am not discussing here the question of compulsory service in
England. It is not difficult to see that part of England's army must
of necessity be a professional army, which can be sent here and there
and everywhere, and that conscription would not answer the purpose,
for compulsory conscription could hardly demand of its recruits that
they should serve in India, in Canada, or in Bermuda or Egypt, for the
length of time necessary to make their service of value. Conscription,
too, on a scale to make an army serviceable against the trained troops
of the Continent is out of the question. Therefore, so far as
compulsory service for military duty only is concerned, I see no hope
for it in England. But in a land of free men such as is, or used to
be, England, and in America, compulsory service ought to be undertaken
with pride and with pleasure, as a moral, not as a military, duty for
the salvation of the country from internal foes, and as a nucleus
around which could rally the nation as a whole in case of attack from
external foes. Patriotism among us has come to a pretty pass indeed
when the nation is divided into two classes: those growling against
the taxation of their surplus; and those with their tongues hanging
out in anticipation of, and their hands clutching for, unearned doles.
And now, the more shame to us, must be added a third class who use
public office for private profit. What if we all turned to and gave
something without being forced to do so? Where would the "Yellow
peril" and the "German menace" be then? We should have much less
exciting and inciting talk and writing if our nerves and digestions
were in better order. Nothing calms the nerves, increases confidence,
and lessens the chance of promiscuous quarrelling better than hard

Even if what the German army has accomplished along these lines were
not true, there can be no freedom of political speculation or
experiment, no time to make mistakes and to retrieve the situation,
when one is surrounded on all sides by overt or potential enemies.
Germany must have a powerful army and fleet, must have a strong and
autocratic government, or she is lost. "Ohne Armee kein Deutschland."
She can permit no silly, no stupid, no excited majority to imperil her
safety as a nation. If Germany were governed as is France, where they
have had nine new governments since the beginning of the twentieth
century, and forty-four since the republic replaced the empire forty-one
years ago--not counting six dismissals of the cabinet when the
prime minister remained--or fifty changes of government in less than
that number of years, Germany would have lost her place on the map.
France remains only because, so far as defence is concerned, France is
France plus the British fleet.

Political geography is the sufficient reason for Germany's army and
navy. Let us be fair in these judgments and admit at once, that if
Japan were where Mexico is, and Russia where Canada is, and Germany
separated from us by a few hours' steaming, certain peace-mongers
would have been hanged long ago, and our cooing doves of peace would
have had molten tar mixed with their feathers. An Italian proverb
runs, "It is easy to scoff at a bull from a window," and we indulge in
not a little of such babyish effrontery from our safe place in the
world. Germany, on the other hand, looks out upon the world from no
such safe window-seat; she is down in the ring, and must be prepared
at all hazards to take care of herself. That is a reason, too, why
Germany offers little resistance to the ruling of an autocratic
militarism. The sailors and the stokers would rather obey captain and
officers, however they may have been chosen for them, than to be sunk
at sea; and nowadays Germany is ever on the high seas, battling hard
to protect and to increase her commerce abroad, and to protect her
huge industrial population at home. Germany can take no chances for
the moment, for only "Wer sich regiert, der ist mit Zufall fertig."

One wishes often that one's lips were not sealed, one's pen not stayed
by the imperious demands of honor, to abstain from all mention of
discoveries or conversations made under the roof of hospitality, for
nothing could well be more enlightening than a description of a chat
between the great war-lord of Germany and a leading pacifist: the one
completely equipped with knowledge of the history, temper, and
temperament of his people; the other obsessed by a fantastic
exaggeration of the power and influence of money, even in the world of
culture and international politics, and preaching his panacea in the
land, of all others, where even now mere money has the least
influence, all honor to that land!

Spinoza, the greatest of modern Jews, and the father of modern
philosophy, writes: "It is not enough to point out what ought to be;
we must also point out what can be, so that every one may receive his
due without depriving others of what is due to them." And in another
place: "Things should not be the subject of ridicule or complaint, but
should be understood." Those who know little of the history of the
development of Germany, and particularly of Prussia, cannot possibly
understand another reason for the political apathy of the Germans and
their pleased support of their army. It is this: they have been
trained in everything except self-government, in everything except
politics. Perhaps their governors know them better than we do. Their
progress has come from direction from above, not from assertion from
below. The art or arts of self-government, throughout their
development as a nation, have been forcibly omitted from their
curriculum. Every step in our national progress, on the contrary, has
been taken by the people, shoulder to shoulder, breaking their way up
and out into light and freedom. There is little or no trace of any
such movement of the people in Germany, and there is little taste for
it, and no experience to make such effort successful. We, who have
profited by the teaching of this political experience, do not realize
in the least how handicapped are the people who have not had it.

One hundred years ago half the inhabitants of Prussia were practically
in the toils of serfdom. It was only by an edict of 1807, to take
effect in 1810, that personal serfdom with its consequences,
especially the oppressive obligation of menial service, was abolished
in the Prussian monarchy. Caste extended actually to land. All land
had a certain status, from which the owners and their retainers took
their political position and rights. The edict of 1807 was in reality
a land reform bill, and gave for the first time free trade in land in
Prussia. It was vom Stein, a Bismarck born too soon, who induced
Frederick William II, King of Prussia, and grandson of the Great
Elector, to abolish serfdom, to open the civil service to all classes,
and to concede certain municipal rights to the towns. But vom Stein
was dismissed from the service of his weak-kneed sovereign on the
ground that he was an enemy of France, and was obliged to take refuge
in Russia. Like other martyrs, his efforts watered the political earth
for a fruitful harvest.

It is well to know where we are in the world's culture and striving
when we speak of other nations. What were we doing, what was the rest
of the world doing, in those days when the Hanoverian peasant's son,
Scharnhorst, and Clausewitz were about to lay the foundations of this
German army, now the most perfect machine of its kind in the world?
These were the days prepared for by Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin
Franklin, Voltaire, Rousseau; by Pitt and Louis XV, and George III;
the days of near memories of Wolfe, Montcalm, and Clive; days when
Hogarth was caricaturing London; days when the petticoats of the
Pompadour swept both India and Canada into the possession of England.
These names and the atmosphere they produce, show by comparison how
rough a fellow was this Prussia of only a hundred years ago. He had
not come into the circle of the polite or of the political world. He
was tumbling about, un-licked, untaught, inexperienced, already
forgetful of the training of the greatest school-master of the
previous century, Frederick the Great, who had made a man of him.

We were already politicians to a man in those days, and the Englishman
Pitt was map-maker, by special warrant, to all Europe.

When the Prussians were serfs politically, our House of
Representatives, in 1796, debated whether to insert in their reply to
the President's speech the remark that "this nation is the freest and
most enlightened in the world." It is true that this was at the time
when Europe was producing Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Kant, Hegel,
Fichte, Mozart, Haydn, Herschel, and about ready to introduce Walter
Scott, Wordsworth, Shelley, Heine, Balzac, Beethoven, and Cuvier; when
Turner was painting, Watt building the steam-engine, Napoleon in
command of the French armies, and Nelson of the British fleet; but
this bombastic babble of ours harmed nobody then, and only serves to
show what a number of intellectual serfs must have been members of
that particular House of Representatives.

We have not overcome this habit of slapdash comparative criticism, for
only the other day a distinguished American inventor left Berlin with
these words as his final message: "We have nothing to learn from
Germany." But in the nineteenth century, where does the American of
sober intelligence, if Lincoln be omitted, find a match for Bismarck
as a statesman, Heine as a wit and song-writer, Wagner, Brahms, and
Beethoven as musicians, Goethe as a man of letters and poet, the still
living influence of Lessing and Winckelmann as critics, Fichte as a
scholarly patriot, Hegel and Kant as philosophers, von Humboldt,
Liebig, Helmholtz, Bunsen, and Haeckel as scientists, Moltke and Roon
as soldiers, Ranke and Mommsen as historians, Auerbach, Spielhagen,
Sudermann, Freytag, "Fritz" Reuter, and Hauptmann as novelists and
dramatists, Krupp and Borsig as manufacturers, and the Rothschilds as
bankers? Lincoln, Lee, Sherman, Jackson, and Grant may equal these men
in their own departments, but aside from them our only superiority, and
a very questionable superiority it is, lies in our trust-and-tariff-
incubated millionaires. Let us try to see straight, if only that we may
learn and profit by the superiority of others.

These explanations that I have given, historical, political, external,
and internal, offer reasons worth pondering both why we do not
understand Germany's huge armament and why Germany looks upon it as a

However much the expenditure on fleet and army may be disguised, the
burden is colossal. In the year 1878 the net expenditure, ordinary and
extraordinary, for purposes of defence, for army and navy and all
other military purposes whatsoever including pensions, amounted to
452,000,000 marks; in 1888, to 660,000,000 marks; in 1898, to
882,000,000 marks; and in 1908, to 1,481,000,000 marks.

The total expenses, net, of the empire in 1908 were 1,735,000,000
marks, showing that only 254,000,000 marks out of the grand total of
1,735,000,000 were spent for other than military purposes. As the army
and navy now stand at a peace strength of some 700,000 men, and as
these men are all in the prime of their working power, the loss in
wages and in productive work may be put very conservatively at
600,000,000 marks, which brings the cost of the support of the
military establishment of Germany up to 2,000,000,000 marks and more
per annum, or $500,000,000.

Many Americans were dismayed when our total national expenditure
reached the $1,000,000,000 point, and the Congress voting this
expenditure was nicknamed the "Billion-dollar Congress." What would we
say of an expenditure of half a billion dollars for defence alone!
With what admiration, too, must we regard 65,000,000 people, living in
an area one quarter smaller than Texas, on a by-no-means rich or
fertile soil, who can bear cheerfully the burden, each year, of half
our total national expenditure, merely on the military and naval
barricade which enables them to toil in peace and security.

Humanity has, indeed, made but a poor zigzag progress from the
gorilla; Christianity, just now engaged in blessing the rival banners
of warriors setting out for one another's throats, has failed
ignominiously to bring the wolf in man to baptism, when the central
state of Christian Europe must arm to the teeth one in every eighteen
of her adult male inhabitants, and spend half a billion dollars a
year, to protect herself from assault and plunder.

If the hairy, skin-clad cave-dwellers, or the man who left us the
Neanderthal skull, could have a look at us now, here in Berlin, in
many ways the centre of the most enlightened people in the world, they
would undoubtedly go mad trying to understand what we mean by the word
''progress.'' And yet we smile indulgently at the poor farmers in
Afghanistan who till their fields with a rifle slung across their
shoulders. What is Germany doing but that! And an enormously heavy
rifle it is, costing just seven times as much as all other national
expenditures together; in short, it costs seven marks of soldier to
protect every one mark of plough. I admit frankly the horror and the
absurdity of all this; but as an argument for disarmament, "it does
not lie," as the lawyers phrase it. It is a criticism, and an
unanswerable one, of our failure as human beings to enthrone reason
and to tame our passions; but it is a veritable call to arms to
protect ourselves, not a reason for not doing so. Let the
international gluttons overeat themselves till they are seriously ill;
but it would be madness to starve ourselves in the meantime, and yet
that is the grotesque logic of certain of our preachers of

At the moment of writing there are 1,000,000 men at each other's
throats in the Balkans, there is a revolution in Mexico, and incipient
anarchy in Central America; as an emollient to this, Great Britain is
about to present a bust of the late King Edward to the Peace Palace at
the Hague! I can imagine myself saying "Pretty pussy, nice pussy," to
the wild-cats I have shot in Nebraska and Dakota, but I should not be
here if I had; and however small my value to the world I live in, I
estimate it as worth at least a ton of wild-cats.

I am bound, however, in fairness to call the attention of the unwary
dabbler in statistics to a point of grave importance in dealing with
German finances. The German Empire, so far as expenditure and income
are concerned, is merely an office, a clearing-house so to speak, for
the states which together make up the empire. The expenses of the
empire, for example, in 1910 were $757,900,000 and of the army and
navy, including extraordinary expenditures, $314,919,325; this does
not include pensions, clerical expenses, interest, sinking-fund, and
loss of productive labor, as did the figures on a preceding page. To
the ignorant or to the malicious, who quote these figures to bolster
up a socialist or pacifist preachment, this looks as though Germany
had spent one half of her grand total on the army and navy. But this
is quite wrong. In addition to the expenditures of this imperial
clearing-house called the German Empire, there was spent by the states
$1,467,325,000: the so-called clearinghouse bearing the whole burden
of expenses for army and navy, the separate states nothing except the
per capita tax, called the matriculation tax, of some 80 pfennigs. To
make this matter still more clear, as it is a constant source of error
not only to the foreigner but to the Germans themselves, the income of
the empire for 1910 was $757,900,000, the income of all the states
$1,463,150,000, or of the empire and the states combined
$2,221,050,000. In the same way the debt of the empire in 1910 stood
at $1,224,150,000, and the debt of the states of the empire at
$3,856,325,000, or a grand total outstanding indebtedness of all
Germany of $5,080,475,000.

Of late years the imperial expenditure of Great Britain, for example,
has amounted to some $935,000,000 a year; but various local bodies
spend also some $900,000,000 a year. Some of this is cross-spending,
but the grand total amounts to some $1,500,000,000 a year.

Before writing or speaking of Germany it is well to know at least what
Germany is. To pick up a hand-book and to quote therefrom the figures
relating to the German Empire, as though these covered Germany, as is
often done, is as accurate and helpful to the inquirer, as though one
should take the figures of the New York clearing-house as accurate
descriptions of the total and detailed business of all the New York
banks and trust companies. A clearing-house is merely a piece of
machinery for the adjustment of differences between a host of debtors
and creditors. The comparative cost of the German army and navy can
only be figured properly against the income and expenditure of the
total wealth of all Germany. And all Germany is something more than
the German Empire, which in certain respects is only a book-keeper, an
adjuster of differences.

"Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland?
Ist's Preussenland? Ist's Schwabenland?
Ist's wo am Rhein die Rebe blüht?
Ist's wo am Belt die Möve zieht?
O nein! O nein! O nein!
Sein Vaterland muss grösser sein.

"Des ganze Deutschland soil es sein!
O Gott vom Himmel, sieh' darein,
Und gib uns rechten deutschen Muth;
Dass wir es lieben treu und gut!
Des soil es sein! des soil es sein!
Des ganze Deutschland soll es sein!"

The official title of the sovereign is not Emperor of Germany, or
Emperor of the Germans, but German Emperor. Thus the territorial
rights of other heads of states are safeguarded. Even the popularity
of the first Emperor, who wished to be named Emperor of Germany and
who disputed with Bismarck for hours over the question, could not
bring this about, and he was proclaimed at Versailles merely German

However heavy the burden of armament may be, we must be careful to put
such expenditure in its proper perspective and in its proper
relations, not only to the German Empire, which for official,
clerical, and statistical matters is quite a different entity, but to
"das ganze Deutschland." The German Empire is the clearinghouse, the
adjutant, the executive officer, the official clerk, the
representative in many social, financial, military, and diplomatic
capacities of Germany; but it is not, and never for a moment should be
confused with, what all Germans love, and what it has cost them blood
and tears and great sacrifices to bring into the circle of the
nations, the German Fatherland!

In 1910 the total funded debt of the empire amounted to 4,896,600,000
marks, and the debt in 1912 had risen to 5,396,887,801 marks. In the
six years ending March, 1911, Germany's debt increased by

In 1910 the funded debt of Germany (empire and states) was
$4,896,600,000; of France $6,905,000,000; of England $3,894,500,000,
and of Russia $4,880,750,000. It is a curious psychical and social
phenomenon that, though we are as suspicious as criminals of one
another's good faith in keeping the peace, we are veritable angels of
innocence in trusting one another financially, for back of these huge
debts we keep in ready money, that is, gold, to pay them: Germany at
the present writing $275,000,000 in the Reichsbank; France
$640,000,000 in the Bank of France; England a paltry $175,000,000 in
the Bank of England; and Russia $625,000,000 in the Bank of Russia. We
all live upon credit, an elastic moral tie which seems to be
illimitably stretchable, and both a nation's and an individual's
wealth is measured not by what he has, but by what he is, that is to
say, by his character or credit. It is startling to find how we
distrust one another along certain lines and how we trust one another
along others. The total amount of gold in these four countries would
just about pay the interest at four per cent. for two years on their
total indebtedness!

From what we have seen of the proportion of expenditure that goes to
military purposes, it cannot be denied that Germany is increasing her
liabilities at an extraordinary rate, and largely for purposes of
protection. In the last two years the interest on her increased debt
alone, at four per cent., amounts to $5,000,000; while the interest at
four per cent. upon military expenditures of all kinds amounts to the
tidy sum of $20,000,000 per annum. The German, however, faces these
facts and figures, not as a matter of choice, not as a matter of
insurance wholly, but as a hard necessity. It is what the delayed
conversion of the world is costing him, not to speak of what it costs
the rest of us. He is surrounded by enemies; he is not by nature a
fighting man; his whole industrial and commercial progress and his
amassed wealth have come from training, training, training; and he
sees no alternative, and I am bound to say that I see none either, but
a nation trained also to defence, cost what it may.

The last German estimates (1912) balance with a revenue and
expenditure of $671,222,605. The naval expenditure is put at
$114,306,575; the army expenditure is put at $192,627,080. Both the
army and navy are being largely increased. In the year 1916 the
strength of the navy is expected to be about 79,000 men, and of the
army and navy combined 767,000. In the last ten years two nations have
almost doubled their naval personnel: Germany has increased hers from
31,157 to 60,805, and Austria-Hungary from 9,069 to 17,277. In Great
Britain the increase has been about one seventh, and this one seventh
is about equal to the present strength of Austria.

The gross naval expenditure, estimated, of the United States for 1912
amounts to $132,848,030, and the number of men 63,468. The gross naval
expenditure of Great Britain, estimated, for the same year is put at
$224,410,235, and the number of men 134,000. The gross naval
expenditure of Germany is put at $114,306,575, which includes $489,235
for air-ships and experiments therewith, the number of men 66,783.
France proposes to spend, plus an addition due to operations in
Morocco, $90,000,000, number of men 58,404; and Japan $44,309,145,
number of men 49,389. Two new corps have been voted for the German
army, to be numbered 24 and 25; one is for the Russian frontier, with
head-quarters at Allenstein, and the other for the French frontier,
with head-quarters at Sarrebourg or Mulhouse. A German army corps on a
war footing comprises about 52,000 men, with 150 guns and 16,000
horses. The reader should notice, as a reminder of the still latent
jealousies of the different states of the German Empire, that the
three army corps raised in Bavaria are not numbered consecutively,
twenty-one, twenty-two, and twenty-three, but one, two, and three!

To the American the pay of the German troops, officers and men, is
ludicrously small. It is evident that men do not undertake to fit
themselves to be officers, and to struggle through frequent and severe
examinations to remain officers, for the pay they receive. A
lieutenant receives for the first three years $300 a year, from the
fourth to the sixth year $425, from the seventh to the ninth year
$495, from the tenth to the twelfth year $550, and after the twelfth
year $600 a year. A captain receives from the first to the fourth year
$850, from the fifth to the eighth year $1,150, and the ninth year and
after $1,275 a year. Of one hundred officers who join, only an average
of eight ever attain to the command of a regiment. In Bavaria and
Würtemberg, promotion is quicker by from one to three years than in
Prussia. In Prussia promotion to Oberleutnant averages 10 years, to
captain or Rittmeister 15 years, to major 25 years, to colonel 33
years, and to general 37 years. It would not be altogether inhuman if
these gentlemen occasionally drank a toast to war and pestilence!

A commanding general, or general inspector of cavalry or field
artillery, receives $3,495; a division commander, or inspector of
cavalry, field and heavy artillery, $3,388; a brigade commander,
$2,565; commander of a regiment, or officer of the general staff of
the same rank, $2,193. There are various additions to these sums for
travelling, keep of horses, house-rent, and the like. All soldiers and
officers travel at reduced rates on the railways, and are allowed a
certain amount of luggage free. It is a commentary upon the three
nations, that in Germany the soldier receives a reduced rate when
travelling, in England the golfer pays a reduced rate, and in America,
until lately, the politicians were given free passes. One could almost
produce the three countries from that limited knowledge.

At the cadet school at Gross Lichterfelde there are a thousand pupils.
They are taught riding, swimming, dancing, French, English,
mathematics, and of course receive technical military instruction. The
fee is $200, but for the sons of officers, and according to their
means, the fees are reduced to $112, $75, and even as low as $22, and
in some deserving cases no fee at all is charged.

There is no professional army in Germany, as in England and in
America. Every German who is physically fit must serve practically
from the age of seventeen to forty-five. Those in the infantry serve
two years; those in the cavalry and horse artillery and mounted
rifles, three years. About forty-eight per cent. who are examined are
rejected as unfit, not necessarily because they are incapable of
service, but because the expense of training all is too great. These
men receive 40 pfennigs a day, 27 pfennigs being deducted for their

There are some 40,000 men who join the army voluntarily for a term of
two or three years, and who re-enlist and become non-commissioned
officers, and if they remain twelve years they are entitled to $200 on
leaving the service, and head the lists of candidates for the railway,
postal, police, street-cleaning, and other civil services. Some 10,000
men who have passed a certain examination serve only one year and are
entitled to certain privileges.

Each man in the infantry serves 2 years in the active army, 5 years in
the active reserve, 5 years in the first division of the Landwehr, 6
years in the second division of the Landwehr, and 6 years in the
Landsturm. Colonel Gädke calculates that Germany has now under arms
not less than 714,000 soldiers and sailors, and that 4,800,000 can be
put into the field if wanted out of the 6,000,000 who have done
service with the colors. Out of this enormous total, practically none,
according to the last census, is illiterate. Our American census of
1910 gives the number of men of militia age in New England as
1,458,900, and in the whole country 20,473,684.

Promotion from the ranks, as we understand it, is practically unknown.
The German officers pass through the ranks, it is true, as part of
their education at the beginning of their military career, but those
who do so join in the beginning as candidates for commissions, and
have been provisionally accepted by the commander and officers of the
regiment they propose to join, as must every candidate for a
commission in the German army. If the candidate is not wanted, it is
hinted to him that this is the case, and he must go elsewhere, as this
decision is final. Every German regiment's officers' mess is thus in
some sort a club.

Officers are supplied from the cadet corps, and from those who join
the ranks as candidates for commissions. All cadets must pass through
a war-school before obtaining a commission. Of these there are 10 in
Prussia, Würtemberg, and Saxony, and 1 at Munich in Bavaria. They
there receive their commissions as second lieutenants. There are 9
Prussian schools, the Hauptkadettenanstalt at Gross Lichterfelde, and
8 Kadetten-Häuser; and 1 at Dresden and 1 at Munich. Some of these I
have visited, and been made at home with the greatest courtesy and
hospitality. These German cadet schools are to a great extent
charitable institutions for the sons of officers and civilian
officials. The charges range, as I have indicated above, from $200 a
year to nothing at all.

