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Title: Europe—Whither Bound? - Being Letters of Travel from the Capitals of Europe in the Year 1921
Author: Graham, Stephen, 1884-1975
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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EUROPE--WHITHER BOUND?

(Quo Vadis Europa?)


  Being Letters of Travel from
  the Capitals of Europe
  in the Year 1921


BY

STEPHEN GRAHAM



THE RYERSON PRESS

TORONTO

1922



COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY



PREFATORY NOTE

The Author's gratitude is due to many people in connexion with this
book--to Bishop Nicholas of Zicca and the Rev. Hugh Chapman, of the
Savoy, and Col. Treloar and Major-General Sir Fabian Ware, and the
Editor of the "Narodny Listi," at Prague, and Mr. Hyka,--to these and
many others who helped a traveller on his way.

The letters from each capital were published in "Country Life" under
the general title of _Quo Vadis Europa?_  A few after-thoughts have now
been written on "Extra Leaves," and sewn in between these letters.

No effort at an exhaustive study of any country is made here.  The
object of the author was to make a rapid tour from capital to capital,
"keeping the taxi waiting," so to say, and thus obtain an idea of
Europe as a whole.  It is perhaps one of the first books of travel
written from the point of view of Europe as a unity, and it is hoped it
will help to make us all good Europeans.



CONTENTS


LETTERS OF TRAVEL


    I. FROM ATHENS


EXTRA LEAVES

(i) _On Passports and "Circulation"_

   II. FROM CONSTANTINOPLE (I)
  III. FROM CONSTANTINOPLE (II)


EXTRA LEAVES

(ii) _On "Charity" and the Stagnation of Peoples_

   IV. FROM SOFIA
    V. FROM BELGRADE (I)
   VI. FROM BELGRADE (II)
  VII. FROM BUDAPEST
 VIII. FROM VIENNA


EXTRA LEAVES

(iii) _On Money and League of Nations Currency_

   IX. FROM PRAGUE
    X. FROM WARSAW


EXTRA LEAVES

(iv) _On Nationality and an Armistice Baby_

   XI. FROM MUNICH
  XII. FROM BERLIN (I)
 XIII. FROM BERLIN (II)


EXTRA LEAVES

(v) _On "Clay Sparrows" and the Failure of Freedom_

  XIV. FROM ROME
   XV. FROM MONTE CARLO
  XVI. FROM LONDON
 XVII. FROM PARIS



EUROPE--WHITHER BOUND?


LETTERS OF TRAVEL

I.  FROM ATHENS

Europe, whither goest thou?--the poignant question of to-day.  The
pride of Christian culture, the greatest human achievement in history,
with, as we thought before 1914, the seal of immortality set upon her,
is now perhaps moving towards dissolution and death.  Europe has begun
a rapid decline, though no one dares to think that she will continue in
it downward until she reaches the chaos and misery and barbarity from
which she sprang.  Affairs will presently take a turn for the better,
Europe will recover her balance and resume the road of progress which
she left seven years ago--prompts Hope.

"Europe must die in order to be re-born as something better"; "all must
be destroyed," say the theorists of revolution.  "She staggers and
falls and falls and plunges," seem to say the facts with the
inexorableness of Fate.

Prophecy can be left to all men--it does not alter the course of
events.  The historian in the future will ask what was the actual
condition of Europe at this time, and it is possible to assume that he
would grasp eagerly at an account of a visit by an impartial observer
to all the principal capitals of Europe in the year 1921.  An effort to
record what Europe looks like now, a series of true reflections and
verbal photographs of swirling humanity at the great congregating
places, the capitals, cannot but be of value.  So with the motto: "See
all: reserve your judgment," let us proceed.

The winds of the mountains traverse the well-shod civilization of a
great city.  At the end of each of the long streets rises a mountain,
and on the mountain rest the clouds and the sky.  You walk outwards,
and climb the nearest and most prominent of the heights to the
Acropolis, to the mighty slabs of the marble of the Parthenon, simple
and pure in the mountain air, a point of view where it is always
morning, and you look down from the ancient Athens to the new.  Your
eyes rest on modern Athens all built in white stone, and extensive and
handsome in a setting of mountains and sea, but the heart refuses to
travel with the eyes.  The heart remains in the ancient city, and
there, somehow, is perfect happiness, and it is a place in which to
abide.

Not without some sacred thought does one place one's feet upon the bare
rock where walked the bright spirits of ancient Athens.  The morning
sun of Europe, the dawning vision of all that we Europeans could be or
mean, dawns again in the soul.  As an old or invalid man, or one at
least who in middle years has sinned and gone astray, one looks back to
the innocence and promise of childhood.  Here shone the light of our
being undimmed; here was kindled in Europe the faith of the ideal.
Yonder is Mars Hill from which St. Paul showed the new way when the
light was growing dim.  For Greece identified man in part with the
Divine, but the new religion gave forgetful humanity its altar of
remembrance, affirming that we do not belong to the beasts that perish
but are affiliated to the Almighty.

It is perhaps strange that to-day the city which was the cradle of the
ideal is a city where there are no ideals at all--either old or new,
where Plato now means nothing, where even Bolshevism is not heard of.
S----, who took his bachelorate on divinity at Oxford, is writing a
sympathetic treatise on Nietzsche and Christianity for his doctorate at
the University of Athens.  But what a mistake!  What an unfortunate
choice of place and theme!  Who was Nietzsche?  "I have changed my
title to 'Nietzsche as the Devil'" says S----.  "Ah, that's better,"
says his professor, "that we can understand."

You come down from the heights into the modern city, and you behold the
rising civilization of a new Greece.  Here without question is a most
pleasant city, with acacia avenues and white houses and full-bosomed
abundant orange-trees hanging their golden fruits.  Thus happily
bowered, merchants and bankers pursue their avocations, and shopkeepers
display their wares in a pleasant array of modern shops.  On the
streets walk leisurely an indolent and elegant people; the dark women
are especially _chic_ and it must be said refined and restrained, and
not so seductive in appearance as the South would suggest.  You see
also at the many open-air cafés and in the street a very
distinguished-looking type of man with finely cut features and
plentiful iron-grey hair.  You surmise that you are looking upon the
most indolent people in the world--not lazy like Russians or Irish, but
elegantly indolent, walking so slowly, playing meditatively with their
beads--for nearly every man carries his string of jet or amber beads,
which he mechanically tells, though without a thought of prayer.  They
walk with half-closed eyes, and whilst they seem to be thinking, they
are but taking a passive pleasure in existence.  They sit down together
at their cafés which debouch upon the streets, and sip the sweetest of
coffee, and light their cigarettes, and regard the world which passes
slowly by.  There are all manner of mendicants and of musicians
flitting to and fro in the sun, like shabby butterflies, and the
elegant Greek says "No" to them, not by sound of voice, but by the
slightest elevation of the eyebrows and movement of the eye.  He sits
and looks occasionally at the wonderful hills above him, so fresh, so
virginal; but he does not, as an Englishman might do, pay quickly and
go out and go up.  The modern Greek would never build so high as the
Acropolis.

You do not hear a good word said for the Greek by any race in Europe.
Italians, French, Serbs, Bulgars, Turks, and even British are all more
or less anti-Greek.  Whilst it seems true to say that you scarcely find
any nation that likes any other nation, yet the antipathy towards the
Greek seems more marked than most others.  Whatever illfeeling or
irritative may be in the air is readily vented upon the Greek.  Despite
all this, however, the new Greeks are a slowly but steadily rising and
prospering people.  One hundred years ago they obtained their
liberation from the Turk.  The Turkish mind was shown to be incapable
of absorbing Europeanism.  The light of the nineteenth century scared
the night-bird back to Asia, and there arose Serbs, and Bulgars, and
Roumanians as European nations, and Greece once more arose.  Modern
civilization suits the Greek much more than it does the Turk.  He can
understand it and utilize it.  Because of it he has risen and perchance
will rise.  The Greeks are by far the cleverest people in the Balkans,
and are perhaps the cleverest of the Mediterranean nations as well.

The Greek temperament swings between the dead calm and passionless on
the one hand, to the violent and maniacal on the other.  The nation is
still convalescent, its development is slow, and it is impossible to
say how far new Greece will develop.  But its strength lies in its
serpentine stillness and ancient unforgotten craft, and its weakness in
that absence of ideals and in the sudden violence of partizanship which
suggest pathological decay.  What Greece does is generally subtle and
shrewd; what she says is often madness.  She has little sense of
humour, and takes offence where other nations would laugh.  Thus she
wins by statecraft and loses by politics.  In thought, and in the
spoken word, Greece is outmatched for instance by the Slavs; but in
silent action and in administrative policy Greece more often excels her
neighbours.  You will always hear odious comparisons made in the Near
East between Greek and Turk, to the disadvantage of the former.  But it
seems rather absurd.  The Turk, at his best, is a child or a legendary
hero--not one of ourselves--whereas the Greek is a serious European
with a race-consciousness of civilization thousands of years old.

Athens has quietened down after the political violence of the
restoration of Constantine.  One sees pictures of the King
everywhere--a cavalry officer with high Greek military hat, bushy
moustaches, and rather horse-like face.  He has large strained eyes
with a questioning, impatient expression.  All these pictures were
hidden during the King's exile, but on his return came forth to light
again.  Common also are posters of Constantine as St. George, and the
Venizelist administration as a three-headed dragon of which Venizelos
is the chief and certainly most loathly head.  Venizelos has become
violently distasteful to the people--though possibly he may return to
power by as violent a reaction.  The chief reason for his fall was that
he offended Greek national pride by being the puppet of the Allies.
The revolution which he accomplished at the instigation of the French
was highly resented.  And all the mortification of the French contempt
for Greece was vented upon him.  Although Greece won such a goodly
share of the booty of the war, she was treated throughout the war with
a brutal nonchalance.  Venizelos had much respect, but Greece had none.
A comparison is often made between the machinations of the Allies in
Petrograd in 1917 for the deposing of the Tsar, and the intrigues which
forced Constantine to flee.  Venizelos nevertheless was one of the
cleverest statesmen of Europe--granted one can be clever and not wise
at the same time--clever and even stupid, his chief weakness being a
crude violence of temperament which breaks out in his speeches:

On vient de vous dire, s'écria-t-il, qu'il n'y avait pas de
germanophiles an Grèce.  Cela est vrai pour le peuple, pour les homines
politiques de tous les partis en grande majorité.  Moi-même je viens de
l'attester à la conference de Londres.  Mais cela n'est vrai du roi, ni
de son entourage.  Ceux-la ne sont pas seulement germanophiles.  Ils
sont Boches de la tête aux pieds! . . .


The good order, the low cost of living, the high value of the drachma,
the excellent condition of the army, the enhanced prestige of the Greek
nation after the war, all testify to the ability of Venizelos.
Venizelos won for Hellas territory which extends from Salonica all the
way to the Black Sea, and brought her almost to the gates of
Constantinople.  The role of neutrality which King Constantine affected
would have left Greece without the coveted war-glory, and, of course,
without the dangerous responsibility she has now.  Thanks to Venizelos,
Greece is almost an empire.  And the Greeks are glad to have this extra
sway.  No sentiment has stood in the way of Constantine's Government
retaining what its arch-enemy had won.  "We may fall out in politics,
but where our material interests are concerned you will find complete
solidarity," said an Athenian journalist.  And it seems true.

Not many signs of altruism are visible in Greece.  There are few
Germanophiles.  "Do not fear for us," said M. Kalogeropoulos, to the
French.  "Greece will not ally herself to a corpse"--meaning Germany.
In fact, there is among the Greeks only Graecophilism.  If superlative
and clamorous love of country is a virtue--they have it.  For Greece,
when you are down, you are down.  As for fallen Germany, so for Russia
in her humiliation Greece has no extra thought or care.  Not a
humanitarian and philanthropic nation!  One wonders how a Greek mind
would interpret the "big-brother-love" of the Americans, which prompts
the marvellous rescue-work now being done by the United States in all
the stricken countries of Europe.  There, however, the indolence of the
Greek mind and the half-closed eye intervene.  There is no curiosity
about philanthropy.  But it is a Greek word by origin.

One longs to see some sort of love towards the neighbour.  There is a
mortal enmity towards the Bulgar, a cool reciprocity of Italian
dislike, a non-comprehension of the Serb, traditional hatred of the
Turk--all these are intensified by egoism.  New Greece, with her
hazardous northern frontier, needs to cultivate friendship, and will
have to employ all her strategy to gain any.  Her mainstay is, of
course, England.  For us Greece has the natural respect which a weak
country pays to a strong friend, but she has also a curious covert
regard for us as one nation of sailors for another, a petty maritime
State for a great one.  Her weakness is in asking material favours at
the same time as she pays compliments.  Greece is almost our ally in
the Near East.  French rivalry has bound British and Greeks together.
In our employ are Greeks; in the French employ, Turks.  There is no
question but our employees are the cleverer and the more capable, but
there is a continual clash on psychological grounds.  The Greeks make
mistakes and the British are not ready to make allowances.  The
Englishman demands that his friend shall be a "sportsman"--the Turk is,
the Greek is not.  Therefore we cannot fit Greece into the jig-saw
puzzle which we call the comity of nations.  The question is, can
Greece cut herself to fit--ought she to?

It is strange to come into the martial display of Athens and find the
old war still going on, see the numbers of worn soldiers weighed down
with all the impedimenta of "fighting order" coming home on leave or
returning to the front, to see the Turkish prisoners of war jobbing at
the station and on the streets, to see the handsome Evzones, the
soldiers of the King's bodyguard, strutting together in fine style
along the cobbled roadway.  It is impressive, and shows Greece in a new
light.  Then the Constituent Assembly with its new Turkish members in
their fezes rather takes the eye as a novel synthesis of political
interest in the Near East.  Athens is a great capital where much that
is vital in the future of Europe is at stake.  It stands somewhat aside
from the general misery of Europe, and for that reason more perhaps can
be seen.

Not that Greece has not its poor--its appalling beggars, its miserable
war-cripples, its refugees.  An extensive strike was in progress in
February; it had to be settled by a threat of mobilization.  "Any
workman not in his place on Monday morning will be called up for the
next draft to Asia Minor" proved an effectual way of meeting demands
for higher pay.  Of the refugees, pity is first awakened for the
Russians.  Just outside the city of Athens, in old barracks, lie the
survivors of the tuberculosis hospitals evacuated from the Crimea--pale
and haggard as death--strange wisps of humanity, attended by devoted
Russian doctors and nurses; but fed on the scantiest of dry army
rations, short of medicine and comfort of all kinds.  One ward of dying
women with staring eyes, an unforgettable impression!

Whilst in Greece, every Englishman should visit our cemeteries in
Macedonia, and realize that we planted many thousands of our people
like seeds of a kind in this Grecian soil--that a flower of freedom
might grow.  On a wind-blown moor, in sight of Mt. Olympus and the sea,
ranges one regular array of British crosses--now of wood, but presently
to be of marble, with a stone of remembrance in their midst.  It will
be done well, in the British way.  Even the dead might be pleased by
what is being done.  But here is a strange phenomenon which seems to
make a mockery of our sacrifice.  Around this wonderful burying ground
are growing up a miscellany of alien crosses, of all shapes and sizes,
stuck in ugly heaps of upturned earth.  Every day a pit is dug and the
dead-cart arrives.  There is no service, no ceremony.  But forty or
fifty nearly naked bodies of women and children are shot into the pit
and covered over hastily and a cross put over them.  They are Russians,
the so-called Russian Greeks evacuated from the Caucasus last year, now
stricken with typhus and almost famished to death, some 12,000 of them
in old army huts, living promiscuously together and attended by one
desperate doctor and a few devoted sisters.  Europe is heaping her dead
around us.

This truly is not near Athens, but above the ruined ramshackle port of
Salonica, once a fair city, but now facing the sea with almost a mile
of fire-devastated streets.  The refugees are confined to their huts,
and are under a sort of military control.  All the people are
proletariat, and ought never to have been taken on board ships and
brought to Greece.  A few would have been killed by Bolsheviks, but not
so many as will die here by disease.  They cannot help Russia outside
of Russia, and it is beyond belief that little countries can look after
them indefinitely.  It is pathetic to look into their huts, strung from
wall to wall with crusts of bread, the floors multitudinous with people
and especially with children; every serious person engaged in the
hopeless task of destroying the lice.  Even if these people were at
once put on transports and taken to Russia half of their number would
be destined to death.

The Russian scenes and episodes in Greece foreshadow the immense
tragedy to be witnessed in Constantinople and on Gallipoli and at
Lemnos.  What touches the heart at Athens will ravage the whole being
at Constantinople.  But of that anon.  An episode at Athens on the day
of arrival had a spice of novelty in it which soon dulled on the palate
in a rapidity of repetition:

It is Sunday afternoon, and on the pavement of a quiet street stands a
mute and gloomy man with an armful of what appears to be paper-money.
He is holding it out in his two hands.

Impossible that it should be money!

But it is.  He is holding about half a million roubles in his hands.

Yes, they are for sale.  This for so much, this other for so much.

"I am sorry I have no Greek money, but please take five liras Italian
and give it to your comrades.  You must be very poor."

A smile appeared on the man's face.

"But you'll take some roubles," said he.

"Well, if you like, just a small note for remembrance.  It doesn't
matter what."

"Here's ten thousand roubles!"

And he handed out a handsome new note for that amount.  It fluttered
from his hand to the pavement and was caught on the wind.

"Pick it up quickly!  It's ten thousand roubles," one wished to cry
anxiously to the passer-by.

Only ten thousand!  And for something less than sixpence!

"Europe won't get right before the Russian business is straightened
out," said an American commercial traveller at the hotel.  He, for his
part, was engaged in the profitless task of disposing of large margins
of goods at fifty per cent below cost of production whilst the
leisurely, crafty Greeks kept him waiting from day to day in the
expectation of getting another ten per cent reduction.

"The whole world's out of gear," said the American in disgust.  "The
war and the Russian revolution are the cause.  They have ruined the
meaning of money."

I was to find his words true to this extent that at every capital the
European problem proved to be inextricably involved in the Russian
problem also.



EXTRA LEAVES

(i) _On Passports and "Circulation"_

Mr. H. G. Wells, in "The Salvaging of Civilization," has very
pleasantly contrasted the States of America with the States of
Europe--the Disunited States.  America, where you can travel by through
trains without showing passports, without customs-barriers, without
change of currency and without police-inquisition; America where there
is a free interchange of peoples and opinions, Europe lying in
unexampled obstruction and stagnation; America with its cheap post and
universally-used telephone service, Europe with its expensive,
ill-managed posts and local and limited and expensive and contumacious
telephone.  At the time of writing you can send a letter from San
Francisco to London for less than it costs to send a similar letter
from one London suburb to another.  In America you have inter-state
telephone service, you have the constant extension of an elaborate and
efficient system, whilst on our side of the water we intelligent
Europeans are asking to have the apparatus removed as a hindrance and a
failure.

Passports, railway-service, post, telephone, currency--all these may
fittingly be considered as aspects of one vital matter, namely,
circulation.  All living organic unity is dependent on circulation.  As
the health of the human body is dependent on an unobstructed
circulation of the blood, of the lymph, of the air, so the health of a
nation or a state or a group of states is dependent on the free
circulation of peoples, goods, opinions, money, and what not.  A bad
circulation results in "pins and needles," and we Europeans have so
inverted common sense as to indulge habitually in a policy of
pin-pricks.  A bad circulation results in cold feet, in local
stagnation, in lethargy.  No circulation results in death.  It means

  to die, and go we know not where,
  To lie in cold obstruction, and to rot.


It may almost be said that Shakespeare's formula for death describes
Europe--she goes she knows not where, she lies in cold obstruction and
she rots.

In reality it is not quite so bad as that.  Though there is local
paralysis of an alarming kind, there is also a sluggish circulation.
How impeded that circulation is let the traveller judge.

In January, 1921, I took a general passport for Europe.  The British
passport office facilitated my struggles.  For I am a well-known
struggler there and am now excused the preliminary heats.  I spent a
week getting visas in London.  I remembered his Excellency of Greece
had changed his address.  When the taxi-driver had located his new
office in Great Tower Street we found that he was having a holiday,
celebrating New Year's Day in orthodox Greek style about the fourteenth
of the month.  I returned in a few days' time and his Excellency was
celebrating Epiphany.  Next time I resolved to take a precautionary
twenty minutes at the telephone and find out whether there were any
other festivals on.  The Poles, I remember, asked for answers to
questions on two sheets of foolscap and charged thirty shillings for a
visa that went out of date before I could get to their country.  His
Excellency of Bulgaria I made several trips to Kensington to find, and
I gave him up as apparently non-existent.  With the representatives of
Latvia I had a troublous conversation and finally obtained another
useless visa for forty shillings.  The Germans would not give a visa as
I was entering Germany from the other side of Europe.  I spent about
ten pounds in London merely for the application of rubber stamps and
Consuls' signatures.  In the course of my travels that passport became
an appalling wilderness of visas and remarks climbing out of their
legitimate spaces to get mixed up with wife's signature and the colour
of the hair.  The most flattering of these remarks is no doubt that
affixed at Sofia station--"Not dangerous to society."  But I had to
show that passport not only to the police and the military of all
nations, but also before entering the gambling halls of Monte Carlo on
the one hand and before entering the gates of the Cathedral of Sancta
Sophia at Constantinople on the other.

One of the worst places is Vintimiglia on the Franco-Italian line.  The
French frank you out of their country; the Italians frank you in.  You
step into a separate chamber and are searched and asked particular and
impertinent questions.  Before leaving Italy the Italian police demand
your personal attendance and take a small due.  In some countries you
are required to obtain police permission to leave the country; in some
not.  No one tells you what you have to do.  You can take a ticket and
proceed gaily to the frontier and then be turned back.  This can happen
even in the enlightened State of Czechoslovakia.  Greece, however, is
one of the worst international offenders in this matter.  The traveller
has to spend a morning with the police, and he may be held up for some
days if Church Festivals intervene.  If he goes to the frontier without
the police stamp on his passport he gets sent back.  Two examples of
how this lack of international manners works out I append: A German
officer captured by the Russians in 1915, was sent to Siberia, escaped
and got somehow down to Tashkent, the ex-capital of Russian Central
Asia, struggled out of Asia and through Asia Minor in an utterly
indigent condition, and this year stowed away on a Greek ship and got
to Athens.  So great was the interest in his case that a subscription
was made for him publicly, and he was given a first-class ticket to
Berlin, and a place in the sleeping car was reserved.  Incredible as it
may seem, he was turned off the express at midnight at Ghevgeli and
returned to Salonica by slow train because his passport had not the
Greek police visa.  Of course he lost his sleeping-car accommodation
and resumed his journey homewards by ordinary trains.  Another case was
that of a young Roumanian returning from the Far East after endless
vicissitudes in the Koltchak and Bolshevik adventures.  He also was
turned off and had to go to Salonica to visit the police.

However, the British authorities could not throw stones at the Greeks.
It would be unwise.  Constantinople under British domination is one of
the worst places of obstruction in Europe.  You need a military pass to
get in; you need a good deal more than that to get out.  The Australian
Colonel in charge of the work going on at the Dardanelles gave me a
letter to G.H.Q. Constantinople, asking D.M.I. (we still talk of
D.M.I.'s) to put my passport through quickly.  Here I was met by one of
those drawling incapables who make England loathed on the Continent.
"I--don't--really--see," says he, and pauses, and looks at my
weather-beaten cap and tramping boots--"I don't really see----"
Inability is a guiding sign of the administration.

I went to the Allied Passport Bureau, British Section, where a tippable
man was keeping a queue of all the rabble of the East, and I was to
come tomorrow morning.  When the British section had given the visa I
went to the French, then to the Italians.  One loses one's patience,
being kept waiting so long, and one breaks into a room sometimes before
one is asked.  It was so with the Italians.  I stepped suddenly into
the room of the man who had to initial my pass, and he was tenderly
embracing a charming brunette.  He signed tacitly and rapidly and I was
gone. . . .  After the Italians you seek out the Greeks who are in an
entirely different district.  Outside the Consulate is a string of
photographers with cameras and ricketty chairs.  The Greeks require
photographs--you sit down on a chair on the open roadway, and in a
quarter of an hour you have a sheaf of wet pictures of yourself by
which it certainly would be hard to recognize you.  Inside the Greek
Consulate rages a terrific hurly-burly.  You wait and perspire in a
vapour of garlic. . . .  Then for the Bulgars.  The Bulgars have
certainly hit on a novelty.  The rubber stamp is applied to your
passport in one office and the date is written but the visa has to be
signed in another office a mile away.  Are we then through with
everything?  No.  The Orient Express requires a doctor's certificate
that you are free from vermin and infection.  For this the doctors
naturally charge a heavy fee.  For my part I refused to see a doctor
and carried the matter off with a high hand at the railway station,
where they put me down as "officer in mufti."  Apparently officers are
exempted from all this.  It is only if you happen to be one of the
ordinary dirty and despised free citizens of Europe and not a member of
any Commission or Red Cross or Y.M.C.A., or military unit--that you go
through all this.  Europe for the man in uniform!

So useful is the military uniform that some civilians carry their
ex-khaki attire in an extra suit-case and put it on when they want to
get along.  I met an Englishman, ex-officer, in this get-up in the
Serbian Constituent Assembly.  He could beard whom he liked in
Jugo-Slavia clad in an old uniform with ribbons.  I heard of another in
Austria who was arrested at the chief station in Vienna, having four
millions of Austrian crowns on his person.  Austrian crowns are worth
much more in London than in Vienna, and it is illegal to take large
quantities out of the country.  But an observant speculator had
concluded that a British uniform would give him immunity from search.
In this probably he was right, but he had overdone it.

I found the Serbs and the Czechs to be the best people over passports
in Central Europe.  In Western Europe Belgium is most enlightened,
having practically abolished the visa.  France is striving to follow
Belgium's lead.  England in this matter, as in the matter of her
charges for postage, telephones, and railway fares, seems to have
completely lost that practical common sense which in the past has
distinguished her from other nations.  She charges foreigners heavily,
keeps them waiting, and treats them impolitely.  From Americans, for
instance, there is a chorus of complaint on the ground of incivility.
Not that Americans shine in this matter of passports for their own
country.  America sets Europe an unenlightened example of red-tape and
venality.

What then, is the game in Europe?  Why do free men and women spend
golden forenoons in stuffy rooms, to fill in forms, to be brow-beaten
by police and porters and clerks, treated like criminals or paupers, or
unemployed come for an allowance?  Perhaps they are paid for it?  No,
they actually have to pay, and pay heavily, suffering as it were injury
on the top of insult.

It was partly explained to me in Munich by the British Consul-General.
At Munich there is a Polish Consul and Vice-Consul, but there has been
nothing to do, Poland having remarkably little business in Bavaria.
The post languished.  The Vice-Consul was recalled; the clerk was
dismissed.  One surmised the Consul himself might go and hand over his
minute business to some other consulate which, no doubt, would have
done it cheaply.  But no.  One day a solution occurred to the Consul.
All Polish subjects in Bavaria ought to have Polish passports from the
Polish Consul.  Police orders to that effect were therefore issued.
All who claimed to be Polish, or to have been born in those parts of
Germany or Austria now Polish territory, were to put in an appearance.
They would receive passports and would be duly charged.

But, having registered the whole Polish population, what then?

"Oh, I only give them visas for three months," says the Consul.  "Every
quarter they must come again."

So he converted his consulate into a revenue-paying establishment.
What does it matter about the public?  It is only asked to give one day
in ninety to these formalities and has the other eighty-nine to itself.

The Polish passport office in Berlin fully confirms this point of view.
Here are inordinate crowds whom politics have separated from kith and
kin, trying to get passes to go home, to live, to exist.  The
door-keeper smokes a cigar; the first clerk makes eyes at the women
applicants, the girl clerks suck sweets, the Consulate clock runs on,
and you pay hundreds of German marks each for the upkeep of the
business.

The Poles, or indeed, the British, or the Americans, for we are all
tarred by the same brush, might take a lesson from the Czecho-Slovaks,
who have at Vienna a bureau which will get your passport visa and your
railway ticket for you, and reserve you a room in a hotel in Prague
without any fee.  The enlightened Government of this new republic
understands that that is the best propaganda for their country which
can be done.  Not that Czecho-Slovakia does not charge for a visa and
charge for permission to go out of the country.  At Cheb I nearly
missed my train whilst an official was weighing up in his mind how much
he should charge for allowing me to go through without a visa.

Another aspect of the passport trouble in Europe is local nationalism
which at Budapest takes the form of insisting on asking you questions
in Hungarian and refusing to understand any other tongue.  As you have
to spend hours with the police in the Magyar capital before you obtain
permission to stay there and again before you obtain permission to go
away, this is peculiarly distressing.

Under such circumstances is it surprising that there is stagnation of
peoples in Europe?  This stagnation is great, and it is noticeable in
almost every great city of the continent.  It is a rich time for the
hotel-keepers.  There is scarcely a capital in Europe where you can
reckon on finding a room without trouble.  The following experiences
are symptomatic enough: at Rome I visited about twenty hotels; shut out
for the night, got into a "strange place" about three a.m.; Stuttgart,
out all night; Sofia, visited all hotels, all full, slept in guard-room
of town-patrol; Sofia, second time, shared a room with an officer;
Vienna, toured city in a cab and found nothing; Warsaw, spent nine
hours going from hotel to hotel, got a room for a thousand-mark tip.
In Constantinople you can find cases of three families in one
apartment.  Wherever you go you are going to have adventures in finding
a room, unless you are an officer or a member of an Allied Commission,
or belong to the Red Cross or Starving Children's Fund, or some
organization that has facilities for looking out for itself.

Poor old Europe!  She was more of a unity in the days when we were "an
armed camp."  We have broken the power of militarism.  There has been a
revolution in Russia.  A British statesman in the House of Commons, in
1917, said it was bliss to be alive, and to be young was very heaven.
Some millions of young men died before Armistice Day, 1918.  Since then
there has been great work clearing away barbed-wire entanglements along
the old front.  But it seems to be a nightmare task: entanglements
multiply upon us faster than we can clear the old ones away.  You
cannot get across Europe because of the obstructions: you cannot
circulate.



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

II. FROM CONSTANTINOPLE (I)

It has been a bleak early spring with snow on the uplands of Thrace.
For those who travel from Paris to Constantinople on that Western
moving shuttle, the Orient Express, there would be nothing to trouble
the mind unpleasantly--except in that the more comfortable we are, the
more we demand and the more we grumble.  But if you travel by the
ordinary unheated train, where even the first-class carriages are more
or less bereft of glass and have the windows loosely boarded up with
bits of old packing-cases, you taste something of the persistent
northern wind which blows down sleet and rain from the Black Sea, from
Russia, as it were Russian unhappiness it was blowing down.

You arrive at Sofia at midnight in torrents of rain.  You take a cab
and visit every hotel, large or small, in the Bulgarian capital, and
are refused.  People are already sleeping three or four in a room,
sleeping in outhouses and bath-rooms, refugee Bulgars from the lost
Bulgar territories, refugee Turks, refugee Russians.  You return to the
station and it is closed for the night, and you have a wordy discussion
with the eternal cabman as to whether you shall pay a hundred or two
hundred francs--Bulgarian francs or levas which are, however, worth a
bare three-farthings each to-day.  You find shelter in a wayside café
which is half café, half guard-house for the town patrol.  Soldiers are
stretched out snoring on the floor.  Five levas to sit up, ten to lie
down!  By that time of night you are fain to lie down.

A dreary journey on to Philippopolis and Svilengrad, with the wind
lashing the train, lashing it all the way to the Chataldja lines and
the zone of Allied control.  Eight passport examinations, eight
examinations of your baggage, plentiful two, three, and four-hour
stops, a land of ruined railway stations and bare hills, and only late
on the second evening after Sofia do you creep into the imperial city.

It is Stamboul at night, agleam with lights, running with mud, flocking
with dense crowds.  You change some money to piastres at a small booth,
and your pocket is at once picked--a common experience.  The Pera tram
is so crowded that you escape being asked for a fare, which is
fortunate, seeing that you have no Turkish money.  So across the
wonderful bridge on which all the nations of the world are seen
walking, up to the so-called pleasant heights of Pera and its hotels
and palaces.  Here for a dirty little room one pays more than in a
first-class hotel in New York.  You are fortunate if you find even that
soon.  A Greek-owned hotel.  You scan the names of the occupants--they
are of all nationalities of Europe.  Russians and Armenians seem most
to abound.  There appears to be a Scotsman among them, a Mr. Fraser,
but he is a Scot resident in Smyrna and smokes a narghile every evening
after supper.  The lounge of the hotel looks like a crèche for the
children of refugees.  But couples are seen here on the couches
interested only in themselves, and a long-haired Russian is at the
piano playing Scriabine devotedly and with deep concentration, as if
the boisterousness of the children were unheard.

Constantinople has five times as many people as it can house, a city
now of appalling unhappiness and misery, and of a concomitant luxury
and waste.  A scene at night: two children, a boy and a girl, lie
huddled together on the pavement sleeping whilst the rain beats down
upon them.  The crowd keeps passing, keeps passing, and some step over
them, many glance questioningly downward, but all pass on.  No one
stops.  I stood at a corner and watched.  Then I walked up to the
children and wakened them and tried to make them speak.  But they
stared with their pale faces and said nothing.  At a neighbouring
pastry-cook's I bought two cakes and brought them to them, and stirred
them up to take them, which they did eagerly, each grasping tightly a
cake in the little hand.  I stopped a Russian woman who was hesitating
as she passed.  "There are many," said she.  "It is quite common.  You
see plenty babies lying in the rain.  When you come?  You come off a
ship? . . .  The only way to help them is give them piastres."  I did
that, and by that time a little crowd had gathered and every one began
to fret and give a little money to them.  So the crowd changed its
mind, and the children began to have little sheaves of paper-money in
their hands.  And still they lay in the rain and no one could take them
in.