There are in addition schools of musketry, a school for instruction in
machine-gun practice, instruction in infantry battalion practice, a
school of military gymnastics, of military equitation, officers'
riding-schools, a military technical academy at Charlottenburg, where
officers may study the technical engineering and communication
services, an artillery and engineer school at Munich, a field-artillery
school of gunnery, a foot-artillery school of gunnery, a
cavalry telegraph school, and the staff colleges.

Of technical military matters I know nothing. I have some experience
in handling horses in harness and under saddle, and on subjects with
which I am familiar I venture to pass judgments in the class-room. I
have visited many of these class-rooms, and listened to the teaching
and lectures in French, English, strategy, and political geography,
and kindred topics, and if the rest of the instruction is on a par
with what I heard there is no criticism to be made. I may not say
where, but one of the instructors in French was a real pleasure to
listen to.

The courses and examinations which lead up, in the Kriegesakademie, or
staff college, to the grade of fitness for the general staff, or the
technical division of the general staff, or administrative staff work,
or employment as instructors, are of the very stiffest. An officer who
succeeds in reaching such proficiency, that he is sent up to the
general staff must be a very blue ribbon of a scholar in his own

The quarters, the food, the training, are Spartan indeed at the cadet
schools, but how valuable that is, is shown in the faces, manners,
physique, and general bearing of the picked youths one sees at the
Kriegesakademie in Berlin. No one after seeing these fellows would
deny for a moment the value of a sound, hard discipline. The same may
be seen at our own West Point, where the transformation of many a
country bumpkin, into an officer and a gentleman, in four years is
almost unbelievable.

The truth is that most of us suffer from lack of discipline, and the
intelligent men of every nation will one day insist that, if the state
is to meddle in insurance and other matters, it must logically, and
for its own salvation, demand compulsory service; not necessarily for
war, but for social and economic peace within its own boundaries. It
is a political absurdity that you may tax individuals to provide
against accident and sickness to themselves, but that you may not tax
individuals by compulsory service to provide against accident and
sickness to the state. There can be nothing but ultimate confusion
where the state pays a man if he is ill, pays him if he is hurt, pays
him when he is old, and yet does not force him to keep well, and thus
avoid accident and a pauper's old age by obliging him to submit to two
or three years' sound physical training. Whether the training is done
with a gun or without it matters little. Most men of our breed like to
know how to kill things, so that a gun would probably be an

The more one knows of the severe demands upon the officers of the
German army and of their small pay, the more one realizes that if they
are not angels there must be some further explanation of their
willingness to undertake the profession. First of all, the Emperor is
a soldier and wears at all times the soldier's uniform. Further, he
gives from his private purse a small allowance monthly to the poorer
officers of the guard regiments. A German officer receives
consideration on all sides, whether it be in a shop, a railway-carriage,
a drawing-room, or at court.

To a certain extent his uniform is a dowry; he expects and often gets
a good marriage portion in return for his shoulder-straps and brass
buttons; and in every case it gives him a recognized social position,
in a country where the social lines are drawn far more strictly than
in any other country outside of Austria and India. This constant
wearing of the sword is no new thing. Tacitus, who would have been an
uncompromising advocate of compulsory service had he lived in our
time, writes: "A German transacts no business, public or private,
without being completely armed. The right of carrying arms is assumed
by no person whatever till the state has declared him duly qualified."
It is the recognized occupation of the nobility, and, in very many
families, a tradition. In the army of Saxony, on January 1, 1911, out
of every hundred officers of the war ministry, of the general
commands, and of the higher staff, 44.33 per cent. were noblemen; of
the officers of the infantry, 26.19 were noblemen; of the cavalry,
60.92 were noblemen; and of the officers of the entire army, all arms,
24.98 were noblemen.

It is worth chronicling in this connection, for the benefit of those
who wish a real insight into German social life, that few people
discriminate between the old nobility, or men who take their titles
from the possession of land and their descendants, and the new and
morbidly disliked nobility, who have bought or gained their patents of
nobility, as is done often enough in England, by profuse contributions
to charity or to semi-political and cultural undertakings favored by
the court, or by direct contributions to party funds, by valuable
services rendered, or by mere length of service. This new nobility,
anxious about their status, satisfied to have arrived, jealous of
rivals, are the dead weight which ties Germany fast to bureaucratic
government and to a policy of no change. They represent, even in
educated Germany, a complacent mediocrity; indignant at rebuke,
indifferent to progress, heedless of experience, impatient of
criticism, haters of haste, and jealous of superiority. Even Bismarck,
the creator of this bureaucracy, lamented the insolence and bad
manners of the state servants.

The essential and ever-present quality of the real aristocrat and of a
real aristocracy is, of course, courage. It may dislike change, but it
is not afraid of it. The real gentleman, of course, does not care
whether he is a gentleman or not. The characteristic of an artificial,
tailor-made aristocracy is timidity and a shrinking from change. This
new nobility, created because it is carefully charitable, or
serviceable, or long in office, is not only in possession of the civil
service, but occupies high posts in the army and navy. While not
minimizing its value, it is everywhere maintained in Germany that it
acts as a bulwark against progress. They are a nobility of office-holders,
and they partake of the qualities and characteristics of the
office-holder everywhere. They sometimes forget the country in the
office; while the older nobility, which made Germany, despises the
office except as an instrument or weapon to be used for the welfare of
the country. The political pessimism in Germany to-day is caused by,
and comes from, this army of the new nobility.

Americans and English both write of Germany, and speak of it, as being
in the grip of a small group of aristocrats. Not at all; it is in the
shaky and self-conscious control of men whose patents of nobility were
given them with their office, a titled bureaucracy, in short. Let us
prove this statement by running through the list of the chief officers
of the state. Of the officials of the German Empire: the chancellor's
grandfather, Bethmann-Hollweg, was a professor, and afterward minister
of education; the secretary of state's father was plain Herr
Kiderlein-Wächter; the under-secretary of state is Herr Zimmermann;
the secretary of the interior is Herr Delbrück; of finance, Herr
Wermuth; of justice, Herr Lisco; of the navy, von Tirpitz, who was
recently ennobled; the postmaster is Herr Kraetke. Not one of these
officials of the empire is of the old nobility!

Of the 11 ministers of the kingdom of Prussia, the minister for
agriculture, von Schorlemer; for war, von Heeringen; for education,
von Trott zu Solz; and for the interior, von Dallwitz, are of
the old nobility; but the other 7 ministers are not. Of the 12
Oberpräsidenten, men who rule the provinces, 6 are noblemen; of the 37
Regierungspräsidenten, 14 are of the nobility, 23 are not. This should
dispose finally of the frequently heard assertion that Germany and
Prussia are ruled by a small group of the landed nobility and that
there is no way open to the talents. It is fair to say that a very
small and intimate court group do have a certain influence in naming
the candidates for these posts, but they are too wily to keep these
positions for themselves.

I suppose we all like, in a childish way, to wear placards of our
prowess in the form of orders and decorations, but the evening attire
of this bureaucratic nobility often looks as though there had been a
ceramic eruption, a sort of measles of decorations. Men's breasts are
covered with medals, stars, porcelain plaques, and their necks are
hung with ribbons with a dangling medallion, all distributed from the
patriarchal imperial Christmas-tree for every conceivable service from
cleaning the streets to preaching properly on the imperial yacht. Men
collect them as they would stamps or butterflies, and some of them
must be very expert.

The officers and the officials who are recognized as giving their
services as a family tradition, as a patriotic service, or out of
sheer love of the profession of arms, are rather liked than disliked,
and give a tone and set a standard for all the rest. Both these
officers and their men are respected. Of no German soldier could it be

"I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the

On the contrary, every effort is made to keep the army pleased with
itself and proud of itself. The chancellor of the empire is always
given military rank; officers are not allowed to marry unless they
have, or acquire by marriage, a suitable income; the dignity of the
officer is upheld and his pride catered to; officers are made to feel
that they are the darlings of the Fatherland by everybody from the
Emperor down.

This artificial stimulant goes far to keep them contented, and the
fact that the scale of comfortable living in Germany was twenty years
ago far below, and is even now not equal to, that of the equivalent
classes with us makes the task easier. They have not been taught to
want the things we want, and are still satisfied with less. And back
of and behind it all is the feeling among the leaders, that the army
furnishes no small amount of the patriotic cement necessary to hold
Germany together. Ulysses lashed himself to the mast as he passed the
sirens of luxury and leisure, and for the German Ulysses the army
supplies the cords. It is not the foreign student of German life alone
who notices that the Germans, even now, seem to be tribal rather than
national. The best friends of Germany in Germany also recognize this
weakness, comment upon it, and favor every possible expedient to
overcome it.

I admit frankly my admiration for this Spartan three quarters of a
million of soldiers and sailors, and their officers. It offers a
splendid example of patriotism, of disregard for the weakening
comforts, luxuries, and fussy pleasures that absorb too much of our
vitality; and of disdain for the material successes, which in their
selfish rivalry, breed the very industrial distresses which are now
our problems. At least here is a large professional body whose aims,
whose way of living, and whose earnings prove that there can be a
social hierarchy not dependent upon money. It is one of the finest
lessons Germany has to teach, and long may she teach it.

That is distinctly the side of the army that I know and approve
without reserve. Of its value as a fighting force it would be
ridiculous, in my case, to write. I have read and heard scores of
criticisms and comments from many sources, and they range from those
who claim that the German army is unbeatable, even if attacked from
all sides, to those who maintain that it is already stale and

The war of 1866, when Prussia represented Germany, lasted thirty-five
days; the war against Denmark lasted six months and twelve days; the
war against France lasted six months and nine days. Thirty-six German
cavalry regiments did not lose a man during the whole campaign of
1870-1871; and the Sixth Army Corps was hardly under fire. There has
been no long, practical, and therefore decisive test of the army. Of
the transport and commissary services during the French war, when
Germany toward the end of it had 630,000 men in the field, certainly
we, with the deplorable mismanagement and scandal of our Spanish war,
and the British with the investigations after the Egyptian campaign
fresh in memory, have nothing to say, except that it was wholly
admirable and beyond the breath of suspicion of greed, thievery, or
political chicanery. There was no rotten leather, and no poisoned

Officers, too, in the French war, were called upon to do their duty
and to obey, and no individual brilliancy which interfered with the
general plan was condoned or pardoned, no matter how highly placed the
relatives or how influential the connections of the offender. A
distinguished general, after a successful and heroic victory, who had
been tempted into a bloody battle against orders, was called before
his superiors, told that the first lesson the soldier had to learn was
obedience, and sent home! A brother of the chief of staff went into
the war a captain and came back a captain!

I am wondering what our underpaid, unnoticed regulars in the army and
navy would have to say, were they free to speak, of the conduct of our
last martial escapade with Spain, by our press and by our politicians.
There would be no stories of the German kind, I am sure, and no single
record of an influential civilian who did not get all the glory that
he deserved. My impulsive countrymen are always manufacturing heroes
and saviors, but fortunately the crosses upon which they crucify them
are erected almost as fast as the crowns are nicely fitted and
comfortable, so that there is little danger of permanent tyranny. What
Richelieu said of the French applies to some extent to ourselves: "Le
propre du caractère français c'est que, ne se tenant pas fermement au
bien, il ne s'attache non plus longtemps au mal."

During and after the Franco-German war there was no cheap heroism, no
feminine excitability producing litters of heroes; no slobbering,
osculatory advertising; no press undertaking the duties of a general
staff, which in our Spanish war almost completely clouded the real
heroism and patriotism that were in evidence. There were no newspaper-made
heroes, hastening back to exchange cheap military glory for votes
and delicious notoriety. For all of which, gentlemen, let us thank
God, and give praise where it is due.

The army, too, is an interesting commentary upon the changes that are
so rapidly taking place in Germany, from an agricultural to a
manufacturing nation. Of every 100 recruits that presented themselves
there were passed as fit, in 1902, for the First Army Corps, of those
from the country 72.76; of those from the towns 63.88; in 1910 these
figures had fallen to 67.24 and 53.66. In the Second Army Corps the
recruits passed as fit, from the towns, had fallen from 60.74 in 1902
to 50.42 in 1910. In the Fifth Army Corps, of recruits from the towns
the percentage of those passed fell from 60.07 to 46.13. In the Sixth
Army Corps the percentage fell from 50.14 to 43.83. In the Sixteenth
Army Corps from 67.50 to 58.80. In the Eighteenth Army Corps the
recruits from the towns passed as fit had fallen from 60.46 in 1902 to
46.58 in 1910. The average for the whole empire, of those from the
towns passed as fit, had fallen from 53.52 in 1902 to 47.87 in 1910.
The First Army Corps has its head-quarters at Königsberg, and recruits
from that neighborhood; the Second Army Corps has its head-quarters at
Stettin, and recruits from Pomerania; the Fifth Army Corps has its
headquarters at Posen, and recruits from Posen and Lower Silesia; the
Sixth Army Corps has its head-quarters at Breslau, and recruits from
Silesia; the Sixteenth Army Corps has its headquarters at Metz, and
recruits from Lorraine; the Eighteenth Army Corps has its head-quarters
at Frankfurt-am-Main, and recruits from that neighborhood.
These figures are enough to make my point, without giving the
statistics for all the twenty-three corps, which is, that in spite of
the precautions taken, the German recruit, especially from the towns,
in whatever part of the country, is losing vigor and stamina.

Even this hard-and-fast arrangement of a bureaucratic government with
a military backbone does not solve all the problems. When one sees,
however, the German school-boy, and the German recruit during the
first weeks of his training, in the barracks and out, and I have
watched thousands of them, and then looks over this same material
after two or three years of training, it is hard to believe that they
are the same, and that even these hard-working officers have been able
to bring about such a change.

Of the charges of brutality and severity I only know what the
statistics tell me, that in an army of over 600,000 men there were
some 500 cases brought to the notice of the superior officers last
year. In 1911 there were 12,919 convictions for crimes and
misdemeanors and 578 desertions. Of the 32,711 common soldiers in the
Saxon army in 1911, 30 committed suicide; in 1909, 29; in 1905, 24; in
1901, 36; that is to say, roughly, one man per thousand. Of the why
and wherefore I cannot say, but Saxony is a peculiarly overpopulated
section of Germany, and the population is overdriven; and the German
everywhere is a dreamy creature compared with us, of less toughness of
fibre either morally or physically, and no doubt, here and there,
under-exercising and over-thinking make the world seem to be a mad
place and impossible to live in. Indeed, it is no place to live in for
the best of us if we take it, or ourselves, too seriously. The German
army is an educated army, as is no other army in the world, and there
are the diseases peculiar to education to combat. A mediocre ability
to think, and a limited intellectual experience, coupled with a
craving for miscellaneous reading, breed new microbes almost as fast
as science discovers remedies for the old ones.

Bismarck's words, "Ohne Armee kein Deutschland," meant to him, and
mean to-day, far more than that the army is necessary for defence. It
is the best all-round democratic university in the world; it is a
necessary antidote for the physical lethargy of the German race; it is
essential to discipline; it is a cement for holding Germany together;
it gives a much-worried and many-times-beaten people confidence; the
poverty of the great bulk of its officers keeps the level of social
expenditure on a sensible scale; it offers a brilliant example, in a
material age, of men scorning ease for the service of their country;
it keeps the peace in Europe; and until there is a second coming, of a
Christ of pity, and patience, and peace, it is as good a substitute
for that far-off divine event as puzzled man has to offer.

It is silly and superficial to look upon the German army only as a
menace, only as a cloud of provocations in glittering uniforms, only
as a helmeted frown with a turned-up moustache. It is not, and I make
no such claim for it, an army or an officers' corps of Puritans or of
self-sacrificing saints, but it does partake of the dreamy, idealistic
German nature, as does every other institution in Germany. Though, as
a whole, it is a fighting machine, the various parts of it are not
imbued with that spirit alone. The uneasy pessimism of the dreamer,
which distrusts the comfortable solutions of the business-like
politicians, and leaders, in their own and in other countries, is as
noticeable in the army as in all other departments of German life.

"And all through life I see a cross,
Where sons of God yield up their breath;
There is no gain except by loss,
There is no life except by death,
There is no vision but by faith;
Nor glory but by bearing shame,
Nor justice but by taking blame."

There have been many, and there are still, soldiers who hold that
creed. There are not a few of them in Germany.


A great nation like Germany must have characteristics, anxieties,
problems, and responsibilities, some of which are peculiar to itself.
The individual must be of small importance who has not problems and
burdens of his own arising from his environment, position, work, and
his personal relations with other men; as well as problems of temper,
temperament, health, education, and traditions peculiar to himself.

Wise men recognize two things about every other man: that he has his
own problems, and that no one else thoroughly understands either
another man's handicaps or his advantages; and that the only way to
judge him is not to go behind the returns, but to note how he lives
with these same problems. They are there, there is no doubt about
that; the question is, does he smile or scowl? does he work away
toward a solution, or allow himself to be swamped by them? do they
dominate him, or he them? has he that sun of life, vitality,
sufficient to burn away the fog, or does he live and die in a moist,
semi-impenetrable fog, in which he flounders timidly and rather
aimlessly about, always rather discouraged, rather in the dark, and
lamentably damp in person and in spirits? The only fair test of a
man's life is his living of it, and the same is true of a nation.

Of Germany's history, traditions, and temperament I have written. No
one can fail to note the chief characteristics: their gregariousness,
their melancholic and subjective way of looking at life, their passion
for music. It is more what they think, than what they do or see, that
gives them pleasure. They agree with Erasmus, that "it is a foolish
error to believe that happiness is dependent upon things; it is
dependent entirely upon one's opinion of them." The indefinite has no
terrors for them, they delight indeed in the indefinable. They have
done little in great sculpture and architecture, or the founding and
ruling of colonies, as compared with their supreme achievements in
music, in philosophy, in lyric poetry.

The art of music, which moves one greatly toward nothing in
particular; which supplies sounds but not a language for the mysteries
of feeling; which easily carries a sensitive soul away from its
sorrows or drowns it in tears, and all without offering a semblance of
a practical solution; which orchestrates a greater fury, a more
poignant jealousy, a sweeter note of bird, a harsher clang of weapons,
than any human energy can even imagine to exist; this art with which
marching soldiers sing away their fatigue, but not really; with which
disconsolate lovers wing their hopes, but not really; with which the
pious pipe themselves to heaven, but not really; with which, by
strings and beaten skins, organ-pipes and blowing brass, an
anaesthesia of ecstasy is produced, leaving one only the weaker
against the dourness and doggedness of the devil; with which men and
women hymn themselves home to God, only to lose Him when they leave
the threshold of His house; which choruses from a thousand throats
patriotism, defiance, self-confidence, but arms none of them with any
useful weapon; which with drums and brass can send any lout to heroism
without his knowing why; this art which burns up the manhood of its
devotees--who ever heard of a great tenor who was a great man, or
even of a great musician for more than half of whose life one must
needs not apologize?--this art flourishes in Germany not without
reason, and not for nothing.

In a ragged school in the neighborhood of Posen where the children
could hardly speak German they could sing; in a public school in
Charlottenburg fifty boys, aged between eight and fifteen, sang the
part-song known to every college man in America, "On a Bank Two Roses
Grew," as well as a college glee club; those who know Bayreuth, or
have attended a musical festival, or listened to one of the great
clubs of male voices, or heard the orchestras and military bands, will
not deny the delights of music in Germany. In Berlin there is not a
hall suitable for a musical recital that is not engaged a year,
sometimes more, in advance.

In the beautiful Golden Hall of the castle of the Grand Duke of
Mecklenburg-Schwerin, at Schwerin, I have attended a concert given by
the Grand Duke's own orchestra, where the selections were all
compositions of former leaders or members of the orchestra, dating
back over a period of two hundred years. For centuries in this
particular grand duchy music and the theatre, supported and guided by
the sovereign, have offered a school of entertainment and instruction
to the people. At this present writing, special trains are run to
Schwerin from the surrounding country districts, and the people for
miles around subscribe for their seats for the whole winter, and
attend the theatre and certain concerts as regularly as children go to
school. It sounds oddly to the ears of an American to hear criticism
to the effect, that there are more high-class music and more classical
plays than the people have either time or money for. Here is a
population which is actually overindulging in culture. We complain of
too little; here they complain of too much. It makes one wonder
whether any of the problems of social life are satisfactorily soluble;
whether indeed it be not true that even the virtues carried to an
extreme do not become vices. Philanthropy in more than one city in
America is spending time, money, and energy to bring about this very
enthusiasm for music and the more intellectual arts which, it is
maintained, here in Schwerin at least, has gone too far.

These problems are not so easy of solution as the ignorant and the
inexperienced think. Imagine the inhabitants of Hoboken, New Jersey;
of Lynn, Massachusetts; of Kalamazoo, Michigan; of Bloody Gulch,
Idaho, spending too much time and money listening to the music of
Palestrina and Bach, or to the plays of Shakespeare; and yet what
money and energy would not be spent by certain enthusiasts for the
arts did they think such a result possible! And, after all, it might
prove not a blessing, but a danger.

Whenever or wherever you are in the company of Germans you notice
their pleasure and their keen interest in the subjective, rather than
in the objective side of life. It is from within out that they are
stirred, not as we are, by outside things working upon us. They are
still the dreaming, drinking, singing, impulsive Germans of Tacitus.
Titus Livius, Plutarch, and Machiavelli, all maintained that the
successive invasions of the Germans into Italy were for the sake of
the wine to be found there. Plutarch writes that "the Gauls were
introduced to the Italian wine by a Tuscan named Arron, and so excited
were they by the desire for more that, taking their wives and children
with them, they journeyed across the Alps to conquer the land of such
good vintages, looking upon other countries as sterile and savage by
comparison. Even if this be not history, it is an impression; and at
any rate, from that day to this the Germans have agreed with the
dictum of Aulus Gellius: "Prandium autem abstemium, in quo nihil vini
potatur, canium dicitur: quoniam canis vino caret." When the Roman
historian first came into contact with them he notes, that their bread
was lighter than other bread, because "they use the foam from their
beer as yeast."

Tacitus writes of them: "The Germans abound with rude strains of
verse, the reciters of which, in the language of the country, are
called 'Bards.'"

I visited a private stable in Bavaria, as well ordered and as well
kept as any private stable in America or in England, and the head
coachman was a reader of poetry; and though he had received numerous
offers of higher wages in the city, declined them, giving as one
reason that the view from the window of his room could not be equalled
elsewhere! Where can one find a stable-man in our country who reads
Shelley or Edgar Allan Poe, or who ever heard of William James and
Pragmatism? I may be doing an injustice to the stable-men of Boston,
but I doubt it.