The Russians have got Constantinople at last.  It is an irony of Fate.
There are a hundred thousand of them there, the best blood of Russia,
and the most charming and delightful people in Europe in themselves,
though now almost entirely destitute of means.  A large Russian army
without arms is not very far away, and a Russian generalissimo without
power stays in his yacht at Galata.  The great city has been outwardly
transformed by the Russians who seem at first to have taken over all
the business and to have dispossessed innumerable Turks and Greeks.
Russian is the predominant language; all the best restaurants and many
of the shops seem to be Russian, and Russian pedlars in scores cry
their wares in the streets.  Greek and Turkish business is modest and
retiring, but everything Russian is advertised by large artistic signs.
The gleaming lights of innumerable "Lotto Parlours" catch the eye, you
pass with the rolling crowd into the cabaret, the music-hall, the
theatre, the café, the restaurant, the book-shop--all Russian.  You see
the establishments of Russian doctors, lawyers, dentists,
dancing-masters.  In an improvised wooden hut you see a celebrated
portrait-painter sitting, ready to paint you whilst you wait or execute
commissions of any kind.  The restaurants all have Russian names and
sometimes refer back to business left behind in Russia--the restaurant
"Birzha" from Rostof, "Kievsky Ugolok" from Kiev, "Veliky Moskovsky
Kruzhok," the "Yar," and the like.  These are very tastefully arranged
and the cooking is excellent, being under the supervision of celebrated
Russian chefs.  Thus at the "Kievsky Ugolok" it is well known that the
cook of Prince Vorontsof is in charge, and the restaurant does not
merely live by reputation but an excellence of cuisine testifies in
itself to some master-hand.  The waitresses at most of these Russian
establishments are often women of society, and some of them very
beautiful in the simplicity of uniform.  There is a fascinating added
pleasure in being waited upon by such gracious women, but the heart
aches for the fate of some of them.  On each table is a ticket with the
name and patronymic of the waitress, thus, Tatiana Mihailovna, or
Sophia Vladimirovna.  They are on a level with those they serve, and
the women embrace them, the men kiss their hands.  Naturally there are
no such things as tips; service is charged for in the bill.  Elegance
mingles with melancholy.  Russians meet and talk endlessly, and sigh
for Russia, and the Russian music croons the night long from the
musicians' gallery or orchestra.

The saddest shops are those which, no doubt, belong mostly to Armenians
and Spanish Jews, where "valuables" are exposed, the miscellaneous
collections of the things the Russians have sold or wish to sell.  Here
are rings, lockets, bracelets, fur-coats and wraps, gold vases,
trinket-cases, odd spoons of Caucasian silver, cigarette-holders,--like
so many locks of hair cut from diverse humanity.  Here lie intimate
possessions, prized, not likely to be sold, seemingly quietly
reproachful under the public gaze, baptismal crosses, jewelled girdles,
gloves, Paris blouses, English costumes.  The refugees must sell all
that they have, and some have sold all.  I met the wife of a colonel of
Life Guards.  She was dressed in a cotton skirt, a cream-coloured
"woolly," a waterproof, and a wretched cheap collar of fur.  Once she
never stepped out of her house but into a car.  Now in weather-beaten
thin old boots she must tramp from place to place over the cobbles,
living in one room with her family, washes the clothes herself, scrubs
the floor, has no money.  The women have won the unbounded admiration
of the British in Constantinople.  For pluck these Russian women would
be hard to rival.  But what a destiny!  They spend their money, they
sell their jewels and rings, they sell their clothes, they take out
trays of chocolates to sell in the streets and shiver at the
street-corners; to feed their children they sell more clothes.
Hundreds of cases have been discovered in which the women are confined
to their rooms, having sold almost all their wearing apparel, and
having nothing in which to appear on the streets.

The refugee peasantry and working class are mostly confined in
barbed-wire internment camps outside the city, and guarded by
Sengalese.  Twenty per cent get permission to go into the city each
day.  The seventy or eighty thousand indigent Russians in
Constantinople belong mostly to the upper classes.  Very many belong to
Petrograd society, and are people who fled to the Crimea and the
Caucasus, were caught up in the Deniken or Wrangel panic, and
transported hither.  They are well-educated people, speaking English
and French, and well-read and accomplished.  But how little are those
modern accomplishments when it comes to the elemental realities of
life.  A beautiful young countess is employed in a bakery to sell
bread, and is lucky.  An erstwhile lion and ex-general has a job in a
laundry.  Pride intervenes only to stop them begging.  How few are the
beggars!  But you see the nicest of girls with pinched white faces
trying to sell _loukoum_.  Even hard Scotsmen passing by are fain to
give them money and take nothing in return.

You see the strangest vendors--children standing at a street corner
trying to sell a blouse and a pair of boots, tatterdemalions trying to
dispose of unsaleable rags, ex-students with heaps of textbooks trying
to sell to those students who, despite everything, are still carrying
on.

When new boat-loads of refugees arrive, the street-selling is naturally
augmented by a more hopeful crowd, and it was possible to see one day
little bears with scarlet ribbons round their necks being offered for
sale on the pavement, tiny baby-bears with pink noses and sprawling
feet, fed with milk from wine bottles:

"_Dvadsat lira, dvadsat lira!_"

Alas, the temptations are great.  Need becomes more and more incessant.
Starvation stares thousands in the face.  One sees those who keep their
heads up still, but we lose sight of many who are utterly cast down and
lost.  Many a Russian has gone down here in this great city and been
lost, vanished into the hideous underworld of the Levant.  They sell
all their jewels and then sell the last jewel of all.  In the cabarets
and night-halls of low amusement there is nude dancing and drink,
lascivious Greeks, drunken American sailors capable of enormities of
behaviour, British Tommies with the rolling eye, "seeing the world and
being paid for it" as the posters say.  The public places are a
scandal, and the private dens got up in all sorts of styles with
rose-coloured shaded lights and divans and cushions for abandonment to
drugs and sensual affections must be explored individually to be
described.  A part of old Russia has come to Constantinople--to die.

In charge of this imbroglio is a British General.  The city is under
Allied control, and is patrolled by the troops of four nations, but the
British is the main authority.  G.H.Q. Constantinople occupies a large
barracks which faces a parade-ground.  Indian sentries march to and fro
outside and enjoy thus serving their King, a picture of polish and
smartness.  Facing the barracks is a smaller building called "The
Jockey Club" where the Commander-in-Chief himself and many of his staff
meet to lunch or dine, play billiards, or chat pleasantly over their
liqueurs in English style.

"What a pleasure it is to see our fellows in the streets so clean and
well-behaved, with no interest except in football, and to compare them
with the loafers you see everywhere," says General M.  "One thing the
British Empire can thank the Jews for," says Capt. C., "is that they've
ruined Russia."  "What's the matter with the Russians," says stout Col.
C., "is that there's no punch in them; they're a helpless sort of
people, from a general to a private soldier, it's all the same; they
cannot cross a road unless you take them by the hand and lead them
across."  "What's the matter with Col. C. is that he warmed a seat in
the War Office all the war," says Capt. T.  "If he had ever faced a
tenth of what the Russians have faced he'd talk to a different tune."
"What I dislike about them is that you see the rich ones doing
themselves well in the restaurants whilst other poor beggars are
starving outside," says another who does not like the Russians now.
"The French aristocrats went to their deaths with a smile," says
another.  "What do you think?  Oh, but you've got a soft spot in your
heart for the Russians."  "I have a golden rule.  I think it is in the
worst of taste to say anything against a people who have suffered so
much as the Russians.  And what should we be doing in their place--if
the pride of England had been broken, and we also were all in exile
eating the bread of strangers.  Should we present as brave a front?"
But how difficult it is to put oneself in another person's place in the
imagination, and how unreadily it is done!

Still, loathing other nations is a favourite after-dinner occupation of
English people, and need not be taken too seriously.  As a matter of
actual behaviour, none in practice are kinder to the Russians than
these same who speak against them.  Kindness goes a long way; practical
common sense would go further.  Most of the Russians want permission to
go to other parts of Europe.  The British command is theoretically in
favour of letting the Russians go.  It is aware of the danger and
distress of having a hundred thousand starving men and women on its
hands.  But it cannot extricate itself from the tangle of international
red-tape which smothers Constantinople.  On the other hand it actually
allows thousands of new refugees to come in and make the situation
worse.  The task of governing the city is so complicated that there is
constant irritation.  The rivalry of the French with ourselves, and of
the Turks and Greeks to one another causes endless trouble.  By herself
England would, no doubt, govern Constantinople well, cleanly and
honourably, but in concert with French, Italians, and Greeks there is
not much evidence of a strong hand or a clear mind.  There is a strong
sentiment in favour of handing the reins back to the "old Turk," as he
is lovingly called, and an equally strong one in favour of unique
control.  "We do not come till we are invited, but then we usually
stay," is the formula.

The Greeks certainly still hope that they will hold the city.  If the
Turks come back and the Greeks remain at Chataldja, and the Allies for
economy's sake go away, it will be a great temptation to the Hellenes
to try and assist Providence in the fulfilment of the outstanding
prophecy by bringing Constantine to Constantine's city.

Now, before entering the Cathedral of Sancta Sophia you must pass
Turkish sentries and show your passport.  Otherwise you cannot get in.
The Turk has sworn that no Greek shall enter, and in order to keep the
Greeks out he is ready to hold up the whole world.  One day no doubt
the Turk will be turned out from his stolen mosque--be it by Greeks, be
it by Russians, be it by Bulgars.  The war has weakened the Turk more
than is generally understood.  Turkey does not stand where it did in
the nineteenth century, and cannot do so again.  The vital capital of
Turkey has become Angora.  The Kemalists are the force of Turkey, and
they are Asiatic.  In fact, Turkey has now been turned "bag and
baggage" out of Europe, and the Turks are playing a new rôle in
politics and international life.

Pierre Loti, in his book entitled "La Mort de notre chère France en
Orient," gives a sentimental defence of the Turk, deplores our English
rule, and urges France to endeavour to take charge, making the whole
Mediterranean what it has been once before, a French lake.  The air of
the many blue soldiers in Constantinople, and the continual clash of
British and French authority in the city suggest that Loti really
speaks for France.  There are, therefore, at least four powers which
wish to have the key of Europe and the control of the ways of life
between Asia Minor and the West.  The one power which now does not
enter into men's considerations is the one which both traditionally and
economically is most concerned--and that is Russia.



LETTERS OF TRAVEL:

III. FROM CONSTANTINOPLE (II)

A night's journey in a trawler brings you to the Dardanelles--the
outermost vital significance of dominion at Constantinople.  By the use
of mines an invincible protection is easily thrown out.  By the simple
closing of the straits Russian trade is throttled, and even all the
powers of imperial Russia before the great war could not open a way.  No
wonder that all ambitious Russians desired Constantinople and the
Straits.  If it ever becomes possible for some small power to stand in
Russia's way again, there is bound to be a recrudescence of Russia's
passion to go south.  At the Dardanelles, however, there remains Allied
control--British men-of-war, French black troops, Greek governors, and
the rest.  All boats are challenged coming in, none going out, and
otherwise there is freedom of the seas.

A sentimental interest which is more than usual directs Britain's gaze,
and especially the gaze of the Empire, to Gallipoli, and that is the
interest of sacrifice.  Here is the scene of a great and glorious attempt
in war, and here lie many thousands of our dead.

The flag of Britain flies over Anzac, and every 25th of April (Anzac Day)
at Anzac Bay and throughout Australia and New Zealand, services are held
to commemorate the landing in 1915, and the bold attempt to win through,
to beat the Turk and liberate the Russian.  It is all pure poetry now,
the wrecked lighters stuck in the sand, the sweep of Ocean Beach, the
rounds of Suvla Bay.  You see it one day, and all the sea is impotently
angry, raging against a shore which does not reply; you see it another,
and it is lapped in an eternal peace; you see it as it is going to look
hundreds of years hence, when all the cemeteries are fitted out in stone,
and the cypresses have grown around them, and the British have gone home,
and no one visits Gallipoli any more--serene, untroubled.

You run from the once bullet-swept water's edge to the slight shelter of
a sand-bank, and walk by the narrow sap into "Shrapnel Valley," still
strewn with old water-bottles and broken rum-jars, by a trench then to
"Monash Valley," and there probably you start coveys of partridge, which
abound now in great numbers, or you start the silver fox or ever-present
hare.  Wild life has returned as if there never had been a sound of gun.
You walk the path up which the rations went in the old days, and see the
litter still.  You see the great charred patches where stores were burned
before the evacuation.  How untouched all seems between these giant
crags!  How vividly you see all that they saw, the grandeur of Nature,
the glimmer of the sea!  You can still smell the Dardanelles expedition,
and tread in old footsteps which hardly have been worn away.

It is an astonishing position, dominated by vast inaccessible ridges.
Leaving the so-aptly named "Dead Man's Gully" on the left, you look up to
the "Sphinx," that perfect position of the sniper, climb to "Battleship
Hill," and then to Chunuk Bair.  In an hour or so you may walk all the
way we ever got.  And we did not need to have got much further than
Chunuk Bair.  Down below on the one hand is the sea where the men-of-war
lay and thundered with their guns.  But across and in front gleams in the
sunlight what was the Promised Land, the roofs of Chanak and the purple
narrows of the Hellespont.

The New Zealanders will have their special monument here beside the
cemeteries where their many dead are lying.  They took Chunuk Bair, and
unsupported, pressed on to win the day, only to be outnumbered and met by
terrible odds of swarming Turks.  You may pause now and pick an anemone
in that terrible no-man's land, where the skeletons of our old dead,
picked clean by the jackals, were found otherwise untouched when we came
again in the November of '18.  You can see the damped, slightly
discoloured patches where dead men lay, and even find still now and then
a human bone--of friend or foe, who now can tell?

We have gathered together the bones and have buried them all, be they
English or Turk, and have decently cleaned up Gallipoli--as Englishmen
would.  Australians and New Zealanders work there now with simple
devotion and energy, and are astonishing the Turks, who ask, "If they do
so much for the dead, what will they do for the living?"

A few army huts on the height above Kellia Bay mark the headquarters
where Col. Hughes and his Anzac staff are living.  From ever-windy hills
they look across the Narrows to the wan house where Byron lived.  Gangs
of Greeks are working for them.  The extremity of Gallipoli Peninsula is
as it were an imperial estate, and every day a round of work goes on at
Helles, at Greenhill, at Suvla, and the rest.  With the coming of summer
the ships are coming with the marble, and the stone slabs will climb the
hills where once our fellows struggled upward.  It is a fine undertaking.
No ranks are distinguished in the gravestones, and all are equal in
sacrifice.  But dominating everything will be a tall white obelisk to be
put up on the highest point of Helles, visible to all ships passing
through the Gate and going forth upon the seas.  Australia will be there.
England might lose its interest in the Dardanelles--but the Empire never.
The younger men have their eyes upon it.  And what a contrast the
Laodicean atmosphere of G.H.Q., and the frankness of an Australian and
New Zealand mess!

A certain widow of a brave general who died in the attack, has, through
wealth and influence, obtained permission to erect a personal monument to
her husband on Gallipoli.  If this is carried out it will be greatly
resented by the Australians, who say, "If wealth can purchase a monument,
there are plenty of rich Australians who would readily erect memorials to
their gallant kith and kin who perished here."  A pity if the equality
and simplicity of the Gallipoli cemeteries is broken into.

An exchange of hospitality with H.M.S. "Tumult," standing off Chanak,
kept us in touch with the outside world, giving us the wireless messages
each day.  Thus we heard of the application of the "sanctions" to
Germany, the conclusion of the trade treaty with Soviet Russia, the fall
of Batum, and other items of world interest.  The first officer told us
how they stood off at Sevastopol and took on Russian wounded, the most
appalling cases of suffering where there was never a murmur from the men,
and the Russian sisters sat with them all day and all night with a
never-tiring devotion.  The Commander and every one were strongly
Russophile--won to them by personal contact with the Russians, and that
although the ship "stank like a pole-cat" before it could bring the
refugees to port.

The Commander very kindly gave me a passage to Gallipoli, where a large
part of Wrangel's army was encamped.  We tore up the channel at an
unexampled pace, the cleft north wind driving angrily past as the
destroyer rived its way through.  And in an hour we came to the
ramshackle capital and main port of the peninsula, where a host of
khaki-clad soldiers stared at us from the quay.

General Wrangel's army numbered about eighty thousand men when it was
transported from the Crimea, and about ten thousand had left him for one
cause and another at the time when the French presented the
ultimatum--"Go to Brazil or back to Soviet Russia, or we shall cut off
the rations on April the first."  Wrangel's war material, his guns and
machine-guns and ammunition, were given mostly to the Georgians, who
promptly lost it to the Bolsheviks or sold it to Kemal.  The Greeks
certainly complain that the Kemalist army, after being almost devoid of
artillery, suddenly became possessed of it in a mysterious way, and
shelled them with French shells.  The Greek set-back at Smyrna is no
doubt partly attributable to the disposal of Wrangel's weapons.  His
ships and stores were mostly commandeered by the French, and the value of
them set off against the rations supplied to the army.

France probably thought originally that she could yet employ these forces
in a further adventure against the Bolsheviks.  Her idea doubtless was to
throw Wrangel's army into the scale on another front of war whenever
opportunity should arise.  Britain, in refusing to support Wrangel,
actually cut herself free from an enormous amount of material
responsibility in case of Wrangel's failure.

Wrangel's army was not aided by us as a fighting force, and it could not
as a matter of policy be aided by us in its tragical plight after the
débâcle.  It had to depend on the French.

Wrangel, it is said, had a guarantee from the French that they would
ration his army when they took upon them the transport to Gallipoli and
Lemnos.  France would no doubt have continued to do so but that the
conclusion of the trading treaty between Russia and England showed that
the external fight against the Bolsheviks was over, and, indeed, put
France in a highly disadvantageous position.  For as long as France
retained General Wrangel she could not reasonably hope to enter into
trading relationship with Soviet Russia.

The position of the army was greatly complicated by the hundreds of
thousands of civil refugees who all, more or less, looked to Wrangel as
their leader, and grouped themselves around him--all of them, however, in
an equally parlous plight.

Curiosity to see this army took me to Gallipoli.  There has been very
little sympathy in England for armed intervention in Russia; the Ironside
expedition, the Judenitch folly, the vast undertakings with regard to
Koltchak and Denikin, were highly unpopular with the masses if indulged
in by society.  This was not because English people affected Bolshevism,
but because they dislike military adventures in the domestic affairs of
other nations--and also because the nation was not taken into the
confidence of the War Office in this matter.  Even the name of Wrangel
has been somewhat obnoxious.  When the Bolsheviks seized the Crimea there
was even a sense of relief in some quarters--the _coup de grâce_ had been
given to the counter-revolutionary adventure.

France, however, had felt that in backing Wrangel she could not lose very
much if he failed, but might reap a golden reward should Fate play into
his hands.  If a favourable internal revolution had occurred whilst
Wrangel held the Crimea, France would have been the favoured friend of
the new Government of Russia, but Britain would naturally have been out
in the cold.  And France did not give Wrangel much material support.  It
is a mistake to think that France spent any very remarkable amount on the
Wrangel expedition.  But France has been much annoyed at the subsequent
trouble it has cost her.  And, whereas you will find individual British
officers with an unstinted admiration and affection for the Russians, you
find little on the French side but cold politeness or contempt.

An interesting figure is Col. Treloar, ex-Captain in the Coldstream
Guards, a soldier of fortune, now serving in Wrangel's army from pure
devotion to the Russians.  Appalled at the tragedy of the Russians, here
is a man who does not mind speaking out.  He was with Denikin before
Wrangel, and explained that General's downfall by the scoundrels and
incapables by whom he was surrounded, and a curious type of English
soldier in the rear capable of selling vast quantities of supplies.
Wrangel fell because the enemy was infinitely better equipped.  The
barrage in the Crimea was more like that of a grand attack in France than
anything previously encountered in the Russian fighting.  In Treloar's
opinion, Wrangel's army still remained an army, and should be granted an
"honourable return to Russia," i.e., be put down somewhere on the Black
Sea shore with arms and ammunition, and left to make what terms they
could with their enemies.

At Gallipoli thirty thousand troops with fifteen hundred women and five
hundred children were put down.  Some of these are housed in the town,
but most are in tents on the hills outside.  The American Red Cross does
very remarkable work ministering to the sick and to the women and
children.  In general one has learned to distrust huge charitable
organizations, but they do upon occasion give opportunity to extremely
kind and simple-hearted men and women to give their life and energy to
suffering humanity.  Such a case is that of Major Davidson at Gallipoli,
and another that of Capt. MacNab at Lemnos, where men are working not
merely for a salary but for sheer love of their fellow-men.

Davidson belonged to the Middle West and had probably seldom been out of
it before.  He breathed American and was as pure a type as you could
find.  Nothing of the cynicism of Europe about him, for he was that
old-fashioned and extra-lovable product, the God-fearing man.  He was
kind to every one, and had the natural religion of being kind.  His
door-keeper and sub-clerk at the main hut was an old Russian aristocrat
with a face that reminded one of Alexander III.  "Well, Count?" Davidson
would query when he saw him, and smile cheeringly; "anything fresh?"  The
Count had a rather characterless and cruel lower lip like a bit of
rubber.  He was capable of a great deal, but he was quiet and obedient in
the presence of Davidson as if he had found a Tsar again.

"We must have a Tsar," said the Count to me.  "But he must be terrible.
What the Russian people need is cruelty--not machine-gun bullets and
shells, but cruelty.  They do not mind dying.  The whip must be used!"

The gospel of the knout!  His countess bade me pay no attention when he
said things of that kind.  He was in reality the kindest of men and could
not bear to look on suffering.

He had lost lands, position, wealth, power of all kinds, in the old
Russia.  He had something against the Russian people.  In a curious way
he disapproved of Davidson's kindness.  A man in rags would come in for a
pair of pants.  Davidson would give him a pair out there and then.

"He does not understand us Russians.  He should make him come five times
and then not give it him.  That is the only way to get respected."

Davidson took me over the whole camp to all his hospitals, and showed all
there was to be seen.  Wrangel's army seemingly arrived with nothing.
One might have expected to see a hopeless rabble, all dirty and living in
rags and filth, insubordinate and unkempt.  How surprising to find the
very opposite--an army apparently of picked men, very clean,
well-disciplined and orderly, living in an encampment on which every
human care was lavished.  Apparently the lower their hopes the greater
had become their discipline and _amour propre_.  On a daily ration of
half-a-pound of bread and two ounces of very inferior "mince," the men
still preserved the stamina to do daily drill, dress with care, and keep
their tents in order.  The tents had been mostly lent by the American Red
Cross, and the beds inside were improvised from dried weeds.  In the
large green marquees, officers' quarters were divided off from the men's
by evergreens.  In the hospital tents, little wooden bedsteads had been
framed everywhere of rough wood cut from the trees with sabres and
bayonets.  In other tents regimental chapels had been arranged, and
religious paintings on cotton stretched upon hanging military blankets.
Stove-pipes for fires had been made of old "Ideal" milk-tins stuck to one
another in tens and twelves, with the bottoms all cut out.  Outside the
various headquarters, behold formal gardens of various-coloured stones,
new cypress avenues planted, a rostrum in a sort of park for Wrangel to
make his speeches from, new-built sentry-boxes with pleasant shades, a
sun-clock, and the like.

The soldiers mostly wear their medals, and naturally have a large number
of them.  Each has a war-history which all might envy to possess and none
envy to go through.  Questioned individually, one found them loyal to
their chief, but complaining bitterly of their rations.  Not many were
preparing for Brazil or for a return to Russia.  Their future presented
itself as a strange and difficult problem--both collectively and
individually.

Of the people in the married quarters one did not obtain such a
favourable impression.  Rooms were divided into three parts by hanging
army blankets, and a family was in each part.  Windows were lacking,
insects very plentiful, and dirt unavoidable.  Here were a number of
typhus hospitals in charge of the Red Cross, a children's feeding-station
and nursery, a lying-in hospital.  Two mosques were used as hospitals and
presented a remarkable picture, the patients lying in a circular group
amid columns covered with Arabic inscriptions.  Russian doctors were at
work, and disease had been well stemmed.  Mortality was very low.  Only
when the hot weather comes--if the army is still here--one fears for the
ravages of dysentery and fever.

Of course there were discontented spirits in the army, and some who
talked of marching on Constantinople should rations cease, but there were
only a few rifles and little ammunition left in the men's hands.  By
sheer weight of numbers they might achieve something, but Constantinople
is a hundred miles away, and that is a great distance for famished men to
go.

Two nights lying on the deck of one of Wrangel's transports brought me
back to Constantinople.  This vessel was controlled by French officers,
but captained by one-eyed Admiral Tsaref, of what was once the imperial
Fleet of Russia.  She did five knots an hour when the weather was fine;
the railings at the stern had been carried away, and many parts of the
ship were tied together with rope.  The five French officers on board
each had a cabin to himself; Russian officers, American Red Cross, and
myself, slept where we could.  The French also had their meals served to
them separately.  Nevertheless, we were a jolly company on board, and
played an absurd wild game of solitaire each night, and the only tedium
was the slow way we splashed like a lame duck up the narrow seas.

In the harbour in Constantinople in the morning a bright sun shone on
four hulks packed from stem to stern with Georgians, the latest comers to
Imperial City.  They waited and stared whilst we slowly steamed to the
French base.  Then in a short while we were in the great capital again
amid the surging masses of humanity.

I was asked by Count Tolstoy, the aide-de-camp, and also by Treloar, if I
would see the General, and accordingly did so, boarding a caique at
Galata, and being rowed to his yacht "Luculle."  First I saw the Baroness
Wrangel, a bright, bird-like lady, trim and neat and cheerful, speaking
English like one of us.  Baron Wrangel is a tall, gaunt, and very
remarkable-looking personage.  His Cossack uniform with ivory-topped
cartridge-cases intensifies the length of his body and of his face.  He
has all the medals there are, but only wears two, a Vladimir Cross at the
centre of his collar, like a brooch, and a Georgian on his chest.  His
head is long, and his cheeks seem to curve inwards from his temples.
There is sparse grey hair on his whitish scalp, and lifting his
full-sleeved arm he scratched his head with an open penknife whilst he
talked.

In a strong military voice he said that two million Russians outside
Russia acknowledged him as their leader.  The French alternatives of
Brazil or "Sovdepia" he considered shameful.  Soviet Russia he always
referred to as "Sovdepia"--the new name for it.  Exodus to Brazil without
preliminary conditions meant, he said, white slavery.  Return to Sovdepia
meant the _chresvichaika_ and execution.  Time, he believed, was on his
side.  The Allies would need his army yet, and would be foolish if they
deserted those who had sacrificed themselves to the Allied cause.  Like
many other Russians, Baron Wrangel believes in the coming complete
disruption of Europe.  Germany is almost bound to go the way of Russia.

That was the voice of Baron Wrangel, and one had the impression of a fine
character which would stand the test of adversity.  A soldier, however,
and not a statesman or a prophet.  But perhaps it takes neither a
statesman nor a prophet to see that Europe is in mortal danger.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

The supreme problem at Constantinople and on the peninsula seems to be to
liquidate the Russian population fairly and honourably.  Even those who
have no sympathy with the military adventures in Russia will feel the
call of humanity here.  The Russians are not guilty of any crime: they
are only terribly unfortunate.

Shortly after I saw Wrangel, he was isolated by the French authorities
and forbidden to visit his army.  The French then began the forcible
return of the soldiers to Soviet Russia.  As an alternative they could go
to Brazil.  But the first transports for Brazil were stopped by wireless.
The Government of Brazil, after all, did not agree to receive the
Russians.  So these miserables were put on the island of Corsica.  Of the
others little is known.  Large numbers have been returned to Russia.
Serbia and Czecho-Slovakia have covenanted to take a few thousand.

As for the civilian refugees, a hundred thousand of them are in desperate
straits.  They cannot live in Constantinople, and they cannot get away.
It is a death-trap for them.  For the women it is a trap far worse than
death.  They are unpopular people in Europe now--the gentry of Russia,
people of education and gentle upbringing, the people of the old landed
families.  I observe that with the signing of the trade treaty with
Soviet Russia funds have at once been started with the object of feeding
starving Russians in Russia.  Charities are a British and American vice,
but something, not necessarily money, is due to the Russian refugees.
Human attention is needed--an honourable effort to solve the problem of
making these Russians self-supporting economic units.  Mr. Ilin, at the
head of the Russian organization, is the man to approach.  He is a
capable, quiet Russian, who is under no illusions as to the enormity of
the task or the difficulty of coping with it.

I met a Countess Trubetskoy, as poor as poor.  "All I ask is something to
take my mind off our coming fate," said she.  "Imagine it.  I am reading
the Tarzan series of novels right through.  Just to forget."  They wish
to forget, and we, who used to talk of loving the Russians,--we have
forgotten.



EXTRA LEAVES

(ii) _On "Charity" and the Stagnation of Peoples_

In company with Mme. Tyrkova-Williams, I subsequently visited the
offices of the "Save the Children Fund" in London to try to get some
extra help for Constantinople, being convinced that the sufferings of
the children there far exceeded those of the children of Vienna and
Budapest and Prague.  But no money can save the Russians at
Constantinople, or the "little things" which Wrangel's army leaves
behind them.  Refugee men and women ought, perhaps, to be fruitless,
but they are not.  The birthrate at Gallipoli and Constantinople is
high, and the lying-in hospitals are full.  Is it not a characteristic
paradox of life that babies should keep coming into a world that cannot
find room for the parents?  To provide for all these Russians for any
considerable time would involve the collecting of more money than the
rich of the world have to spare.  When the hospitals of London are
threatened with closure for want of funds, it is clear that mere
"charity" is a useless resort.  "Charity" moreover leaks.  Though it is
much puffed up and advertiseth itself, and is supported on the public
platforms with sounding brass and tinkling cymbal, nevertheless it
faileth.  There is knowledge, and it remains, prophecies and they are
fulfilled, but this thing which we call "charity" faileth, it vanisheth
away.  "The fund will soon be exhausted," we hear on all sides.  Why
not, then, try love?  Why not try human action?  Let men and women
think a little more and forget mere money.  Inspired political action
is required, the refugees should be given some means of helping
themselves and should be distributed over Europe in countries where for
adults there is the chance at least of finding work, and where for the
children food abounds.  Constantinople is an overcrowded caravanserai.
There is no lasting means of living for more than one-fifth of the
population, and almost no chance at all for the Russians.  In Serbia,
in Bulgaria, in Bohemia, in France and England, and in the New World
there are at least chances of life for the homeless.  At present there
is scarcely a nation in the world that will take in the unfortunate
Russians unless they are possessed of material means.  France in this
is adamant.  She keeps the Russians waiting longest of all.  And yet
her responsibility for these Russians is very direct.  The Russians
helped to save France in the war, and these Russians were used by
France to try and regain her lost investments in Russia.  They believed
in a generous noble France which never abandoned her friends.  It is
dumbfounding to the Russians that it should be France that is now
forcing them either to die or to return to Soviet Russia.

Rather than go back to "Sovdepia" many who think their lives are
forfeit there are ready to resort to desperate means of escape.  They
steal over to Kemal and fight for him, or they sign on for Brazil, or
stow away in one or other of the many ships in the harbours.  But
whilst adventurous escapades are possible for the men there is not even
that way open for the women and the old folk and the children.  Many
are sure to die before they find salvation.  The way to save the
greatest number is assuredly to allow the refugees to circulate freely
and find what life they can.  Has not England been plastered with the
notice, "Don't pity a man; find him a job."  That is something to apply
to the Russians.  We cannot find them a job, but at least let us give
them a chance.  There is room in Europe for these Russians, and they
would not prove long a burden once they were in the way of life.

In any case a great stagnant pool of human beings such as is found at
Constantinople, makes a dangerous place in the body politic of
humanity.  Is the blood of all of us a little distempered?  It comes
from foul pools and sluggish channels where conditions of health are
absent.



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

IV. FROM SOFIA

The last night at Constantinople was memorable, and it is strange to
contrast the brilliance, the clamour, the poignancy, of that time with
the quiet gloom and dirt of Sofia.  Dinner with two young Russians at
the "Kievsky Ugolok"; vodka was taken as if it were part of a rite.  We
were served by a beautiful woman with little hands.  All the lights
were shaded and the violins crooned.

"The best of my youth gone in senseless fighting," said Count Tolstoy.
"Twenty-two to twenty-eight, think of it; surely the best years of
life, and campaigning all the while, from Insterburg to Sevastopol, and
who knows what more."

"I am going to cut it all and start afresh," said Col. S.  "I don't
believe in the cause.  If I could get a little farm in Canada or
California!"

"Well, you are married and have children, that makes the difference.
You are bound to them.  But honour binds me to Russia--whatever
happens."

"It's a strange time."

"Yes, strange."

"Who knows what will happen next in Europe!"

"Do you think European civilization will fall?"

"I think it possible that it may."

"In my opinion also--it may happen.  The fall of Russia is just a
forewarning--it will all go down."

Once more the favourite theme of conversation.

Going home at midnight, one sees the miscellaneous crowd still on the
street.  From an open café window a gramaphone bleats out the strains
of "Pagliacci" into the street, as if "Pagliacci" also were a refugee
and was on the streets.  Listening to it there came the thought that
our whole modern way of life, of which that opera is sufficiently
characteristic, was being chased from its home, chased out into an
unkind elemental world to beg its way.  Then on a corner of a street a
hoarse woman calling repeatedly her price like a hawker at a market,
"_Chetiresta_!  _Chetiresta_!"  Quite a decent lady in Russia, the wife
of a bank-clerk or petty official, but now up against it, the great it
of revolution.  Four crooked lanes go down to Petits Champs, all
a-jingle with Greek music and tinkling glasses and women's laughter.
The great glass-house cabaret below is refulgent with electric light,
and you see the figures swirl in a "_Grande Danse Moscouvite_."  You
climb the mounting street to where dusky but handsome Punjabi soldiers
stand in front of the British Embassy, looking with sinless gaze on sin
passing by, and then to the hotel.  You sleep in the office of the
hotel, between two safes, because there is no room to be had anywhere.
Your curtainless windows are right on the street, and the endless
razzle-dazzle of night-life goes on.  In the disturbed after-hours of
midnight or early hours of morning you may see a dozen or so drunken
sailors pulling cabs and cabhorses on to the pavement, two sailors on
each horse, cuffing its flanks with their hats, shouting and
screeching, and evidently dreaming of the Wild West whence they come,
the Turkish cab-drivers absolutely placid and passive, however, and the
Turkish gendarmes unalarmed, whilst strapping fellows of the American
Naval Police with white bonnets on their heads, and neat blue jerkins,
rush in and literally fell the sailors one by one with their
truncheons, and fling them sprawling to the side-walk.