There are scores of pages of notes to my hand, recounting similar if
not such startling examples of the German temperament among high and
low. Musical, melancholic, gregarious, subjective, these are their
true characteristics, but the superficial among us do not see these
things because they are hidden behind the great army, the new navy and
mercantile marine, the factories, the increased commercial values, the
strenuous agricultural and industrial pushing ahead of the last thirty
years. But they are there, they represent the German temperament, they
are the internal character of Germania, always to be taken into
account in judging her, or in wondering why she does this or that, or
why she does it in this or that way.

"As imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name."

This is what the purely subjective mind is ever doing, and when it is
carried too far it is insanity. The individual no longer sees things
as they are, but he sees others and himself in strange, horrible, or
ludicrous shapes.

Barring Japan, I suppose Germany yields more easily
to the temptation of the subjective malady of suicide than any other
country. In Saxony, for example, the rate was lately 39.2 per 100,000
of the population, in England and Wales 7.5. During the five years
ending with 1908 there were for every 100 suicides among males in the
United States 136 in Germany, and for every 100 suicides of females
125 in Germany. In Vienna, and for racial purposes this is Germany,
1,558 persons killed themselves in 1912. Children committing suicide
because they have failed in their examinations is not uncommon in
Germany; in America and in England the teachers are more likely to
succumb than the children. We do not commit suicide in America from
any sense of shame at our intellectual shortcomings--what a
decimating of the population there would be if we did!--it is more
apt to be caused by ill health consequent upon a straining chase for
dollars. In Prussia during the five years, 1902-1907, divorce
increased from 17.7 to 20.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, and suicide from
20 to 30.7.

If the observer does not take this difference of temperament into
account, he does not realize how new and strange it is to find Germany
these days, making its first and strongest impression upon the
outsider by its industrial progress. The more intelligent men in
Germany are beginning to see the dangers to real progress in such
feverish devotion to industry, and to recognize that the life of the
population is absorbed too largely by science, finance, and commerce.
To see so much of the intelligence of the nation exercising itself in
material researches, to see such undue fervor in calculations of self-
interest, does not leave an enlivening impression. Such an ideal of
life is paltry in itself and involves grave dangers in the future. It
is a long stride in the wrong direction since Hegel wrote of Germany
as "the guardian of the sacred fire of intellect."

Out of this temperament has grown the self-consciousness, the uneasy
vanity, the "touchiness" which has made Germany of late years the
despair of the diplomats all over the world. She has become a
chameleon-like menace to peace everywhere in the world. What she
wants, what will offend her dignity, when she will feel hurt, what
amount of consideration will suffice, when she will change color to
match a changed situation, and in what color she will choose to hide
her plans or to make manifest her demands, no man knows. She will not
see things as they are, but always as an exhalation from her own mind.
As one of her own poets has written: "Deutschland ist Hamlet."

At this present moment she does not see either England or America as
they are, quite peaceably disposed toward her but she sees them, and
persists in seeing them, as they would be were Germany in their place.
She is forever looking into a mirror instead of through the open
window. "The mailed fist," "the rattling of the sabre," "the friend in
shining armor," "querelle allemande," are all phrases born in Germany
in the last thirty years.

She even sees herself a little out of focus, and though I admit her
precarious position in the heart of Europe, she exaggerates the
necessity for her autocratic military government to meet the
situation. That philosophical and literary radical Lord Morley, now
wearing a coronet, in the land where logic is a foundling and
compromise a darling, writes: "A weak government throws power to
something which usurps the name of public opinion, and public opinion
as expressed by the ventriloquists of the newspapers is at once more
capricious and more vociferous than it ever was." This, strange to
say, is exactly the opinion of the German autocrats, who maintain that
no democracy can be a strong military power. It remains for England,
and perhaps later America, to prove her wrong.

The sovereign lady
Germania, being of this temper and disposition, of this psychological
make-up, let us look at her dealings with certain embarrassing
problems in her own household. The over-stimulation of ill-regulated
mental activity as the result of regimental education is one of the
minor problems. Some fourteen million dollars worth of cheap and nasty
literature is peddled by the agents of certain publishing houses, and
sold all over Germany to those recently taught to read but not trained
to think; and this, it is to be remembered, is still a land of low
wages, of strict economies, and of small expenditures on books. For
Germany that is an enormous sum and represents a very wide-spread
evil. I recognize that it is not only in Germany, but in France,
England, and America, that the ethically hysterical have assumed that
modesty and health and common-sense are characteristics of the
intellectually mediocre. That the neglect of all, and the breaking of
some, of the Ten Commandments is essential to the creation of art or
literature, or necessary to a courageous freedom of living, is a
contention with which I agree less and less the more I know of art,
literature, and life. But, as I have remarked elsewhere in this
volume, the Strindbergs and Wildes and Gorkis are having their day in
Germany just now, and beneath this again is this large distribution of
the lawless and sooty literature, frankly intended as a debauch for
the gutter-snipe and his consort. Even the coarse, and in no line
squeamish, Rabelais wrote that, "Science sans conscience n'est que
ruine de l'âme."

There is but a puny barrier against this, for the statistical year-book
of German cities gives the number of public libraries in forty-two
cities as 179. Twenty-seven of these cities gave an annual support
to 114 of these libraries of only $64,847! According to the figures of
Herr Ernest Schultze, in 1907 the forty largest German cities, with a
population of 11,380,000, had public libraries containing a sum total
of 807,000 volumes. In the year 1906-1907, 5,437,000 volumes were
taken out and 1,607,476 persons frequented the public reading-rooms,
and in these forty-two cities $280,095 were contributed from private
sources for such library purposes. In 1910 Germany had in some 400
cities, each of more than 10,000 inhabitants, about 650 public
libraries and reading-rooms, with together about 3,250,000 volumes.

Berlin has thirty public libraries with 231,300 volumes; the number of
books taken out in 1910 was 1,655,000. Hamburg has one public library
with 100,000 volumes, of which 1,364,000 were taken out. Breslau has 7
libraries and 4 reading-rooms, with 75,578 volumes. Leipzig has 7
libraries and 3 reading-rooms, with 42,100 volumes. Munich has 6
libraries and 26,671 volumes. Cologne has 7 libraries and 6 reading-
rooms, with 24,898 volumes.

The smallest library is in the village
community of Dudweiler, in the Rhine province, which contains 132
volumes for the 22,000 inhabitants.

There were 14,941 books published
in Germany in 1880, 18,875 in 1890, 24,792 in 1900, and 31,281 in

There were 13,470 books published in America in 1910, 9,209 of
them by American authors.

There were 10,914 books published in England in 1911, of which 2,384
were new editions. Of this number 2,215, which includes 933 new
editions and 40 translations, were fiction; religion, 930; sociology,
725; science, 650; geography, 601; biography, 476; history, 429;
technology, 525. In 1820, there were only 26 novels published in

Of the 31,281 books published in Germany in 1910, 4,852 dealt with
education and juvenile literature; 4,134, belles-lettres; 3,215, law
and political economy; 2,510, theology; 2,082, commerce and industry;
1,981, medicine; 1,884, philology and literary history; 1,480,
geography, including maps; 667, military science and equestry; 1,030,
agriculture and forestry; 1,750, natural science and mathematics;
1,108, engineering and construction; 1,254, history and biography;
981, art; and 668 on philosophy and theosophy.

There were some 9,000 writers of books in America in 1910, or one
author in 10,000 of the population, already more than enough; there
were some 8,000 in Great Britain, or one author in about 5,500 of the
population; while in Germany there are over 31,000 writers, or one
author in every 2,097 of the population, including men, women, and
children of all ages, an unreasonable and disastrous proportion. If we
estimate the number of adult males of Germany at 14,000,000, the
number who voted at the last election, then there was one author to
every 450, a most unhealthy proportion, and bearing out exactly what
has been said of the German temperament and constitutional bias.
Furthermore, this accounts for the fact that Germany imports some
700,000 agricultural laborers each year to garner the food harvests,
for which she has not sufficient recruits, and who, by the way, take
out of the country each year some $35,000,000 in wages. Twenty per
cent. of the miners in Westphalia are foreigners, eight per cent. of
them Italians, and there are nearly half a million foreigners employed
as common laborers in the various industries of Germany.

Wherever one travels now in the world, he finds that most courageous
and self-sacrificing of all the pioneers, the missionary: American,
British, French, Italian. The best of them, on the plains of North
America, in the destructive climate of India, in China, in all the
islands of all the seas, are, whatever their creed, soldiers of whom
we are all proud; for they fight not only against the overwhelming
prejudice of those whom they seek to save, but against the widespread
prejudice of their own people, and against the well-founded suspicion
and contempt aroused by their own black sheep. I have found them, here
a Jesuit, there a Presbyterian, winning my friendship and my
admiration, despite fundamental differences of belief about many
things. There are few Germans among them! Even in this field Germany
produces theological controversialists whom we have all studied,
orthodox and destructive, but few pioneers, and practically no
Augustines or Loyolas, Wesleys or Booths, Livingstones or Stanleys.
Columba, an Irish refugee, founded on the island of Iona, off the west
coast of Scotland, a mission station, whence went missionaries and
preachers to the conversion not only of England, but of the tribes of
Germany. It was only in the sixth century that the Franks, only in the
ninth century that the Saxons, and only in the tenth century that the
Danes became Christians.

Neither at home nor abroad are her successes
those which deal with men by winning their allegiance, their
submission, their loyalty, or their respectful regard. She is pre-eminent
in the things of the mind, in subjective matters, and in her
regimental dealings with, and arrangements for, the inanimate side of

As an example on the credit side of her governing is the very
complete and successful system of land-banks, introduced by Frederick
the Great and since modelled somewhat upon the French methods, which
have protected the farmer from usury, insured him money at low rates
for improvements, for the purchase of tools, cattle, and fertilizers,
and enabled him to do, by sensible co-operation, what would have been
impossible for him as an individual. So successful has been this
co-operation between the banks and the united farming communities that it
were well worth a chapter of description were it not that, through the
initiative of President Taft and the able and industrious assistance
of our officials in Europe, among whom our ambassador in Paris, Mr.
Herrick, may be mentioned as untiring, there will shortly appear a
complete exposition and explanation of the scheme, available for those
of my countrymen interested in the matter. Or if they will journey to
Ireland they may see there what Sir Horace Plunkett has done to
revolutionize, and against tremendous odds, agriculture. And, be it
noted, it has been done, with emphatic warnings against the modern
fallacy of leaning upon state aid. It is estimated that our farmers
would be saved between $20,000,000 and $40,000,000 a year in interest
alone were we to adopt similar methods of loaning to the land-owners.
The Preussische Centralgenossenschaftskasse, or Central Bank of
Co-operative Associations, has revolutionized, one may here use the word
without exaggeration, agricultural methods, throughout Prussia and

In Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa there are 5,000,000 acres of land in
wheat, which is practically the size of Germany's wheat acreage, but
Germany produces 140,000,000 bushels of wheat off her parcel of land;
while the wheat raised on the same area in these three States is only
55,000,000 bushels.

France and Minnesota each plant 16,000,000 acres in wheat, but France
produces 324,000,000 bushels and Minnesota 188,000,000 bushels. In
round numbers we support 90,000,000 people on 3,000,000 square miles
of land, and we could support 150 per square mile just as easily as
30, and even then there would be not even a fraction of the density of
population of Denmark, 178; the Netherlands, 470; France, 189; Saxony,
830; England and Wales, 405.6. The average wheat yield of our country
is about 14 bushels per acre in good years, it might just as well be
25; the average cotton yield is about four-tenths of a bale per acre,
and four times that amount could be raised as easily.

In 1900, 10,500,000 people were engaged in agriculture in America, or
35.7 per cent. of the population; as over against 37.7 in 1890 and
44.3 in 1880. Of these 10,500,000, 5,700,000 were owners, renters, or
overseers, or 56 per cent., and only 4,500,000 were actual farm
laborers; and more than half of these, or 2,350,000, were members of
the family, leaving only some 2,000,000 actual agricultural wage-earners,
or employable agricultural laborers. Five-eighths of these
were under twenty-five years of age, and of the white regular workers
only one-tenth were over thirty-five years of age. This shows how
unstable is the foundation of our agricultural prosperity, the chief
asset of plenty and contentment of our country. Mr. Get-Rich-Quick has
moved on to the shifting and more exciting opportunities of the
cities, where poor human nature, aided and abetted by weak
philanthropy, and demagogic fishing for votes by eleemosynary
legislation, provides him with a mild form of riotous living, and a
fatted calf of doles in case of accident, sickness, penury, or old

In our American cities of over 8,000 inhabitants the increase in
population from 1790 to 1900 has been from 3.4 per cent. to 33 per
cent. In cities of 2,500 and over the increase from 1880 to 1900 has
been from 29.3 per cent. to 40.2 per cent. In the State of New York
the farming population is smaller than ever before, and in parts of
New England it is smaller than one hundred years ago. In 1909 there
were 15,000 deserted farms with a total of 1,130,000 acres. The
average size of farms in the United States in 1850 was 212 acres; in
1890, 121 acres. Wages in the reaping season on fruit, grain, and
cotton farms are enormous, running to four and five dollars a day. We
are behind every country in Europe except Russia, in our agricultural
methods. Some day the American people will discover, may it not be too
late, that the tall talk and highfalutin boastings of the politicians
and alien journalists in their midst do nothing to make two blades of
grass grow where one grew before.

Germany may not have solved this problem, indeed no nation which
offers undue legislative alleviation for human frailty will ever solve
it, but at least she has not shirked the problem, and presents for our
enlightenment a scheme in full and smooth working order.

In dealing with German problems it is fair to give examples where her
methods have been wholly and entirely successful. The man who does not
know one tree or shrub from another cannot travel in trains, motor-cars,
or afoot without remarking the neatness, symmetry, and the
flourishing condition of the forests. In these matters Germany so far
surpasses us that we may be said to be merely in a kindergarten stage
of development. As early as 1783 a German traveller, Johann David
Schoepf, was distressed to see the waste of valuable wood in America.
He tells of a furnace in New Jersey which exhausted a forest of nearly
20,000 acres in twelve to fifteen years, and goes on to prophesy the
grave danger to America unless coal is discovered and used instead of

The public forests in America contain about nine per cent. of
the total land area and about twenty-five per cent. of the forest area
of the country. In Germany the state owns about 40 per cent. of the
forests, and nearly 70 per cent. of the forest area is under state
control. The total forest area of the empire is 34,569,800 acres, and
two-thirds bear pine, larch, and red and white fir. In a recent year
the Federal States made a net profit of $38,250,000 from public lands
and forests, and the entire profit from the German forests was
estimated at $110,000,000. When one remembers that Germany is less
than the size of Texas, and that from her forests alone, in one year,
she received an income equal to more than one-tenth of our total
national expenditure for that same year, the fact of our childish
wastefulness is brought home to us, and makes a patriot feel that a
Gifford Pinchot should be given a free hand. I can only write of the
subject as one technically entirely ignorant, but that Germany is a
university of forestry is not only attested by the demand for her
teachers in India, and in America, and elsewhere in the world, but by
the condition of the forests themselves all over Germany, which no
traveller, from America at any rate, can fail to notice without
surprise and delight.

Germany, like the rest of us, has been obliged
to face the various social problems that arise from original sin, but
which vote-getters are pleased to ascribe to industrial progress. In
our country, with a population of some thirty to the square mile,
while in the kingdom of Saxony the density of the population is 830.6
to the square mile, it is hard to believe that we suffer from
overcrowding so much as from overindulgence, wastefulness, and fussy
legislation. None the less, we have 42 institutions for the feeble-minded,
115 schools and homes for the deaf and blind, 350 hospitals
for the insane, 1,200 refuge houses, 1,300 prisons, 1,500 hospitals,
and 2,500 almshouses. We have 2,000,000 annually who are cared for in
homes and hospitals, 300,000 insane and feeble-minded, 160,000 blind
or deaf, 80,000 prisoners, and 100,000 paupers in almshouses and out,
and we spend each year about $100,000,000 in taking care of them. We
are as wasteful and careless in these matters as we have been until
very lately in our forestry methods.

In the early days of the empire Germany undertook to deal with these
social problems. The German Empire took over some of the principles of
socialism, but retained, and retains absolutely, the power of applying
those principles. Bismarck himself admitted that his advocacy of the
industrial insurance laws was selfish. "My idea was to bribe the
working classes, or shall I say to win them over, to regard the state
as a social institution existing for their sake and interested in
their welfare." Whatever else may have resulted, discontent, whether
well-founded or not, is not now under discussion, has not been
lessened. In 1912 more than one-half of the electors voted
"discontented" as over against the less than one-half who voted
"contented." The mass of the people may be better clothed, better fed,
better housed, better cared for in sickness and in old age, than
formerly, but they are not satisfied. No state can go much further
than Germany has gone along the lines of state interference, guidance,
and control of the personal affairs of its people, and nothing is more
surprising about the whole matter than the general acceptance in
America and in England of such legislation as having proved altogether
successful. I doubt if any intelligent German considers these various
pension schemes as altogether successful. I can vouch for it that many
German statesmen make no such claims in private, whatever they may say
in public.

Some of the barren figures, needing no comment, are of
interest in this connection. The cost of insurance in Germany has
risen to over $500,000 a day, the total cost of state insurance
exceeding $250,000,000 a year at the present time, a fairly heavy tax
upon small employers. In 1909, of 422,076 decisions by the industrial
unions, 76,352 were appealed against, and of the 100,000 arbitration
judgments, 22,794 were appealed against. So difficult is it to settle
to the claimant's satisfaction the amount of salve necessary for his
particular wound when, as is true in these cases, the salve is a grant
of money for a longer or shorter period!

In 1886 there were, roughly,
100,000 accidents reported and 10,000 compensated, but as they became
more thoroughly acquainted with the game, the figures rose in 1908 to
662,321 accidents and 142,965 compensations.

The vast increase of the
claims for trifling injuries is shown by the fact that in twenty years
from 1888 to 1908, despite the increase of the total compensation from
$1,475,000 to $38,715,000, the average compensation per accident fell
from $58.50 to $38.83. In the two years 1907 to 1909 the number of
members of those state-insured increased by 380,819, while the days of
sickness increased by 26,219,632! The cost of sickness insurance alone
rose from $42,895,000 in 1900 to $83,640,000 in 1909. The Workmen's
Compensation Act in England costs, for management, commission, legal
and medical fees, $20,000,000 a year, while the compensation paid out
was $13,500,000. The insurance companies calculate that for every $500
of compensation, the employers have paid $750!

It is becoming increasingly evident that the logical result of state
charity, or call it state insurance to avoid controversy, over a large
field, and including millions of beneficiaries and claimants, is that
the army of officials, the expenses of administration, and the
payments themselves must sooner or later break the back of the state
morally, politically, and financially. It rapidly increases parasitism
among the receivers; makes a powerful though indifferent army of state
servants of the distributers; and loses financially to the state far
more in expense of administration, and loss of useful labor of the
army of civil servants, than it gains by the loss to the state of
individual incapacity resulting in pauperism and invalidism, which
must be cared for. To put it briefly, it is far more dangerous to the
state to tell the individual that he shall be taken care of than to
tell him that he must shift for himself. As for the effect upon the
individual, it is a lowering medicine, making the patient gradually
dependent upon the drug, and bringing him finally to the incurable
invalidism of surly apathy. To change Patrick Henry's fiery peroration
slightly: Give me liberty or in the end you give me moral and
political death.

Students of the various forms of this modern
political nostrum, of getting rid of the fools who are rich by
deceiving the fools who are poor, will remember the decree of the
Provisional Government of the French Republic in 1848: "This
Government undertakes to guarantee the existence of the workman by
work. It undertakes to guarantee work to every citizen." On March 9
public works were started and 3,000 men employed. March 15 saw 14,000
on the pay-rolls, most of them unoccupied because there was no
suitable work. Those not working received "inactivity pay" of a franc
a day. The end of April saw 100,000 on the pay-rolls. In May a
minister ventured to suggest that it was the workman's duty to work!
There were murmurs of disapproval, but the public treasury was nearing
bankruptcy, and on June 22 an order was promulgated, that all of these
workmen between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five were to enlist
in the army. An insurrection followed this order that workmen should
work, and 3,000 citizens were shot down in the streets, and another
3,000 were sent to penal colonies in Algeria. The French are a logical
people. The state promised suitable work; that always means, from the
point of view of the worker, agreeable work, and not too fatiguing at
that. Of course, no such thing is possible, and the end was riot,
murder, and penal servitude. The state can no more provide suitable
and agreeable methods of livelihood for its citizens, than it can
provide them with a duty-loving, unenvious, and honest disposition. As
I have remarked elsewhere, the only thing that stands between state
socialism and the instant solution of all our social problems is human
nature! This mongrel demand for an artificial equality, is worse,
because more degrading than any tyranny of church or state even. Every
man wants superiority and distinction for himself, he only wants
equality, invisibility, and inarticulateness for others.

When some
such system as this is put to work in Ireland, I shall envy every
physician in Ireland, for he will live in a joyous round of farces
such as the world has never provided before for the lovers of the
humorous. Already Ireland, with only 701,620 electors, out of a total
of 8,058,025 in the United Kingdom, is represented in the House of
Commons by 103 members out of the total of 670; and out of the 935,000
old-age pensioners on the lists at the beginning of 1912, Ireland had
202,810, and was drawing $12,943,000 out of the total paid of
$59,445,500, while the total population of Ireland was 4,368,599, and
of the rest of the United Kingdom 40,533,557! Further, as an example
of the slight value of education in the game of politics, out of the
41,710 illiterate voters in the United Kingdom, Ireland has 22,515.
Long life to Ireland for her gallant attack upon humbuggery with
humbuggery! And this is, too, the little island that sent the
Wellesleys, the Pallisers, the Moores, the Eyres, the Cootes, the
Napiers, the Wolseleys, and Roberts to fight England's battles, and
half the officers and privates who conquered India; which in the Seven
Years' War furnished Austria with her best generals (Brown, Lacy,
O'Donnell), and whose exiles, called the "Wild Geese," flocked to the
standard of Washington in 1776. This is proof positive that they are
not naturally a parasitic race.

Even in Germany, where there is not a
tithe of the impish humour that exists in Ireland, the Socialists have
so misused the immense bureaucracy that must carry on the mere
clerical work of insurance, that a new law passed the Reichstag in
June, 1911, containing several hundred amendments. Employers must now
pay one-half instead of one-third of the sickness insurance premiums,
which gives them one-half instead of one-third of the management

The management had degenerated into a mere game of politics, with the
Socialists in such disproportionate control that they were rapidly
turning the insurance machinery into a well-organized body for the
exploitation of their own political doctrines; and the employer and
the state were helpless. It is, therefore, amusing to the man on the
spot to find certain English writers offering as proof of the success
of the insurance laws the fact that the Socialists, who once opposed,
are now satisfied with them. Of course they are satisfied with them.
They have had a war-chest and weapons put into their hands such as
they have never had before. Nor have these detailed parchment
solutions of social questions done away with all the tramps, poor,
sick, and destitute. Over a million persons passed through the
municipal night shelters in Berlin during the last year; and there are
still admittedly some 5,000 tramps in Germany. The vicious circle is
in evidence in Germany as elsewhere. It might be possible to regulate
men's earning power by legislation, but even when this colossal task
is done, there must follow the regulation of the spending power to
make it complete. What conceivable legislative regulation can efface
the difference between what A, B, and C will get out of five dollars
once they have them! That is the real problem, but no one proposes a
solution of it. A will use his five dollars to make him more powerful,
B will use his in dissipation, and C will lose his. How is that to be
regulated? And without that regulation you will have rich men and
tramps all over again.

In urban and rural districts containing over 10,000 inhabitants, some
$40,000,000 was expended for sick and poor relief, and this does not
include the hundreds of districts with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants
for which there are no figures. Even the wholly admirable Elberfeld
system of charity, known all over the world to charity-workers, which
is, briefly, investigation of cases by voluntary workers personally
and privately, and each dealing with a small number, has not solved
the problem. There were 1,537 strikes in Germany in 1909, and 2,109 in
1910. In 1910, 8,269 industrial plants were affected, in which 372,119
persons were employed, and 2,209 plants were obliged to shut down
entirely. There were as many as 154,093 persons on strike at the same
time. In 1910 there were also 1,121 lock-outs, affecting 10,381 plants
and 314,988 persons.

Here again, as in the case of the temperament of the German people,
one must look deeper than the average traveller has the time or the
necessary experience back of him to do, in order to see and to sift
the facts. Scores of travellers have told me: "I have never seen a
tramp, a beggar, a drunken man in Germany." I can only reply that I
have seen tramps at large, and colonies of them besides; that I have
seen hundreds of the poverty-stricken and diseased; that there are
more than thirty drunkards' homes in Germany; and that between 1879
and 1901 the number of persons under treatment for alcoholism had
increased from 12,000 to 65,000, an increase of 500 per cent.; the
cases of heart disease and rheumatism increased by 600 per cent.;
while the total population had increased 33 per cent. There are
125,000 patients admitted to the public and private lunatic asylums of
Germany, and there are accommodations in public and private hospitals
for 1,300,000 in-patients passing through them in the year; in 1909,
544,183 persons were tried before the courts of first instance and
convicted, of whom 49,697 were between twelve and eighteen years of
age; and in the same year there were 183,700 illegitimate births and
14,225 suicides, or 22.3 per 100,000 of the population. The poor law
authorities state that the cost to the empire of alcoholism in all its
forms of poverty, crime, and disease amounts to some $13,000,000 a
year. In 1910 Germany consumed 1,704 million gallons of malt liquors,
the United States, 1,851 million gallons; of beer we consumed 20.09
gallons and Germany 26.47 gallons per capita. Germany's drink bill
even ten years ago was $560,000,000 for beer, $140,000,000 for
spirits, and $125,000,000 for wine. There is a wine, beer, or spirit
dealer in Berlin for every 157 of the inhabitants, men, women, and
children. It has always been the avowed policy of autocracies to atone
for the lack of political freedom by lax regulations in regard to
moral matters. The citizen is imprisoned for insulting the state, but
he may insult his own person by dissipation up to any limit, this side
of disorderliness in public. Drinking, gambling, and other forms of
vice are provided for the citizens of Berlin comfortably and,
comparatively speaking, cheaply. Lotteries are sanctioned by all the
states, and they use this incentive to the worst form of gambling for
all sorts of purposes, from repairing churches to building patriotic
monuments, and replenishing the treasury.

This is by no means an attack upon Germany or upon German methods in
these matters; probably both in America and in England we are worse
off in these respects than are they, but unprejudiced people will
agree that it is high time to learn that not even German methods have
solved these complicated and heatedly argued questions of social
reform. Germany, due to its compactness and well-drilled and
subservient population, should succeed if any nation can, for social
legislation has never been in stronger or wiser hands or more
admirably and honestly administered. In America such opportunities
offered to the on-politics-living big and little bosses would lead
swiftly to anarchy. We have laws enough now, but the baser politicians
protect our city tramps, our gunmen, our decadents, our incendiaries
against our elected magistrates, in order that they may keep ready to
hand, and increase, the raw material of a purchasable vote, by the
domination and protection of which they keep themselves in power. That
is the whole secret of our municipal misgovernment wherever it exists,
and also the reason for our barbarous crimes. We have a cowed
magistracy seeking re-election from the manipulators of the
purchasable voters.

The truth is that the Sacculina method of social reform is nowhere a
success, certainly not in Germany. The Sacculina is a crustacean. It
attaches itself in the form of a simple sac to the crab, into which
its blood-vessels extend. It loses its power of locomotion and its
limbs disappear. It lives at the expense of the crab; activity is not
necessary, and it becomes the highest type of parasite, with no organs
except ovaries and blood-vessels. It can propagate, but has lost all
power or desire to do anything else. We have succeeded in producing no
small number of people of the Sacculina type by playing social and
political crab for them, and we are on the way to produce more, until
the crab is exhausted and the Sacculina is shaken into the water to
sink or swim for himself. "Charity causes half the suffering she
relieves, but she can never relieve half the suffering she causes.

Compulsory insurance was tried in the practical and economical Swiss
city of Basle and given up, because it was found that each year it was
the same small class who reaped the benefit of the insurance. The crab
gained nothing and the Sacculina became rapidly impotent. Basle, if I
mistake not, will have imitators, inclined to the philosophy of
Frederick the Great, who was surely no enemy to rational progress, but
who once said: "Depuis bien longtemps je suis convaincu qu'un mal qui
reste vaut mieux qu'un bien qui change."

A good deal of modern legislation is due to fatigue, and some of the
rest to ill-founded apprehension, that unless there is a change of
some kind the masters of the legislators will discharge them, because
they do not furnish enough novelties. In the meantime nobody is bold
enough to proclaim to the restless ones, seeking ever some new thing,
that there is nothing original except what has been forgotten. The
originality of such students of history, and panderers to majorities,
as the leaders of the discontented in England, Germany and in America,
dates back to about the time of the fall of Pericles and the Athenian

The cry of "discontent" has become a fetich among unthinking
politicians. We are all, thank God, discontented, and a poor lot we
should be if we were not. The workingman's discontent has been
over-emphasized, for the reason that what he demands is material,
ponderable, for sale, easy to see, and not far out of the reach of
one's hand. He wants more rooms, more meat, more tobacco, more beer,
more leisure. I am glad he does want them, and let me say just once,
in answer to my detractors along these lines, that the workingman has
no heartier champion than am I. I applaud his discontent just as I
cherish my own, for "it is precisely this that keeps us all alive!" It
is just because I wish him well that every ounce of my influence and
experience are his, to open his eyes to the demagogues who fatten upon
him, fool him, rope him, throw him and brand him, as they have done in
Germany, as they are attempting to do in England, and as they will
shortly begin to do in America. State socialism means slavery for him,
with an army of officials living on him. He will be given so much
bread, and beer, and meat, and tobacco; so much music, theatre, and
literature; and there will grow up an army whose business it will be
to keep him in order, and to cut him down if he revolts, as was done
by the police in one of the suburbs of Berlin not long ago. The German
workman is already so entangled in the ropes of insurance, so harried
by petty officials, so branded by the police, and he has permitted to
increase such a host of guardians, that revolt or revolution is
practically impossible. Counting the army, navy, and officials, there
are said to be three million officials, great and small in Germany;
and there are fourteen million electors, or, roughly, one policeman to
every five adults. And those three million policemen, armed with
lethal and legal weapons, are inflexibly and unalterably for no
change. Does the workingman ever stop to think that those officials
draw salaries amounting to something like $1,200,000,000 a year, and
is he still fool enough to think that he does not pay those salaries
to these slave-drivers! I have said that the population is well fed,
well clothed, and well looked after. Of course they are. No slave-owner
so maltreats his slaves that they cannot work for him! But is
man fed by bread alone, even in the sugared form of music and

If the socialist Pygmalion ever succeeds in bringing his statue to
life, how she will scorn him, hate his suffocating environment, wish
for the wealth and softness he cannot give, desert him, begging to
return to her marble tomb again.

Long life to discontent, say I; but
is the workingman such a fool that his eyes are not opened when a man
of Bismarck's way of thinking, when an autocrat like the Emperor have
favored state socialism! Does he not see that socialism is the neatest
hangman of them all to strangle his discontent! Does he not see the
demagogue gradually assuming the features and the powers of the
tyrant! Tyranny is not alone the prerogative of an aristocracy. "It is
the place of a court to make its servants insignificant. If the people
should fall into the same humor, and should choose their servants on
the same principles of mere obsequiousness and flexibility, and total
vacancy and indifference of opinion in all public matters, then no
party of the state will be sound, and it will be vain to think of
saving it." Thus writes Burke, the champion of our American revolt
against his own country. The electors, now so flattered by the smooth
phrases of their tyrants disguised as liberators, will one day be
aghast to find themselves in a veritable house of correction paid for
from their own savings. They will have learnt then, at last, that you
cannot get rid of the fools who are rich by deceiving the fools who
are poor; and corporalism will be found to be a harsher, fussier, a
more meddlesome and a more indifferent tyrant than even feudalism.

Even at the Krupp works at Essen, and the various branches elsewhere,
where there is the most elaborate combination of Lady Bountiful and
successful business anywhere in the world, men are not satisfied. If
they are not contented there, then nowhere in this world will the
workingman be contented. The Krupp business employs some 70,000
persons. In the particular Essen works, for a hundred years, there has
never been a strike, though others of their employees elsewhere have
used the strike. Though the Cadburys and Levers and Taylors, in
England, the Armours, the United States Steel Corporation, the
National Cash Register Company, the Procter and Gamble Company, the
General Electric Company, and others in America, and the famous and
successful adoption of co-operation in Monsieur Godin's iron foundry
at Guise, in France, have worked along the lines of recognition of
their workmen's right to participate in the profits, there is nothing
on such an elaborate scale as at Essen, under the regime of the

From 1904 to 1910 the Krupps spent, for beneficial institutions of all
kinds, $14,250,000, or 56 per cent. of the dividends during that time.
I have passed many hours at Essen, and seen thoroughly, from cellar to
attic, this truly noble institution for the comfortable and safe
guardianship of men, women, and children who are at the same time
factors in a huge and successful industrial enterprise. There are
schools, technical schools, hospitals, convalescent homes, a library
with 71,000 volumes, theatre, orchestra, band, lectures, concerts,
pension and insurance funds, lodgings for bachelors, tenements and
dwellings for married people, separate cottages for widows and
widowers too old for work, and every opportunity, with a high rate of
interest, for saving. There is in existence a co-operative store, as
well managed as the co-operative stores at Tuxedo Park, and with much
the same system of rebates. There are bathing facilities, gymnasium, a
boat club, a system of providing hot meals from a central kitchen,
reading-rooms and smoking-rooms. There is invested, not including the
value of the land, which has risen enormously in value, over
$12,500,000 in houses for the working-people, the return on the money
being about 2 3/4 per cent. It would require volumes--indeed, two
bulky volumes were issued last year by the company to celebrate the
hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the Krupp works--to
describe merely the machinery for making the people comfortable.

In 1851 the Krupps exhibited at the exposition in London the first
cannon made of cast steel; now they turn out more shells and shrapnel
in a week than were used at the whole battle of Königgrätz (Sadowa),
which lasted from eight o'clock in the morning till four o'clock in
the afternoon on July 3, 1866. The queen of this, the greatest factory
of destructive agencies in the world, is a gentle Madonna-faced lady
who might well pose for a statue of peace, and whose loveliness is a
mirror of the countless and untiring benefactions with which the
people who work here are surrounded. Both the powers and the people of
Germany may well be proud of the Krupps, for if sane beneficence were
to be raised to the rank of statehood this great colony would well
deserve the honor. The gross profits for the last year were
$9,000,000, half of which was written off and the rest devoted to the
reserve, to dividends, and to contributions to the invalid and pension
funds of the employees, which now amount to $9,500,000. The employees
also have on deposit with the management $8,700,000. The contribution
of the Krupps to the workmen's state-insurance fund amounted, in 1910,
to $1,320,000. The Krupp family is rich, but what would their wealth
have been had they practised the gobbling and juggling financial
methods of ----; but I will not pillory my own countrymen by name, for,
after all, our political methods have made them, and not they

The German manufacturer has been at a disadvantage, too,
for several reasons, and this may well be noted as one of Germany's
problems. She has not the deposits of coal that have made England
rich, nor the wonderful soil of America, from which alone we take
$9,000,000,000 every year, nor France's population, now at a
standstill, and which can feed itself off its own soil. She has been a
large borrower of capital to finance her enormous expansion of
industry and commerce, and, above all, the gold supply of the world,
which in the last resort is the foundation of credit, is not in her
hands, nor can it be so long as British and American fleets keep the
ocean highways over which that gold travels.

The world's gold output in 1911 was $493,100,000; of this $177,600,000
came from the Transvaal; $100,350,000 from the United States;
$63,600,000 from Australia; $42,300,000 from Russia; $23,300,000 from
Mexico; $35,600,000 from Rhodesia, India, and Canada; and $15,650,000
from Central and South America, or $458,000,000, of the total output
of $493,100,000, from countries which in time of war would be unlikely
to ship gold to Germany. More than one half the output comes from the
British Empire alone. To those who are satisfied with the easy answer
to the reason for the increased cost of living, that the output of
gold has increased, it must be puzzling to learn that of the total
output, in round numbers, of $500,000,000, $150,000,000 is used in the
arts and manufactures and $150,000,000 goes to India, where it is
buried and hoarded, and $100,000,000 is retained in the United States
for currency and other purposes. In spite of the fact that the gold
output of the world doubled between 1890 and 1897, and nearly doubled
again between 1897 and 1911, money is dear, and is likely to be so
long as present conditions last.

The reason for the higher cost of living is to be found in the
movement of the population, from the dulness of the plough to the
sprightliness of the cinematograph. This choice every freeman has a
right to make for himself, but the trouble arises when the politician
comes forward and pays his admission to the cinematograph
entertainment, out of the public funds, in order to get his vote. The
man who does not leave the plough under those conditions is either a
fool or a saint, and the percentage of the growth of cities is a fair
measure of their relative numbers. The increased cost of living is the
result, not of too much gold, but of too little labor on the land, and
this is due, in turn, to the voluptuous rhetoric of the political
street-walkers, whose promises of pleasure are as illegitimate as they
are impossible of fulfilment. A debtor nation like Germany is highly
sensitive to these conditions, and just as she is overcoming, by her
splendid success as a manufacturing nation this problem, she is met by
increased and ever-increasing rivalry. America, in 1901, exported
$466,000,000 of manufactures; in 1891 only $188,000,000; but in 1911,
$910,000,000; and in 1912, $1,021,753,918. We now have in America
225,000 manufacturing plants employing 6,000,000 people, with an
annual pay-roll of $3,500,000,000 and producing every twelve months
$15,000,000,000 worth of goods. The total value of exports and imports
of Japan thirty years ago was $30,000,000, or 87 cents per capita; in
1911 the figures were $480,000,000, or $10 per capita. England during
the years 1911 and 1912 surpassed all previous figures both for
exports and imports. Germany's rivals, it is thus seen, have not been

The agricultural population of Germany in 1850 was 65 in the 100; it
is now less than one third. In 1911, after a bad year for the farmers,
Germany was obliged to pay out some $200,000,000 more than usual for
food. The total loans of the German banks on industrial securities
rose from $107,000,000 in 1890 to $632,000,000 in 1910, and bankers
themselves admit that Germany has fallen into the error of seeking and
accepting credit far beyond the value of the capital that they have to
work with. Still more dangerous is the fact that 55 per cent. of the
savings-bank moneys of Germany is locked up in mortgages. In 1907, 217
new companies were formed in Germany, issuing $62,050,900 in
securities; in 1909, 179 new companies issued $54,929,450 of
securities; in 1910, 186 new companies issued $57,437,700 of
securities. In 1910, 340 companies increased their capital by
$142,657,200. In 1910 there were 5,295 companies in Germany with a
nominal capital of $3,680,979,400. It is estimated that since 1895
there has been invested in industrial companies in Germany
$1,200,000,000. It is to be said also that since 1897 German
agricultural production has doubled, German industrial production
increased sevenfold, and Germany is said to have $4,750,000,000 in her
savings-banks. The value of imports for home consumption, exclusive of
the precious metals, in 1911 was $2,386,200,000; the value of the
exports of home produce, exclusive of the precious metals, was
$2,025,450,000. It is a quaint result of her temperament and her good
forestry, that Germany sells $25,000,000 worth of toys a year; she is
veritably the workshop of Santa Claus, and many more than 25,000,000
children would bless her did they know.

German financiers affirm that she can stand alone financially, while
others assert that one sixth of her capital, I have heard it placed at
one third, is borrowed from France and England. It is certain at least
that the American panic of 1907, and the recent war in the Near East,
have seriously embarrassed Germany financially.

As Germany can only feed, even in good harvest years, forty-eight or
forty-nine millions of her people, a large proportion of her profits
from industry must necessarily go to the purchase of food for the
other sixteen or seventeen millions. The consumption of meat has
increased among all classes in Germany, and both the demands of the
individual and of the state have increased with the increased wealth
of the country. In Prussia alone the number of those subject to income
tax has increased from 2,400,000 in 1892 to 6,200,000 in 1912; but the
taxes have increased as well, or from $800,000,000 to $1,675,000,000.

In the endeavor to increase the manufacturing output and to find new
markets German credit has been stretched to a dangerous tenuity. While
the war feeling was at its height the Kölnische Zeitung, a
conservative and able journal, wrote: "In case of war both France and
Germany will be obliged to borrow; but it is certain that the credit
of Germany cannot as yet be compared with the credit of France: this
is a strong guarantee of peace."

Wermuth, said by impartial judges to be the ablest secretary of the
treasury the German Empire has had in a quarter of a century, resigned
in 1912, on the general ground that he would not be responsible for
the finances of the empire, if it was proposed to continue the
constant increase of national expenditure, by a constant increase of
borrowing, and an ever-increasing amount of interest-bearing
liabilities. He must have smiled to himself when an Imperial issue at
four per cent. put out in February, 1913, was not only not over-subscribed
but not even all taken.

Unlike the French, who invest their
savings small and large in national loans, the Germans neglect even
their own national loans, preferring the higher returns for their
investments from the innumerable industries launched in modern
Germany; so pronounced is this form of investment, that a director of
the Deutsche Bank has warned his countrymen, that every month's
profits are no sooner gained than they are put out again in new
enterprises, either by the individuals themselves, or by the banks in
which they are deposited. As a result, the liquid capital at the
disposal of Germany is dangerously out of proportion to her borrowings
and her working capital. It shows a fine confidence in the future, and
it proves what needs no proof: the immense industrial and commercial
progress, and the immense sea-carrying trade of Germany. Germany is
like a man with $1,000 in the bank to check upon, but doing business
with $100,000 of borrowed capital, upon which he must pay interest,
and out of which he must take his running expenses. Such a one has no
provision for a bad year, and must depend upon more credit in case of
trouble; and in the case of Germany, it may be added, his personal and
family expenses have largely increased. The German imperial debt had
increased during the first twenty-two years of the present Emperor's
reign, or from 1888 to 1910, by $1,040,000,000, and of that sum some
$650,000,000 were added in the ten years from 1900 to 1910, when
Germany was building her fleet.

Between the years 1905 and 1910 the total export trade of Germany
increased by $408,225,000, but the whole of the increase was due to
the heavier forms of manufactures: machinery, iron ware, coal-tar
dyes, iron wire, steel rails, and raw iron. The increasing competition
is shown by the fact that during those same years her exports of the
finer manufactures, such as cotton and woollen goods, clothing, gold
and silver ware, porcelain, maps, prints, and the like, actually
decreased by $66,975,000!

I am not maintaining for a moment that these problems are peculiar to
Germany, but merely that, owing to the rapid progress, they are
aggravated, and that to point out Germany as a model of successful
achievement, along these and other lines, in order to bolster up
political cure-alls at home, is a betrayal of crass ignorance of the
general internal situation of the country, and once such prejudiced
pleaders are found out, the rebound will go too far the other way.
That were a pity, too, for we have much to learn from Germany.

The $30,000,000 in gold in the Julius Tower at Spandau, called the
war-chest, and the income from railroads, forests, and mines, are to be
put down on the other side of the ledger, but as a year's war, it is
calculated, would cost France, England, or Germany some $2,300,000,000
each, these sums are of negligible importance.

The Prussian railways
cost $2,250,000,000, and are now valued at twice that sum, and pay an
average of seven per cent. on the invested capital. Maintenance costs
are included in the total annual expenses, and there is no, so it is
claimed, actual depreciation. Of the net revenue of $157,330,417 in
1909, about $55,000,000 are transferred to the state revenue, out of
which all charges of the state, including interest on bonds, are paid.
The rest is used for new construction, sinking funds, reserve funds,
and so on.

The report of the Interstate Commerce Commission of 1909-1910
states that there are nearly $19,000,000,000 of railway capital
outstanding in America. There are 240,438 miles of single track in the
United States; 59,000 locomotives, 35,000 for freight, and a total of
2,290,000 cars of all kinds; and the railways carried in one year
971,683,000 passengers and 1,850,000,000 tons of freight. In 1910, 386
persons were killed, but, what is often forgotten, more than one half
the total accidents were due to stealing rides and trespassing on the
tracks. The railways in the United States are our largest purchasers
by far, and for every dollar they earn 42 cents is spent in wages, 26
cents for material, raw or manufactured, before anything is given out
for interest on loans or dividends.

A first-class ticket in Germany is taxed 16 per cent. on the price of
the ticket; a second-class ticket, 8 per cent.; a third-class ticket,
4 per cent.; the fourth-class ticket, nothing. Crowded and
uncomfortable travelling in Germany is cheap; comfortable travelling
in Germany is very dear indeed. The herding of people in the fourth-
class carriages in Germany resembles our cattle-cars rather than
transportation for human beings. Such conditions would not be
tolerated in America, but against these state-owned railways there is
no redress. No luggage, except hand luggage, is carried free. Not
once, but many times in Germany, my first-class ticket found me no
accommodation, and often in changing from the main line to a branch
line not even a first-class compartment. Shippers in the coal and iron
districts, when I was there, complained bitterly that there were not
enough freight-cars, that their complaints were smothered in
bureaucratic portfolios, and that private enterprise in the shape of
proposals to build new lines was disregarded. The tyranny of Prussia
extends even into the railway field. The Oderberg-Wien line was built
to avoid using the Saxon state railway lines, was a spite railway in
fact. Here again there was no redress, no one to appeal to against the

In a debate in the Reichstag, in January, 1913, there was much
complaint that the Prussian government was conducting the railways
with the least possible outlay, thus saving money for the state, but
hampering the industrial interests of the country. It was stated that
there were not enough engines or freight-cars, there was an inadequate
staff, and that as a consequence, the loss to the coal industry had
been $11,500,000 and to the coal-miners $3,375,000.