Next morning it is brilliantly and cruelly sunny, and on the way out of
the city the eyes rest on a young woman dressed in the fashions of
1917, but with burst boots and darned "tango" stockings, and rent,
shabby dress.  The strong light betrays the disguises of a long-lived
hat and shines garishly on the powder and paint of a young-old face.
So Constantinople goes on.

What a contrast when you return to Sofia!  It is a day's journey in the
express--a very short time, far too short to efface the vivid
impression on the senses made by Constantinople.  Perhaps in one
respect Sofia resembles the great city, in that it is overcrowded.
Arriving at night, you are lucky to share a room with a Bulgarian
officer.  The latter is lying in bed, and does not seem perturbed at a
civilian being put into his room.  Perhaps he has been staying a long
time without paying, and the management is retaliating.  There is a bed
which has sheets which may have been laid fresh for a German officer in
1915, and you wisely follow the custom of the country and sleep with
your clothes on.

Next day, when you step out on to the streets of the Bulgarian capital,
your eyes almost refuse to take in the change.  You have such a strong
expectation of the moving picture of the Constantinople street that you
feel, as it were, robbed and astonished, as by a spell cast over your
world.  You have been transported by enchantment to an entirely
different scene.  Here is a strange quiet.  A peasant population has
come to town in heavy clothes and heavy faces.  Despite the war and all
the trouble it has meant, there is a feeling that all able-bodied men
and women are provided for.  Here is none of the elegance and indolence
of Athens, or of the ingenuity and cleverness of Constantinople, but a
steadiness and drabness of a peasant clumsiness mark the new Sofia.  It
is neither so pleasant nor so promising a place as it was in 1915.  The
soil of the black years is upon it.

Sofia was a peasant city without much fashion or style then, and this
aspect has intensified itself.  The peasant is the born enemy of the
town, and whilst he may be perfect in the country he is a boorish and
non-comprehending fellow when he comes to the capital to rule.  The
peasant in power has very little use for the brighter side of
civilization.  The more the latter is cut down the better for him.  He
has, unfortunately, grasped the truism that "without the peasant
nothing can exist," and he is much disposed therefore to take more of
the profit of living for himself and cut down the expenses of
civilization.

In Bulgaria we have the curious anomaly of peasant communists in
political power and a king.  Monarchy and a sort of Bolshevism.

"So you are all Bolsheviks here?"

"No, only peasant-communists."

"Is that not similar?"

"No.  We have no international programme.  International politics do
not interest us.  We do not want any more wars.  Governments make the
wars and the people have to fight them.  Ask anyone, Did we want the
last war?  Do we ever get anything out of wars?  No.  And now we have
an administration who will keep us out of trouble."

The speaker was an ordinary Sofian proletariat, earning his living in a
bakery.  He seemed much pleased with Bulgaria as she is now; did not
want a port, or talk about plebiscites, or the alleged nationality of
those who dwell in the wildernesses of Macedonia.

So it is, a people of few words and not much racial ambition is in
power.  The old diplomatists and politicians, the "bourgeois," as they
are now called, are all in opposition.  Most of the educated and
cultured and rich are out of office and power.  They pursue the same
old course of Balkan intrigue, communicating their opinions to you in
stage-whispers, but intrigue merely ends in intrigue and does not lead
to action.  The old regime and old politics naturally find allies in
the press which, having been so venal in the past, finds it difficult
to turn to honest journalism.  The venality of the press in Balkan
countries is a characteristic which does more harm to nationhood in
these parts than is understood.  It springs from the original practice
of giving State subsidies to authors and journalists and newspaper
proprietors, on the ground that the reading public is too small to
support such people entirely.  Receivers of subsidies are naturally
chary of writing against their patrons, and a great opportunity arises
for interested parties to buy the press.  The advisability of buying
sections of the Balkan press is urged upon foreign Governments.  So
journalism and the organs of public opinion become not only physically
debauched but poisoned at heart.

For that reason one need not pay much respect to the recrudescence in
the press of attacks upon Greece.  It is true, Bulgaria has lost
Dédéagatch, her southern port, her window on to the Aegean, and a Greek
army is between Bulgaria and Constantinople, but peasant Bulgaria will
thrive quite well without a port; she virtually never used Dédéagatch,
and it would be obvious foolishness to shed more blood for the
possession of this remote harbour.  The exit of Varna on the Black Sea
suffices for all the wants of new Bulgaria.

One meets many partisans of Bulgaria.  English people naturally like
the Bulgars at first sight.  The Bulgar is a good fighting man, and
that makes a strong appeal to the man of the world.  He is simple, not
bumptious, gives himself no airs of traditional culture or modern
education, and therefore recommends himself.  The cynical and false
opinion of 1914-15 regarding Bulgaria--that she would come in to the
war on the side that bid most money--is forgotten.  And the
disloyalties of Bulgaria, disloyalty to the Russia who set her free and
to her erstwhile ally Serbia, are overlooked.  The stupid Bulgarian
hates and intractabilities are ignored, and the new European partisans
would raise and strengthen her again, some being even ready, in
opinion, to set her flying against Greece once more.

There is one constructive hope which appeals to most thinking minds,
and that is, that at some time in the future Bulgaria could be merged
in Jugo-Slavia or federated with it.  Serbia abandoned her own good
name and took this name of Jugo-Slavia or Country of the southern
Slavs, that she might form the basis of a commonwealth of all the
southern Slav nationalities.  And if she embraces Croats and Slovenes
why not Bulgars, too?  It is said that the Bulgars, in order to
ingratiate themselves with their war-allies, pretended that they were
not Slav, that they were in reality also Huns, kindred of Hungarians
and Finns.  But a people with a language so like Russian could hardly
cling to that deception.  The best way to avoid trouble in the Balkans
is to have larger, more comprehensive states.  Therefore, one looks
forward to the mergence of Bulgaria in something better and safer by
and by.

Many Russians have found refuge in Sofia, a few thousand of the more
lucky ones who have managed to get away from Constantinople.  I daresay
it is not realized how difficult it is to get out of that city to go
even such a short distance as Sofia.  Even for an Englishman it is
difficult enough.  What takes days for one of us takes months for a
Russian, and then he has to have sponsors.  However, when once he gets
to Sofia, he finds the cost of living reduced five times.  A pound
sterling would keep a Russian in Sofia for a week, but in
Constantinople for not much more than a day.  Of course you can starve
for nothing in both cities: the cost of living ceases to be important
when you have nothing at all.  But Sofia abounds in cheap white bread
and butter.  You get a pat of about two ounces with your morning roll.
Vienna and Berlin may be on black bread, Budapest without butter, but
Sofia does not lack.  And sugar seems plentiful, and meat is not dear.
Oranges are cheap, and the wine of the country is accessible.
Manufactures, of course, depend on the exchange, and are expensive.
There is cheap entertainment, the inexpensive tedium of the cinema and
the use of a theatre.  Once more Russia in exile affords some cultural
help with performances of the Theatre of Art, concerts, and ballet.
Peter Struve has taken up his abode, and now makes bold to re-issue one
of Russia's principal critical reviews, the "Russkaya Misl."  Here in
Sofia is a Russian publishing house, which has printed a translation of
Wells' impressions of Bolshevik Russia, and "At the Feast of the Gods,"
by Bulgakof, and Struve's "Thoughts on the Revolution," new books of
value which suggest that the old Russia still lives.

Asked how the Bulgars behaved toward the Russians, a foreign and
therefore perhaps neutral diplomat replied: "The Bulgar will not do
anything for people in distress.  He is an egoist.  He'll let his own
father starve rather than sacrifice anything of his own.  He has cause
to be eternally grateful to the Russians, and now he has a chance to
pay back something of what he owes, but not he.  He treats the Russian
as a beggar and an inferior, just because he sees him in a state of
failure and misery."

A Serbian, asked whether Bulgars and Serbs could come to an
understanding, said "No, because when the Bulgars were put in power
over Serbs by the strength of German arms they set about abolishing the
Serbian nation.  In a cold-blooded way they went through the whole of
Serbia, murdering and destroying.  A nation like the Bulgars," said he,
"is incapable of friendship."

A Greek, asked, "Could there not be an entente between Greece and
Bulgaria, a burying of the hatchet," replied: "No, there is a mortal
vendetta between us.  There is something in the Bulgarian which makes
our people see red."

When these matters were referred to a Bulgarian, he smiled, and said:
"We shall obtain the protection of England or France; that will be
enough.  Bulgaria is impregnable against enemies.  Let any nation try
and take Bulgaria and her mountains, see what it would cost in human
lives.  But these wars, what is the use of them: does anyone ever gain
anything by them?"

Bulgaria gained her freedom by a war.  But of that it seemed untactful
to remind this denizen of Sofia.  Besides, he was a kind of Bolshevik.
If Bolshevism were to sweep Europe, he would not be put out of doors.
Bulgaria also would be in the political advance-guard of world-progress.

"You do compulsory communal labour in the fields every year, do you
not?"

"Such a law has been passed.  You see, we are an agricultural people.
Food is our life.  The war greatly disturbed our population, and it was
not easy to get labour, or to get it at a reasonable price.  So
compulsory labour was introduced--every man to do his share in
producing the daily bread."

So Bulgaria has met the peace.  She was our enemy.  But her money is at
least worth more than that of one of our Allies, and compares
favourably with that of another.  The cost of living is low.  Wages
have gone up to a considerable extent, and the able-bodied working-man
has enough for himself and his family.  One saw how much more stable is
an agricultural state than an industrial one.  If our Europe goes down
in economic ruin it does not at all follow that little states like
Bulgaria will be engulfed.  On the contrary, Bulgaria as she is
constituted to-day would almost certainly survive.  It is industrialism
and large business upon which our Western superstructures depend, not
on the tilling of the soil.

"Humanity, however, first depends on bread," said a Bulgarian in a
restaurant.  "If civilization falls, it does not follow that humanity
will fall."

There was plenty of bread on the table in front of us.

"Well, thanks for the bread.  But you know the text.  There are some of
us who still want to live by the Word."



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

V. FROM BELGRADE (I)

A personal friendship with Bishop Nicholas of Zicca brought the gift of
his rooms in the Patriarchia, opposite the Cathedral.  Nicholas, better
known during the war years as Father Nicholas Velimirovic, being on a
mission to the United States, his simple white-walled rooms hung with
bright-coloured ikons were free, and could be a home for a wanderer in
an over-crowded city.  Kostya Lukovic, who during the war graduated at
Cambridge, treated me as if I were the England to whom he could repay
the gratitude he owed for our hospitality to him.  Dr. Yannic, also
known to us in England, then a priest, now temporarily secretary to the
Constituent Assembly, was also very kind.  A recommendation from
Balugdic, the Minister at Athens, opened many doors and obtained a
separate carriage for me at night on some wild trains.  Archimandrites
and Abbots entertained me lavishly at the shrines of the Frushta Gora.
It can therefore be said that the Serbs know how to treat an Englishman
well when he passes through their country.  Salutations therefore, and
thanks!  They fought like lions, and they suffered as none others
suffered in Europe's terrible ordeal.  A Serbian spark at Sarajevo
fired the arsenal of European militarism, and a common ungenerous
thought sometimes blames the spark instead of blaming the recklessness
of those who allowed Europe to be enkindled.  And there used to be some
who could not forget Serbia's dynastic history.  But that has been
forgiven, and Serbia has purchased a good name by a shedding of blood
and a national unhappiness unparalleled in the war.  People said,
"Serbia is no more, Serbia can never be again."  Yet after complete
loss of country to the most malevolent of foes, and after the agony of
Corfu, behold still Serbia fighting.  And was it not the vigour of
Serbia's reconstituted army in 1918 which, under Misió and a French
Marshal, struck the critical blow at the Bulgar which ruined the whole
German confederation--brought about the surrender of Bulgaria and
Austria, and led infallibly to the Armistice!  Whatever happens in the
new political turmoil, Serbia has won our admiration and gratitude in
the West.

The impression which one obtains in passing through the towns and
villages of Macedonia is very painful.  Ghevgeli, on the Greek
frontier, and such places, remind one of the shattered areas of Western
Europe.  You realize, if you did not do so before, that the deadly
disease of war ravaged this empty country as greedily as it did the
fullness of Flanders and France.  Ruin stares from thousands of lost
homes, and from many you realize the inhabitants have been destroyed
also.  There is recovery.  Like convalescent maimed creatures, Skoplye
and Nish creep into the sunlight and show signs of animation.  Not
nearly so many fields are ploughed as in Bulgaria.  Why?  Because the
labouring hands are lost.  You see many jolly, laughing Turks in
Skoplye.  They can laugh.  Their manhood survives plentifully, but
death has gleaned in every Serbian family down there.  The trains go at
a snail's pace through Serbia.  One day we went all day and part of the
night at an average of five kilometres the hour.  In Bulgaria and
Greece the trains go slowly, but they are express compared with the
trains from Ghevgeli to Skoplye.  The reason is because the permanent
way has been almost ruined and will need years of work upon it, and all
bridges have been blown up.  The train halts now and then, and then
most fearfully budges forward, scarcely moves, budges, budges upon
temporary wooden structures of bridges, and the workmen down below seem
veritably holding the bridges up whilst the trains go over them.

You stop hours at little villages, the exhausted and damaged engines
surrendered to Serbia by her ex-enemies being hopelessly out of repair
and always in trouble.  And in these villages you see the bare-footed
war-waifs, skulking about in bits of old ruins, children who have lost
father and mother and kith and kin, the kind care at best of American
relief societies.  There is said to be no actual want anywhere in
Serbia now, but no nation ever had so many orphans.

At Belgrade, despite many foreign elements, the most constant
impression is one of a multiplied body politic.  Belgrade is said to
have more cripples than any other capital of Europe.  And Berlin comes
second.  It is a one-eyed city, a city of one-legged men, a city of men
with beetling brows and contracted eyes, a city of unrelenting
cobble-stones and broken houses.

You go into the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and the door-keeper
cannot write; you go to the Foreign Office and are shown about
laboriously by a one-legged man.  In fact, the one-legged man might be
taken as the type and symbol of the new Serbia.  In commerce it is as
in politics.  Shop windows are one-third full of goods, the most
ill-assorted goods, mostly coming through the old channels from Austria
and Germany.  There has not been enough energy left in the nation to
find the means of making new trade connexions--as for instance, with
England.  A curious anomaly, surely, that there should be a glut of our
own products on the home market whilst in Serbia, even taking our
exchange into account, prices range much higher.  Thus politics and
trade.  You see the new recruits of the conscripted army struggling
along in sixes and sevens, men of all shapes and sizes apparently in
one shape and size of war boot, causing such sufferings to young men.
There are no feather-bed soldiers here.  In the schools and
universities, however, you see the rare earnestness of the Slav.

Such is Serbia.  And if Germany had won it would have been impossible
to have seen her even in as fair terms as that.  But some one outside
of the machine has intervened and the dead has come to life.  Serbia
still lives.

One has to show a difference between Serbia and Jugo-Slavia, or the
Kingdom of Serbs, Hrvats,[1] and Slovenes, "S.H.S." as it is commonly
called.  The new country is three times as large as the old one, and
the two new parts of Croatia and Slovenia are well-built, fruitful,
prosperous, with all the glamour of Austrian civilization resting on
them.  On the one side of the old frontier the wild homelessness of the
mountains, on the other side park-like country, model towns, and broad,
fruitful plains.  Hard-bitten, bookless Serbs, and softened bookish
Croats.  As a responsibility of the peace Serbia has taken over large
tracts of smitten Austria.  Looking at the new territory, one might
reckon it a rich spoil of war.  But comparing Serbia as she is with
this ex-Austria, one cannot but be struck with the disparity between
them.

Croats and Slovenes are Slav by race, but strongly Austrian by
education.  They were glad to come into the new confederation and
escape some of the penalties of defeated Austria.  But once they were
definitely absorbed into the new State they did not feel so
comfortable.  The vanity and quarrelsomeness of the Slav soon began to
speak.  They hated Austria.  But modern Austrian civilization was a
comfortable and well-oiled machine.  The Slavs derived enormous
material benefits from their citizenship of the Austrian empire.  Here
despite all the feuds was a well-kept home of nations.

Left to themselves the Croats would not have made a better State than
the Slavs usually make.  But it is easy for them to imagine that the
good schools, good trains and railway service, and good municipal
administration, and the rest, were due to their own genius and not to
that of the German.

Between Serbia and the new territories stands Belgrade, the capital of
the whole.  It is strikingly situated on the cliffs above the winding
Save which glimmers like silver in the evening.  From the
shell-splintered fortress one looks forth over the vast fruitful plain
that was southernmost Austria.  Here the Kaiser had a seat made for
himself in 1915 that he might look homeward in the evening.  Thus he
turned his back on the Balkans and his scheme of the world.

Belgrade below the fortress wall is extensive but poor.  Its tired main
street stretches out a long way with flabby houses on each side of its
cobbled wildness.  There are as yet no buildings corresponding to the
dignity of a great capital.  The old Parliament House is a little place
like a town-school, the temporary one is a converted whitewashed
barracks; the Cathedral is a parish church on a site suitable for a
mighty edifice; the Moscow Hotel looks like a seaside boarding
establishment; the Franco-Serbian Bank is housed in a place which might
pass for an old clothes warehouse in Whitechapel.  There is a pleasant
little white stone Post-office.  But the Foreign Office, the Education
Office, and other Government Departments are in buildings that might
well be blocks of flats or _pensions_ kept by respectable widows.

The population, if we rule out the Austrians, is mostly "the peasant
come to town"--a proletarian crowd, though not governed by proletarians
but by a small educated class plus an obedient army.  You can see by
the women that it is a peasant people--not a jumper or a short skirt in
the whole of Belgrade.  They are quiet-eyed and modest.  The Serbs are
much harder than the Russians, and bear deeper in their souls the marks
of their historic chains.  A tortured look in the face and a certain
dreadful impassivity of countenance are not uncommon.  There is a
mixture of geniuses and of people who have not yet begun to live.  They
have their Mestrovic, Velimirovic, Petronievic.  Is there not in London
a certain M---- made not for our civilization but for two or three
grades higher in world development.  Of those who have not yet begun to
live many are suspicious, violent, melancholy, with little instinct for
making life more or fuller, for living and letting live; in business
unenterprising and indisposed for work.  The Serbs are potentially
gifted for literature, art, and thought; they are sincere and real in
temperament, but despite their efforts probably not gifted for modern
civilization as we know it.

As regards Belgrade, when prosperity returns we may see the growth of a
fine new city, not a complete town-planned Austrian city, supplied as
it were whole and in every part from a department store, but something
expressive of a new people.  All these buildings we look upon to-day
are bound to pass into obscurity.  The rising pillars of the
Skupstchina, Serbia's new Parliament House at the foot of Kossovo
Street, point to the future of some great new State.

The Croats say "When you go to Zagreb you will see the difference.  Ah,
there is a city; there is civilization."  They kiss their hands to show
what they mean.  The Croats are Home Rulers.  Like the Irish, they are
Catholics.  Some of them look forward to the transfer of the capital to
Zagreb, and the changing of the letters of the kingdom to H.S.S. and
putting Hrvats first.  Croats insist on the title Jugo-Slavia; Serbs
are inclined to drop it and revert to the name Serbia.  The Germans
during the war are said to have promised the Croats to form the German
counterpart of the Allies' idea of Jugo-Slavia, and had Germany and
Austria won, a new constituent of Central Europe was to have been
inaugurated with its capital of Zagreb.  The name Jugo-Slavia was
familiar to the Croats and popular with them before the Serbs adopted
it.  The Croats think that because they are more educated than the
Serbs they should be the dominant party in the government of the new
State.  The quarrel is aggravated by religious difference, Croats being
Roman Catholics and Serbs Orthodox.  A number of the separatist
leaders, the chief of whom is Radic, an ex-bookseller, languish in
gaol.  These are evidently self-centred people.  If they think that
Europe would tolerate another independent Slav State with passports,
frontiers, tariffs, armies, and the rest, surely they are mad.  And if
on the other hand, they would like to revert to ruined Austria and have
the value of all their money reduced ten times, surely they are not
very sane.  Or if they think that they who suffered little should reap
the major benefits of the war-victory, they are certainly pitiable
egoists.

What is lacking in the new State is goodwill and the spirit of
co-operation.  Serbia is terribly hampered by lack of loyalty in her
constituent elements.  There is an impression of great uncertainty and
instability.  The general bad health of Europe shows sharply at
Belgrade.  The cost of living is irrationally high.  There is something
of the atmosphere of Russia in 1916.  Beggars swarm about the
restaurants and cafés.  Cabmen, hawkers, and the poor hold one up for
absurd prices.  The shops have odd sets of goods which seldom
correspond to one's desires.  The value of the dinar fluctuates
violently, and offers golden opportunities to the many speculators.
The commonest trade-establishments are small banks and bucket-shops;
they range in fours and fives before the eyes.  The Government is very
poor, and never feels out of financial difficulties.  "We are always
faced with bankruptcy in three months," said Dr. Yannic in
conversation.  The Government has been very hospitable to the Russians,
of whom it has almost 60,000 on its hands.  It feeds them and tries to
place them where they can do work.  It treated with Wrangel for the
establishment of 20,000 Cossacks to be planted along the marches of
Albania, and would have loved to have them, but has not as yet been
able to take them for lack of money.  Serbia has done more for Russia
than any other nation.

"We've received not a mark of the indemnity," says M. Ribor, the
chairman of the Constituent Assembly.  "And we do not receive financial
aid.  On the other hand, is not France financing Hungary--the eternal
potential enemy of Jugo-Slavia?"

There is no certainty about the attitude of France and England.
England is felt to have cooled a little towards Serbia.  France is a
source of bewilderment.  The decoration of Belgrade with the Cross of
the Legion of Honour was accepted in very good part, and the French
Marshal who brought it was lauded to the skies.  But the after-thought
was, when he went away--What did he come for?  Was it not perhaps to
flatter Serbia into undertaking a part in some new war, perhaps against
the German, perhaps against the Soviets?

Suspicion is a marked characteristic of political life in Belgrade,
suspicion and fear.  They are afraid of the Croat for his separatism,
of the Magyar for his malevolence, of the French for their intrigues,
of the Russians for their numbers and their superior gifts, of the
Austrians for their commercial enterprise.  Secret agents abound, and
are evidently excellent.  An enormous amount of information is
collected--information too disquieting and too voluminous to be coped
with.

The Serbs, however, have evidently tried hard to accommodate all
talents and all opinions in the new State.  In the new Constitution
complete freedom of religion is being guaranteed to all sects; the
monarchy will be strictly constitutional; and all political ideas
except separatism and Bolshevism will be tolerated.  Regarding
Bolshevism the Serbs have taken a strong line.  It is a criminal
offence, and propagandists are liable to swift arrest.  No
discrimination of any kind will be made against subjects of the kingdom
of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes on the ground of race.

Serbia by herself has not a large educated class.  She has not enough
of her own to administer Jugoslavia, and consequently she looks
naturally to the employment of the Croat and Slovene educated class,
and also to the refugee Russians.  Many Russian professors in exile
have found posts; Russian engineers and technicians are readily
accepted in the hope that their services may be used.  In the Ministry
and in the Government offices the other races are amply represented.
Ribor himself, the Speaker of the Constituent Assembly, is a Croat.
The previous obligations of the Austrian Government have in many cases
been taken over.  Those who received pensions or subsidies from Austria
are provided for by Serbia.  Not that that always gives content.

A characteristic case is that of Kossor, the well-known dramatist, an
Austrian Croat.  In the Austrian style he received a State subsidy of
three hundred crowns in encouragement of his talent.  The Serbs have
continued that, and given him the equivalent in dinars.  But he is
attached to the Art Department of the Ministry of Education and has to
put in an appearance every day--a duty which goes a long way to
stultify one's inspirations.

Kossor is characteristically unhappy in Belgrade.  The cobblestones
have a psychological effect on the soul.  He feels restricted, and
would like to travel: especially would he like to return to England,
for which, like many others who were refugees among us, he retains the
warmest feelings.

The English in Belgrade are inclined to say that all the Serbian
students who went to England returned atheists and Bolshevists.  A
personal impression is, however, contrary.  S---- and Y---- who took
their bachelorates of divinity at Oxford, and Lukovic, who graduated at
Cambridge, are warmly devoted to England, and stand for our culture
where by far the most of the young educated people are frankly ignorant
or entirely misinformed regarding England and England's ideals.
Whatever trouble we took and whatever we spent on giving education to
Serbian boys in England was not misapplied and will bear a good fruit
of friendship by and by.  That the students of new Belgrade are
free-thinkers, and chased Dr. Mott from the lecture hall is not of much
importance--students usually do behave in that way nowadays.  A
university of students all believers would be edifying if it were not
amusing.  The modern way to real belief and understanding lies through
denial and agnosticism and free-thinking of all kinds, and Serbia is in
a state of transit from peasant Christianity to modern positive
Christianity.  Her need is for well-guided transitional education.
There is no bridge from the simple piety of the peasant to instructed
belief.  The peasant marches to a precipice and then falls headlong
into atheism.  Strangely enough, the Church even when it realizes this
danger seems unable to build the bridge.  Its only remedy is to try and
stop the march of the peasant.  This is dangerous, for in time the
peasant can then push his obstruction also over the precipice.

"If only we were as strong spiritually as we are militarily and
economically I should feel happy about Serbia," says Bishop Nicholas on
his return from America.  But Jugo-Slavia--one must think of the whole
new State--is not strong in any way yet.  Her strength is very great
and mysterious but is still potential.  Some day In the future perhaps
five years hence, or ten, if Jugo-Slavia still holds together, we shall
have a great State here with Belgrade as a worthy capital.  Austria
will have moved south.  There are at least prospects of enormous
commercial prosperity, and on that basis the Arts will surely flourish.
All depends on the Slavs holding together and forgetting their
differences.  The Spirit will blow where it listeth, and one day it
will be with Serbia and on another it will be gone.



[1] Slav name for Croats.



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

VI. FROM BELGRADE (II)

Up on the cliff one evening a party of Serbs were listening to a
Russian soldier, one of Wrangel's army invalided to a hospital camp
near Belgrade.  "Which of these rivers is the Danube?" said he.

The Serbs pointed out where the Save joined the main stream, like a
thread of silver joining a silver ribbon.

"Ah," said the Russian.  "And my grandfather was killed on that river,
fighting to free the Slavs.  Defenceless little brothers, the Slavs!
When the war began the enemy was right into your capital of Belgrade at
once, but we Russians plunged into East Prussia.  Yes, I was there,
brothers, and was wounded and marched back to the Niemen with my wound
open----"

He recounted where he had been in the war, and was so circumstantial
that one by one the Serbs said good-bye and wished him luck and went
away.  And he was left standing there alone, looking over the gloomy
Austrian plain below where night was descending fast.

"Would you like to have tea?" I asked.  "My lodging is quite close."
He readily agreed, and so we went across to the "Patriarchate" and up
to Bishop Nikolai's white room.

Budomir, Nikolai's servant, a shell-shocked soldier, struck a posture
of pleasure and stoked up the fire to boil some water.  Budomir had
been a student and now could multiply numbers of four figures in his
head though he could do little else.  He was devoted to Nikolai, and
insisted on serving me because I was Nikolai's friend.  The Russian
soldier marvelled to find himself in a room so strongly Orthodox in its
appearance, and he did not fail to cross himself elaborately.

Then he showed us the various crosses which he wore round his neck.
One of these touched him very much: it had been given him by his mother
in August, 1914, when he set out for the war.  It had protected him
ever since.  He had gone through untold dangers and hardships, and had
actually never seen his home and his wife and his child since that
August morning when he marched away.

He belonged to a Guards regiment, and so I was interested to know what
part he had taken in the revolution, and what he thought of it all.  It
should be remembered he was not a newspaper-reading Russian.  He called
himself a _Gosudarstvenny_ or State peasant, apparently indicating that
his family had not been serfs but had been free men.  He was normally a
peaceful tiller of the soil, stopped at the plough and put into
battle-harness by the politicians of Europe.

Though now one of Wrangel's army he attributed all Russia's misfortunes
to the "burgui."  What a bourgeois really was he had not the remotest
idea, but the word served.  It was the burgui who brought about the
March '17 revolution in Russia.  "If we had been at Petrograd then it
could not have happened," said he.

"How?"

"Well, before the revolution took place, the burgui arranged that the
stanchest regiments should be sent to France.  Yes, our regiment of
Guards was actually in the lines below Verdun when the Tsar was
dethroned.

"They did not tell us what had happened.  We learned it first from the
Germans.  They began calling out to us, 'The Tsar has abdicated.'  We
did not pay any attention, as they were always shouting lies.  Then
they erected long banners outside their trenches with the words 'There
is revolution in Russia.  The Tsar has abdicated.  Why do you go on
fighting?'

"We were so infuriated by this that we planned a night attack on our
own, and without the knowledge of our officers we entered the German
trenches that night, just to show them what it meant to insult the
Tsar.  There was a great noise.  The German artillery awoke.  Ours
replied.  Our neighbours on the right and left wondered what was
happening, and in the morning our N.C.O.'s were called to explain what
it was all about.  They told the story and were strongly reprimanded.
Then officers addressed us and told us the bitter truth that there was
actually revolution in Russia.  And we wept, and the officers wept with
us. . . ."

He was a sentimental warrior, and the tears glistened in his eyes now.
He professed to be unendingly devoted to the Tsar.  His regiment would
have made a mountain of its dead rather than let them take the Tsar.
If the Tsar had even been in the Crimea when Wrangel was there they
would never have given him up.

"Whom have you hope in now?" I asked.  "General Wrangel cannot do any
more."

"There's only one man."

"Who is that?"

"That man is Burtsef."

What an extraordinary conjunction of sentiments!--devotion to the Tsar
and belief in Burtsef!  But here it was.  The bourgeois were to blame
for all Russia's troubles, and yet he was a soldier in the army that
wanted to restore the bourgeois.  Such paradoxical attitudes are no
doubt responsible for the current official opinion in Serbia that all
Russians tend to become Bolshevik, and that they may be a dangerous
element in the State.

The soldier had three glasses of tea and then inverted his glass and
got up and was most profuse in thanks, and for the present of a few
dinars actually got down on his knees in thankfulness.

"You are going back to your hospital camp--how will you go?" I asked.
"On foot?"

"No, by train.  They give us a free pass on the railway.  Some say
they'll soon give us a free pass back to Russia!"

He looked very woebegone.  He showed me his Georgian cross given for
bravery in the field, and then once more the ikon his mother had given
him.  "Seven years, and I haven't once been home," said he.

"Seven years," he repeated mechanically, and began stumbling out of the
room.

He was a strange and touching witness of the power of the human
eruption in Russia.  As it were, a clod of earth had been lifted from
the province of Tambof and flung as far as the Balkans.  Another
witness of another kind was the old Archbishop of Minsk whom I found in
the monastery of Ravanitsa.

The Secretary of State for Religion very kindly facilitated my journey
to the shrine of St. Lazar, where I saw Serbia's mediaeval prince lying
headless before the altar.  Strange to say, it seemed as if the body
had a head.  The shroud was raised to disclose his brown and wizened
fingers and shrunken middle, and where the head should be were the
contours of a head under a veil.  At my desire the cloth was lifted,
and I saw instead of a head a large jewelled mitre.

The monks showed me "bulls" and charters and proclamations and
manuscripts, mostly eloquent now of the ill-faith of Serbia's
neighbours.  They were, however, humorous and vivacious and well-fed
monks who bore no ill-will against Turk or Austrian or anyone; they
were good fellows happily lodged by the Church, and without much care
or sorrow of any kind; such a contrast to those outside the Church.

They gave me a room with a comfortable bed and white sheets, and they
regaled Kostya Lukovic and myself and anyone else who happened to
arrive, with old-fashioned generosity of wine and viands.

It was here we met the Archbishop of Minsk, once Rector of the
Theological Academy at Petrograd.  He had lost his diocese and lost his
academy; a little old, stooping, grey-haired man, very witty, very
sardonic and indulging in endless pleasantries at the expense of us
all.  He drank to England but not to Lloyd George.  He drank to meeting
me again--in Moscow.  He drank to Serbia, and hoped they'd raise the
standard of doctorate of divinity.  He drank to France, without her
ally Poland who had seized most of his diocese of Minsk and was making
it Roman Catholic.  He drank to Russia--and a change of heart.  In
fact, it is difficult to remember all the toasts he proposed.  I
responded in sips, he in half-glasses; the Archimandrite, who had only
a second place at the table, in tumblerfuls; the deacon opposite me
having a strong character, refused to go on, and it was certainly
curious to see this little old archbishop taunt him and ask him if he
were afraid and stir him on to drink more than was good for him.  But
he was a Russian first and then an archbishop, and he had lost all that
he cared for.  It may be asked, had he lost his faith, too?  But do
rectors of theological academies have faith?  Seldom, surely.

"The teaching of theology has been abolished in Russia now," said he
next morning, sitting out in the sun and feeding young calves with
bread which he had saved from the breakfast table.  "There are no young
students now preparing to be priests.  The next generation will be
without clergy."

"But it is a people's Church," I observed.  "If there are no priests,
they will take the services themselves.  The peasants have an
extraordinary amount of church lore among themselves."

The prelate appeared to be scandalized.  "That is of no use.  A priest
must first study and then be ordained.  Without knowledge the Church
would soon be lost."

"What do you think of the Patriarch of Moscow?  He has come to terms
with Lenin."

"He is a weak man," said the Archbishop.

I recalled an opinion of Bishop Nicholas of Serbia that Patriarch
Tikhon would be next dictator of Russia.

The Archbishop of Minsk smiled gently and ironically, and then said
quietly:

"Never.  And he has too simple a mind to cope with the enemies of
Russia."

"Do you not think Holy Russia will reassert herself?  You know the
famous lines of Solovyof: 'O Russia, what sort of an East will you be,
the East of Xerxes or the East of Christ?'"

"It looks rather like the East of Xerxes," said the old man.  "But you
believe differently----"

And he smiled indulgently.

I could not say whether he spoke sincerely or out of the depths of
personal and national humiliation.