On the state-owned
railways of the west of France the break-down is ludicrously complete,
and the people are staggered by the official estimates that it will
require at least $100,000,000 to put them in decent running order.

In twenty years the American railways have practically been rebuilt,
with heavier rails, better bridges, more permanent stations, and so
on; while twenty years ago it cost a passenger 2.165 cents to travel a
mile, to-day it costs him 1.916 cents. We need a lot of bustling about
abroad before we realize how much we have to be grateful for at home!

Probably the most costly and the most troublesome of Germany's
problems is her conquered provinces: Hanover, Schleswig-Holstein,
Alsace-Lorraine, and Poland. Hanover, which was taken by Prussia and
her king deposed, is nowadays a minor matter of the relations between
courts, individuals, and families, which may be said to be settled by
the arranged marriage between the Kaiser's charming daughter and the
heir to the Duke of Cumberland, whose ancestors were kings of Hanover.

The Danes, on the other hand, in the northern part of these provinces,
still resist Prussianization. They keep to themselves and their
language, send their children to school in Denmark, and resist all
attempts at social and racial incorporation. They are troublesome, as
an independent and surly daughter-in-law might be troublesome.
Alsace-Lorraine and Posen, on the contrary, are outspoken and
potentially dangerous foes in Germany's own household.

In 1872 Bismarck said: "Alsace-Lorraine will be placed on an equality
with the other German states, … so that the people may be induced to
forget, in a comparatively short time, the trouble and distress of the
war and of annexation." In 1912, a loyal Alsatian German writes: "Das
Elsass, dies jungstgeborene Kind der deutschen Völkerfamilie, braucht
etwas mehr Liebe." Forty years of Prussian rule have not fulfilled the
promise of Bismarck. This same Alsatian writer continues: "In short,
we are approaching ever nearer to the condition of the citizens of all
the other German States, as Baden, Saxony, Bavaria, where they are
also not always of one mind with the higher ruling powers."

It is difficult for the American, who, no matter what particular State
he lives in, is first of all a citizen of the United States, to
understand this jealousy and, in some quarters, bitter dislike of
Prussia. If the State of New York had sixty million of our ninety
million population, and if the governor of New York were also
perpetual President of the United States, commanded the army and navy,
controlled the foreign policy, and appointed the cabinet ministers,
who were responsible to him alone, we could get an approximate idea of
how the people of Virginia, Massachusetts, Illinois, and California
would feel toward New York. This is a rough-drawn comparison with the
situation in Germany. If, in addition, we had the Philippine Islands
where Maine is, and Cuba where Texas is, it is easy to recognize the
consequent complications.

We should remember this picture in dealing with this German problem,
which, at any rate, from the point of view of kindly feeling and
successful adoption of these foreign peoples into the German family,
has been a dire failure. The miserable failure of the Germans in
Southwest Africa, their inconclusive war with the Herreros, and the
absolute break-down of Prussian methods with the natives, is scarcely
more typical than the failure in Alsace-Lorraine and Poland. The
Prussian belief in sand-paper as an emollient must be by now rudely

At last a constitution has been given the two conquered provinces. The
governor is to be advised by a parliament, but the government is not
responsible to the parliament, which is composed of two houses. The
upper house has thirty-six members, eighteen of whom are nominees of
the Emperor and eighteen from the churches, universities, and
principal cities. The lower house is to be elected by popular
franchise. Three years' residence in the same place entitles a man to
a vote, but every voter over thirty-five years of age has two votes,
and every voter over forty-five has three votes.

This, as an American can appreciate, has not been received with
enthusiasm, and their conduct has been so provoking that the Emperor,
during a recent visit, scolded the people, in an interview with the
mayor of a certain town, and, what caused great amusement among the
enemies of Prussia, threatened to incorporate them into Prussia, as
had been done with Hanover, if they were not better behaved. This, of
course, was seized upon as an admission that to be taken into the
Prussian family was of all the hardships the most dreadful. The
socialist journal Vorwärts spoke of Prussia as "that brutal country
which thus openly confesses its dishonor to all the world." Herr
Scheidemann asked in the Reichstag, if Prussia then acknowledged
herself to be a sort of house of correction, and "has Prussia, then,
become the German Siberia?" In 1911 the Reichstag gave the provinces
three votes in the Federal Council.

Metz, it is said, is more French than ever, and thousands troop across
the boundaries on the anniversary of the French national holiday, to
celebrate it on French soil. The conquered provinces are kept in
order, but the French language, French customs, French culture, are
still to the fore, and so far as loyalty, affection, or a change of
mind and heart is concerned the conversion is still incomplete. The
inhabitants have been baptized Germans, but very few of them have
taken voluntarily, their first communion of nationalization.

"On changerait plutôt le coeur de place,
Que de changer la vieille Alsace."

The German, Karl Lamprecht, in his valuable history of contemporary
Germany, is more hopeful of the situation than are other writers and
observers. Professor Werner Wittich maintains that the best of the
intellectual side of life in Alsace is impregnated with French culture
and traditions; and even German officers long stationed in the two
conquered provinces admit the stubborn allegiance of the people to
French customs, habits, beliefs, and traditions. But however that may
be, and it is admittedly a question that different prejudices and
hopes will answer differently, there is no denial on the part of any
one, high or low, that the Prussian bureaucratic mandarins have made
no progress in winning the affection or the voluntary loyalty of the
people. The Prussian has had recourse to the advice given by Prince
Billow, "if you cannot be loved, then you must be feared." A friend
who is only a friend, an ally who is only an ally, a servant who only
serves you because he is afraid of you, is not only an uncomfortable
but a dangerous factor in any establishment, whether domestic or
national. Corporalism, begun by Frederick the Great and fastened upon
Germany by Bismarck, has had its successes. I recognized them, indeed,
on returning to Germany after twenty-five years, as astounding
successes, but they have their weak side too. A barracks can never be
the ideal of a home, nor a corporal the ideal of a guide, philosopher,
and friend. Their own philosopher Nietzsche writes: "the state is the
coldest of all cold monsters."

Joseph de Maistre, writing of the Slav temperament, says: "Si on
enterrait un désir Slave sous une forteresse, il la ferait sauter."
Germany has some reason to believe that this is true.

In the northeast of Germany live some 3,000,000 Poles under Prussian
supervision and laws, and ruled by a Prussian governor. There are some
7,000,000 or 8,000,000 Poles divided between Russia, Austria-Hungary,
and Prussia, and behind these are 165,000,000 Russians. The boundary
between this mass and Germany is one of sand; and the railway journey
from Posen to Berlin, is a matter of only four hours. If we were in
Germany's shoes, we should probably take some pains to be well guarded
in that quarter. We should, however, do it in quite another fashion.
We should, if possible, turn over the inhabitants to their own
governing, as England has done in South Africa, as we have tried to do
in Cuba, and as we would do gladly in the Philippines, if every
intelligent man who knows the situation there, were not assured that
robbery, murder, and license would follow on the heels of our
departure; and that instead of doing a magnanimous thing we should be
shirking our responsibilities in the most cowardly fashion. It is bad
enough to know, that we have such cynical political sophists in
Congress, that they would even suffer that catastrophe to innocent
people in the Philippines, if they thought it would make them votes at

Prussia does not recognize such methods of ruling. Corporalism is
their only way, and, where the people are fit to govern themselves, a
very bad and humiliating way, for the Eden of the bureaucrat is the
hell of the governed. If the Germans approve it for themselves, it is
not our business to comment; but where these methods are applied to
foreign peoples, we both anticipate and applaud their failure.

The insurrections in Russian and Austrian Poland, had their echoes in
Posen, and since 1849 Prussia has tried in every way to substitute
Germans for Poles, in the country, and to make the German language
predominant in the churches, schools, and in the administration. The
Poles have resisted, emphasizing their resistance in 1867, when they
were included in the North German Federation, and again in 1871, when
they were included in the new German Empire.

The Emperor William I, in 1886, said: "The increasing predominance of
the Polish over the German element in certain provinces of the east
makes it a duty of the government to guarantee the existence and the
development of the German population." Since 1871 the Poles have
increased so much faster than the Germans that there is danger of
complete extermination of the German population. In 1902 the grandson
of William I, the present Emperor, said at Marienburg: "Polish
arrogance is unbearable, and I am obliged to appeal to my people to
defend themselves against it, for the preservation of their national
well-being. It is a question of the defence of the civilization and
the culture of Germany. To-day and to-morrow, as in the past, we must
fight against the common enemy." This speech of the Emperor was made
at Marienburg, a fine old town, once very prosperous, and in the days
of the Wars of the Roses playing a conspicuous part with the other
Hanseatic towns. This town was also the head and seat of the Teutonic
Order, and it was this Teutonic Order which, in 1230, began the work
of converting the then heathen Prussians, along lines not unlike those
of the Prussian Ansiedlungskommission of to-day.

Prussia has attempted to solve this question by establishing a
government in the province, pledged to the introduction of the German
language, and so far as possible of German manners and customs. This
has been met with fierce opposition, and never have I heard in the
colonies of other countries, except in Korea, under the present
Japanese administration, such fanatical hatred, expressed in words, as
I have heard in Posen. If you dislike Prussia, do not attempt to
revile her yourself; rather go to Posen and hear it done in a far more
satisfying way.

The religious question enters largely into the matter, and the
ignorant Poles are even taught that the Virgin Mary, or the "Polish
Queen," will not understand their intercessions if they are not made
in the Polish language. In 1870 there was one Polish newspaper in
Germany, to-day there are 138.

From 1886 to 1910 the Ansiedlungskommission or committee of
colonization, have spent $170,896,325, and have received $51,863,175,
leaving a net expenditure of $119,033,150. This large expenditure has
resulted in the settlement upon the land of 18,507 families, or about
111,000 persons. The total number settled is now 131,000 persons. Each
male adult German settler has cost the state something over $32,000!
This is probably the most extravagant colonization scheme ever
attempted in the world.

But even this expenditure has not brought success, and for a very
interesting reason. Again the Germans have been remarkably successful
in their dealings with the inanimate, but the Arcana imperii are still
hidden from them. They have redeemed the land, taught the Poles, as
well as the German settlers, how to farm successfully; largely
increased the output of grain, fruit, pigs, calves, chickens, geese,
and eggs, for which Germany spends several hundred millions a year
abroad; and seen to it that the breed of cows, pigs, horses, chickens,
and geese is kept at a high standard. But now the Poles will sell no
more land. They have profited, not been ruined, by what has come out
of the belly of the Trojan horse! The commission is at a standstill,
and it is now proposed to enforce the Prussian law of 1908 for the
expropriation of Polish estates. This law was overwhelmingly defeated
in the Reichstag in February, 1913, but the Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg
declared that it was an affair of Prussia, with which the
Reichstag has nothing to do, and the sand-paper of the Prussian
bureaucracy will probably be rubbed upon the Polish wound anew.

This attempt to build a line of moral and intellectual forts,
supplemented by German settlers, on the land between Russia and
Prussia, and to stop the inrush of the Slavic population, has ample
excuse behind it. It is undoubtedly in case of war a serious danger to
Germany to leave herself unguarded there. As to what will come of the
social and racial questions, prophecy alone can answer, and I have far
too much imagination to venture upon prophecy. The care and
thoroughness with which the work is done is beyond all praise, but it
is as difficult to make your brother love you by taking thought
thereon, as it is to add a cubit to one's stature by the same method.

Professor Ludwig Bernhard, while regretting that this attempt at
Germanization has not succeeded, admits that Prussian methods are
hopeless in such matters. They have, on the contrary, awakened
national feeling, encouraged the forming of agricultural societies,
and strengthened the Bank of Posen, which has become the financial
citadel of opposition. Professor Bernhard goes so far as to say that
he doubts if even the putting into force of the expropriation law of
1908 will bring about any better results. To an American this lack of
unity seems to be perhaps of exaggerated importance. Wir brauchen
nicht diese Nordlichter (We do not need these northern luminaries), is
a phrase of a certain Bavarian official, and in lower or louder tones
one hears the phrase all over Germany outside of Prussia, and loudest
of all in these conquered provinces.

To legislate men into mechanical relations with one another may keep
the peace temporarily, but it is not a final solution of the intricate
problem of living together in our huddled civilization. The day has
gone by when we could rule men without gaining at least their respect,
and if possible their affection. Prussia's stiffness and newness as a
governing power; her lack of a high moral or religious tone, for there
is a rapidly increasing tendency there to agree with the writer during
the French Revolution: la question de dieu man que d'actualité; her
hard and inflexible methods, make her a churlish neighbor and an
arrogant master. In forty years Prussia has accomplished great things
despite these disadvantages of temperament, of tradition, and despite
these external dangers and problems. She is learning now that there
are not only individuals but whole peoples who say, as William the
Conqueror said to the Pope: "Never have I taken an oath of fealty, nor
shall I ever do so."


It has always been considered sound doctrine among Christians that
they should love one another. Vigorous exponents of the doctrine,
however, have ever been few in numbers. As the world gets more
crowded, and we find it more and more difficult to make room for
ourselves, and to get a living, we find antagonisms and defensive
tactics, occupying so much of our time and energy that loving one
another is almost lost sight of. It has been found necessary even
among those of the same nation to legislate for love. We call such
laws, with dull contempt for irony, social legislation. In Germany,
and now in England, the modern sacrament of loving one another
consists in licking stamps; these stamps are then stuck on cards,
which bind the brethren together in mutual and adhesive helpfulness.

With nations the problem is not so easily and superficially solved;
because no one body of legislators and police has jurisdiction over
all the parties concerned. As a result of this just now in Europe,
wisdom is not the arbiter; on the contrary, prejudices, passions,
indiscretions, and follies on the part of all the antagonists preserve
a certain dangerous equipoise.

After you have seen something and heard a great deal of these
antagonisms between nations; read their newspapers; talked with the
protagonists and with their rulers, and with the responsible servants
of the State; discussed with professors and legislators these
questions; and listened to the warriors on both sides, you are
somewhat bewildered. There are so many reasons why this one should
distrust that one, so many rather unnatural alliances for protection
against one another, so much friendship of the sort expressed by the
phrase, "on aime toujours quelqu'un contre quelqu'un," so much
suspicious watching the movements of one another, that one is reminded
of the jingle of one's youth:

"There's a cat in the garden laying for a rat,
There's a boy with a catapult a-laying for the cat,
The cat's name is Susan, the boy's name is Jim.
And his father round the corner is a-laying for him."

Even to the youngest of us, and to the most inexperienced, this
betokens a strained situation. The first and most natural result is
that each nation's "watchmen who sit above in an high tower," whether
they be the professionals selected by the people or merely amateur
patriots, are forever crying out for greater armaments.

At the time of the Boxer troubles in China, when Germany sent some
ships to demand reparation for the murder of her ambassador in Peking,
she had only two ships left at home to guard her own shores. When all
England was exasperated by the Boer telegram sent by the Kaiser, or,
if the truth is to be told, by his advisers, the late Baron Marshal
von Bieberstein and Prince Hohenlohe, to President Kruger, official
Germany lamented publicly that she lacked a powerful navy. Only a week
after the Boers declared war the Kaiser is reported to have said:
"Bitter is our need of a strong navy." Germany has noticed, too, not
without suspicion, that--

In 1904 England had 202,000 tons of warships in the Mediterranean and
none in the North Sea.

In 1907 England had 135,000 tons of warships in the Mediterranean and
166,000 tons in the North Sea.

In 1909 England had 123,000 tons of warships in the Mediterranean and
427,000 tons in the North Sea.

In 1912 England had 126,000 tons of warships in the Mediterranean and
481,000 tons in the North Sea.

At last accounts England had 50,000 tons of war-ships in the
Mediterranean and 500,000 tons in the North Sea.

There has been a steady increase of the navy in Germany. In 1900 the
tonnage of war-ships and large cruisers over 5,000 tons was 152,000;
in 1911 it was 823,000. The number of heavy guns in 1900 was 52; in
1911 it was 330. The horse-power of engines in 1900 was 160,000; in
1911 it was 1,051,000. The naval crews in 1900 numbered 28,326; in
1911, 57,353; and in 1913 the German naval personnel will consist of
3,394 officers and 69,495 men. Between 1900 and 1911 the tonnage of
the British fleet increased from 215,000 to 1,716,000; of the German
fleet from 152,000 to 829,000.

In ten years British naval expenditure has increased from $172,500,000
to $222,500,000; in Germany the expenditure has jumped from
$47,500,000 to $110,000,000; in America the increase is from
$80,000,000 to $132,500,000. Out of these total sums Great Britain
spends one third, America one fifth, and Germany one half on new

Germany has a navy league numbering over one million active and
honorary members; a periodical, Die Flotte, published by the league
with a circulation of over 400,000. This league not only educates but
excites the whole nation by a vigorous campaign which never ceases. It
takes its members on excursions to seaports to see the ships; it holds
exhibitions throughout the country with pictures and lecturers; it
supports seamen's homes, and helps to equip boys wishing to enter the
navy; it lends its encouragement to the two school-ships which are
partly supported from public funds; it sees to it that war-ships are
named after provinces and cities, creating a friendly rivalry among
them; and lately, out of its surplus funds, it has presented a gun-boat
to the nation.

The leading spirit of this organization is Admiral von Tirpitz, at
present the German secretary of the navy and probably the most
dangerous mischief-maker in Europe. In addition to this work a
campaign is waged in the press for the increase of the navy, in which
a number of experts are engaged. I have been told by Germans who ought
to know, but who deprecate this exciting campaigning, that the press
is so largely influenced by Admiral von Tirpitz and his corps of
press-agents and writers, that it is even difficult to procure the
publication of a protest or a reply. Indeed, were it my habit to go
into personal matters, I could offer ample proof of this contention,
that the opponents of naval expansion are cleverly shut out of the
press altogether.

Wilhelmshafen, the naval station on the North Sea, has been fortified
till it is said to be impregnable; the same has been done for
Heligoland, and the mouths of the Elbe and the Weser have also been
strongly fortified. At Kiel are the naval technical school, an
arsenal, and dry and floating docks, and the canal itself is being
widened and deepened to meet the needs of the largest ships of war.

When it is remembered that the beginnings of all this date back only
to 1898, when the first navy bill was passed through the Reichstag
with much difficulty, and only after the Emperor and his ministers had
brought every influence to bear upon the members, Germany is certainly
to be congratulated upon her success. Nor is she to be blamed for
remembering, and regretting, that the two most important harbors used
by her trade are Antwerp and Rotterdam, the one in Belgium, the other
in Holland.

The Kielerwoche, or Kiel Regatta, has grown from the sailing-matches
of a few small yachts into one of the best-managed, most picturesque,
and gayest yachting weeks in the world. Indeed, from the stand-point
of hospitality, orderliness, imposing array of shipping, and good
racing and friendliness to the stranger, I am not sure that it is
equalled at either Newport or Cowes. Were I writing merely from my
personal experience, I should declare unhesitatingly that it is the
most splendid and best-managed picnic on the water that one can
attend, and lovers of yachts and yachting should not fail to see it.
This Kielerwoche, too, has, and is intended to have, an influence in
teaching the Germans to aid and abet their Emperor and his ministers
in making Germany a great sea power.

When a nation for more than a hundred years has been quite comfortably
safe from any fear of attack because she has been easily first in
commerce, wealth, industry, and in sea power, it comes as a shock,
even to a phlegmatic people, to learn that they are being rapidly
overhauled commercially, financially, industrially, and as a fighting
force on the sea; and all this within a few years.

England with her money subsidies, with her troops, and with her navy
has heretofore provided against Continental aggression by the
diplomatic philosophy of a balance of power. She has arranged her
alliances with Continental powers so that no one of them could become
a menace to herself. She did so against the Spain of Charles V, the
France of Louis XIV, the France of Napoleon, the Russia of the late
Czar, and now against the Germany of William II. The France of the
great Napoleon, in attempting to complete the commercial isolation of
England by compelling Russia to close her ports to her, buried herself
in snow and ice on the way back from Moscow, and delivered herself up
completely a little later at Waterloo. That was the nearest to success
of any attempt to break through the doctrine of the balance of power.

In the year 800 A. D. the Catholic Church, which took over the Roman
supremacy to translate it into a spiritual empire, accepted a German
Emperor, Charlemagne, as her man-at-arms. One hundred and fifty years
later she accepted still another, Otto I. This partnership was called
the Holy Roman Empire. It has been noted, but is still misunderstood,
that the difference between the Catholic Church before and after the
Reformation was very marked. The Catholic Church claimed to be not
only a system of belief but a system of government. Infallibility was
to include secular as well as religious matters, and the church strove
to rule as a secular emperor and as a spiritual tyrant. To-day Roman
Catholicism is a sect, one among many; Roman Catholics themselves
would be the last to consent to any temporal universal power.

The Protestants, too, were at first inclined to the methods of Rome.
Luther teaches intolerance, and Calvin burns a heretic and writes in
favor of the doctrine: Jure gladii coercendos esse hereticos. The real
reformation only came when we had reformed the reformers, but it was
that spiritual and political legacy from Rome that the Teuton world,
including ourselves, fought to nullify.

There was no successful revolt against this curious spiritual
Caesarism until the son of a Saxon miner named Luther married out of
monkdom, burnt the Pope's commands on a bonfire, and plunged all
Europe first into a peasants' war, followed by a dividing of Europe
between a Protestant union and a Catholic league, and then a thirty
years' war, which destroyed two thirds of the population of what is
now Germany. After three hundred years of disunion and hatreds,
Prussia united their country by a cement of blood and iron, and in the
last forty years has made out of her the most powerful nation on the
continent of Europe.

It is only very lately that any of us have realized what has happened.
So little attention has been paid to the matter that there is no
sufficient and worthy history of Germany in English. More than we
realize, Germany is a new factor in politics, a new rival in commerce,
a new knight in the tournament lists. This accounts, in no small
degree, for the uneasiness Germany causes in the world.

Forty years ago Germany was known to a few students as having supplied
us with music, mythology, and a certain amount of enchanting
literature; scholarship along certain lines; and work in philosophy
that a few in America and in England were studying. As a knight in
shining armor, demanding a place at the council-board of nations, and
ready to resent any passing over of her claims to recognition in the
discussion and settlement of international politics, she is a

One of the chief causes for the restlessness, particularly in England,
the heart of the greatest empire in the world, is that this new-comer
must be made room for at the table, received with courtesy, and
consulted. Another individual has married into the family, and must
gradually find her place there. Of all nations in the world, England
is the slowest to make new friends and acquaintances, and easily the
most awkward in doing so. She is a good friend when you know her, but
with the most abominable manners to strangers.

The Englishman, for example, pops into his club to escape the world,
not to seek it there. The English club and the English home are
primarily for seclusion, not for companionship, and this
characteristic alone is wofully hard for the stranger to understand.
To the gregarious German, priding himself upon Gemüthlichkeit, loving
reunions, restaurants, his Stammtisch, formal and punctilious in his
politeness, unused to the ways of the world, but yet convinced that he
is now a great man politically and commercially, the Englishman is not
only an enigma but an insult. I am criticising neither. I have
received unbounded hospitality and friendliness from both. I have
ridden, fought, drunk, travelled, and lived with both, but for that
very reason I understand how horribly and continually they rub one
another the wrong way.

In the fundamental matter of morals the German looks upon the
Englishman as a hypocrite, and the Englishman looks upon the German as
rather unpolished and undignified. Berlin is open all night, London
closes at half-past twelve. The British Sunday is a gloomy suppression
of vitality, touched up here and there with preaching and hymn-singing,
and fringed with surreptitious golf; the German Sunday is a
national fair, with a blossoming of all kinds of amusements, deluged
with beer, and attended by whole families as their only relaxation
during the week.

The German licenses vice, lotteries, and gambling; the Englishman
refuses to recognize the existence of any of the three. The German
does not understand the Englishman's point of view in these matters,
which is that, though he knows these things to exist, and that he is
no better in actual practice than other men, he refuses to accept
these as his ideal. He denounces and passes judgment upon, and
punishes men and women, who go too far in their appreciation and
practice of apolausticism as a philosophy of life. He might have run
away from danger himself, but he none the less scorns the man who did
so. The shipwreck, the fire, the test of moral courage and endurance,
may have found him a coward, or weak, or a deserter, but he holds that
he must none the less measure the coward, the weakling, and the
deserter, not by his own possible weakness if put to the same tests,
but by his ideal of a courageous and straightforward Englishman. I
agree with him wholly and heartily. If our sympathy is to go out on
every occasion, to the man who failed to come up to the mark of noble
manhood, just because we feel that we might under like circumstances
have failed too, then we give up the code of honor altogether, and our
ideals droop to the level from which we fight and pray to be

We pass judgment upon the coward, upon the failure, upon the man who
has not mastered his life and life itself, unhesitatingly. It is hard
to do, it looks as though one were without pity and without sympathy.
Not so; it is because we have great sympathy, and I hope unending
pity, and a growing charity, and constant willingness to lend a hand;
but to condone failure is to commit the selfish and unpardonable
cowardice of not judging another that you may not be forced to judge
yourself too harshly. That is far from being hypocrisy. Indeed, in
these days it is one of the hardest things to do, so fast are we
levelling down socially and politically and even morally. It looks
like an assumption of superiority when, God knows, it is only a
timorous attempt on our part not to lose our grip on the ideals that
help to keep us out of the dust and the mud. But he who lets others
off lightly in order that he may not be thought to have too high a
standard himself, or because he fears that he may one day fail
himself, such a one is the coward of cowards, the candidate for the
lowest place in hell; and well he deserves it, for he helps to lower
the standard of manhood, and he tarnishes the shield of honor of the
whole race. Let them call us hypocrites till they strangle doing so,
for when we lower our standards because we fear that we cannot live up
to them ourselves, all will be lost. To be mild with other men,
because we distrust ourselves, is a poisonous sympathy that rots away
the life of him who receives it, and of him who gives it, and ends in
a slobbering charity which must finally protect itself by tyranny and
cruelty. Not infrequently in dealing with individuals and with subject
nations it is senseless cruelty to be over-kind.

This sneer of Saxon hypocrisy, of "Perfide Albion," is seldom
explained to other people by men of our race, and we Americans and
Englishmen have taken little pains to make it clear. We should not be
surprised, therefore, if we are misunderstood. We have been easily
first so long that we have neglected the explanation or the defence of
ourselves to others.

The Germans, too, have something of the same indifference. A most
sympathetic observer of German manners and customs, and a man for
whose honesty and gentleness I have the highest esteem, Père Didon,
remarked of the Germans: "J'ai essayé maintes fois de découvrir chez
l'Allemand une sympathie quelconque pour d'autres nations; je n'y ai
pas réussi."

I call attention again to the important point, that it has been
difficult to manufacture an all-round German patriotism. As a
consequence patriotism in Germany is more than a sentiment, it is a
theory, a doctrine, a theme to which statesmen, philosophers and
poets, and rulers devote their energies. The German looks upon his
nation not only as a people, but as a race, almost as a formal
religion; hence perhaps his hatred of the Jew and the Slav, and his
difficulties with all foreign peoples within his borders. In order to
build up his patriotism the German has been taught systematically to
dislike first the Austrians, then the French, now the English; and let
not the American suppose that he likes him any better, for he does
not. This patriotism, once developed, was drawn on for funds for an
army, then for a navy. At the present time there must be some
explanation offered, and the explanation is fear of England, dislike
of British arrogance. In one of his latest speeches the Kaiser said:
"We need this fleet to protect ourselves from arrogance"; that, of
course, means, always means, British arrogance.

From the moment a child goes to school, by pictures on the walls, by
an indirect teaching of history and geography, he is led on discreetly
to find England in Germany's way. At the present writing German school
children, and German students, and German recruits are imbued with the
idea that Germany's relations with England are in some sort an
armistice. This poisonous teaching of patriotism has produced wide-spread
enmity of feeling among the innocent, but this enmity has built
the navy. And now that in certain quarters it is found desirable to
soothe and calm this feeling, it proves to be more difficult to subdue
than it was to arouse. The monster that Frankenstein called up devours
its own creator. Now that England can no longer be the enemy, because
Germany's greatest present and future danger is from the Slav races,
there are evidences that the German state is teaching the dog not to
bark at England any more.

Germany has not neglected England, but of late she has paid her the
wrong kind of attention. Erasmus, the scholar-rapier, as Luther was
the hammer, of the Reformation, visits England and writes: "Above all,
speak no evil of England to them. They are proud of their country
above all nations in the world, as they have good reason to be."

Kant, the German philosopher, on his clock-like rounds in Königsberg,
knew something of England and writes of her: "Die englische Nation,
als Volk betrachtet, ist das schätzbarste Ganze von Menschen im
Verhältniss unter einander; aber als Staat gegen fremde Staaten der
verderblichste, gewaltsamste, herrschsüchtigste und kriegerregendste
von allen."

("The English, as a people, in their relations to one another are a
most estimable body of men, but as a nation in their relations with
other nations they are of all people the most pernicious, the most
violent, the most domineering, and the most strife-provoking.")

Another German, something of a scholar, something of a philosopher,
but a wit and a singer, Heine, visited England, and, as he handed a
fee to the verger who had shown him around Westminster Abbey, said: "I
would willingly give you twice as much if the collection were
complete!" To him Napoleon defeated was a greater man than the
"starched, stiff" Wellington; and the "potatoes boiled in water and
put on the table as God made them" and the "country with three hundred
religions and only one sauce were a constant source of amused
annoyance. The German professors and students, who in the early part
of the nineteenth century lauded English constitutional liberty to the
skies and made a god of Burke, have soured toward England since.

"What does Germany want?" asked Thiers of the German historian Ranke.
"To destroy the work of Louis XIV," was the reply. Professor
Treitschke and his successor in the chair of history at Berlin,
Professor Delbrück, have been outspoken in their denunciation of
England. Mommsen, Schmoller, Schiemann, Zorn of Bonn, and his
colleague there, von Dirksen, Professor Dietrich Schaefer, Professor
Adolph Wagner, and many other scholars have been, and are, politicians
in Germany, and none of them friendly to England, to France, or to
America. Bismarck himself remarked of these gentlemen: "Die Politik
ist keine Wissenschaft, wie viele der Herren Professoren sich
einbilden, sie ist eben eine Kunst" ("Politics is not a science as
many professorial gentlemen fancy; it is an art"); and again: "Die
Arbeit des Diplomaten, seine Aufgabe, besteht in dem praktischen
Verkehr mit Menschen, in der richtigen Beurtheilung von dem, was
andere Leute unter gewissen Umständen wahrscheinlich thun werden, in
der richtigen Erkennung der Absichten anderer; in der richtigen
Darstellung der seinigen" ("The work of the diplomat, his chief task,
indeed, consists in the practical dealing with men, in his sound
judgment of what other people would probably do under certain
circumstances, in his correct interpretation of the intentions and
purposes of other people, and in the accurate presentation of his

He began his political life in 1862 with the phrase: "Die grossen
Fragen können durch Reden und Majoritätsbeschlüsse nicht entschie den
werden, sondern durch Eisen und Blut" ("The great questions cannot be
decided by speeches and the decisions of majorities, but by iron and

It is a well-known professor who writes: "Denn die einzige Gefahr, die
den Frieden in Europa und damit den Weltfrieden droht, liegt in den
krankhaften Übertreibungen des englischen Imperialismus" ("The only
danger to the peace of Europe, and that includes the peace of the
world, lies in the morbid excesses of British imperialism"). Another
quotation from the same pen reads: "So far as other perils to the
British Empire are concerned, they are of much the same character, but
the empire suffers too from the selfish policy of English business,
which, in order to create big business, does not hesitate to interfere
with the declared policy of the state." Then follows the statement
that English traders have smuggled guns to the Persian Gulf.

Professor Zorn writes: "The possibility that while our Emperor was
seeking rest and refreshment in Norwegian waters and enjoying the
beauties of the Norwegian landscape, English ships were lying in
readiness to annihilate German ships." It is hard to believe that such
lunatic lies can come from the pen of a professor in good standing.

"Ohne zu übertreiben kann man sagen dass heute nur der allerkleinste
Teil der deutschen Presse geneigt ist, den Engländern Gerechtigkeit
widerfahren zu lassen, bei Behandlung allgemeiner Fragen sich auch
einmal auf den englischen Standpunkt der Betrachtung wenigstens
zeitweise zu versetzen. England ist fur viele 'der' Feind an sich, und
em Feind dem man keine Rücksichten schuldet."

("It is no exaggeration to say that nowadays only the tiniest minority
of the German press is inclined to do justice to the English by at
least occasionally looking at questions from the British point of
view. England is for many the enemy of enemies and an enemy to whom no
consideration is due.") Thus writes one of the cooler heads in the
Kölnische Zeitung.

Doctor Herbert von Dirksen, of Bonn, writing of the Monroe Doctrine,
says: "By what right does America attempt to check the strongest
expansion policy of all other nations of the earth?" During the Boer
war Germany was showered with post-cards and caricatures of the
English. British soldiers with donkey heads marched past Queen
Victoria and the Prince of Wales; the venerable Queen Victoria is
pictured plucking the tail feathers from an ostrich which she holds
across her knees; the three generals, Methuen, Buller, and Gatacre,
take off their faces to discover the heads of an ass, a sheep, and a
cow; Chamberlain is depicted as the instigator of the war, with his
pockets and hands full of African shares; a parade of the stock-exchange
volunteers depicts them as all Jews, with the Prince of Wales
as a Jew reviewing them; the Prince of Wales is pictured surrounded by
vulgar women, who ask, "Say, Fatty, you are not going to South
Africa?" to which the Prince replies, "No, I must stay here to take
care of the widows and orphans!" English soldiers are depicted in the
act of hitting and kicking women and children.

In the war with Denmark
in 1864 the Austrian navy met with a disaster at sea. A German
publicist even then wrote: "I was grieved at the demonstrations of joy
about this in the English Parliament. It was not sympathy with the
Danes but petty spite and malice at the defeat of a foreign fleet. But
at the same time it is a consolatory proof that the English are afraid
of the future German navy." This quotation is interesting as showing
how far back the quarrel dates.

It would be merely a question of how
much time one cares to devote to scissors and paste to multiply these
examples of Germany's journalistic and professorial state of mind. It
is unfortunate that some of this writing in the press is done by those
who are often in consultation with the Emperor, and on some political
subjects his advisers. I have suggested in another chapter that
Germany suffers far more from the theoretical and book-learned
gentlemen who surround the Emperor than from his indiscretions. In
more than one instance his indiscretions were due to their blundering.
Their knowledge of books far surpasses their knowledge of men, and
nothing can be more dangerous to any nation than to be counselled and
guided by pedants rather than by men of the world. This projecting a
world from the gaseous elements of one's own cranium and dealing with
that world, instead of the world that exists, is a danger to everybody

"Bedauernswert sei es allerdings, dass wir in unserem politischen
Leben nicht mit gentlemen zu thun haben, dies sei aber em Begriff der
uns überhaupt abgehe," writes Prince Hohenlohe in his memoirs. ("It is
of all things most to be regretted that in our political life we do
not have gentlemen to deal with, but this is a conception of which we
are totally deficient.")

A daring colonial secretary, speaking in the Reichstag of certain
scandals in the German colonies, said bluntly: "A reprehensible caste
feeling has grown up in our colonies, the conception of a gentleman
being in England different from that in Germany."

When Lord Haldane came to Berlin, on his mission to discover if
possible a working basis for more friendly relations between the two
countries, his eyes were greeted in the windows of every book-shop
with books and pamphlets with such titles as "Krieg oder Frieden mit
England," "Das Perfide Albion," "Deutschland und der Islam," "Ist
England kriegslustig," "Deutschland sei Wach," "England's
Weltherrschaft und die deutsche Luxusflotte," "John Bull und wir," and
a long list of others, all written and advertised to keep alive in the
German people a sense of their natural antagonism to England.

During the last year the "Letters of Bergmann" brought up again the
controversy, that should have been left to die, over the treatment of
the Emperor Friedrich by an English surgeon.

In discussing Senator Lodge's resolution before the United States
Senate, on the Monroe Doctrine, the German press spoke of us as
"hirnverbrannte Yankees," "bornierte Yankeegehirne" ("crazy Yankees,"
"provincial Yankee intellects"); and the words "Dollarika,"
"Dollarei," and "Dollarman" are further malicious expressions of their
envy, frequently used. The Germans are persistently taught that there
are neither scholars nor students in America or in England. One worthy
writes: "Die Engländer lernen nichts. Der Sport lässt ihnen keine Zeit
dazu. Man ist hinterher auch zu müde."

I am always very glad, when I happen to be in Europe, that I belong to
a nation that can afford to take these flings with the greatest good-humor.
As the burly soldier replied when questioned in court as to why
he allowed his small wife to beat him: "It pleases her and it don't
hurt I."

This struggle for recognition as a great nation, to be received on
equal terms by the rest of us, has upset the nerves of certain classes
in Germany, and among them the untravelled and small-town-dwelling

I am a craftsman in letters myself, in a small way, but I am no
believer that books are the only key to life, or the only way to find
a solution for its riddles and problems. Life is language, and books
only the dictionaries; men are the text, books only the commentaries.
Books are only good as a filter for actual experiences. A man must
have a rich and varied experience of men and women before he can use
books to advantage. Life is varied, men and women many, while the
individual life is short; wise men read books, therefore, to enrich
their experience, not merely as the pedant does, to garner facts.
"J'étudie les livres en attendant que J'étudie les hommes," writes
Voltaire. "Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a
mighty bloodless substitute for life," writes Stevenson.

Montgolfier sees a woman's skirt drying and notices that the hot air
fills it and lifts it, and this gives him the idea for a balloon.

Denis Papin sees the cover lifted from a pot by the steam, and there
follow the myriad inventions in which steam is the driving power.

Newton, dozing under an apple-tree, is hit on the head by a falling
apple, and there follows the law of gravitation.

Franklin flies a kite, and a shock of electricity starts him upon the
road to his discoveries.

Archimedes in his bath notices that his body seems to grow lighter,
and there follows the great law which bears his name.

These are the foundation-stones upon which the whole house of science
is built, and no one of them was dug out of a book. Charlemagne could
not read, and Napoleon, when he left school for Paris, carried the
recommendation from his master that he might possibly become a fair
officer of marines, but nothing more! A capital example of the ability
of the man of books to measure the abilities of the man of the world.

Reading and writing are modern accomplishments, and we grossly
exaggerate their importance as man-makers. That, it has always been my
contention, is the fatal fallacy of modern education, and you may see
it carried to its extreme in Germany, for men who have not lived
broadly are merely hampered by books. It is as though one studied a
primer with an etymological dictionary at his side. Germans are
renowned writers of commentaries, but you cannot deal with men and
with life by the aid of commentaries. Exegesis solves no international
quarrels, and the mastery of men is not gained with dictionaries and

We are all prone to forget the end in the means, for the end is far
away and the means right under our noses. We all recognize, when we
are pulled up short and made to think, that, after all, the arts and
letters, religion and philosophy and statecraft, are for one ultimate
purpose, which is to develop the complete man. Everything must be
measured by its man-making power. Ideas that do not grow men are
sterile seed. Men who do not move other men to action and to growth
are not to be excused because they stir men to the merely pleasant
tickling of thinking lazily and feeling softly. Thus Lincoln was a
greater man than Emerson; Bismarck a greater than Lessing; Cromwell a
greater than Bunyan; Napoleon a greater than Corneille and Racine;
Pericles greater than Plato; and Caesar greater than Virgil.

The man who only makes maps for the mind is only half a man, until his
thinking, his influence, his dreams and enthusiasms take on the
potency of a man and come into action. Even if men of action do evil,
as some of those I mention have done, they have translated theories
into palpable things that permit men to judge whether they be good or
bad; and the really great artists, thinkers, and saints are as fertile
as though they were female, and gave birth, to living things. Their
thinking is a form of action. The real test of successful organization
is the thoroughness of the thinking behind it; on the other hand, the
only test of thinking is the success of the thought in actual
execution, and the Germans often take this too much for granted. We
really know and hold as an inalienable intellectual possession only
what we have gained by our own effort, and with a certain degree of
actual exertion. People who have never worked out their own salvation
always join, at last, that large class in the body politic who don't
know what they want, and who will never be happy till they get it.

When it comes to dealing with inanimate things, books of rules are
invaluable. Hence, in chemistry, physics, archaeology, philology,
exegesis, the Germans have forged ahead; their intellectual street-cleaning
is unsurpassed; but the ship of state needs not only men to
take observations and to read charts, but men to trim the sails to the
fitful breezes, the blustering winds, the tempests and the changing
currents of life. They must know, too, the methods, the manners, the
habits of other men who sail the seas of life. It is just here that
the German fails; he lacks the confidence of experience, and bursts
into bluster and bravado. He is a believer in vicarious experience,
and is as little likely to be saved by it, in this world at least, as
he is by vicarious sacrifice.

His imagination does not make allowances for either England or
America. He does not see, for example, that the Monroe Doctrine is not
open for discussion for the simple reason that America has announced
it as American policy; just as Prussia took part three times in the
dismemberment of Poland; just as Prussia pounced upon Silesia; just as
Germany took Alsace-Lorraine, Schleswig-Holstein and Frankfort, and
held the ring while Austria-Hungary bagged Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
by the word of her Emperor, promised to do the same thing for Russia,
when Japan declared war against her. We have decided that we will have
no European sovereignty in South America, and this side war, that is
the end of the matter, call it the Monroe Doctrine or what you will.
It only makes for uneasiness and bad temper to discuss it. It is the
national American policy. It may be right or wrong theoretically, but
international law has nothing to do with it. The German professors who
discuss it from that stand-point, are beating the air and raising a
dust in the world's international drawing-room.

This German mania for translating facts back into philosophy and then
dancing through a discussion of theories is not understood, much less
appreciated, by the rest of the world. We can never get on if we are
to introduce the discussion of the lines of every new battle-ship by
arguments as to the sea-worthiness of the ark. Those of us who control
a quarter of the habitable globe, and the inhabitants thereof, are
much too busy to discuss the legal aspects of the land-grabbing of the
Pharaohs. Geography is not metaphysics, but it is wofully hard for the
professorial mind to grasp this.

"Given a mouse's tail, and he will guess
With metaphysic quickness at the mouse."

In much the same way German statesmen and the German press do not
understand, or do not care to understand, that British statesmen when
they speak in the House of Commons, or when they go to the country
asking increased appropriations for the navy, must give some reason
for their request. There is only one reason, and that is that there is
a growing navy across the North Sea, which, whether now it is or is
not a menace, may be a menace to their ship-fed island, and they must
have ships and men and guns enough to guard the sea-lanes which their
food-laden ships must sail through.

They may be awkward sometimes in their expression of this self-evident
fact, they may call their own fleet a necessity and the other fleet a
luxury, but that is a negligible question of verbal manners; the fact
remains that their fleet is, and all the world knows it is, and it is
laughable to discuss it, the prime necessity of their existence.

As long as we Christians have given up any shred of belief in
Christian ethics, as applicable to international disputes, we must
live by the law of the strongest. We do not bless the poor in spirit,
but the self-confident; we do not bless the meek, but the proud; we do
not bless the peace-makers, but those who urge us to prepare for war;
we do not bless the reviled and the persecuted and the slandered, but
those who revolt against injustice and tyranny; we do not approve the
cutting off of the right hand, but admire the mailed fist; and it is
only adding to the confusion to raise millions for war ourselves, and
then to present a handsomely bound copy of the Beatitudes to our

I shall be wantonly misunderstood if these reflections be taken as a
criticism of Germany. This situation involves Germany in censure no
more than other nations. It is only that Germany shows herself to be
somewhat childish and peevishly provincial, in girding at an
unchangeable situation, either in South America or in the North Sea.

This is not altogether Germany's fault. She is suffering from growing
pains, and from grave internal unrest. She is only just of age as a
nation, and her constitution is so inflexible that it is a constant
source of irritation. She is governed by an autocracy, and the two
strongest parties numerically in her Reichstag are the party of the
Catholics and the party of the Socialists. She has built up a
tremendous trade on borrowed capital, and every gust of wind in the
money market makes her fidgety. Her population increases at the rate
of some 800,000 a year, but her educational system produces such a
surplus of laborers who wish to work in uniforms, or in black coats
and stiff collars, that there is a dearth of agricultural laborers,
and she imports 700,000 Hungarians, Poles, Slays, and Italians every
year to harvest her crops.

This same system of education has taught youths to think for
themselves before either the mental or moral muscles are tough enough,
with the result that she is the agnostic and materialistic nation of
Europe, and her capital the most licentious and immoral in Europe.

This is the result of secular education everywhere. Freedom of
thought, yes, but not freedom of thought any more than freedom of
morals, or freedom of manners, or political freedom, in extreme youth;
that only makes for anarchy political, mental, and moral.

There is much undigested, not to say indigestible, republicanism about
just now in China and in Portugal, for example; just as there are
materialism and agnosticism in Germany and in France, not due to
super-intellectualism but to juvenile thinking. The Chinese are just
as fit for a republic--an actual republic is still a long way off —
as are callow German youths, and notoriety-loving French students, for
freedom to disbelieve and to destroy. No country can long survive a
majority of women teachers in the public schools, together with no
Bible and no religious teaching there. I have no prejudices favoring
orthodoxy, but I have a fairly wide experience which has given me one
article of a creed that I would go to the stake for, and that is that
it is of all crimes the worst to give freedom political, moral, or
religious to those who are unprepared for it.