I suppose it is hard for those who are not Russians to realize what has
happened in Russia.  Propaganda has discredited news.  The western
world thinks of Russia as the same country with a change of government.
The colossal fact of the complete removal of the upper crust of Russia
is not realized.

A third group of _deracinés_ whom I came across in Serbia was an
_artel_ of Rostof engineers.  I met a family I had known in Russia.
Last time I had seen them it was one evening with their children
scampering round a tall Christmas tree on which all the candles were
lighted.  They were comfortable and capable people, and proud in their
way of what they could do and of what they possessed.  Now, with all
the other engineers of the Vladikavsky Railway, they had fled from the
"terror" and were giving their services for the reconstruction of
Serbia.

Serbia did not particularly want them, and was not ready for their
grand schemes.

"You can't start anything in this country," said Engineer N----
regretfully.  "Every one wants to make money out of it.  The
administration lives on the enterprise of the people.  We have
presented the Government with a complete plan for the reorganization of
the Serbian railroads.  We have brought the treasury of the Vladikavsky
Railway with us, so we have a little capital, and given the authority
we could make a gigantic improvement in Jugo-Slavia.  But all we have
been able to do so far is to arrange a few services of motor transport
to places not reached by railway."

My friends were in a poor little wooden hut on the outskirts of
Belgrade, very courageous and very sad, and their children, once petted
and even pettish, were now grown and serious and facing life earnestly
for themselves and for their parents' sake.

A great chance for Serbia lay in the use of these Russian engineers.
And the alternatives for the engineers are either to make good in
Serbia or to drift back eventually to Mother Russia.  I am personally
inclined to think that the Serbs will let the chance slip through their
fingers.  Serbs and Russians, though they like one another, do not seem
to be able to work together very well.  The Serbs are a smaller people,
more intense and less adaptable than the Russians.  The difference
between the two races as one sees and hears them on the streets of
Belgrade is very remarkable.  The soft pervasive accents of Russian
speech are pregnant with a great race-consciousness and a feeling of
world destiny.



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

VII. FROM BUDAPEST

The ill-health of our new Europe needs no demonstration.  "She's an
ailing old lady," says Engineer N.  "She's a typhoid convalescent,"
says Dr. R.  "She's deaf and dumb and paralytic and subject to fits.
She has sore limbs and inflamed parts--in fact, a hopeless case," says
a cheerful Hungarian.  "But what does it matter whether Europe lives if
her young daughter Hungary survives her?"

"That young daughter Hungary has already been in the Divorce Court," I
hazarded.

"Well, Hungary is not going to alarm herself over the health of Mother
Europe, anyway.  Hungary has to look after herself.  Mother won't look
after her."

The best train for Budapest leaves Belgrade at ten o'clock at night.
From the capital of Serbia to the neighbouring capital of Hungary is
only two hundred miles, formerly five or six hours' journey in a fast
train without hindrance or anxiety.  In a state of good health, to go
from one main artery of Europe to another ought to be almost as quick
and as easy as thought.  But now it is labour.  No facilities are made
by Serbia for Hungary or Hungary for Serbia.  International trains with
sleeping cars carefully avoid what are known as ex-enemy capitals.  In
this night-train from Belgrade all the arrangements are discouraging
and fatiguing.  First, second, and third class carriages are the same,
all wood, but some are marked "1" and others "2" and others "3."  There
are no lights in the train, and it is very crowded.  You crawl all
night through the ex-Austrian territory now part of Serbia.  At four in
the morning you arrive at Subotitsa and wait six hours.  You wait in a
queue and show passports to Serbian police; you take your baggage
through the Serbian _douane_ and it is searched for articles liable to
export duty.  You send a "D" telegram to Budapest to reserve a room at
a hotel.  For this "D" telegram you pay two or three times the ordinary
charge in order that it may have precedence of telegrams not marked
"D."  Some time after ten in the morning you get into the Serbian
frontier train which takes you ten kilometres and deposits you in a
Hungarian no-man's land.  Hungarian gendarmes collect the passports of
the passengers.  You stand on a shelterless platform and wait for the
Hungarian frontier train which takes you ten kilometres further and
deposits you at the station of Szeged.  Here you congregate like lost
souls in Hades and wait and suffer.  They say those suffer most who
continue to have hope in that region.  The hopeful clamour and push and
mortify themselves, whilst highly indifferent and laconic Magyars
chuckle among themselves and throw ink across an inky table asking
foreigners in Hungarian their mother's maiden name and their natal
town.  The officials have adopted the principle of the division of
labour--one makes out a form, another fills it in, a third franks it
with a rubber stamp, a fourth registers details, and a fifth signs the
visa.  Strange to say, this seems to multiply the time by five rather
than divide it by five.  And most people know that the train for
Budapest will leave at the scheduled hour, leaving half the passengers
to wait all day at Szeged for another train.  After passports, there is
a violent onslaught on your baggage by the customs officials.  When
they are convinced that you are carrying nothing dutiable you have to
get a cab and make a hundred-crown journey across Szeged to another
train.  You wait in a long queue for a ticket.  Heaven help you if you
have baggage to register or re-register.  It cannot be registered
through from Belgrade.  As for the train, the passengers seem to be
hanging from the roofs of the carriages like bats.  It is like a
seaside excursion express, and if you are lucky enough to get a place
you find there is only half a back to your seat.

A Hungarian diplomat, anxious that I should see his country in a good
light, helped me considerably on this journey, and I caught the train.
I had the doubtful pleasure of reflecting that at least half of my
fellow-passengers were still languishing at the first Szeged station,
victims of the division of labour and the verification of passports.
"I do hope you get a hotel after all this," said the diplomat.  "For my
part, I wired to an actress," he added, with a knowing smile.  "She
knows how to get a room when others cannot."

We arrived in Budapest about 11 p.m.  The "D" telegram, alas, was
languishing far behind.  It was delivered next day about noon.  Knowing
the expensive folly of taking a cab and trying to find a hotel I made a
midnight exploration of the capital of Hungary on foot, all sleeping,
all apparently dead and without a spark of night life.  There were no
trains, no flocking crowds, but only occasional pedestrians and the
accidental clatter of a horse-cab now and then.  And the Danube rolled
through the stillness silently.  I fell in with a late-going working
man coming off a day shift.  He piloted me to the "Ritz," home of
Allied Commissions and delegates of all kinds.  That there should be a
room there was unlikely enough, but it was possible to persuade the
clerk to telephone to various obscure establishments on the "other side
of the river."  It is always obscure on the other side of the river.

At last a hotel was found and located, and when the cabman had brought
my things from the station and one asked timidly: "How much?" one
received a characteristic reply.

"A thousand crowns," said the unblushing cabby--rather more than the
cost of a ticket for the whole journey from Belgrade to Budapest.

I saw next day that I must report to the police within twenty-four
hours of arrival, and also within twenty-four hours of departure.  Such
is modern travel in Europe, and I felt rather amused when the question
was put to me, "Are you travelling for pleasure or on business?"

Serbia and Hungary are not on good terms.  The Hungarians will not
forgive the loss to Serbia of territory over which they claim to have
ruled for a thousand years.  Hungary will not forgive the Czechs or the
Roumanians either.  They have been mightily despoiled by the nations.
Roumania has doubled her original territory at old Hungary's expense.
Czechoslovakia holds Pressburg, the ancient capital and coronation-city
of the Hungarian kings, and calls it Bratislavl.  "They might as well
have called it New York," says a Magyar contemptuously.  There is
nothing soft or relenting about the Magyars.  They are quite
implacable, and they are a fighting people.  There is no good will.  On
the contrary, there is definite ill-will on the part of Hungary towards
her neighbours.  Austria is soft towards the new nations which have
arisen on the ruins of her empire, but Hungary is hard.

To the Serb, the enmity of the Magyar is disconcerting.  By crossing
the Danube, Serbia has become genuinely part of Europe; she has turned
her back on the Balkans and the eternal strife on barren empty hills.
The new Serbia can afford to forget and forgive Bulgaria, now a remote
sort of country.  She can retort to Greece concerning Salonica--We have
no need of that port now, for we no longer aspire to be a power on the
Aegean, we are a Central-European people.  Jugo-Slavia is not a Balkan
country.  She is ashamed of the Balkans and of the Balkan past.  She
will loyally look to Geneva or any other capital of the League of
Nations.  She will cling to the centre.  All seems well.  Perhaps
Bulgaria will cease to be an enemy, and Greece will cease to be a
rival.  Serbia moves northward, but in the North she comes face to face
with a worse potential enemy than either--the Magyar.  Serbia becomes
conscious of a European destiny, but Hungary avers that a large stretch
of Hungarian territory has been torn from Europe and is being
Balkanized, despoiled of the old comfort and civilization of the
Austro-Hungarian State and made dirty and inefficient by Slavs.

Every one blames some one else in this part of the world.  There are
bugs in the railway-carriages--the German soldiers brought them; they
were not there before.  The trains go slowly--the Hungarian engine
drivers have ruined all the locomotives by making big fires with little
water in the boilers; contractors seem to take bribes--these are
Hungarians, "They'd sell their souls for a dinar."  "Look, look," says
a Magyar officer, pointing to the dirt on Subotitsa station.  "You
never could see that in the old days.  I used to be here with my
regiment.  It was as pretty and clean a place as you could find in
Hungary."

Nearing the frontier you pass in review a very sad sight, and that is,
several hundred locomotives rusted to their very depths and eaten out
with bad weather and neglect.  "These are the locomotives we
surrendered to the Serbs after the Armistice," says a Hungarian.  "The
Serbs could not use them.  They have no engineers--no shops for their
repair.  We wouldn't have minded if the engines were used, but it makes
us sick to think of such waste."

On the other hand, perhaps, the Hungarians in their malice surrendered
the engines with their boilers burnt out and with other vital defects.
One side or the other, or both, is to blame.  But whatever the judgment
might be, the engines remain in their rust--these useful iron servants
of humanity have perished.  They are symbols of a spoliatory peace.

Serbia discourages travel to Hungary.  Hungary for her part bristles
with spears.  Above the passport window on the Danube quay at Budapest
you read:

  I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD.
  I BELIEVE IN GOD'S ETERNAL JUSTICE.
  I BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION OF HUNGARY.

--a dangerous creed.

Dr. M----, first assistant at the University of Vienna, now made a
Czech subject against his will, put the matter well: "Bismarck was a
man of genius, but he made a great mistake in taking Alsace and
Lorraine.  And Clemenceau was a great man, greater for instance than
Lloyd George; I treated him for twelve years, I know his character
well, but he outdid Bismarck by making a whole series of
Alsace-Lorraines in Europe.  It means a century of wars to put it
right."

"There would be war now," said Von K----, an ex-Captain of the 3rd
Hussars.  "But we shudder to take the responsibility of plunging Europe
once more into the bath of blood."

The 3rd Hussars is called the Dead Regiment now.  It was reduced to
five officers and a hundred and thirty-seven men in the war.  It was
resolved not to recruit for it again, but to leave it as it was left,
and it paraded before the King at Budapest in its original formation,
showing all the gaps.  "It was tremendously impressive," said the
Captain--"one man here, two there, three only on the right wing.  Many
of us who had come through all that hell with dry eyes wept like
children in the parade.

"We often receive letters from our people in Roumania, Czecho-Slovakia
and Jugo-Slavia, saying 'Why do you not come over and protect us?'" he
went on.  "If we marched into the stolen territories, the local
populations would all rise in our favour.  The time will come, but it
is not yet.  The last word has not been said."

That conversation was at the beginning of April, and Karl was actually
in Budapest endeavouring in a clumsy way to follow the example of
Constantine in Greece and resume monarchical sway.  Budapest for a day
was all agog with rumour and whispered conversations.  Karl was
popular, but his failure was sensed by the populace.  He had come
inopportunely, despite the fact that the great powers seemed not
unfavourable.  France, by many accounts, had given secret countenance
to the return of the Hapsburg, Karl being known as Francophile in
policy.  "Present us with a _fait accompli_," Briand was reported to
have said to Karl, "and we will not oppose your return to power."
Evidently part of France favoured the adventure and was not a little
annoyed at its failure.  As an allied power with Italy and England she
had to show a forbidding front to Karl, but as "Le Figaro" said, "_Ce
n'est pas sur le Danube que nous menacent des perils mortels, c'est sur
le Rhin._"  The Allies, however, as they are called, had little power
to help or stop ex-Kaiser Karl.  It was the little States that stopped
him--the Petite Entente of Czecho-Slovakia and Jugo-slavia and
Roumania, and of these powers chiefly the Czech.

As long ago as January Karl's attempt to return was anticipated by the
Czechs.  They used it as the motive for making a ring round the hostile
State.  Hungary was the potential enemy of the three States which had
taken over ex-Hungarian territory.  Hungary, moreover, had had her
terrible moment of Bolshevism and had got over it, she had become
nationalistic again and had reorganized her army on national lines.  To
any one of the new States surrounding her she would be a formidable
enemy.  Hungary, however, would stand little chance against three
combined.  So with great zest the new combination was formed.
Certainly the warmest national friendship in the Near East to-day is
that between Czecho-Slovakia and Jugo-Slavia, and it has been called
into being by the common danger of the Magyar.

Budapest is a handsome city with grand bridges spanning the bending
Danube.  The fashionable part climbs upwards on crags to the higher
light, and the Danube flashes upward.  The modern city is a first-class
aggregation of business houses, cafés, and places of pleasure.  There
is pavement comfort.  The people are well dressed, despite losses and
troubles.  The smooth pates of business men abound, and the knobbly
skulls of the Balkans are fewer.  The women are in fashion, and as in
the rest of Central and Western Europe, wear bunches of artificial
grapes hanging from one side of their hats.  You see no grapes and
hanging ribbons in Belgrade and Sofia.  They will come there next year
or in 1923.  The Hungarian women are broad-faced and broad-bosomed, and
talk more than they smile.  City madam in elegant attire with
languorous half-shut eyes and Hungarian drawl is a man's darling.
Flesh-coloured stockings greatly abound.  One is, however, strongly
advised not to judge of Hungary by the people who spend four or five
hours of the day sitting in the cafés of Budapest.  The poor parts of
the city present a different spectacle.  Here there are great numbers
of crooked-legged spindly children, war-products evidently.  The slums
are nothing like so bad as those of London or Chicago--only the
children are less boisterous, less vital, and seem to have been
underfed all their lives.  The new babies look much better than the
children of four or five.  Food is more abundant now, and a great deal
of relief work is done at the schools.  But it is doubtful if any
philanthropic efforts can restore the war-children.  Budapest has a bad
streak left in her town-population by the war, and it is visible.
Cotton goods are very expensive, and many of the poor children seem
inadequately dressed.  The price of cotton is dependent upon much
speculation and bad business between the American cotton plantation and
the obscure worker in Hungary.  It is a curious anomaly that Americans
should burn cotton-bales in the Southern States to keep up the price,
and that the American Red Cross on the other hand should in Europe
distribute free garments to those who cannot pay the world-price thus
attained.

The exchange is very low, five crowns to a penny, three hundred to a
dollar.  For a thousand crowns a week you can live--you can live in one
room and keep body and soul together.  For two thousand crowns a week
you can live at a second-class hotel with board and lodging.  An
ordinary dinner with a glass of beer costs a hundred crowns.  You can
also get a seat at the back of the stalls in a theatre for that amount.
There is a luxury-tax of ten per cent on all you buy at cafés and
restaurants, on perfumery, and like objects.  This, no doubt, brings in
a large amount to the national exchequer if it is efficiently
collected.  The wages and salaries of all trades and professions are in
a continual hurdle-race, vaulting cost of living and the rate of
exchange.  There are thousands of _nouveaux riches_, and there are
thousands of ex-rich and gentry in decay.  One feels that Hungary,
however, is a rich country even as she stands to-day, and that the
people have sterling qualities which make for the recuperation of the
new State.  There is still a love of work in the country, and that is
comparatively a rare virtue in modern Europe.  The working class, as in
Germany, feels that it lost the war and cannot expect extra fine
conditions.  The Hungarian working man outworks and therefore
undersells or can undersell the English working man.  The nation whose
working men are ready to do most work is the most fortunate in 1921.
If Hungary can avoid indemnities and export taxes she is likely to do
well.  The Government will no doubt undergo many changes, and most
people believe that the King is bound to come back.  By popular vote he
probably would--just as Constantine did in the Greek elections.  But
external opposition is too great.  If Czechs and Serbs quarrelled it
would be different.  International animosity and the general ill-will
militate most against the peaceful development of the new Hungary.

Budapest no doubt will always win friends for the country of which it
is the capital.  Capitals can be of enormous service to states in the
matter of silent propaganda.  A handsome comfortable city of impressive
buildings will always predispose foreigners in favour of the country
itself.  On the other hand, an inadequate capital will be a hindrance
to a state.  In this respect, Belgrade, as it is to-day, is a handicap
to Jugo-Slavia.  But Budapest will help Hungary enormously.

What a glamour there is upon Budapest in the evening, with myriads of
lights on each side of the gliding Danube.  Formerly one arrived under
the grand bridges in a house-boat at night and came alongside the stone
quays, and without passports or customs walked up into one of the
gayest and brightest cities of Europe.  But now the Danube, mother of
mighty countries, is enchanted and enthralled.  When will she be
disenchanted again?



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

VIII. FROM VIENNA

At Budapest you begin to suspect that you are in Europe; at Vienna you
are sure of it--with its great array of fine shops, full of elegancies
and delectable grandeur which leave Paris and New York in the shade.
The whole press of Europe seems to have "written up" Vienna as "the
ruined city" and "the end of a great capital," and even at
Constantinople where terrible affliction was constantly before the
eyes, the fiction held that Vienna was even worse.  You are, therefore
agreeably surprised to find the wheels of modern civilization running
smoothly--a well-dressed, easy-going people on the streets and in the
cafés, every business house working to full capacity, and all at first
glance going well.  The children, and especially those of the working
class, look healthy and full of life.  Starving Vienna seems somewhat
of a myth.

Vienna is not like Petrograd where the thousands of eyes of the Nevski
Prospect have been put out and squads of dead shops stare at one from
smashed windows and gutted interiors.  And it is not a vast
caravanserai for sufferers like Constantinople.  Something, however, is
wrong and has been wrong and will be worse, and this something has
power to strike the imagination of every one who visits the great city
of Vienna.  It is perhaps the contrast of luxury on the one hand and
black bread on the other, and the almost fabulous descent of the crown.
Wrangel's officers use hundred-rouble notes for shaving-papers, and
Americans in Vienna behave as unceremoniously with crowns.  The lower
denominations of the rouble are much cheaper than the price of paper,
and the Austrian crown is going that way.[1]

This depreciation of the currency strikes the mind of the visitor to
Vienna, and from it he deduces the general ruin of the country.  He
sees the shabby condition into which imperial palaces and State houses
are falling, and talks with the aristocratic or cultured _nouveau
pauvre_ carrying his lunch of sausage and black bread to a gloomy
apartment at the back of a fourth floor, and he feels the calamity that
has fallen upon Austria.  Austria with a nominal 2800 crowns to the
pound sterling cannot last.  How then about Poland with 4000 marks to
the pound--an Allied country with a close understanding with France?
But nobody in Vienna can understand how Poland lives.

The true inwardness of Vienna's calamity seems to lie in the fact that
she is the capital of a very badly governed country.  Much could
obviously be done in little Austria by an honest, intelligent, and
industrious administrative staff.  But they prefer to stand in the way
and beg, the giant Vienna and the dwarf Austria, staggering the
imagination of pilgrims, and whining for alms to passers-by.

By all accounts there is not even the will to govern well and make the
new Austria into a going concern.  Hence arises the economic problem of
Austria, which is certainly grave.  Here is a State which persistently
refuses to live on its income, and prints off paper money to make up
its deficiency.  A highly expensive bureaucracy five times as large as
is needed for little Austria pays itself first, and as for the rest of
the population the devil can take the hindmost.  The money-printing
press works night and day.  No loans, no foreign dole, will stop the
operation of this machinery; what is necessary is a change of heart.

The expression "starving Austria" is a propaganda phrase.  She may
starve, she probably will, but the time is not yet.  Individual classes
of workers starve until they get their wages raised.  There have been
many moments of struggle between the time when the tram-conductor
earned forty crowns a week to the time when he earned several thousand.
Ten-thousand-crown notes are not uncommon among the working classes,
and 10,000 crowns will purchase more than you could buy in England for
five pounds, or in America for thirty dollars.  A working-man's dinner
with a glass of beer costs about a hundred crowns, a city man's lunch
of three courses, a hundred and twenty.  The working class is accused
of constantly holding up the community for money by means of strikes.
The truth is that here the organization of Labour and the strike-weapon
proved a highly convenient method for getting level with the
money-printing press.  Labour has been more fortunate than the
professional and clerical classes, who, not being organized, have been
left badly in the background.  There are now many professors at the
University of Vienna earning less than one-third of the wages of
skilled artisans.  There are teachers, clerks, doctors, journalists,
and the like, in a most pitiable plight because they have not the means
of forcing the community to pay them higher salaries as the crown
depreciates.  As for the condition of pensioned teachers and professors
and officers, of the half-pay widows and the incapacitated of the war,
it is a shame to all European ideals.  When the Government halves the
value of the crown overnight by printing double the number in
circulation--it robs first of all the educated class and the
pensioners.  It is among these that one must search for the
heart-burning sorrows of Vienna--and these are not paraded on the
streets.

The most characteristic places of Vienna to-day are the new
_Wechselstuben_ or exchange offices, which have sprung up everywhere.
Here are such crowds waiting to change their money that you have to
wait in a line for your turn.  Some of the large banks give a much
better exchange than the little ones--and the better the exchange given
the longer the queue.  The large banks stop public business at
half-past twelve, and after that hour is the opportunity of the
bucket-shop.  If you have little time, or if you lose patience, you run
into one of the greedy little bureaus and help to make some one's
fortune, not your own.  This would not be of much importance for
Austria if the people one met waiting in these banks were mostly
American, British, French.  The sad fact is that the people who are
changing their money thus are nearly all Austrian or at least
ex-Austrian subjects.  The old Austrian empire has been divided into
five parts, and each part has a different money which has to be
exchanged whenever you come into another part.  And there is a great
difference in the values of the various moneys.  Thus the Hungarian
money is worth more than double that of Austria.  The twenty, the
hundred, the thousand-crown notes are almost identical in appearance
and printing--a small imprint of a rubber stamp being in many cases the
only distinguishing mark--but even from a waiter in a hotel you can get
two thousand Austrian crowns for one thousand Hungarian ones.
Roumanian lei are also much the same in appearance.  Czech crowns and
Serbo-Croat crowns are certainly different.  But when your home is in
Czecho-Slovakia and your place of business in Austria, and your aged
father and mother in Hungary and your uncles and cousins in Croatia,
you have a lively time with your money.  And it plays prodigiously into
the hands of those who have started changing-shops upon the public ways.

An interest in the rate of exchange has developed among the masses of
the people, who turn to the financial column of the morning paper as
Westerners do to football news or baseball results.  There is
considerable fluctuation in the values, and it is no doubt possible to
make a living by speculation alone, and many people do so.  In the
banks are, therefore, crowds, both of speculators and of people who
have just crossed the frontier and must get their money changed.

The Financial Committee of the League of Nations issuing its report in
June foreshadowed the substitution at an early date of a new currency
of definite value in gold.  The Austrian crowns which are now in use
will then suddenly appear in a new light to the deluded Austrian
masses.  They are probably worth nothing at all, and those who have
become rich in them will prove to be rich in nothing.  If, however, the
peasant is paid for his wheat in the new gold-backed currency he will
quickly go ahead in wealth.  But if he is paid in gold value, how the
cities will starve with their paper!

Between the money-changers in the great streets are the fine Vienna
shops exposing elegant craftsmanship of many kinds.  Here you can buy
rich glass, leather-work, enamelled silver, worked ivory, lace,
beautiful bindings, fans, house-ornaments of every conceivable kind in
ultra-perfect taste.  All that is for sale suggests a luxurious way of
life--aristocratic and cultured existence, and certainly not the showy
splendour of the parvenu.  You will hear it said in other parts of
Europe you have still to go to Vienna to buy certain things.  As long
as the skilled craftsmen and clever workers of many kinds remain, these
objects of luxury will be for sale.  Besides these, there are, of
course, many more ordinary things for which Vienna is noted--velour
hats, bronze shoes, and the rest.  These, reckoned at world-price
figures, are sold at one-third of their value.  But there is little
market for them.

The next most characteristic things of the city must be the thousands
of cafés, where you sit at your coffee surrounded by animated crowds of
men reading papers, discussing politics and business, the whole press
of Europe at their disposal.  Your waiter brings your coffee and
automatically at the same time the "Daily Telegraph," or "Figaro," or
the "Chicago Tribune," or the "Berliner Tageblatt," or "Obshy Delo,"
according to your accent and appearance.  Time seems to cease to have
real value in a café; it is easy to spend hours over one cup of coffee
and the newspapers--the difficulty is at last to pay and go.

The restaurants also are full.  Though the bread is of rye the meat and
potatoes are of the usual quality.  Waiters give you white bread
surreptitiously.  Your hand is below the level of the table and
suddenly you find that it is holding a soft roll of white bread.  For
this you will not be charged in your bill, as it is illegal to sell it
you.  You pay the waiter when he helps you on with your coat.  You can
get milk and butter and sugar in this way if you are ready to forget
that someone's children may have to do without somewhere in Vienna.

There is an extraordinary diversity of styles and prices at
restaurants.  A lunch for yourself and three friends will cost three to
four thousand crowns at the "Bristol," but the same lunch round the
corner goes for five hundred.  Going in with a certain M---- to a
fashionable restaurant, one could see that the waiters knew him
perfectly well, and the head waiter was most affable.  But he averred
as he looked round the restaurant that there was not an Austrian in the
place.  None of those who could have been seen there formerly could
afford it now.  The best cuisine in Vienna was now only at the service
of the foreigner.

Hotels, like restaurants, are speculative institutions.  But it is
difficult to find a room on any terms.  Vienna has increased in
population and not decreased.  She also is crowded with homeless people
and refugees.  Here are many whose houses are in detached parts of old
Austria, now in other States, and they will not go back, or cannot, or
are afraid.  There are also the Russians once more in great numbers.
At the Stadt-theatre, the Moscow Theatre of Art was giving nightly from
its repertoire, and it was instructive to see that great theatre packed
with Russians, from the stalls to the standing-room at the back of the
gallery, all listening intently to "The Three Sisters" of Chekhof; many
demonstrations at the end of the performance, too, and making the
building resound with Russian cheers and plaudits.

At Vienna you naturally spend some evenings at the theatre and the
opera.  It is famous for its stage.  There, however, you do realize how
Vienna has fallen.  The theatres are all full, but not full of the sort
of people who demand excellence.  Perhaps it would be unfair to judge
the opera by a performance of "Parsifal," that heavily over-dressed
story of sentimental religiosity and pedestrian symbolism, but it was
done in the most slatternly perfunctory style.  The theatre was
crowded.  But it was a strangely mixed crowd.  In lonely grandeur in
one of the boxes were three Englishmen in evening dress.  In the fifth
row of the stalls was a servant-girl who kept asking her neighbours the
time in the midst of Parsifal's mystical moments.  It was her night
out, but she had to be home by ten.  She looked at the play with her
mouth, and lolled to and fro.  Occasionally some people down below set
about clapping, but were silenced by hisses from the people up above,
who hissed down all claps: the theme was too holy.  However, in the
entr'acts, how the beer flowed in the buffet.  It was not too holy to
drink beer.

"The profiteers have all the seats in the theatres," say the cultivated
Austrians.  "They don't understand opera and serious drama, but it has
the name, and they could not afford to go before, so they go now.  It
is only the people in the gallery who know what is good."

"The people in the gallery always know that," said I.  "It is the
people in the circles who are not sure."

"What I mean is, the people who used to have stalls are now in the
gallery, and the people who formerly never came to a theatre are now in
the stalls," said the Austrian solemnly.

The intelligent Austrians are in a very gloomy frame of mind.  Although
the Government is nominally Christian-Socialist, it is very weak and
practically unable to cope with the Communist and extreme Radical
elements.  It is a common opinion that Austria lies almost as low as
Russia.  "The social destruction of Russia is being done bloodlessly in
Austria.  The working class is well-off; every one else, except the
speculators, is in poverty," said Dr. B.

"We have the officials for a first-class State, and the need for the
number of a third-class one," said Capt. S.  "Our army now, the new
army which we have obtained, is the worst army ever known in any
country.  I have been in Haiti, and the Haitians are splendid fellows
compared with them.  Our soldiers are merely a bodyguard for the
Socialists, and robbers all.  The true army, that went through the
unspeakable sufferings of the war, was turned on the streets to starve.
Austria may have been serving a bad case, but the army was not to
blame--it was doing its duty.  But there is one humble consolation now;
we have a condition of affairs in Austria which cannot continue.
Austria has become an economic plague-spot in Europe."

"It would interest me to have your opinion," I asked.  "Has Austria a
national spirit?  Does the heart respond to its name?"

Capt. S. thought not.  "I favour union with Germany as the only issue.
Few would grieve if 'Austria' were no more.  We are German, and the
idea of union with Germany has now made considerable progress with the
people.  But it is possible that the idea is not so popular in Germany.
It would be a grave responsibility to unite any country with the
financial and political wreck which we have here."

I put this question of the future of Austria to a Monarchist.  He did
not favour the idea of a union with Germany, but of a renewed union
with Hungary.  He still believed the Hapsburgs could return.

I put it to a working man, but he favoured the State as it was.  If
only the cost of living could be brought down it would be a very fine
State, as wages were so high.

The Petite Entente of Czecho-Slovakia, Serbia, and Roumania, is
strongly opposed to a reunion of Austria and Hungary, and would stop it
by force of arms.  The Czechs are equally opposed to union with Germany.

"So what do you say?" I asked of a Czech.  "Do you think that what is
left of Austria ought to be divided up between her neighbours?"

"God forbid!" said he.  "We've got enough Germans in Czecho-Slovakia
already.  Austria can very well exist by herself.  Does not Switzerland
exist by herself, and do very well, without half the natural advantages
of the new Austria?"

The French solution for the problem is known to lie in the possible
detachment of Bavaria from Germany, and the setting up of a new
South-German State in union with Austria.  Only on such terms would
France agree to Austria joining part of Germany.  The Bavarians,
however, show no signs of desiring to cut loose from the still great
German confederation.  A purely deliberative plebiscite taken in the
Austrian Tyrol is all for union with Germany.  A similar plebiscite in
the province of Salzburg shows the same tendency, another in Styria is
certain to go the same way.  These plebiscites are called passive
propaganda by the French, and they for their part egg on the Petite
Entente to stop them.  But there seems little doubt that were Austria
free to choose she would now give up her name and fame, and merge
herself in the German whole of which, ethnographically, she is a
natural part.

How strange that all the luxury and glamour of Vienna, as you see it at
this moment, is the concomitant of complete decline and mortal peril.
In arriving in the city one felt at last that one was in Europe, but it
proves to be not the Europe of the future.  Vienna in 1921 is part of
the sunset of that old radiant, peaceful Europe we knew before the war.
Night has to swallow it up, and the future lies on other horizons, in
Prague and Belgrade and Budapest, in the capitals of that new Europe
which arises from the defeat and ruin of the war.



N.B.--By Article 10 of the Treaty of Versailles, "Germany recognises
and respects strictly the independence of Austria, and recognises that
this independence is inalienable unless the League of Nations gives
consent to change."  And by Article 88 of the Treaty of Saint-Germain
Austria engages "to abstain from all acts calculated to prejudice her
independence either directly or indirectly."



[1] Travellers to Austria are seldom warned beforehand that there is an
internal and external rate of exchange, and they frequently lose 50% on
the exchange of their money.



EXTRA LEAVES

(iii) _On Money and League of Nations Currency_

In the course of this little tour of Europe I bought 1,000 francs and
4,000 liras, and 1,500 drachmas, 3,000 dinars, and the same number of
levas, some lei and 20,000 piastres, 7,000 Hungarian crowns and 32,000
Austrian crowns, 3,000 Czech crowns, 10,000 German marks, 15,000 odd
Polish marks, 500 Belgian francs, and some paper money of the
principality of Monaco.

You have to be somewhat of an arithmetician to think one week in
piastres and the next in dinars, and the next in crowns, and the next
in marks.  You are always losing but you always think you are winning.
You afford pleasure to strangers whenever you go because you can be
robbed so easily and safely.  In each country you can be robbed coming
in and robbed going out and generally robbed in between.  You do not
mind very much, it is part of the legitimate expense of modern travel.

You accumulate great wads of paper.  See the people of Vienna and
Warsaw, their inside pockets are all misshapen by the bulge of the
money.  The pockets of an international traveller are worse.  He holds
his unnegotiable accumulation of the money which is not worth changing
nor yet worth throwing away.

"How much do you expect to get for this?" said a Hungarian banker
surveying a bulky packet of Turkish piastres.  I mentioned a likely sum.

"_Grande erreur_!" he exclaimed, and lifted his hands in horror.  In
Budapest they were marketable only for a tenth of what I gave for them.

So the piastres remained together with provincial French notes and
small denominations of dinars and what-not, nominally worth something
somewhere, but in fact unsaleable.

The Germans have just now a very popular word for a _nouveau-riche_, it
is a _schieber_, one who exchanges.  Getting your money changed is one
of the most wasteful processes for you and one of the most gainful for
him.

A certain man had 10 pounds which he exchanged for 450 francs.  Then he
exchanged the francs for 600 lira; he journeyed by Fiume to Serbia and
changed again for 900 dinars.  At Belgrade he bought 6,000 Hungarian
crowns.  He carried the money to Budapest and then to Vienna, where he
had some luck and got 15,000 Austrian crowns.  However, at Prague the
bankers said they did not encourage the sale of Austrian money as they
did not know what it was worth.  He got 1,000 Czech crowns, which in
turn he changed to 10,000 Polish marks.  He then changed those for 500
Roumanian lei, returned to Poland again and only received 8,000 marks
at the re-exchange.  At Berlin they looked very disparagingly at the
Polish money and offered him 280 German marks for the lot.  He changed
this for 11 florins in Amsterdam, for which when he reached Antwerp he
received 40 Belgian francs.  His 10 pounds lingered tentatively over
the abyss of a nothing.

The title of this story should be "Exchange is no robbery."

A golden or at least a paper rule for merchants dealing with foreign
firms is "pay them when the exchange is most in your favour."  But the
foreign firm under these circumstances, having expected to get so much,
gets in reality so much less.  It is not surprising then that trade is
sticky.

We hear much of the efforts of Governments and financiers to regulate
the exchanges, but nothing comes of it.  The only obvious cure is a
Utopian one: institute one currency for Europe in the name of the
League of Nations.

Let us have "League of Nations gold currency."  But to have that the
resources of Europe must be pooled.  We are not ready for that.



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

IX. FROM PRAGUE

Czecho-slovakia is the watchdog of the new peace in Central Europe.
She is the strongest new power, and is manifestly the best governed
State which has arisen out of the ruins of the old.  The new Bohemia
(for Czecho-Slovakia is truly Bohemia) is a much more credible
resurrection than the new Poland.  One London daily refused to believe
in the existence of Czecho-Slovakia for a long while.  "Unless I see
it," said the editor, "I will not be convinced."  But Czecho-Slovakia
is quite convincing--and is much less of a Frankenstein than
Jugo-slavia.  The Czechs are no doubt obscurely placed in Europe, but
the traveller when he gets to their country--not the "seacoast of
Bohemia"--will find that they make good showing.

Prague is a fine old city on the rolling Moldau--what a fine name,
suggestive of rolling boulders down from the hills!  Ancient Prague has
this river for its moat.  It rises on heights from old bridges to the
royal palace and cathedral of the old kings of Bohemia.  The new city
has yet to be built.  It will be on the level ground below, where there
is to-day an agglomeration of shops and hotels as yet unworthy of the
capital of a great new State.  Here up above is all that is worth
while, though seen from the battlements, the new below, especially on a
cloudy day with lowering skies, is a very fine view.  Here lie the old
kings of Bohemia--one of them apparently "Good King Wenceslas."  Here
at a little distance are the mysterious walls with sentries posted at
the gates--walls curiously and accidentally associated in the minds of
thousands of children with Longfellow's lines:

  I have read in some old, marvellous tale
  That a midnight host of spectres pale
  Beleaguered the walls of Prague.

Not a good place in which to lose yourself at night--outside these
walls--as a party of us found on our first expedition there.

In the royal palace and offices are now accommodated the various
ministeries of the new republic.  Up in this purer air live also the
President, M. Masaryk, and some of the diplomatic representatives of
foreign powers.  It is no doubt rare in this lazy age to find a new
State administered and governed from the top of a crag, a steep climb
on foot.  But Czecho-Slovakia and Prague are governed from a mountain,
and have the mountain point of view, which is the view of youth and
vision.

The new State has some thirteen millions of inhabitants, and the
majority of the people speak both Czech and German.  German is
naturally discouraged as being anti-national, and it is now only used
in emergencies.  All names of places have been Slavonized.  Even
Carlsbad and Marienbad are now Carlovivari and Mariansky Laznie.  Where
names of places have to be printed both in German and in Czech--German
goes into small letters and Czech into large.  After the armistice was
declared in 1918, it only took a few hundred Czechs to overthrow the
Austrian power and proclaim a new national republic.  It was a
bloodless revolution.

France and England were benevolently disposed toward a Czech republic,
but America, thanks to the influence of the Slavophile millionaire,
Charles Crane, with Wilson, and to the personal prestige of Masaryk,
did most to confirm and strengthen Czecho-Slovakia.  Gratitude to
America is expressed everywhere, and Prague, in 1921, is perhaps the
one capital in the world where Wilson's name and fame are still
undimmed.  Is not Wilson's face in bas-relief on the wall of the main
station, "Gare Wilson," supported, curiously enough, by the admiring
figures of two Bacchantes wreathed in the vine?  It counts more to be
an American in Prague than to be English.  Crane's son is Minister for
the United States; Crane's daughter-in-law, as painted by Mucha, is
engraved on the new hundred-crown note.  American relief-work and Mr.
Hoover enjoy great prestige, and altogether there is for the time being
the atmosphere of an enduring friendship.

The Czechs adopted a Parliamentary system, but finding that "one man
one vote" brought to power new revolutionary elements, the system was
quickly defunctionized.  The administration is now appointed by the
President, and he, having been elected by acclamation, "President for
life," is in the nature of elective autocrat.  However, after Masaryk,
the term is to be limited to seven years, and a president may not serve
two terms.  The largest parties in the Parliament are the "Germans" and
the "Social Democrats," each of which has seventy-two deputies and
about forty senators.  The National Democrats, who might be called the
Masaryk party, are in the minority of nineteen deputies and ten
senators.  This party, nevertheless, is likely to maintain and hold the
intellectual leadership of the nation.  Czecho-Slovakia is not a
peasant State like Bulgaria and Jugo-Slavia, but ex-Austrian bourgeois,
with a large proportion of educated people.

It is a thick-set, burly, rather obstinate people, with imperturbable
eyes.  It is difficult to persuade one of the Czechs to do a thing
against his will, or to compromise between his opinion and yours.  Much
more difficult to persuade than a Russian.  And they are not as
obedient as the Germans, or as amenable to splitting a difference as
the British.  It has been said they are Russian translated into German.
Not polite or charming, but matter-of-fact, and a trifle on the rude
side.  There is in them a good deal of moderateness of gift, but they
seem far more practical than the rest of the Slavs, and more virile.
They have been Germanized and dullened by Austria, but in many respects
they are more capable than the Germans.  They seem to be the most
capable people in their part of the world.

I met Dr. Benes, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, deputy-President in
Masaryk's absence.  It was on his initiative that the Little Alliance
of Czecho-Slovakia and Jugo-Slavia was founded, with the support of
Italy and eventually including Roumania.  Whilst this was nominally to
prevent the return of the Hapsburgs or the reuniting of Austria and
Hungary, it has also had another function--that of drawing together all
the States deriving territory from the break up of Austria--even
uniting Italy and Serbia, up till recently preoccupied with mortal
enmity over the Dalmatic.  It is a great service to unity to have this
group of powers with a common understanding, and will perhaps be more
highly appreciated in the future than it is now.

Dr. Benes is a spare, pinched-faced man of the people, not a typical
Czech in appearance, a nervous type, of probably tireless energy.  Not
one of those that "sleep o' nights."  He had, however, an agreeable
smile of acquiescence when complimented on his work for unity.  "I do
not believe in the war after the war," said he.  "All the nations that
composed Austria-Hungary were exasperated, and have been in a bad
mental state greatly aggravated by the war.  We want to get rid of the
war-mind.  With that in view we are developing a policy which should
make for stability in Central Europe.  The most dangerous word used in
propaganda against us in 'Balkanization'--as if to suggest that all
these regions had become unstable and liable to Balkan quarrels.  But,
in truth, in three years we have made great progress towards a settled
state of affairs.

"Germany will fall.  If she agrees to pay she will fall, and equally if
the sanctions are applied she will fall.  She will not go so low as
Austria because she is a much stronger national organism, but her
export trade will be ruined, and the mark will become almost of no
value.  The application of the export duty on German goods is not
popular, but we are applying it.  It will raise the cost of living, and
be a great inconvenience to many businesses which depend on Germany,
but on the other hand some of our younger industries may be helped by
such a measure of protection----"

Regarding the Little Alliance Dr. Benes was clearly enthusiastic, but
he could not see it developing into a customs-union.  "We shall have
treaties regarding tariffs according to our mutual needs."  He hoped
the Alliance might develop to take in Poland, but at present Poland was
in a difficult frame of mind, very readily jealous and not generally
benevolent.

The Slavs are vociferous believers in unity.  They invented the word
"pan-humanity."  It is the most vital idea in Russia.  But is it not
strange that the peoples who are the strongest believers in human unity
are the most quarrelsome amongst themselves.  The greatest weakness of
the Slav nations lies in national vanity, egoism, and lack of
solidarity.  They have not the sense for discipline obtaining among
Latins and Teutons.  Perhaps in this respect the Czechs are wiser than
Poles, Russians, and Serbs.  But the fact remains that the Slavs do not
readily co-operate, and as nations have little of the modern sense for
"team-work."

Take the case of Poland, Czecho-Slovakia's obstreporous northern
neighbour.  Both have been raised from the dead at the same time, and
are brothers in resurrection.  Both have great capacity to help one
another.  But one finds an almost complete detachment, as if the
frontier line were an ocean.

"We send goods into Poland--and the Polish Government sequesters them,"
say the Czechs.  "We load our trains with stuff for them, and then our
trains never come back.  Many whole trains have disappeared in Poland,
and we get no satisfaction."

A new type of crime--train-stealing!  "No," says Dr. Benes; "we must
wait patiently till it occurs to the Poles that a close brotherly
relationship between the two countries is better than suspicion and
jealousy."

"Why do you not take the step yourself?"

"It would be suspected of having some hidden motive, or we should be
thought to be in terrible need of Poland's help," said Bohemia's
minister.

As regards the interior troubles of Czecho-Slovakia, much is made of
the Slovak separatist movement, and the Germans exploit the supposed
racial animosities of the two Slav tribes.  The Slovaks also obtain
some sympathy from our "Save the children" missionaries, who naturally
prefer unspoiled peasants to educated foreigners of any kind.  If the
Slovak hates the Czech he hates the Magyar also, but whether he hates
or not he is not very important in Europe, and is bound to find himself
in a subordinate national position.  The enmity of the German elements
is more menacing, and it is not to be denied that the new State holds a
million or so people who, by the accident of habitat, have to be called
Czecho-Slovaks, though they are no more Czecho-Slovaks than Lot and his
wife.

I met among others Dr. Isidor Muller, first assistant at the University
of Vienna, but living at Carlovivari (Carlsbad), and naturally enough
unable to speak Czech and unacquainted with Czechs, but written down as
Czecho-Slovak now.  Still, it has its advantages.  He told me that he
was once being rudely treated by a French officer who took him for a
Boche.  The Frenchman was disinclined to shake hands.

"But I am a Czecho-Slovak," said Dr. Muller, inspirationally.

"Oh!"  The Frenchman's face lighted up.  He extended his hand.  "We are
brothers and allies."

Still some German Czecho-Slovaks think they will ultimately overthrow
the new State and get into the saddle again.  And they make a solid and
dangerous political bloc.  Benes said they were much more amenable than
a year ago, but in the Parliament House--an adapted concert-hall--I saw
all the carpenters at work in a litter of shavings and broken wood.
"The German benches," said the editor of the "Narodni Listi," who was
showing me round the institutions of Prague.

Czecho-Slovakia holds now, besides her natural constituent races, a
considerable number of Russian exiles, and these have their Russian
daily paper at Prague and a number of local Russian enterprises.  With
the calming down of Soviet Russia, some of these Russians would
naturally return home, but a few have taken root and will remain.  It
is not an uncongenial soil for the average Russian.  Then the
Government has agreed to take ten thousand of General Wrangel's
soldiers, and will endeavour to settle them on the land.  There are
already too many non-Slavonic elements in Czecho-Slovakia, and Russians
will help to neutralize some of the Magyar and German influences.  At
least, such is the hope.  As a step in this direction, there has
developed also an important Church movement.  A large portion of the
Roman Catholic clergy have split from Rome and founded a Czech National
Church.  They have left the Pope, and have in return been
excommunicated.  Apparently excommunication has not a great terror,
however.  National Catholicism without an infallible Pope is not far
removed from Greek Catholicism and even Anglicanism.  Austria and
Hungary are Roman Catholic, but Czecho-Slovakia will remain either
Protestant or National Catholic.

The abandonment of the German language is also a remarkable phenomenon.
The common will is to abandon it.  Unfortunately, the Czech language is
of limited use, but there is now a remarkable passion for learning
English, and there are thousands of students at the University classes.
This boom is due to President Wilson.  The Russian language is also
extensively known among the ex-soldiers who sojourned so many years as
prisoners or as legionaries in Russia.  The French language having lost
much of its value has not so many students.  The "Narodni Listi," which
is the principal Czech newspaper in Prague, prints two columns in
French every day for the convenience of foreigners who do not
understand Bohemian.  This idea is being extended, and a daily
supplement in English is to be issued soon.

Two evenings spent at the theatre at Prague were curiously in contrast:
one at the German National Theatre, to hear "The Blue Mazurka," by
Lehar, author of "The Merry Widow," and other less entertaining
operettas.  The imposing building of the Deutsche Theatre was crammed
with Germans who took pleasure in a characteristic sentimental
operetta.  The other evening was at the Czech National Theatre to see a
performance of "Coriolanus," and was more interesting.  The Czechs had
great difficulties under the Austro-Hungarian regime in obtaining a
national theatre.  The Imperial Government was not anxious to encourage
Czech language and literature, and therefore refused to grant the State
subsidy on which national theatres usually depend.  This, however, did
not deter the Czechs.  It made them only the more determined to have a
national theatre.  It should be remembered that drama has a much
greater national importance in the continental countries of Europe than
it has in England or America.  Excitement over such a matter might seem
incredible to Anglo-Saxons, not so to Slavs or to Germans.  The
proposed deprivation of the Czechs of a national stage stirred the
people to the depths, and it was not long before men and women were
busy collecting the money to build and sustain a Czech theatre at
Prague.  The funds were raised, and the place was built, and the
Bohemian people inscribed over the proscenium the challenging words:
"_Narod Sobe_"--The people for itself.

"Coriolanus" was conceived of rather as a struggle with the
proletariat.  Hillar, the producer, has effectually disenchanted the
footlights by putting steps down to the audience in the position of the
prompter's box.  The characters frequently make their entrances as it
were from the body of the audience.  This is especially striking in the
crowding up of the Roman Bolsheviks on to the stage in the opening
scene--a remarkable piece of life and action.  However, though one
naturally thought of the Bolsheviks, there was nothing of the guise of
Lenin or Liebknecht in the appearance of the popular tribunes, who,
together with the rest of the citizens, were reduced to the level of
Dogberry, whilst the noble Coriolanus was perhaps exaggerated in his
nobility and his disdain.  Menenius Agrippa was a Balfourian old fellow
who told the story of the Belly and its members well.  What a story for
Europe to learn now: it ought to be put in the reading-books of every
tongue.

What struck me about the Czech performance of "Coriolanus" was the
dignity of personality and height of conception which the Slavs bring
to the interpretation of Shakespeare.  It was the same in Moscow in the
old days.  Hamlet was more interestingly conceived and better performed
than anywhere else in the world.

An interesting play reflecting in itself the world-drama, was lately
produced at Prague under the title "R.U.R.," or "Rasum's Universal
Rabots."  A scientist named Dr. Rasum succeeded in inventing a human
automaton, a human being except for the fact that it had no soul and no
power of reproducing itself.  They were excellent for use in factories
and in armies, and the firm of Rasum, Ltd., supplied them in hundreds
and thousands to companies and States.  Eventually the Rabots, as they
are called, combine and make war against the real people with the
souls, and they destroy Dr. Rasum and his factory, and even the plan
and the secret whereby the Rabots are made.  They also destroy the real
people, all but one, and a great sadness comes upon the world as it is
realized that man must die out.  At the end of the play, however, a
soul is born in one of the Rabots, and he is touched to love, and so he
obtains the power to reproduce the species, and the human story
recommences.  A striking idea for a drama, and capable of arousing much
excitement in Labour's literary circles.  I heard that the rights had
been bought for almost every country of Europe.  In the drama, as in
music and art, the Slavs are always passing Teuton and Latin, backward
though they may be in other matters.

Enough has been said to register the opinion that the new State of
Bohemia is very promising, and that it is a redeeming case in the
welter of New Europe.  As far as Prague is concerned it leaves behind
its provincial recent-past, recovers its ancient-past, and looks
towards a great future.  New buildings will arise worthy of a capital,
new administrative offices and a new Parliament House are to be built.
Around the Parliament House it is designed to place the cycle of
Mucha's mystical paintings lately exhibited in New York.  These
traverse the whole story of the Slavs, and especially that of the
Czechs, but not, however, omitting the story of Russia, from the
baptism of Vladimir to the emancipation of the serfs.  Czecho-Slovakia
will raise the banner of a new Pan-Slavism and Slav unity.  The faith
is kindled here that whilst many other nations are going mad,
Czecho-Slovakia may keep her head and be one of those who by her
example and leadership will save Europe from disruption and chaos.



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

X. FROM WARSAW

As at Constantinople, there is great over-crowding.  There are three
times as many people on the pavements as on the pavements of Vienna or
Prague.  The Marshalkowsky is a-flocking from end to end.  Finding a
room for the night is a hard task.  You will see a great deal of Warsaw
before you find a room.  It is not a bad way to obtain a first
impression.  I arrived at one in the afternoon and found a place for
myself only at ten at night.  The once luxurious Hotel Bristol was full
to-day, no hope for to-morrow, no, nor for to-morrow week.  At the
Royal Hotel a lugubrious porter says "_l'hotel n'existe plus_."  The
Victoria, which was the first hotel I ever stayed at in Russia, knew me
no more.  At the Metropole a preoccupied clerk said "_Nima_" without
looking up from the news from the Silesian front which was engrossing
him.  I went into a terribly shabby and dirty hotel called the
Amerikansky, and hoped they'd say "No," which they certainly did.
Another doubtful establishment with girls on the stairs was also gorged
and replete with visitors.  The Y.M.C.A. said they'd enough trouble
finding rooms for their own people.  The Hotel de Rome was occupied by
the Red Cross.  The Kowiensky was _alles besetst_; the Hotel de Saxe
had not even a hope.

These efforts were naturally punctuated by visits to the Polish "bar"
and café.  At these it came as somewhat of a surprise to have tips
refused.  I paid for my dinner and added the customary ten per cent.
The waiter drew himself up and waved his hand in deprecation.

"No, no," said he, proudly; "I'm Polish."

"What, no tips now?"

"No."

"That is certainly an improvement," I reflected.  In Warsaw, in Russian
days, most waiters fawned disgustingly for tips.  But it seems now as
if there were an entirely new population.  However, I resumed my quest
of a lodging.  At the Imperial Hotel they kindly relieved me of my
knapsack and overcoat, and advised me to come back at eight or nine at
night--there might be a room then.  Meanwhile I should continue
seeking.  So the Cracowsky was tried, and the Lipsky, once Leipzig, and
the Adlon and the Pretoria, and many another haunt of mice and men.
Then I returned to the Imperial for the second time.  No, there was no
room.  It had been a lovely day, only too hot, and the evening was
warm.  I thought pleasantly of the Saxon Gardens and its seats.

Then Poland revealed itself.  "You want a room very badly, don't you?"
said the Imperial Hotel porter.  "I'll arrange it for you.  But it will
cost you something.  You take my card to a certain hotel, which I will
mention to you, hand it to the porter and give him a thousand marks,
and he'll fix you up at once."

So I repaired to the Hotel Vienna, opposite the Vienna station.  The
night porter was very pessimistic, wouldn't take the thousand marks.
"Come back in an hour," said he in a loud voice; "if there is a room
then you'll have it; if not, you can't."

I went out to an orchestral "bar" near by and supped.  When I came back
the porter asked quietly for the thousand, and gave me the key of
"Number Five."  "At your service," said he, demurely.

Warsaw has greatly changed during the time I have known it, from the
days of panic and police-assassinations in 1906, when the miserable
green waggons of open horse-trams woggled along the main ways, and it
seemed a city of endless cobbled stones.  Warsaw was being governed by
Russia much as we govern Ireland now, and murders of constabulary
alternated with reprisals in which the innocent suffered more than the
guilty.  Strangely enough, the relentless methods of official Russia
succeeded in subduing the revolutionaries, and in a few years was seen
a calm and prosperous condition of affairs which lasted until the
outbreak of the late war.  A handsome service of electric trams and a
great new bridge over the Vistula raised Warsaw's level from an
external point of view, and made it something like a modern city.  Then
came the war, the German aeroplanes and their bombs, the violent
attacks and the panics, shell-fire, the blowing-up of bridges, wild
exodus of Warsaw people and entry of the Germans.  Of the people who
fled into Russia in 1915 few seem to have returned.  Their places have
been filled by Poles from German and Austrian Poland.  The
German-speaking Pole has displaced the Pole who knew Russian.

The Germans, of course, held the city from the summer of 1915 until the
armistice, and they repaired the bridges and instituted German order in
the city.  The miracle of the armistice raised Poland from death, and
now we have Warsaw as capital of a large new State.  The maps of Poland
in the streets, Poland as she is plus Poland as she believes she will
be, show a country considerably larger than Germany.

It used to seem rather amusing in the drinking scene in "The Brothers
Karamazof," when the Pole Vrublevsky, in proposing the health of
Russia, inserted the proviso: "To Russia, with the boundaries she had
before 1772."  But it is serious matter to-day.  For Poland has not
only reached most of the boundaries of 1772 but some of them she has
even transgressed, and still she asks more.

Poland is at enmity with all her neighbours, and by some of them is
hated, loathed, and despised.  And as an offset to the surrounding
nations she has one open and rather noisy friendship, and that is with
France.  England she considered to be her enemy even before the British
Government stated its view on the question of Silesia.  She had decided
to help France, and France had promised to help Poland, and England
stood in the way of all manner of injustice and aggression.  It is
pathetic to think now of the work done for Poland by England during the
war: the meetings that were held, the encouragement given to
Padarewski, Dmowski and others, the immense sums subscribed to the
Great Britain to Poland fund, and to the Polish Relief fund.  These
latter "charities" printed the woes of Poland in the advertisement
columns of the British press for years, and collected the shillings and
pounds of the benevolent everywhere.  But you did not see such work
being done for Poland in France.  The Frenchman is more careful of his
franc than the Englishman of his pound.  But perhaps it is not easy to
find now the Poles who benefited by British "charity."  How much Great
Britain subscribed and how the money was distributed is not generally
known to the Pole.  And, in any case, who cares?

The Germans disdain the Poles wordlessly.  It is not easy to get a
German to discuss the Polish people.  The Russians do not like the
Poles, but they are indulgent towards them and wait the day when Russia
will wipe out insults.  "Russia has plenty of time," is the formula.
It must be a little galling to the Russian refugees, of whom General
Wrangel estimates there are 100,000 in Poland, to see every public
notice in the Russian language blued out as if there were no
Russian-speaking people, to see Russian monuments cast down, and
churches despoiled of their golden domes.  But they bear it with
equanimity, biding their time.  Some, on the other hand, forgive the
Poles because they recognize that Russians would have done the same in
like case.  The people of the other neighbouring States are distrustful
or aloof.  In a friendship with France, however, Poland would make up
for all other enmities.  Marshal Pilsudsky, with the glory of having
defeated the Russians and won a victorious peace, is now pictured with
Napoleon.  He is even represented on picture post-cards pinning an
order of merit on the breast of Napoleon--the occasion being the
centenary of Napoleon's death.  Pilsudsky is a man of sentiment, and
when he made his important diplomatic journey to Paris last February,
he bore with him a picture of Joan of Arc by Jan Mateiks, in order to
express the gratitude of the Polish people to France.  In Pilsudsky's
honour a lesson in Polish geography and history was ordered to be given
in all the schools of France on the 5th of February, 1921.

Prince Sapieha and Marshal Pilsudsky negotiated a secret treaty with
France on that occasion--not with the Allies as a whole, but with
France.  As a seasonal fruit of that treaty came the Silesian adventure
supported by France.  The disarming of the population in Upper Silesia,
conducted under French auspices, had taken the arms away from the
Germans but left arms with the Poles.  Added to that, guns,
machine-guns, rifles, and ammunition, were run over into the plebiscite
area, and a mercenary "insurrectionary" army was raised, partly from
the local Polish population and partly from Poland proper.  An army
which the French Government held to be capable of intimidating the
League of Nations garrison of ten thousand fully equipped men, was thus
improvised.  The supposition is that interested parties connived at its
improvisation.  It could not otherwise have sprung spontaneously into
being.  After the first week of the rising, many of the insurgents
began to desert the leader Korfanty on the ground that their wages were
not high enough.  Much money had to be spent in the affair.  It might
be asked what interest has France to support Poland--is it sentiment?
Many will attribute it to a French quixoticism, which in truth does not
exist.  France will be ready to drop Pilsudsky, as she has dropped
Wrangel, when it suits her.  But the French programme for Europe
includes the complete dismantling of the German Empire, and by taking
away Upper Silesia from Germany another great victory would be won in
the war after the war.  Therefore it has been worth while.  And to this
end France proceeds not openly but in the old-fashioned channels of
secret intrigue.  The favourite device is the arranging of a _coup_ and
then the presentation of the _fait accompli_, accompanied by a
manipulation of the press.  It is almost unnecessary to say in English
that this sort of procedure has greatly damaged international
understanding and good-will.

The Franco-Polish intrigue was only too manifest this May in Warsaw's
streets.  Ascension and the centenary of the death of Napoleon were on
the same day.  It was made into Napoleon Day and was a great festival.
One of the principal squares had its name changed to Place Napoleon.
There was a public Mass for the repose of Napoleon's soul.  A statue of
Napoleon was unveiled.  There were military processions and the fêting
of the French military mission, special honours for General du Moriez,
who brought "_les precieuses reliques de Napoleon_" to Poland, and of
General Niessel, and of M. de Panalieu, France's Minister
Plenipotentiary in Poland.  The street crowds stopped the cars and
lifted the Frenchman on to their shoulders and carried them to plaudits
and joy-shrieks and brass bands.  It was amusing to see a diminutive
French officer with grey head and beard, sprawling thus on a moving
couch of Polish hands whilst he waved his hat and was pelted from all
hands with cowslips and lilac.  "_Vive la France_!  _Vive la France_!"
Polish Cossacks with white pennants on their lances come trotting
through and break the crowds, and then come artillerymen and their
guns, and then French diplomatic personalities protected by mounted
guards with flashing sabres.  The surging populace intervenes, and
sways, and gives, and closes again.  Here comes a great banner on which
is embroidered the ominous white vulture of risen Poland, the ghostly
bird that has sojourned a hundred years in the death kingdoms, and on
the reverse side of the banner is depicted the Madonna and Child.  The
crowd becomes instantly bareheaded, and the Germans in it wisely take
off their hats, too.  Polish patriots follow, dressed in white and
bearing aloft notice-boards wreathed in coloured cloths; on the
notice-boards are watchwords: "We will not give up our Silesia," on
others maps of the integral Poland showing the province of "Szlazk" in
red.  Specimens of insurrectionaries follow these sign-bearers, and
they are dressed-up peasants and miners carrying scythes on poles; more
crowds, more cheers!  The Polish Press leaps its headlines in jingoism.
Street politicians with bells bawl declamations across the many-headed.
Windows open on third-floors, and clouds of political leaflets are
scattered to the wind.

The same demonstrations with the same banners parade for days.  On
Sunday there is a review in front of the Russian Cathedral, and a
French General pins decorations on Polish heroes.  Great throngs in the
streets sing the Marseillaise bareheaded.  Warsaw breathes in and
breathes out--hot air.  Not all the Poles, however, share in this
excitement.  There were many in Warsaw who looked on coldly at the
proceedings.  "There is a Governmental claque that starts all these
demonstrations" said one of them.  "You ought not to be deceived by
that any more than by the new posters on the walls every day.
Bill-stickers are sent out by the Government each night.  The people do
not paste up these posters themselves.  Most of us are in a desperate
plight trying to earn an honest living.  The only way to get rich is to
work in with the administration and share in the spoil."

It is a common opinion that the low value of the mark (over 8,000 to
the pound sterling) is due to the Government printing it _ad libitum_
to meet its private ends.  It is a gross scandal that the exchange
value should have so fallen.  With such a currency it is doubtful
whether the present constitution of Poland can last.  It already
isolates Poland economically from the rest of Europe, and she cannot
import goods even from Germany at such a rate.  There is a vast, poor,
seedy, underfed population.  Food is comparatively cheap, and the
peasant is evidently being quietly robbed, by giving him only a fifth
of the money-value of his products, but even so a tiny loaf of bread
costs twenty marks.  There is butter.  There is no sugar (at cafés
there is liquid saccharine and you pass the saccharine bottle from one
to another).  An obligatory seventy-five mark dinner of two courses is
served at the restaurants, but the mass of the people live on bread and
sausage.

There has been a great exodus from the Ghetto to Russia, and Warsaw can
no longer be said to be a predominantly Jewish city.  The dignified
Semite in his black gaberdine and low-crowned hat is now only an
occasional figure on the Jerozolimska and Nowy Swiat.  And the poor
Jews of the slums are not multitudinous as they were.  On the main
street various trans-Atlantic shipping companies have opened offices
and offer to book emigrants right through to the United States.  These
offices from morning till evening are crammed with people trying to get
away from Poland.  Here may be found, in addition to the local
population, a certain number of people from Soviet Russia who have
bribed the Polish officials and are trying to get to the land of
opportunity as Poles.  The United States, however, looks very coldly on
these would-be citizens, be they Poles or Russians or Ukrainians or
Letts or Lithuanians, or any other nationality of these suspected parts
of Europe.  The number of visas granted is now being cut down to a
three per cent of previous emigration basis.

An interesting diversion from politics was provided by a visit to the
Polish Theatre, where Shakespeare's "Kuplec Wenecki" was being
performed.  The main interest was naturally in Shylock.  The Polish
actors made very attractive Italian _signors_.  Portia was a
full-bosomed Polish beauty, who, with a male voice, made a fine effect
as Doctor of Law.  The Prince of Morocco and Shylock were, however,
ethnographical studies.  The Moor roared and barked and cut about in
the air with his scimitar, and made the ladies scream and the audience
laugh.  Shylock was deliciously over-studied.  The daily life of Warsaw
was added to the grandeur of a rich Oriental merchant.  Shylock's
cleverness and intellectual assurance were obscured by funniosities
such as a sing-song Potash-and-Perlmutter speech breaking into gabble,
finger-counting, and beard-stroking, lying flat in the street and
howling.  But the audience appreciated this highly, and clapped only
Shylock.

It was otherwise an old-fashioned performance.  The Polish stage seems
not to have developed very much.  Polish literature has, however,
increased considerably, and there are many shops well stocked with new
Polish books.  You seldom see a foreign book in a shop window.  Russian
books seem almost entirely to have disappeared.  Owing to the exchange
situation French and English books cost enormous numbers of marks.

A remarkable feature of the city's architecture today is the Russian
Cathedral, with its slate-coloured domes divested of gold and divested
of crosses, a mighty white stone building in the pride of place in the
city.  Who is responsible for the damage it would be difficult to say.
Probably both Poles and Germans had something to do with it.  The
Kolokolnaya is blown up.  The walls of the cathedral stream externally
with pitch.  Many of the frescoes inside have been damaged and the gold
ornaments taken away.  It is a grand Orthodox interior, breathing the
spirit of Russia from every wall.  It was regarded rather as a
calculated affront to Poland in the old days--as the Russian population
in Warsaw was not large.  Now, however, a Roman Catholic altar has been
erected, chairs have been brought in.  There is a holy-water basin at
the main entrance, an organ sounds forth from the choir's gallery, and
a Polish priest drones the Latin liturgy.  Multitudes of Poles flock in
on Sunday morning, smiling, untroubled, unselfconscious; bowing,
kneeling on one knee, piously crossing themselves in Latin style.  If
there are Russians in the congregation they make no sign.  But what
they must be feeling!

The appropriation of the cathedral is, no doubt, justified.  But there
is something in the coolness of it, in the hate of it and lack of tact
which breeds the opposite of Christian charity in human hearts.  The
Slavs have much to learn.  By the stealing of trains, the purloining of
cathedrals, and false pretensions to their neighbours' lands, the Poles
are showing that there is yet national tragedy ahead for them.  They
will be deceived by some nations and slaughtered by others.  What have
we raised her from the dead for--but to live again, to live and let
live.  All have rejoiced in the risen Poland, even the old destroyers
of Poland--Germany, Russia, and Austria, all rejoiced until they
realized the nature of the phantom.  The beautiful white eagle that
leapt from the tomb is a more sinister bird to-day, blood-ravenous, and
scanning far horizons.



EXTRA LEAVES

(iv) _On Nationality and an Armistice Baby_

The personal idea of nationality suffered some heavy blows in the war
and even heavier ones in the peace which followed.  A mature Austrian
suddenly becomes a Czech, a Hungarian who knows only Magyar becomes a
Roumanian, a self-conscious Prussian is written into a Pole, and their
hearts are supposed to respond to new loyalties.  The famous lines:
"Breathes there a man with soul so dead" have now a comical effect when
recited in some parts of Europe.  Men are saying such absurd things as
"I am a German Czecho-Slovak," "I am a Polish Austrian Jew," "I am a
Russian Armenian Greek." A relief from the imbroglio of nationalism
might be found in the name of European with a higher loyalty to Europe
as a whole, but few have reached that stage of knowledge and feeling.

Asked at Ellis Island what his nationality was a gloomy gentleman from
Upper Silesia recently answered, "Plebiscite."  And have there not been
many babies born whose nationality has remained long in doubt, pending
plebiscites and decisions of the Supreme Council?  The plight of the
plebiscite baby is, however, eclipsed by that of the Armistice one.

The following true story was told me by H.M. Consul at Munich.  He had
to decide the point at issue, or at least to take a decision upon it.
The difficulty was that of stating the nationality of a child born on a
ship at the time of the Armistice.  The ship was a German one which had
been captured by the British.  It had a British crew, but it was
bringing refugees from Murmansk, the Arctic port of Russia, to Reval on
the Baltic.  It was flying the Neutrality flag.  The ship, however, was
wrecked off the coast of Norway and was towed by a Danish boat into the
harbour of Stavanger.  None of the refugees were allowed ashore but the
baby was born in the ship whilst it lay in the harbour.  The parents
were Russian, but an attempt was made to get the British Consul at
Stavanger to register it as British.  He refused.  The English law is
that the flag decides nationality and in this case the flag was neutral.

A neutral baby has, therefore, appeared on the scene.  It is a case for
the League of Nations to decide, We can only hope they will find it
possible to give it the status of a "good European."