Germany's taste in literature, once so natural and healthy, has become
morbid, and Sudermann and Gorky and Oscar Wilde, and the rest of the
unhealthy crew who swarm about the morgues, the dissecting-rooms, and
the houses of assignation of life, the internuntiata libidinum, the
leering conciliatrices of the dark streets, are her favorites now.
There is no surer sign of mental ill-health than a taste for lowering
literature, an appetite for this self-dissecting, this complacent,
self-contemplating form of intellectual exercise.

This is no heated assault on German culture. It is a natural phase of
development. Youthful candidates for worldliness all go through this
pornocratic stage. "The impudence of the bawd is modesty, compared
with that of the convert," writes the Marquis of Halifax. The German
professor and the German bourgeois in their Rake's Progress are only a
little more awkward, a little more heavy-handed, a little coarser in
speech, than others, that is all. The period of twenty-five years
during which I have known Germany has developed before my eyes the
concomitants of vast and rapid industrial and commercial progress, and
they are: a love of luxury, a great increase in gambling, a
materialistic tone of mind, a wide-spread increase of immorality, and
a tendency to send culture to the mint, and to the market-place to be
stamped, so that it may be readily exchanged for the means of soft
living. These internal changes account to some extent for her restless
external policy. A man's digestion has a good deal to do with the
color of the world when he looks at it. There is more yellow in life
from biliousness, than from the state of the atmosphere.

Aside from these domestic causes there is no reason why Germany should
take a sentimental or pious view of these questions of international
amity. Her own history is development by war. "Any war is a good war
when it is undertaken to increase the power of the state," said
Frederick the Great. "Nur das Volk wird eine gesicherte Stellung in
der Welt haben, das von kriegerischen Geiste erfüllt ist" ("Only that
nation will hold a safe place in the world which is imbued with a
warlike spirit") writes Germany's great military philosopher

We took Cuba and the Philippines; England took India, Hong Kong, and
Egypt; Japan took Korea and southern Manchuria; Italy took Tripoli;
France took Fez; Russia took Finland and northern Manchuria;
Austria-Hungary took Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Prussia and Germany have
a long list, including Silesia, Poland, Hanover, and Alsace-Lorraine.
Austria-Hungary tears up the Berlin treaty; France, Germany, and Spain
tear up the Algeciras treaty; Italy tears up the treaty of Paris; and
it is part of the game that we should all hold up our hands, avert our
faces, and thank God that we are not as other men are, when these
things are done. The justifications of these actions are all of the
most pious and penitent description. We were forced to do so, we say,
in order to hasten the bringing in of our own specially patented and
exclusive style of the kingdom of heaven, but outside of perhaps India
and Egypt, and the Philippines, it would be hard to find to-day any
trace of the promised kingdom. Germany, for example, had nine per
cent. of Moroccan trade, the total of Moroccan trade with all
countries only amounted to $27,500,000 a year, and she was compelled
to interfere for the protection of her traders, forsooth! The outcome
of the business, after an exciting situation lasting for months, was
that Germany got a slice of territory from France, mostly swamps,
which reaches from the Congo to the Atlantic Ocean, and reported to
be, by her own engineers, uninhabitable.

It is the pleasant formula of
polite statesmen and politicians to say, that it is a pity that
Germany came into the world competition a hundred years too late, when
the best colonies had been parcelled out among the other powers. This
is a superficial view of the case, and misses the real point of the
present envy, hatred, malice, and uncharitableness. Germany does not
want colonies, and has no ability of the proper kind, and no willing
and adventurous population to settle them, if she had. Prussia's
dealing with aborigines is a subject for comic opera.

Germany came
into the modern world as a dreamer, as a maker of melodies, as a
singer of songs, as a sort of post-graduate student in philosophy and
in theoretical, and later applied science. She introduced us to
classical philology, to modern methods of historical research, to the
comparative study of ethnic religions, to daring and scholarly
exegesis, to the study of the science of language. She discovered
Shakespeare to the English; Eduard Mätzner and Eduard Müller, and
German scholars in the study of phonetics, have written our English
grammars and etymological dictionaries for us, and helped to lay the
foundations for knowledge of our own language. Spinoza, Kant, Hegel,
one need not mention more, attempted to pass beyond the bounds of
human experience and to formulate laws for the process;
Schleiermacher, maintaining that Christian faith is a condition of
devout feeling, a fact of inward experience, an object which may be
observed and described, had an unbounded influence in America, and
many are the ethical discourses I have listened to which owed more to
Schleiermacher than to their authors. Humboldt, Liebig, Bunsen,
Helmholtz, Johannes Müller, Von Baer, Virchow, Koch, Diesel, even the
British and American man in the street, with little interest in such
matters, knows some of these names; while Schopenhauer and Nietzsche
are symbols of revolt, whose names are flung into an argument by many
who only know their names, but who fondly suppose that the one stands
for despair and suicide, and the other for the joy and unbridled
license of the strong man.

Reckoning by epochs, it was only yesterday
that Germany said to the world: "No more of this!"

"Hang up philosophy!
Unless philosophy can make a Juliet,
Displant a town, reverse a prince's doom,
It helps not, it prevails not: talk no more!"

Of a sudden our scholar threw off his gown and cap, and said: "I
propose to play base-ball and foot-ball with you, I propose to have a
hand in the material spoils of life, I propose to have a seat at the
banquet and to propose toasts and to be toasted!" Faust of a sudden
left his gloomy, cobwebby laboratory, flung a fine cloak over his
shoulders, stuck a dandy feather in his cap, buckled on a rapier, and
began roistering with the best of us. We sneered and smiled at first,
let us be frank and admit it. We did not think much of this new buck.
We had little fear that the professor, even if he took off his
spectacles and slippers and dressing-gown, and exchanged his pipe for
a cigarette, would cut much of a figure as a lover. He was new to the
game, we were old hands at it, but the first thing we knew he had
given the world's mistress, France, a scolding, and flung her into a
corner, a cowering heap of outraged finery; and she has only been safe
ever since in the rôle of a sort of mistress of England on

A new cock in the barn-yard is never received with great
cordiality. He must win his place and his power with his beak and his
spurs. We all of us had enough to do before this fellow came along. We
are a little jealous of him, we are all uneasier because he is about,
and he has done so well at our games, now that he has indeed hung up
philosophy, that we are not even sure that it is safe to take him on
in a serious match. We have endeavored, therefore, to keep him
occupied with his own neighbors, to whom we have extended our best
wishes and our moral backing, which is known as keeping the balance of
power in Europe.

But a new Germany has come into the world. Germany nowadays has a
large class, as have the rest of us, who belong to that increasing
number of extraordinary people who want money without even knowing how
to get on without it. The only satisfactory test of the right to
wealth is the ability to get on without it. One of modern
civilization's most dangerous pitfalls is the subversive doctrine that
all men shall have wealth, even before they have proved their ability
to do without it. Germany is gradually arriving at this puny stage of
culture, whose beginnings may be said to date from that ominous year
for culture, 1492, when Lorenzo di Medici died and Columbus discovered

During all this time statesmen have insisted that there is no good
reason why Germany and England should not be on good terms; gentlemen
of various trades and professions from both countries, speaking
halting English or embarrassed German, as the case may be, cross each
other's boundaries, comment upon the beauties of the respective
countries, and overeat themselves in ponderous endeavors to appear
cordial and appreciative. Mayors and aldermen swap stories and
compliments over turtle and sherry, or over sauerkraut and
Johannisberger; bands of students visit Oxford or Heidelberg, and
there is a chorus of praise of Goethe from one side, of Shakespeare
from the other; and all the while there is an unceasing antiphonal of
grimaces and abuse in the press. Not even when Germany exports her
latest stage novelties to London, and pantomimic platitudes are
dandled under colored lights, does the turmoil of martial talk cease.
Not even Teutonic lechery, in the guise of Reinhartian art, dressed in
nothing but silence, and making faces at the British censor on the
boards of the music-halls, avails anything.

Of course all this is nuts to the irresponsible journalists, to the
manufacturers of powder, guns, and ships, and to politicians and
diplomats out of employment; but it is hard on the taxpayer, who has
no dividends from manufacturers of lethal weapons and ships, nor from
newspapers, and no notoriety from the self-imposed jobs of the
unofficial diplomats.

Perhaps of all these factors the press, in its wild gamble to make
money out of sensationalism, is most to blame. The press, for the sake
of gain, has soiled and soured the milk of human kindness by exposing
it, carelessly and unceasingly, to the pathogenic dangers of the dust
of the street and the gutter. It is wholly unfitting and always
demoralizing when the priest, the politician, and the journalist turn
their attention to private gain. Any one of these three who makes a
great fortune out of his profession is damned by that fact alone. The
only payment, beyond a living, that these three should look to is,
respect, consideration, and the honor of serving the state unselfishly
and wisely. The world will be all the happier when there are no more
Shylocks permitted in any of these professions.

Germany is autocratic, philosophical, and continental; England is
democratic, political, and insular. It is hopeless to suppose that the
great mass of the people of one country will understand the other,
and, for this is the important point, it is wholly unnecessary.

We get on best and with least friction with people whom we do not
understand in the least. A man may have known and liked people with
whose aims, opinions, employment, creeds he has the smallest sympathy.
One may mention such diverse personalities as John L. Sullivan, the
prize-fighter, Cardinal Rampolla, Mr. Roosevelt, Doctor Jameson, the
Kaiser, President Diaz of Mexico, numerous Jew financiers, Lord
Haldane the scholar-statesman, and a long list of professors, pious
priests, sportsmen, and idlers, not to speak of Hindus and
Mohammedans, Japanese and Chinese, and half a dozen Sioux chiefs. With
these gentlemen, a few of many with whom one may have been upon such
pleasant terms that they have even confided in him and trusted him
with their secrets, one may have passed many pleasant hours. It
probably never entered such a man's head to wonder whether they liked
him, and he never discussed with them the question of his liking for
them. We get on by keeping our own personalities, prejudices, and
creeds intact. There is no other way.

Other men will give even a more diverse list of friends and
acquaintances, and never for a moment dream that there is any mystery
in being friends with all. Nothing is ever gained by flattery. To the
serious man flattery in the form of sincere praise makes him more
responsible and only sadder, because he knows how much he falls below
what is expected of him, and what he expects of himself. Lip-flattery
makes a real man feel as though his sex had been mistaken, he feels as
though he had been given curling-tongs instead of a razor for his
morning toilet. These pompous flatteries that pass between Germany and
England to-day, make both sides self-conscious and a little ashamed to
write and to speak them, and to hear and applaud them.

America and England are shortly to celebrate the signing of the treaty
of Ghent, which marks a hundred years of peace between the two
nations. We have not been without opportunities to quarrel. We have
whole classes of people in America who detest England, and in England
there are not a few who do not conceal successfully their contempt for
America, but we have had peace, and since England, at the time of our
war with Spain, said "Hands off!" to the powers that wished to
interfere, there has been a great increase of friendly feeling. But
there has been little or no flattery passing back and forth. We have
sent ambassador after ambassador to England who were almost more
American than the Americans. Phelps and Lowell and Hay and Choate and
Reid were all American in name, in tradition, in their successes, and
in their way of looking at life. By their learning, their wit, and
their criticisms, by their writing and speaking, by their presentation
of the claims to greatness of our great men, by their unhesitating
avowal in public and in private of their allegiance to the ideals of
the republic they served, they have made clear the American point of
view. Above all, they have shown their pride in their own country by
acknowledging and praising the great qualities of England and the
English. There has been no fulsome flattery, no bowing the knee to
foreign idols, and what has been the result? The American ambassador
for years has been the most popular diplomatic figure in Great
Britain. An increasing number of Englishmen even, nowadays, know who
Washington and Jefferson and Lincoln were, and our understanding of
one another has grown rapidly out of this frank and manly attitude. We
were jealous and suspicious a hundred years ago, as are England and
Germany to-day, but we have changed all that by our attitude of
good-humored independence, and by eliminating altogether from our
intercourse the tainted delicacy of compliment, and the canting
endearments of the diplomatic cocotte. We have emphasized our
differences to the great benefit of the fine qualities that we have
and cherish in common.

The individual Protestant does not dislike the individual Papist, half
so much as he dislikes his neighbor in the next pew, who refuses
Sunday after Sunday to repeat the service and the creed at the same
pace as the others, and hence to "descend into Hell" with the rest of
the congregation. The Sioux chief was far more annoyed by his neighbor
of the same tribe in the next-door reservation than he was by me. The
pugilist scorned "Tug" Wilson, a brother fisticuffs sovereign, but had
no feeling against his parish priest. Theological protagonists are
notoriously bitter against one another, but we have all found many of
them amiable companions ourselves. It is the fellow next door, who
wears purple socks, or who parts his hair in the middle, or who wears
his coat-sleeves longer than our tailor cuts ours, or who eats his
soup with a noise, or who has damp hands, or talks through his nose,
who irritates us and makes us wish occasionally for the unlimited
club-using freedom of the stone age. It is your first cousin with
incurable catarrh, and a slender income who is too much with you, and
who spoils your temper, not the anarchist orator who threatens your
property and almost your life.

"What do these Germans want?" asked a distinguished cabinet minister
of me. "They want consideration," I replied, "which is the most
difficult thing in the world for the Englishman to offer anybody."
"But, you don't mean to say," he continued, "that they really want to
cut our throats on account of our bad manners?" I cannot phrase it
better, nor can I give a more illuminating illustration of the
misunderstanding. That is exactly the reason, and the paramount
reason, why nations and why individuals attempt to cut one another's
throats. Whatever the fundamental differences may have been that have
led to war between nations, the tiny spark that started the explosion
has always been some phase of rudeness or bad manners.

Counting my school-days, I can remember about a dozen personal
conflicts in which I have engaged, with pardonable pleasure. Not one
of them was a question of territory, or religious difference, or of
racial hatred; indeed, the last one was due to being shouldered in the
street when my equanimity was already disturbed by a lingering
recovery from a feverish cold.

It is, after all, the little differences that count. If politically
and socially Germany were a little more sure of herself, if she were
not ever omnia tuta timens Dido; and if England were not as ever quite
so sure of herself, I believe intercourse between them would be less

"The little gnat-like buzzings shrill,
    The hurdy-gurdies of the street.
The common curses of the will—
    These wrap the cerements round our feet."

The smothered voice, the tepid manner, the affected and hesitating
under-statement, of a certain middlish class of English men and women,
and, alas, their American imitators, who are striving toward their
comical interpretation of the Vere de Vere manner, are the promoters
of guffaws in private, and uneasiness in public, between nations, to a
far greater extent than the bold individualist, whose voice and
manners, good or bad, are all his own. It is these small attritions
that wear us down, and produce a sub-acid dislike between nations as
between individuals. It is these that prepare the ground for a fine
crop of misunderstandings.

But are we not to know our neighbors the English, the Germans, the
French? I for one consider that not to know German and Germany, for
example, is nowadays not to be fully educated. Most of us, however,
have had our nerves unstrung by the speeding-up process that has gone
on all over the world of late. We have lost somewhat the power to know
people and to let them alone at the same time. Goethe, one of the
coolest and wisest of men, maintains: "Certain defects are necessary
for the existence of individuality. One would not be pleased if old
friends were to lay aside certain peculiarities."

We should at least give every man as fair a chance to receive our good
opinion as we give a picture. We should put him in a good light before
we criticise him. We should take time enough to do that to other
nations, as well as to individuals. I have always had much sympathy
for a certain Roman general. He was blind, and a painter who painted
him with two large eyes, he rebuked; another painter, who painted him
in profile, he rewarded.

It is, after all, something of an art to know people, so that the
knowledge is serviceable, so that you can depict them to yourself and
to others, not as they are as opposed to you, but as they are as a
complement and help to you.

"No human quality is so well wove
In warp and woof, but there's some flaw in it;
I've known a brave man fly a shepherd's cur,
A wise man so demean himself, drivelling idiocy
Had wellnigh been ashamed on't. For your crafty,
Your worldly-wise man, he, above the rest,
Weaves his own snares so fine, he's often caught in them."

He who does not make allowances for weaknesses and differences in his
study of human affairs is still in the infant class. It is a grave
danger to every state that critics, smart or shallow, with their tu
quoque weapons, their silly ridicule, their emphasis upon differences
as though they were disasters, their constant failure to recognize the
value of certain weaknesses, their stupidity in not painting great men
who happen to be blind, in profile, and their harping upon the flaws,
and their neglect of the fine texture of human qualities that are
strange to them, that these critics are not muzzled, or, if that is
impossible, disregarded.

They make it appear that amicable relations between nations are next
to impossible. If you escape one danger of offending, you are sure to
give offence in some other way, they seem to say. They are hysterical
in their self-consciousness, "as if a man did flee from a lion and a
bear met him, or went in the house and leaned his hand on the wall and
a serpent bit him." Sir Edward Grey writes on this subject: "I
sometimes think that half the difficulties of foreign policy arise
from the exceeding ingenuity of different countries in attributing
motives and intentions to the governments of each other. As far as I
can observe, the press of various countries is much more fertile in
inventing motives and intentions for the governments of the different
countries than the foreign ministers of these countries are
themselves. Foreign governments and our own government live from hand
to mouth and have fewer deep plans than people might suppose. There is
an old warning that you should not spend too much time in looking at
the dark cupboard for the black cat that is not there, and I think if
sometimes we were a little less suspicious of deep design or motive
that the affairs of the world would progress more smoothly."

The trouble lies in our undertaking the impossible, to the neglect of
the obvious and the possible. The basic fact of nationality is a
preference for our own ways, customs, and habits over those of other
people. If the Chinese and Japanese, the Servians and Albanians, the
English and the Germans liked one another as well as they like their
own, there would be no nationalism to protect or to preserve. Such
racial and traditional liking of nation for nation is impossible of
achievement. No journeyings, speechifyings, banquets, or compliments
will bring it about. On the contrary, I am not sure that it is not
these very differences which cheer us and give us a new flavor in our
pleasure in living, when we cross the Atlantic, the Channel, or the
Rhine. What we should strive for is not social and racial absorption,
but social and racial difference and distinction, with that pride in
our own which makes for patience in the understanding of others.

It is the petty, self-conscious American who hates the English, the
provincial Englishman who hates the German, the socially insecure
German who hates the Frenchman, the Englishman, and the American.
Those of us who are poised, secure, satisfied, and at bottom proud of
our race, our breeding, and our country, are neither irritable nor
irritating in the matter of international relations. We have enough to
do, and let others alone. Let us dine one another, criticise one
another in the effort to improve ourselves, praise one another where
the praise serves to establish our own ideals; but let us give up this
forced and awkward courting by banquets, deputations, and conferences.
Let us study the great art of leaving one another alone. This is a
time-hallowed doctrine. The greatest of all satirists and critics of
manners knew this secret of successful intercourse with one another.
One of the characters in the "Frogs" of Aristophanes is made to say:
"Don't come trespassing upon my mind; you have a house of your own."
Propinquity does not necessarily entail intimacy; as the world grows
smaller, more and more people think so, perhaps often enough only to
escape from themselves, a favorite form of elopement these days. Some
men are fed by solitude and starved by too much companionship, and the
same is true of nations. You cannot control others till you have
learned to control yourself, or save another till you yourself are
saved, and most of us had better be about that business.

It is England's business to know just now, and to some extent ours,
how many ships Germany is building and how many men she has in
training to man them; but it is not in the least anybody's business to
question her motives or to attempt to dictate her policy. It is our
business to shut up, and to build ships and to train men according to
our notions of what is necessary for safety in case of an explosion.
We should be about our father's business, not about our brother's

It is shallow thinking and lack of knowledge of the men and women of
stranger countries, and above all that terrible itching to be doing
something, which lead to these futile excursions and this silly talk.

Can anything be more maudlin than to suppose that international
sensitiveness, that commercial rivalries, that tariff discriminations,
that territorial misunderstandings, are to be soothed and smoothed
away, by dissertations upon how much we owe to one another in matters
of culture? Think what we owe to Goethe and Lessing, to Spinoza and
Kant, to Heine and Mozart and Wagner and Beethoven, reiterates the
Englishman; think what we owe to Shakespeare and Milton, to Byron and
Shelley and Scott, to Lister and Newton, answers the German! Who can
go to war with the countrymen of Racine and Molière and Pascal and
Montesquieu and Descartes? repeats the friend of France; and by others
are trumpeted the fraternal relations that we ought to cultivate with
the countrymen of Dante, or of Euripides, Aeschylus, and Sophocles.
This is phantom friendship, and we all know in our heart of hearts,
that we would fight any or all of them at the drop of a handkerchief,
if they hurt our feelings, ruffled our national pride, or maltreated
in a foreign land the meanest of our racial brothers. Straining after
such artificial bonds of union is as irritating as it is unreal.

Germany has few heartier admirers of Bismarck than am I; England has
few franker friends of her great gentlemen in peace and war than am I;
I have read and profited by French literature far more than from
anything America has produced; if I can write so that here and there a
brother has profited therefrom, I owe it to the Frenchmen I have
studied; but these are all nothing as compared with my heart's real
allegiances. There is a gulp in my throat when I dream of that weary,
misunderstood, but patient and humble peace-maker, who held the scales
between the millions of my own countrymen, shooting and stabbing one
another to death fifty years ago. No other man can be quite like him
to me; he remains my master of men, as is Lee my ideal of the Happy
Warrior. I understand the grim humor in his sad eyes, I love that
lined face, cut from the granite of self-control, that tamed volcano
face, seamed and scarred by the lava of his trials and his tears; I
can see how the illuminating and conciliatory anecdotes were his
relief from the pain of an aching heart; my muscles harden and my
nerves tingle as I recall the puppet politicians and fancy
self-advertising warriors who crucified him slowly. The country and the
people that Lincoln believed in, I must believe in and fight for too.
Washington was an Englishman and baptized us, but Lincoln was an
American who officiated at our first communion as a united people.

I ask no Englishman, no German, no Frenchman to agree with me, but I
ask them to leave me alone with my dead, to leave me in peace with my
living problems, to force no artificial friendships upon me, and thus
to let our respect for one another increase naturally.

Has the Englishman, has the German, no sanctuaries to be left
undisturbed; no heart-strings that are not to be fumbled at by busy
fingers; no personal dignities to be shrouded from investigations; no
sweet silences of sorrow that are barred to foreign mourners? If he
have not, then all this clamor at the doors of national privacy is
well enough; but let them remember that when nations lose their
dignity and their racial pride, there is sure to follow the squabbling
and the jealousy, the rough speech and vulgar manners, of the domestic
circle, in the same plight of spiritual shamelessness. The best that
any of us learn is to be a little more patient, a little more
charitable, a little more careful of the dignity of others in our own
homes, or abroad, and then the light goes out!