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

XI. FROM MUNICH

The first day in Munich was marked by police inspection in bed.  The
police come early to the hotels so as to catch people before they have
got up and gone out.  The only people who are immune are Bavarians.  If
you are a foreigner, even if you are a German from another part of
Germany--a Saxon, a Prussian, a Westphalian, it is all the same, you
must present yourself at the police-station and obtain permission to
reside in Munich.  This means some hours in a stuffy room.  You must
write a request for the permission in German and bring it some hours
later and answer the usual set of questions and be charged 150 marks.
I said I had not come to Germany to study the police system, and so by
dint of perseverance cut through half the formalities and the waiting
time and got away.  An official wrote the request and even signed it
for me himself.  Nowhere is red-tape more absurd than when it is being
wound by a defeated nation after a great war.

Bavaria is encouraged to think of herself as a separate country.
French policy foreshadows an independent State of Southern Catholics.
With that in view a French minister plenipotentiary has been sent to
Munich, and we British have just followed the French suit by appointing
our diplomatic representative also.  Bavaria is not supposed to enter
into foreign relationships except through the Reich.  To this Bavaria
has remained loyal.  She has stood by the Reich even when the Reich has
protested an inability to control her.  The appointment of the French
plenipotentiary was, therefore, taken as a calculated provocation and
the minister was accorded a very hostile greeting in the Press.  This
annoyed him much, and he put it down, not to the general unpopularity
of French policy, but to the secret intrigue of the British who, as it
happens, are unusually intimate with Munich editors.  The rivalry of
English and French in diplomatic action is as marked here as it is in
other capitals of Europe.  Here, also, the natural antipathy which
French chauvinism arouses locally is thought to be aggravated by
British Intrigue.  Our diplomats are given credit for being much more
active than they are.

As I have already intimated, France favours a mergence of Austria and
Bavaria in one State as a solution of Austria's economic problem.
Bavaria would like Austria to be added to Germany as a whole.  It would
give the Catholic party a stronger voice in the Reich.  But Bavaria has
up till now steadfastly refused to sacrifice the advantages of
belonging to the German confederation.  British policy is not averse
from Austria joining Germany, but no active steps have been taken to
facilitate such an amalgamation.  The treaty of Versailles practically
inhibits it, and Britain remains passively loyal to that inhibition.
The time may come when the French rivalry may enkindle our people to
action, but it will be because the questions at issue are not brought
forward into the light of ordinary publicity and discussed openly and
frankly.  Secret diplomacy among allies means secret quarreling.  Open
diplomacy, when _both_ sides are open, is much more conducive to
lasting loyalty and friendship.

I met in Munich several influential Bavarians, thanks to the
hospitality and keenness of our Consul-General there, Mr. Smallbones.
There was no ill-feeling of any kind towards English people, and,
indeed, I met with no insult or cold treatment either from the working
class or upper classes in Bavaria--only some surprise as at a rare
visitor.  For there are extremely few English people there now.  The
famous picture-galleries are still powerless to attract the American
art pilgrim, though that is due more to the difficulty of obtaining
permission to reside than to lack of interest in the collections.
Possibly next year the police may relent.  The food shortage is not so
menacing.  Moreover, the village of Ober-Ammergau proposes once more to
have its religious fête and stage the "Life of Christ."  "Whether we
can have the play depends almost entirely on the Americans," say the
villagers.  "The money of visitors alone makes the performance possible
to-day."  There is talk, however, of an American film corporation
financing the "Passion-Spiel" if exclusive cinema rights can be
obtained.  The war made a dire defeat of village talent, however.
Several sure to have been billed for sacred parts were killed or
crippled.  Other prospective saints who served the Fatherland and came
through whole are letting their beards grow now.  If the difficulties
are overcome and the play is performed, the sound of English will be no
longer unfamiliar in Bavaria's capital.

Before this possibly Munich will have been for a few weeks Europe's
storm-centre.  The storm which broke in Budapest and then broke in
Poland and Silesia will surely break again in Munich.  For it is there,
perhaps, that the destiny of Austria will be decided.  For Bavaria is
the centre of the intrigue for the unification of Austria and Germany.
Concurrently the French are intriguing for their plan of an independent
Bavaria.

I was at pains to inquire the general opinion of educated people and
there seemed to be no separatism in Bavaria, no sentiment of the kind,
and there was apparently no Roman Catholic propaganda in favour of
Bavarian separatism.  It is curious that whilst Slav States are ravaged
by all sorts of local Sinn-Feinism, the for-ourselves-alone-ism of
Slovaks, Croats, Montenegrins, Little Russians, and so forth, the
instinct of all the constituent Germanic nations is to stand together.
Teutonic solidarity is giving witness of itself in these days.

The grievances of the Tyrol were very strongly stated at a Munich
dinner-party, a Bavarian count averring that that part of the Tyrol
which had fallen to the dole of Italy was too strongly affiliated to
the part which remained in Austria.  It was recognized, however, that
Italy was now friendly to Germany, and that no good part was likely to
be achieved by doing anything to alienate Italian sympathy.  The
French, however, begin to count on some Italian support when the
Austro-German idea is put to the test.  The experimental plebiscite
taken in the Tyrol was said to have been arranged from Munich.  Its
astonishing success from a German point of view at once encouraged the
intrigue.

There was not much alarm on the subject of the "sanctions" which France
threatened to apply.  The Bavarian is too lethargic, slow, and
easy-going to be readily frightened--in temperament he has little in
common with the high-spirited, nervous Prussian.  Bavarians spoke of
Germany and Germany's war-debt with an aloofness as of neutrals.  It
did not trouble them deeply.  They were sceptical as to France's
ability to collect a huge indemnity.  The fifty per cent tax they
regarded as an absurdity.  "It is possible to ruin Germany, but it is
not possible to enslave her," was the common opinion.

"But in the event of the complete ruin of the rest of Germany, would it
not be to the advantage of Bavaria to accept the idea of a separate
State?" I argued.

"If France deprived Germany of coal by occupying the Ruhr basin and by
allowing the Poles to hold Upper Silesia, Bavaria would have to look
out for herself and make what arrangements she could," I was told.  But
it was an unwilling admission.

In the French scheme of things that is when Bavaria's moment comes.  At
one stage this May it seemed as if that moment were near, but now that
Germany has accepted the alternative plans of payment of reparations,
and the British Prime Minister has intervened on her behalf to stop the
Polish annexation, the moment does not seem so near.  But a great
effort will doubtless yet be made to detach Bavaria from the rest.

Meanwhile, Bavaria took advantage of the intrigue to keep a territorial
army of a kind undemobilized.  The reich could demobilize it at will,
but allows itself to appear helpless through Bavaria's independence.
The situation was not helped by the arrival of a young British
staff-officer, who said that the British Government sympathized with
Bavaria, believing that she needed what troops she had to keep off
Bolshevism.  Eventually the pressure in Germany became so great that
Bavaria gave a verbal promise to disarm--though to what extent that
promise will be carried out must remain doubtful.  Her militia is some
protection for herself in case of a political conspiracy such as that
of Korfanty in Silesia, but is no menace to any other neighbouring
power.

Bavaria affects to be in deadly, daily fear of Bolshevism.  "Under the
shadow of the sanctions, Communism was developing strongly," said one.
Speaking of the Russians, "Perhaps we shall all come to it," said
another.

A rich Munich Jew, a cinema merchant, wanted to adopt a Vienna orphan.
He wrote to Vienna for a Jewish male child, well-authenticated as an
orphan; he did not want the parents to come and sponge on him in later
years.  The child was brought to Munich.  Presently application was
made to the police for an extra milk ration on account of the boy.
Then the police discovered the new arrival.  "What!" said they, "living
here without a permit!  Application for permission to reside must be
made at once."

Application was made and permission was refused.  The reason given was
that the housing shortage in Munich was too great.  But some one was at
pains to find out the real reason.  It was that the boy was a Jew, and
who could say--in twenty years, educated in the best institutions of
Munich--he might become a Trotsky or a Bela Kun or Bavarian Eisner.

"But why not a Disraeli?" said some one who listened to the story.
Permission was eventually granted.

One attempt has been made to seize Munich for the proletariat, and the
comfortable Bavarian realized that whilst he has a never-failing
stomach for good brown beer he has no stomach for revolution.  The
great city is a monument of bourgeois enterprise.  Business is more
than politics, and social conviviality than either.

S---- drove me out to the valley of the Iser, "Iser rolling rapidly."
We went to Grunewald, we passed Ludendorf's villa, curious credulous
Ludendorf, who took Winston Churchill at his word when the later penned
his appeal to Germany in the "Evening News" to save Europe by fighting
the Bolsheviks, and prepared a plan whereby the German army was
reconstituted in the strength at which in 1918 it was dissolved.  We
surveyed from the hurrying car a fine park-like country, rich and calm,
and sensibly remote from Europe's centre.  It was a lovely springtide,
and new hope fallaciously decked Southern Germany, as if all trouble
were over and all had been forgiven.  We walked, too, in the gardens of
the Nymphenburg Palace where the mad king used to play.  We visited the
State Theatre, where Wagnerian opera still holds the patient ear, and
there we heard, not Wagner, but Shakespeare's "Lear," done in a
jog-trot, uninspired, later-Victorian style.  One felt as if the
theatre had slept for thirty years and then, awakening, had resumed in
the same style as before.  It is often said reproachfully in Germany
that Queen Victoria would never have made the late war, and that
Victorian England was much nearer to Germany.  It was nearer to the
Germany of Queen Victoria's time.  That is quite true.

England has gone on and become more European; her passion for
individual freedom and self-expression has steadily developed, whilst
Germany has remained submissively under the yoke of authority and
discipline.  Germany, with all her learning and her industry, her
unstinted application, and her good parts, has become dull.  There was
an enormous amount of dulness, genuine uninspired dulness, in the
Germans in the war.  You can identify it now when you visit Germany in
peace.



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

XII. FROM BERLIN (I)

Old men and war-cripples as porters at the station, dirty streets
encumbered by hawkers and their wares, strings of pitiful beggars
shaking their hands and exposing mortified limbs--can this be Berlin,
Berlin the prim, the orderly, the clean?  Something has happened here
in seven years, some sort of psychological change has been wrought in
the mind of a people.  Here, as in some Slav countries, there are laws
and they are not kept, regulations and they are not observed.  Unshaven
men and ill-washed women on the streets, and dowdy, hatless girls with
dirty hair crowding into cheap cinema theatres!  A city that had no
slums and no poor in 1914 now becoming a slum _en bloc_.  And the
litter on the roadways!  You will not find its like in Warsaw.  You
must seek comparisons in the Bowery of New York or that part of the
City of Westminster called Soho.  The horse has come back to Berlin to
make up for loss of motors, and needs more scavengers to follow him
than the modern municipality can afford.

Not that Berlin has broken down in any way.  It is the same great hive
of industrialism.  Everyone is employed.  More are employed than
before.  The leisured class is smaller.  All the workshops and
factories and offices are full.  The shops display as many wares.
There is evidence of an enormous overflowing productivity.  Cheap lines
of goods are run out in hawkers' barrows and auctioned on the pavement,
measures of cloth for suits, overcoats, soaps, stationery.  Trams,
'buses, railways all are used to the last seat and standing-room.  And
the working people are thinking about their work and their wages and
their homes and their beer--and not about the peace treaty and the
latest move of France for their destruction.

It is sad to see the broken-down old fellows as porters at the
railway-stations, panting with heavy trunks, and the same type among
gangs of navvies repairing the roads.  They ought to be seated at home
with pipe and newspaper and easy slippers instead of earning a living
still as a drudge.  It is a convention to give your bag to a porter at
a station, and in Germany you usually give it to a man much older and
weaker than yourself, and you are moved to help him to carry it as in
his infirmity he struggles along.  What a contrast to the stalwart
porters of Prague, or Rome, or Brussels.  Poor wights!  It is they who
are paying for the war.  Sightless soldiers led by little children come
selling you sticking-plaster in the restaurants.  Germany is too poor
to care for them.  It is they who are paying for the war.  The drab,
many-headed middle class of Berlin with its poverty-stricken
breakfast-table, the old black bread of the war and no sugar and paper
table-cloths; the women going about the streets with great bundles on
their backs; the people making their 1918 clothes still do--they are
paying somewhat.  You see Hugo Stinnes and his like with a suite of
rooms at the "Adlon," or driving luxuriously along the Unter den
Linden, the Kaiser way, without the dignity of a Kaiser.  They are not
paying very much.

Most active-thinking people are to-day working for the reconciliation
of Europe, and the greatest obstacle to reconstruction lies in a
resentful, half-crushed, and continually harassed Germany.  Berlin has
been made a heart of ill-will, and the heart must somehow be changed.
Some will no doubt say it is Paris that has the ill-will towards the
peace of Europe--change the heart of Paris and all will go well.  But
even if France embarked on a policy of friendly tolerance towards
Germany it would be long ere Berlin was converted.  However that may
be, it was naturally with a hope of sharing in the long task of
reconciliation that the present writer visited Germany.  Many
Englishmen have a soft spot in their hearts for the Germans; perhaps it
is the instinct of race, or it may be merely good sportsmanship:

  I am not one of those
  Who will not shake Fritz hand
  Now that the war is done.

as a soldier-poet has expressed it.

I was told of a young German who set in front of himself the goal of a
reconciled Europe.  I would work to the same end in London.  It only
remained to find a similar devoted type in Paris to work from the
French end, and we should have a triumvirate that might achieve the
impossible.  God can use the foolish of this world to confound the
wise--the wise being mostly engaged in stirring up new quarrels.
Somehow the desirable Frenchman ready to devote his life to that cause
was not forthcoming--and that deficiency I suppose was symptomatic of
the disease.  For my part, I have made my journey of Europe and taken a
good look at that which it is proposed to reconcile.  At the end I came
to Berlin and Paris, the two main centres of the modern world.  In
Germany naturally I sought the German who was ready to work unstintedly
from the German side for the same cause.

I had never met him, but I pictured an idealist, one who had suffered
in the war and felt the folly of it all, who deplored the egoism of
nations, and had found a way to devote himself to humanity as a whole.
I was mistaken!  It is our weakness as a nation to think of a foreigner
merely as a sort of Englishman who does not speak our tongue or know
our conventions.  So was it with me, and I soon found myself up against
a real live German, a man of a type you would not find either in London
or Paris.  It was a disillusion.  Here was a man unsuited by his
national nature for the part for which he was cast.  One could not see
in him the potentiality of a helper of Europe.  The German as a German
is in a troubled mental state.  Small wonder!  Because of the
psychology of my friend in ---- I quickly began to surmise that the
German at present has not got the spirit to save Europe.  Perhaps he
has not the ability to save himself.

My German helper was a tall, handsome young man with an open
countenance and an engaging smile.  He had done war-service for the
Fatherland on several fronts in several capacities.  Among other things
he had been Commandant of a prisoners-of-war camp where British
officers were really kindly treated and a most pleasant relationship
existed between the command on the one hand and the prisoners on the
other.  He showed me photographs of himself with British officers, and
he mentioned it as a matter of pride that these fellows asked for
"Deutschland uber alles" to be sung one night, and they stood
reverently to attention through the performance.  This was followed by
"God save the King," which the Germans honoured in the same way.  It
was explained to me that "Deutschland uber alles" does not mean
"Germany over everybody else," but "Germany first of all!" as one says
"My country, right or wrong."  The prisoners must, if they were genuine
Englishmen, have felt rather low-spirited.  W----, however, saw in it
evidence of what a happy family party Germans and English could be, if
they liked.  He was undoubtedly pro-English, had been to Oxford, had
perhaps a quiver of an Oxford accent in his English; he had studied
England, as Germans do, and made considerable research among us.  His
wife was openly and unreservedly friendly.  He, however, was cautious,
and corrected his wife when she said too much or went too far.  It had
been a great blow to them when England came in to the war, a personal
and a national blow.  They could not have believed it possible.  And
they imagined throughout the war that their friends in England did not
share in the wild anti-German feeling and must at least passively be
pro-German.  Of course, it was not so.  They deplored the extraordinary
lapse in tone in the "Morning Post" and "The Times."  "'The Times'
actually refers to us as 'Huns.'  At least, it can be said of our
Press, high or low, it never nicknamed its enemies.  French were always
French, English--English, Russians--Russians.  It was beneath the
dignity of the war to call our enemies names."  He was amazed at the
ignorance concerning the Germans, and the credulity of such as those
who believed they boiled their dead to make lard.  I told him of the
German Ambassador's reception in London, Dr. Sthamer, how he was
received by certain people in Society and many were well disposed
towards him, though at first he had difficulty in getting things done
for him by the British working class.

"And you, you'll go anywhere in Germany, and every one will be only too
ready to help you, to do your washing and clean our boots and the
rest," said W---- reproachfully.  "We are so good-natured."

He had forgotten that the Germans failed to ingratiate themselves with
the London working class by dropping so many bombs in the East-end and
terrorizing whole districts.  He forgot the children who had been
killed.  He did not know the air-raids had had much effect.

"They had an unfortunate psychological effect."

"Well, you don't forgive us."

"On the contrary, the generality of Englishmen forgive Germany now she
is down."

My friend perceptibly winced at the word "down."  I had used the wrong
word.  But it is true enough.

"We know the Quakers are our friends, and the pacifists," said he.  "We
are thankful for their friendship, but we need to win over the other
people.  Make the business people feel that the Versailles Peace is bad
business, and the Imperialists that it is bad for Empire."

"They know that already, that it is not good for business and not very
good for the Empire.  What we have to get over is something
psychological--the belief in 'the dirty Hun,' the belief in German
trickery and spite."

He had never heard of that sentence which is a motto in Carmelite
Street, "They'll cheat you yet, those Junkers," or "Once a German
always a German."

There is a genuine belief among the English masses that the Germans are
cheating us, that they are pretending to demobilize and keeping a large
army in secret readiness, pretending to be unable to pay "reparations,"
not taxing themselves, faking their figures.

W---- and several others whom I met in Germany put it in the foreground
of the work to be done for re-establishing Germany in the comity of
nations, that it should be proved that Germany was not responsible for
the beginning of the war.  It is still the theme of innumerable
articles in the Press.  The German mind has not grasped the fact that
no intelligent European blames Germany exclusively.  Now that the hot
mood of war is past we are all ready to recognize that we were all in
part to blame.  We all founded our security on armies and navies, the
nation that produced the "Dreadnought" most of all.  We were all living
and picnicking and unfortunately quarrelling in the great cordite
warehouse of European militarism, and one day it blew up.  If we had
not been so well prepared it could not have happened so.  If the Kaiser
pronounced the dreadful atheism of "Let the guns speak," he really did
so after the event.

In debating this matter the German mentality disclosed itself in the
Germans with whom I conversed in Berlin.  I had a suspicion that one of
them might have said England began it, if I had been other than an
Englishman.  Edward the Seventh who arranged the _entente cordiale_ had
evidently something to do with it.  As I am a known warm friend of
Russia he could not say Russia began it.  His mind turned to a more
obscure nation.

"To think that Europe should thus have been ruined and all those
millions of lives lost," said he.  "Just for stupid little Serbia."

I am afraid I could not agree to that.  The devil began it.  What does
it matter now?  Nobody cares.  The present and the future hold the
potentialities of happiness rather than the past.  To discuss the past
you'd have to raise the dead on both sides.

England is not interested in history, but she is interested in
actuality.

Mr. Lloyd George has said that the German is not being taxed by his
Government in the proportion that the British are taxed by theirs--far
from it.  Figures have been given in the Press.  And they have not been
refuted by Germans.  The Germans hold that they are being taxed so
heavily that a maximum has been reached.  W----, who was well-off
before the war, has lost his income now, has taken a staff-post at the
Ministry of Trade and gets 20,000 marks a year.  He ought to pay a
heavy income-tax on that.  Yes, but it is only eighty pounds a year in
English money, and he has a wife and two children to keep on it.  There
are tens of thousands of professional men in the same plight.  Some of
the very rich arrange matters to avoid some of the heavy dues.  And as
regards the working-class, it is notoriously hard to raise money from
them by direct taxation.

"Then it is said that you are running your railway and postal services
at a loss.  And that is obviously true.  England has raised her rates
and made her public pay.  She thinks Germany should also."

To this it is replied that Germany does not believe in obstructing the
ready movement of people and of intelligence in her country.  She
thinks it bad policy to charge highly for railway fares and letter
postage.  What is gained by extra charges is more than lost through
business being hampered.

"These are points which you educated Germans should elucidate through
the British Press," said I.  "The idea that Germany escapes taxation is
a very unfavourable one in England.  It is much more important than the
rights or wrongs of the old war."

W----, who receives the "Nation" regularly, nevertheless did not think
any English paper would print what he might write on the theme.

I visited, among others, Herr Baumfelder, the editor of the "European
Press," once dropped from aeroplanes among our lines under the title of
the "European Times," but now under entirely new management, though
still a propagandist sheet.  It is nothing like so strong a
propagandist for Germany as the "Continental Daily Mail" is for France.
But it has the potentiality of a counterblast.  It makes one blush to
see English newspapers on German book-stalls with "HUNS' LATEST WHINE"
in large letters staring at the Germans as they pass.  Strangely
enough, the Germans don't seem to mind these headlines; they don't tear
the papers off the stalls and burn them in indignation.  They've been
drilled not to do such things.  One would think, however, there would
be considerable scope for a good German daily, printed in the English
language, expounding European events from another point of view.  The
European Press has that possibility.

Here, however, you find little that is helpful yet.  I am all for
truth.  It is the best type of propaganda--the only type that is not
loathsome.  And surely there is enough in the domain of the simple
truth about Europe and Germany to touch men's hearts, whilst

  There groans a world in anguish
  Just to teach us sympathy.

I hoped Herr Baumfelder would make his paper into a living journal
which all would be glad to buy in order to know the facts of the hour
in Germany.  No use to continue working the familiar lines of German
propaganda such as the "Menace to German Women of the Black Troops on
the Rhine," now so much exploited in press and cinema in Germany--or
the "Who was responsible for the war?" theme, alluded to above.  It is
sad to read the verbal violence of some president of "League of German
Patriots" who does not believe the editor of the "Spectator" when he
says "_We for our part, can honestly say that ever since the Armistice
we have wanted to create an atmosphere helpful to Germany._"

"You the murderers of hundreds of thousands of innocent German children
dare to publish such a deliberate falsehood," says "The president."
"You are practically sodden with falsehood and hypocrisy."

No doubt the president of the L.G.P. has lost money in the war, and has
an especial grudge against England, but that sort of writing makes
potential friends into persistent enemies.  And English readers of the
paper will say, "After all, what fools the Germans are."

There is a cynical disbelief in England's idealism.  Perhaps that
cannot be wondered at.  We have been, or seem to have been, very false
to our idealism at times.  We are judged by our public acts.  But
because of our professed idealism we are hailed as hypocrites,
appalling hypocrites.  And yet those public acts and that idealism are
distinct.  Both are authentic, and neither contradicts the other.  We
fastened on Germany a shameful treaty at Versailles.  But the idealists
never agreed to it, and do not do so now.  Our idealism is genuine
enough and it is, indeed, the germ of Europe's hope.  But for that the
outlook would be blacker still.

All that has been done to ease the application of the treaty has been
done at England's instance.  We stand as wardens against the
infringement of the treaty, as for instance in the Silesian attack.
Indeed, the general tendency of England's policy is to save the
integrity of Germany and give her a chance to rehabilitate herself
among the nations.

The sophisticated educated class in Germany smiles in superior
knowledge, ascribing to us selfish motives of one kind or another.  The
contempt for Englishmen passing through the country is somewhat
brutally expressed in the phrase _valuta-Englander_, the currency
Englishman, who is probably a nobody at home but swaggers here on the
difference of the exchange of the mark and the pound sterling.  The new
educated class has always found difficulty in being tolerant and in
recognizing who were its potential enemies or friends.  But I noticed
that the working class had less pre-judgment and was more open-hearted.
The working class grasped the truth of the situation.  It was not
merely a desire to flatter and curry favour that prompted their
attitude.

"France is our real enemy--not England," was the frequent greeting of
the ex-soldier working man who grinned and asked if I'd been a soldier,
too, and on what front.  Rank and file on both sides conceived a
respect for one another in the war, which the educated class somehow
missed.  Perhaps the educated class in Germany would be more indulgent
if they were not so hard hit financially.  The working man still has
money, has, indeed, a flattering number of marks in his pocket.  When
he has not so much money he is as morose as his educated brother.

In Saxony, where an industrial depression not half so deep as that of
England is being felt, you have a strong Communist movement.  The
devitalized masses of Leipzig are not so brotherly as the Berliners.
The signs of street-fighting are visible in the many cracked and broken
windows of shops, and the helplessness of police seems to be expressed
in gatherings under the auspices of the red flag, where
internationalism is bawled across the square by unshaven, collarless
young men, and it is "_Hoch die Weltrevolution_!"

"If we lose our export trade then the enfeebled industrial population
of places like Leipzig must die off, and Germany return to the land,"
said a Leipzig editor to me.  "But before they die off they'll make red
war in Germany."

Not an unedifying place for the trial of war-criminals!  There is
little at Leipzig to give English witnesses an idea of a flourishing or
promising Germany.  A true study of the after-the-war Germany would
naturally take in Leipzig and the other great centres of industry and
trade.  Berlin is admittedly deceptive, with its profiteers and its
rich foreigners.  Bremen and Hamburg would be vital points to
reconsider.  I visited the former--a beautiful quiet Hanse town, very
quiet now, once the port of sailing of the Nord-deutscher Lloyd boats,
and a port of many ships.  There is an impoverished and diminished
population, and grass is growing in streets where it never could have
grown before.  The German mercantile marine has dropped from
six-and-a-half million tons to one-half million of tonnage of little
vessels.  You feel that fact at Bremen.  The great ships, mishandled
and in many cases disabled, now swell the numerical tonnage of other
countries without adding so very much to their shipping power.  The
Hamburg-America line and Nord-deutscher Lloyd and others, shorn of
their real glory, still continue a pettifogging existence booking
tickets for passengers on the ships of foreign lines.  What a curious
Germany!  She has made a strange backward progress since the days of
the Agadir incident, and the plea which eminent British and American
journalists defended then, that she should be accorded "a place in the
sun."



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

XIII. FROM BERLIN (II)

Berlin is a city of reason, not a city of faith.  You cannot get people
to try and do the impossible there.  It loves to grade itself upon the
possible and do that.  Hence the apathy regarding Germany's
resurrection.  Here all is measured and planned and square and
self-poised.  No buildings aspire.  The golden angels and the other
things which are high--are perched there.  Some one put them up; they
did not fly so high.  All the great capitals of Europe are redeemed
more by their past than adorned by their present, but Berlin has no old
Berlin to help her.  If all that is worth while in London were built in
the spirit of Downing Street and Whitehall and the statue of Nurse
Cavell, it might be said that London was not unlike Berlin.

Clearly two ideas have tried to express themselves in Germany's
capital: one is modern commerce, and the other, and more
characteristic, is military glory.  The commercial houses are naturally
much the same as in the rest of Europe, gloomily utilitarian.  The
military in stone, however, is neither ornamental nor useful.  Strange
that the Kaiser, who was reputed to have quick intelligence, should not
have felt how excruciatingly unspiritual and truly uninspiring the
glory-statuary and architecture was.  The German army was one of the
greatest military organizations the world has seen, and it was in 1914
a potential terror to every nation in Europe, but its reflection in art
was ugly.  The Victory Column, the statues of Germany's heroes, the
appalling queue of stone groups each side of the Sieges Allee, all show
up now like a spiritual X-ray photograph of Prussia.

It may seem ungenerous to taunt some one who is down, after the event,
but I did not see the Avenue of Victory before 1914, and it came as a
shock.  Despite the loathsome details of the war, there are many
ex-enemies of Germany who have kept in their hearts an altar of
admiration for German arms.  An idea of Teutonic chivalry lurked
somewhere in the imagination.  But you can realize in Berlin from the
militarist self-confession in art that there is no idealism there.  How
the Kaiser could go out day after day and confront these low
conceptions of patriotism and of Germany, and not order them to be
swept away, explains in great part how it was Germany made such a
blunder as to go to war the way she did.  One advantage of a revolution
in Germany might be to sweep away these sad tokens of the past.

It was in this Avenue of Victory that old Hindenburg's wooden statue
was set up and the populace struck nails into it to boost
war-charities.  It became so ugly that it was hidden away at last, and
despite the Field-Marshal's great popularity has lately been broken up
and destroyed.  That was really worth keeping, and ought to have found
a place in a war-museum.  It was authentic, but it did not flatter, and
it had to go.

Hindenburg is the greatest hero in Germany, and all the children
idealize him.  Whatever he puts his name to, goes.  He and a popular
pastor worked up a huge subscription for war-waifs, and when the money
had been raised it was found the waifs were already well provided for.
I believe the money was appropriated to a fund for helping the indigent
middle class.  At a cabaret one night there appeared a clever
impersonator.  A slim, clean-shaven man entertained the people sitting
at the dinner-tables by rapid changes of personization.  He was in turn
every one who had a share in the making of modern Germany.  Thus he was
Bismarck and he was Karl Marx, and he was Ebert, in rapid succession.
No one cheered him, and the people looked at the undistinguished figure
of Ebert without enthusiasm.  Presently, as one foresaw, he came to
Hindenburg, and then every one cheered and the place rocked with
excitement.  There were even a sprinkling of claps over to applaud his
next impersonization, the late Emperor Franz Joseph who was sandwiched
in to prepare the mind for something else.  After that, one waited.
Would he show the Kaiser?  What would happen if suddenly the familiar
face of Wilhelm the Second confronted that gathering of Germans?  The
mimic, however, would not risk it, and his concluding make-up was not
Wilhelm but, very cleverly chosen, Frederick the Great.  And every one
was at ease again.

Germany is not ready to have the Kaiser back.  But, as at Athens, so in
Berlin, national humiliation has reacted in favour of the monarch.
There is a vague feeling that the Kaiser is suffering for Germany's
sake, and that his exile typifies the unhappy downfall of Germany.  No
one thinks the Kaiser less virtuous than Lloyd George or Clemenceau.
Except for the Communist movement, which naturally tends in an entirely
different direction, there is a national sentimental reaction in favour
of the Hohenzollerns.  This was clearly focussed in the honours paid to
the dead Kaiserin.  Before the passing of that funeral cortège the
Kaiser's portrait was rare in public places.  Now it has appeared again
and is common.

There are nevertheless few things in Europe more improbable than the
return of the Kaiser.  He might come back before he died.  But it would
be as the result of some strange turn of affairs in Europe.  He will
probably die in Holland.  And then will he not come back and receive
the greatest honour?

I was naturally interested in the spirit of the rising generation,
those who did not have to fight, those who perhaps will not be
conscripted to fight the next war.  The boys at school are said to be
completely out of touch with the sordid reality of Germany's position.
Masters dare not explain her helplessness in its entirety.  They are
ashamed of what their generation has done with the great inheritance.
Nevertheless the children know that Germany has been beaten.  They
cannot know to what extent beaten.  But a boy being asked what his
politics were replied to a friend: "One thousand kilometres to the
right of the right," and the constant thought in their talk, in their
essays, in their boyish life is _We will get back Strassburg_.

The mature mind regards such impulses questioningly, and looks from the
romantic children to the uninspired and uninspiring monuments of 1914
Germany.  What sort of a Germany will it be fifty years hence, one
asks.  Not the old set up again.  But if a new Germany, what will it be
like and wherein will it excel?

The scenery of these years will no doubt be cleared away.  In several
ways Germany has excellence and possibilities of great service to
humanity.  In original research and invention, in applied science and
in science itself, in scholarship, and in social and industrial
development and organization, the German has shown himself to be a
pioneer.  In these pacific domains Germany was in happy rivalry for the
leadership of the world.  In several of them Germany actually was
leader.  It is very unfortunate that the war should continue to strike
at these.  And it would be idle to deny that those Germans whose work
serves humanity as a whole have in any way escaped the crippling effect
of the downfall of the State.  In fact, the educated people have been
hit most, and are most threatened.

Moreover, the atmosphere of Germany in these days is not creative.  A
black finger is pointing threateningly from the sky.  The enormity of
the punishment which Fate threatens is incredibly great, and yet it
keeps threatening.  It is perpetually:

  The Ides of March are come,
  Aye Caesar, but not gone.

The first of May has come, the thirteenth of May has come, and so
forth.  The line trees are arrayed in tender green, and anon blossom
along the length of the Unter den Linden, but it is not Germany's new
summer, and it has that irrelevance which the murderer remarks when he
is being led some beautiful spring morning to the scaffold to be
killed.  It was a fine morning, but not for him.

It is only too natural for the educated man to look out morbidly from
the eye-gate of the soul.  Thus R----, whose fine work on Central Asia
was published gratis by some learned society in England before the war,
says, "I will renounce my German nationality and become English as soon
as your Home Office will let me.  Germany is going to be no place for
men of brains."  Thus the famous theologian Harnack, having completed
his latest work, speaks of circulating it only in manuscript as he is
in no position to have it printed.  Thus Z----, the chemist and
metallurgist, has taken his laboratory and his assistants to
Switzerland to escape the spiritual paralysis which has overtaken his
native land.

Doubtless this black will-to-the-nothing is reflected in many lives in
Germany, and in many spheres of activity.  Nietzsche anticipated it,
though of course, he did not ask for Germany the psychology of one who
has been beaten, the evil resentful frame of mind.  This latter is
strongly exemplified on the serious stage, not serenely and
universally, but tinged and circumstanced by Germany's downfall--the
what-does-it-matter-that-Sophocles-was-great-if-Germany-is-no-more
point of view.

"Richard III" at the State Opera House was a strange performance.  It
was about the time of the Shakespeare Day celebration which Germany
keeps once a year.  All the newspapers devoted articles to Shakespeare,
and one felt truly that a great master of words and of men was more
honoured in ex-enemy Germany than in the land of his birth.  And that
should have been good for Germany; Shakespeare is universal, and it
takes the universal to cleanse the national.  As a German philosopher
has said, it needs an ocean to receive such a muddy stream as man.

"Richard III," however, showed what the war-spirit can make of
Shakespeare.  It was interpreted in the pedantic historical vein, and
was given as a bloody, brutal mediaeval piece without a thought or a
smile or a tear.  Richard was shown as a "Hun" of the worst kind.  His
murderous career was facilitated by his characterless victims.  Anne
was a "characteristic English hypocrite," pretending to mourn her
husband, and yet quite ready to marry Gloucester as "the average
Englishwoman would do if the proposal were made."  Clarence had no
poetry in his soul, and was not even allowed to touch you by his dream
in the Tower.  Richard said his conscience-stricken, soul-torturing
speech--"Richard loves Richard, that is I am I." in a matter-of-fact
way.  It is a great tragic note in Shakespeare, but in Berlin it was
quite a playful matter.  Just as the murderers played at murdering
Clarence, so Richard joked with himself over, "is there a murderer
here--Yes, I am."

The only way to explain such a Richard III to the audience was to
suggest--That is the sort of people the English are--thank their God
for their humility whilst in reality they stick at nothing to gain
their private ends, and are not troubled with conscience.

This production was entirely modern in its presentment.  There was a
remarkable simplification of scenery.  This was, perhaps, due to the
new poverty of Berlin.  But it comprised merely a wall, a hole in the
wall called the Tower of London, a platform on top of the wall called
Tower Hill, carpeted stairs against the wall called the Court at
Westminster.  Clarence mopes in the hole with one electric light--his
butt of malmsey wine is even out of view.  Richard appears between the
two archbishops on the top of the wall, and finally he fights the
battle of Bosworth Field up and down the carpeted stairs.  Indeed, he
suddenly appears at the top of the stairs naked to his middle and then
runs down the red carpet carrying his crown in his hand whilst he
shouts, "Mein Konigsreich fur ein Pferd,"--my kingdom for a horse.
This last was deservedly hissed by the audience as a palpable absurdity
being foisted on the half-stunned _intelligentsia_ of Berlin.

At the Lessing Theatre a few days later, "Peer Gynt," that poetical
drama of the Teuton's destiny--much better done because really nearer
to the German soul than Shakespeare.  Solveig had faith; though it was
not quite certain that she was the sort of woman to whom one _had_ to
return.  Peer's romantic return to his mother was, however, much
stressed, as in the Greig music.  The sentiment that Peer "had women
behind him and, therefore, could not perish" appealed strongly to the
German mood, though the application of the button-moulder idea to the
plight of Germany just now appeared to have been missed.  Peer ought to
have been a shining button on the vest of the Lord, but has missed his
chance, and now is to be melted down with other buttons into something
else--into a Polish button, a Czech button, an Alsatian button.  There
was much scope for meditation looking at "Peer Gynt" at Berlin in 1921.

In lighter vein the traveller finds much more to delight him in the
operettas of Berlin.  As at Vienna, they are better done than classical
drama.  That is not a slight on the stage.  The vulgarity of English
musical comedies and imported operettas is lacking on the Berlin and
Vienna stage.  German pieces of this kind are often extremely charming
and diverting, and they impart that light-heartedness which is a first
condition of a healthy mind.  The audience is in no sense "highbrow,"
it is the general level of German humanity.  It forgets and responds,
and is ready to sing choruses with the leaders of song and dance.
Three or four evenings spent listening to operetta leave very pleasant
memories, and the last of these was on the occasion of the first night
of "Morgen wieder lustik," a humorous presentation of the time when
Napoleon was splitting up Germany much as the French wish to split her
up now--and there was a King of Westphalia who is still memorable for
that one phrase, "_Morgen wieder lustik!_"--To-morrow we shall be happy
again!

I visited Strasbourg, now outwardly Frenchified, but inwardly German
enough.  At the time of the commencement of the armistice and the
German retirement "Simplicimus" published a picture of a "Farewell to
Strasbourg."  It was a stormy sunset and late evening, and the black
silhouette of the very memorable cathedral, the stark and ragged
grandeur of that cathedral and its spire which looks as if nothing
exists in Strasbourg but it, stood for the significance of the city.
Some German horse-soldier symbolized the last to go, and lifting his
hat, took one last look at the place, and said, "_Auf wiedersehen_."
And Alsace became French once more.

What a thing to graft two French provinces to the living body of
Germany for fifty years and then dispart, when the blood has learned to
flow strongly from the new flesh to the heart!  You feel the break, the
interruption, when you go there now.

And now the same two provinces, heavily Germanized, are re-grafted back
to the original flesh of France.  It would be absurd to say that the
circulation of the blood and the spirit have been re-established at
once.  There is a great deal of mortification in Alsace and Lorraine.
It will be a long while before French life permeates the whole and
surges through every vein.  Meanwhile the new process of
Frenchification proceeds.

We seldom hear that the Germans dare claim to hold Alsace and Lorraine
on any grounds, and yet, in fact, quietly and persistently, they do
dare.  It is frequently urged in conversation that if a plebiscite had
been taken in the two provinces, the majority would have been found
desirous of remaining under German rule.  This, no doubt, is partly
vanity, and springs from belief in the supposed preferability of German
civilization to French civilization--even French people who knew what
it was to live under a French as well as a German regime might prefer
the latter as more efficient and comfortable and up-to-date.  But the
belief that a plebiscite would have gone in German favour is based even
more on the German population and on the strong business interests
which link the industrial part with the industrial whole.  Alsace and
Lorraine through commercial development had become an exceedingly
important constituent of modern Germany before the war.  Germany,
moreover, claims to have converted them from poor departments of France
to wealthy industrial communities.

Naturally no one on the Allied side of the peace-table ever dreamed of
considering such arguments.  And they are so lacking in practical
cogency that they find no place in the current consideration of modern
Europe.  They are useless arguments for a Germany who lost the war, and
they are assumed to be quite dead.  Germany has enough trouble to save
Westphalia and Silesia and the Ruhr valley, let alone think about the
irrecoverables of the war.  She might as well argue that the fleet she
sank at Scapa Flow should be restored to her as think of Alsace now.

Nevertheless, the arguments remain for another day to become the
arguments of pretension and justification.  France naturally is taking
care that there shall never be another day of reckoning.  But let
France make a mistake in her diplomacy and "get in wrong," as they say
in America, and it will all be fought over again.  It was only fifty
years after the Franco-German war that this new war came.  Who knows
what re-grouping of power there may be, or how Germany will stand in
1970!

In our reckonings and prognostications we should keep in mind that the
German is the centre body of the Teutonic race.  He is down, but he is
not finally beaten.  His mind is resentful, and indeed full of the
revenge instinct.  He has not learned the lesson of humility and
obedience in the great war.  Who has?  He believes he is meant to be
master in the vast European plain which he has fitly named "Central
Europe--_Mittel Europa_," and identified with himself.



EXTRA LEAVES

(v) _On "Clay Sparrows" and the Failure of Freedom_

France and Germany are hazardously in agreement in regard to English
and American liberal idealism.  They think it moonshine and the League
of Nations a failure, and that Freedom has been tried and found wanting.

We are at school with Christ and have made our clay sparrows.  Wilson's
birds fly--ours won't.  France is an obstinate clay sparrow who sits
perched on the wall.  And what shall we say of the other clay sparrows?
Do they look like flying?  The peoples won't take the freedom and the
light that is offered them.  We sing to them and tempt them, but they
do not respond.

Germany, however, does not believe in "free countries," and she is
edified by the failure of freedom.

"Your gods fail you," said a Bavarian to us at dinner.  "You'll have to
try our gods after all."

"But it is not so.  The little nations are all using their Freedom,"
some one rejoined.

"Abusing it," said the German.

"That is only their high spirits, the natural first excesses of people
who have got free."

"Russia?" queried the Teuton.  "Poland?  Roumania?" and he smiled
indulgently.  "Human nature shows up badly when you give it a chance,"
said he.  "You cannot trust individuals yet, and you cannot trust
nations.  For example: you are all lined up waiting to receive tickets
for the theatre or a train.  Some have a sense for order and keep their
turn, but others edge past them and get to the ticket window first.
And then the orderly individuals are forced to do the same or lose
their temper.  Now, to meet human nature we have invented a grill, and
if you go to our State theatre in Munich you will see this iron control
which allows a large crowd to assemble but makes it impossible to go
out of your turn."

"An emblem of German civilization," I thought, "but it has its use."

"We are all going back to preventatives," said another.  "After all it
is the foundation of Mosaic law--the prevention of evil.  America has
adopted the idea.  Prohibition is not freedom.  It is taking the bottle
away and not giving you a chance.  It is the same with other human
sins.  The best way to reduce the numbers of murders is to reduce the
number of weapons and exact a heavy gun licence.  The best way to stop
robbery is to use more steel locks.  Make it difficult to commit crime
and then crime won't be committed.  But beware of Freedom."

The conversation was side-tracked on to the subject of the "dryness of
America."  But it provided an insight into the German point of view.
Coming into line with the rest of Europe Germany accepted the idea of
Freedom in November, 1918.  She watched how it worked and then very
quickly turned her back on it.  In truth, Freedom is not congenial to
Germans.  Had Germany won she hoped to impose her type of civilization
everywhere, and she saw little harm in the fact of imposition.
Inferior nations ought to be raised to Germany's cultural level by
force, and they ought to be prevented from running amuck
internationally, also by force.  The German mind viewed complacently
the bondage of the small nations in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  It
did not think that Czechs or Poles lost anything by being governed from
Vienna.  Its only reservation was that it might be still better for
them if they were governed from Berlin.  Berlin still believes that
Alsatians and Danes and Poles and Russians and Czechs are better in
health under German discipline.  Europe organized militarily was the
German conception of the future--that some one should order and some
one should obey everywhere.

Great Britain caught the idea through Carlyle, though it was more
congenial to the Germanic type of Southern Scot than to English or
Irish.  We talked of "captains of industry," and the "aristocracy of
talent," and "benevolent autocracy," though we could not realize them.
But to modern Germany this idea was society's cement.  It was preached
from the Lutheran pulpit, it was taught by sergeants in the Army, it
was unfolded and beflagged by politicians on election day.  There were
rebels against it but no national movement opposed it.  It was even
rooted in the home where husband ruled wife, and father ruled children
with complete authority, and a man could point to his _frau_ or his
_kind_ with his index finger, and say "To-morrow you will do that.  Now
you shall do this!"

The opposite note of liberty was at Moscow where the children not
infrequently, even under Tsardom, went on strike against their
teachers, where servants tell masters what they ought to do, where a
Rasputin is asked advice on imperial policy, the land of the Slavs
where obedience is at its lowest ebb, and all the parks and gardens and
country-sides languish naturally in disorder.  "Love to Russia is
really love to the old mother-pig," said Suvorin.  "But no matter, you
get used to it."  The German, however, never gets used to it.  That is
why in the old days the farms of the German colonist in Russia used to
be neat patches of an entirely orderly pattern, looking like islands in
the wild waste of Slav disorder.  It might almost be said that Germany
made war to make the Russian _muzhik_ wash his face, and the Russians
made war so that people could go about with dirty faces if they wanted
to.

The question has not received a final answer.  Greece is fighting for
an empire over Turks.  Ireland is fighting the British Empire to obtain
the right to do what she wants in the world.  The business penumbra of
the United States has begun to cover Mexico.  Five or six constituents
of old Russian have cut free.  But France has become imperial and would
impose a superior will on several nations.

Our curious clay sparrows stand on the wall.  Wilson's sparrows, it is
reputed, fly; ours won't.  As we made them, so they stand looking at
us, waiting apparently.  If some one does not sprinkle holy water on
them soon they will either go to bits or have to be kneaded into the
common lump once more.



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

XIV. FROM ROME

All roads lead to Rome.  It would doubtless be tedious at this point to
describe the obstacles on the road, and, when Rome has been achieved,
the all-night hunt for a room in a hotel, an adventure which now
commonly befalls the traveller to Rome.  But it is a wonderful
impression which you receive of this mighty city in the silent watchful
hours, when all are sleeping, and the living are nearer to the famous
dead.  The scenery seems laid for some great historical drama--but it
is in truth only laid for you and the poor fellow shouldering your bag,
and for a restless knocking at closed doors, trying to awaken
slumberous porters who, like the man at Macbeth's castle, swear they
will "devil-porter it no longer."  You settle down at last for a few
hours sleep on a couple of chairs in a waiting-room, but are prevented
by a loquacious gentleman who calls himself a "_chasseur des hotels_,"
and says that when a man has sought all night and found nothing, he is
generally ready for a proposition.  The _chasseur_ conducts you to a
room in a house in a back street, a chill, red-tiled room, let by a
buxom Roman, whose little girl of twelve is in the capacity of general
servant and makes the bed and empties the slops and serves the coffee
without one self-conscious smile.  Rome indeed, and room enough!  When
you are lodged it does not matter much how you are lodged.

Rome, the capital of capitals, still continues to be a place of destiny
in Europe.  It is not in the glare of light in which Berlin and Paris
find themselves, but the fates of Berlin and Paris are secretly
dependent on it.  For Rome sways the balance of power after the war.
If Rome backs Germany, France at once feels isolated; if Rome backs
France, Germany must come to terms.  The French are victors and have
the winning forces in their hands, but the Italians are psychologists
and know how to win without material force.  Hence has arisen the
curious after-the-Paris-conference situation.  Italy has been despised
by France; Italy, therefore, has renounced that war-after-the-war, dear
to the French heart; Italy has communed with Dr. Benes and planted
another thorn in the side of the Hapsburgs; she has secretly opposed
French policy in Hungary.  With Germany she has made a commercial
entente--not a political or military one, but a pacific _laissez-faire_
for the purposes of trade.  France envisages the complete ruin of
German industry and commerce, and believes that Foch is the man to do
it.  At this the Italians smile quietly and counsel the timorous
Germans not to despair.  Rome chooses to hold to the thesis that a
prosperous Italy depends on a prosperous Germany, and no outsider is
qualified to dispute such a point of view.  Somehow Italy manages to
suggest a similar thought to England.  A prosperous England depends on
a prosperous Germany.  The British trade depression is thought to be
due to the destructive policy of the French.  The question of the
taking of the Ruhr basin becomes a test case: _Very bad for English
business_, say the English manufacturers in chorus.  We are back to the
Treaty of Versailles: Votes count.  England and Italy are in the scale
against France, and France must yield.  The cup of hemlock is taken
from Germany's shut mouth and a cup of merely disagreeable medicine is
placed there instead.  Italy and England sing to her a new song quietly
and secretly, and she decides to take it so as to escape the hemlock.
So Italy has stopped France on the Ruhr.  It is an easier task to stop
her in Upper Silesia where she is pushing the Poles into a similar
assault on German industries.  Lloyd George makes his violent
anti-French speeches, and the British battalions follow after his hot
words to enforce what he has said.  The Italian was despised but he can
afford to smile.  O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet!

Italy's main danger has been internal.  Her Socialistic ferment was so
great at one time that it did not appear likely that the old Italy
could long continue without revolution.  "W Lenin" [1] is scrawled in
black on many walls, and also, "Down with the betrayers of the Army,"
and "Vote the full Socialist Programme."  The idea of revolution is
popular among the masses, and the efforts of the anti-Communist
volunteers have several times suggested a general outbreak of civil
war.  Of all the Allies Italy has had the stormiest after-the-war
period, and the outlook has seemed blackest for her.  Given time, she
could, however, right herself--and the time has been given.  If the
working class had been impoverished and threatened with unemployment it
is doubtful whether Italy could have weathered all the trouble.  But
the proletariat was rich.  The provincial banking accounts had become
full.  The peasants now are especially well-off, and if the proletariat
wanted to fall upon the rich they would have to fall upon themselves.
"The principal phenomenon of our life," said Signor S---- at one of the
Ministries, "is a complete economic inversion.  The number of our poor
does not increase, for the wealth of the country has been exceedingly
well shuffled and dealt out afresh to all."

"Do not be deceived by appearances of unrest," said B---- of the
"Messagero."  "It is caused chiefly by the ex-soldiers who will not
settle down.  You have the phenomenon as well as we.  It is common
after war.  Only our men are more turbulent than any other in Europe.
You have seen them, large, full-blooded, and excitable heroes, not so
sluggish and obedient as the French, more nervous and clamorous than
the English.  But we are working.  The women and children are more
industrious than formerly, and make up for the men's defection.  Italy
will right herself."

Undoubtedly, external policy has helped Italy greatly.  Whilst France
and England have played a fitfully obstructionist and generally
uninspired policy towards the restoration of European trade, Italy has
been steadily working in a positive direction.  She has received
substantial help from Germany, help in return for help.  The wasteful
process of using Switzerland as a fence for German goods has largely
been abandoned in favour of a direct commercial exchange.  Italian
shipping, augmented by its Austrian spoils, has obtained considerable
help and advice.  Quite surprising how many Germans have posts in the
Italian shipping companies!  Germany has lost her own ships, but she
has a large business executive in the background, the administrative
organization of what was once a great mercantile marine.  She has still
a preponderant power in allocating business.  The Italian benefit and
the success of Italy's new policy have been reflected in the phenomenal
appreciation of the lira which during the spring of 1921 actually
gained 33 1/2 per cent in value, mounting from 110 to the pound
sterling in January to 73 in May.  Such a rise in the value of the
currency naturally helps Italian industry, facilitating the import of
raw materials and coal and oil.  In the summer of 1921 Italy became
glutted with coal.

Such progress is not good news in Moscow.  The chief external hope of
Moscow must for long have been in Italy.  And conversely the chief hope
of the Socialists in Italy must have been in the progress of Moscow's
international ideal.  Not that the proletarian leaders of comfortable
Italy realized what they were advocating.  They are not such idealists
in Italy as to be ready to commit national suicide for the good of
humanity as a whole, or even for the good of humanity as a class, as a
working class.  But, be that as it may, the moral authority waned when
the Russo-British trading treaty was signed.  Krassin killed the Third
Internationale.  You do not trade with a capitalistic State in order to
destroy it.  Moscow began to set up a new bourgeois class, started
shops again, and banks and private trading, and generally speaking,
having buried the devil, dug him up again.

With that, Moscow ceased to inspire the grand international solidarity
of proletariats.  There was a set-back in wages over the whole world.
At the same time the strike-weapon tended to fail.  May Day, 1921, was
one of the quietest of May Days.  In Paris it was a joyous holiday; in
Berlin, though the jewellers ordered new steel screens for their goods,
not a window was broken; in London the gloomy coal strike pursued its
lonely road towards defeat, unsupported by even its own allies of
transport and railroad, far less by an ideal from Moscow.  And
bourgeois Western Europe--and Italy not least--breathed afresh.

Rome is a spacious city.  One feels that the great houses were built
originally, not on streets, but on chosen spots, and the streets came
to them.  The house came to the man, and the street to the house, and
that makes a nobler city than street-controlled lines and blocks.  In
Rome there is no bondage of the street.  And the many fountains with
water-spouting nymphs and Neptunes kill the drabness of business, and
freshen modern civilization so that it ceases to know itself as such.
When one compares Rome with Paris or Berlin or London or New York, the
newer capitals suffer.  The mighty ruins have such authority over all
that is new.  It is one of the greatest standing-grounds and points of
vantage in the world.  It has been interpreted as the mountain of
temptation from which Satan showed the kingdom of _this_ world.  It is
the birthplace of Caesardom and the modern idea of world-imperialism.
It was once the seat of world-empire, and remains even now the rock of
the Church.  For many all roads still lead to the Cathedral of St.
Peter's as to the most representative temple in Christendom.
Spiritually, Rome abhors all sects and other centres of religious
persuasion.  Spiritually, she claims to be the coincident centre of two
worlds, this and the world to come.

How fine is the interior of St. Peter's, built to defy time, with its
massive marbles and gigantic figures as fresh and new as if, indeed, a
few hundred years were but as yesterday in God's sight.  The exterior
of the cathedral is transitory-looking, like an aspect of "this world."
But inside is part of the eternal silence such as one might experience
in a profound subterranean chamber.  There is no aspiration, no
adoration--but there is a sense of eternal law.  The Church is imposed
on earth.  About the dome is written, "Thou art Peter, and upon this
Rock I will build my Church," in letters of gold--Rome's ultimate
authority.  All is square and solid and heavy.  There are no seats, but
the extensive floor is of varying granites and marbles, on which those
who believe kneel, and look so small, smaller than life-size in the
presence of the thrice-magnified statues of the Popes.  So much for one
Mother-Church of the world.  It is well cared for in 1921.  The other
Mother-Church of Sancta Sophia in Constantinople still languishes under
the Pagan.

Rome swarms with all peoples.  Its base is Italian, but it attracts the
people of all nations--Englishmen, Americans, Frenchmen, Russians, are
very common.  The Anglo-Saxon party, guide-book in hand, is still
staring at the ruins of ancient Rome.  The war has intervened, but it
looks as if the tourist, engrossed in his "Baedeker" had been doing the
same every day all these years.  The post card vendors and would-be
guides still fret round the old monuments like crows.  They alone
disturb the equanimity of the old men and middle-aged ladies who love
Rome most.  For the lovers of Rome look at those wonderful columns of
Marcus Aurelius and Trajan with whole histories in spiral processionals
climbing upwards to the pinnacle of fame--and their thoughts are not on
these times.

Mightiest of the ruins of Rome is certainly that of the Colosseum,
symbol of the decay of a great people debauched by their lusts and
their rulers.  The Colosseum is sometimes included in the list of the
wonders of the world, and it is certainly one of the most remarkable
ruins of antiquity.  If all modern Rome were swept away by pestilence
and earthquake, the Colosseum would no doubt still stand, and be as
provocative of thought as the Pyramids themselves.  It has already
survived many earthquake shocks and nineteen noisy centuries.  It
stands to-day in grey serenity--a mighty stone structure of great
height and massivity, with tier upon tier of galleries where could be
accommodated surely all the Rome of its day.  There is no other place
like it--with its two hundred and forty arched entrances, and its cages
and prisons.  It is vast and cruel and vain even now.  All the circles
glare down into the empty arena.

Imagine a festival at the Albert Hall when that little fragile building
is packed from the expensive fringe of the stalls and the boxes to the
mysterious height of the gallery, then magnify many times, and change
wood into hewn rock, and take off the roof, and give Roman air and
sunlight, and change the character and dress of the people, and make
them lust for blood and for strange sights, and give voices to their
bellies and violent animation and excitability to their limbs and their
features, and you have the Roman amphitheatre, built to be a
butchering-place for Christians and captives of war, an arena for
gladiators and a place of circuses.

It is the symbol of the decay of Rome.  Bede is said to have
prophesied: "Whilst the Colosseum stands Rome will stand; when the
Colosseum falls the world itself will fall," but that was merely
testimony to its mighty structure.  Five or six palaces have been built
of the marbles and other materials which have been taken away, and
still the Colosseum stands in all its architectural impressiveness.
But the thing this amphitheatre was built for ruined Rome.  The taste
for brutal pleasure which the emperors encouraged debauched the spirit
of the Romans, and deprived them of that traditional virtue of which
they had been so proud.  _Panem et circenses_, the giving of bread
unworked for, and the making of grand gladiatorial shows for the plebs.

Standing-room for twenty thousand plebians was actually given free, and
the other eighty thousand people who could be accommodated paid little
enough.  The shows which gave pleasure also gave glory, and emperors
and magistrates sunned themselves in the people's favour by the
entertainment they could procure for the masses.  Wild beasts were let
out upon little crowds of kneeling Christian victims and tore them to
pieces amid the guffaws and delighted yells of that vast concourse of
people.  Or men fought with infuriated beasts--the foundation of the
bull-fight.  Bears and lions and rhinoceroses and elephants and many
other animals were opposed to men for the popular delight.  Or men
fought men with swords, and champions arose and championships in
plenty.  We read of one gladiator worsting hundreds of other gladiators
in the arena of the Colosseum to the joy of the people, who got
extremely excited as to whether the fight had been a sporting one, and
whether they should have the defeated gladiator killed or let him go:
thumbs up or thumbs down!

Rome fell: its era was supplanted by another greater era.  The
barbarian whom the Romans had enslaved and tormented at last threw down
the mighty empire.

  I see before me the gladiator lie
  Butchered to make a Roman holiday
  . . . Shall he expire
  And unavenged?  Arise!  Ye Goths
    and glut your ire

as Byron wrote.

Now little children are playing where wild beasts were held, and
tourists peep into the empty dens where the Christian prisoners were
kept.

A great war has lately been raging when all manner of anachronistic
tendencies of mankind were displayed, but the popular lust for cruelty
and blood, which once raged from all those burning Roman eyes about the
great arena, has not returned.  Few people now can bear to look on at
cruelty.  Even executions are hidden from men's eyes, and if, upon
occasion, we will cruelty, we demand that it shall be accomplished away
from our eyes, and that we shall not be confronted with the details.
Here, where such gory things were done, if one of us saw an
organ-grinder threatening a monkey with a knife we should leap to save
the monkey--and ourselves.

It may be the leaven of Christianity, or the development of man, or the
racial predominance of the sympathetic Northern European, but it is
none the less a remarkable fact that cruelty which was once public meat
and drink for every one is now a hidden thing, lurking only in the
secrets of prison-life or in places like those parts of the New World
where the mob still burns its negroes alive and takes pleasure in the
sight.

Joy in sheer cruelty has, however, been supplanted by brutal sport.
The bull-fights of Spain are true Colosseum spectacles, and whilst the
danger-thrills which throb through a human concourse at the assaults of
an infuriated bull may not be as degrading as mere gloating over pain,
what can we say of the disembowelling of the horses which is such a
feature of that sport.  And the modern prize fight and boxing
championship has something of the gladiatorial spirit.  The enormous
interest in the Dempsey-Carpentier contest is evidence of the
increasingly debauched taste of the world's democracies.  The Olympic
Games have much more to be said in their favour.  But whilst they
encourage professional athleticism it can hardly be said that they
encourage Europe to be more athletic.  The Sokol movement in
Czecho-slovakia and the Boy Scout movement are much more promising.
The more you look on at games the less you play them, and the more you
play them the less are you content to look on.  The scene of our modern
Olympic Games goes from capital to capital in Europe, and thanks to
public spirit and the subscriptions of industrial magnates, great
stadiums such as that which we have now at Athens, have come into
being.  Perhaps when our old world has become the ancient world, and
living civilization has fled across the oceans, the most remarkable of
our ruins and remains of the past may be our Stadiums and Colosseums
and arenas designed for international games and prize fights.  Ancient
Rome and its fate is our great unheeded warning.



[1] W  A popular hieroglyphic for Viva.



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

XV. FROM MONTE CARLO

The voice of a man in the Riviera express: "I am absolutely broke.  I'm
up against it, up against the great It, and it's neck or nothing for
me, my boy--so I'm off for Monte Carlo.  I'm going to leave it to
Chance, and Chance is the best counsellor after all.  What's human
wisdom by the side of Chance?  Just a turn of the wheel, and all my
troubles are solved."

"God d---n it, it's more sporting than fretting my brains out in a
dirty city like London or Paris, and trying to find a way out of my
tangle.  Heads I win, tails----well, devil take it, tails doesn't
matter.  I've lost, anyway."

It reminded me somehow of the title of a famous story: "Never Bet the
Devil your Head."  But there's no need to feel righteous.  We all do
it.  We yield to despair.  A wise man said, "Gambling is the real sin
against the Holy Ghost because no man should be so unfaithful to his
God-given reason as to resort to chance, and all things are possible
for the man who believes."

All things are possible for a man, for a nation, for a Europe, no
matter in what plight they find themselves, if only they will yield to
the Spirit.

However, it is not of much use talking in this wise to a scoffer.  He
that maun to Cupar maun to Cupar.  We're all in the same express train,
plunging towards the Riviera.

The wild shore of North-western Italy and Southern France, tamed with
villas and white halls, and luxurious with palms and vineyards hinting
of North Africa.  You roll along a magnificent coast to the
Principality of Monaco, and Europe's formal garden of sin.  It makes
much difference whether you arrive there in despair, or just in a
spirit of curiosity, or for a change, or "to make a little money," or
for your health, or whether you just land up there through weariness of
travel.  But you always find Monte Carlo has been arranged for your
arrival.  It is serious; it is smart and clean.  Everything seems first
class.  There is something of the smartness of execution morning when a
court-martial sentence is being carried out.

Yes, there are no poor at Monte Carlo; a poor person is thought to be
ugly in himself, and is not allowed to dwell there.  Even an
ill-dressed person might be conducted to the frontier.  No beggars are
allowed.  No bits of dirty paper or refuse are lying in the streets,
and certainly there are no weeds in the gardens.  The profits of the
gambling-tables provide the most efficient municipality in the world,
and no one who lives in Monaco is charged any taxes; the revenue
derived from roulette covers all that and more besides.  At the same
time, no actual resident is allowed to stake his money at the tables.

Everything here is perfect.  It has been produced like the scenery of a
piece, and when you arrive the curtain goes slowly up, and it is your
first night.  The beauty which you see is strangely artificial, and all
partakes of the grotesque.  Here flourishes that monstrous cactus-like
growth called prickly-pear, with flat flap-like leaves resembling
fingerless green hands; warped and brutal-looking stems looking like
palsied arms.  The cactus is abloom in red-hot poker ends.  Orange
trees and lemon trees and olive trees abound.  Burlesquely-shaped
palms, swathed in their overcoats, stand on the green lawns like
waxwork figures.  There is a strange field of palms, and above and
behind them the great rocks of the mountain coast, and then the
sea-serpents of green water and white foam.

You walk along the parade-ground of the Terrace where wealth and style
show themselves to themselves, and then enter the gloomy portals of the
gaming-halls, and you step at once into a new and very serious
atmosphere.  You feel something of the seriousness of an animal's mind
when it has become conscious of the existence somewhere of a trap.

The Casino is like a great club.  You leave your hat and stick and
coat.  You go upstairs, not as a visitor, but as one at home.  The
place is moving with well-dressed people, some passing one way, some
another.  You show your pass-ticket, and come not without trepidation
to the actual tables.  I have all my travelling expenses in my
pocket--what if I get infected and put all on to a number?

The first impression is pleasant.  In a mellow, golden light, a whole
series of happy afternoon-parties have been arranged.  Groups of
interesting strangers have found a common interest and are sitting side
by side in perfect good manners around tables.  There is only one row
of seats round each table, no tiers of seats.  It is like a party at
home.  At the back of those who sit others are standing looking on--not
indifferently.  Tokens--chips, as they are called--are being placed on
various numbers, on the chance of a red number, or the chance of a
black number, on the chance of an even or on the chance of uneven, pair
or Impair, _passé_ or _manqué_.  It is so elementary that even the
dullest of Europeans can grasp the game at a few glances.

The croupiers, with their rakes, also sit at table (among the guests),
and help see that all is in order.  The ball spins round.  It rattles.
It loses its clear course and will come to rest in a slot.  It does.
Some have won, many have lost.

The many parties, each with its separate table and distinct stories of
chance and luck going on, are intense and preoccupied.  The sitters
have notebooks in which they record the numbers which win and on which
they base their future "play."  Some play exclusively on colour, others
on odds and evens, others on the dozens, others on _voisinage_, others
on numbers, some on zero.  It is very serious.  In the secret hearts of
the sitters some liken themselves to Napoleon, who, they are persuaded,
was at once one of the greatest of gamblers and the greatest of men.
Some are would-be Cagliostros and Michael Scotts.  You see the stupid,
brainy European, devoid of superstition as he thinks, and yet eaten up
with natural superstition.  You see also the emotional turbulent soul
developing abnormality and mania on absurd stakes for money, the mad,
unpractical Russian staking on zero or on the slenderest chance for the
greatest of gains.  The Russians and the Jews and the Americans are the
greatest of gamblers.

No, it is not quite such a pleasant atmosphere as you thought when you
first came in.  It is an atmosphere in which vigilance tries to still
the pulse.  You pass restlessly from one hypnotized table of gamblers
to another.  The grandeur of gold and heavy glass make you feel as if
you were swimming under water in some great untroubled lake.  And as
you tread softly and silently over the thick carpets it is something
like swimming.  There is an intense stillness about each roulette
table.  Even the winners are impassive.  And the groups are gloomier
still at the stables where they are playing "Trente et Quarante."

"Every one came in to win, but nearly every one is losing--isn't it
like life?" said a friend.

"Worse even than life."

Pompous and watchful lackeys dressed as for the stage are walking
about, keeping their eyes open for sharps, for possible
scandal-raisers, or would-be suicides.  The greatest care is taken to
preserve decorum.  If you lose your whole fortune there you must not
shout it out and strike a heroic posture or blow your brains out.
These strong lackeys will whisk you dexterously from the scene before
the other gamblers realize what you were about to do.  There is a sense
of being watched all the while.

"_Faites le jeu, messieurs!_"

"_Le jeu est fait._"

"_Rien ne va plus._"

The winners get their winnings.  The bank rakes in tremendous
quantities of money-tokens.  Its success is very impressive.

You see very clearly demonstrated how poor is the mental apparatus of
the average man.  No wonder it is difficult to get Europe on to a basis
of common sense when _homo sapiens_ has such a limited brain-box.

"I'm staking on the number 13 now," says one.  "The number 13 has not
come up for thirty-four times.  It's almost bound to come soon."

"Why's that?"

"So as to correspond to the theory of chances."

"I don't suppose the number 13 is much excited about it."

The number 13 comes up.  The exultant gambler pockets thirty-six times
his stake, and then engrosses himself in his exercise-book of figures
to find another number which hasn't come up for a long while.

He stakes on 7.

Thirteen comes up again.

"What a fool I was," he whispers in mortification.  "I ought to have
known there was a chance of its coming up a second time."

To the theory of chances most minds are susceptible and this delightful
theory lies at the bottom of most systems.

Not in the case, however, of a certain lady who claimed to have
considerable success.  She played by astrology.  She kept the record of
the winning numbers.  "See," said she, "how many of them are even
numbers."

"Why is that?" I murmured.

"Hercules is in the ascendant this month.  That always means more even
numbers."

You do not see the humour of such a remark whilst you are in the
Casino.  The strain on the minds of the gamblers tells on your mind,
too.  It is terribly tiring for every one taking part, and this is
noticeable in the drawn and fatigued-looking faces.  Even the croupiers
have to be changed every hour.  The strain is utterly exhausting.

It would doubtless be different in these fine high halls if there were
currents of air, but there are not.  It is thousand-times-breathed
gamblers' breath that you are breathing, suffused with the heavy odour
of the expensive perfumes on the women.  What a change when you step
outside into the fresh air once more.  You realize what it feels like
when the Casino closes, and the maniacs with their hot heads are
actually forced to leave the tables and come out.

To think that at ten in the morning there are queues waiting to get in
and get seats at the tables, and that men and women are ready to remain
at the tables all day, and can live on it and die at it!