Criticism is temptingly easy when it consists, as it so often does, in
merely noting what is different, or what is not there. Helpful
criticism I take to be the discovery of what is there, and its
revelation, with an examination of its history, its truth, and its
value. That kind of criticism is close to creation itself, and few
there are sufficiently self-sacrificing to endow and to train
themselves to undertake it.

It makes life very complicated to think too much about it, but to take
a step further, and to attempt to apply logic to life, that way
madness lies. It is of the very essence of life that things are never
as they ought to be, but only as they can be for the time being. We
may be optimistic enough to believe that this is a good world, but it
is none the less true that unbending virtue seldom receives the
temporal rewards for which most of us are striving, and with which
alone most of us are content. We are forced to doubt, therefore, the
goodness which finds life easy and comfortable, and since we must
still at all hazards be charitable in our judgments of one another, we
become, most of us, opportunists in morals.

In dealing with the men, manners, affairs, and the soul of a stranger
people, therefore, one must use what experience, knowledge, good-humor,
and impartiality one has, without assumption of superiority,
without making high demands, and without ceasing to be at least as
opportunist as we are at home. Because things are different, they are
not necessarily better or worse, and if certain things are not there,
it is perhaps because they do not belong there. Above all, we should
refrain from applying a stern logic to the life of another country
which we never use in measuring our own.

The whole north of Germany is a flat, barren plain, with the Elbe, the
Oder, the Weser flowing west and north. The north of Germany on a
raised map looks like a vast sea-shore, and so it is. To the south a
great river, the Rhine, pierces its way from Frankfort through a
beautiful gorge in the mountains, and has its source near that of the
Danube. Barbarossa called this river, "that royal street." This sea-shore
is cultivated and populous; this river has been made a great
commercial highway. Cologne, one hundred and fifty miles from the sea,
is now a seaport; Strasburg, three hundred miles inland, can receive
boats of six hundred tons; and the tributary river, the Main, has been
deepened so that now Frankfort receives steamers from the Rhine. Three
quarters of the through trade of Holland is German water-borne trade.
Now the Dortmund-Ems canal, which is one hundred and sixty-eight miles
long, and can be used by ships of a thousand tons, gives an outlet,
via the Rhine, at Emden. All this is the work of a patient,
persistent, and economical people working under great natural

As compared with America this is an unfruitful land, and, as I have
noted, surrounded on all sides by powerful enemies. In 1902 Traugott
Müller estimated the value of Germany's production of wheat, potatoes,
vegetables—the products of the gardens and the fields, in short—at
$605,000,000; the production of beef, mutton, pork at $669,500,000; of
the dairies at $406,000,000; of cotton, sugar, alcohol, wine, and wood
at $322,000,000; or a total of $2,002,000,000. The United States is
seventeen times as large, but by no means seventeen times as

Germany, again, is divided into a number of states, all, with the
exception of Prussia, with its population of 40,000,000 out of the
total of 65,000,000, comparatively small. These states are not merely
divided by legal and geographical lines, but by traditions, different
ruling families, religion, tastes, habits, and manners, and even
geologically. Bernhard Cotta, writing of Germany, says: "Geologically
there is a Spain, an England, a Sweden, a Russia, a France, but no
Germany." They are different individuals, not different members of the
same family. They have been cemented together by coercion.

Over this whole country for three hundred years have swept all the
fighting men of Europe. Until 1870 it was a tournament ground for the
Swedes, Russians, French, Dutch, Belgians, Italians, Hungarians,
English, and the various German states. It was shot over, till it is a
wonder that there are any young birds, not to speak of old cocks and
hens left, to begin with over again.

A feature of the political situation, which scarcely enters into
political calculations in America, is the sharp division between
Protestants and Catholics, with a political party of Catholics
numbering one fourth of the total members, in the Reichstag. In 1905
there were 37,646,852 Protestants and 22,109,644 Catholics in Germany,
the Roman Catholics being in a majority in Baden, Bavaria, and
Alsace-Lorraine. In the past these religious differences have entailed
all the most repulsive features of war, waged to the point of
extermination. "Lieber Rom als Liberal," is still a punning war-cry
marking the dislike of Rome and the fear of Socialism.

With us religion has become largely an organized attempt, using
charity as patronage, to reconcile piety and plenty, with the result
that with the exception of the Catholic Church dealing with the lately
arrived immigrants, and the Methodists and Baptists dealing with the
ignorant masses, black and white, in the South, religion in the sense
of an organized church has little hold upon the people, especially in
the large cities.

In America the indifference to religion is the result of suspicion.
The congregations are too largely black-coated and white-collared, and
the lay officers of the churches much too solemnly sleek and serenely
solvent to attract the weak, the unfortunate, the sorrowing, and the
sinner. The mere appearance of the congregation in a prosperous
Protestant church in an American city is a mockery of Christianity.
Any man who preaches to men who can own a seat in God's house is a
craven opportunist. Until the doors of the churches are open all the
week, and the seats in the churches free, to claim that the Christ is
there is little short of blasphemy. It is no wonder that those who
need Him most, never dream of seeking for Him in these ecclesiastical

In Germany half-baked thinking, following upon, and as the result of,
the barracks and corporal methods of education, have turned the
Protestant population from the churches. The slovenly and patchy
omniscience of the partly educated, leads them to believe that they
know enough not to believe. Renan, though a doubter himself, saw the
weakness of this form of disbelief when he wrote: "There are in
reality but few people who have a right not to believe in

The people living upon this ethnographical chess-board have been for
centuries rather tribal than national, and are still rather
philosophical than political, rather idealistic than practical, rather
dreamy than adventurous. To organize this population for self-support
and self-defence, to ignore differences, racial and religious, to
stamp out the jealousies of small rulers, required severe measures,
and we are all learning to-day that democracies are seldom severe with
themselves. A tyrannical autocracy, led by the Great Elector,
Frederick the Great, and Bismarck, produced from this welter of
discord the astonishing results of to-day.

We have to-day, in an area of 208,780 square miles, 5,604 square miles
representing the lately conquered territory of Alsace-Lorraine, a
population of 64,903,423, of whom 1,028,560 are subjects of foreign
powers. To defend this area there are to be, according to figures
estimated even as this volume goes to press, a million men under arms
in the army and navy. Their enormous progress in trade, in industry,
in shipbuilding, is set out in full in every year-book, for the
curious to ponder. In so short a time, on so poor a soil, in such a
restricted space, with such a past of distress and disaster, and
dealing with such conflicting interests, a like success in nation-building
is unparalleled.

Industrial and martial beehive though it would seem to be, there are
provided for the native and the foreigner feasts of music, of art, and
of study that cost little. There are quiet streams, lovely, lonely
walks, and quaint towns that are nests of archaeological interest. In
Weimar, in Stuttgart, in Schwerin, in Düsseldorf, in Karlsruhe, not to
mention Munich, Leipsic, Dresden, Berlin, Frankfort, Hamburg, there
are centres of culture. The best that the mind of man creates is still
spread out there as of yore for whomsoever will to partake, but ever
in less abundance and with less enthusiasm. And these names are a mere
fraction of the number of such places.

The rivalries between the states is now to a large extent an elevating
rivalry of culture, dotting the map of Germany with resting-places for
the curious, the scholarly, or the sentimental traveller. You may have
plain living and high thinking in scores of the cities and towns of
Germany, and you will be considered neither an outcast nor an
eccentric; indeed, you will find no small part of the population your

You may stroll for miles on the banks of that tiny stream the
Zschopau, and expect to see sprites and nymphs, so hidden are its
windings; and where in all the world will a handkerchief cover an Ulm,
an Augsburg, a Rothenburg, Ansbach, Nuremberg, Würzburg, with their
wealth of associations?

The Fugger family, of Augsburg, tell us again that there is nothing
new in the world. Five hundred years ago they were millionaires. One
of these Fuggers had a voice even in the election of Charles V, and we
are still hard at it trying to keep our Fuggers from meddling in
politics. Another Fugger, Marcus by name, wrote a capital book on the
horse in the sixteenth century, and at the last horse-show at Olympia,
in 1912, a Fugger came over from Germany and took away the first prize
for officers' chargers. So far flung was their fame as money-lenders
that usury was called "Fuggerei"!

Heirs of great houses got out of hand then as now, and Duke Albert III
of Bavaria married Agnes Bernauer, the barber's daughter, and even the
Archduke Ferdinand of Austria ran off with Fräulein Welser. One
citizen of Augsburg fitted out a squadron to take possession of
Venezuela, which had been given him by the Emperor Charles V. For some
reason the squadron did not sail; Lord Salisbury and President
Cleveland could have told this adventurous Augsburger that he was
better off at home!

Bishop Boniface, of Würzburg, was an Englishman, and his father was a
wheelwright. He put cart-wheels in his coat-of-arms, and they have
remained to this day in the arms of the town, a fine reminder to
snobbery that ancestry only explains, it cannot exalt.

"Pigmies are pigmies still, though perch'd on Alps,
And pyramids are pyramids in vales."

The atmosphere in these towns is one of repose. They are still wise
enough to know that the miraculous improvements in speed brought about
by steam and electricity have not shortened the journey of the soul to
heaven by one second. They know that Socrates on a donkey really goes
faster than Solly Goldberg in his sixty-horse-power motor-car. They
are suspicious of the new cosmopolitan creed, that successful
advertising endows a man with eternal life. Countless political quacks
have been caricatured, advertised, and cinematographed into
familiarity, but wise men still read Plato and Aristotle. The penny
press has not convinced them that popularity is immortality; they
recognize popularity as merely glory paid in pennies. They partake to
some extent of the patience of the Oriental. They suspect, as most men
of wide intellectual experience do, that the man who cannot wait must
be a coward at bottom, afraid of himself, or of the world, or of God.

This is wholly true of many Germans, despite the clang of arms, the
noise of steam-hammers, the shrieking locomotives, the puffing
steamers, the clinking of their gold, and the shouting of their
pedlers, now scattered all over the world. It is this combination, in
the same small area, of noise and repose; of political subserviency at
home and sabre-rattling abroad; of close organization at home and
colonizing inefficiency abroad; of moral and intellectual freedom, one
might almost call it moral and intellectual anarchy these days, and at
the same time submission to a domestic and social tyranny unknown to
us, that makes even a timid author feel that he is discovering the
Germans to his countrymen, so little do they know of this side of
German life.

They are not at all what the Americans and the English
think they are. They want peace, and we think they want war. The huge
armaments are intended to frighten us, just as were the grotesquely
ugly masks of the Chinese warriors. They intend to frighten us all
with their 850,000 soldiers, their great fleet, their air-ships and
aeroplanes, and when they go to Agadir again they hope to be able to
stay there till their demands are granted. They are the last comers
into the society of nations and they mean to insist upon recognition.
But this demand is an artificial one so far as the great mass of
Germans is concerned. It is the Prussian conqueror, and the small
class, officer, official and royal, representing that conqueror, who
are determined upon this course. They have unified Germany, they have
made the laws and forced obedience to them; and the heavily taxed,
hard-driven, politically powerless people are helpless.

Nowhere has socialistic legislation been so cunningly and skilfully
used for the enslavement of the people. No small part of every man's
wages is paid to him in insurance; insurance for unemployment, for
accident, sickness, and old age. There is but faint hope of saving
enough to buy one's freedom, and if the slave runs away he leaves, of
course, all the premiums he has paid in the hands of his master. A
general uprising is guarded against by a redoubtable force of
officials, officers, and soldiers, whose very existence depends upon
their defence of and upholding of the state under its present laws and

Our grandfathers and fathers, some of them, talked and read of Saint-Simon,
of Fourier, Robert Owen, Maurice Kingsley, and the Brook Farm
experiment, and believed, no doubt, that the dawn of the twentieth
century would have extracted at least some balm from these theories
for the healing of our social woes. They would rub their eyes in
amazement were they to awake in 1912 to find more armed men, more
ships of war, more fighting, more strikes and trade disputes, than
ever before. Above all, they would be puzzled to find the nation which
is most advanced in the application of the theory of state socialism
with the largest army, the heaviest taxation, and the second most
formidable fleet.

The library in which, as a small boy, I was permitted to browse, where
I read those wonderful Black Forest Stories and my first serious
novel, On the Heights, contained a bust of Goethe, and on the shelves
were Fichte, Freytag, Spielhagen, Strauss, and a miscellaneous
collection of German authors grave and gay, or perhaps melancholy were
a better word, for even now I should find it hard to point to a German
author who is distinctively gay. No visitor to that library, and they
numbered many distinguished visitors, American and foreign, from
Emerson and Alcott and George Macdonald to others less well known,
dreamed that the serene marble features of Goethe would be replaced by
the granite fissures of the face of Bismarck; and that Auerbach's
Black Forest Stories would be less known than Albert Ballin's fleet of
mercantile ships. As I dream myself back to that big chair wherein I
could curl up my whole person, and still leave room for at least two
fair-sized dogs, I see as in no other way the almost unbelievable
change that has come over Germany. The Black Forest Stories, Hammer
and Anvil, The Lost Manuscript, Werther, Fichte, Kant, Hegel,
Schopenhauer, Strauss, Heine were Germany then; Bismarck, Ballin, and
Krupp are Germany now. Germany was Hamlet then; Germany is Shylock,
Shylock armed to the teeth, now.

No nation can change in one generation, as has Germany, by the natural
development of its innate characteristics; such a change must be
forced and artificial to take place in so short a time. This is not
only the internal danger to Germany itself, but the danger to all
those superficial observers who point to Germany as having solved
certain social and economic problems. She has not solved them by
healthy growth into better ways; she has suppressed them, strangled
them, suffocated them.

The heroes and heroines of my Black Forest Stories have been rudely
stuffed into the uniforms of officials, soldiers, factory hands, and
Red Cross nurses. The toy-shops have been developed, on borrowed
capital, into ship-building yards and factories for guns and
ammunition. The dreamer in dressing-gown and slippers has been forced
into the cap and apron of the workman. The small sovereigns have been
frightened into allegiance to the war lord, whose shadow falls upon
every corner of Germany.

In this new scheme of things it soon became evident, that the
individual was incompetent to take care of himself along lines best
suited to the plans of his new conqueror, therefore part of his
earnings were taken from all alike to provide against accident,
sickness, unemployment, and old age, and thus bind him fast to the
chariot of his warrior lord. Germany, having given up the belief that
the salvation of her own soul was of prime importance, became
suspiciously concerned about the souls and bodies of the people. We
are all to some extent following her example. The wise among us are
sad, the capitalist and his ally the demagogue are seen everywhere all
smiles, rubbing their hands, for the more people are made to believe
that they can be, and ought to be, taken care of, the more the
machinery is put into their hands, the more plunder comes their way,
the more indispensable they are.

The great majority of people who write or speak of Germany applaud
this situation; let me frankly say, what everybody will be saying in
twenty-five years, I deplore it. It is a purely artificial,
incompetent, and dreary solution. Even Hamlet were better than

Fortunately there is also a large and increasing class in Germany who
distrust the situation. They point to the fact that technical
education is producing an army of dingy artisans, who turn out the
cheap and nasty by the million, an education which chokes idealism and
increases the growing flippancy in matters of faith and morals; they
sneer, and well they may, at the manufactured art, the carpenter's
Gothic architecture, the sickly literature, the decaying interest in
scholarship; they find fewer and fewer candidates for exploration and
colonization; they rankle under the series of diplomatic ineptitudes
since Bismarck; they see France, Russia, and England antagonized and
leagued against them, and their own allies, Austria-Hungary and Italy,
in a confused state of squabble with their neighbors; they are nervous
and disquieted by the financial and industrial conditions; they
condemn whole-heartedly the political caste system by which much of
the best material in Germany is barred from the councils and the
diplomatic and executive activities of the nation; there are not a few
who would welcome an inconclusive war that would, they think, put an
end to this system, and make the ruler and the officials responsible
to the people; they wish to open the doors of this governmental,
legislative, educational, industrial hot-house, and give the nation a
chance to grow naturally in the open air.

The policy of making other people afraid of you must have an end, the
policy of making others respect and like you can have no end. There is
no question which is the natural law of national development. Neither
for the individual nor for a nation is it wholesome to increase
antagonisms and to lessen the conciliatory points of contact with the

Many of the weaknesses, much of the strength of Germany are
artificial. They have not grown, they have been forced. The very
barrenness of the soil, the ring of enemies, the soft moral and social
texture of the population, have, so their little knot of rulers think,
made necessary these harsh, artificial forcing methods.

The outstanding proof of the artificiality of this civilization is its
powerlessness to propagate. Germans transplanted from their hothouse
civilization to other countries cease to be Germans; and nowhere in
the world outside Germany is German civilization imitated, liked, or
adopted. The German is nonplussed to find the Pole in the East, the
Frenchman in the West, the Dane in the North, scoffing at his alte
Kultur, as he calls it, and he is irritated beyond measure by the
German from America, who returns to the Vaterland to criticise, to
sneer, and to thank God that he is an American, not a German citizen.
Germans become English citizens, no Englishmen become Germans;
millions of Germans have become Americans, no Americans become
Germans. No other population would be amenable to the Prussian methods
that have made Germany, nor is there anywhere in the world a people
demanding Prussian methods, while there are millions under the
Prussian yoke who hate it.

The German rhetoric to the effect that Germany is to save the world by
Teutonizing the world, is laughable. Prussia is the ventriloquist
behind this half-hearted boast.

Werther, and Faust, and Lohengrin, are far more real than those
scarecrows autocracy, bureaucracy, and militarism, triplets of straw,
premature births, not destined to live, of which Germany boasts to-day
as the most precocious children in the world. They are just that,
precocious children, teaching the pallid religion of dependence upon
the state and enforcing the anarchical morality of man's despair of
himself. Our descendants will have Werther and Faust and Lohengrin, as
the companions of their dreams at least, when that autocracy shall
have been blown to the winds, when that bureaucracy shall have dried
up and wasted away, when that exaggerated militarism shall be but
bleaching bones and dust.

Who has not lived in Germany as a house of dreams, seen the Valkyrie
race by, heard the swan song, wept with Werther and with Marguerite,
smiled cynically with Mephistopheles, languished with the Palm Tree
and the Pine of Heine; who has not sat at the feet of Germany as a
philosopher, and traced the very fissures of his own brain in
following thinking into thought; but who in all the world longs for
this new Germany of the barracks, the corporal and the pedler?
Germania as a malicious vestal clad in horrid armor and making
mischief in the world is a very present danger; Germania with a torch
lighting the world to salvation is a phantom, a ghost, seen by hasty
and nervous observers, who rush out to proclaim an adventure that may
excite a passing interest in themselves. Her methods to-day are
solution by suffocation; no wonder those of us who loved her in our
youth see in her a ghost to-day. I am thankful that I was her pupil
when she had other things to teach, when she wore other robes, when
she was modest, and not snatching at the trident of Neptune, nor
clutching at the casque of Mars.

"Wir wissen zu viel, wir wollen zu wenig," became the national
complaint, and Germany has attempted to transform herself. She has
succeeded in the transformation, but the transformation is not a
success. Even that learned English friend of Germany, Lord Haldane,
does not see, or will not see, that a people thinking themselves into
action, instead of developing into action naturally, through action,
must suffer from the artificiality of the process. Lord Haldane
applauds their thought-out organization in industrial, commercial, and
military matters, but he fails to mention the squandering of
individual capacity and energy that has resulted in Germany's growing
dependence upon a wooden bureaucracy. Organization is only good as a
means; it is stupefying as an end. Germany has organized herself into
an organization, and is the most over-governed country in the world.
What every democracy of free men wants is not as much, but as little,
organization as possible compatible with economical administration of
industry, the army, the navy, and the affairs of the state. You can
think out a game of chess, but you cannot think out life ahead of the
living of it without cramping it and finally killing it. Life is to
live, not to think, after all. Neither a nation nor an individual has
ever thought out the way to power. This is where the metaphysician
invariably fails when he mistakes thinking for living, when he
mistakes organization, which can never be more than a mould for life,
for life itself. To plan an army is not to produce one, however good
the plan; even to plan a campaign, once you have an army, is to court
disaster unless there is a living man to thrust the plan aside when
the emergencies arise that make up the whole of life, but have nothing
to do with organization.

If all men were tailors, or lawyers, or farmers, or miners, then we
could think out an organization into which they would fit, but
unfortunately for the metaphysician, all men are not categories; all
men are men! In like manner, if all men were cases, then government by
lawyers would be successful, but men and women are neither categories
nor cases. It is purely fantastic, the mere reasoned confusion of the
philosopher, to point to Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel and their successors
as the originators of Germany's progress. If Germany had developed
along those lines, she would be something quite different from what
she is. The Great Elector, Frederick the Great, Napoleon, and Bismarck
made Germany, and her philosophers and pedants are only responsible
for the softness that made it possible. Metaphysicians and lawyers
have their place, but they will inevitably ruin any people whom they
are permitted to govern.

The reader will perhaps look back through these pages to discover a
contradiction. He will seem to find evidence that Germany's position
in the world called for just this present Germany, which is a factory
town with a garden attached, surrounded by an armed camp. I deny the
contradiction. I have tried to analyze and to give the reasons for
Germany's development along these meretricious and disappointing
lines, but I am the last to admit that the outcome is satisfactory, or
that the rest of the world should look to Germany to point out the way
of salvation. A steaming orchid-house is not the place to go to learn
to grow the fruits of the earth in their due season for the
nourishment of a free people. You will find some brilliantly colored
flowers there, in the gay uniforms of the artificial tropics, but they
shrink and shrivel in the open air. They have been trained to grow
luxuriantly in this stifling atmosphere, but they feed no one, please
no one, who will not consent to live in a glass house with them.

Because a people is blindfolded, its preachers and pedagogues gagged,
its officials subservient, is all the more reason why they should be
easily led, but no reason at all for supposing that they will lead
anybody else.

I have said here and there that I have learned much, and that we all
have much to learn from Germany. I permit myself to repeat it. She has
shown us that the short-cut to the governing of a people by
suppression and strangulation results in a dreary development of
mediocrity. She has proved again that the only safety in the world for
either an individual or a nation is to be loved and respected, and in
these days no one respects slavery or loves threats.

From an American point of view, any sacrifice, any war, were better
than the domination of the Prussian methods of nation-making. No
nation should be by its traditions and its ideals more ready to arm
itself, and to keep itself armed if necessary for years, against the
possibility of the transference of such methods to the American
continent than the United States of North America.

"Theuer ist mir der Freund, doch auch den Feind kann ich nützen,
Zeigt mir der Freund, was ich kann, lehrt mir der Feind was ich soll,"

writes Schiller.

We Americans have much to learn from both our friends and our enemies.
We have both in Germany, and we should cultivate the temper of mind
which profits by the encouragement of our friends and the criticism of
our foes.

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About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.