Up on the heights above, at Rocco Bruna, is a Saracen-built little town
with strange dark people who seldom come down from the heights.  You go
by shady steps between high white walls to a little chapel, and there
on Sunday a beloved _curé_ beguiles an innocent little flock with a
murmuring, heavenly, sing-song voice, whilst the children with
untroubled voices are like larks in a heaven above Monte Carlo,
singing, "_Sancta, sancta, nostra Dama priez pour nous!_"

I'd rather live at Rocca Bruna than in the main seat of the
Principality of Monaco.  So would we all.  But the devil has got such a
terrible pull.



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

XVI. FROM LONDON

You would hardly think that the greatest drama in world history is
being played out in Europe, and that England was taking a part.  You
would hardly think that England herself was in mortal danger.  London
astonishes the traveller.  It seems entirely given over to trivial and
alien interest.  Betting on horses has never reached such dimensions.
Whilst the street-criers of Belgrade keep calling "_Politika,
Politika!_" and the attention of Berlin is ruefully pinned down to
Reparations, and Paris is dignified and serious and national in both
newspapers and conversation, you hear nothing in the streets of London
but, "What's the latest, Bill?" and "I can tell you of a 'orse."

In the vestry of a fashionable church the admirers of a certain earnest
preacher come to see him after the sermon.  Says a lady, "Well, padre,
can you tell us the great secret?"

The priest pauses and reflects.

"I suppose by the great secret you mean the love of God?  I could not
tell you that at once."

"Oh, no," says the lady, "I don't mean that.  I mean who will be winner
on June the first."

Derby Day is given in the Press the prominence of a grand European
event.  Descriptions of what the ladies wear at Ascot occupy as many
columns in the newspaper as the condition of four million unemployed
occupy lines.  The attention of the public is engulfed in second-rate
sport.  It is not as if there were a real boom in sport.  The war has
effected men's physique and their nerves so that most sporting
exhibitions are of the second class.  Strictly speaking, it is not an
interesting cricket year.  But the interest in the county competitions
has been whipped up by the Press till people buy special editions of
papers, not for the latest news from Silesia or Turkey, or of the great
strikes, but to know how Middlesex or Lancashire is getting on.
England versus Australia is greatly starred.  England loses matches,
and the nation seems as much plunged in gloom as she was at the
failures of the old South African War.  In the golf and tennis and polo
competitions there is a similar neurotic interest in the supposed
sporting rivalry of England and America.  It seems even fortunate for
the _mens sana_ of old Britain that she has failed in boxing, and that
the Dempsey-Carpentier match in America did not affect our national
status in our own esteem.

But even our secondary public interests are not in vital matters.  The
traveller returning to London in the summer of 1921 plunges into a
whole series of unsavoury divorce cases being threshed out in public.
Divorce is applied for, considered, granted, in every capital in
Europe, but nowhere does it receive the publicity in the Press that it
does in England.  Its unseemly details are left in the obscurity of
private life elsewhere, and not brought forward for public
consideration as in England.  One arrives in London just in time to
hear the Lord Chief Justice make a grand summing-up of a nullity suit,
and to hear two other judges court the public eye with detailed remarks
in levity of moral conduct and the immodesty of women.  We sometimes in
England refer to the poisonous daily Press of Paris, but Paris, with
all its men-and-women troubles, has no salacious columns in its papers
comparable to those of England.  It would not at present pay in Paris;
the people are not so much interested.

Sport is the first interest; divorce second; and only third comes the
great coal strike which threatens a revolution in industrial life.
Fourth in interest come anti-waste crusades directed against an
unpopular Government.  Then the Irish trouble, and after that probably
European affairs.

"They're writing so much about sport just to keep people's minds off
the coal strike and more serious matters," says a comfortably-minded
citizen.  "The Government gives the papers a hint every day as to the
line to take."

The idea that the Government prompts the Press came with the war and
the efforts of the Press Bureau, and has come perhaps to stay.
Journalists have made great efforts since 1918 to regain for the
British Press that independence and freedom it had before the war.
Fleet Street has been hard hit, and the free-lancers who live outside
Fleet Street hit harder still.  Not that the writing profession has
been beaten by the manipulators of public opinion.  It is fighting hard
in London and will ultimately win.

But some one is responsible for a perversion of public interest at this
time, and for leading the mind of the nation away from the real points
of vital significance.  It is not mere commerce.  Papers could have
been sold in even greater numbers on the strength of the stupendous
political events of England and the Continent.

England is a democracy, but what is the virtue of a democracy which
languishes in ignorance?  Of all countries Britain has now the broadest
basis of franchise.  We can vote, but what is the use of voting when
you know nothing of the issues at stake, and when even the candidates
are ignorant of affairs and try to win by making sentimental popular
appeals to varying prejudices?  England is low.  It is a humiliating
platitude.  England stands far lower to-day than the level of her
national sacrifices.

The civil service and army and police are carrying on the
administration of Great Britain and Ireland, and foreign and imperial
policy.  Politicians and statesmen seem to be inferior in mind and
training to the civil servants who keep the machine going.  The gifts
requisite for getting into power in England are not the same gifts
which are needed for wise government.  What the undistinguished have
learned painfully at school our leaders somehow have missed.  One could
forgive the politician if he understood the elements of political
economy.  But the unforgiveable confronts us, and our new system of
government has admitted to power people capable of abrogating penny
post and abolishing penny-a-mile railway travel, and of raising
telephone charges because the more the subscribers the more the
expense.  If they are capable of these elementary mistakes it is not
surprising that they should have failed to ward off the great trade
depression, and failed to help Europe to get together.  The
accessibility of markets in Europe does not interest politicians except
in the most casual way.

A remarkable phenomenon of the time is the continuation of the grand
traffic in public honours which reached such dimensions during the war.
It cannot be thought that the party funds of the politicians in power
are so low that they have to be supplemented two or three times a year.
Yet on June 4th, for instance, behold once more new Barons, Baronets,
Knights, Orders of the Bath, and Privy Councillors in columns of names.
Over and above the heads of the ordinary English people a new
aristocracy, if one can call it so, is being built up from the ranks of
business men.  The ordinary British citizen begins to feel in a vague
way that there are now many thousands of new titled people up above.
One wonders what it means for the future.  Is England going to develop
a new caste system which the commonalty will have to fight?  There are
now six barons of the Press, and "The Times" and "Daily Mail," the
"Daily Telegraph," the "Sunday Herald," the "Express," the "News of the
World," the "Daily Chronicle," and "Pall Mall Gazette," are, as it
were, feudal castles and feudal organizations in our new England.  It
is enough to start a new War of the Roses.  Lord Northcliffe has much
in common with the king-maker if prime ministers are uncrowned kings.
These Press barons in their way are remarkable men, but as the gates
were opened to let them in a whole host of other people slipped
through.  It is a human weakness to desire decorations.  It ought to be
the function of a strong, wise Government to save us from ourselves.
In the sixteenth century Spaniards gave coloured beads to Indians in
exchange for gold.  In the twentieth century something similar obtains
in England where successful gentlemen part with large sums in exchange
for tiny decorations.

Perhaps the matter is not so important as it might seem to the
theorist.  Japanese students of our life make many strange deductions
from such phenomena as the extensive manufacture of new titles of
nobility.  But whether they are right or wrong in their far-drawn
conclusions it must be admitted that so much honour bestowed in such
unremarkable days has made us flabby as a nation.

Indeed, we suffer by comparison with the French and the Americans who
have notably increased the dignity of simple citizenship.  And yet
another contrast strikes one after a tour of Europe in 1921 and that is
that in England, despite protests about taxes, there are more people of
independent means than in any other country.  The _pensionnaires_ of
the State and of industry have increased with us, whilst in many
countries they have almost disappeared.  Fewer people are actually
earning their living in England than in any other country; more people
are just passengers on the economic machine.  The working part of the
population carries a mass of non-workers on its back all the while.
Anyone who did well in the great war could reasonably hope to lay by
25,000 pounds which gave him an income of 1,000 pounds a year tax free.
That 1,000 pounds a year tax free has now to be earned by those who
work and given to those who work not.  In Germany, in Austria, there
were also those who did well in the war and invested in war loans and
the like.  But their currency depreciated to such an extent that what
would have been an income equivalent to 1,000 pounds a year had Germany
won, became in Germany 80 pounds a year, and in Austria only 7 pounds
or 8 pounds.  They have to work nowadays.  So have all the old moneyed
class.  And even in France and Italy incomes have been reduced by
one-half and two-thirds.  England is fortunate no doubt; but in another
sense she is unfortunate.  We cannot exactly afford so many idle hands;
nor can we afford the number of empty minds that England has to-day.
And more time and trouble is being given to the education of children
who will not do anything for England than to the education of the
middle and working classes.  The teachers generally are very
enthusiastic for their profession and their work.  Like the journalists
they would make for real values, but they are obstructed by forces
which prove too great for them.

The remedy which is generally propounded is "revolution," and
revolution of a kind is bound to come.  It is difficult to believe in
the suggestion of Chesterton, "Our wrath come after Russia's wrath, and
our wrath prove the worst."  It may not be wrath but it will be change.
A few men on Clydeside and a few in South Wales are of the dangerous
stuff, but most people in Great Britain are passive to a fault.  A
great economic change brought about by business depression is more
probable than a stampede to the barricades.

Strangely enough, all winter, spring, and summer of 1921 the "cost of
living" decreased in England.  No doubt, if England resolved to live on
European food instead of colonial food, and if she could get that food
in sufficient quantities, and if she could import all the goods she
requires, the "cost of living" would still go down for quite an
appreciable time.  Down also would go the pound, and eventually
up--very rapidly up--would go the cost of living.

The position of the pound is in any case against nature.  Money and the
cost of materials tend like water to find a common level.  The majestic
pound is standing up on end like the waters of the Red Sea to let the
Israelites pass over dry-shod out of Egypt.  When they get to the other
side down will come the pound.

There is besides the economic element of revolution a political one
also.  If England follows her parliamentary institutions and does not
suspend them as Czecho-Slovakia has done hers, there is bound to be a
great change soon.  Adult franchise of male and female ought certainly
to bring Labour into power.  But the spirit of England will overcome
the greed and vulgarity of the age.

England still preserves a fine reputation on the Continent.  That is
because of the code of a gentleman.  The man who keeps his word, lives
cleanly, and is generally reserved in conversation, is admired in every
capital.  The political efforts made to ease the peace treaty and help
the Germans, have done England's reputation no harm.  The English fill
the imagination as men of honour.

It is difficult, however, to relate England to Europe.  In terms of
England's honour we are nearer than we were, and _Perfide Albion_ is
not nearly so perfidious.  But as a business people we are out of
touch.  We have more bad types of business men than formerly.  There
are a lot of commercial rogues, who, at least, call themselves English,
though their mothers may have played false.  On the other hand, the
stalwart, honest type does not get on so well as he did.  The war has
confused his mind a little.  Many still want to punish the Germans.
And in punishing the ex-enemy they punish themselves.

One would think that the supposed "nation of shopkeepers" would be
appealed to on grounds of commercial sagacity.  A nation that has made
the experiment of a business government might be expected to live by a
business code.  It is well known in business that good-will is the
foundation of prosperous trade, and that hostile relationships do not
pay.

How often has one read this type of appeal in England.  The sentences
are taught in English commercial correspondence classes:

"I want to make a proposition to you, a strictly commercial
proposition.  How can we help one another to do more business?  How can
we be mutually serviceable to one another?  Think it over.  I do you a
good turn now because I know you are certain to be in a position by and
by to do me a good turn."

It has been open for England to say this to Germany, France, Serbia,
Czecho-Slovakia, the United States, and to many other countries, but
for some reason or other we have held off.  We have substituted another
and not very worthy phrase, "Let them stew in their own juice,"
forgetting that if we let them stew there we shall stew, too, in ours.
And it is not likely to be a very good stew.

"The Times" has given its powerful influence to promote the idea of an
alliance with France.  But it came at a moment when France had just
been thwarted by Great Britain in her European policy.  Moreover, it
was not inspired by either the people or the Government of England.
France understood this.  "The Times" also has been developing the idea
of Anglo-American friendship, and that has made more progress there.
The many titled American women in England naturally desire it, and
collectively they have considerable power.  Most American writers in
England and English writers in America work for it.

"If we can't run together, we of the same blood and of the same
tongue," says Sinclair Lewis, to a literary club one June night, "let's
give it up.  Let's cry off altogether and admit that we are all a lot
of savages."

The English masses are indifferent to the idea of alliance.  The real
opposition to it is not in England, but in America where Anglophobes
abound.  There are more haters of England in America than in the
countries of Europe--more lovers also.  Both are sensitive, and the
game of mortifying one another goes on.

Germany, Czecho-Slovakia, Serbia, Hungary, are more eager for a
constructive friendship with Great Britain, and indeed generally
speaking Europe needs England more than America needs her.

There is one slight exception to the general apathy, and that is the
abandonment of anti-Bolshevik hate, and the signing of a trading treaty
with Russia--a long-delayed fruit of common sense.  Russia is in a
desperate plight, and we cannot live by what she yields alone, but it
will help.  But if we can shake hands with Bolsheviks why not with
Germans?  It is curious that despite the strong sympathies for Germany
in England there is no public move for a friendly understanding between
the two powers.  Pro-Germans are still a little afraid of the
war-epithets and abuse.  Commercial travellers in their quiet way are
steadily placing orders for cheap German goods all over England, but
there is no effort to exploit the situation to the mutual advantage of
English and German.  Alone Sir Reginald MacKenna, the chairman of the
London City and Midland Bank, in a remarkable speech to the
shareholders and directors indicated our astonishing passivity.  The
war has brought Germany low, and the lower she goes the more dangerous
she is to the rest of us.  But no one will face it.  If we did resolve
to face it we should find many Germans ready to co-operate and give
help in exchange for help.  The low German mark may seem to mean the
ruin of English manufacturers, but we ought to bear in mind that there
is no nation more direly in need of international help than this same
fearsome Germany.  The trade slump is great, but it is perhaps only the
beginning.  People ignorantly blame the strikers, but many
manufacturers have secretly not been sorry for the strikes.  The
strikes have damped down production.  They have brought down wages,
they have not raised them.  It is of little use going on producing
great quantities of goods for which there is at present no market, and
no use producing above the European market price.  It would be truer to
say that the strikes are partly the result of the depression.  Most of
the strikes have been caused by "cuts" in wages.  Wages have been
sought to be reduced in order to turn out cheaper products and so be
able to compete with other cheap European goods.  The secret of the
obduracy of the coal-owners has lain in the fact that British coal
costs more than the world-price per ton.  The difference in price could
be put on to the private consumer but there are limits to his means of
purchasing.  It is impossible to do more trade with the consumer.  The
main coal business is with the factory and the ship, and these compete
in world-markets for their own business.  All want to keep the cost of
production low in order to compete with the countries of low exchange.

The European exchange is proving to be the most vital matter for
English trade.  Its irregularities reflect the irregularities of our
Europe and they must be met.  An equality of values must somehow be
obtained, and it could be obtained in a spirit of general friendship
and good-will.  Great sacrifices would be necessary from rich people of
all the nations concerned, and large schemes of revenge and punishment
would have to be abandoned.  But in doing so we should all save one
another; in not doing so we are likely all to ruin one another.



LETTERS OF TRAVEL

XVII. FROM PARIS

France is the mainspring of the new mechanism, and Paris the control.
That is why I chose to go to Paris last--so that all, even London,
could be related to her.  The initiative in European politics is taken
by France and she has the most active policy.  Most other States wait
to see what France is doing and shape their policies accordingly.
London is generally in opposition to Paris, but English action is so
sluggish and so independable that even those States who loathe the new
France are obliged to assume that England does not really count.  With
the exception of Greece, England is not giving active support or
practical sympathy to any other country in Europe.  But France backs
Poles and Turks and Hungarians and Serbs, and is carrying out a grand
scheme of world-policy clearly--if not very effectively.

France has made great progress since the war.  Alone among the warring
powers in this respect she stands higher than she did in 1914.  She
stands higher than she has done at any time since the great Napoleon.
The Government it is true is in direful need of money, and has always a
difficult political path to tread, but both the French individual and
the nation as a whole have gained enormously.  Peoples and governments
are too often confused, and the plight of M. Briand sometimes deceives
people as to the position of France.

"France is bankrupt," says a leading publicist, in one of the London
reviews.  But the French people are not bankrupt.  Far from it.  On the
average they are a very rich people.  Even in the devastated areas
there has been a rapid financial recovery due to the hard work and
perseverance of the returned inhabitants.  The constant talk about the
ruined North of France has been more a matter of propaganda than
verity.  Though war was not carried into Yorkshire and Lancashire, it
is quite clear that England is to-day in a much more ruinous state than
France.  The French drove our sentimental politicians through carefully
chosen routes and showed them the grand spectacle of war's ruins.  And
they were impressed.  But there is ruin which cannot be seen from a car
window.  An economic dry-rot at the heart of a country is more terrible
than excoriations on the surface.

In Paris you realize at once a remarkable change in atmosphere after
London.  The barometer has risen.  It suddenly feels better to be
alive.  There is a sense of something in the air; something doing.
Yes, the people are smarter and cleaner; their eyes are brighter.  The
streets are better kept.  _Amour propre_ is expressed in all the shop
windows, in the manners of 'bus conductors, waiters, salesmen, chance
acquaintances, in the tone of the Press.  What is the matter?  Can it
be that Paris has become first-class and London has ceased to be
first-class?  Paris was not like this in 1913.  She was decidedly
down-at-heel.  There was no particular verve or dignity in the ways of
Parisians.  They carried on in a second-rate way in a civilization
which to the general European traveller seemed inferior both to London
and Berlin.

Something has intervened, and that something is not merely war but
victory.  Victory has intervened and has fed the French soul with the
thing which it required.  We know now more of what France was like
before 1870.  Evidently for fifty years she has lived in a state of
depression and spiritual thraldom, and now she has escaped and is more
herself.  France has recovered her national pride and
self-consciousness.  She has expanded.  Increase of territory and of
national interests has given to French self-consciousness more room,
and you behold the opposite type of development to that which is in
process in Germany, where national self-consciousness has been turned
in on itself.  That is why it is good to be alive in Paris and not so
good in London or Berlin.

It is possible to be winning and still remain down-hearted, but this is
not the case at Paris.  The supposed fear of Germany is only political
bluff.  France fears no Germans.  She fears nobody.  Perhaps she ought
to fear--for the far future.  But she has always had a belief in
herself and her way of doing things and an inbred contempt for other
races as for barbarians, and it has only needed this colossal victory
in a world-war to set her on her pedestal of fame once more.

It was in doubt for a while before the war, but now it is sure--all the
world must learn French; if it cannot speak French it must at least
think French.  French is the universal medium of civilization and good
manners.  The emissaries of France in every country of Europe carry
France's civilizing mission and tell the foreign statesmen of the young
States what to do and how to do it.  As England sends missionaries to
spread the gospel of Christ so France sends hers to spread the gospel
of France.

The sense of this glorious activity comes back to the heart and the
brain at Paris, and it is small wonder that steps are lighter and eyes
brighter.

If only the Government could fill its exchequer!  France lives by
loans, and even an interest of six per cent free of income-tax will not
tempt the citizens to invest sufficient money to pay the Government's
way.  The Government cannot raise its revenue by taxes.  An Englishman
slavishly pays half his income in taxes, but not a Frenchman.  It is
difficult to get five per cent.  And there one comes suddenly upon
France's greatest vice and weakness--avarice.

It is France's penuriousness and meanness and her exaggerated thrift
that stands most in the way of her material greatness now.  The
Government needs to spend a great deal more than it used to do before
the war, must spend it, if it is to do the best for France.  France has
the consciousness of being the greatest power in Europe, and she has
the will to play the rôle of the greatest power, and she is called upon
to do things in style.

France is romantic in ambition, she is vivacious and happy and
dignified, till she is called upon to pay anything.  Then the
Frenchwoman in the French nation reveals herself.  The eyes become
small, the lips thin, the cheeks pale, the whole being shrinks into
itself and goes on the defensive.

France wishes to run this new Europe which has come into being, on the
old lines, playing with hatreds and jealousies and conflicting
interests as a chess-player with his pieces.  The idealists of England
and America want to eradicate the jealousies and hatreds and run the
same new Europe on principles of pure love.  France says human nature
never changes.  Britain and America say human nature has progressed
with them and it must progress similarly in Europe.  France's final
answer is laughter.  So constant is France's amusement at the expense
of the Anglo-Saxon that she has adopted the _sourire ironique_ as
something necessary to typical beauty in a Frenchman.

It is, therefore, not surprising that M. Octave Duplessis in the
"Figaro" should find that characteristic work of H. G. Wells, the
"Salvaging of Civilization," quite ridiculous.

Il nous ramene aux rêves ineptes des Fourier et des Cabet, effacant de
la surface de ce pauvre globe terraqué toutes les barrières,
aplanissant avec intrépiditée les plus grands obstacles, niant le fait
concret des nationalités, de plus en plus positif pourtant à mesure que
progresse la civilisation, et saluant déjà l'aurore du jour où

  Ce globe deplume, sans barbe et sans cheveux
  Comme un grand potiron roulera dans les cieux

M. Britling nous ramene donc de cent ans en arriéré, au mauvais
socialisme primitif de l'époque romantique.  Il ressuscite de
poussiéreuses momies.


By denying the possibility of realizing the dream of a world-State or a
collective European State, the Frenchman speaks for his country.
France regards the development of European history with simple realism
and without ideals.  The only weak link in her chain-mail is the belief
in the civilizing mission of France.  If there is no progress why have
a mission to civilize?

Perhaps the religious sentimentalism of Western politicians was a
revelation to French statesmen.  France, for all her cosmopolitanism,
has always been badly informed as to the life of the people in England
and America.  Something of the general astonishment was voiced by
Clemenceau, if the story of him is true.  He is supposed to have said
of Wilson: "He is an excellent man, but he thinks he's Jesus Christ."

In France all excellence is excellence of form.  The idea of the growth
of the soul and of germinal excellence of any kind is foreign.  For our
part in England and America we understand little of form.  France
therefore can upon occasion show the world something which no one can
deny to be excellent.

The Parisian can very well say in London or New York: "You have much
that is large and fine, but it is clear that you do not understand Art
and have very little taste.  In France we do things better than this."

He does not put his _poilu inconnu_ in the depths of a cathedral in
order to bring an unbelieving crowd into the house of God, but puts him
in the public way under the Arc de Triomphe.  He does not say that the
soldier died for King and Country, and then mutilate a text--"Greater
love hath no man than this," but he inscribes--"_Ici repose un soldat
français mort pour la patrie_," and leaves the living to make their own
reflections.  His Paris is a city of statues and gardens but it is all
dignified, it is all in good taste.  Even the houses and the shops
conform to the general idea of the fitness and elegance of Paris.

Among the emblems of the time, however, there is in Paris one statue on
exhibition which offends good taste, and even an Englishman can see
that it may become ludicrous.  It is the marble figure representing the
"_Republique Française pendant la guerre_," now placed at the head of
the Tuileries Gardens.  It is Madame France wearing a _poilu's_ helmet.
There is a look of triumph in her upturned face.  France in her has
become younger.  Most figures of France are Diana-like, but here
apparently is one the tender contour of whose limbs is not official but
intimate.  A policeman is in charge, but it verges on the indiscreet to
ask him any questions.  One dare be certain that Paris will not accept
this statue, for though it expresses something of the new spirit of
France, it is not in perfect taste, it is not quite dignified.

There is something very characteristic of France in the thousands of
seeming-widows whom you see clad in becoming weeds.  The widow's veil
raises the dignity of the Frenchwoman and confirms her piety so that
she feels like a Madonna when her husband is dead, and loves to walk
like one.  Some wear this attire without being widowed--it conforms so
well to a secret desire.  The demure widow so dressed has much charm.
There is, however, another and a better type, and that is the Joan of
Arc type of young Frenchwoman so often overlooked in a survey of French
reality.  The new, bright, white marble figure of Joan in the cathedral
of Notre-Dame is worth a prayer for France.  One has met Joan in life,
she is generally sixteen or seventeen, ardent, heroic, romantic, with
the poetry of Corneille and Racine upon her lips.  She is full of
effervescent devotion, impetuous and entirely "pure."  What happens to
her in modern France it would be difficult to say.  The English do not
come and burn her for a witch; but English people do not like the type,
do not understand it, and generally prefer the insincere Madonnas or
the Madame Bovarys of France.  But to understand France one must take
cognizance of this feminine crusading spirit.  Much that is genuine and
worth while in France can be associated with the type of Joan.  Even in
the midst of modern politics one should look for Joan.  French
aspirations has a grand turn.  We think of the French as realists, but
they are romanticists.  They look back and then look forward.  They see
events with long black shadows as at sunset.  They harangue themselves.
In the English people humour comes to chase the romantic away and it
will not let us get into a heroic vein.  But not so with the French.
Their humour is weak.  So at school, in books, in inscriptions on
statues, in public speeches, you will constantly come upon the heroic,
romantic strain, and you will find adjurations to the French people:
"_Français, élevez vos âmes et vos résolutions à la hauteur des périls
qui fondent sur la patrie.  Il dépend encore de vous de montrer à
l'univers ce qu'est un peuple qui ne veut pas périr_," as it says on
the Gambetta monument.

This splendid spirit is betrayed by the sordidness of modern life.  The
exchange for romantic idealism is cynicism and soullessness.  Joan does
not remain Joan all her life--if she 'scapes burning she is quickly
destroyed by the world.  The philosophy of _Voila tout_ soon possesses
her.  I always remember the end of Octave Feuillet's "_Histoire d'une
jeune Parisienne_"--

Dans l'ordre moral, il ne nait point de monstres: Dieu n'en fait pas;
mais les hommes en font beaucoup.  C'est ce que les mères ne doivent
pas oublier.


In France's plan for Europe there is both the idealistic romantic and
the cynical materialistic.  If England really understood the spirit of
France she would strengthen the former.  And France might really take
England into her confidence.  England, and indeed most other nations,
see in France a selfish, narrow, matter-of-fact power, and in seeing
these things they help to make France so.

If France took Britain into her confidence she would possibly explain
her policy in this way--"The great war which has just passed was first
and foremost a war between Germany and France.  The Germans do not
understand us; they loathe and despise our civilization.  They have
been entirely wrong, but they had the big battalions on their side.
Once they beat us in the field and they took away and subjugated two of
our provinces, almost killing the French spirit there and Germanizing
to the utmost of their ability.  A second war has taken place and we,
thanks to the help of allies, have won.  We have gained an overwhelming
victory.  The Germans have made a complete surrender.  President Wilson
deceived them into thinking that they might arrange an easy peace, and
they surrendered their weapons.  France was glad to see her vain enemy
fooled and despoiled of her means of continuing the strife.  France,
however, never accepted Wilsonian idealism.  Why should she?  America
has never bled as France has bled.  She has never lived in the danger
in which France has lived.  She does not understand Europe.  But France
owed America a great deal of money and could not afford to offend her.
She had the mortifying and difficult rôle to play second to Wilson at
the peace-table though first in sacrifice and first in danger.
France's object has been and is to place Germany completely _hors de
combat_.  Her mortal enemy is in her power.  France's first desire is
not money or territory, but just security.  France does not fear
Germany in her present spiritless, unarmed state.  France does not fear
Germany at all.  But the fruit of victory which she desires is that she
should put it entirely out of the power of Germany to return to the
struggle.  The League of Nations is being arranged to stop warfare
among all races.  France does not believe that that is practicable,
human nature being what it is.  But France does see that one war of the
future can be eliminated, and that is another Franco-German struggle.

With that in view France has embarked on a real policy embodied in the
following programme:--

(1) The complete demilitarization of the German people.  We will not
allow her to have an army or a navy.

(2) The dismantling of the German Empire.  We would undo what Bismarck
accomplished; for in destroying the unity of Germany we should destroy
most of its power to reorganize after defeat.  The dismantling of
modern Germany implies for us:

  (a) Alsace and Lorraine for France.
  (b) Upper Silesia for Poland.
  (c) A separate State of Bavaria.
  (d) A separate State of Westphalia.
  (e) A Polish corridor to Dantzig, separating East and West Prussia.
  (f) No union between Austria and Germany.


"France is not in favour of plebiscites, as the war was won not by a
plebiscite but by a superior number of cannon.  The plebiscite was a
Wilson invention and France regards it passively.  If plebiscites stand
in the way of a real policy in Europe they ought to be disregarded.  As
regards questions such as that of the Ruhr Valley occupation France is
ready to take any avenue which leads to a furtherance of her
fundamental policy.  The saddling of Germany with an immense indemnity
is primarily necessary in order to pay off the war debts of France and
Britain to the United States.  For the rest, the indemnity debt can be
used as a check on Germany so that we can watch her."

Such is in any case France's policy.  She pursues it in subterranean
ways and through intrigue and by all the old tricks of secret
diplomacy, evidently trusting no one but herself.  It is unfortunate.
Much could be gained both in England and America by a clear, frank
statement.

With regard to Russia there is little of the idealistic spirit in
French policy.  Her attitude towards Russia has little to do with her
attitude towards Europe as a whole.  France does fear that Poland may
come to nothing, and that Germany and Russia may come into vital
contact.  Otherwise Russia is a place apart.  Russia is a place where
many millions of French francs have been lost.  France does not
understand Russia, does not want to.  France is quite sufficient for
France.  But she has received a terrible blow in a most sensitive part.
France's vice as we have said is avarice.  She does not expect to lose
money.  France is not like America where one loses a fortune to-day and
makes one to-morrow.  In France when you make a fortune you keep it.
The Russia which confiscated foreign holdings and ceased to pay
dividends is a thief of portentous guilt to France.  France, therefore,
steadfastly opposes that Russia, and she has as steadfastly supported
the other Russia which says she will recognize these old debts and pay
them back plus dividends.  France disapproved of the original
revolution, but is said to have been persuaded to it by England.
France thought the March '17 conspiracy very risky.  And she soon
realized that she had been right.  Revolution meant repudiation of
debt.  And Russia will never pay back her debts now unless in the form
of "rights of exploitation."

France backed Koltchak and Yudenitch and Denikin and Wrangel and the
Polish War--all for the sake of her money.  Not because she was sorry
for the Russians or for the rights of humanity, or because she was
scandalized by Communism.  Her plan generally has been to persuade
England to supply the outfit and pay for the expense, but she has also
paid somewhat and has thrown good money after bad--the thief gone with
so much and so much to find the thief!  Russia is a sore point, an
aggravated loss.  And now that the counter-revolutionaries have failed,
France is almost as much out of sympathy with the Russian refugees as
she is with the Bolsheviks themselves.

Paris, however, remains the capital of Russia in exile.  There are more
distinguished Russians there than in any other capital of Europe, and
Russian world-policy is organized from there.  It is General Wrangel's
civil headquarters.  During the last days I was in Paris the Russian
National Congress constituted itself a "National Union of Russia,"
dedicated to the task of liberating Russia from the Third International
and at the same time excluding partisans of a Tsaristic restoration.
It rejoiced in glowing terms in a Russian army which though now
vanishing was still the hope of Russia.  It pronounced against the
trade treaties made by Great Britain and other powers with Soviet
Russia, and it passed a resolution recognizing Russia's old debts and
commercial obligations as contracted under the Tsardom.

A national committee of seventy-four members was elected, from Paris,
Constantinople, London, Belgrade, Berlin, Finland, Poland, Switzerland,
Sofia, Vienna, Athens, Riga, the United States, and amongst those
elected were the following well-known Russian personalities--Burtsef,
Struve, Kartashef, Bunin, Kuprin, Roditchef, Savitch, Tyrkova, Dioneo.

This powerful organization is likely enough to go back to Russia if
Lenin and Trotsky fall.  The latter are doing their utmost to safeguard
themselves, but they are weaker than the Tsar was.  The Tsardom had
most of the brains and abilities of the Russians at its disposal, but
Lenin  has driven nearly all the educated and trained minds out of the
country.  Russia as an internationalist State is a failure; as a
peasant Communist State she has not succeeded in straightening out the
comparatively simple problems of her economic subsistence.

Of course, there are many abstentions from the Russian National Union,
and among the most notable is Milyukof who characterizes their actions
as "words without force."  Milyukof and Burtsef have quarrelled.
Burtsef stood for backing General Wrangel, but Milyukof has taken a
strong line on that matter.  He does not believe that Wrangel can do
anything, or that force applied externally can bring Bolshevism down.
He believes in the renovation of Russia from within.  Milyukof's
contention is undoubtedly sound, but it has resulted in a wordy warfare
in the columns of Burtsef's "Obshy Delo" and Milyukof's "Posledny
Novosti," both Paris daily papers in Russian which keep up a malevolent
cross-fire on one another.

One of the happiest evenings spent in Paris was at Babief's toy
theatre--"The Flittermouse," where I saw again a programme rendered in
Moscow in 1914.  Russians in themselves are the most unmechanical
people, the most emotional and unexpected in their ways.  It is,
therefore, curious that they should shine so much when they pretend
that they are dolls, when they take on extra human limitations.  In the
Russian Ballet it is the doll-stories of "Petrouchka" and "Boutique
Fantasque" which charm most, and so it is in the programme of the
Flittermouse Theatre, "The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" and the
toy-box story of "Katinka" are the favourites every night.

I was touched, however, by one of their lesser successes, that was
called "Minuet," which seemed to have a national pathos in it.

A young man is sitting on a seat in the garden of Versailles or some
such place of formal grandeur.  It is after the revolution and the
death of the King--one evening at twilight time--

"How I love to come here and dream a little," says the young man.
"This is a beautiful place.  And sometimes one sees strange people, the
old courtiers of the King come walking as they used to walk."

Presently an aged man in Court attire appears with a tall, gilded stick
in his hand.  "The King gave me this," says he in a quavering voice.
And then an aged dame appears.  They will not explain themselves to the
young man, for he cannot understand.  How can youth understand those
who are old?

The two old courtiers are bent and stiff.  But they dance in the late
dusk a minuet again.  You fear all the time their stiffness and age
will prevent them, but they dance it, not for the young man, but for
themselves and for their King.  How poignant it was, how terrible!
Like ghosts at Ekaterinburg.





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